The City of Copenhagen
Parking charge correctly imposed
A was given a parking charge for having parked in a Pay and Display zone without a visible Pay and Display ticket. Execution was levied on A's car for the parking charge of DKK 510.00.
Having been properly admonished to speak the truth, A explained to the Probate Court that he had put the ticket in the windscreen as usual. When he returned to his car, his GPS mount had fallen down and thereby pushed the ticket down. The traffic warden explained in the Probate Court that she follows the procedure set up for checking cars.
The Probate Court was satisfied that A had a visible Pay and Display ticket in his windscreen and rescinded the execution levied by the bailiff.
The Supreme Court stated that according to the case law of the European Commission of Human Rights, the Court, in its hearing of cases concerning parking charges payable to the State, must observe the due process protection afforded to defendants in criminal cases pursuant to Article 6 of the European Human Rights Convention, including the rule on presumption of innocence in Article 6(2) and the rule in S. 863 of the Danish Administration of Justice Act stipulating that a defendant is not obliged to make a statement.
Consequently, A should not have been admonished to speak the truth when he gave testimony before the Probate Court; however, this error could not lead to remission of the case to the Probate Court for a new trial, cf. S. 925 of the Administration of Justice Act.
The Supreme Court ordered that in a case such as the one before it, in which it has not been contested that the Pay and Display ticket was not visible in the windscreen of A's car in accordance with the provisions stipulated in the Order, A must prove that the ticket was lying in a place where the traffic warden could still see it when checking the car in accordance with the rules on the levying of parking charges. Referring to the fact that such evidence had not been produced, the Supreme Court agreed that the charge had been correctly imposed. The Supreme Court noted that on the evidence there was no basis for assuming that the terms governing the traffic wardens' work were such that the wardens were encouraged to levy a certain number of parking charges.
The High Court had reached the same conclusion.