NOVE successful in Supreme Court: Leaving the contractual penalty notice under the windshield wiper of a car is a reasonable way to report a penalty

NOVE’s Attorneys at Law Arsi Pavelts and Urmas Volens successfully represented a parking manager in a Supreme Court dispute in which the entire composition of the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court found that leaving the contractual penalty notice under the windshield wiper is a reasonable way of forwarding such notice. It is not reasonable only in exceptional cases, such as in case of a hurricane or other natural disaster.

In the civil case of the Supreme Court, the plaintiff was a limited liability company EUROPARK ESTONIA. The defendant had parked in the parking area of plaintiff and had failed to pay 11 parking penalties according to the application. The owner of the parking area announced a contractual penalty every time, leaving the notice under the windshield wiper of defendant’s car, but according to the defendant, the defendant did not receive any fines. Thus, the parking lot manager and the owner of the vehicle argued if leaving the fine notice on the vehicle’s windscreen was a reasonable way to transmit it.

The County Court satisfied the action of the private limited company EUROPARK ESTONIA. Tallinn Circuit Court did not agree with the County Court’s decision and annulled it. The Circuit Court argued that leaving a fine notice under the windshield wiper was not a reasonable way to notify, since the plaintiff who was the owner of the parking area was aware of both the responsible vehicle operator and his contact details.

The Supreme Court’s Civil Chamber decided that this way of filing a fine notice can be considered reasonable. It is not reasonable only in exceptional cases, such as in the case of a hurricane or other natural disaster. In the absence of exceptional circumstances, the notifying party may consider that the fine has been received.

The Supreme Court annulled the decision of the Circuit Court and sent the case to the same court for a new hearing.

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