Threat of legal action Portugal - having small panic here

Mags52

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Further to the thread I started about half an hour ago I now have a translation of the letter we have received from the GNR in Portugal. We parked at Armacao de Pera last January and in the morning were woken by the police who made us sign a declaration. At the time they told us it was just a warning and there was no fine to pay - just don't do it again. We thought it was a legal parking place so we were quite shocked.
Here is the translation of the letter:
"By this notice, it is stated in the notice that, by order of the President Rosa Christina de Palma, dated 02/02/2017, on the report of the National Republican Guard, a proceeding was instituted against management.

In accordance with the content of the order, you are alleged to have carried out caravanning in an undue place on 20 January 2017.

These facts, for violation of the provisions of No. 1 or No. 2 of Regulatory Decree no. 38/80 of 19 August, in conjunction with Article 1 (1) thereof. 18 of Decree-Law no.1 310/02 of December 18, are liable to punishment on a non-ordering basis, pursuant to the provisions of art. 47.0 (1), al. g) with a fine of € 150 to € 200 of the same legal provisions.

Therefore, for the purposes of Article 50 of the General Regime of Counter-Ordinances and Fines, you are hereby notified to present Written Defense in Portuguese, within 20 days, of the date of receipt of the Notice of Notification, to allege what he has as appropriate, on the case of the said notice, and may also appoint witnesses and constitute, under the terms of law, counsel.

If you do not file a defense in writing, you must, however, proceed with the delivery of a copy of your last proof of income equivalent to I.R.C. or I.R.S. and their respective settlement note depending on whether it is a legal or natural person, to prove their economic situation.

In addition, if you inform us that you are Arguido, you have the right to be represented by a lawyer at any stage of the proceedings.

Silves, on January 10, 2018"

Can anyone help us with what to do please?
Mags
 
Jan 19, 2014
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Similar thing happened to us in Spain, we got a Spanish letter through weeks later when we got home. There's no money on it so I don't think they want payment.
I think it's a bloody cheek asking for €150 for parking up for a night. If they send us any demand for payment they can sod off. I don't think they'll get interpol involved for a parking ticket :cool:
 
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I think @Zains Pops is right. You could really stress yourselves up about this, and probably still have to pay up. If you just pay it now, you can forget about it and get on with enjoying your trip. :)
 
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Mags52

Mags52

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The letter doesn't ask for money it asks for a defence. I have written my version of events but don't know whether this is the right thing to do.
 

Chris

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Well the fine seems to be between €150 -200.

I suppose you could pay €200 and tell them to stick it up their Algarve.

Don’t know what else to do to be honest unless you write to say sorry and you hadn’t realised it was illegal etc.

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Theonlysue

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Not long enough!
Send them a letter in your defence and see what happens.
I wouldn't loose any sleep over it.
Hardly a hanging offence.

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The Portuguese are lovely people but they do like a large dollop of bureaucracy over the simplest of things.
If there is a fine,I suggest you pay it.
Otherwise,ignore it,and wait to see what happens.
 

BreweryDave

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I wouldn't advise ignoring it, unless you never visit Portugal again. These things don't go away unfortunately. But I would send in a defence statement, after all, that car park allows it! ( even if not officially allowed by the town hall, turn the tables and say you were defrauded )

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TheBig1

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i think, not certain, that they need to put any fine or letter in the language of the recipient legally. i think this is what JJs portugese friend said last time this happened
 

Decaf

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I get the impression that you won't rest easy by 'just ignoring' this notice/letter.

Its important that you keep a balanced perspective, its not a hanging notice. I would be inclined to respond as requested, state your points clearly and without undue negative emotion.
It never hurts to offer an apology for any misunderstanding, and to confirm that you are law abiding visitors to their country with a fully legal vehicle, etc.

The only real hassle you are likely to encounter, is getting your written response translated professionally into Portuguese, so that there are no further misunderstandings (y)
 
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Mags52

Mags52

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I get the impression that you won't rest easy by 'just ignoring' this notice/letter.

Its important that you keep a balanced perspective, its not a hanging notice. I would be inclined to respond as requested, state your points clearly and without undue negative emotion.
It never hurts to offer an apology for any misunderstanding, and to confirm that you are law abiding visitors to their country with a fully legal vehicle, etc.

The only real hassle you are likely to encounter, is getting your written response translated professionally into Portuguese, so that there are no further misunderstandings (y)

You are right that the thought of ignoring it doesn't sit well but as it was written in Portuguese I can't see how they expect us to know what to do. My son used Google translate to give us the version above but that is known for its errors.

It's hard not to stress about it but thanks for the helpful suggestions.

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Decaf

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A Google search will provide a selection of companies in the UK that can provide legal translations for you in Portuguese.

Another very useful and little known about professional legal service in the UK is provided by a selection of Notaries.
A local one to you can be found at www.thenotariessociety.org.uk

We have used a UK Notary, and found the service to be extremely efficient and well respected abroad.
 

GWAYGWAY

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It has not happened to me but I think that if you get a piece of paper out and a pen and ask the ploliceman to write down what he/she says then you have it in writing, what happens if they make a demand and you say no, do they impound it, or just shoot you. Wouldn't be good for the tourist industry.
Bear in mind though that Spain, Portugal, Greece and further back Italy and Germany were all Fascist countries, the first three not long ago, the Chief of Police might still have the Gardia Civile, big stick and machine guns mentality. If you see the news about Catalonian independence march and what they were doing to people tring to vote about it. The old habits do linger. Probably find the police get paid if there is enough money in the pot to actually pay them. NEVER sign anything you do not understand you might end up like the woman in Egypt with good know how many years in prison for UK pain killers. She signed something she did not know and it was a full admission that she was a drug smuggler.
 
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You are right that the thought of ignoring it doesn't sit well but as it was written in Portuguese I can't see how they expect us to know what to do. My son used Google translate to give us the version above but that is known for its errors.

It's hard not to stress about it but thanks for the helpful suggestions.
Get yourself to the nearest university - languages department and ask for a translation - test for their students - best translation £20.

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soreeyes

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Under the Cross Border Agreement the letter has to be sent in the language the vehicle is registered in .

Possibly a technical issue they have not followed the correct procedure you could get out of paying it .

Seek legal advice .
 

BreweryDave

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Under the Cross Border Agreement the letter has to be sent in the language the vehicle is registered in .

Possibly a technical issue they have not followed the correct procedure you could get out of paying it .

Seek legal advice .

Interesting, found this which is worth a read for us all, it doesn't include parking or camping offences, but useful to know in any event.

http://etsc.eu/faq-eu-cross-border-enforcement-directive/
 
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Traffic offences are one thing, parking offences are another... there not going to come and get you for parking rightly or wrongly in a car park....

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May 8, 2010
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I think that, maybe, to pay for a professional translation and notary service, you will most likely be paying more than 150 Euros. Is it worth the hassle?
 

Gorse Hill

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It has not happened to me but I think that if you get a piece of paper out and a pen and ask the ploliceman to write down what he/she says then you have it in writing, what happens if they make a demand and you say no, do they impound it, or just shoot you. Wouldn't be good for the tourist industry.
Bear in mind though that Spain, Portugal, Greece and further back Italy and Germany were all Fascist countries, the first three not long ago, the Chief of Police might still have the Gardia Civile, big stick and machine guns mentality. If you see the news about Catalonian independence march and what they were doing to people tring to vote about it. The old habits do linger. Probably find the police get paid if there is enough money in the pot to actually pay them. NEVER sign anything you do not understand you might end up like the woman in Egypt with good know how many years in prison for UK pain killers. She signed something she did not know and it was a full admission that she was a drug smuggler.
The women had 300 Tramadol which is the most abused drug in Egypt the synthetic opioid is only available on prescription but is often obtained illegally and used as a heroin substitute so a bit different, but I take your point about not signing anything
 
Nov 18, 2011
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haven't red this all the way through but i am fairly sure under European law that any proceedings taken agenst you must be communicated to you in your mother langue i got a good friend who just happens to have a wife from Portugal
will have a wee chat with her tomorow
bill

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Nov 18, 2011
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Never trust a policeman. Or anyone in authority.The friendlier they are the bigger lying scum they are. Same in all countries.
They cannot lie in bed straight the vast majority.

For the future ,Always use your phone to record anything, if forced to sign anything then just use an illegible scrawl & your other hand. .
Send in your defence stating that you were specifically told that it was just a warning & ,if having signed something in a language you do not speak, it appears that you have incorrectly admitted something which you were not doing then you consider that you have been entrapped by criminal practice & conduct unbecoming a serving officer.
Additionally as they have used the cross border directive to serve the notice it has been done illegally & incorrectly under EU legislation, namely it is not in the language of the registration document,English, & there fore does not comply .
In addition ( & this depends on the date which you received the letter) the Portugese , or any country sending out notices, have 12 months from the date of the alleged offence to have instigated contact with the alleged offender.
As it is the 18th today ,& I doubt that you have been holding the letter for some 16 days , the 12 months lapsed on the 2nd January 2018.
You have saved me sum research with my portages friend(y) but i think you are spot on
bill
 
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We feel really sorry for the position that Mags 52 now finds herself in, not knowing where she stands, whether to just pay the fine or ignore it, especially as its written in Portuguese that most of us would struggle with. I think that the advice from Gus-Lopez is probably spot on,as he lives there and knows how bent the police are in filling up their fines quotas. This however still does not alter the fact that Mags will still have to trawl through the web links provided and send some form of letter in an attempt to prove that she did not fully understand what she had signed, and then throw herself at their mercy, and hope they will just drop the case.
We follow travels blogs and read posts on MHF, that tell us very often of how the Spanish & Portuguese police are becoming stricter with MH wilding or parking overnight in non designated car parks.
I suppose thats mainly due to locals complaining, along with the fact that so many more now are disregarding the local parking rules, bundling up in groups making the situation worse, then moving on to pose the problem further up the road.
Well its becoming obvious to me, and maybe should be to all of us, that the police under those circumstances are soon going to get fed up with us, and start dishing out fines, so that the word is spread far afield, that we cant take the mickey any longer, by paying with our wallets.

We haven't taken our new Mh to Spain or Portugal as yet, and to be honest, we may have to plan our future routes to use only legal Aires or Sostas, or worse case Sites, although like many we wouldn't want to be hemmed in like sardines, or feel that we are being ripped off with extortionate site fees as we only want to stay a day or two, instead of a month to get a decent rate....saying that though if needs must, we will.
There will be more experienced regular travellers to help us with the situation as it is NOW, rather than what it was like a few years back, hopefully we are being too cautious with our attitude having read this post & others like it, and common sense will prevail.
Good Luck Mags, keep us posted on what happens next.
TinaL & Les
 
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