Printfriendly

Friday, 30 June 2017

Ms. Devenster Macklow loses another claim for BW Legal. Elliott v Loake and CPS v AJH Films not relevant

This post on MSE gives the full story.

BW Legal were pursuing a parking charge against "sgtbanjo". The hearing was on 30/06/2017in Skipton.

BW Legal were represented by Ms. Devenster Macklow.  She didn't look like she could be bothered to be there and had obviously done this a hundred times before as had the judge.

The Judge did most of the defending and asked if the Claimant could prove the keeper was the driver. When she said no, the claim was dismissed. The judge knew exactly what the situation was re Elliott v Loake and CPS v AJH Films and just wanted to hear the defendant say the right things about them being a criminal case and an Employer/Employee situation.

The judge asked Ms Devenster Macklow to remain in her chambers after the hearing was over.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

BW Legal try Elliott v Loake and CPS v AJH Films yet again. Yawn. Claim dismissed

This thread on MSE gives the full story

Excel along with BW Legal were chasing a keeper for a PCN from early 2012 (pre PoFA).
As the event was 5 years ago the keeper had no idea who was driving and historically many people had driven the car.

The witness statement was the usual BW Legal poorly thrown together rubbish. Although the claim was for £100, the signage filed as evidence showed the charge to be £60.

The Hearing

Excel were represented by a barrister.

The defendant's husband acted as lay representative.

Judge Wright was in the chair.

The judge confirmed that neither Mr and Mrs Keeper were driving and asked the barrister what she was relying on given she didn't know the identity of the driver. She brought up Elliott v Loake & CPS v AJH Films. Judge Wright's face showed what she thought of that, and the claim was quickly dismissed.

Judge Wright awarded costs, but only half of what had been claimed in the costs schedule.

Prankster Notes

The Judge questioned the defendant, which took both the defendant and lay representative by surprise. This is normal in court - the defendant is their own witness after all, and will therefore be expected to answer questions on their witness statement.

If you are turning up with a lay representative, they will argue the legal aspects of the claim, but you should be prepared to answer any questions on your witness statement - the lay representative will not be allowed to answer for you.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

BW Legal forget to pay court fee

This thread on MSE gives the full story

Excel claimed a permit was not on display in an ANPR-controlled car park in Wakefield in August 2012. This was pre-POFA 2012, so only the driver can be held liable.

Many years later BW Legal took up the reins and filed a court claim.

The defence was that BW/Excel have not provided proof of the driver, have not provided proof of the lack of display of parking permit and have not stated that the parking fee was not paid.

BW Legal filed their bundle late, and claimed that Elliot and Loake and CPS vs AJH films meant that the keeper was liable. Of course, this has been rubbished many times by judges, so they had little chance of winning; still, sometimes judge bingo means that they will hit lucky and get a judge who does not understand the issues.

As it happens, they forgot to pay the hearing fee, so the claim was struck out.

Usually when this happens the defendant's full costs are payable. The Prankster suggests the claimant writes to the court to ask for their costs.

Courts are getting stricter and it is now common for a claim to be struck out if the hearing fee is not paid.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Judge "fed up" with BW Legal

Excel v LordGreenElf. 29/06/2017. St Helens

This post on MSE gives the full story.

This claim concerns an unknown parking event Excel claimed happened on 15/03/2011. BW Legal filed a claim on 08/03/2017, or 7 days before the Limitations Act potentially kicks in* and the claim is time-barred.

The keeper had no recollection of any parking contravention (Excel are known for the black hole near their post office and letters they claim to have sent often are reported as never being received).

The keeper had also moved house in the intervening years. Luckily the new resident forwarded the court claim papers as they "looked official".

They therefore filed a defence on the basis that they had no idea what the claim was about and the onus was on the claimant to prove who the driver was.

Their witness statement also put Excel to the sword.

This unwarranted harassment and baseless litigation has caused me significant alarm and distress, during my research I discovered that Excel are issuing robo-claims for archive 'parking charges' in their thousands. It is clear that no checks have been made as to the facts of the alleged contract, signs or parking charge, in their undue haste to issue these claims.

The Hearing

BW farmed out their representation to a local "professional" after the case was moved to the motorist's local court. As the witness statement of BW Legal was signed by somebody not in court, the judge tore her apart with legal mumbo jumbo that the keeper didn't understand but caught something to do with a 27.9, and that because they hadn't filed one then she (the judge) didn't have to give any weight to the witness statement provided. Also if they had have filed a 27.9 then she wouldn't have expected any other representation to turn up either. She wasn't happy with them at all!

After all of that, the case was dismissed on the grounds that it was pre-POFA, and even if she had have taken any weight to the claimants witness statement, they offered no proof who the driver and there could be no case against the Registered Keeper.

Costs were awarded to the keeper.

She dismissed the keeper from the court but asked the claimant's representative to remain. The keeper heard the judge asking her if "she worked for BW Legal as she's had just about enough of their ......." and the door closed behind the keeper.

Prankster Notes

It loos like BW Legal's reputation is starting to get around the courts.

The legal "mumbo jumbo" is explained here.

If a party is not going to turn up in court, they need to give 7 days notice.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

** Although potentially there may be a few more weeks to wait, depending on when payment is actually overdue.

Excel lose "driver left leisure park" claim. BW legal are "crap" and "don't engage in a thought process"

Excel v Mr B C9DP35CY. Teesside Combined Court. DDJ Fiona Glenday. 29/06/2017

The full history is on pepipoo

Defendant report

The PCN was stuck to my car by Excel parking in Feb 2012 in the Middlesbrough Leisure Park. The supposed contravention being that the driver "was seen leaving the Leisure park"/parked in a restricted area of the car park.

I got the standard threatening letters, which were ignored by myself. These eventuality stopped and I got 2-3 years of peace. The letters then restarted in 2016, followed by a county claim form. 6 months later I was in court.

Hearing

I arrived at the court at about 10pm to find my case was on the 'floating list', meaning I would probably have to wait a few hours to get in.

The representative (local rep) who had been sent by BW Legal turned up a bit later and asked me for a chat. I had a chat with him, being very careful not to talk to much about the case and just smiling when he tried to lead me with questions. He also stated said that most of the arguments in my defence were negated by the Beavis case and "the warning signs were up".

I think he was trying to rattle me as he said that we would go into a big room and most likely have to take an oath and that I couldn't ask questions of him as he wasn't a witness.

He then said with a smile on his face "and of course, you haven't even submitted a witness statement have you?" When I said I had, and that it had been submitted on time, and that I had the email receipts to prove it, he looked a bit worried. Turns out, BW Legal hadn't bothered to supply him with my Witness Statement, my Skeleton Argument, or my evidence (which were all submitted before the two week deadline). He rushed off to make some frantic phone calls to see if he could find it.

Over the next few hours you could tell he was getting more and more frantic as he couldn't get hold of these documents. He said he'd had my "rebuttal of the Claimant's WS", but not the rest of the documents. He was angling to see my copy of my bundle, which I refused. He started making threats that he would tell the judge to adjourn the case as I was trying to ambush him. He also said I'd used the wrong email address at BW Legal (I used excel@bwlegal.co.uk) as I should have used the one on the claim form (there wasn't even an email address on the claim form).

Anyway,  he applied to the court ushers for an adjournment of the case, which I contested. So we were told we would have to see a judge to decide whether the case would be adjourned or not.

We were called in to see the judge. She was very nice and sharp as a tack.

She began by asking the claimant why he wanted an adjournment. The BW rep said that I had submitted the WS to an email address at BW Legal that was no longer in use (I'm pretty sure that was just a downright lie, either by the rep, or by BW to the rep). I showed the judge copies of the emails I sent to BW Legal, and copies of the automatic email replies from BW Legal. The judge quite rightly pointed out that these auto-replies did not ever suggest the email was no longer being used, nor was the defendant ever told by the claimant not to use this email address anymore. I also showed the judge copies of all the letters I had received from BW Legal with the 'excel@bwlegal.co.uk' email address on, right up to the 'letter before action' Letter. They then switched to putting some other email address on their letters.

The rep also tried to say my "rebuttal of the Claimant's witness statement" was filed late. The judge didn't seem to care. She was quite satisfied that the Claimant had not been ambushed and that I had complied with the courts orders.

She then moved onto the fact that the driver hasn't been identified. She said that the parking attendant had identified that the driver was a "white male" and was basically asking why if he had seen the driver, he hadn't identified him further. She said that that's what makes this case different to the other parking cases she gets through. She said it was the Claimant's burden to show who was driving and that the driver issue was brought up in my original defence, so they couldn't claim they hadn't seen it.

The judge said the rep's options were to fight to the best of his ability with what little he had been given by BW, or he could ask for an adjournment, but that she would then have to consider my costs for the day if it was adjourned.

The rep initially said he wanted to go for an adjournment, but the judge talked him out of it by saying she couldn't see anything in the Claimant's WS that would beat my defence.

She dismissed the claim based on this and the driver issue. We didn't even get on to my main defences. She awarded my costs for a day off work, parking and mileage. It came to around £85.

She also said of BW Legal: "It seems to me, they don't engage in a thought process", to which the rep muttered his agreement.

Outside the room, the rep congratulated me. I told him he didn't really have a chance with what BW had given him. He said "it was crap".

Prankster Notes

It is worth noting that if you appear in a parking case in the small claims court you are likely to be up against the dregs of the legal position; people who could not get a good job elsewhere; people who are unable to win a case on its merits and therefore rely on bullying and intimidation to win; people who are willing to push the boundaries of what is truth, what is a lie and what is perhaps even perjury. Of course, not everyone is like this and there are also some decent people - just sadly few and far between.

It is also worth noting that despite the bullying and tricks judges are well aware of the situation and if you are well prepared you can still win a case on its merits, even when pitted against someone who is supposedly "legally trained".


Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Thursday, 29 June 2017

CCJ overturned for Heath Parade

PCMUK v Mr E. Shoreditch and Clerkenwell 26/06/2017 DJ Cross

Mr E was driving near the notorious Heath Parade scam site. He needed to stop, so pulled into a layby. Having seen some signs on the wall when he pulled in he then got out of the car to try and understand what the signs said and if they were related to parking. The signs could not be read from inside the car as they were high on the wall and the font was too small. The signs stated that stopping was not allowed, so Mr E got back in his car and left.

As is common on this scam site, the PCMUK operative (presumably Ms Sunglasses) leapt out from hiding and took a photograph of Mr E's car before he left.

Mr E received a PCN from PCMUK in January 2016 which he contested and appealed through the IPC process. The appeal was unsuccessful and a debt recovery letter from DRP followed, which was ignored. In April 2016 Mr E moved house. The change of address was relayed to the DVLA and an updated V5 sent out.

Some post forwarded to the new address included a further debt recovery letter from Zenith dated June 2016. After that nothing further was heard on the matter.

Fast forward to March 2017 and Mr E was made aware of a letter sent to his old address from Gladstones stating that they have recently obtained a CCJ on behalf of PCMUK and that he will have "no doubt received a copy of the Judgement of the Court."

He therefore asked for help on MSE.

MSE assisted him in asking for a set-aside and preparing his defence.

The hearing did not last long - around 5 minutes. PCMUK did not bother to turn up. DJ Cross awarded the set-aside and then immediately struck out the claim  for failure to comply with the CPR.

Mr E was awarded £50 costs, plus the set-aside fee of £255.

Prankster Notes

Gladstones Solicitors are well known for their incompetence. Plenty of previous cases have been thrown out for failing to file proper particulars of claim. Gladstones solicitor Jamie Ashford explained to the Prankster that it is not economically viable for them to bother to file proper particulars of claim. Presumably then they are playing a numbers game, hoping that most people are bullied into paying up because the thought of court frightens them.

The Prankster considers Gladstones Solicitors, owned by Will Hurley and John Davies are morally bankrupt in pursuing this strategy.

As the MSE site shows, filing a strong defence against Gladstones Solicitors will likely as not result in a win for the motorist. It therefore appears that the majority of the claims Gladstones file have no reasonable prospect of success. Motorists facing a claim are therefore advised to research the situation to decide whether to file a defence or to pay the claim.

PCMUK, you've been Gladstoned.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster




Set-aside-Friday

The Prankster is dubbing tomorrow "Set-aside Friday"

There are 20 parking-related court hearings scheduled. Of these, 11 are set-asides, 2 are procedural and only 7 are actual hearings.

Barnet Parking Control Management (UK):   Set Aside:
Basildon: ParkingEye:    Set Aside:
Bedford: ParkingEye:    Set Aside:
Cardiff: New Generation Parking Management: Set Aside:
Croydon:        ParkingEye:    Set Aside:
Great Grimsby: ParkingEye:    Set Aside:
Manchester: MIL Collections:    Set Aside:
Gwent: Link Parking:    Set Aside:
Portsmouth: District Enforcement:    Set Aside
Swansea: Excel Parking Services:    Set Aside:
Swansea: ParkingEye:    Set Aside:

Romford: Parking Control Management (UK):   Redetermination:

Bournemouth: Devere Parking Services:    Preliminary:

Blackpool: PCN (NW):
Bradford: ES Parking Enforcement:
St Helens: ES Parking Enforcement:
St Helens: ParkingEye:
Wakefield: Vehicle Control Services: :
Wolverhampton: SIP Parking:
Blackpool: NE Parking:

This huge waste of court time and taxpayer's money is largely due to the lack of due diligence parking companies carry out before filing a claim.

In a traditional claim, both parties know each other and there will be a definite address where the defendant is known to reside. The claim will also be filed shortly after the dispute arises.

In a parking claim, the parking company often has never established the correct address of the defendant. Although they have a suspected address, they will have made no real effort to confirm the address is correct; in a substantial number of cases, it will not be.

Additionally, even if the address was once correct, court claims are often taken out many years after the parking event, so the victim may well have moved home.

The result is the defendant never receives the court papers, and the parking company wins by default. The victim will often fnd out months later when tracing services track down their new address.

They will now have a CCJ against their name. They could pay this off, but this will leave their credit ruined for years. Therefore, the best strategy is often to pay £255 and ask for a set-aside. If the court agrees, the CCJ is removed and a new hearing is scheduled.  The judge may or may not order the parking company to refund the £255 hearing fee, but in most cases the major consideration of the motorist would be to repair their credit rating.

The government announced measures to stop this abuse of the court system. However, these have not been implemented and it is likely these have taken a backseat due to Brexit.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Excel lose in Cardiff. Judge explains why Elliott v Loake and CPS v AJH films not relevant

Excel Parking Services Ltd v Mrs. Lynzi Evans
Judge: DJ McKay
Claim no: C8DP79CC  in the Cardiff Civil Justice Centre.
Legal representative of BW Legal: Mr Singh

Observer's court report

Mr Singh was asked to outline his case by the judge. Photographic evidence was presented by Mr Singh to show the vehicle parked in the Excel car park of SA1 Swansea showing an invalid pay & display ticket which had been purchased the previous evening. Mr Singh pointed out that the ticket had expired at 7:18pm on Saturday 21st January 2012. Photographs showed that the vehicle remained in position at 11:10 am the following day. Therefore, the car had outstayed its welcome and the car park operator was entitled to issue the PCN due to a breach of the T’s & C’s. Mr Singh said that there was a "reasonable assumption" that the keeper of the vehicle was also the driver at the time it was parked therefore, Excel were entitled to request information about the driver from the DVLA in order to issue a notice to keeper to recover their loss. He accepted that the incident pre-dated POFA by 9 months but he intended to rely on Elliott v. Loake and CPS v. AJH Films in order to demonstrate keeper liability.

The judge turned to the defendant but rather than questioning the defence he proceeded to talk Mr Singh through it instead. He noted the observations regarding Elliott v Loake and CPS v AJH Films and referred to the copies of the judgements of these cases which were included with the witness statement. He explained why they had no relevance to the claimant's case. He also referred to the Excel v Lamoreux judgement and the problem with establishing driver identity even when an incident was after the introduction of POFA. More importantly, he then moved on to the fact that as this claim was pre-POFA, keeper liability was not possible without any additional evidence to support it. Consequently, the claimant's case relied entirely on Elliott v Loake and CPS v AJH Films. At this point Mr Singh requested that the judge might adopt a "pragmatic approach" in allowing these cases to influence his judgment.

The judge then moved on to summarise as follows. Elliott v Loake was a different type of case entirely. It was a criminal case which meant that there was a legal obligation upon the keeper of the vehicle to give the name of the driver in criminal law. As this claim involved no criminal offence, then Elliott v Loake had no relevance to it. In the CPS v AJH Films case, the judge fully agreed with the Defendant's witness statement which correctly pointed out that this case involved employer/employee liability. As this claim was not a comparable situation, it also had no relevance to the claimant's case.

The judge noted that the defence witness statement was filed 12 weeks prior to the court date and clearly explained why these cases were of no relevance to this claim and then questioned Mr Singh on why the claimant was unable to provide any further evidence. Surely, the claimant should have withdrawn their claim once they realised that they couldn’t do this? The judge also added that the claimant had ample time to investigate and challenge the problems raised by the defence in relying upon these cases to prove keeper liability. Mr Singh was unable to provide an answer to this other than to state that he had only read through the paperwork the day before the hearing. Again, Mr Singh emphasised the importance of the judge adopting a pragmatic stance in accepting the two cases as proof of keeper liability.

The judge then went on to consider the relevance of POFA in relation to the claim. He read from the Ministry of Transport document (Guidance on Section 56 and Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012: Recovery of Unpaid Parking Charges) which had been included in the defence witness statement. He noted that the introduction of this act was meant to assist parking companies in the transfer of liability to the keeper but as this incident pre-dated POFA it didn’t apply to this case. The Lamoureux judgement also showed that even though a claim is made after the introduction of POFA, there can be no assumption in law that the keeper was the driver at the time of the incident.

The judge concluded that as the defence witness statement was so comprehensive and presented an overwhelming case; and as the claimant could offer no tangible evidence that Mrs Evans was the driver of the vehicle and because the incident was pre-POFA, she could not be held liable for the charge. This confirmed the importance of POFA in claims where keeper liability are being raised. For all these reasons, the claim was struck out. Mr Singh then requested leave to appeal but the judge refused this on the basis of the overwhelming evidence provided by the defence. This would leave the claimant with no successful prospect for any appeal. Costs were then awarded to the defendant to the value of £199.00 to be paid within 21 days.

Following a short break the judge then moved on to the counterclaim being brought by the defendant for a breach of the Data Protection Act. The judge didn’t feel that there had been a breach as he felt there was no misuse of personal data. He felt that this would only really apply in situations where personal information was passed to third parties with no material interest in the parking incident. Mr Singh was also quite emphatic that in the absence of any information from the keeper, the claimant had no other option than to continue to pursue her for the charge as no information regarding the identity of the driver had been presented. The judge didn’t seem to want to explore the counterclaim any further. The judge then proceeded to strike out the counterclaim of £250.00.

Prankster Note

Despite judges regularly throwing out claims based on Elliott v Loake, the IPC's so called "Independent" Appeals Service still have not taken this on board. The IAS is overseen by head barista Bryn Holloway. The Prankster questions Bryn's integrity and competence. The Prankster believes that no properly competent legal person would embarrass themselves by trying to argue that Elliot v Loake is case law which finds that the keeper is the driver.

The Prankster has seen many judgments from Bryn's posse of legal no-hopers and the Prankster's overall impression is that the IAS is institutionally biased against motorists and has a poor understanding of the law regarding parking. The Prankster questions Byrn's morals and judgement in allowing himself to be associated with such a shoddy, incompetent and biased operation.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster



Wednesday, 21 June 2017

NW Car Park golden duck in first court outing

NW Car Parks Ltd v Ms R. D3QZ93D2. Liverpool. DDJ Causton

This post on MSE reports a court loss by NW Car Parks.

NW Car Parks were represented by employee Lisa Mathew. Ms R represented herself.

MSE Observer report

The defendant and their family were celebrating a joyous occasion and had parked their vehicle in a dimly lit car park in the hours of darkness in Preston. A parking ticket was paid for and the family went off to enjoy their evening. On returning to the vehicle, the family were upset to find that a PCN was attached to the vehicle's windscreen. The ticket had been issued as the back wheel was slightly over the marking of the parking bay.

Subsequent correspondence from NW was ignored, as the defendant believed that, as they had purchased a parking ticket, they were not liable for the charge. The usual chain of letters came and went until NW issued a claim.

On receipt of the claim, the defendant chose to defend the claim and fully complied with the courts directions by preparing their signed and dated witness statements etc within the required time frame. Unfortunately NW chose not to provide a witness statement, merely sending the defendant an unsigned/undated document which was effectively a timeline of events.

The Judge asked Ms Mathew to explain why NW had not provided a witness statement, She replied by stating that this was NW's first court claim and that they did not know they needed to provide one! The Judge told Ms Mathew that NW had failed to comply with the directions. NW provided photos of the vehicle parked, yet provided photos of the signage in broad daylight. The defendant questioned this and quite rightly stated that the car park was poorly lit and signs were not easily readable.

Ms Mathew advised the Judge that the defendant had not engaged in NW's 'fair' appeal service. The Judge asked the defendant the reason for this. They advised him that they felt that, as they had paid to park, the pcn should not have been issued in the first place and that an appeal would be futile. After a short deliberation, the Judge dismissed the claim as NW had not complied with directions and that one wheel was only slightly over the bay marking.

The defendant was only awarded travel expenses of £5.50, They did ask about costs, but as they are self employed this was refused.

It must be noted that the defendant conducted themselves in a highly professional manner. I was most impressed by they way the defended the claim. I spoke to the defendant after the case and they told me that another family member had initially told them to pay the parking charge!

Congratulations to Ms R for a well deserved win and for seeing NW out for a 'golden duck'!

Prankster Note

NW Car Park would be well advised to pick their claims with a bit more due diligence, and to follow the court's directions.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Vehicle Control Services have no right to issue charges at Smyth street, Wakefield

VCS v Ms E at Sheffield. DJ Weir

This case was for a parking event at Smyth Street in Wakefield. This suffers from the same Excel/VCS cock up as Albert Street does - the signage is in the name of Excel parking, but VCS issue the parking charges. As any contract can only be between the motorist and Excel, VCS have no rights to issue or enforce charges.

The motorist was assisted by the BMPA in preparing paperwork and with guidance, but represented themselves in court. VCS instructed BW Legal who got Elms Legal to provide Mr Pickup as their representative.

Ms E court report

When I first went in I mentioned the rights of audience but Deputy Judge Weir (I think that was his name) dismissed this and said as this was the small claims court it did not apply there! I said I had been advised to raise this but he dismissed me again saying anyone can represent anyone and given that Mr Pickup was a barrister he was more than qualified so I didn't want to push my luck any further.

At my first opportunity I mentioned I was puzzled how my ticket and therefore contract was with Excel Parking yet the claim is with VCS and the witness statement was from BW Legal? The judge said he would come back to these points and asked Mr Pickup to ask me any questions he had. His focus was on why I hadn't mentioned they had offered to settle for £10 in my first appeal to them. I said that my letter to them was to point out they had not considered my second point being an apparent lack of adherence to POFA 2012. I commented to the judge that I found this puzzling. The Judge said we could come back to this later and I had made it clear in my witness statement to him anyway.

Mr Pickup also wanted to know why I failed to mention in my witness statement that I failed to disclose who the driver wa. He went on quite a bit about this but the judge jumped in and said that as I had acknowledged that I bought the ticket from Excel, I entered into the contract with them and as such he wanted to see the evidence of the contract between Excel and VCS.

Mr Pickup could not produce anything and tried to have it dismissed by questioning why I am only just mentioning this. The judge then pointed out that I had mentioned it earlier in my witness statement and went on to read it. He agreed a 10 minute adjournment to allow Mr Pickup to produce some evidence on this point. Mr Pickup was unable to produce anything the Judge was happy to use as evidence. He tried to argue that they are sister companies so are linked but the judge appeared understanding to the situation but wasn't being swayed on this.

The judge then dismissed the case on the grounds that the barrister, a Mr Pickup, "representing VCS" was unable to produce a contract to show that VCS can bring this case on behalf of Excel parking and link this to the permission from the landowner.

I then raise the question of my costs and produced them. VCS, or rather Mr Pickup had not seen them, so he looked at them as did the Judge but unfortunately the Judge would only consider actual costs for attending. I wasn't out of pocket from work and had paid £2 to park. He said I was entitled to claim £2 if I so wished. I said that would be quite ironic if I did given the circumstances which he found quite humorous and said irony was not lost in here!

I pushed again for him to consider my other "research costs" and all my wasted time in the defending the case. He praised the fact that while it was clear that the thorough research had indeed resulted in the case being dismissed he said he was unable to allow any other costs as he could only do this if the case was found to be malicious or ill founded (or a term similar to that) and as the case was dismissed he could not make a judgement or look further at the evidence to conclude this had been the case.

At the end te just advised Mr Pickup feedback to VCS that they need to make their terms and conditions clearer to reflect the Excel/VCS link not only on their paperwork but also in their signage. Also the quality of the photographic evidence and lack of contract they send to the court were poor.

The judge also advised me to always ensure I check terms and conditions in future.

It feels bittersweet just now, while it is great that it was dismissed I do think that VCS should have paid costs too. What does make me feel good is that I was up against an apparently "experienced" barrister (I have since seen his name mentioned, all related to parking cases) and he didn't win this case!

Prankster Note

Mr Pickup does indeed feature a lot in parking cases. As any reader of this blog or follower of his career will know, he specialises in trying to misdirect judges away from the legal issues, since these leave him in a hopeless position.

Instead, he tries to put motorists in  bad light by claiming they have failed to name the driver. Of course, it is his client's responsibility to do this, not the defendant.

The Prankster also considers that any real barrister would know the proper legal situation regarding contracts. It is first year legal 101 hat only the parties to a contract may sue on the contract. VCS are not a party to the contract between Excel and the motorist and so have no right to sue, sister company notwithstanding.

The Prankster therefore questions whether Mr Pickup has the right qualifications and knowledge for the job he is doing. Alternatively, if Mr Pickup is fully aware his clients have no case, The Prankster questions Mr Pickups morals in taking on these cases.

The Prankster also questions the judge for not awarding costs. VCS had zero hope of winning this claim as they were not a party to the contract between Excel and the motorist. The judge could therefore have awarded costs under the unreasonableness rule, 27.14(2)g.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

No score draw in Brentford. P&PM claim adjourned to a cooler day

C3GF78FE – Parking & Property Management Ltd -v- Mr S, before District Judge Nicholson. 21/06/2017

Claimant represented by Mr Offord (Solicitor’s Agent). Defendant represented by Bargepole, via the BMPA.

This involved 2 x PCNs issued to the Defendant’s vehicle, while parked without displaying a permit in the numbered space designated in his Lease of the apartment. An interesting feature is that, as evidenced by a letter from the DVLA, P&PM had never applied to the DVLA for keeper details, so no-one is sure where they got them from.

There was also a Counterclaim in play, claiming £750 for DPA breach, £150 for trespass, and £95 for additional time spent defending which would not be recoverable as ordinary costs, so £995 in total. The Defendant had already filed this, before Bargepole was instructed in the case.

Defence

The main Defence arguments were that the lease established primacy of contract, and there was no evidence of a variation. As the Claimant had not obtained the RK details from the DVLA, they were unable to rely on keeper liability, and had no evidence of who the driver was (could have been Mr S or his wife). The contract with the Managing Agent did not authorise P&PM to litigate in their own name.

Counterclaim

That P&PM had no reasonable cause to obtain (by whatever means) or to process the RK’s data. That they had no authority to enter the parking space and put notices on the car, therefore trespass to land and property. That by unreasonably pursuing charges to which they were not entitled, they had caused distress to the Defendant, and financial loss in terms of time spent on this.

Unfortunately, DJ Nicholson decided that the allocated 2-hour slot was insufficient time to read the voluminous case authorities, and make rulings on what he described as ‘a number of complex legal arguments’. The case was therefore adjourned for a half day hearing at some future date.

A more cynical person than Bargepole might conclude that, on the hottest June day for 41 years, and with the Court’s air-conditioning system about as effective as a gnat farting on your hand, this was the strategic option.

Prankster Note

P&PM's greed, coupled with their poor understanding of parking related law, could lead them to losing £1500 or more on the claim.

Parking companies brought in to manage residential parking are not there to feather their nests by victimising the residents. Their presence is to deter unwanted parking, not to penalise residents whose lease gives them the unfettered right to park.

Will Hurley's lack of morals and leadership in failing to correctly advising his IPC customers of the situation in residential parking could yet lead to his undoing. Parking companies who have been badly advised by him have up to 6 years to bring a claim.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Excel application to reinstate case thrown out

Excel v Ms X C8DP57P6 26 May 2017, Stockport, DJ Ayres

Back in January Excel's claim against a motorist at the notorious Peel centre was struck out for failing to obey the judge's directions.

Excel thought they had complied so appealed the decision. The relisting hearing was held at Stockport on 26th May. The motorist represented themselves. Excel were represented by Mr Pickup. The Prankster assisted the motorist by suggesting a letter to write to the court to oppose the relisting.

In the hearing District Judge Ayres ordered the application dismissed and the motorist was awarded costs for their expenses of the day. They reported that the the letter did the trick.

DJ Ayres said that Excel would have to start all over again if they wished to pursue the matter.

After the hearing Mr Pickup said that if Excel do decide to restart the case, it would be several months before any decision is made. The Prankster, having seen the papers, has seen that excel were relying on Elliot v Loake. As the driver on the day was not known, and as Excel do not use keeper liability, The Prankster considers that any further money spent on this case would be a waste.

Prankster Notes

A ticket for the time parked was purchased and Excel have not contested that. Unfortunately the purchaser accidentally entered their own car's registration instead of the car which was parked.

Excel's attempt to charge for this accident is therefore a complete waste of time and energy for all parties. Their system is clearly flawed and designed to entrap motorists so they can maximise the number of parking charges issued. A proper system would only allow a registration to be entered if the ANPR system recognises that it in the car park.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


Saturday, 17 June 2017

Charles Clowes takes over as IPC COO

Charles Clowes has moved from NCP to take over as COO of the IPC.

His linkedin profile suggests this happened this month.



Here is the press release on this matter:

The International Parking Community (IPC) has confirmed the appointment of Charles Clowes as its new Chief Operating Officer. Clowes joins the Accredited Trade Association from National Car Parks (NCP) where he was Head of Commercial and responsible for the development and implementation of new digital and customer service initiatives.
"This is an influential and significant role and our search for the right person has taken quite some time," says the IPC's Will Hurley. "However, our patience has been worthwhile and we're absolutely delighted to welcome Charles to the team. His first hand experience of designing and delivering new service initiatives in the parking industry and his expertise in digital engagement is absolutely in line with our aspirations for the continued growth of the IPC. His knowledge of collaborative service developments and progressive strategic partnerships will also be invaluable as we look to engage further with all stakeholders and other influential organisations"
"I am really looking forward to using my experience in parking management to create real benefits for the IPC and its members," adds Clowes. "Having recently been at the heart of NCP's Senior Leadership Team with responsibility for shaping governance and conduct, I am a passionate advocate of building close ties with the Government and other external organisations to help drive ever higher levels of professionalism in the industry."
The introduction of a new Chief Operating Officer will see Will Hurley moving to become Chief Executive of the IPC with John Davies stepping aside to resume his former role as Director of Gladstone's Solicitors. The changes aim to provide further clarity and focus for the organisation as it now looks to build on the success of the past 4 years and ensure it remains fully aligned with the evolving priorities of members as well as the expectations of service users.
This looks like part of the continuing attempts by Will Hurley and John Davis to play down the links between the IPC and Gladstones Solicitors, and pretend there is no conflict of interests between the two companies.

The Prankster confidently expects Charles will have little trouble driving "ever higher levels of professionalism". When you start from the bottom, it is hard not to improve.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


IPC issue yet another code of practice

It appears the buffoons at the IPC are having trouble proofreading their code of practice. Version 6.1 has now been released, hot on the heels of Version 6 - or as it was known in the actual document, Version 5.

This version restores the requirement to check addresses before issuing a court claim.

Old
It is suggested the maximum parking charge should be: £100. Where there is a prospect of additional charges, reference should be made to this where appropriate on the signage and/or other documentation

New
Parking charges must not exceed £100 unless agreed in advance with the IPC. Where there is a prospect of additional charges, reference should be made to this where appropriate on the signage and/or other documentation.
Where a Parking Charge becomes overdue a reasonable sum may be added. This sum must not exceed £60 (inclusive of VAT where applicable) unless Court Proceedings have been initiated.
Before issuing court proceedings on any unpaid parking charge which is over 12 months old, the operator must first perform a suitable check of the defendant’s last known address.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Friday, 16 June 2017

Incompetent solicitor John Davies forced to drop yet another claim

John Davies is the director of Gladstones Solicitors. He is also the co-owner (along with Will Hurley) of the International Parking Community (IPC). This week John's law firm was forced to drop another in a long line of bogus claims.

Sadly, although he calls himself a barrister, he appears to have little knowledge of the law around parking, as evidenced by the large number of lost or discontinued parking claims his firm has overseen.

Will Hurley's sham "Independent" Appeals Service was also shown up to be at fault. The IAS is run by Bryn Holloway. Although Byrn claims to be an ex-judge, his knowledge of parking related law is apparently as poor as John Davies, as evidenced by the fact the courts pay little regard to the principles his barista's use to make their judgments.

This was yet another claim which had no hope of success. The full story is on Pepipoo.

The defendant was a resident in a block of flats. Parking and Property Management Ltd were employed to "look after" the parking areas.

The defendant had an allocated space and was visited by friends. They decided to visit a show in the evening using the defendants car, leaving the visitors car in their allocated space. They called P&PM to get a temporary permit. The agent was unable to hand on of these out, so they were given a "Maintenance/Builder permit".

They were away for one night and found a windscreen ticket on their return. The defendant took the ticket as they were embarrassed their friend was given a ticket on their own spot.

He appealed to P&PM on his friend's behalf, giving the driver details, but the appeal was dismissed as the permits expired on the 12th and the ticket was issued on the 13th August.

He appealed to the IAS but the appeal was dismissed for the same reason.

Those well-known comedians Gladstones Solicitors then filed a claim against the resident. As the resident was neither driver nor keeper of the car, there was of course no prospect of success. Even if the resident was the keeper, there would still have been no prospect of success as their lease gave the right to a parking space. The lease did not specify a requirement to display a permit and therefore Saeed v Plustrade comes into play.

However, Gladstones never let facts or legal arguments get in the way of making money from their clients by filing ridiculous claims. Due diligence is not a phrase which passes John Davies lips often, it appears.

The resident filed a defence on the basis they were not the driver or keeper, and the lease gave them the right to a parking space.

Although most responsible and sensible solicitor firms would have advised their client they had no case at this point, Gladstones are well known for their poor understanding of the law. Hapless administration assistant Vladimir carried on the claim on behalf of Gladstones, asking for the claim to be decided on the papers. This is a tired trick of Gladstones, and should almost always be resisted.

A court date was set for 31st July.

Somewhere around this time P&PM got turfed out.

Shortly later they threw in the towel and discontinued the claim.

Prankster Notes

Residential parking management is not about making money from residents. The purpose of the control is to deter outside motorists from parking.

P&PM failed to understand that and so got the boot.

The Prankster believes that only a totally incompetent and shambolic firm of solicitors would have filed a claim like this. it is obvious to anyone who understands the law around parking the claim had no prospect of success.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster







Thursday, 15 June 2017

PACE given a pasting in Manchester

PACE Recovery and Storage v Lengyel. C7GF6E3R

A long time ago, the Parking Prankster was contacted by a Hungarian citizen, Mr Lengyel who had received a PCN while hiring a car and visiting a friend in the UK. The parking company, PACE had gone on to file a court claim and get a default judgment. Mr Lengyel was unaware of all this because he he had moved back to Hungary by then, and everything went to his former UK address. He wanted to contest the case, as he may return to the UK within the next 6 years.

The Prankster passed the case on to Bargepole, who had had a number of successes against PACE at that time, After Bargepole helped him to get the Judgment set aside, a date of May 24 was set for the substantive hearing. This was allocated to Manchester, as it had been agreed that this would be heard on papers only, the price of a trip from Hungary being somewhat prohibitive.

It ended up in front of DJ Iyer, well known for giving ES Parking a kicking in the past, and he didn’t disappoint on this occasion. DJ Iyer found that there were three fundamental flaws with the claim.

1) PACE did not have authority from the landowner to enter into contracts with driver. It did have the authority to issue tickets, but this would be on behalf of the landowner, so only the landowner could sue.

Prankster Note


The Prankster has not seen the contract in this claim but has seen other PACE contracts. it would seem this is a fundamental flaw with all their contracts which renders all their charges invalid.

2) The signage failed the fairness tests established in ParkingEye v Beavis and because of the imprecise wording and failure to adhere to the IPC code of practice, no contract was entered into by the driver.

Prankster Note


A similar, but slightly different sign from another site shows that PACE have a generic problem with the wording of their signs. This would therefore again invalidate all their charges. They would need to replace all their signage to overcome this problem.


3) As parking required a permit, and as the driver did not and could not have a permit, the contract in any case failed by the doctrine of impossibility. As many other judges have found with this type of signage, this would mean no contract could be in place and the driver would be a trespasser. As the claim did not argue trespass, it was therefore bound to fail.

Prankster Note

Even had the claim argued trespass it would have still failed, because only the land occupier can sue for trespass, and then only, as established in ParkingEye v Beavis, for actual damages, not fictional amounts.

The claim was therefore dismissed and Bargepole can claim another PACE scalp.

The full judgment is available on the Prankster's 'More Case Law' page, and should be very helpful to anyone defending a claim from PACE.

It is worth noting that the IPC claim to vet contracts and signage on behalf of their members. Will Hurley and John Davies apparently have a poor understanding of the laws regarding parking, as evidenced by the huge numbers of claims Gladstone's lose in the courts. Their claim is obviously worthless, as this case clearly illustrated. 

The Prankster suggests that IPC operators pay a proper solicitor who knows what they are doing to check out their contracts and signage, and consider suing the IPC for any costs involved in replacing these if it turn out they have been given bad advice.

PACE, you've been Gladstoned!

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster





Wednesday, 14 June 2017

New Generation Parking Management found guilty of consumer offences

New Generation Parking Management were in court today (14/06/2017) facing five charges for various breaches of the Consumer Protection Act 2008

The charge were brought by Trading Standards Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT).


Charge 1. Displaying BPA logo when not a member of the organisation 

NGPM pled guilty to this charge. In mitigation, their solicitor argued that the signs had labels attached to cover the BPA logo but they were frequently removed. The BPA also permits a 3 month period after membership ends for the removal of the logo. This meant that signs should have been amended by March/April 2016 to reflect IPC membership.

They also switched from the BPA to the IPC. This meant at no time were they without accredited membership which would make this much  more serious matter

Antony Roberts, owner of NGPM stated that he was a member of the BPA board for 4 years and was instrumental in the creation of the code of practice which is today used nationwide.

The signage was amended between August 1st and August 10th 2016

Charge 5 Displaying Safe Contractor logo when membership expired in 2010 

NGPM pled guilty to this charge. This logo was used to show compliance for terms required with clamping industry. They had been told by the operator to remove the logo but failed to do so.
Their website was checked and logos were present there also.

In mitigation their solicitor argued the website was managed by a third party company who let them down. This was not NGPM's fault and that contract has now ended.

Charges 2/3/4

NGPM wanted to contest these charges and go to trial. RCT decided not to continue with these charges.

Judgement

Charge 1 - £1250
Charge 5 - £1000
RCT COSTS -£995.84
Criminal cost - £130

Total £3375.84

Prankster Note

NGPM seem happy to blame anyone but themselves for their own failings.

There are still a number of their signs displaying BPA logos.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Monday, 12 June 2017

VCS slapped with costs for unreasonableness. Elliot v Loake and CPS v AJH Films are not relevant

Vehicle Control Services v Hall C9DP7T5D 12/06/2017. Blackwood County Court, before DJ Mackay.

A BW Legal "Special Incompetence" production.

Preamble

Lucy Hall, a teacher from Wales, was pregnant four years ago, and as such was being driven around by her husband. Apparently she drove her car into a car park in Hereford, and stayed 40 minutes overtime.

VCS issued a PCN and, four years later, BW Legal decided to chase the (now £255 payday). Despite the defence making it clear that the Keeper was not the driver, BW Legal still tried to rely on their two standbys, Elliot and Loake, and CPS v AJH Films

Round 1

The first hearing was on 20 April. Ms Hall turned up to court, together with her partner (the driver), having never received a bundle. BW sent along a Real barrister, Mr Singh, and a preliminarily issue was argued of failure to file and serve.

It turns out that BW tried to file the bundle by email, despite not having consent to do so, and producing no evidence of service. As a result, this was adjourned, reserved by the judge (DJ Mackay of Cardiff) and the order stated that documents to be relied on are to be exchanged "By first class recorded delivery, Registered Post or equivalent" by 4pm on 11 May 2017.

Having been adjourned, Ms Hall prepared a bundle, and sent it to the court and BW Legal by Special Delivery 1PM on 10 May 2017.

The court signed for this on 11 May at 10:32 - well within the timescale specified.

BW Legal refused to accept the Special Delivery letter on 11 May... and again on 12 May. (This is why you never send a recorded delivery item to a PPC or their solicitors, but you always get a proof of Posting instead - they have to then rebut delivery.)

In the meantime BW Legal sent their bundle to the Defendant on 9 May. By Second Class post. Not even recorded. It finally turned up on 15 May.

Round 2

Back at Blackwood this afternoon were Ms Hall, her partner and John Wilkie who had come down from Glasgow. BW Legal did not attend or send a representative. Their bundle excused their attendance under rule 27.9, saying "an advocate" would attend.

As the Claimant hadn't served its documents in time, for the second time, and as the claimant had also breached rule 6.20, the Court was invited to exclude the evidence. The DJ considered this, and decided that, although the conduct of the Claimant was in breach, it was in the interest of justice to deal with this on the papers.

As a result, Mr Wilkie started to gently rip apart the statement of Leigh Schlevis. The Judge asked for a few specific details such as why the NtK was not compliant with the POFA, and it was pointed out that none of the documentation, apart from an internet-derived map, defined the location.

This included the NtK, the Witness Statement and the Contract, as well as the photographs from the ANPR system.

The judge asked for 20 minutes to consider the matter, but did not call the parties back in for over an hour before giving a recitative verdict on the case.

This boiled down to:

1) The court is satisfied that the Defendant is not the driver, and the Claimant has not adduced any evidence of her being so, despite casting aspersions. It is for the Claimant to prove their case, and they have not done so to claim against the Defendant as the driver.

2) Elliot v Loake and CPS v AJH Films are not relevant. If the Claimant wants to pursue the defendant as keeper, it MUST comply with the requirements of POFA.

3) The NtK exhibited does not comply, with POFA. It does not identify the Relevant Land; there is more than one "Brook Retail Park" in the UK, and again, the claimant has to prove its case.

4) Additionally, the photographs of the vehicle which form the Claimant's claim do not show a vehicle which is parked. It shows a vehicle entering a car park, and leaving. Indeed, the photos are produce from machines called "BrookIN" and "BrookOUT". A moving vehicle is not parked, and the
court notes that it can take time both to locate and park in a parking space, and also to exit the parking space and car park.

5) Finally, the notice is deficient in a number of other ways, which do not need to be detailed; having been taken through them it is sufficient that there is a finding of fact the notice does not comply with POFA.

As a result the claim is dismissed.

Mr Wilkie then returned to the Claimant's conduct, and the Judge agreed that the Claimant's behaviour was unreasonable
a) Failure to ensure service in the first instance
b) Failure to comply with the Courts Order on service in the second instance
c) Failure to comply with CPR 6.20 in regard to the CPR 27.9 notice
d) Failure of their advocate to attend or excuse attendance.

As a result CPR 27.14(2)(g) engages, and the Defendant is entitled to unreasonable conduct costs.

Defendant's costs £196.40
Lay Rep Expenses £100
Pro Bono Costs £250 - Payable to the Access to Justice Foundation.

All payable in 14 days.

BW Legal - you've been Gladstoned

Prankster Note

Parking companies know that a lot of the time their claims have no basis. They file large numbers of claims knowing that many people will be scared into paying up, regardless of the validity of the claim.

This time VCS came unstuck

fter sending a barrister for the first hearing - VCS  were penny pinching for this hearing and no-one turned up. 

Case heard on paper submissions. 

Case dismissed - no keeper liability

Total costs awarded £546.40  to be paid within 14 days including a £250.00 order to the Access to Justice Foundation.   

Judge found VCS / BW Legal to be unreasonable on four ground


Sunday, 11 June 2017

India Beavan agrees to drop Millenium Parking Services claim

Millennium Door And Event Security v Mr X. 09/06/2017. C7GF0Y0M. Swansea. DJ Scannel

Millennium took a motorist to court for parking in a spot which the resident had rights to park. The keeper was not a resident, but had the resident's permission to park.

The Hearing

The motorist represented themself. India Beavan represented Millennium.

The motorist had 3 main defence points.

1. Failure to comply with civil procedures.
2. Denied breach of contract due to the lease and forbidding signs.
3. No keeper liability.

Judge Scannel said that the claimants statement did not address the issues of the lease and the issue of keeper liability.

India Beavan replied about the lease, first saying "we didn't address this because the defendant is not a resident", Judge Scannel replied "But the lease grants use of a parking space."

Judge Scannel then moved onto keeper liability. India Beaven stated "We are claiming the defendant was the driver, the defendant did not say at any point he was not the driver, had he said this we would have withdrawn the case earlier."

Judge Scannel said that it was on them to prove the defendant was the driver, Judge Scannel then asked if the defendant was going to identify the driver". He replied "No". India Beaven then said "In that case we shall withdraw."

Mr X was awarded costs of £50.

The motorist found India Beavan to be friendly and polite, and thought she was perhaps "thrown under a bus" by Gladstones with their template witness statement.

Prankster Note

Millennium historically did not use keeper liability. If they are claiming against you and you are not the driver, it is worth writing directly to India Beavan, Head

Dear Ms Beavan,

I note that in Millennium v Mr X C7GF0Y0M, Swansea, 09/06/2017 you were representing Millennium and withdrew the claim once the defendant refused to identify the driver as keepe liability did not apply.

I confirm I am not the driver.
(any proof you have here)

I therefore invite you to withdraw the claim immediately. If you fail to o this, and the claim is dismissed because keeper liability does not exist, then I will claim my full costs under 27.14(2)g for your unreasonable behaviour in not withdrawing a claim when you know you have no cause of action.

File the letter with your evidence, and claim for time spent at the litigant in person rate of £19/hour.

Millennium had 3 other cases in court on Friday - the results of these is not known.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Motorist wins appeal - CPS vs AJH Films does not transfer liability from driver to keeper


Excel Parking Services v Smith (appeal) Stockport, 08/06/2017 C0DP9C4E and C1DP0C8E. Appeal M17X062 

The full story is on pepipoo

Original Hearing (2 claims)

Mr Smith was the keeper, but not the driver on the day.

DDJ Cowell found that CPS vs AJH Films allowed the transfer of liability from Driver to Registered Keeper as the driver was the keeper's agent. However, following the judgment Mr Smith expressed surprise as he had previously had an identical claim dismissed where CPS v AJH Films was found not to apply.

DDJ Cowell acknowledged that had this been known to her before then the Judgment may well have been different. She gave permission to appeal both claims.

Appeal

On appeal it was found that CPS v AJH Films is only applicable in an employee/employer situation. This was not such a situation.

The appeal was upheld.

Prankster Notes

Any properly qualified legal person would know that a person is not generally liable in law for the actions of somebody they have allowed somebody else to use. If they were, then there would have been no need for the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, schedule 4, which can be used to artificially transfer liability from driver to keeper in some situations. The hire car industry would also not be able to exist, as they would be liable for the actions of anyone using their cars.

Excel and BW Legal tried to convince the court that this was not the case. Although they succeeded at first, their scheme came unstuck when the motorist appealed. Their greed cost Excel two lots of advocate fees and resulted in a persuasive appeal decision which can now be used against them.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


Wednesday, 7 June 2017

New IPC code of practice weakens data protection levels

The IPC has released version 6 of their code of practice.

Previously the IPC claimed that data protection was very important to them.

Old
Part C: 1.9 Any Keeper Data supplied to you must be handled and processed strictly in accordance with all applicable legal directions.

Part C: 1.10 Failure to abide by any applicable laws relating to data handling is viewed seriously by the IPC and will be considered a serious issue of non-compliance.

However, now that a number of parking companies have been found by the courts to be in violation of data protection laws, this rule is no longer convenient, and so has been ditched. It is now no longer compulsory to abide by the legal requirements. Any violation is now no longer automatically an issue, and even if it is, has been downgraded from a serious issue to a normal issue.

New
Part C: 1.9 Any Keeper Data supplied to you should be handled and processed strictly in accordance with all applicable legal directions.

Part C:1.10 Failure to abide by any applicable laws relating to data handling may be considered an issue of non-compliance.
The debt collection limit of £60 has been removed.
Removed
Where a Parking Charge becomes overdue a reasonable sum may be added. This sum must not exceed £60 (inclusive of VAT where applicable) unless Court Proceedings have been initiated.

The new code also removes protection from motorists facing court proceedings.
Removed
Before issuing court proceedings on any unpaid parking charge which is over 12 months old, the operator must first perform a suitable check of the defendant’s last known address.
Obviously it was proving far too inconvenient for Simon Renshaw-Smith to comply with the address checking requirement as he continues his quest to file claims for thousands of years old parking charges for Excel and VCS, This requirement therefore goes into the Will Hurley dustbin of fame as the IPC continue their relentless march to remove inconvenient requirements from their code of practice.

This was an important protection because many motorists find they have CCJs because they have been issued court proceedings at old addresses.

The MOJ issued a consultation on this matter in December 2016.

The government has today (23 December 2016) announced a crackdown on unresolved debts which can damage people’s credit ratings without them knowing. The action comes after concerns were raised that companies were issuing claims to consumers using incorrect addresses.
...
And the Department for Communities and Local Government will be taking further steps in due course to tackle poor practice by private parking companies.

Will Hurley obviously did not feel it necessary to wait long before thumbing his nose at the government on this matter.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster




UKCPS were banned for ghost ticketing

The Prankster previously blogged that UKCPS were temporarily suspended by the IPC. They were banned on 13 October 2016 and reinstated on 20 December 2016. The DVLA forbade them from requesting keeper data for any tickets issued during this period.

This FoI request reveals that the reason they were banned was for ghost ticketing - where a warden puts a ticket on the windscreen, photographs it, then removes it, leaving the driver unaware they have been ticketed.

Ghost ticketing increases the revenue operators get because they driver cannot pay at the reduced rate, removes their right to appeal because the IPC allows operators to set the appeal expiry date before the date when the PCN is sent by post, and prevents the driver from being able to gather photographic and other evidence that no contravention occurred.

The motorist was issued with 23 tickets. He made an initial appeal on one ticket to UKCPS, which was not upheld. He then gathered evidence and sent a complaint to the IPC with video evidence showing that on at least 3 occasions ghost tickets were issued.

Eventually all 23 tickets were cancelled by UKCPS.

UKCPS also cancelled all outstanding tickets issued by the warden, but did not refund tickets which had already been paid.

Here is what the IPC had to say about Ghost Ticketing in their January 2016 newsletter following a consultation with operators.


UKCPS told the DVLA that they had never previously had a complaint that their wardens had ghost ticketed.

Any further issues reported to the DVLA will result in a ban of 6 months.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster



Tuesday, 6 June 2017

All change at Gladstones and the IPC

Will Hurley resigned as director of Gladstones Solicitors Limited on 28 May 2017.

John Davies resigned as director of United Trade and Industry Limited (trading as the International Parking Community), also on 28 May 2017.

The cynical members of the blog readership will no doubt come to the conclusion that this is to pretend there is no conflict of interest between the two companies, and to stop people pointing out that the directors and shareholders of both companies are the same people.

Currently the IPC runs a kangaroo court appeals systems which finds for the parking company in the most ridiculous of circumstances, has no proper appreciation of how judges currently interpret parking-related law, and routinely accepts parking company evidence at face value while dismissing motorist evidence. Failed appeals are then eligible for the parking company to use the shambolic and incompetent Gladstones Solicitors to attempt to artificially inflate the costs and bully motorists into paying charges which are not upheld by the courts.

In the Prankster's opinion there is therefore a clear conflict of interests.

Interestingly, Will Hurley does not currently appear as a person of significant controlling interest for Gladstones. However, John Davies does currently appear as a person of significant controlling interest for the IPC. This may of course be a timing issue.

The legislation sets out 5 conditions for significant control.

(i) Directly or indirectly holding more than 25% of the shares
(ii) Directly or indirectly holding more than 25% of the voting rights
(iii) Directly or indirectly holding the right to appoint or remove the majority of
directors
(iv) Otherwise having the right to exercise, or actually exercising, significant
influence or control
(v) Having the right to exercise, or actually exercising, significant influence or
control over the activities of a trust or firm which is not a legal entity, but
would itself satisfy any of the first four conditions if it were an individual

Gladstones last shareholder list as of 18/2/2016 has John Davies owning 51% of the shares and Will Hurley owning 49%. On 18/2/2017 John Davies was declared as a person of controlling interest, but Will Hurley was not.

The IPCs last shareholder list as of 19/11/2015 had John Davis and Will Hurley both owning one share each (50%). On 11/10/2016 both Will Hurley and John Davies were declared as persons of significant control.

The Prankster therefore calls on Will Hurley and John Davies to clarify the situation.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Monday, 5 June 2017

Forge Fach get rid of Millennium Parking Services

This facebook post says it all.


Sadly some parking companies are not able to provide a proper balanced parking service. Indiscriminate ticketing is bound to hurt the businesses served by the car park, and the introduction of new parking rules should not be seen as the chance for a feeding frenzy.

It is possible to strike the right balance between landowners, operators and motorists, but MPS obviously did not.

MPS began operations on 3 May 2017.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


Sunday, 4 June 2017

Civil Enforcement Limited director named in Panama Papers

The Prankster has previously reported on the tangled web of companies which Civil Enforcement Limited (CEL) are involved in.

None of the normal people associated with CEL appear as directors, persons of controlling interest or as shareholders.

The two directors are QA Nominees and Willem Martinus De Beer.

William De Beer also appears on the offshore leaks database

https://offshoreleaks.icij.org/nodes/13006995



The offshore leaks database states "There are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts. We do not intend to suggest or imply that any persons, companies or other entities included in the ICIJ Offshore Leaks Database have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly."

Willen also appears as a director of 250 companies in the UK.

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/officers/HvoKVZrK1SD8iOnc8quFMf60vxo/appointments

It would appear then that he has not got the time to be a director of all these companies and that he is therefore likely to be shell behind which the real persons of controlling interest hide.

The Prankster believes a legitimate question is to ask who really is a person of controlling interest in Civil Enforcement Limit? At the present time, this is not clear at all. Perhaps Ashley Cohen can shed some light on this.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster





Saturday, 3 June 2017

Excel lose - Elliot v Loake/CPS v AJH films rubbished by judge

Excel v M. X C8DP5C7T. Manchester County Court - 25/05/2017

See pepipoo for full details

Excel via BW Legal took M. X to court.for a parking event at the Peel Centre in September 2014. M.X was not the driver on the day - the driver was their ex-partner - and did not receive the PCN. BW Legal only informed M. X what the actual event was 10 days before the hearing.

M. X was therefore not liable as Excel did not use keeper liability at the time of the event. This has been established many times before and Excel were therefore fully aware they had no case. M. X informed BW Legal they was not the driver, but they took no notice and filed a claim anyway.

In fact, they filed two claims, for identical times. This is a good indication of the level of incompetence at BW Legal, who are pushing Gladstones Solicitors hard for the title of the most incompetent parking legal firm.

At least they did discontinue one claim, but they kept on with the other.

The Hearing

There was 3 excel parking cases scheduled for the same time, M. X was up second. The Excel representative came over and said would she like to speak about the case before we went in, M. X had read about them doing that so kindly refused as they never had the decency to reply to their requests for the PCN or that I was not driving on the day

The judge spoke to the claimant's representative who confirmed that she was not the witness who wrote the statement, The judge did not seem happy and was extremely stern from that point but allowed the representative to continue.

The representative then explained the case and  Elliott v Loake came up. The Judge was really annoyed that a criminal case was being noted and that the representative had not brought the correct paperwork or a copy of the Road Traffic Act and said BW Legal should know better than to waste the court's time with this

M. X then questioned the representative's "Right of Audience" as a 3rd party self employed person. However the judge said she was legally able to stay so M. X gave up on that point.

M. X was asked to state their defense at which point M. X explained they were not driving but their ex- partner, The judge seemed frustrated that M.X had not brought insurance documents to prove who could drive the car. However she seemed to accept that M.X did not realise that this would have been useful evidence for her defence.

M. X was able to use the skeleton argument to argue all the points that appeared on the claimant's witness statement. The judge was particularly interested in all the paragraphs where they called into question M. X being at the scene, the quality of the ANPR pictures, and the fact there was no reliance on the Protection Of Freedom's Act 20212.

After a tense 30 minutes of interrogation during which the BW Legal representative  had to write plenty of notes to take back to the firm, the representative asked for an adjournment to get the questions answered. The judge refused to allow this and said the witness had the opportunity the same as M. X to attend and chose not to.

The claim was dismissed.

The judgment included the following :

The claimant was using Elliott v Loake but this is a criminal case that doesn't bear any weight in the smalls claims court.

The ANPR pictures were unsatisfactory quality as they did not place the vehicle anywhere and only showed the registration.

It is the legal burden on claimant to prove balance of probabilities.

As the defendant didn't receive the PCN and asked on Part 18 and email there was no proof as to how they were served i.e post / hand delivered and claimant didn't bring witness to answer

The witness statement was littered with errors for example gender changes, and also references to a different company (Vehicle Control Services)

Despite the defendant expressing they was not the driver paragraphs 8,13, 15, 17, 22, 29, 30, 36, 46 of the Claimants witness statement calling this into question without any evidence to prove otherwise

The claimant not using keeper liability under POFA 2012 despite using language which claims the RK needs to identify  the driver- it iss not a case of having your cake and eating it- it is morally & legally wrong to do this.

The judge dismissed the case law BW Legal tried to introduce as not relevant; Elliott v Loake; some case from 1964 - as the law has changed considerably since that time;  Chaplain V Kamere - as this was a tenant and landlord case; CPSv AJH films - no contractual relationship.

Prankster Notes

The Prankster agrees with the judge, and thinks BW Legal CEO and COO Sean Barton and Rachael Withers are legally incompetent and morally wrong to bring the case. Not only did this cause undue stress and wasted the time of the defendant, they deceived the claimant into believing they had a claim, when any competent legal professional would have advised otherwise.

The Prankster has contacted BW Legal to give them the right of reply if they do not believe Sean Barton and Rachael Withers are legally incompetent and morally wrong to bring the case.

The BW Legal rep probably completely wasted their time taking notes. No doubt they will go straight in the bin.

The Peel Centre is one of the most badly run car parks in the country, and generates huge numbers of complaints to the Prankster with regard to poor signage and broken machines.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Rachael Withers

Thursday, 1 June 2017

UKCPM representative asks not to proceed with residential case

UKCPM v Mr C.D4GF9001 Maidstone

Mr C asked Private Parking Appeals (PPA) for assistance over the weekend. Having missed the official for filing documents -  PPA engineered a fairly long and very unorthodox hybrid cross between a Witness Statement/Skeleton Argument /rebuttal to Claimant's evidence pack.

Mr C had been charged for parking on his own land.

The issues raised were that; the Contract with UKCPM claimed the company and signatory were freeholders to the land when in fact they were not (land registry document was added to support this)
The company who engaged UKCPM were a sub-contractor of the Managing Agent

The head lease and individual leases gave allocated parking with some spaces with exclusive rights.

Therefore Mr C had primacy of contract and additionally there was no chain from UKCPM to anyone who had the right to make a contract regarding parking management on the land in the first place.

PPA advised Mr C to ensure that he handed copies of the documents to the court usher ASAP to hand to the judge and the Claimant's Representative.

Mr C asked about Right Of Audience and on a hunch and (not to annoy the judge further )  PPA suggested that it would be probably best not to challenge this aspect -  not least as several hearings were listed and Mr C would not be able to probably answer the finer points of any ROA challenge.

The case was called and the judge questioned him on why he did not file the WS on time.
Mr C (client) replied he was a Litigant In Person, unsure of the court process and there was nothing new in the document that was not covered in his original defence and as stated he would be willing to go ahead today.

The judge was satisfied and asked the Claimant's Representative if he would be willing to go proceed with the document presented and submissions.

The Claimant's Representative said that whilst he had no objections to the Defendant's document,  he DID have an issue with the content raised in that he was unwilling to proceed to act on behalf of the Claimant due to the issues raised in the document and documents as he could not advocate in such a situation!

The judge agreed and made an order that the claim be adjourned until the end of September unless the Claimant made an application to re-instate the case.

The Claimant's representative added that he would be very surprised to see this case come back and would be relaying this to the Claimant.

The judge nodded in agreement and turned to the Defendant and apologised if he was a bit abrupt at the start.

Mr C was in and out the court in less than 10 minutes flat.

Outside he learned that this was the third hearing so far for the Representative; an AM parking claim was adjourned,  and another dismissed due to insufficient evidence photos in the Claimant's pack (both Gladstones claims).

There were two other AM Parking claims and two ParkingEye claims also scheduled - results unknown.

Prankster Notes

Not all legal representatives are like Will Hurley, John Davies, Helen Cook and Jamie Ashford of Gladstones, who are prepared to file claims without any due diligence and to pursue claims when there is no reasonable hope of success.

If they had done their job properly, this claim would never have been filed.

Their representative is obviously of a different opinion, and not prepared to go forward with a no-hope case, and prepared to advise his client of this. The first duty of any legal representative is after all, to the court.

Mr C was fairly lucky. Some judges would not have allowed the witness statement, or would have adjourned with a wasted costs order against Mr C.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster



POPLA evidence packs go online

In a welcome move, POPLA now hosts parking company evidence packs online.

This means that motorists will be able to download the evidence pack, rather than having to rely on the vagaries of the post.

This will also eliminate two avenues where parking companies used to try and exploit the system - saying evidence packs had been sent when they had not, and sending different evidence packs to POPLA and the motorist.

Although these exploits did not occur in great numbers, they did occur sometimes, and it is good news that POPLA has shut the door on these sharp practices.

It was also embarrassing to watch POPLA try and squirm out of sending motorists an evidence pack when they had not received one. Frankly, rather than engage in long and protracted disputes as to why they were not going to email the motorist a copy of the evidence they had, it would have been far easier just to email it.

The Prankster is glad POPLA have finally updated their systems to provide evidence packs electronically and congratulates then.

If you are using POPLA, one thing to note is the the evidence pack disappears after a while, so you should make sure you download and keep a safe copy.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankstern