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  • FIRST POST
    • behindtheeye
    • By behindtheeye 4th Dec 16, 4:49 PM
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    behindtheeye
    Parking Charge, IPC Member, inadequate signage
    • #1
    • 4th Dec 16, 4:49 PM
    Parking Charge, IPC Member, inadequate signage 4th Dec 16 at 4:49 PM
    Hi all,

    I have read through the stickied threads and I am very grateful for the wealth of useful information posted there.

    I wanted to get some advice on a situation where in my opinion the ticket is completely unjustified as a result of inadequate signage.

    The driver parked on a road on a business park and subsequently got a "parking charge notice" from District Enforcement on the windscreen. District Enforcement are a member of the IPC and I am aware from reading here that this is a questionable setup.

    The car was parked normally at the side of the road, with no markings or yellow lines, not near a junction and not causing an obstruction. A little after the cars are parked there are automatic barriers which lead into a car park.

    The justification for the ticket is apparently a sign at the start of the road. This sign is not is not visible as you drive in – I invite you to view the following photo: https://1drv.ms/i/s!Ao45qLpxXG3_gdFdYgBEOD5G2Cj8eA
    The sign is strapped with cable ties to the lamppost on the left at the start of the road. As you can see, it is not visible. It is at 90 degrees to the road and the only way you would see it is if you were walking on the road. There are no such signs in the part of the road where the cars are actually parked (which you can see in the distance). I do have lots of other photos of the area too.

    Here is a close-up photo of the sign: https://1drv.ms/i/s!Ao45qLpxXG3_gdFbxTwDcICLGJJS1A

    The reason given on the ticket is "Parking in the no parking area".

    I don't know if this is a new arrangement but I think it is worth mentioning that every single car around the one I refer to here also had these “Parking Charge Notices” which further suggests that the signage is completely inadequate.

    I am inclined to appeal as I did read on another well-known parking-related forum that one of the few times the IAS have found in favour of the driver is in cases of inadequate signage.

    If anyone has any thoughts or queries I would welcome them. I'm happy to provide more details if requested.

    Thanks.
Page 3
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 7th May 17, 9:26 PM
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    Umkomaas
    Other than responding robustly denying any debt (and importantly avoiding any identification of the driver), you have to wait to see what their next move is. Perfectly winnable, in due course, but for now it's time for a degree of patience.

    If you feel this will inevitably result in a court case, I'd write back requiring them to issue proceedings within 14/21 days, or you will consider the matter closed. While this won't necessarily close the case, should they delay proceedings for (say) another 6/12 months, the judge may ask some serious questions of them as to why they have delayed.

    I believe in facing up to bullies, call their bluff, smack them on the nose, then just see how brave they really are. It works in some instances, but not always guaranteed. You won't be any worse off for trying, but you will perhaps feel you are calling some of the shots.
    We cannot provide you with a silver bullet to get you out of this. You have to be in for the long run, and need to involve yourself in research and work for you to get rid of this. It is not simple. We will help, but can't do it for you.

    Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
    • safarmuk
    • By safarmuk 8th May 17, 11:37 AM
    • 613 Posts
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    safarmuk
    Hmmm, well this is quite interesting. Everything I have seen here is that you get a LBC and then an MCOL soon afterwards, a reply from Glads is not usual especially when they use Debt Collection terminology like "if this should go to court" so I am quite surprised.

    As I said - and like Unkomaas says above - I think you can either try to rebut again, try to force the issue (as above demand they start proceedings) or you can just wait for the MCOL if it ever arrives.

    If you want to make sure, you can redact the personal information on the original LBC and the subsequent reply to your rebuttal, host them somewhere and then post a link here and people can double check for you.

    But basically, Glads have issued a LBC ... now they have to either go through with it or you are back where you were, waiting for the 6 year timeout ...
    Last edited by safarmuk; 08-05-2017 at 11:41 AM.
    • behindtheeye
    • By behindtheeye 16th May 17, 6:13 PM
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    behindtheeye
    Thanks for the responses.

    Here is the LBC: https://1drv.ms/i/s!Ao45qLpxXG3_gdxyiLzXxjMZKV2caA

    Here is the subsequent letter: https://1drv.ms/i/s!Ao45qLpxXG3_gdxxEAjMpgwQypMdLQ
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 16th May 17, 7:37 PM
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    Umkomaas
    Over on PePiPoo, regular contributor 'Gan' often comments on Gladstones 'LBCs' to the effect that should their reference number on the 'LBC' commence '3*********', then that is a DRP letter using a pimped out G's letterhead.

    Gan is highly respected and I have no reason to doubt his assertion, but can't guarantee it.

    Please check the reference number on yours.
    We cannot provide you with a silver bullet to get you out of this. You have to be in for the long run, and need to involve yourself in research and work for you to get rid of this. It is not simple. We will help, but can't do it for you.

    Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 16th May 17, 7:40 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    I agree, Gan is right about those codes.
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • behindtheeye
    • By behindtheeye 16th May 17, 8:03 PM
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    behindtheeye
    The reference number begins with 1000...
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 16th May 17, 9:12 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    OK so it's only DE and they have not used POFA compliant NTKs for something like a year or more. With a non-POFA NTK they cannot hold a keeper liable.

    What was the date of parking event (sorry no time to look back)?

    Quite possibly you will get a claim but we win 99% of the time; in our experience, Gladstones make a mess of their robo-claims...
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • behindtheeye
    • By behindtheeye 16th May 17, 9:32 PM
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    behindtheeye
    Date of event was 23/11/2016. Thank you, Coupon-mad.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 16th May 17, 10:30 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    OK so I am pretty sure they haven't used a POFA compliant NTK in 2016/17, so the keeper cannot be pursued (won't stop them trying, and hoping you might name the driver).

    Do as Umkomaas already advised last week.
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • behindtheeye
    • By behindtheeye 23rd May 17, 7:23 PM
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    behindtheeye
    Responded to Gallstones last week, today I've received the court claim. Will acknowledge as per the guidelines on here then look at creating a draft to post on here for advice.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 23rd May 17, 11:00 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    Great, nothing to lose as long as you defend, because the worst case scenario if you lost at a hearing is being told to pay pretty much the same as demanded already. No CCJ, no sitting on the norty step! And if you win, you can claim your costs.
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • behindtheeye
    • By behindtheeye 13th Jun 17, 10:11 PM
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    behindtheeye
    First draft of Defence
    First draft of my defence included below, I would welcome any feedback. Is it worth mentioning in this defence that there were double-yellow lines shortly before the area where the car was parked and none where it was? Or should that come later in the witness statement?

    IN THE COUNTY COURT
    CLAIM No: xxxxxxxxx
    BETWEEN:
    PARKING CROOKS (Claimant)
    -and-
    JOE BLOGGS (Defendant)

    DEFENCE STATEMENT

    1) It is admitted that the defendant, Joe Bloggs, was the authorised registered keeper of the vehicle in question at the time of the alleged incident.

    2) Rebuttal of Claim
    It is denied that any 'debt' exists that could lead to a claim in law. In the alternative, if a debt is considered by the court to exist, then I am not liable because:

    a) No contract was formed. There was no offer, and no consideration flowed between any parties and this location is an unmarked (or very badly marked) side road, not a car park. This appears to be just the sort of predatory ticketing practice the UK Government has pledged to end.

    b) No agreement was reached, no meeting of minds with a driver agreeing to pay a parking charge.

    c) No Terms and Conditions were sufficiently or prominently displayed around the site. There were no road markings.

    d) No agreement was made to pay unspecified additional sums, which are unsupported in law.

    e) The claimant company failed to comply with the terms of Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, so cannot lawfully hold a registered keeper liable.

    f) The claimant company failed to comply with their obligations within the International Parking Community (IPC) Code of Practice, of which they are a member.

    g) The Claimant company has no standing to charge for trespass, and made no offer, so has no grounds to allege any contract existed, or could exist, nor can a third party recover any nominal sum under the tort of trespass on land they do not own.


    3) I choose to defend this claim as the registered keeper, as is my right.

    4) As an unrepresented litigant-in-person I respectfully ask that I be permitted to amend and or supplement this interim defence as may be required following a fuller disclosure of the Claimant's case.

    My Defence
    My defence will rely principally upon the following points:

    5) The Claimant has not complied with the pre-action protocol under the Practice Direction as a compliant ‘Letter Before County Court Claim’ was not issued. Despite a request by the Defendant to receive a compliant letter, one was not sent before court proceedings were started.
    6) The signs erected on site were inadequate/illegible and not conforming to the IPC Code of Practice which gives clear instructions as to the placing, visibility and clarity of any signs (that should be) and are used. They are therefore incapable for the purpose of forming the basis of a contract. Should the claimant rely upon the case of ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis [2015] UKSC 67, ('the Beavis case'), I wish to point out that there is a test of good faith (reference Paragraph 205):
    “The requirement of good faith in this context is one of fair and open dealing. Openness requires that the terms should be expressed fully, clearly and legibly, containing no concealed pitfalls or traps. Appropriate prominence should be given to terms which might operate disadvantageously to the customer.”
    It is therefore denied that any contract was formed or was capable of being formed and that there was any 'relevant obligation' or 'relevant contract' relating to any single parking event.

    7) No evidence has been supplied by this claimant as to who parked the vehicle. Under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 there is no presumption in law as to who parked a vehicle on private land nor does there exist any obligation for a keeper to name a driver. Notwithstanding that the Claimant claims no right to pursue the Defendant as the registered keeper under the Act, the Claimant has failed to meet the conditions of the Act and has never acquired any right to pursue the Defendant in this capacity if it cannot identify the driver. This distinguishes the case from Elliott vs Loake (1982) in which there was irrefutable evidence of the driver’s identity.

    8) The claimed value of £xxx.xx (plus court & legal representative costs) is a completely unsubstantiated and inflated three-figure sum, vaguely and incoherently adduced by the claimant's solicitors in their claim.

    This claim merely states: “parking charges / damages and indemnity costs if applicable” which does not give any indication of on what basis the claim is brought. For example, whether this charge is founded upon an ‘allegation of trespass’ or 'breach of contract' or contractual 'unpaid fees'. Nor are any clear times/dates or coherent grounds for any lawful claim particularised, nor were any details provided to evidence any contract created nor any copy of this contract, nor explanation for the vague description 'parking charges' and 'indemnity costs'.

    It is submitted that (apart from properly incurred court fees) any added legal fees/costs are simply numbers made up out of thin air, and are an attempt at double recovery by the Claimant, which would not be recoverable in the small claims court. The lack of diligence in this claim demonstrates admirably that at best a ‘copy and paste' is the closest a human, legally trained or not, came to the information transmitted from claimant to the Money Claims Online system. There are no real costs and POFA prevents claims exceeding the sum on the original parking notice.

    The attention of the court is also drawn to para. 4(5) Schedule 4 Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 which sets out that the maximum amount recoverable from the registered keeper, where the keeper liability provisions have been properly invoked (which is expressly denied in this case) is that amount specified in the Notice to Keeper (whether issued in accordance with paras 8(2)c; 8(2)d, 9(2)c or 9(2)d of the Act).

    9) The Claimant’s solicitors are known to be a serial issuer of generic claims similar to this one, with no due diligence, no scrutiny of details nor even checking for a true cause of action. Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service have identified over 1000 similar poorly produced claims and the solicitors conduct in many of these cases is believed to be currently the subject of an active investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
    The Defendant believes the terms for such conduct is ‘robo claims’ which is against the public interest, demonstrates a disregard for the dignity of the court and is unfair on unrepresented consumers. The Defendant has reason to believe that this is a claim that will proceed without any facts or evidence supplied until the last possible minute, to their significant detriment as an unrepresented Defendant.
    The Defendant respectfully suggests that parking companies using the small claims track as a form of aggressive, automated debt collection is not something the Courts should be seen to support.

    10) The Defendant researched the matter online, and discovered that the Claimant is a member of the Independent Parking Committee (IPC), an organisation operated by Gladstones Solicitors. They also operate the Independent Appeals Service (IAS), the allegedly independent body appointed by the Claimant’s trade body, the IPC. This research revealed that the IAS, far from being independent, is a subsidiary of the IPC, which in turn is owned and run by the same two Directors who also run Gladstones Solicitors. The individuals in question are John Davies, and William Hurley. These findings indicate a conflict of interest. Such an incestuous relationship is incapable of providing any fair means for motorists to challenge parking charges, as well as potentially breaching the Solicitors Regulation Authority Code of Conduct.

    11) It is denied that the Claimant has authority to bring this claim. The proper Claimant (if any debt exists, which is denied) would be the landowner.

    Summary

    12) The Defendant denies the claim in its entirety voiding any liability to the claimant for all amounts due to the aforementioned reasons. It is submitted that the conduct of the Claimant is wholly unreasonable and vexatious.

    13) The Defendant invites the court to dismiss this claim out as it is in breach of pre court protocols in relation to the particulars of claim under Practice Direction 16, set out by the Ministry of Justice and also Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) under 16.4 and to allow such Defendant’s costs as are permissible under Civil Procedure Rule 27.14.

    14) Similar reasons were cited by District Judge Cross of St Albans County Court on 20/09/2016 where a similar claim was struck out without a hearing, due to Gladstones' template particulars for a private parking firm being 'incoherent', failing to comply with CPR16.4, and ''providing no facts that could give rise to any apparent claim in law''.


    15) If the court is minded to accept that the Claimant has standing then I submit that the signs on site at the time of the alleged event were insufficient in terms of their numbers, distribution, wording and lighting to reasonably convey a contractual obligation and did not in any event at the time comply with the requirements of the Code of Practice of the Independent Parking Committee’s Accredited Operators Scheme, a signatory to which the Claimant was at the relevant time.

    I believe the facts stated in this Defence Statement are true.
    • behindtheeye
    • By behindtheeye 14th Jun 17, 12:47 PM
    • 84 Posts
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    behindtheeye
    I'd definitely welcome any feedback from the wonderful people on this board
    • behindtheeye
    • By behindtheeye 14th Jun 17, 9:29 PM
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    behindtheeye
    Giving this a little nudge.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 14th Jun 17, 9:34 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    Looks very good! I would submit that defence if I were you.
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • behindtheeye
    • By behindtheeye 14th Jun 17, 11:20 PM
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    • 20 Thanks
    behindtheeye
    Thanks Coupon-mad.

    I've just noticed that there are a couple of references to the Independent Parking Committee so I have corrected that.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 14th Jun 17, 11:27 PM
    • 51,536 Posts
    • 65,141 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Good spot! You don't want to mention them.
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • behindtheeye
    • By behindtheeye 19th Jun 17, 9:49 PM
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    behindtheeye
    Couple of quick questions before I fire this off.

    Can someone help me confirm that the notice to keeper is not POFA (paragraph 8) compliant? At first I thought it failed as it didn't offer details of any discount offered but perhaps at this stage because there is no discount offered they don't need to mention it?

    Notice to Keeper 1

    Notice to Keeper 2

    Should I keep the headings "My defence will rely principally upon the following points", "Summary" etc in the actual defence or is that just for my reference while drafting it?

    Finally, is it worth me mentioning their initial balls-up (claiming my details didn't match what they had "acquired from the DVLA") in this defence?
    Last edited by behindtheeye; 19-06-2017 at 9:52 PM. Reason: added question
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 19th Jun 17, 9:58 PM
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    Umkomaas
    Just a very quick scan - I couldn't see a 'period of parking'. What they've written, which includes the phrase 'period of parking', doesn't meet PoFA requirements.

    Have you been through Schedule 4, para 8 and pedantically checked (and I mean pedantically) every sentence of para 8 against their windscreen ticket (NtD) and their Notice to Keeper (NtD)? That will expose any cracks. Which will mean no keeper liability.
    We cannot provide you with a silver bullet to get you out of this. You have to be in for the long run, and need to involve yourself in research and work for you to get rid of this. It is not simple. We will help, but can't do it for you.

    Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
    • behindtheeye
    • By behindtheeye 19th Jun 17, 10:15 PM
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    behindtheeye
    The NtD says "The period of parking to which the charge relates immediately precedes the time of issue". There is a date / time of issue at the top.

    The NtK says "the period of parking that immediately preceded the issue of that notice". (referring to the NtD).

    Does that count?

    I will go through it all again now.
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