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  • FIRST POST
    • jjay33
    • By jjay33 16th Mar 17, 7:33 PM
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    jjay33
    Not parked, on a car park that no longer exists
    • #1
    • 16th Mar 17, 7:33 PM
    Not parked, on a car park that no longer exists 16th Mar 17 at 7:33 PM
    Hi - I have received the notorious court claim from E/cel Parking, through BWL, for an alleged parking offence in December 2014.

    I received an initial NTK in January 2015, for an alleged offence that was sent to me based on an ANPR identification. It informed me that my car had apparently parked on a car park in my local town centre and not paid the required fee, etc etc…you know the drill. From what I recall of the NTK, the car was only on the car park for around 10-15 minutes, so I can only assume a space wasn’t available and the driver moved on to find another car park with space nearby.

    Being mid-winter, visibility would have been poor - the driver may not have realised that this car park was monitored by ANPR, as most other car parks in the town are manned or council run, with penalties issued by wardens.

    The car park in question no longer exists. The building to which it was adjacent, was demolished during 2016 and in its place is a brand new, shiny council run car park, so there’s no way for me to revisit and assess whether the signage was sufficient that the driver should have realised they would be charged whilst waiting for a space to become free.

    When I got the NTK in Jan 2015, I did some research, found this forum and decided, perhaps misguidedly, to ignore the notice.

    I heard nothing more until 3 weeks ago when I got a Letter of Claim, which has the vastly inflated demand for £246.58, based on added interest of the initial penalty, court fees, etc etc. I no longer have the original NTK and hadn’t given it a thought for the two years that have passed since.

    I have now duly submitted my AoS on MCOL, and will being putting together my defence over the next couple of weeks or so.

    Questions for the forum:

    Is is relevant to raise the point that the car only entered the car park to unsuccessfully locate a space, or should I just stick with the POFA compliance argument, as the only evidence is ANPR?

    Are there any examples of cases where the car park no longer exists meaning evidence of poor signage can’t be gathered?


    I’d like to glean what information I can from these specific circumstances, to help with my defence. Cheers!
Page 1
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 16th Mar 17, 7:41 PM
    • 44,284 Posts
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    Coupon-mad
    • #2
    • 16th Mar 17, 7:41 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Mar 17, 7:41 PM
    Is is relevant to raise the point that the car only entered the car park to unsuccessfully locate a space,
    Yes, as long as the defendant only talks about the driver in the third person.

    Also signage will be for them to prove. One wonders if they have photos in dark or dusk light? They have to evidence the contract was clear that day...and as the event was in Dec 2014, their signs MUST ONLY be BPA ones, not IPC (but do not tip them off about that in the defence at this stage!!). Excel jumped from the BPA to the IPC on 1.1.15, something I noticed that very day and took pics because local Excel signs had changed overnight.

    Being mid-winter, visibility would have been poor - the driver may not have realised that this car park was monitored by ANPR,
    Was it dark?
    PRIVATE PCN in England/Wales? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT

    Click on the breadcrumb trail, top of page: Household & Travel > Motoring > Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking & READ THE 'NEWBIES' FAQS THREAD.
    DON'T read old advice to ignore, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • jjay33
    • By jjay33 16th Mar 17, 7:47 PM
    • 15 Posts
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    jjay33
    • #3
    • 16th Mar 17, 7:47 PM
    • #3
    • 16th Mar 17, 7:47 PM
    The claim form states the offence took place at 2.38pm, and checking back on the weather it was heavy rain. At that time of year, it would have been approaching dusk, but not dark enough for street lights.

    I have no way to evidence the signage, but now wondering if I can time travel on google street view - not sure how far back the street view images go, but might be worth looking.
    • jjay33
    • By jjay33 16th Mar 17, 8:13 PM
    • 15 Posts
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    jjay33
    • #4
    • 16th Mar 17, 8:13 PM
    • #4
    • 16th Mar 17, 8:13 PM
    Also signage will be for them to prove. One wonders if they have photos in dark or dusk light? They have to evidence the contract was clear that day...and as the event was in Dec 2014, their signs MUST ONLY be BPA ones, not IPC (but do not tip them off about that in the defence at this stage!!). Excel jumped from the BPA to the IPC on 1.1.15, something I noticed that very day and took pics because local Excel signs had changed overnight.
    I've found the car park on Street View, and the signs are unchanged from August 2009 through to November 2015 (not sure what the difference is for BPA v IPC yet). One small sign near the entrance, and one sign at the far end of the car park. The signs are illegible on the street view images, although the signs of a nearby NCP car park are quite legible. It would be impossible to read the sign by the entrance whilst in a vehicle, not only because of the small print, but also because it would block the entrance to the car park from the main road while a driver tries and read a sign placed on the passenger side as you drive in - so if the driver never leaves the car how are they expected to understand there are time limits on waiting for a space?
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 17th Mar 17, 9:23 AM
    • 44,284 Posts
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    Coupon-mad
    • #5
    • 17th Mar 17, 9:23 AM
    • #5
    • 17th Mar 17, 9:23 AM
    Agreed, so work that into a draft defence and show us first. Set it out as advised by bargepole in his posts I have linked in the NEWBIES thread post #2.
    PRIVATE PCN in England/Wales? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT

    Click on the breadcrumb trail, top of page: Household & Travel > Motoring > Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking & READ THE 'NEWBIES' FAQS THREAD.
    DON'T read old advice to ignore, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • The Deep
    • By The Deep 17th Mar 17, 9:46 AM
    • 6,164 Posts
    • 4,972 Thanks
    The Deep
    • #6
    • 17th Mar 17, 9:46 AM
    • #6
    • 17th Mar 17, 9:46 AM
    As you say, the amount they are asking for is vastly inflated. Have they paid the court fee? If not then why are they asking for it?

    Report them to the SRA as, even if they took it to court and won, the judge is unlikely to award them more than £200. Suggest to the SRA that fraud may be involved. It will slow them down, and cost them money
    You never know how far you can go until you go too far.
    • jjay33
    • By jjay33 17th Mar 17, 8:25 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    jjay33
    • #7
    • 17th Mar 17, 8:25 PM
    • #7
    • 17th Mar 17, 8:25 PM
    Thanks for your support so far folks

    Unsurprisingly, today I have received the Notice of County Court Claim letter from BW, dated 13th March, the same date that is on the Claim Form itself, which I got two days ago.

    These people really don't bother about doing things in the correct order.

    This letter offers me the opportunity to settle their half-baked costs, before they issue the county court claim. Had I got this letter first, I may have considered paying them to go away, as it's going to cost me a days' wages to go to court (I'm self-employed), and my day rate is almost double the sum they're asking for. (Sorry, I know I shouldn't even entertain that idea). However, their stupidity has only fuelled me up to fight back even harder.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 17th Mar 17, 8:27 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    • #8
    • 17th Mar 17, 8:27 PM
    • #8
    • 17th Mar 17, 8:27 PM
    You can claim (limited) costs back when you win at the hearing. Just don't think you have to counter claim. Concentrate on reading up and using other defences to build yours.
    PRIVATE PCN in England/Wales? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT

    Click on the breadcrumb trail, top of page: Household & Travel > Motoring > Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking & READ THE 'NEWBIES' FAQS THREAD.
    DON'T read old advice to ignore, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 17th Mar 17, 9:26 PM
    • 401 Posts
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    Loadsofchildren123
    • #9
    • 17th Mar 17, 9:26 PM
    • #9
    • 17th Mar 17, 9:26 PM
    I believe if you win costs (under Rule 27.14(2)(g)) and if you can actually prove losses you can get more than the litigant in person rate of £19 per hour. I found this on a website when I googled it. I'll try and find the link again.
    • jjay33
    • By jjay33 19th Mar 17, 1:47 PM
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    jjay33
    I'm putting together my defence, focusing on the point that my car didn't actually park on the car park, and that the driver didn't leave the car at any point while driving around looking for space.

    As I don't have the original NTK, can I request that from the claimant before submitting my defence? Is this the part 18 information request or does that come further along in the process?

    I'd like to see the wording used in the original NTK document, as the Letter of Claim states the reason for the contravention is 'parking without displaying a valid ticket/permit' which seems curious, when all they have are pictures of my car entering & leaving the car park. It says nothing about not obtaining a ticket in the first place (which didn't happen as the car was not parked). If a ticket has been purchased but not displayed, would there still be a contravention? I think not as they would have a record from their machine I'm guessing?
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 19th Mar 17, 2:04 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    You can email and ask but you won't get it in time. However, I would email and ask for the NTK (both sides), and I would ask for all photos of the car and the signs they intend to rely upon, and give them 14 days to supply this information.

    We know that in January 2015 they had just jumped to the IPC and changed ALL their signs on 1.1.15 from the BPA ones (they were members of the BPA AOS at the time of the contravention in December 2014).

    So like I said, this is crucial but don't tip them off, let's see them dig their own holes:
    Also signage will be for them to prove. One wonders if they have photos in dark or dusk light? They have to evidence the contract was clear that day...and as the event was in Dec 2014, their signs MUST ONLY be BPA ones, not IPC (but do not tip them off about that in the defence at this stage!!). Excel jumped from the BPA to the IPC on 1.1.15, something I noticed that very day and took pics because local Excel signs had changed overnight.
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 19-03-2017 at 4:11 PM.
    PRIVATE PCN in England/Wales? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT

    Click on the breadcrumb trail, top of page: Household & Travel > Motoring > Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking & READ THE 'NEWBIES' FAQS THREAD.
    DON'T read old advice to ignore, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • jjay33
    • By jjay33 19th Mar 17, 2:23 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    jjay33
    Great thanks Coupon-mad. I'll get the email sent, and at least I can include that in my evidence should they decide to go all the way.

    The signs from what I can make out from Google Street View, don't look to have changed from 2009 thru to 2015, but it's as all these signs are illegible to most ordinary humans anway, there may be small print amends on them somewhere.
    • jjay33
    • By jjay33 19th Mar 17, 2:40 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    jjay33
    UPDATE: Just gone to email the claimant and realised I have emailed them before. Bad news is that I emailed them prior to doing any research, as I innocently thought I would genuinely be able to counter their claim with the truth. What a sucker!!!

    Email contains the explanation as I have outlined here (on car park for short time, not parked, driver didn't leave car) BUT I have used the word 'I' not 'the driver'. Arrrghhh!!

    I received an automated reply, stating they would get back to me, but for me to send them the reference number plus keeper details plus driver details.

    I again innocently replied with reference number and keeper details, but no reference to driver specifically.

    Yet again received auto-reply.

    Then heard nothing more until this year.

    Is this going to mess me up - or should I continue to pursue on grounds of not actually parking, leaving out any references to me only being the registered keeper?
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 19th Mar 17, 4:14 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    Yes, go with the Grace Periods argument, not enough time allowed for you to find a space or read the signs. No agreement on any contract. And dodgy signs as an argument in itself.

    Lose things about the POFA and keeper liability, at least at the hearing it will be easier for you to explain in the first person in an honest way. I still think BW Legal will muck up the signage evidence...I'd be looking for any IPC signs in evidence later on (which cannot have been there in December 2014).
    PRIVATE PCN in England/Wales? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT

    Click on the breadcrumb trail, top of page: Household & Travel > Motoring > Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking & READ THE 'NEWBIES' FAQS THREAD.
    DON'T read old advice to ignore, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • jjay33
    • By jjay33 19th Mar 17, 4:36 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    jjay33
    I've managed to find some photographic evidence from another appeal on the same car park, same time of year, but in the evening, for a car that was broken down and on the car park approximately the same amount of time, as well as the signage evidence submitted by BW in relation to that case. The case was won through appeal with POPLA, so that gives me some hope.
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 20th Mar 17, 9:30 AM
    • 401 Posts
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    Loadsofchildren123
    I think where you have a good defence anyway then there is no point hiding behind "you can't prove I was the driver". Many judges will ask you directly if you were driving and (if you were) bang goes that whole aspect of your defence, and you start off on the back foot. Or a judge can assume, on the balance of probabilities, that you were driving and again, bang goes that whole aspect of things.


    So if you have three good defences of rubbish signage so no contract, didn't park anyway so cannot have accepted any contractual terms which may have been offered, grace periods apply, then focus on those rather than getting sidetracked by the driver thing. It might be different if you could genuinely say that several people used your car, produce insurance to back that up, and say that you genuinely can't remember or evidence that it can't have been you.
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 20th Mar 17, 12:56 PM
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    Loadsofchildren123
    On the costs issue I posted about in #9, have a look at this link, and if you look at my thread you will see an extract from a Skeleton Argument which is limited to the costs argument. I'm still trying to find the one I saw which said you can seek more if you can show direct, actual losses which are greater than the amounts mentioned in CPR Part 27 and Practice Direction 27, I'll trawl back through my posts to see if I can find it:


    http://insurance.dwf.law/news-updates/2014/12/what-amounts-to-unreasonable-behaviour-in-the-small-claims-track/#unreasonable-behaviour-exception
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 20th Mar 17, 1:04 PM
    • 401 Posts
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    Loadsofchildren123
    Found it!


    http://www.atjf.org.uk/litigant-in-person-costs.html
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 20th Mar 17, 1:13 PM
    • 401 Posts
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    Loadsofchildren123
    Practice direction 46:
    3.2 Where a self represented litigant wishes to prove that the litigant has suffered financial loss, the litigant should produce to the court any written evidence relied on to support that claim, and serve a copy of that evidence on any party against whom the litigant seeks costs at least 24 hours before the hearing at which the question may be decided
    3.4 The amount, which may be allowed to a self represented litigant under rule 45.39(5)(b) and rule 46.5(4)(b), is £19 per hour.


    Rule 46.5(4) says this:
    (4) The amount of costs to be allowed to the litigant in person for any item of work claimed will be –
    (a) where the litigant can prove financial loss, the amount that the litigant can prove to have been lost for time reasonably spent on doing the work; or
    (b) where the litigant cannot prove financial loss, an amount for the time reasonably spent on doing the work at the rate set out in Practice Direction 46.


    So I think that £19 is the default, but if you can prove something greater then you would get the greater hourly rate. Eg. if you are paid £50 per hour, then as long as you can produce evidence of that then there's no reason why you couldn't argue for £50 per hour rather than £19.
    • jjay33
    • By jjay33 20th Mar 17, 5:15 PM
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    jjay33
    Thanks Loadsofchildren, that's great, I'll look into this in more detail. It would be karma if I won, and then presented the claimant with a bill for my time at my current rate. Thanks for looking this up for me
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