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  • FIRST POST
    • aybeebeewhy
    • By aybeebeewhy 4th Apr 17, 5:02 PM
    • 16Posts
    • 9Thanks
    aybeebeewhy
    Parking Eye - Defence for County Court Claim help please
    • #1
    • 4th Apr 17, 5:02 PM
    Parking Eye - Defence for County Court Claim help please 4th Apr 17 at 5:02 PM
    Hi all

    I've trawled this forum and many others for advice, and have had a phone call with one person with a similar issue at the same location (thank you Guy), in an effort to prepare my defence, but I have to say I'm going round in circles somewhat and would be grateful for your collective expert input!

    On 12 July last year, I "parked" in a Parking Eye managed car park at the White Horse in Rottingdean - oh yes I have seen the many complaints about this car park now!

    Essentially, I wasn't actually parked but I entered the "property" for a total of 11 minutes when I pulled off the highway to comfort my child who had been choking in his baby seat in the back of the car just moments before. It is a busy road and the first place I could swing in to get off the road to comfort him.

    I appealed my ticket, and lost. And then did a POPLA appeal and again lost.

    I didn't do a brilliantly written defence, quoted no legisation, etc etc as I basically I made the mistake of assuming my appeal would be read by a human with a heart who would understand my need to pull in quickly to deal with a distressed child, and not to pause to read in depth the Parking Notices and their terms and conditions, or indeed subseqently purchase a parking ticket "after the event".

    Anyway, I have now received County Court Claim dated 27 March 2017, (after failing to respond quickly enough to the LBCCC dated 02 March) so need to prepared my defence.

    I don't much feel like handing over £175 for 11 minutes (the pub have confirmed a ticket for this duration would have cost me £1.50) when I wasn't even occupying a parking space without a bit of a fight!

    Anyway, accpeting that I made a hash of my initial appeal and my POPLA appeal (reading the posts of others I do know this so please go easy on me!) I am wondering if my case is at all salvagable and would be grateful for input.

    TIA
Page 2
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 20th Apr 17, 10:17 PM
    • 45,893 Posts
    • 58,895 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    I can only find my own posts using that search. Hmmm.
    Originally posted by aybeebeewhy
    You are searching wrong.

    You can't search on this thread/this page. Only back on page one of this parking forum where the NEWBIES thread is at the top.

    And do NOT use the box top right, not a search of MSE. Instead use 'search this board' and choose 'show posts' (instead of the default 'show threads'). This is done using the drop-down on the right, a little box level with the 'NEW THREAD' button, immediately above the Newbies thread.

    I just did the search and got:

    Showing results 1 to 25 of 43
    PRIVATE PCN in England/Wales? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT

    Click on the trail, top of this page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    DON'T read old advice to ignore, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • aybeebeewhy
    • By aybeebeewhy 21st Apr 17, 8:27 AM
    • 16 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    aybeebeewhy
    Thanks very much. Help hugely appreciated. 😊
    • aybeebeewhy
    • By aybeebeewhy 22nd Apr 17, 3:11 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    aybeebeewhy
    Thank you so much Coupon-Mad for your help and pointers as to where to find information within the site - as an MSE newbie I had found navigating around and finding stuff tricky so you've been super helpful.

    I've now drafted my Defence which I think is better and is at least in the correct format.

    I would be really grateful if someone could scrutinise it! As someone who has never been in this sitation before, it is really difficult to work out all the right terms and legalese but trawling through loads of examples has given me lots of insight - although I don't understand all of it!

    To clarify, the PCN has been issued by Parking Eye, and they are regulated by BPA. I'd be grateful if someone could specifically check that I've not got myself in a muddle using wrong Codes etc for this specific instance. T

    Thanks for your feedback in advance. Text in next post.
    • aybeebeewhy
    • By aybeebeewhy 22nd Apr 17, 3:28 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    aybeebeewhy
    ________________________________________
    DEFENCE STATEMENT
    ________________________________________

    1. I am the Defendant, XX, DOB XX/XX/XXXX, and reside at XX. I am the registered owner of vehicle XXXXXXX and was driving the vehicle at the time of issue of Parking Charge Notice XXXXXXX.
    2. Save as specifically admitted in this defence I deny each and every allegation set out in the Particulars of Claim, or implied in Pre-action correspondence.
    3. The Claimant has not complied with the pre-court protocol.
    4. The first PCN I received from the Claimant was sent by post and arrived on xx/xx/20xx, some XX calendar days after the 'offence' date of xx/xx/20xx. The documentation contained none of the supporting evidence required by Protection of Freedoms Act (POFA) Schedule 4 items 13 & 14.
    5. I submit that in a number of instances the Claimant has shown non-compliance with the British Parking Association (BPA) Code of Practice (CoP). The Supreme Court Judges in the Beavis case held that a CoP is effectively 'regulation' for the private parking industry, full compliance with which is both expected and binding upon any parking operator.
    6. The Claimant has also failed to include a copy of their written contract nor any detail or reason for - nor clear particulars pertaining to - this claim (Practice Directions 16 7.3(1) and 7C 1.4(3A) refer).
    7. The Particulars of Claim (PoC) do not meet the requirements of Practice Direction 16 7.5 as there is nothing which specifies how any terms were breached. Indeed the PoC are not clear and concise as is required by CPR 16.4 1(a) and CPR 1.4. It just vaguely states “parking charges” 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' which would enable me to prepare a specific defence.
    8. I have submitted a Part 18 request to clarify, amongst other points, the Claimant's cause of action. I have not at this time received a response. I have reason to believe that this is a claim that will proceed without any facts or evidence supplied until the last possible minute, to my significant detriment as an unrepresented Defendant. District Judge Cross of St Albans County Court I struck out a claim for similar reasons on 20/09/16 due to a private parking firm's template particulars for being 'incoherent', failing to comply with CPR16.4, and ''providing no facts that could give rise to any apparent claim in law''.
    9. I will state that I did not park my vehicle and had merely stopped due to a 'minor vicissitude', namely seeking a safe place to make a temporary stop off a main highway so I could assist my choking child. I will refer to the appeal case of Jopson where Charles Harris QC was clear on the definitions of what constitutes parking and show that I had no intention to park, and was not parked whilst dealing with a dangerous medical situation in the safest way possible.
    10. I maintain that the car park is extremely poorly and insufficiently signed. There is only one small sign at the entrance which is located high up and amongst other signage. The Terms and Conditions on the signs are not of a suitable height and there is no way it can be read and digested whilst driving, even at a slow speed. I will refer to the IPC CoP Part E, highlighting that adequate and clear entrance signs are required. I rely upon the case of Vine v London Borough of Waltham Forest; CA 5 APR 2000, a case won by the consumer on appeal where the Judges also found that clear entrance signs are expected.
    11. My vehicle was ticketed automatically following ANPR recording of my arrival and departure from the car park. I was completely unaware that ANPR was in operation at the site as it is not clearly indicated on the entrance sign.
    12. Other signage on the site is unclear and not prominent and is sporadically located such that is cannot be seen from many areas of the car park. I will show that the other signs in the car park were not visible to me when entering the car park, halting and subsequently manoeuvring and exiting the car park. I will produce in evidence, photographs and plans of the signs on the site that accurately show what it looked like.
    13. I did not see the terms as set out on the entrance sign and did not see any other signs. If any charge or terms were displayed on the signage on the day, I did not see them. If they were there then the terms were in such small print as to be illegible, contrary to the Consumer Rights Act 2015. I will provide evidence of what a good sign should look like as determined in Beavis and will show that the sign provided does not adhere to the specifications in either the BPA and IPC CoP.
    14. Where terms on a parking sign are not seen or known, then there can be no contract. As I did not leave my vehicle, I was given no fair chance to read any terms at all, so the elements of a contract and agreement on any (unknown) charge are absent. I submit that I cannot have accepted the Terms and Conditions and that no contract has been formed between me and the Claimant to pay any fine, or any additional fee charged if unpaid in 28 days. No sum payable to this Claimant was accepted nor even known about by me; as I was not given a fair opportunity to discover the onerous terms by which I would later be bound.
    15. The Claimant did not comply with the BPA CoP regarding 'grace periods'. The BPA CoP section 13.2 states "You should allow the driver a reasonable ‘grace period’ in which to decide if they are going to stay or go. If the driver is on your land without permission you should still allow them a grace period to read your signs and leave before you take enforcement action." I am not aware, having not had sight of the Claimant's contract, of their published grace period which should be a minimum of 10 minutes. The images provided by the Claimant on the PCN are date and time stamped and show my vehicle at XX.XX.XX from the front. It then shows my vehicle from the rear at XX.XX.XX. A total of 11 minutes. I will rely on minutes of the Professional Development & Standards Board (30th July 2015) where the recommendation from the meeting was to reword Clause 13.4 to ‘If the location is one where parking is normally permitted, the Grace Period at the end of the parking period should be a minimum of 11 minutes’.
    16. The Claimant has not allowed any Observation period. The BPA has been recorded as saying there is a difference between ‘grace’ periods and ‘observation’ periods in parking and that good practice allows for this. The BPA CoP specifically says that there must be sufficient time for a motorist to park their car, observe the signs, decide whether they want to comply with the operator’s conditions and either drive away or pay for a ticket. No time limit is specified because it might take one person five minutes, but another person 10 minutes depending on various factors. As such I submit that my total stay of 11 minutes is well within both the Observation Period plus Grace Period (minimum 10 minutes) advised by the BPA CoP.
    17. I submit that the only proper Claimant would be the landowner and that the Claimant is merely an agent acting ‘on behalf of’ the landowner. There is no evidence of Landowner Authority. Strict proof is required that there is a chain of contracts leading from the landowner to Parking Eye Ltd. This has been requested under my Part 18 request. It is my belief that Parking Eye is not the lawful occupier of the land and absent a contract with the lawful occupier of the land being produced by the Claimant, or a chain of contracts showing authorisation stemming from the lawful occupier of the land, I have the reasonable belief that they do not have the authority to issue charges on this land in their own name and that they have no right to bring action regarding this claim.
    18. I submit that there is no contract offered on the signage to drivers who enter with no intention to park. Therefore no contract has been formed with me as the driver and any assumption by the Claimant of alleged 'unauthorised' parking can only be an event falling under the tort of trespass. As was confirmed in the Beavis case, ParkingEye could not have claimed any sum at all for trespass, whereby only a party in possession of title in the land could claim nominal damages suffered (and there were none in this material case).
    19. The Claimant may try to rely upon ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis [2015] UKSC 67, ('the Beavis case') yet such an assertion is not supported by any similarity in the location, circumstances nor signage. Absent any offer or agreement on a charge, the Beavis case does not assist the Claimant and in fact, supports this defence. This case can be easily distinguished from the Beavis case, which the Judges held was 'entirely different' from most ordinary economic contract disputes, and the Claimant has not shown any valid 'legitimate interest' allowing them the unusual right to pursue anything more than a genuine pre-estimate of loss.
    20. They have made no attempt to mitigate loss or draw terms to the attention of drivers, or allow any period of grace to obtain any permit or even read the signs. I submit that (apart from properly incurred court fees) any additional costs claimed by the Claimant 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 any event. 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 the Claimant to the Money Claims Online system. There are no real costs and the POFA Schedule 4(5) states that the Claimant cannot recover from the keeper an amount greater that the original parking notice.
    21. I submit that the PCN levies an unfair and unreasonable level of charge. The provision is a penalty and not a genuine pre-estimate of loss for the following reasons:
    a) The Claimant is not the landowner and suffers no loss whatsoever as a result of a vehicle parking at the location in question
    b) The amount claimed is a charge and evidently disproportionate to any loss suffered by the Claimant and is therefore unconscionable.
    c) The amount claimed exceeds that which ParkingEye v Somerfield Stores stated in an identical situation would definitely be a penalty that could not be recovered
    22. I will provide evidence of continuous bad practice by the Claimant at this site in the form of a number of recent reports by others that have received unfair PCNs at this site.
    23. It is submitted that the conduct of the Claimant in pursuing this claim is wholly unreasonable and vexatious. As such, I am keeping a note of my wasted time/costs in dealing with this matter.
    24. I ask that the Claimant shows the advertising consent for the signs and the renewal, not just a signed statement to the court as not having these is a criminal offence.
    25. Save as expressly mentioned above, the Particulars of Claim is denied in its entirety. I invite the court to strike out the claim as disclosing no cause of action and having no prospect of success. In the alternative, I request the court to order the Claimant to provide Further and Better Particulars of Claim and to have regard to the Claimant's contact when it disposes of the costs of the case.
    26. I believe the facts and information stated in this Defence are true and the Defendant is not liable for the sum claimed, nor any sum at all.

    signature
    date
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 22nd Apr 17, 6:45 PM
    • 45,893 Posts
    • 58,895 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    14.1 Where terms on a parking sign are not seen or known, then there can be no contract. As I did not leave my vehicle, I was given no fair chance to read any terms at all, so the elements of a contract and agreement on any (unknown) charge are absent. I submit that I cannot have accepted the Terms and Conditions and that no contract has been formed between me and the Claimant to pay any fine, or any additional fee charged if unpaid in 28 days. No sum payable to this Claimant was accepted nor even known about by me; as I was not given a fair opportunity to discover the onerous terms by which I would later be bound.

    14.2 I submit that the persuasive case law is in fact Vine v London Borough of Waltham Forest [2000] EWCA Civ 106, about a driver not seeing the terms and consequently, she was not deemed bound by them. This judgment is binding case law from the Court of Appeal and supports my argument, not the operator's case.

    14.3 This was a victory for the motorist and found that, where terms on a sign are not seen and the area is not clearly marked/signed with prominent terms, the driver has not consented to - and cannot have 'breached' - an unknown contract. The driver in that case (who had not seen any signs/lines and was taken ill) had NOT entered into a contract. The recorder made a clear finding of fact that the plaintiff, Miss Vine, did not see a sign because she had stopped due to illness and because the area was not clearly marked as 'private land' and the signs were obscured/not adjacent to the car and could not have been seen and read from a driver's seat before parking.

    It then shows my vehicle from the rear at XX.XX.XX. A total of 11 minutes. I will rely on minutes of the Professional Development & Standards Board (30th July 2015) where the recommendation agreed outcome from the meeting was to reword Clause 13.4 to ‘If the location is one where parking is normally permitted, the Grace Period at the end of the parking period should be a minimum of 11 minutes’.

    ParkingEye are represented on that Board and/or will have received a copy of the minutes and being the largest BPA member parking firm will indisputably have been aware of this agreed change, since 2015. It is disingenuous for any AOS member to continue to issue PCNs for eleven minutes since that BPA/DVLA Board meeting.


    P.S. In readiness for later evidence, here is Vine:

    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2000/106.html
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 22-04-2017 at 6:48 PM.
    PRIVATE PCN in England/Wales? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT

    Click on the trail, top of this page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    DON'T read old advice to ignore, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • aybeebeewhy
    • By aybeebeewhy 25th Apr 17, 2:58 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    aybeebeewhy
    Thank you once again Coupon Mad for your help. Sorry for not replying - somehow I managed to get my IP address blocked by MSE and haven't been able to access anything.

    I will add in your recommended text.

    Otherwise do you think it's good to go?

    I plan to try and submit electronically tonight - if I can figure out how to log in!

    Terrified of missing out one key piece of evidence that I might want to rely on later.

    Hugely appreciate your input so far.
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