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  • FIRST POST
    • mlang88
    • By mlang88 30th May 17, 8:43 PM
    • 37Posts
    • 35Thanks
    mlang88
    Please put me out of my misery...
    • #1
    • 30th May 17, 8:43 PM
    Please put me out of my misery... 30th May 17 at 8:43 PM
    I have just read bargepole's thread on irrelevant defences and would just like someone to tell me whether or not any of these are permissible at all (I've got a court date - SIPS & Gladstones)

    - Parked in the car park 10 times previously, have evidence and was never issued a ticket
    - Paid for parking on the day
    - I know the 'but there was no loss to the claimant' argument is considered a dead duck, but in this instance they were £2 up from me (pushing it a bit far perhaps?) and there's a £2 car park literally across the way, so no real gain for me to park there?
    - I appealed the original 'PCN' on the grounds that I thought the SIPS warden hadn't seen my ticket, but this was rejected and the charge doubled (at which point I decided £65 was ridiculous)
    - My MP has even been in touch with them to try and lower the charge to the original £35 but no avail
    Please help!!

    Just want to know whether or not I even have a case at all or whether or not I should just take whatever punishment they have for me

    Thanks in advance
Page 4
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 2nd Oct 17, 5:20 PM
    • 51,855 Posts
    • 65,486 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    With your skeleton argument - which has no deadline (because you don't have to prepare one) but must be filed in advance, like anything else - I would make a point about the unconscionable added costs of £150 plucked out of thin air, when in Beavis, only £85 and NO COSTS were recoverable.

    Include a printout of these quotes from the judgment which show that all parties agreed that the £85 already included sufficient profit to fund its business activities and there can be no argument to add more costs on top as if there has been some damage or loss caused - that would be completely untrue:

    97. ParkingEye concedes that the £85 is payable upon a breach of contract, and that it is not a pre-estimate of damages. As it was not the owner of the car park, ParkingEye could not recover damages, unless it was in possession, in which case it may be able to recover a small amount of damages for trespass. This is because it lost nothing by the unauthorised use resulting from Mr Beavis overstaying. On the contrary, at least if the £85 is payable, it gains by the unauthorised use, since its revenues are wholly derived from the charges for breach of the terms.

    98. Against this background, it can be seen that the £85 charge had two main
    objects. One was to manage the efficient use of parking space in the interests of the retail outlets, and of the users of those outlets who wish to find spaces in which to park their cars. [...] The other purpose was to provide an income stream to enable ParkingEye to meet the costs of operating the scheme and make a profit from its services...

    193. Judging by ParkingEye’s accounts, and unless the Chelmsford car park was out of the ordinary, the scheme also covered ParkingEye’s costs of operation and gave their shareholders a healthy annual profit.

    198. The charge has to be and is set at a level which enables the managers to recover the costs of operating the scheme. It is here also set at a level enabling ParkingEye to make a profit.

    286. ParkingEye imposed the parking charge in order to encourage the prompt turnover of car parking spaces and also to fund its own business activities and make a profit.

    287. That legitimate interest would not justify the parking charge if it were out of all proportion to that interest, or, in other words, exorbitant. In deciding whether the charge was exorbitant, I think that the court can look at the statutorily authorised practice of local authorities in England and Wales and also the recommendations of the accredited trade association, the BPA.
    You can also add that it was the will of Parliament when introducing the POFA Schedule 4 in 2012, that parking firms could not make hay by 'double recovery', which is why the only sum stated as recoverable in cases where the registered keeper is being pursued, is the sum on the Notice to Keeper. No more. And both Trade Associations set a ceiling of £100 which is over and above the 'healthy profit' model used in ParkingEye v Beavis.

    This is further supported by ParkingEye Ltd v Somerfield Stores Ltd (CA). [2013]QB, when they sued the pants off one of their 'clients' for daring to cancel the contract due to the parking firm sending Somerfield's customers allegedly 'deceitful and intimidating' letters, transcript here:

    https://7kbw.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/ParkingEye_2013-Q.B.-840_1_1.pdf

    5 The basic charge was £75, reduced to £37.50 if paid within 14 days of the Penalty Ticket, i e the first letter. This amount the judge held not to be a penalty and thus enforceable as against the motorist. If payment was not made within a specified time the charge increased to £135 which the judge held was probably a penalty and thus unenforceable.

    So all the evidence is there to discount any attempt to ladle more money on top, under some old excuse of damages or indemnity (whatever that's meant to mean).

    A 'normal' (in the eyes of the IPC and their fee-paying members) feature of this nasty business model is suing victims, so that (minimal) cost is already factored into the model and SIP undoubtedly make no loss from operating at the location, even if some cases reach small claim level. Gladstones are known to offer their services free or at vastly reduced cost to their members, and the small claims fees when paid in bulk, are tiny and even taking, say, 10% of victims to court makes no significant dent in the profits of the scheme and certainly no indemnity/damages arise, over and above the already extremely-escalated sum of £100.

    It is also very important to make sure you provide evidence that the signs were unclear, illegible, sparse and/or contradictory or ambiguous. This can be vital to win over a Judge.
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 02-10-2017 at 5:44 PM.
    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.

    • mlang88
    • By mlang88 3rd Oct 17, 7:41 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    mlang88
    Thank you so much, this is incredibly useful information. I am just typing up my skeleton argument now in order that it is submitted within 24 hours.

    Something that I have just noticed on the Parking Enforcement Agreement supplied by Gladstones (I think in order to prove that they have Locus Standi) is the following:

    a. “Parking Enforcement

    Any vehicle otherwise in accordance with the below may be issued with a Parking Charge Notice (PCN) as indicated by the signage provided by the operator.

    (A) Vehicles fully displaying a valid pay and display ticket in the windscreen or…
    (C)__Vehicles fully displaying a valid permit in the windscreen…

    I had a pay and display ticket in my windscreen. Their signage, however, doesn't say 'or' it says below it 'in addition to the above'.

    My question is - is this a discrepancy I could exploit? Or is it irrelevant if the signage says different?
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 3rd Oct 17, 8:46 PM
    • 51,855 Posts
    • 65,486 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Something that I have just noticed on the Parking Enforcement Agreement supplied by Gladstones (I think in order to prove that they have Locus Standi) is the following:

    a. “Parking Enforcement

    Any vehicle otherwise in accordance with the below may be issued with a Parking Charge Notice (PCN) as indicated by the signage provided by the operator.

    (A) Vehicles fully displaying a valid pay and display ticket in the windscreen or…
    (C)__Vehicles fully displaying a valid permit in the windscreen…

    I had a pay and display ticket in my windscreen.

    Their signage, however, doesn't say 'or' it says below it 'in addition to the above'.

    My question is - is this a discrepancy I could exploit? Or is it irrelevant if the signage says different?
    Originally posted by mlang88
    I would say that might be a silver bullet.

    It goes into your skeleton argument immediately! The signs can't say something different than the landowner authorised and intended to be the restriction to be applied. You can argue they had no 'legitimate interest' or lawful excuse to make up rules that were never intended by the landowner, and appear to operating outside of their remit to say the least, and cannot issue charges for conduct that doesn't actually contravene the intended rules.

    A relevant analogy would be: on street, a car driver cannot 'contravene' a Council SIGN to get a (real) PCN, it can only be held to have contravened a Traffic Order (i.e. the rules set behind the scenes). If the signs are not correct then no PCN is enforceable, because (with a real PCN) you can only contravene an Order - i.e. the agreed intention of the scheme.

    You can't actually contravene a sign, which is meant to be just that - a genuine signpost as to the rules. This is not. Now there is a difference because this is private land/contract law, but the effect is basically the same:

    - On street, traffic signs inform the motorist of TRO restrictions and conditions.

    - On private land, parking signs are to inform the motorist of the landowner's terms & conditions.
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 03-10-2017 at 8:55 PM.
    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.

    • mlang88
    • By mlang88 4th Oct 17, 9:36 AM
    • 37 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    mlang88
    I felt like it was 'too good to be true' for about 2 hours last night, as they supplied me with that information themselves!

    It goes on to say something on permits - saying 'the operator will provide parking permits in favour of the landlord at any given time' but that is the only mention of permits. I may be wrong, but I think my argument still stands (partly because I don't think I understand what they are saying here - I take it to mean that if requested, the landlord can request a permit for the car park? Seems ridiculous...)

    Hopefully I have a really solid argument which refutes their claims, I feel as though I will be able to go into the session tomorrow with real confidence. I will write up how the day goes if that will be of any benefit, good or bad.
    • mlang88
    • By mlang88 5th Oct 17, 1:41 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    mlang88
    Hi guys, just a quick one by way of update.

    Here outside the hearing rooms In Manchester. Pretty nervous. I've seen SIP have 5 hearings booked in today for 14:00. I've noted that, like other users who have followed similar advice, I feel pretty good wearing a suit as all others in this waiting area are in pretty casual attire. (One guy came in with a jacket potato in a takeaway box!)

    I'm more nervous about my defence being thrown out due to the late submittal of my witness statement. I've been to check, and it's with the rest of the papers for consideration so i'll wait and see what is decided. I've brought copies of my witness statement, defence, all exhibits I wish to rely on (including Beavis transcripts and POFA). I have something else (as per my previous posts) that I would like to rely on in court (parking enforcement agreement), however, it has already been supplied as evidence by the claimant so not sure if I need to submit or not. They, I think, intend to state that this agreement does not matter. However, as this concerns a matter of contract I'd submit that it is entirely relevant.

    Anyway, just waffling there. I'll post an update in a few hours!
    • IamEmanresu
    • By IamEmanresu 5th Oct 17, 2:51 PM
    • 1,819 Posts
    • 3,214 Thanks
    IamEmanresu
    Gladstones have "lost" two already today in S East so add to their misery.
    Life's for living, get on with it rather than worrying about these. If they hassle, counter claim.

    Send them that costs schedule though, 24 hours before the hearing, and file it with the court. Take with you evidence that you have sent the costs schedule to them and when.
    LoC
    • mlang88
    • By mlang88 5th Oct 17, 3:13 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    mlang88
    Hi guys, just been released from court...slight anti-climax to the day.

    So I think I have written up the 'emotional' experience of the day above. This might be a bit more about what actually happened. Basically, the five defendants (myself included) were all taken into one court room, together with the representative of the client (Mr D Probert of SIP Parking).

    We were told that the cases would be adjourned for two main reasons. The first was that there is an ongoing ruling that the judge (Mr Ayre) was in the process of deciding - a case between SIP and a landowner somewhere I believe. He didn't tell us what exactly that dispute involved, but if it found in favour of the landowner then all of the cases that SIP had brought to court were to be thrown out. If it found in favour of SIP, some may have to be thrown out still, but the majority will have to be heard later in the year.

    The second, was that he wanted to give us all a fair hearing. He expressed his disappointment that we had all been booked on the same hearing at the same time. He gave us all a brief moment to outline our arguments, to judge whether or not these cases were pretty simple or not. I outlined mine first, talking about the landowner agreement which SIP were at odds with, and ambiguous language of the signage. He mulled it over briefly, before saying that the agreement in place there is a tricky one - he would have to understand who exactly the agreement involved, as there are sometimes three parties involved (Can't remember the third as he was speaking quickly, but he mentioned landowner, tenant and a third). So he said it would require a deeper discussion. Another guy next to me seemed to have a rather less compelling argument, as Mr Probert (from SIP) picked his out to state that he had parked in a permit only space and and his only defence of ''But I bought a ticket'' was immediately shot down by the judge. In any case, they were ALL adjourned.

    I actually remember speaking with Mr. Probert on three occasions, and I am relishing the opportunity to duel with him in court as he is a greasy, poorly-suited man who I'd like to embarrass in court.

    I do have a question to tag onto this - the judge said "I recognise that you have all taken time off work today to be here, and I thank you. I understand that you might not wish to do this again, therefore you have the opportunity to have your case heard 'on the papers''. Is there a reason why I shouldn't do this? I'm not sure I have the holidays to take this off, is my only concern.

    I'd also like to know whether or not I'd have time to submit a better witness statement? As mine was rushed, and not nearly as strong as my original defence or skeleton argument.

    EDIT - 'Time to enter a better witness statement' meaning actually, would I have chance to.

    Thanks for all your help to date - wouldn't have gotten here without you all. Sorry for the long post/spam in the run up to this!
    Last edited by mlang88; 05-10-2017 at 3:35 PM. Reason: Clarification
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 5th Oct 17, 3:16 PM
    • 1,757 Posts
    • 2,873 Thanks
    Loadsofchildren123
    Don't have it heard on the papers
    • mlang88
    • By mlang88 5th Oct 17, 3:20 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    mlang88
    Don't have it heard on the papers
    Is there an actual reason for this though? Won't it just be the exact same information that I would be talking through on the day?
    • safarmuk
    • By safarmuk 5th Oct 17, 5:01 PM
    • 613 Posts
    • 1,125 Thanks
    safarmuk
    Is there an actual reason for this though? Won't it just be the exact same information that I would be talking through on the day?
    No, because anything in the Claimants papers could be taken or assumed as correct and if the case is "heard on the papers" you therefore would not have the chance to rebut or refute or disprove anything they had written to the DJ in person on the day
    • IamEmanresu
    • By IamEmanresu 14th Nov 17, 10:31 AM
    • 1,819 Posts
    • 3,214 Thanks
    IamEmanresu
    Has this been rescheduled?
    Life's for living, get on with it rather than worrying about these. If they hassle, counter claim.

    Send them that costs schedule though, 24 hours before the hearing, and file it with the court. Take with you evidence that you have sent the costs schedule to them and when.
    LoC
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