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  • FIRST POST
    • Vielwerth
    • By Vielwerth 5th Jun 17, 5:55 PM
    • 25Posts
    • 6Thanks
    Vielwerth
    *LOST* - Court claim issued - No Marked Bays, Confusing Signage
    • #1
    • 5th Jun 17, 5:55 PM
    *LOST* - Court claim issued - No Marked Bays, Confusing Signage 5th Jun 17 at 5:55 PM
    Hello there, first post, first PCN at risk of going to court.

    EDIT - Docs can be found here:

    drive.google.com/open?id=0BwXipWyUznKcOFJVZUJLUnJHYTQ
    (not allowed to post links so please copy and paste this into your browser.)

    Photo links can be found below.

    I've just had papers served by Northampton for some parking what I did back on 6th November 2016. This was in Cardiff and the company managing the site is the one directed by a failed sex toy company director.

    I parked in a "car park" (a muddy, gravel filled field) to visit a friend in the block of flats opposite. I admit to clearly seeing the signage, but I thought would nip in and ask my friend (the tenant) if it was okay to park there (if the car park was actively being managed, tickets being issued, etc). If not, I would move the car.

    Another friend who had arrived before me stated confidently that because there were no bays, and the T&Cs referred to being parked in a bay, that it was "alright". I took him at his word and left the car parked there.

    When I went to check the car a few hours later, a PCN was stuck to the windscreen. I immediately checked all the signs and noted that there were 5 signs in total. They were not all the same, however. There were two groups of signs, differentiated by the exact wording of the T&Cs (a set of 3 and a set of 2). The set of 3 looked more worn and generally a little older than the set of 2. But from a distance, an average person would not be able to tell that these signs say different things, and would likely assume that they were all the same.

    I'll refer to the set of 3 as the "old signs" and the set of 2 as "new".
    Here is an "old" sign.


    imgur.com/a/wiBKV

    And here is a "new" sign (the one I suspect that Link actually intended to apply to the site) -

    imgur.com/a/6T3HQ


    Here is a ground view of the site. Not an "allocated bay" anywhere to be seen.

    imgur.com/a/YyyaW

    Here are some preliminary notes I've typed up for my defence which I'll need to send off before the 13th June 2017:
    ----------------------------
    I submit that this claim by Link Parking be dismissed for the following reasons:
    Link Parking attempted to enforce a contract using signage that was faulty or contradictory.
    1. Two sets of terms and conditions, causing confusion.
    a. No indication of which particular T&Cs was intended to be in force.
    b. Signage of both sets of T&Cs look identical from a distance. I believe a reasonable person would not, on initial inspection, realise that there are two T&Cs.
    2. One set of terms and conditions offering a pay and display provision for parking, when there was no such provision (machines, tickets, etc).
    a. No details on signage on how to acquire valid pay and display documentation
    3. The other set of terms and conditions insisting on two conditions being fulfilled to prevent a PCN being issued, namely "displaying a permit" AND being "parked in an allocated bay". At the time of writing, there are no "allocated bays"; the parking area is waste ground composed of gravel and mud.
    Regardless of which T&Cs are intended by the claimant to apply to the site, it is impossible for a driver of a vehicle parked at the site to comply with the listed terms and conditions and the contract is therefore unenforceable (should I put this line in???)
    Other possible points -
    · Parking company claiming on behalf of Horizon Properties? (Horizon do not appear on the signage).
    · Gladstone Solicitors failed to respond to my time limit of 14 days. (they were 3 weeks late).
    · Who is the landowner?
    · Letters feel like they've been written by a computer, and do not specifically refer to the points I made.
    · Email from horizon advising of deadline for assistance with parking tickets was sent after the deadline mentioned in email had actually passed. Clearly there was intended to be some kind of "grace period". I was ticketed before this time was up.
    · Can T&Cs be enforced when one part (allocated bays) doesn't exist? The signage specifically says "permit AND parked in a bay"... Can a contract be enforced with just one half of the conditions (on the signage) in place to be complied with?
    · Tenant and I discovered discarded signage in a rubbish pile about halfway down the alleyway. They were two "new" signs. Was it Horizon Staff who put the signs up?

    ---------------
    Here is my actual defence that I have typed up and ready to go in MCOL.


    The claim is denied in its entirety except where explicitly
    admitted here. I assert that I am not liable to the Claimant for
    the sum claimed, or any amount at all, for the following reasons:

    1. The claimant insists that an enforceable contract has been
    created due to signage at the site in question. The signage is
    confusing and contradictory, and therefore an enforceable contract
    does not and has not existed. The problems with this signage are
    detailed below.

    1.a - At the site in question, there are two sets of terms and
    conditions.

    1.a.1 - One set of signage (referred to henceforth as the new
    signs) insists on two conditions being fulfilled in order to forgo
    the charge of £100 for parking. Namely that a permit must be
    displayed, AND the vehicle must be parked in an allocated bay.

    I am in possession of photographic evidence. The signage is
    clearly newer and cleaner, suggesting it has been put up well
    after the other set described below.

    1.a.2 - The other set of T&C signage (referred to henceforth as
    the old signs) insists on 1 of three conditions being fulfilled to
    avoid the same charge described in 1.a.1. The one condition of
    interest is:

    Parking is permitted for: Vehicles fully displaying a valid
    pay-and-display ticket and parked fully within the confines of a
    marked bay.

    I am in possession of photographic evidence. The signage is
    clearly older and dirtier, suggesting it has been put up well
    before the new set described above.

    1.b. - There is no indication whatsoever which set of terms and
    conditions is supposed to take precedence.

    1.c. - Signage of both sets of T&C signage look identical from a
    distance, even in clear weather and good lighting. I believe a
    reasonable person would not, on initial inspection, realise that
    there are two T&Cs.

    2. The new T&C signage refers to the need for both conditions to
    be fulfilled to avoid a charge. This is impossible, as there are
    no marked allocated bays onsite. I am in possession of
    photographic evidence which shows that the parking area is
    comprised of mud and gravel, and is, as of 20/05/2017, undeveloped
    waste ground, with no paint or other markings to define where
    these alluded to bays are.

    3. The old T&C signage, specifically the section listed in 1.a.2,
    states the ability to pay and display a ticket. Thus inferring the
    existence of such a provision (i.e. ticket machines, payment
    devices, etc). There is no such provision of this and I am in
    possession of photographic evidence of this.

    3.a - There are no visible details on how or where to obtain a
    valid pay and display ticket.

    3.b - The same argument from 2. also applies, in that there are no
    bays onsite for any vehicle to park in (the requirement for which
    is stipulated in 1.a.2)

    I would also like to point out that the Claimant's solicitors,
    Gladstone Solicitors, have failed to abide by Practice Direction
    for Pre-Action Conduct (paras 13-16), by failing to respond to my
    letter sent in response to their Letter Before Claim within the
    deadline stipulated in my letter (14 days), taking just over 4
    weeks to arrive.

    With the above, I feel it is clear that the signage the Claimant
    attempted to use to enforce a contract is confusing and
    contradictory, and therefore enforces nothing. It is clear that
    the Claimant has failed in their responsibility to the public and
    the landowner to provide clear signage if they wish to impose such
    terms and conditions on members of the public. As such, I am not
    liable for any sum or amount claimed by the Claimant. I therefore
    request the court to strike out the claim as having no basis or
    likelihood of success.
    ---------------
    I hope you'll be able to give some advice. I've never been to court before, and they're asking for approx. £263 (160 for the fine, 50 for the solicitor's fees, and the remainder for the court costs).
    If you require any other documentation (like my appeal letter to Link and letter to Gladstones) please do not hesitate to request this. (I did not appeal to IAS after reading online how they are considered a kangaroo court and that a win for the parking company can strengthen the parking company's position.)

    I can also make a rough site map if anyone wants.
    Last edited by Vielwerth; 04-10-2017 at 1:06 PM.
Page 3
    • Vielwerth
    • By Vielwerth 20th Sep 17, 8:17 AM
    • 25 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Vielwerth
    Call me naive, but how can Horizon be a sole trader if they have employees and a nice office and stuff?

    If it gets to a hearing, is Link's contract enough to prove that Horizon *are* the landowner? Surely all it proves is that there is a contract between Link and Horizon, and it would be on the claimant to prove that they contracted with the actual landowner, no?

    I'm a little concerned that Marty has made no mention of:

    1. The lack of marked bays, when the signage insist you park in them.
    2. The lack of pay and display provision when the siganage implies it's existence.

    These two points form the crux of my argument that there was no contract. They should have covered up the signage so that just permits were required. They should taken care to remove or cover up the signage offering no charge if I paid and displayed. >

    What could this mean?
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 20th Sep 17, 9:05 AM
    • 1,159 Posts
    • 1,178 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    Why are you concerned that the claimant has accepted the fact that there were no marked bays, and there is no Pay and Display machines despite the signs saying to use them?

    They havent proven their claim....that helps you!
    • Vielwerth
    • By Vielwerth 20th Sep 17, 10:46 AM
    • 25 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Vielwerth
    Why are you concerned that the claimant has accepted the fact that there were no marked bays, and there is no Pay and Display machines despite the signs saying to use them?

    They havent proven their claim....that helps you!
    Originally posted by nosferatu1001
    I've got a nasty suspicious mind. I'm also not that confident in my ability to convince the judge that *surely* such nonsense signage doesn't result in a contract.

    Common sense might say so, but the law might say something else and I just can't figure it out.

    I think when it comes to hearing I shouldn't focus too much on the landowner angle, just the signage.

    Hearing is on the 4th October.
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 20th Sep 17, 11:29 AM
    • 1,159 Posts
    • 1,178 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    No, its more - they accept there were no marked bays, as they havent disputed your assertion.
    So, it is agreed there were no marked bays. ditto the pay and display

    Well that means that *noone* can meet their terrible signs offer - assuming there IS any offer! - and so they are a nonsense.
    • Johnersh
    • By Johnersh 20th Sep 17, 12:21 PM
    • 734 Posts
    • 1,361 Thanks
    Johnersh
    Because companies house doesn't make having a fancy office a company requirement?

    John Lewis have fancy shops and stuff but it ain't a company, it's one of the world's largest partnerships. Merely putting John Lewis on a contract could mean an individual by that name or the partnership. It is why a contract needs to be precise.

    We've no idea whether those at Horizon contracting in 2015 are current principals nor indeed who executed the contract and whether they were entitled to.
    • Vielwerth
    • By Vielwerth 4th Oct 17, 1:06 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Vielwerth
    Case lost. Managed to get £50 knocked off as the judge questioned the charge increase over and above the signage (which said £100).
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 4th Oct 17, 2:05 PM
    • 1,159 Posts
    • 1,178 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    Bad luck - what was the reason?
    Any costs?
    • Vielwerth
    • By Vielwerth 4th Oct 17, 5:40 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Vielwerth
    Bad luck - what was the reason?
    Any costs?
    Originally posted by nosferatu1001
    Judge decided that there was a contract despite the confusion. I "elected" to park there.

    Fixed costs of £25 court fees and £50 solicitors charges.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 4th Oct 17, 7:29 PM
    • 51,711 Posts
    • 65,364 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Bad luck - DJ Bingo very occasionally sees a case lost.

    Which Judge and Court?

    When you want to tell us more, please do. Did the Judge not consider the signs to be ambiguous, or anything about the landowner authority? Did it not help that your own evidence showed signs in the car park, better evidence for the other side than for you (I recall you were worried about that)?
    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.

    • Vielwerth
    • By Vielwerth 17th Oct 17, 7:33 AM
    • 25 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Vielwerth
    I was told the judgement would arrive in the post, but it's been nearly two weeks and still nothing. (Got 21 days to pay)
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 17th Oct 17, 9:24 AM
    • 15,898 Posts
    • 24,643 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    I was told the judgement would arrive in the post, but it's been nearly two weeks and still nothing. (Got 21 days to pay)
    Originally posted by Vielwerth
    Phone the court to enquire.
    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.
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