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  • FIRST POST
    • prawnholio
    • By prawnholio 22nd Aug 17, 10:43 AM
    • 5Posts
    • 4Thanks
    prawnholio
    POPLA Appeal for CEL at Sportspace
    • #1
    • 22nd Aug 17, 10:43 AM
    POPLA Appeal for CEL at Sportspace 22nd Aug 17 at 10:43 AM
    Hi,

    I didn't find out about this forum until a little late and wrote a poorly worded appeal to CEL. However, it wasn't so poorly worded as to name the driver.

    Here's the wording used in the initial appeal

    Please cancel this PCN.

    The PCN notice was not received until 10/08/17, the PCN must be received within 14 days of the offence by the driver.

    The PCN Issue Date bears this out as you did not hand deliver this, post is not same day.

    I refer you to…

    (4)The notice must be given by—

    (a)handing it to the keeper, or leaving it at a current address for service for the keeper, within the relevant period; or

    (b)sending it by post to a current address for service for the keeper so that it is delivered to that address within the relevant period.

    (5)The relevant period for the purposes of sub-paragraph (4) is the period of 14 days beginning with the day after that on which the specified period of parking ended.



    I've now got my POPLA Verification Code and intend to send this after spending a few hours reading. Can you give me some feedback please?

    POPLA Ref <ref>
    Civil Enforcement Parking Charge Notice no <ref>

    A notice to keeper was issued on <date> and received by me, the registered keeper of <reg> for an alleged contravention of ‘BREACH OF THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF USE’’ at <location>. I am writing to you as the registered keeper and would be grateful if you would please consider my appeal for the following reasons.


    1) This Notice to Keeper (NTK) is not compliant with the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (POFA) due to the dates
    2)The operator has not shown that the individual who it is pursuing is in fact liable for the charge.

    3) The signs in this car park are not prominent, clear or legible from all parking spaces and there is insufficient notice of the sum of the parking charge itself

    4) No evidence of Landowner Authority - the operator is put to strict proof of full compliance with the BPA Code of Practice



    1) This Notice to Keeper (NTK) is not compliant with the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (POFA) due to the dates. Under schedule 4, paragraph 4 of the POFA, an operator can only establish the right to recover any unpaid parking charges from the keeper of a vehicle if certain conditions must be met as stated in paragraphs 5, 6, 11 & 12. Parkin
    gEye have failed to fulfil the conditions which state that the keeper must be served with a com
    pliant NTK in accordance with paragraph 9, which stipulates a mandatory ti
    meline and wording:-
    ’’The notice must be given by—
    (a) handing it to the keeper, or leaving it at a current address for service for the keeper, within the relevant period; or
    (b) sending it by post to a current address for service for the keeper so that it is delivered to that address within the relevant period.’’

    The applicable section here is (b) because the NTK was delivered by post. Furthermore,
    paragraph 9(5) states:
    ’’The relevant period...
    is the period of 14 days beginning with the day after that on which the specified period of parking ended’’
    The NTK sent to myself as Registered Keeper arrived some 3 weeks after the alleged
    event. Even if they had posted it on the same day that they describe as the ‘Date Issued’
    it would be impossible for the notice to have been actually delivered and deemed ‘served’
    ‘or given, within the 'relevant period' as required under paragraph 9(4)(b). This means that CEL have failed to act in time for keeper liability to apply.

    2)The operator has not shown that the individual who it is pursuing is in fact liable for the charge.
    In cases with a keeper appellant, yet no POFA 'keeper liability' to rely upon, POPLA must first consider whether they are confident that the Assessor knows who the driver is, based on the evidence received. No presumption can be made about liability whatsoever. A vehicle can be driven by any person (with the consent of the owner) as long as the driver is insured. There is no dispute that the driver was entitled to drive the car and I can confirm that they were, but I am exercising my right not to name that person. Where a charge is aimed only at a driver then, of course, no other party can be told to pay, not by POPLA, nor the operator, nor even in court. I am the appellant throughout (as I am entitled to be), and as there has been no admission regarding who was driving, and no evidence has been produced, it has been held by POPLA o
    n numerous occasions, that a charge cannot be enforced against a keeper without a POFA-compliant NTK. The burden of proof rests with the Operator, because they cannot use the POFA in this case, to show that (as an individual) I have personally not complied with terms in place on the land and show that I am personally liable for their parking charge. They cannot –they will fail to show I can be liable because the driver was not me. The vital matter of full compliance with the POFA was confirmed by parking law expert barrister, Henry Greenslade, the previous POPLA Lead Adjudicator, in 2015:-
    Understanding keeper liability
    “There appears to be continuing misunderstanding about Schedule 4. Provided certain conditions are strictly complied with, it provides for recovery of unpaid parking charges from the keeper of the vehicle. There is no reasonable presumption’ in law that the registered keeper of a vehicle is the driver. Operators should never suggest anything of the sort. Further, a failure by the recipient of a notice issued under Schedule 4 to name the driver, does not of itself mean that the recipient has accepted that they were the driver at the material time. Unlike, for example, a Notice of Intended Prosecution where details of the driver of a vehicle must be supplied when requested by the police, pursuant to Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, a keeper sent a Schedule 4 notice has no legal obligation to name the driver. [...] If {POFA 2012 Schedule 4 is} not complied with then keeper liability does not generally pass.''No lawful right exists to pursue unpaid parking charges from a keeper, where an operator is NOT attempting to transfer the liability for the charge using the POFA. This exact finding was made in a very similar case with the same style NTK in 6061796103 v ParkingEye in September 2016, where POPLA Assessor Carly Law found: ''I note the operator advises that it is not attempting to transfer the liability for the charge using the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and so in mind, the operator continues to hold the driver responsible. As such, I must first consider whether I am confident that I know who the driver is, based on the evidence received. After considering the evidence, I am unable to confirm that the appellant is in fact the driver. As such, I must allow the appeal on the basis that the operator has failed to demonstrate that the appellant is the driver and therefore liable for the charge. As I am allowing the appeal on this basis, I do not need to consider the other grounds of appeal raised by the appellant. Accordingly, I must allow this appeal.''

    3) The signs in this car park are not prominent, clear or legible from all parking spaces and there is insufficient notice of the sum of the parking charge itself

    There was no contract nor agreement on the 'parking charge' at all. It is submitted that the driver did not have a fair opportunity to read about any terms involving this huge charge, which is out of all proportion and not saved by the dissimilar 'ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis' case.

    In the Beavis case, which turned on specific facts relating only to the signs at that site and the unique interests and intentions of the landowners, the signs were unusually clear and not a typical example for this notorious industry. The Supreme Court were keen to point out the decision related to that car park and those facts only:

    <link>

    In the Beavis case, the £85 charge itself was in the largest font size with a contrasting colour background and the terms were legible, fairly concise and unambiguous. There were 'large lettering' signs at the entrance and all around the car park, according to the Judges.

    Here is the 'Beavis case' sign as a comparison to the signs under dispute in this case:

    <link>

    This case, by comparison, does not demonstrate an example of the 'large lettering' and 'prominent signage' that impressed the Supreme Court Judges and swayed them into deciding that in the specific car park in the Beavis case alone, a contract and 'agreement on the charge' existed.

    Here, the signs are sporadically placed, indeed obscured and hidden in some areas. They are unremarkable, not immediately obvious as parking terms and the wording is mostly illegible, being crowded and cluttered with a lack of white space as a background. It is indisputable that placing letters too close together in order to fit more information into a smaller space can drastically reduce the legibility of a sign, especially one which must be read BEFORE the action of parking and leaving the car.

    It is vital to observe, since 'adequate notice of the parking charge' is mandatory under the POFA Schedule 4 and the BPA Code of Practice, these signs do not clearly mention the parking charge which is hidden in small print (and does not feature at all on some of the signs). Areas of this site are unsigned and there are no full terms displayed - i.e. with the sum of the parking charge itself in large lettering - at the entrance either, so it cannot be assumed that a driver drove past and could read a legible sign, nor parked near one.

    This case is more similar to the signage in POPLA decision 5960956830 on 2.6.16, where the Assessor Rochelle Merritt found as fact that signs in a similar size font in a busy car park where other unrelated signs were far larger, was inadequate:

    ''the signage is not of a good enough size to afford motorists the chance to read and understand the terms and conditions before deciding to remain in the car park. [...] In addition the operators signs would not be clearly visible from a parking space [...] The appellant has raised other grounds for appeal but I have not dealt with these as I have allowed the appeal.''

    From the evidence I have seen so far, the terms appear to be displayed inadequately, in letters no more than about half an inch high, approximately. I put the operator to strict proof as to the size of the wording on their signs and the size of lettering for the most onerous term, the parking charge itself.

    The letters seem to be no larger than .40 font size going by this guide:

    <link>

    As further evidence that this is inadequate notice, Letter Height Visibility is discussed here:

    <link>

    ''When designing your sign, consider how you will be using it, as well as how far away the readers you want to impact will be. For example, if you are placing a sales advertisement inside your retail store, your text only needs to be visible to the people in the store. 1-2” letters (or smaller) would work just fine. However, if you are hanging banners and want drivers on a nearby highway to be able to see them, design your letters at 3” or even larger.''

    ...and the same chart is reproduced here:

    <link>

    ''When designing an outdoor sign for your business keep in mind the readability of the letters. Letters always look smaller when mounted high onto an outdoor wall''.

    ''...a guideline for selecting sign letters. Multiply the letter height by 10 and that is the best viewing distance in feet. Multiply the best viewing distance by 4 and that is the max viewing distance.''

    So, a letter height of just half an inch, showing the terms and the 'charge' and placed high on a wall or pole or buried in far too crowded small print, is woefully inadequate in an outdoor car park. Given that letters look smaller when high up on a wall or pole, as the angle renders the words less readable due to the perspective and height, you would have to stand right in front of it and still need a stepladder (and perhaps a torch and/or magnifying glass) to be able to read the terms.

    Under Lord Denning's Red Hand Rule, the charge (being 'out of all proportion' with expectations of drivers in this car park and which is the most onerous of terms) should have been effectively: 'in red letters with a red hand pointing to it' - i.e. VERY clear and prominent with the terms in large lettering, as was found to be the case in the car park in 'Beavis'. A reasonable interpretation of the 'red hand rule' and the 'signage visibility distance' tables above and the BPA Code of Practice, taking all information into account, would require a parking charge and the terms to be displayed far more transparently, on a lower sign and in far larger lettering, with fewer words and more 'white space' as background contrast. Indeed in the Consumer Rights Act 2015 there is a 'Requirement for transparency':

    (1) A trader must ensure that a written term of a consumer contract, or a consumer notice in writing, is transparent.
    (2) A consumer notice is transparent for the purposes of subsection (1) if it is expressed in plain and intelligible language and it is legible.

    The Beavis case signs not being similar to the signs in this appeal at all, 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:

    <link>

    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 because there is no contract capable of being established. The driver in that case (who had not seen any signs/lines) 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 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.

    So, for this appeal, I put this operator to strict proof of where the car was parked and (from photos taken in the same lighting conditions) how their signs appeared on that date, at that time, from the angle of the driver's perspective. Equally, I require this operator to show how the entrance signs appear from a driver's seat, not stock examples of 'the sign' in isolation/close-up. I submit that full terms simply cannot be read from a car before parking and mere 'stock examples' of close-ups of the (alleged) signage terms will not be sufficient to disprove this.


    4) No evidence of Landowner Authority - the operator is put to strict proof of full compliance with the BPA Code of Practice

    As this operator does not have proprietary interest in the land then I require that they produce an unredacted copy of the contract with the landowner. The contract and any 'site agreement' or 'User Manual' setting out details including exemptions - such as any 'genuine customer' or 'genuine resident' exemptions or any site occupier's 'right of veto' charge cancellation rights - is key evidence to define what this operator is authorised to do and any circumstances where the landowner/firms on site in fact have a right to cancellation of a charge. It cannot be assumed, just because an agent is contracted to merely put some signs up and issue Parking Charge Notices, that the agent is also authorised to make contracts with all or any category of visiting drivers and/or to enforce the charge in court in their own name (legal action regarding land use disputes generally being a matter for a landowner only).

    Witness statements are not sound evidence of the above, often being pre-signed, generic documents not even identifying the case in hand or even the site rules. A witness statement might in some cases be accepted by POPLA but in this case I suggest it is unlikely to sufficiently evidence the definition of the services provided by each party to the agreement.

    Nor would it define vital information such as charging days/times, any exemption clauses, grace periods (which I believe may be longer than the bare minimum times set out in the BPA CoP) and basic information such as the land boundary and bays where enforcement applies/does not apply. Not forgetting evidence of the various restrictions which the landowner has authorised can give rise to a charge and of course, how much the landowner authorises this agent to charge (which cannot be assumed to be the sum in small print on a sign because template private parking terms and sums have been known not to match the actual landowner agreement).

    Paragraph 7 of the BPA CoP defines the mandatory requirements and I put this operator to strict proof of full compliance:

    7.2 If the operator wishes to take legal action on any outstanding parking charges, they must ensure that they have the written authority of the landowner (or their appointed agent) prior to legal action being taken.

    7.3 The written authorisation must also set out:

    a the definition of the land on which you may operate, so that the boundaries of the land can be clearly defined

    b any conditions or restrictions on parking control and enforcement operations, including any restrictions on hours of operation

    c any conditions or restrictions on the types of vehicles that may, or may not, be subject to parking control and enforcement

    d who has the responsibility for putting up and maintaining signs

    e the definition of the services provided by each party to the agreement
Page 1
    • Redx
    • By Redx 22nd Aug 17, 2:08 PM
    • 15,486 Posts
    • 19,571 Thanks
    Redx
    • #2
    • 22nd Aug 17, 2:08 PM
    • #2
    • 22nd Aug 17, 2:08 PM
    seems to contain most or all that is required , depending on what the "offence" was

    so maybe look for any other BPA CoP failures , like grace periods etc if it was an overstay

    if you have time , wait for other comments but DO NOT MISS the popla deadline

    when completed , save as a pdf and choose OTHER on the popla website and upload the pdf , putting "see attached appeal"
    Newbies !!
    Private Parking ticket? check the 2 sticky threads by coupon-mad and crabman in the Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking Board forum for the latest advice or maybe try pepipoo or C.A.G. or legal beagles forums if you need legal advice as well because this parking forum is not about debt collectors or legal matters per se
    • prawnholio
    • By prawnholio 22nd Aug 17, 2:25 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    prawnholio
    • #3
    • 22nd Aug 17, 2:25 PM
    • #3
    • 22nd Aug 17, 2:25 PM
    Thanks for that, sorry, the 'offence' was not registering the number plate with the reception of the sports centre, meaning the vehicle was not classed as an 'Authorised vehicle'
    • Redx
    • By Redx 22nd Aug 17, 2:31 PM
    • 15,486 Posts
    • 19,571 Thanks
    Redx
    • #4
    • 22nd Aug 17, 2:31 PM
    • #4
    • 22nd Aug 17, 2:31 PM
    so that was possibly a failure by SPORTSPACE in not informing you as member of the rule to register the vehicle on arrival?

    if so, complain to them and tell them to get it cancelled, because they should not be punishing paying legitimate customers !!
    Newbies !!
    Private Parking ticket? check the 2 sticky threads by coupon-mad and crabman in the Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking Board forum for the latest advice or maybe try pepipoo or C.A.G. or legal beagles forums if you need legal advice as well because this parking forum is not about debt collectors or legal matters per se
    • prawnholio
    • By prawnholio 22nd Aug 17, 2:50 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    prawnholio
    • #5
    • 22nd Aug 17, 2:50 PM
    • #5
    • 22nd Aug 17, 2:50 PM
    i'm not a member of the sports club, I was using it as a one off, I have approached them... they are so aware of the problems caused by this bunch of cowboys they've even got a press 5 for parking issues option on their bloody phone number. they have been pretty unhelpful.
    • Redx
    • By Redx 22nd Aug 17, 2:52 PM
    • 15,486 Posts
    • 19,571 Thanks
    Redx
    • #6
    • 22nd Aug 17, 2:52 PM
    • #6
    • 22nd Aug 17, 2:52 PM
    in that case you dont really have a case but may succeed by using the legal loopholes to try and win on appeal , so not much else can be said in your appeal

    "prevention is better than cure, so if you cant do the time , dont do the crime"
    Newbies !!
    Private Parking ticket? check the 2 sticky threads by coupon-mad and crabman in the Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking Board forum for the latest advice or maybe try pepipoo or C.A.G. or legal beagles forums if you need legal advice as well because this parking forum is not about debt collectors or legal matters per se
    • prawnholio
    • By prawnholio 25th Aug 17, 8:10 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    prawnholio
    • #7
    • 25th Aug 17, 8:10 AM
    • #7
    • 25th Aug 17, 8:10 AM
    Yep, one of the problems with moving back to an area, things change and you don't necessarily expect it.

    Thanks for your help, I've submitted my appeal as above with the links added back in. I'll see what happens.

    One thing I should point out, is they have the registered keeper's details and not the driver. They were definitely different people, so it's not a technicality they are trying to go after the wrong person for their fee.
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 25th Aug 17, 10:32 AM
    • 451 Posts
    • 540 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    • #8
    • 25th Aug 17, 10:32 AM
    • #8
    • 25th Aug 17, 10:32 AM
    Remember that since POFA2012, the keeper isnt necessarily the "wrong person"
    It banned clamping but brought in this stupid concept that the keeper of a vehicle can be forced to pay for the drivers contract. Utterly insane move by the torys.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 25th Aug 17, 8:55 PM
    • 49,944 Posts
    • 63,345 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #9
    • 25th Aug 17, 8:55 PM
    • #9
    • 25th Aug 17, 8:55 PM
    Yep, but CEL don't issue POFA PCNs.

    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.

    • prawnholio
    • By prawnholio 16th Sep 17, 8:47 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    prawnholio
    Hi All,

    Thanks to everyone on the forum I got this email back from POPLA yesterday...

    Civil Enforcement have told us they do not wish to contest the Appeal. This means that your Appeal is successful and you do not need to pay the parking charge.
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 16th Sep 17, 10:21 AM
    • 14,484 Posts
    • 22,782 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    There you go, well done.

    CEL seem to quickly run away when faced with a forum-advised POPLA appeal.

    I think the message from this is to stick with the tried and tested, jump through the hoops in front of you within their timescales and you'll come out the other side the winner.

    Clearly CEL prefer the lower-hanging fruit who are not forum advised, no doubt there are sufficient rich pickings there without them having to put effort into trying to win strong forum-based appeals against which they have much lower chances of success.
    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.
    • beamerguy
    • By beamerguy 16th Sep 17, 10:29 AM
    • 5,921 Posts
    • 7,627 Thanks
    beamerguy
    When the new CoP's come into force, maybe CEL will be
    the first for the ban
    RBS - MNBA - CAPITAL ONE - LLOYDS

    DISGUSTING BEHAVIOUR
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 16th Sep 17, 12:47 PM
    • 49,944 Posts
    • 63,345 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    A great example of a template POPLA appeal against CEL for issuing a non-POFA Notice to Keeper via ANPR cameras.

    The same appeal (tweaked to suit in point #1, depending on if the NTK arrives late or not) would work for Smart Parking, Britannia, Highview, CP Plus and quite a few others who don't use the mandatory POFA wording.

    Well done!

    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.

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