Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • MosquitoeSlalom
    • By MosquitoeSlalom 28th Sep 17, 11:45 PM
    • 6Posts
    • 3Thanks
    MosquitoeSlalom
    PCN from Civil Enforcement
    • #1
    • 28th Sep 17, 11:45 PM
    PCN from Civil Enforcement 28th Sep 17 at 11:45 PM
    Hello,

    I'm hoping for some advice regarding a PCN received in the post from Civil Enforcement.

    The charge in question is listed as "Authorised vehicles only".

    The parking conditions state that "2 hours free parking for customers who register their correct vehicle registration number at the store checkouts. No free parking for any other vehicles."

    The car park in question serves a retail park, the main store being an ASDA supermarket but with a few other smaller shops on site. I had in fact been a customer of one of these small shops (iphone repair) at the time of this charge, to whom I gave my registration details in order to get my free parking entitlement.

    Well obviously the staff either didn't bother entering my registration or entered it incorrectly. I have called them several times since receiving the PCN and they have in turn: assured my they are sorting it out as they had entered the registration as per usual on the terminal located in the ASDA store so it will be cancelled; told me they have spoken to the issuer on the phone to cancel it and since changed their policy so it doesn't happen again; finally becoming aggressive on the phone, telling me it's not their car or fine to pay and basically hanging up!

    I made my appeal by post to the issuer (without sharing information about the drivers identity) attaching a copy of the receipt from the iphone repair shop stating the day in question (unfortunately this is just handwritten and doesn't show a time). Also cash was paid on the day so no bank statement to help out.

    So now I have my unsuccesful appeal letter thru stating my POPLA code and would like to ask the members on here how best to proceed please. After being ignored by the unhelpful and aggressive repair shop who I assume could have nipped this in the bud in one phone call, should I be pursuing cancellation of this ticket on my original grounds (incorrectly issued as genuine customer within the T&C's stated, but only a hand written receipt from said shop as proof) or should I forget about the exact circumstances and just follow the steps listed in the sticky thread "Newbies! Need help with a private parking ticket? Read this before posting!!" under the SECOND STAGE APPEAL - POPLA OR IAS

    Thanks for any advice
Page 1
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 28th Sep 17, 11:56 PM
    • 51,666 Posts
    • 65,325 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #2
    • 28th Sep 17, 11:56 PM
    • #2
    • 28th Sep 17, 11:56 PM
    Yes just follow the sticky thread, because this will be won on ''no keeper liability''.

    You can also search this forum for 'CEL POPLA no keeper liability' and change the default search to 'show posts' (never ''show threads'', it's a nightmare!). Showing posts with those keywords will find you CEL POPLA appeals already written, that you can simply copy and adapt.
    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.

    • MosquitoeSlalom
    • By MosquitoeSlalom 29th Sep 17, 12:38 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    MosquitoeSlalom
    • #3
    • 29th Sep 17, 12:38 AM
    • #3
    • 29th Sep 17, 12:38 AM
    Fantastic, thanks so much for the info and lightning quick reply!
    I will go over those forum posts in the morning and hopefully sort this out.
    Thanks again!
    • MosquitoeSlalom
    • By MosquitoeSlalom 2nd Oct 17, 9:46 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    MosquitoeSlalom
    • #4
    • 2nd Oct 17, 9:46 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Oct 17, 9:46 PM
    Hello
    After a search I have copied and pasted this from a similar recent appeal.
    I see that I need to restore the links, convert to PDF and submit via POPLA website.
    Any further advice or feedback on the below draft would be much appreciated.

    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 ‘Authorised Vehicles Only" 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. Civil Enforcement have failed to fulfil the conditions which state that the keeper must be served with a compliant NTK in accordance with paragraph 9, which stipulates a mandatory timeline 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 seven days 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 on 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
    • MosquitoeSlalom
    • By MosquitoeSlalom 3rd Oct 17, 12:04 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    MosquitoeSlalom
    • #5
    • 3rd Oct 17, 12:04 PM
    • #5
    • 3rd Oct 17, 12:04 PM
    any feedback at all for the above please? I am assuming otherwise that as this is just a copy and paste appeal job & i should just go ahead and submit? Thanks!
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 3rd Oct 17, 1:52 PM
    • 51,666 Posts
    • 65,325 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #6
    • 3rd Oct 17, 1:52 PM
    • #6
    • 3rd Oct 17, 1:52 PM
    Yes that is fine and the fact the PCN arrived late, wins it as long as the driver was never admitted.
    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.

    • MosquitoeSlalom
    • By MosquitoeSlalom 3rd Oct 17, 5:28 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    MosquitoeSlalom
    • #7
    • 3rd Oct 17, 5:28 PM
    • #7
    • 3rd Oct 17, 5:28 PM
    Thank you so much for your help Coupon-mad!
    • MosquitoeSlalom
    • By MosquitoeSlalom 27th Oct 17, 12:33 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    MosquitoeSlalom
    • #8
    • 27th Oct 17, 12:33 AM
    • #8
    • 27th Oct 17, 12:33 AM
    Just to say the above advice resulted was successful for me.
    POPLA have told me today that "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."
    Coupon-mad: I can't send you a private message, if you are able to let me know your best email for me to send you a few quid via paypal then I will be more than happy to, for your help and advice (and for saving me £60+!)
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 27th Oct 17, 12:40 AM
    • 51,666 Posts
    • 65,325 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #9
    • 27th Oct 17, 12:40 AM
    • #9
    • 27th Oct 17, 12:40 AM
    No worries - and I don't take money for this, I much prefer doing it for free.

    If you want to make a donation to a cancer charity, that would warm my heart. x
    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.

Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

5,726Posts Today

7,218Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • I realised I forgot in my links earlier. 1. Help to Buy ISAs, how they work and best buys...? https://t.co/BSCNPeqiVF

  • RT @whatdawndid: Thanks to uncle @MartinSLewis I just received £200 back, just like that from the student loan company! Turns out that the?

  • RT @LaraLewington: Shocked and saddened by Cheggers news. Working with him on It?s A Knockout was my 1st job in telly when I was just 19. H?

  • Follow Martin