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ParkingEye County Court - advice needed please

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ParkingEye County Court - advice needed please

edited 11 November 2018 at 6:53PM in Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking
18 replies 1.4K views
Forever_FrugalForever_Frugal Forumite
9 posts
edited 11 November 2018 at 6:53PM in Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking
County Court letter received today, and the keeper has completed an Acknowledgement of Service, would appreciate advice on how to proceed:

The driver parked in Grafton Street MSCP car park on Oxford Street in Manchester on the 8th of June 2018 arriving at 13:28 and departing at 14:57.

The car park has barriers at the entrance that have been partially disassembled (the barrier arm removed) allowing you to drive straight in and find a space.
With no ticket issued on entrance, the driver wasn’t sure what the process was for payment, but went and found the payment machines on the second floor (where the car was parked), machines were covered indicating as out of order. The driver met a number of other confused drivers who had also been unable to pay for their parking. One of the other drivers said that the car park payment system was in the process of being changed.
After attending a hospital appointment, the driver decided that as there was no obvious signage advising alternative payment methods, and no parking official available to ask there was nothing left to do but drive away.

The registered keeper received a parking charge issued on the 13th of June for £70 from ParkingEye Ltd. The parking charge notice provided a link to a website to their website where the keeper submitted an appeal explaining payment machines were out of order, with no obvious alternative means available to make payment.

On the 19th of June the keeper received an email from ParkingEye advising that “the recent appeal has been unsuccessful and that you have now reached the end of our internal appeals procedure. Our records confirm that no parking was purchased on the date of the parking event, despite there being payment methods available on the day in question.”
I was surprised that their response didn’t advise what methods of payment were available on the day, or even acknowledge that payment machines were out of order on the day.

The keeper has received a County Court Business Centre claim issued on the 9th of November. Amount claimed £70 + Court Fee £25 + Legal representative’s costs £50 a total of £145.


Particulars of the Claim
Claim for monies outstanding from the defendant, in relation to a Parking Charge issued 13/06/2018 for parking on private land in breach of T+C’s (the contract).
ParkingEye’s ANPR system, monitoring Grafton Streen MSCP, Manchester – Public, Oxford Road, Lancashire M13 9WL, captured vehicle <our car registration> entering and leaving the car park, parking without a valid paid parking ticket.
The signage, clearly displayed at the entrance and throughout the car park, states that this is private land, is managed by Parking Eye Ltd, and parking tariffs apply after the free stay period, along with other T+C’s by which those who park on site agree to be bound. In accordance with the the T + C’s set out in the signage, the Parking Charge became payable. The defendant was previously presented with the opportunity to take their appeal to POPLA, the independent appeals service for parking on private land, but this has not been taken. This claim is in reference to Parking Charge(s) xxxxx/xxxxx.

The driver has been back to the car park and has seen several updated signs and believes these are new and weren’t in place during the initial visit. It appears it is possible to pay for parking via a mobile phone – however that option wasn’t clear during the visit in June.
I have searched the internet to see if I could find confirmation that signs were not present and that the car park system was being changed, the following link has feedback from several other people who have experienced the same issue (barriers at entrance out of order, payment machines out of order and for those before and around the time of the drivers visit, complaints on signage) – to view, use google to search "parkopedia manchester royal infirmary grafton", once you have found the page scroll down the right hand side to the review section of the page (sorry I can't post the actual link).

Question:
The keeper has completed an Acknowledgement of Service, advising that the whole claim is disputed, however I wonder whether we should be choosing to admit part of the amount claimed (£2.50 which covers 2 hours parking) and dispute the rest of the claim?

What follows is a first stab at a Defense built up from reading other threads, I think I have taken bits relevant to this case, but also need to include that the driver believes the signage has been replaced since the original visit - we do not have any pictures of the original signage only what is in place now (however it is possible that what signage is there was also in place on the day and was just missed - but I doubt it).

Appreciate any advise support as to whether the following is on the right tracks:



IN THE COUNTY COURT

CLAIM No: xxxxxxxxxx

BETWEEN:

PARKINGEYE LTD (Claimant)

-and-

xxxxxxxxxxxx (Defendant)

________________________________________
DEFENCE
________________________________________
1. The Defendant denies that the Claimant is entitled to relief in the sum claimed, or at all.

2. The facts are that the vehicle, registration XXXX, of which the Defendant is the registered keeper, was parked on the material date at Grafton Street MSCP, and that a valid paid parking ticket could not be procured due to machines being out of order.

3. Due to frustration of contract, where matters were outside the drivers control due to payment machine not working (the Claimant has adduced no evidence of fault on my part) the contract was never properly or fairly made.

4. The Claimant is put to strict proof that it has sufficient proprietary interest in the land, or that it has the necessary authorisation from the landowner to issue parking charge notices, and to pursue payment by means of litigation.

5 .The BPA Code of Practice regarding predatory tactics was not followed by the Claimant.
a) “Clause 9.5 You must not use predatory tactics to lure drivers into incurring parking charges. Such instances will be viewed as a serious and sanctionable instance of non-compliance and may go to the Professional Conduct Panel.” – It is reported against this car park that the payment machines are regularly covered, with a lack of clear alternative payment signage followed by a pattern of refused appeals.

6. In summary, it is the Defendant's position that the claim discloses no cause of action, is without merit, and has no real prospect of success. Accordingly, the Court is invited to strike out the claim of its own initiative, using its case management powers pursuant to CPR 3.4.

I believe the facts contained in this Defence are true.

Name
Signature
Date
«1

Replies

  • QuentinQuentin Forumite
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    No don't admit £2.50!!
  • Thanks Quentin for your reply. Ok I won't admit the £2.50 and will dispute the whole claim.

    Does the defence statement look along the write lines?
  • edited 11 November 2018 at 2:33PM
    The_DeepThe_Deep Forumite
    16.8K posts
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    edited 11 November 2018 at 2:33PM
    If the contract says pay at the machine, and the machine does not work, how can there be a contract? Google frustration of contract? I think that if they took ths to court they would crash and burn.

    I also note that they want £45 for legal representation. It is my understanding that employ employ legals in house, so that should be a no-no

    This is an entirely unregulated industry which is scamming the public with inflated claims for minor breaches of alleged contracts for alleged parking offences, aided and abetted by a handful of low-rent solicitors.

    Parking Eye, CPM, Smart, and others have already been named and shamed in the House of Commons as have Gladstones Solicitors, and BW Legal, (these two law firms take hundreds of these cases to court each week, hospital car parks and residential complex tickets have been especially mentioned. They lose most of them, and have been reported to the regulatory authority by an M.P. for unprofessional conduct

    The problem has become so widespread that MPs have agreed to enact a Bill to regulate these scammers. It has even been suggested that some of these companies have links with organised crime.

    Watch the video of the Second Reading and committee stage in the House of Commons recently. MPs have a very low opinion of this industry.

    http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/2f0384f2-eba5-4fff-ab07-cf24b6a22918?in=12:49:41

    https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2018-07-19/debates/2b90805c-bff8-4707-8bdc-b0bfae5a7ad5/Parking(CodeOfPractice)Bill(FirstSitting)

    and complain in the most robust terms to your MP. With a fair wind they will be out of business by in the not too distant future..
    You never know how far you can go until you go too far.
  • edited 4 December 2018 at 9:17PM
    KeithPKeithP Forumite
    22.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    edited 4 December 2018 at 9:17PM
    The keeper has received a County Court Business Centre claim issued on the 9th of November.
    With a Claim Issue Date of 9th November, you have until Wednesday 28th November to do the Acknowledgement of Service, but there is nothing to be gained by delaying it. To do the AoS, follow the guidance offered in a Dropbox link from post #2 of the NEWBIES FAQ sticky thread.

    Having done the AoS, you then have until 4pm on Wednesday 12th December 2018 to file your Defence.

    A whole month away. Loads of time to produce a perfect Defence, but don't leave it to the very last minute.


    When you are happy with the content, your Defence should be filed via email as suggested here:
      Print your Defence.
    1. Sign it and date it.
    2. Scan the signed document back in and save it as a pdf.
    3. Send that pdf as an email attachment to [email protected]
    4. Just put the claim number and the word Defence in the email title, and in the body of the email something like 'Please find my Defence attached'.
    5. Log into MCOL after a few days to see if the Claim is marked "defended". If not chase the CCBC until it is.
    6. Do not be surprised to receive a copy of the Claimant's Directions Questionnaire, they are just trying to put you under pressure.
    7. Wait for your DQ from the CCBC, or download one from the internet, and then re-read post #2 of the NEWBIES FAQ sticky thread to find out exactly what to do with it.
  • Thanks Keith P.

    I have already completed the AoS, and have started on my Defence, but am struggling a little with all the legal speak in the examples. I have put together a first attempt at my defence (as included in my original post), can anyone confirm if I am on the right lines and what I should include in regards to the signage which seems to have been replaced since the driver initially used the car park?
  • ** I've just had some new information from the driver which potentially changes the defence, it's late and I need to think through what I have been told, so will post an update tomorrow. **
  • So it turns out that the car park has at some point prior to the drivers visit, been converted from a barrier and ticket entry system to a ANPR system.
    The old barrier remains partially dismantled, and the old ticket machines covered over, which lead to the impression that it was out of order. This notion was shared by other car park visitors who also shared the same view reinforcing to the drivers that there was no way to pay.
    The driver did see the ANPR payment machines, but didn’t think payment could be made without an entrance ticket and didn’t read the signs on how to work the machine as there seemed no point without a ticket….

    Having been back to the car park since, the driver has noted signs at the entrance to the car park advising it is a camera controlled car park, however this sign is in a much smaller font size than the other signs and would be difficult to read / easy to miss when driving into the car park.
    Understanding that the ANPR machines only require the vehicle registration, on this second visit the driver was able to pay for parking.


    I think if in the original appeal response ParkingEye had clarified the system in place to take payment, and explained that the covered machines where not part of the process, we would have realised the mistake and paid what would have been £35.
    The figure has since been inflated to £70 + Court Fee £25 + Legal representative’s costs £50 a total of £145.


    Is the drivers mistake on the first visit defendable, or should we just pay up?
  • Hi,

    According to KeithP I have until Wednesday 12th December 2018 to file your Defence, I would appreciate any guidance or feedback on what I have proposed (in an earlier reply).

    Thanks in advance.
  • Not sure what I am doing wrong here, but haven't received a reply since the 12th of November - should I be starting a new thread of court defence advise?
  • RedxRedx Forumite
    29.5K posts
    10,000 Posts Sixth Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic
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    no , if you do that people will tell you to delete it and use this thread


    too many threads and not enough volunteers and even fewer with legal training


    this isnt a legal advice forum, read my signature


    any help you get is a bonus, not a right


    you wouldnt want the ships cook steering the boat and advising the captain where the rocks are (or arent)
    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
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