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Going to court on this one need advice

edited 30 May 2020 at 6:51PM in Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking
42 replies 611 views
ChristhetechnicalguyChristhetechnicalguy Forumite
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Hi
in feb of this year I received papers from Northampton County court business centre 
about an alleged parking contravention which was on 2/7/2016. The claim is contractual breach. I had not received a ticket on my car or ntk. I wrote to VCS for a SAR and received some photos of my car with a pcn on it in a bay marked clearly “blue ball customers only” next to their blurred small sign which I cannot read. The dates on the photos are 07/02/2016 and the date in the pcn is 02/07/2016 the dates don’t match and the signage is doubtful. The date on the NTK is 01/09/2016 and contravention date 02/07/2016 I was not the driver I don’t know who the driver was and the NTK never arrived I only know the dates from the SAR no further correspondence was sent to me over this time. However the NTK took 61 days out of time for schedule 4 POFA 2012. I am preparing my witness statement I have appealed and won several parking cases at POPLA for me and my friends but this is new territory. I’ve read a lot of the threads but I feel I need advice specific to my case for me to win. HEEEELLLLLPPPPP!  

Thanks 
Chris 
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Replies

  • KeithPKeithP Forumite
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    Please show us the Defence that you have filed.
  • Coupon-madCoupon-mad Forumite
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    Which car park?
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
    CLICK at the top of this/any page where it says:
    Forum Home»Motoring»Parking Tickets Fines & Parking - read the NEWBIES THREAD
  • D_P_DanceD_P_Dance Forumite
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    Nine times out of ten these tickets are scams, so consider complaining to your MP, it can cause the scammer extra costs and work, and has been known to get the charge cancelled.

    Parliament is well aware of the MO of these private parking companies, many of whom are former clampers, and on 15th March 2019 a Bill was enacted to curb the excesses of these shysters. Codes of Practice are being drawn up, an independent appeals service will be set up, and access to the DVLA's date base more rigorously policed, persistent offenders denied access to the DVLA database and unable to operate.

    Hopefully, when life gets back to normal, it will become impossible for those scammers who are left to continue their vile trade, but until this is done you should still complain to your MP, citing the new legislation.

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2019/8/contents/enacted

    Just as the clampers were finally closed down, so hopefully will many of these Private Parking Companies.





    You never know how far you can go until you go too far.
  • ChristhetechnicalguyChristhetechnicalguy Forumite
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    Hi I haven’t filed a defence yet 

  • ChristhetechnicalguyChristhetechnicalguy Forumite
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    The car park was the Old blue ball Hillsboro Sheffield it’s a building site now but the parking signs are still in the walls
  • KeithPKeithP Forumite
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    Hi I haven’t filed a defence yet 

    In your opening post you told us that you received a County Court Claim back in February.
    From the date of Issue of that Claim, you had a maximum of thirty-three days to file a Defence.

    How exactly did you respond to that Claim?

    Please check on the Money Claims OnLine website and tell us what the Claim History for your Claim says.
  • ChristhetechnicalguyChristhetechnicalguy Forumite
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    Yes I did. Sorry. I denied that I’d ever had a parking ticket and was positive there was no supporting evidence. Then I started reading and then made the request for info and then realised I had a problem. 
  • edited 30 May 2020 at 7:07PM
    KeithPKeithP Forumite
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    edited 30 May 2020 at 7:07PM
    Please show us the Defence that you have filed.
    How exactly did you respond to that Claim?

    Show us exactly what you filed... word for word... verbatim.
  • edited 30 May 2020 at 8:08PM
    ChristhetechnicalguyChristhetechnicalguy Forumite
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    edited 30 May 2020 at 8:08PM

    Defence relating to the claim below


    Vehicle control services LTD

    Your Ref G5QZ0571

    Date of alleged contravention 02/07/2016

    Alleged Location 156 Bradfield Road Hillsborough Sheffield

    Date of first correspondence 13/01/2020

    Firstly I will point out that I deny any claim in the particulars of claim that has been submitted to me on the above date.

    I set out my defence thus:

    The particulars of claim are set out for an alleged breach of contract that there is absolutely no supporting evidence. 

    I was not issued with a notice to keeper within 56 days it was late and therefore there is no keeper liability.

    I was not issued with a parking ticket. I was not contacted about the alleged contravention until the 13/01/2020.

    The BPA code of practice states that the parking company has a period of time in which to contact me after an alleged contravention. 3.5 years have elapsed since this time. The standard time is 28 days.

    I have a right to appeal, firstly to the parking company and secondly to POPLA (Parking on Private Land Appeals)

    I was not given the opportunity to appeal.

    The particulars of claim suggest that I entered into a contract with them as I was allegedly in the car park. The BPA code of practice states that there should be a grace period set out in order for a person to drive into the car park. Read and fully understand the terms and conditions and then either choose to pay or drive out without penalty. 

    I require the claimant to produce evidence that my car was in that car park for that amount of time and what that amount of time is. If it is photographic evidence. The photographs will need to be time stamped and the claimant will need to prove that the photographs have not been modified or tampered with and the device calibrated and certified as checked. 

    I will bring your attention to an ANPR camera system that was used in evidence in court and  was wholly responsible for the court loss by the Operator in Parkingeye vs Fox-Jones on 8 Nov 2013. That case was dismissed when the judge said the evidence from the Operator was 'fundamentally flawed' as the synchronisation of the camera pictures with the timer had been called into question and the operator could not rebut the point.

    So, in addition to showing their maintenance records, I require Vehicle control services  in this case to show evidence to rebut this point: I suggest that in the case of my vehicle being in this car park, a camera took the image. There is no proof that the timestamp added is actually the exact time of the image or that my vehicle was on any private land. If the images were taken by a hand held device the images will need to be of such quality that there absolutely no doubt that my car was in that car park and that there will need to be at least 2 clear time stamped photos with a time difference of no less than the grace period. They will also need to prove that I didn't drive into and out of the car park twice and was photographed on the first time I entered and the second time I left. Hence without a synchronised time stamp there is no evidence that the image is ever time stamped with an accurate time. Therefore I contend that this "evidence" from this Operator in this car park is just as unreliable as the ParkingEye system in the Fox-Jones case and I put this Operator to strict proof to the contrary.

    Furthermore The signage at the car park is not compliant with the BPA standards and therefore there was no valid contract between the parking company and the driver.


    As a POPLA assessor has said previously in an adjudication

    “Once an Appellant submits that the terms of parking were not displayed clearly enough, the onus is then on the Operator to demonstrate that the signs at the time and location in question were sufficiently clear”.

    I require the operator to submit evidence and prove that the signage was of the correct standard. 

    As for breach of contract

    I would like to point out that the signs at the car park in question are unsuitable to inform drivers of the full terms and conditions of what they are entering into by physically entering the car park. Vehicle control services clearly relies on contract law, but does not do enough to make clear what the terms and conditions of the contract are, making it far too easy for people to unwittingly fall outside the terms of the contract. It is not appropriate for a car park such as this to have such a limited amount of signs and rely on drivers to look carefully for where and how the terms are displayed.
    It is surely the responsibility of Vehicle Control Services to make the terms of their contract far clearer so that drivers have no doubt whatsoever of any supposed contract they may be entering into. I require Vehicle control services to provide evidence as to how clear the terms and conditions are and consider if the methods used are clear enough for this type of car park. I would specifically like them to look into how clear the signs are that inform drivers that cameras are in use on this site.

    Furthermore a contract can only be considered to be entered into if enough evidence exists that it actually happened. For a contract to have been entered into the driver would have had to get out of the car, read the signs, fully interpret and understand them and agree to them. None of which ever actually happened.

    Unfair terms of contract

    Although there was no contract between vehicle control services and myself, if there were then I would ask a court to consider this charge to be unfair and non-binding based on the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. There is a clear list of terms that apply. I have highlighted the following specifically as I believe they apply directly to this case:

    2. (1) (e) Terms which have the object or effect of requiring any consumer who fails to fulfill his obligation to pay a disproportionately high sum in compensation.

    5. (1) A contractual term which has not been individually negotiated shall be regarded as unfair if, contrary to the requirement of good faith, it causes a significant imbalance in the parties' rights and obligations arising under the contract, to the detriment of the consumer.

    5. (2) A term shall always be regarded as not having been individually negotiated where it has been drafted in advance and the consumer has therefore not been able to influence the substance of the term.

    The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 was brought in to protect consumers from unfair contracts such as the one Vehicle Control services are suggesting. A company such as Vehicle control services needs to actually prove that the driver saw, read and accepted the terms, which is impossible because this did not actually happen.

     Without a contract

    Without a contract it would seem the most appropriate offence would be a civil trespass. If this were the case, the appropriate award Vehicle Control services could seek would be damages. As there was no damage to car park there was no loss to them at all and therefore should be no charge.

    The charge is punitive

    Not only is the £185 charge completely disproportionate meaning that it is punitive and is breaking the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1997, but there can be no loss shown at all as no pre-estimate charge has been put together making the charge unenforceable against me or the driver. 

    So in summary, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that my car was in the car park you  have alleged it to be in, that you are demanding money for. As you can see I have a robust defence and the operator in question has not adhered to the BPA code of practice and is therefore operating unlawfully.








  • ChristhetechnicalguyChristhetechnicalguy Forumite
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    There you go I found it at last. I did post the wrong stuff originally DOH! 
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