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Parking Eye Copy Directions Questionnaire Received

mamazaac
mamazaac Posts: 656
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edited 19 November 2023 at 10:03AM in Parking tickets, fines & parking
In June I parked in the car park of our local Mecca Bingo and didn't see the Parking Eye signs (though gone back to look I have to admit they are there). The signs essentially said that you have to register your registration number inside Mecca, which I didn't do.  So I then received a fine letter and appealed with copies of my bank statement showing I was a customer of Mecca that night, but they rejected the appeal because I hadn't entered my registration number in the machine inside Mecca. So I then took the fine letter into Mecca Bingo on 17 July and the person behind the desk said not to worry they would tell Parking Eye not to pursue it. He took my letter, went to the back office and when he came back said it was all sorted. However, in early September I received a Letter Before County Court Claim. I spoke to one of the Managers at Mecca on the phone and he said he needed to see a copy of the letter - I was unable to visit in the near future so I asked him for their email address and he just told me it was on the Mecca website - it wasn't, but I found one on Google. I next received a Claim Form shortly before I was visiting Mecca again, so I took this in with me and spoke to the Manager again. He explained that he had not received my email, but now that a Claim Form had been issued it was too late for them to stop it. He said that instead I should file a Defence saying what had happened, giving his name and saying that he would confirm to the Court that the fine should have been cancelled. He said that the Court would then contact him and he would confirm the same. However, instead of the Court doing this, they wrote on 25 October saying the the claimant has to contact the Court saying they want to proceed within 28 days or the claim will be stayed (though the claimant can apply to lift the stay) and yesterday I have received a copy of a Directions Questionnaire (Small Claims Track) which PE have lodged with the Court and on which they have ticked that they agree to the case being referred to the Small Claims Mediation Service and they consider that the case is suitable for determination without a hearing (ie, by a judge reading and considering the case papers and making a decision).

There is nothing to say what will happen next or how long it will take for a decision to be made - does anyone on this thread have any experience of this?

Should I ask the Manager at Mecca to send an email to the PE enforcement email address saying the claim should be cancelled, and copying me in so that I have evidence that Mecca don't want it enforced, or is it too late for that now?

I see that that there is advice on this board saying that mediation is a waste of time with parking fines, but if I am called to attend mediation, should I refuse and make it go to court - or will this go against me because it will be seen that I am wasting the Court's time by not trying mediation first?

Thank you in advance for any help anyone can give me with this.
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  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,237
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    edited 19 November 2023 at 10:06AM
    There is nothing to say what will happen next or how long it will take for a decision to be made - does anyone on this thread have any experience of this?

    Yes we help people defend cases every single day here.  But not without them first reading the resources, which is  a must for you.

    Our NEWBIES Thread tells you what happens when.  second post of that Announcement thread.  It's at the top of the forum so we don't repeat it or link it in threads, no need.

    None of what the chap said was true.  But you can defend it as long as you do a WS bundle (explained in the sticky thread, top of the forum, where my signature below shows to click).

     :) 
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  • mamazaac
    mamazaac Posts: 656
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    There is nothing to say what will happen next or how long it will take for a decision to be made - does anyone on this thread have any experience of this?

    Yes we help people defend cases every single day here.  But not without them first reading the resources, which is  a must for you.

    Our NEWBIES Thread tells you what happens when.  second post of that Announcement thread.  It's at the top of the forum so we don't repeat it or link it in threads, no need.

    None of what the chap said was true.  But you can defend it as long as you do a WS bundle (explained in the sticky thread, top of the forum, where my signature below shows to click).

     :) 
    Thank you Coupon-mad for directing me to the specific place, very much appreciarted. I had read the Newbies Thread but there is so much to read and I had not realised that my particular circumstance was covered. Could you just answer two further questions for me please?:

    1. As I had not come across this thread in time, I had already filed my defence online in response to the Claim Form, so unfortunately did not use anything that was in the template. I see from the thread that it is likely that I will eventually have to attend a hearing, so will I be able to raise a defence at the hearing using all the points in the template, or have I lost the chance to do that because I have already entered a defence online?

    2. (Only relevant if the answer to 1 above is, yes, I can still use the points in my defence) I note the reference to CEL v CHAN. The Particulars of Claim includes that parking there was "subject to terms and conditions including authorisation being required for parking" (because I did not enter my reg no in the machine inside Mecca, I didn't get that authorisation for parking). When I read the wording about CEL v CHAN, it says "HHJ Murch held that 'the particulars of the claim as filed and served did not set out the conduct which amounted to the breach ....". Does them saying that I parked without getting authorisation for parking constitute them setting out the conduct which amounted to the breach, ie, will I not be able to use CEL v CHAN in my Defence?

    Thank you again in advance.
  • 1505grandad
    1505grandad Posts: 2,846
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    Can you post the Defence you filed verbatim please.
  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,237
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    And what their Particulars of Claim said, minus your VRM.
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  • mamazaac
    mamazaac Posts: 656
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    Can you post the Defence you filed verbatim please.
    Thank you 1505grandad, here is what I sent (the Manager at Mecca told me to say "for some reason" the registration screen did not register my number plate rather than say I did not input it).

    I admit that I parked in the car park to Mecca Bingo on the evening of 19/6/23, which was because I was visiting Mecca Bingo. For some reason the registration screen inside Mecca Bingo does not seem to have registered my number plate correctly but, when I received the first communication from Parking Eye, I responded to
    them with a copy of my bank statement evidencing that I was a patron of Mecca Bingo that night (bank statement showed payments to Mecca). However, Parking Eye did not accept this, so I visited Mecca Bingo on 17 July 2023 and gave them the letter I had received - the staff member went out of sight for a couple of minutes and, on returning, said he had requested that Parking Eye cancel the charge. It seems, however, that Parking Eye ignored
    this request from Mecca as I have now received the Claim Form. I have spoken to Managers Paul Bignell and Emma (sorry I don't know her surname) and they will both confirm the above to the Court and that this parking fine is unwarranted.


  • mamazaac
    mamazaac Posts: 656
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    And what their Particulars of Claim said, minus your VRM.
    Thank you Coupon-mad. It says

    Claim for monies outstanding from the Defendant in relation to a Parking Charge (reference 306795/613234) issued on 19/06/2023. The signage clearly displayed throughout Mecca Bingo Exeter, 12 North Street, Exeter, EX4 3QS states that this is private land, managed by ParkingEye Ltd, and that it  is subject to terms and conditions including authorisation being required for parking, by which those who park agree to be bound (the contract). ParkingEye's ANPR system captured vehicle XXXXX entering and leaving the site on 14/06/2023, and parking without authorisation. The Defendant had the opportunity to appeal to POPLA, the independent appeals service for parking on private land, but this has not been taken.

    Just to clarify, I didn't appeal to POPLA because, after ParkiingEye refused my appeal to them, I visited Mecca Bingo on 17 July and they told me they had cancelled it, so I didn't make the appeal. 
  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,237
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    edited 22 November 2023 at 1:40PM
    mamazaac said:
    Can you post the Defence you filed verbatim please.
    Thank you 1505grandad, here is what I sent (the Manager at Mecca told me to say "for some reason" the registration screen did not register my number plate rather than say I did not input it).

    I admit that I parked in the car park to Mecca Bingo on the evening of 19/6/23, which was because I was visiting Mecca Bingo. For some reason the registration screen inside Mecca Bingo does not seem to have registered my number plate correctly but, when I received the first communication from Parking Eye, I responded to
    them with a copy of my bank statement evidencing that I was a patron of Mecca Bingo that night (bank statement showed payments to Mecca). However, Parking Eye did not accept this, so I visited Mecca Bingo on 17 July 2023 and gave them the letter I had received - the staff member went out of sight for a couple of minutes and, on returning, said he had requested that Parking Eye cancel the charge. It seems, however, that Parking Eye ignored
    this request from Mecca as I have now received the Claim Form. I have spoken to Managers XXXXX and XXXXX and they will both confirm the above to the Court and that this parking fine is unwarranted.


    OK. Not a detailed defence and it's a shame you didn't come here earlier but there is something to build on here.

    And I see that your claim stated that the alleged breach was 'parking without authorisation' which you can deny in your later Witness Statement.  Their system failed and doesn't print receipts / confirmation.  You were authorised to park, as a patron of Mecca. This plus your evidence is a VITAL stage, before the hearing, so have you read the NEWBIES thread 2nd post properly now, the section all about KNOW WHAT HAPPENS WHEN?  
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  • mamazaac
    mamazaac Posts: 656
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    mamazaac said:
    Can you post the Defence you filed verbatim please.
    Thank you 1505grandad, here is what I sent (the Manager at Mecca told me to say "for some reason" the registration screen did not register my number plate rather than say I did not input it).

    I admit that I parked in the car park to Mecca Bingo on the evening of 19/6/23, which was because I was visiting Mecca Bingo. For some reason the registration screen inside Mecca Bingo does not seem to have registered my number plate correctly but, when I received the first communication from Parking Eye, I responded to
    them with a copy of my bank statement evidencing that I was a patron of Mecca Bingo that night (bank statement showed payments to Mecca). However, Parking Eye did not accept this, so I visited Mecca Bingo on 17 July 2023 and gave them the letter I had received - the staff member went out of sight for a couple of minutes and, on returning, said he had requested that Parking Eye cancel the charge. It seems, however, that Parking Eye ignored
    this request from Mecca as I have now received the Claim Form. I have spoken to Managers XXXXX and XXXXX and they will both confirm the above to the Court and that this parking fine is unwarranted.


    OK. Not a detailed defence and it's a shame you didn't come here earlier but there is something to build on here.

    And I see that your claim stated that the alleged breach was 'parking without authorisation' which you can deny in your later Witness Statement.  Their system failed and doesn't print receipts / confirmation.  You were authorised to park, as a patron of Mecca. This plus your evidence is a VITAL stage, before the hearing, so have you read the NEWBIES thread 2nd post properly now, the section all about KNOW WHAT HAPPENS WHEN?  
    Yes, I wish too that I had found this sooner. Yes, I have read the 2nd post of the NEWBIES thread and just found the KNOW WHAT HAPPENS WHEN thread and read that and see that it might be a couple of months before I hear further with a DQ to fill in and is good that I see I will get to do a WS, so can include the stuff mentioned in the threads in that. (though still not clear whether or not I can refer to CEL v Chan, would you be able to clarify please)? A possible fly in the ointment is that I can't find anywhere a copy of my original appeal to ParkingEye (don't seem to have any emails to them, so perhaps was an online form or something) and I think I probably said in that appeal that I didn't see the signs but nonetheless was a customer of Mecca, so I was quite vague in my defence by saying "for some reason" the machine didn't register my VRM (the reason being, of course, that I didn't enter it), so I probably can't say that their system failed unfortunately.
  • Is this claim issued by PE themselves or have they used an external firm of solicitors to issue it? If it is directly from PE, then CEL v Chan probably won't apply.
  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,237
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    No you can't use Chan, as i said:
    I see that your claim stated that the alleged breach was 'parking without authorisation' 

    Now there's one urgent thing to do.

    What you are dealing with is a hidden scandal affecting hundreds of thousands of good people every year.  Please please please also find time to do this new Call for Evidence this month, to change things forever:

    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/comment/80375249/#Comment_80375249

    The Committee invites evidence on:

    • The causes of action giving rise to claims in the County Court

    • What future reforms to the County Court should be considered.

    Please tell them about your case.

    Tell them that private parking firms and their bulk litigators are the problem as far as small claims delays are concerned, as they dominate court lists. Parking claim numbers are rising every year and will make up about a third of all small claims in 2023, based on the 2022 figures that the MoJ divulged in the DLUHC's recent Parking Code of Practice Call for Evidence:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/calls-for-evidence/private-parking-code-of-practice-call-for-evidence#:~:text=The%20call%20for%20evidence%20is,help%20the%20decision%2Dmaking%20process.

    The MoJ must now be informed to urgently separate parking cases with a new pre-action protocol (requiring use of ADR instead of inflated debt demands and bulk litigators who want court).

    It should be a last resort but it's the first aim of bulk litigators taking over the small claims track.

    Please tell the Committee that the whole private parking legislative framework needs to be removed from the wholly unfair 'debt claims pre-action protocol' which uses a terrible set of 'debt reply' forms that inappropriately asked you how many people were in your household and to fill in whether you can 'afford' to pay a scam PCN or not!

    Appalling that ex-clampers can ask that.
    Completely irrelevant to disputed rogue PCNs.
    Ideally, parking cases should NEVER go to county court and should not be able to affect people's credit rating, probably millions of times in recent years.

    Interested parties have until 14 December to make a submission to the committee.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
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