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Playing the parking companies at their own game

Hi, this is in England. Just to clarify, I am not posting about how to avoid a parking fine - this is a bit more interesting than that.

Months ago I got a parking fine for being parked in a place I had a permit. The permit was displayed in my side window, and in their "evidence" they only had photos of the front and back windows. I appealed, with a photo of my permit for the relevant date, but it was rejected.

I have no concerns about being taken to court, as I'm sure I'll win if I am. However, I started getting multiple letters and demands for a payment of £100, firstly from them, then a debt collection company. So, I sent them this email:

This notice is hereby given that [my name], having presented clear evidence of no breach of contract, does not consent to further requests for payment relating to the PCN 976665. Further contact to [my name] to pursue payment without a court order, either by the issuer of the PCN or any agencies or companies acting on their behalf, will be taken as agreement by the issuer to pay an Unwanted Contact Charge of £100 per incident (which may be reduced to £50 if payment is made within 14 days of the date of issue). Contact may be made to inform [my name] of the cancellation of this PCN but no additional contact should be made, other than a court summons if the issuer of the PCN believes they have sufficient evidence to do so.

Basically, I sent them a notice quite similar to their own wording, informing them that further contact with me on this issue would be taken as their agreement with me to pay me a fine of £100.

I've since received plenty more letters and texts from them and debt collection companies, and am getting pretty tired of it. I doubt they're actually going to take me to court, but I'm now at the stage of wanting to take them to court - they've built up about £1,000 of unpaid invoices now.

I'm aware that if this was successful in court it could potentially change the game a bit in terms of how private PCN's are dealt with.

Any thoughts or advice on this?

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Comments

  • Half_way
    Half_way Posts: 7,012
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    have you contacted the owner of the space where your vehicle was parked?
    From the Plain Language Commission:

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  • Fruitcake
    Fruitcake Posts: 57,988
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    edited 13 February at 12:37PM
    You appear to have left your PCN number showing, which is not a good idea.

    It is not a fine unless it's from a council. the police, or a court.

    Plan A is always a complaint from the keeper to the landowner and and the keeper's MP. If you are sure a data breach has occurred, you could also complain to PPC's ATA, the DVLA, and the DVLA KADOE team.

    Plan B would be to appeal, which you have already done.

    Plan C would depend to which ATA the PPC belongs.

    Which PPC issued the charge?

    Your idea will change nothing since it would be heard in the county court which will have no bearing on any other parking case, or any other court case for that matter. You won't get a summons either because it is a civil case, not criminal.
    It would be persuasive if it later got to an appeal or the appeal court, but only if the judge decided it were so.
    It would only be a game changer if it got to the Supreme Court. You would need to be rich or get crowd funding to pay a barrister at that level.

    If you feel strong enough, you could issue your own claim for a data breach of the DPA/GDPR. 


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  • Jopkins
    Jopkins Posts: 23
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    Half_way said:
    have you contacted the owner of the space where your vehicle was parked?
    I think you may have misunderstood the purpose of this post. I am not trying to avoid this fine or have it cancelled - if they want to take me to court, they can do, and I'll win in court. This is about me taking them to court. At this stage, even if they offered to cancel the PCN, I would still have issued my invoices for the Unwanted Contact Charge. I wanted to get some thoughts on this case against them, not their case against me.
  • Jopkins
    Jopkins Posts: 23
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    Fruitcake said:
    You appear to have left your PCN number showing, which is not a good idea.

    It is not a fine unless it's from a council. the police, or a court.

    Plan A is always a complaint from the keeper to the landowner and and the keeper's MP. If you are sure a data breach has occurred, you could also complain to PPC's ATA, the DVLA, and the DVLA KADOE team.

    Plan B would be to appeal, which you have already done.

    Plan C would depend to which ATA the PPC belongs.

    Which PPC issued the charge?

    Your idea will change nothing since it would be heard in the county court which will have no bearing on any other parking case, or any other court case for that matter. You won't get a summons either because it is a civil case, not criminal.
    It would be persuasive if it later got to an appeal or the appeal court, but only if the judge decided it were so.
    It would only be a game changer if it got to the Supreme Court. You would need to be rich or get crowd funding to pay a barrister at that level.

    If you feel strong enough, you could issue your own claim for a data breach of the DPA/GDPR. 


    Helpful info on the court system, thank you.

    In terms of appealing them, I'm not too fussed about it - they can try to take me to court if they want, I will win as I was not in breach of their terms.

    Shame it wouldn't have further-reaching effects, but I'd still like to test whether this would work in a small-claims court and therefore whether other people may be able to be successful in the future too when PCCs are issuing invoices which are essentially fraudulent. 
  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,290
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    You can file a claim for damages for distress for abuse of your data, if you think you have grounds.

    See the current threads by @pould and @Anto_28 who are both suing a PPC.

    But your approach has no legs and is arguably unreasonable conduct.  A cautionary tale:

    http://parking-prankster.blogspot.com/2017/01/parkingeye-win-and-are-awarded.html?m=1
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
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  • Jopkins
    Jopkins Posts: 23
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    You can file a claim for damages for distress for abuse of your data, if you think you have grounds.

    See the current threads by @pould and @Anto_28 who are both suing a PPC.

    But your approach has no legs and is arguably unreasonable conduct.  A cautionary tale:

    http://parking-prankster.blogspot.com/2017/01/parkingeye-win-and-are-awarded.html?m=1
    Thanks for that. I do think this is a far cry from unreasonable behaviour though; I have presented them with evidence that I had a permit, and they have elected to pursue me anyway, meaning I have to deal with their mail and texts frequently (no idea how they got my number!). In my view, that is the unreasonable behaviour, and I am simply trying to ensure I'm compensated for my time.

    I would of course really like to put the shoe on the other foot and see whether the public can take them to court, rather than the other way around - I've got time and don't mind the faff, so if I am able to successfully invoice them for this, that would help other people too.

    I don't really want to claim for abuse of data or distress as I think that would seem a lot more unreasonable than simply charging a reasonable fee - as they do themselves - for my time in dealing with their requests. I just want to give myself the best possible chance in court. 
  • Anto_28
    Anto_28 Posts: 144
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    edited 13 February at 5:06PM
    Jopkins said:

    I would of course really like to put the shoe on the other foot and see whether the public can take them to court, rather than the other way around - I've got time and don't mind the faff
    I'm doing just that, got my hearing on the 29th Feb. They sent me an LBA but I beat them to the punch and issued my own claim in the County Court before they could.
  • pould
    pould Posts: 250
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    Jopkins said:
    You can file a claim for damages for distress for abuse of your data, if you think you have grounds.

    See the current threads by @pould and @Anto_28 who are both suing a PPC.

    But your approach has no legs and is arguably unreasonable conduct.  A cautionary tale:

    http://parking-prankster.blogspot.com/2017/01/parkingeye-win-and-are-awarded.html?m=1
    Thanks for that. I do think this is a far cry from unreasonable behaviour though; I have presented them with evidence that I had a permit, and they have elected to pursue me anyway, meaning I have to deal with their mail and texts frequently (no idea how they got my number!). In my view, that is the unreasonable behaviour, and I am simply trying to ensure I'm compensated for my time.

    I would of course really like to put the shoe on the other foot and see whether the public can take them to court, rather than the other way around - I've got time and don't mind the faff, so if I am able to successfully invoice them for this, that would help other people too.

    I don't really want to claim for abuse of data or distress as I think that would seem a lot more unreasonable than simply charging a reasonable fee - as they do themselves - for my time in dealing with their requests. I just want to give myself the best possible chance in court. 

    I'm confused as to what it is you want to take the PPC to court for, if not a data breach or distress / harassment. Surely a Tort would be on one of those two grounds?
  • Jopkins
    Jopkins Posts: 23
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    Anto_28 said:
    Jopkins said:

    I would of course really like to put the shoe on the other foot and see whether the public can take them to court, rather than the other way around - I've got time and don't mind the faff
    I'm doing just that, got my hearing on the 29th Feb. They sent me an LBA but I beat them to the punch and issued my own claim in the County Court before they could.
    That's really interesting - what is your claim against them?
  • KeithP
    KeithP Posts: 37,085
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    Jopkins said:
    That's really interesting - what is your claim against them?
    It might be simpler for you to read @Anto_28's thread.  ;)
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