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    • rippedoff16
    • By rippedoff16 7th Aug 18, 1:11 PM
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    rippedoff16
    Advice please on case regarding contracting with minors
    • #1
    • 7th Aug 18, 1:11 PM
    Advice please on case regarding contracting with minors 7th Aug 18 at 1:11 PM
    Hi There
    I am after a bit of advice please, hoping someone can help
    I will set the scene
    *17 Year old son, new to driving visits a fast food joint drive thru, pulls over in car park for 10 mins eats his food, fails to validate a ticket then leaves. he did this 2 nights running
    * 2 X PCNs arrive for £100 each
    * we appealed to Parking Company and it got rejected
    * we appealed to POPLA on basis of contract law. i.e a 17 year old, not commercially mature, is a Minor etc. Minors are able to void contracts on grounds of misunderstanding etc, this does not apply to contracts for necessaries eg, Employment, Accommodation etc
    *POPLA rejected this stating that parking is a necessary

    My question is this, UK contract law is quite specific, I feel that POPLA have misinterpreted this and as such I will not be paying the charge. I cannot find anyone else using this part of contract law as a defence and I am pretty sure that the parking company may not want to pursue in the courts for fear of setting a precedent ( i.e if they lose then all 17 year old drivers could use this as an angle)

    I now have 28 days to pay ( so the parking company say) before they take legal and recovery action.

    does anyone think I have a good chance here, is it worth me pursuing ?

    would be grateful if anyone knows of other cases
Page 2
    • Snakes Belly
    • By Snakes Belly 7th Aug 18, 3:29 PM
    • 273 Posts
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    Snakes Belly
    Even if the parking is considered a necessary it has to be at a fair price. Parking is necessary however this is a charge for breaching a contract that he was not aware that he was entering into. You could complain to POPLA about the decision.
    Last edited by Snakes Belly; 07-08-2018 at 3:53 PM.
    • rippedoff16
    • By rippedoff16 7th Aug 18, 3:53 PM
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    rippedoff16
    where was this Mc donalds? who's franchise is it?
    was the time in the car park just 10 minutes?
    dont get to tied up with contacts, go for the retailer(mc donalds franchise)

    And as far as gdpr goes, when dealing with minors things are a completely different ball game, as they have additional protections.

    all this can be used in a complaint to the franchisee with the aim of getting it cancelled
    Originally posted by Half_way
    Not sure of the angle with GDPR ? and have already contacted McDonalds who say they have no responsibility and to direct my questions to the Parking Company
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 7th Aug 18, 3:56 PM
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    KeithP
    Did you contact McDs or the franchisee oft that particular establishment?
    .
    • rippedoff16
    • By rippedoff16 7th Aug 18, 4:00 PM
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    rippedoff16
    I looked into this a while back for a similar situation regarding my son. I found a link to where a judge ruled against a similar defence canít remember the exact wording or link.

    However, it was along the lines of if heís responsible enough to own/drive a car then he is responsible enough to enter into a contract regarding its use.

    Car insurance is a contract and your son can have one of those, including all penalties associated with it.

    If the minor wishes to drive on the roads they accept responsibility they just cannot flout everything because of age.

    Needless to say, I dropped that angle and concentrated on more valid points.
    Originally posted by timpster

    I agree that having a car comes with responsibilities, however along the way through schooling etc they are not taught how to be commercially aware, I would argue that he was commercially immature and incapable of fully understanding that by not validating his ticket in a free to park car park after buying his dinner in McDonalds that he had breached a contract ( twice) contracts that were to cost him £200. quite clearly he has learned the hard way, but what a sad society we live in where a youngster discovering the freedoms of driving gets penalised by these bloodsucking leeches.

    I guess I am so passionate about this because Its just so wrong. maybe I should just remove the emotion, but I cant.
    • rippedoff16
    • By rippedoff16 7th Aug 18, 4:06 PM
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    rippedoff16
    Did you contact McDs or the franchisee oft that particular establishment?
    Originally posted by KeithP

    Yes I did. are you suggesting that this normally gets a result ?
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 7th Aug 18, 4:21 PM
    • 11,380 Posts
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    KeithP
    Yes I did. are you suggesting that this normally gets a result ?
    Originally posted by rippedoff16
    Which did you do?

    I asked if you contacted McDonalds or the franchisee of the particular restaurant.

    I'm agreeing with Half_way... go for the retailer - the franchisee.
    .
    • Snakes Belly
    • By Snakes Belly 7th Aug 18, 4:25 PM
    • 273 Posts
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    Snakes Belly
    Onerous terms are not enforceable against a minor. A contract for necessities may be enforceable but it must not contain onerous terms and must be fair and reasonably priced.

    Bargepole has posted on a similar case on another site. Bargepole is a regular poster on this site. This is what Bargepole says about a similar case (not recent).

    'As a minor, she does not have the legal capacity to enter into a contract, other than for essentials such as food etc. (Family Law Reform Act 1969).

    Therefore, she was not bound by any purported contract created by Parking Eye's signage, and owes them nothing.'

    I agree with the other posters that it is a lot easier to get the fast food outlet to cancel the charge.
    Last edited by Snakes Belly; 07-08-2018 at 4:34 PM.
    • timpster
    • By timpster 7th Aug 18, 4:35 PM
    • 8 Posts
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    timpster
    I agree that having a car comes with responsibilities, however along the way through schooling etc they are not taught how to be commercially aware, I would argue that he was commercially immature and incapable of fully understanding that by not validating his ticket in a free to park car park after buying his dinner in McDonalds that he had breached a contract ( twice) contracts that were to cost him £200. quite clearly he has learned the hard way, but what a sad society we live in where a youngster discovering the freedoms of driving gets penalised by these bloodsucking leeches.

    I guess I am so passionate about this because Its just so wrong. maybe I should just remove the emotion, but I cant.
    Originally posted by rippedoff16
    I agree with your sentiments hence why I dug deeper with my own son and focused on law rather than sentiment. Just a quick search today and I find this, which is along the lines of my decision to change tact about 2 years ago.

    Necessaries. A minor is bound to pay for necessaries supplied to him under a contract. The Sale of Goods Act 1979 s.3, re-enacting the Act of 1893, provides:

    "... where necessaries are sold and delivered to an infant (or minor)... he must pay a reasonable price therefor.

    'Necessaries' in this section means goods suitable to the condition of life of such infant (or minor)... and to his actual requirements at the time of sale and delivery."

    "Necessaries" are those things without which a person cannot reasonably exist and include food, clothing, lodging, education or training in a trade and essential services. The "condition of life" of the minor means his social status and his wealth. What is regarded as necessary for the minor residing in a stately home may be unnecessary for the resident of a council flat. Whatever the minor's status, the goods must be suitable to his actual requirements-if he already has enough fancy waistcoats, more cannot be necessary: Nash v. Inman [1908] 2 KB 1, CA.


    Therefore if it's normal condition of life for and a necessaries for a seventeen year old to have a car, it can be argued on the above it's normal condition of life for and a necessaries to pay its costs of running and ownership. Hence the contract is valid for a 17 year old car owner/driver due to the condition of life.

    Like I said I did find a judgment along those lines so I change tack and went with the normal points in the newbies section to get it quashed.

    Emotion doesn't help in court only the law and Id rather argue the case a 17 year old car driver could enter a parking contract than argue against.
    • Snakes Belly
    • By Snakes Belly 7th Aug 18, 4:39 PM
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    Snakes Belly
    There are not many cases relating to contracts and minors and most are outdated. The contract in this case is created by signage.
    Last edited by Snakes Belly; 07-08-2018 at 4:41 PM.
    • rippedoff16
    • By rippedoff16 7th Aug 18, 4:43 PM
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    • 0 Thanks
    rippedoff16
    Which did you do?

    I asked if you contacted McDonalds or the franchisee of the particular restaurant.

    I'm agreeing with Half_way... go for the retailer - the franchisee.
    Originally posted by KeithP

    I guess it was the franchise owner that I contacted. I wrote to that particular outlet
    • timpster
    • By timpster 7th Aug 18, 4:58 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    timpster
    There are not many cases relating to contracts and minors and most are outdated. The contract in this case is created by signage.
    Originally posted by Snakes Belly
    Agreed, and stating the signage was inadequate or the contract unfair works for all ages.

    However, if the signage by some miracle was in this case able to form a contract then being 17 will not absolve him. When this happened to my son I too thought I had the golden bullet of age to quash it should it ever go to court.

    Reading up on it proved otherwise, IF the parking contract was valid then age alone wasnít going to help.

    If you own or drive a car and you want to park it then it becomes a necessity.

    If the contract is unfair then age doesnít matter.
    • Half_way
    • By Half_way 7th Aug 18, 5:29 PM
    • 4,398 Posts
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    Half_way
    Its usually a god idea to put what put what you intend to say on here first, who/what company is the franchisee?
    From the Plain Language Commission:

    "The BPA has surely become one of the most socially dangerous organisations in the UK"
    • The Deep
    • By The Deep 7th Aug 18, 5:46 PM
    • 11,030 Posts
    • 10,991 Thanks
    The Deep
    Whether a contract exists or not, a judge may very well decide that failing to enter a VRN in a free car park, when you are a patron of the restaurant is a trifling matter, and the Law does not concern itself with trifles.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_minimis

    They may also recognise this as the scam which it is. Has your son vented his spleen on social media?

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

    Parking Eye, CPM, Smart, and another company have already been named and shamed, as has Gladstones Solicitors, and BW Legal, (these two law firms take hundreds of these cases to court each year). They lose most of them, and have been reported to the regulatory authority by an M.P. for unprofessional conduct

    Hospital car parks and residential complex tickets have been especially mentioned.

    The problem has become so rampant that MPs have agreed to enact a Bill to regulate these scammers. Watch the video of the Second Reading in the House of Commons recently

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

    and complain in the most robust terms to your MP. With a fair wind they will be out of business by Christmas.


    sa sc
    You never know how far you can go until you go too far.
    • jkdd77
    • By jkdd77 7th Aug 18, 8:22 PM
    • 264 Posts
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    jkdd77
    For what it's worth, I think that the argument that parking is not a "necessity" within the meaning of the case law quoted above has merit (there is no definitive case law on the question of whether parking is indeed a necessity), but I'm not aware of a single case actually won by the minor driver or his/her parents on this ground, and it seems that, in practice, most judges don't like a perceived attempt to "evade responsibility" in this manner.

    I would include it as one defence point amongst many, but I wouldn't hang my hat on it succeeding.

    As regards s.2 of the Sales of Goods Act 1979, parking is a service rather than a good.

    There might be an additional argument that a court should be slow to hold that a minor, being a person who is deemed in law to lack full mental capacity and understanding, genuinely intended to accept and enter into such a one-sided, onerous and punitive parking contract, or to agree to a term of paying £100 for such a trivial "breach".

    Once again, however, I think most judges would lazily apply Beavis without considering the special position of minors.
    • Johnersh
    • By Johnersh 7th Aug 18, 8:37 PM
    • 1,183 Posts
    • 2,249 Thanks
    Johnersh
    You'll be hard pressed to argue a fully qualified 17 y.o. driver with the responsibility for being in charge of a potential weapon (there's case law in that) cannot be responsible for a £60 parking fine. I just don't see that this point has legs. Google gillick competence too. Different context, but sound principles as to decision making and understanding.

    That said - there may be brilliant reasons that C's case will fail - genuine customer, mere typos, unclear signs etc.

    Write to the debt collector give your address, confirm its an address for service and let them crack on. They appear to be on notice that D is a minor, so they will either have to wait or sue D via mum/dad as appropriate.
    Last edited by Johnersh; 07-08-2018 at 8:40 PM.
    "The best advice I ever got was that knowledge is power and to keep reading."
    DISCLAIMER: I post thoughts as & when they occur. I don't advise. You are your own person and decision-maker. I'm unlikely to respond to DMs seeking personal advice. It's ill-advised & you lose the benefit of a group "take" on events.
    • Castle
    • By Castle 7th Aug 18, 9:03 PM
    • 2,131 Posts
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    Castle
    You'll be hard pressed to argue a fully qualified 17 y.o. driver with the responsibility for being in charge of a potential weapon (there's case law in that) cannot be responsible for a £60 parking fine.
    Originally posted by Johnersh
    It's not a fine.
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 7th Aug 18, 9:14 PM
    • 5,003 Posts
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    onomatopoeia99
    Would a minor have the capacity to understand that by parking the car he was accepting the terms and conditions of the contract?
    Originally posted by Snakes Belly
    Yes, a 17 year old would have the capacity to understand. Please try to avoid setting the rights of teenagers back to the days of Agar-Ellis in the cause of getting out of a parking ticket.
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek.
    Home is where my books are.
    • Johnersh
    • By Johnersh 7th Aug 18, 10:08 PM
    • 1,183 Posts
    • 2,249 Thanks
    Johnersh
    It's not a fine.

    A silly error. *Claim not fine*

    I shall redouble my efforts to avoid further uses of misleading terminology!
    "The best advice I ever got was that knowledge is power and to keep reading."
    DISCLAIMER: I post thoughts as & when they occur. I don't advise. You are your own person and decision-maker. I'm unlikely to respond to DMs seeking personal advice. It's ill-advised & you lose the benefit of a group "take" on events.
    • Snakes Belly
    • By Snakes Belly 8th Aug 18, 12:26 AM
    • 273 Posts
    • 276 Thanks
    Snakes Belly
    I have been visiting this site for over twelve months now whilst fighting my own case. What seems to be apparent to me is that decisions made by judges can be quite random. If though you give them enough reasons to dismiss the claim one of them may do the trick.

    I am not trying to set the rights of teenagers back but I can understand how parents feel when their kids get shafted.
    Last edited by Snakes Belly; 08-08-2018 at 12:29 AM.
    • Johnersh
    • By Johnersh 8th Aug 18, 12:37 AM
    • 1,183 Posts
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    Johnersh
    A parent's love n' all thzt. Fine.

    But young adult not kid. That is why the point is doomed to fail - this is more than the whimsy of different judges. There's some high level case law on the point.

    If though you give them enough reasons to dismiss the claim one of them may do the trick
    .

    I disagree - that can be the case, but it is also true that good points can be shrouded by bad ones.
    "The best advice I ever got was that knowledge is power and to keep reading."
    DISCLAIMER: I post thoughts as & when they occur. I don't advise. You are your own person and decision-maker. I'm unlikely to respond to DMs seeking personal advice. It's ill-advised & you lose the benefit of a group "take" on events.
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