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  1. correct For the time being I suspect the fact that VCS now have a piece of paper saying that the initial ruling was an error in law is sufficient to fight future cases based on their contract with the land owner. Should they still lose similar cases I guess they will start the appeals process again as the ruling would affect all cases from that car park and could result in a class action from anyone who previously lost their cases.
  2. Unfortunatley in applying to appeal the case my original defence was not considered, only the claimant's case and the rights or wrongs of the relevance of VCS's contract with the landowner. I suspect if I had gone back to court, the decision that the contract was valid would have helped my case as clearly excel don't have a contract, but that was a risk/cost I didn't want to take, particularly as my argument was not guaranteed to win. The biggest lesson from all this is how arbritrary judgements are - depends on the judge, their mood that day and like or dislike of parking firms.
  3. As an update, VCS were successful in their application to appeal the decision. It was decided that the judge had made an error in law and that VCS's contract with the landowner was of no relevance to people parking in the car park I was due to go to County Court in January for the initial verdict to be appealed. My home insurance subsequently refused to cover my legal costs as in their view I had no contract with VCS' - how very ironic. The following may be useful for anyone else who's case goes to appeal. I spent a lot time speaking to solicitors and the CAB trying to establish what costs I would be liable for, and received very differing responses from 'nothing as it is a debt' to 'tens of thousands of their legal fees'. Lots of solicitors provide free 30 min consultation and from company was very helpful. They pointed me towards case law where the defendant was only liable for the original charge as per the small claims court hearing. This would have meant being liable for c. £100 if I had gone to County Court, and as such the costs of a barrister to defend me would far outweigh my liability. All advice is that you need representation at County Court so that would have been a big gamble. Having also received advice that I would not necessarily win the appeal based on the Excel Parking defence, I decided to write a letter without prejudice offering to settle out of court, which was accepted. I'm guessing that as an error in law was made, VCS felt confident that that ruling would be sufficient to fight any future claims and didn't want to spend further money on me, especially as I could have won again based on my original case. If I had gone to court and won again, that decision could also have been appealed and the thought of further stress and risk of further legal costs was too much for me. In this instance VCS won, but a small consolation is that taking into account the payment they had to make to me after the Small Claims victory I paid less overall than the original £60 charge. Thanks to the team here for their advice, but if I could wind back time, despite the buzz from winning in the small claims court, I would pay the initial £60 charge to avoid all the subsequent stress and worry.
  4. Unfortuantely it can take up to six months for the right to appeal to be decided so as yet I've heard nothing. I am covered by my insurance, which is lucky as I've been advised that should they be granted their right to appeal costs could be in the tens of thousands. Well worth people being aware of that at the beginning of the process.
  5. Thanks, I do have legal cover through my union and will check my insurance.
  6. Hello all, Another update. VCS are appealing on the basis of a contract with the landowner being immaterial. I assume that if they win its back to court to present my original defence. I'd assume my original defence would now be strengthened if the VCS contract with the landowner is immaterial. If I'd agreed a contract with anyone it was Excel Parking who have no connection to anyone, and VCS's contract with the landowner is now irrelevant. I'll let you know the outcome of the appeal
  7. Will take a look and pm you if I find out. I assume that anyone who has paid the charge this year for less than 2hrs parking could now take VCS to court to claim back costs
  8. Unfortunately not. The only document VCS sent me was a statement of agreement with the landowner from 2018, stipulating that they were allowed to charge for parking but not the terms of that contract. I had asked for the contract and was going to raise the question of what was stipulated in it, but as HB says someone got there first. The contract is from 2010 and has not been updated but suspect VCS may get onto that before too long. The SoA does not mention Excel Parking and VCS ignored that issue. It was not addressed in court due to the case being dismissed.
  9. Hello all, a final thank you very much for your help. My case was today and it appears that VCS have blitzed the courts over the last couple of weeks with similar cases. Another case for the same car park had managed to get hold of the contract, which stipulated 2 hours free parking so the (very fed up with parking cases) judge was dismissing every case thereafter. A great result. Despite my earlier reservations and the stress and concern I do think I would do this all over again, especially as VCS now owe me costs and travel. For others using the Berkeley Centre Car Park in Sheffield - the contract with the landowner stipulates 2 hours free parking, so use that in your defence if in court later in the year. This must be costing Simon a lot of money. Thanks again and good luck
  10. That's great to know thanks! I'll let you know how I get on if it does go to court (or if VCS drops it)
  11. Seems a very logical approach to me - to make sure that my case is as good as it can be in court I can demonstrate that not only that I sent all relative documents to the claimant, but that they also received them. Not quite a fatal mistake but its best to cover all corners. They on the other hand have sent me nothing. To be fair, with or without recorded delivery, I haven't included the cost of half a day's leave to attend court in my calculations, which along with the above headaches would definitely make initial payment of the 'charge' the best option in this case, and would now be my advise to anyone else in this situation. Here's hoping that it doesn't get to that stage.
  12. I think I would have been better paying the initial £60 'charge'. A lot of hassle, a lot of worry, a lot of time and a lot of recorded delivery letters. Would have been galling but for peace of mind I know what I'd do next time
  13. Thanks and sorry - my use of the word fine. The letter says 'willing to accept a reduced settlement charge'
  14. This is still dragging on. Last month I received a letter from the courts setting a date in January, but that they had still not received information from VCS who had until mid December to comply. This weekend I received a letter from VCS offering a reduction in fine to £125 rather than £185 and pointing out that the court would look favourably on their gesture as per the Civil Procedure Rules. I have still not received any evidence requested from VCS and suspect that this is a final bluff before the court case is dropped. I won't be paying the reduced sum but should I respond to or ignore the letter? Thanks
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