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Surfer01

What precedents have been set?

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We have had various cases recently where PPCs have been involved, but all these relate to issues before 1st October. However have any of these cases set any precedents that may assist a defendant in a parking dispute after the 1st October 2012?

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Small claims courts don't set precedents.

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Small claims courts don't set precedents.

 

I think we all know that, however I was referring to the appeal cases like Parking Eye vs Somerfield or VCS vs HMRC which were high court cases as I am sure that the judges made rulings which favoured the motorist like in the HMRC one regarding the motorist and contracts?

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I'm not aware that any precedents have been set. The Court of Appeal case against Somerfields was focused upon the effect on the contract of Parking Eye's dishonesty, deceit and false representation.

In this case they were specific to Parking Eye.

The other matters which are of more general interest - such as Parking Eye's abuse of any authority to being a legal action, or the level of the charges demanded were not the focus of the judgment - and so although they are highly persuasive - and all but binding upon the County Courts, they are not binding precedents.

However, it would be a very brave judge at County Court level who would refuse to follow these opinions of the Court of Appeal.

 

I think that we can safely say that anyone who has received a demand for money is at least entitled to have sight of the parking management contract insofar as it shows that the parking company has the power - not just the authority - to bring a legal action, and also to receive a full breakdown of how the money demanded amounts to costs incurred by the alleged infraction by the motorist.


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PE vs Somerfield with reference to last paragraph "The case is important because it introduced firmly the notion of proportionality into the doctrine of illegality in the field of contract law: that is, the Court effectively held that the claimant will only be deprived of the entirety of its remedy where that would be a proportionate response to the illegality in question."

 

The judgement makes it very clear that only Somerfield were entitled to any monies extorted from drivers.

 

'Under the ParkingEye scheme, after that had expired, a charge was imposed. The Judge found that sufficient notice of the charges was given to create a contract between the motorist and Somerfield whereby the motorist was contractually bound to pay Somerfield the charges of which notice was given if he or she overstayed.'

 

Isn't this a precedent?

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BTW as PE are offering a service and VAT has to be paid on doing a "service" surely they should have a VAT number on each "ticket" they issue?

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PE vs Somerfield with reference to last paragraph "The case is important because it introduced firmly the notion of proportionality into the doctrine of illegality in the field of contract law: that is, the Court effectively held that the claimant will only be deprived of the entirety of its remedy where that would be a proportionate response to the illegality in question."

 

The judgement makes it very clear that only Somerfield were entitled to any monies extorted from drivers.

 

'Under the ParkingEye scheme, after that had expired, a charge was imposed. The Judge found that sufficient notice of the charges was given to create a contract between the motorist and Somerfield whereby the motorist was contractually bound to pay Somerfield the charges of which notice was given if he or she overstayed.'

 

Isn't this a precedent?

I don't think that it is because so far as I understand, the locus of PE to bring a court action depends upon their status within their relationship with the carpark owner. This means that in this respect the CA judgment is highly specific. You could say that it forms a precedent to the extent that "where there is an identical contract/relationship between a landowner and a management company purporting to act on the landowner's behalf, then that management company has no locus to bring an action.

However this would not form an general binding principle that management companies may never sue a motorist directly.

I can see a number of ways that the landowner/management company relationship could be altered so that the management company does gain the necessary status and so I don't think that it would be possible to prevent it without an Act of Parliament - which would never happen.


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Going back to your original question surfer, I'd be surprised if anything post 1 oct 2012 had reached a higher court yet given that it's only just over 3 months ago and our courts don't tend to move that fast.


 

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I don't think that it is because so far as I understand, the locus of PE to bring a court action depends upon their status within their relationship with the carpark owner. This means that in this respect the CA judgment is highly specific. You could say that it forms a precedent to the extent that "where there is an identical contract/relationship between a landowner and a management company purporting to act on the landowner's behalf, then that management company has no locus to bring an action.

However this would not form an general binding principle that management companies may never sue a motorist directly.

I can see a number of ways that the landowner/management company relationship could be altered so that the management company does gain the necessary status and so I don't think that it would be possible to prevent it without an Act of Parliament - which would never happen.

 

As I understand it, in order for a motorist to raise a valid defence in court, the motorist would need to to ascertain the relationship between the PPC and the leaseholder I could ask them to produce a copy of the contract. Is this correct?

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Going back to your original question surfer, I'd be surprised if anything post 1 oct 2012 had reached a higher court yet given that it's only just over 3 months ago and our courts don't tend to move that fast.

 

Surely not much changed with the Act anyway and previous case law could be used in some aspects?

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Surely not much changed with the Act anyway and previous case law could be used in some aspects?

Absolutely.


 

What's Best for You?

 

 

The Consumer Action Group is a free help site.

Should you be offered help that requires payment please report it to site team.

 

Alliance & Leicester Moneyclaim issued 20/1/07 £225.50 full settlement received 29 January 2007

Smile £1,075.50 + interest Email request for payment 24/5/06 received £1,000.50 14/7/06 + £20 30/7/06

Yorkshire Bank Moneyclaim issued 21/6/06 £4,489.39 full settlement received 26 January 2007

:p

 

Advice & opinions given by Caro are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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As I understand it, in order for a motorist to raise a valid defence in court, the motorist would need to to ascertain the relationship between the PPC and the leaseholder I could ask them to produce a copy of the contract. Is this correct?

In addition to any other defences, the motorist's defence would probably begin with a para.1 -

"The claimant does not have locus to bring this claim and the defendant puts the claimant to proof on this issue.

If the court finds that the claimant does have locus, then

par.2

para.3

 

etc"

 

Something like that, anyway.

 

In other words the defendant motorist has merely to raise the issue and it then falls to the claimant to establish their locus by proof.


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It might be that in the light of recent decisions that the claimant begins their POC by asserting that they do have locus.

In that case the defendant's first para would be

It is not admitted that the claimant has locus as alleged and puts the claimant to proof on this issue

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