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Help! Parking Eye Court Claim Form- Private Land w/ no 'free stay'


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Hi,

 

New to the forums and sorry if there's stuff on this elsewhere but most advice seems to be for those who've overstayed in a retail/supermarket car park etc. but my case is a little different.

 

I first received a letter from Parking Eye dated 24/10/12 (yes, almost a year ago now!). I was going to pick up my friend who lives in some high rise flats close to a city centre. I didn't know the area and couldn't find anywhere close to park that wasn't double yellow lines. It was approx. 6:30pm and dark at this point and as I was only collecting her, drove into a small carpark close by to call her. I hadn't seen signs driving in (as I said, it was dark and these were not lit- nor was the carpark at all) so only read the sign when I got out of the car. Alas- Parking Eye! (I've had a dalliance with them before after breaking down in one of their car parks- email appeal was accepted) This particular car park was for a hotel's gym and there was no allowance for a limited time of stay; you had to have a badge displayed (something the gym gives members I presume) or else you are considered to be trespassing- no opportunity to pay.

 

Now, knowing how Parking Eye works, I knew I would receive a notice anyway since I'd already driven in so I thought I may as well wait for my friend. Unfortunately she was having her hair coloured by a hairdresser friend and I ended up waiting there for approx. 40 minutes- still not a lengthy stay I would add.

 

I emailed appeals @ Parking Eye as soon as I received the letter to say all of this. In addition, I noted that the car park was virtually empty and had photographic of such and therefore the business was not losing out by me being there for the short period of time; it was after 6pm, meaning that the vast majority of commuters and shoppers, of which I was neither, had left the area (the type of drivers whom they aim to discourage from using private car parks such as this one) and that I remained inside the car park for the full amount of time- I did not leave the car and would have happily moved on if someone at the premises had asked me to.

 

I received an email back from them (so essentially an acknowledgment?) to say thanks for contacting and that me address etc. must be at the top of the email for appeals to be considered. I replied with the same email and put the details at the top to make sure I'd done everything asked of me.

 

I got another auto response so presumed everything was received okay.

 

I then received a letter over 8 MONTHS later (dated 16/05/2013). This letter said that they had asked for further evidence- which they had not; I had only received the letter in October from them.

 

I emailed them again summarising my argument to then be met with another auto response saying they had changed their process and now appeals must be submitted through their site. I did as was told and found this process very frustrating as characters were limited which forced me to attach a word doc. to their form containing my argument. I made it very clear that 8 months was a ridiculous amount of time to let pass without contacting me and I believed this was deliberately done in the hope that I would have no evidence to give as it could have been lost/forgotten. Incidentally, I had my phone stolen in April which had the images of the empty car park on it. I have a crime ref. number to prove this. I took a screenshot of my form submission.

 

In July I received another email from them claiming that they had asked for more evidence and I had not provided anything (no acknowledgment of my online appeal) and that my appeal had been rejected and that I must pay.

 

I then emailed [email protected]parkingeye in response to the letter; again reiterating my argument and my anger at not receiving any communication for over 8 months leading me to believe my appeal had been accepted. I attached the screenshot of the form submission and demanded to be contacted on the phone or via email by an actual representative rather than an automated system which hadn't acknowledged anything specific that i had said.

 

Sure enough, someone 'real' replied the following day (with no name).They said they were now reviewing my case. They attached a digital copy of a letter dated 6th november which I never received and am dubious as to whether it was actually sent, saying that my appeal had been rejected.

 

I replied to say that the November letter had not been received and if it had, I would surely have responded as I have done at every opportunity to try and resolve the matter. I then actually went back to the carpark (careful not to park in it!) and took photos in the dark to show how unvisible their signs were. This car park is seriously pitch black! I attached these and reiterated my argument AGAIN.

 

They responded to say they were "fully compliant with British Parking Association regulations on signage, and confirm that there is adequate signage at this site that is visible, appropriately located, clear and legible, so the Parking Charge is fully enforceable."

 

They then told me they were not prepared to communicate with me further on the matter.

 

Also worth noting that I did not appeal to POPLA following online advice which said that if your appeal is based on mitigating circumstances (which it was; emptiness of car park, time of day, length of stay, me being with the car, inadequate signage etc.) rather than law it was likely to be rejected.

 

 

 

I've now received this court claim form.

 

I intend to defend the case- if the resounding advice is that I have one?!

 

I'm just unsure of what to put on my claim form.

 

Also, the claimant is listed as Parking Eye NOT the landowner. I once read that legally, in these cases, it should be the landowner who issues proceedings not PE or the case is essentially void because the 'contract' is with the landowner. Anyone know if that's right?

 

I also read that in these sorts of cases, they need to prove that my trespassing has cost the business money- is that also true?

 

If anyone can point me in the right direction of what to base my argument on or any templates of this sort of thing that would be amazing!

 

Sorry for the very long post but wanted to get all info across.

 

(a young girl who struggles with this legal stuff!)

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Firstly, did the sign you saw actually say that if you werent a badge holder or using the gym you wre trespassing? If so, that is your first defence. PE, as you sat, arent the landowner so cannot sue you for damages by trespass and the landowner/occupier wont do so as liquidated damages will amount to less than a penny.

Secondly, as you couldnt see any signs in the dark and presumable the one you saw you had to get out of an already parked car you can claim ignorance-the signage fails to meet BPA code of practice so PE cannot claim that you werent ignorant of their signage.

Thirdly, you appealed to PE and they didnt respond within the 35 days allowed to give you the POPLA code. Again, as they havent followed the COP they are not entitled to use the courts to further their claim.

Fourthly, has or can a contract been entered into at all? Does PE have planning permission for the signs? I bet they dont as no PP has ever been applied for at any of the car parks I have asked about. Therefore it is debateable as to whether their unlawful advertisement can be considered as binding because PE have set out knowing that they are breaking the la so any contract would be repudiated.

You then have the contract between PE and the landlord to consider. PE will claim that they have all rights to sue assigned to them. You need to write to the landowner, not the lessee and find out if these rights have been assigned. I bet the gym isnt the landowner but on a lease so that negates that contract. Then you have the particulars of claim and PE's new claim for commercial justification for the amount claimed. this is because PE cannot claim for liquidated losses as they dont have any. Posting a profit at the end of the year proves that one, otherwise the best they could ask for is breaking even and making a loss on all operations. Commercial justification is something that is part of a bilateral contract and usually signed by both parties. A sign on a lamppost is a unilateral contract and so cannot have this penalty clause in it. As long as this is pointed out in your defence it will be either accepted that ait is a unilateral contract was formed and no damages are due as PE hasnt lost anything or that the sign doesnt represent a contract as for a bilateral contract to be formed there must be offer and consideration and as the sign wasnt visible and give no chance for counter offer it cannot be considered for a bilateral contract to be formed on a level playing field where each party has an equal amount to gain or lose. They will quote case law but there is case law that works in your favour as well.

What you need to do is send of the acknowledgement of service ticking the boxes saying you deny the claim in full and wish it to be heard at your local county court and in the defence part enter that a full defence will be offered upon allocation of the court. this gives you more time to write an full defence and let us see the full particulars of claim-we need to see the wording to ensure that everything in the claim is answered-judges dont like to guess and your response has all of the facts you wish to rely on. You will ideally have pictures of the car park and signage and if you dont live nearby ask your friend to take them or tell us where it is and I'm sure someone will oblige. Likewise if you have copies of the emails and letters that can be picked over as well.

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@ ericsbrother thanks so much for your response.

 

I'm just looking at the picture I took close up of one of the signs. I can't see that it uses the word 'trespassing' on it. It says 'authorised users only valid pass must be displayed in vehicle'. It doesn't mention a 'contract' per se, it says 'failure to comply will result in a parking fine of £100'. 'by parking in this car park, motorists agree to comply with these regulations. Should a motorist fail to comply with these regulations, they accept that they are liable to pay a parking charge'.

 

Are they claiming that I'm trespassing or just breaking the conditions of parking? (by not having a badge)

 

It says 'Private car park'- does that make it clear enough that I'm trespassing? Is that what they're suggesting?

 

I've claimed that I couldn't see the signs until I got out and read them, which is true and I have some pictures which clearly show that's the case, but they could say I should have left right away?

 

I did get a POPLA code, albeit a long time after the incident, and chose not to appeal to them- I think that will work against me? When does the 35 days start?

 

How can I find out about planning permission for the signs? Should I write to the gym about this and the lease too? I'm worried that will take too long to get a response. Could I email them and ask for the info?

 

 

Can't get my head around what a 'unilateral contract' is?

does it mean they are just dictating the terms to me?

Couldn't I just have left if I didn't agree?

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"Sure enough, someone 'real' replied the following day (with no name).They said they were now reviewing my case. They attached a digital copy of a letter dated 6th november which I never received and am dubious as to whether it was actually sent, saying that my appeal had been rejected".

 

 

Can you respond to that email please and ask for proof of postage

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I have copies of letters I never posted so it doesnt prove much. The 35 days would start 2 days after you sent your letter to them and they know it hence the dodgital copy of the supposed reply.

You could use the POPLA code they gave you and point out that you cannot find the envelope the digital attachment arrived in to look at the postmark but your electronic stamp shows that it turned up yesterday. See what POPLA make of that. (use snail mail and POP)

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The wording of the notice will be the end of their claim if you word your defence properly. Dont contact PE again over this, they will know that they will get a kicking for this one.

A unilateral contract is basically an advert that says under what conditions something is offered without limiting or precondition, such as "Lost wallet, £10 reward for its return" You are not limiting who the offer is made to, or when but it is only upon the return of your wallet you have to hand over the tenner. There is no room for counteroffer or consideration so you wont accept any old wallet for your tenner nor will you pay out £15 if asked.

PE have no claim of trespass against you so the sign is basically worthless as it instructs you not to trespass but says that you cant be there without trespassing. As you are a trespasser then they cannot form a contract. They can sue you for trespass if they have a proprietary interest in the land and they dont. Damages for trespass amount to compensation for actual damage done so if you werent driving a tank then you wont have damaged the car park so the landlord will get nothing at best and they arent the landlord and nor is it claer thay have the authority to do anything in their own name at all.

Collate all of the evidence you have regarding the signage, find out who owns the land and whether they have given PE a contract to usurp their rights and come back here. Where were the signs EXACTLY? Are they illuminated? Does PE have planning permission to put them up (bet they dont- no parking co has ever applied for PP as far as I can ascertain as they think they dont need it or it is covered by landowner (well that damages claimof right to form contract if they cant even get council permission off their own back). How big are the signs, whow many and were any of them at the entrance to the land.

When you have this info we will go into detail about contracts and wording of the signs.

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For the last time of asking, email ParkingEye and ask for proof of postage (don't be surprised if that simple request causes them to fold)

 

There are some good people on here trying to give some advice but the devil as always is in the detail

 

I find your post very offensive almost bordering on bullying,whats with you people almost threatening caggers to do as you say! is their an or else ? or something like another poster added to his thread???.

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Proof of posting means squat, you are not obliged to prove postage of anything sent and neither are the PPC, their claims are as fragile as pie crust anyway so why on earth would you expect them to withdraw their invoice on the basis they could not prove postage of any part of their process - preposterous.

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thanks for your help everyone.

 

In my first instance, I'm just going to return the form requesting the extended time to put together a defence.

 

I could ask them for proof of postage for the November letter though they have already said that weren't prepared to communicate further with me on the incident. Plus, can they really provide any proof for a letter? I'm not sure how companies like theirs send them out.

 

I'll check the photo of the sign later and post it up word for word. The sign was indeed at the entrance of the car park however as mentioned, the sign was not lit and the car park in general was very dark (only a bit of lighting at the entrance of the gym so almost pitch black by the entrance of the car park). I'll try and post up my pictures of the signs I sent to PE to demonstrate this. You'll also then be able to see that the colour of their sign doesn't help- the gym's sign is white and reasonably visible but PE's is pretty dark in colour which doesn't help things.

 

I worry that it will work against me that I have admitted to them that I did get out and read the sign after driving in, I realise now this was a mistake. My thinking was that as I had already driven in, the damage was done. There's no mention of a 'grace' period (like 15 mins or something) on the sign as others have suggested they operate on so I wasn't aware of that if it's true.

 

I intend to write to the gym to enquire about who owns the land and whether they can tell me if rights have been passed to PE to issue proceedings against 'trespassers'- is this the best course? I worry they may take a long time to reply. Would emailing them be as effective?

 

Will they also know about planning permission for the signs or do I ask somewhere else about that? If they don't have planning permission, what does that mean for me and my case?

 

I'm almost sure I didn't receive any POPLA info until May this year (incident was October last year) I will try to find the letters and check. As far as I can tell, they received my appeal by email by the 1st November last year and the letter I never received would have been in response to that however I don't think there's any POPLA info in the digital copy- I'll check this. If not, would this mean they haven't given me the info within the 35 day limit? They could possibly claim that it was in the envelope but not attached to the digital copy letter?

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Also, note the height of the signs, if they are too high to be seen from a car they are adding to your defence, plenty of previous on that one-ignorance defence.

I can tell you now that they dont have planning permission, not one of the councils I have asked has had a submission for signs from these merchants. What this means is that the signs are there illegally and therefore misrepresentation. You are not allowed to profit from an unlawful act and thus any contract will be unenforceable or revoked.

Dont bother asking PE anything, you tell the court that you require the evidence from them that they did deliver the paperwork in time. If they have sent you a letter of rejection it should include the POPLA code, which you can then tell was outside the 35 day limit from you Nov 1st appeal. Dont Invent reasons or theories about what and why, stick to the facts- you havent got it or didnt have it until May and that is that. Courts hate assumption and guesswork, it is not in their business to second guess the intention of a party but to judge what is presented. make PE produce their proof.

Whilst you are at it dont mention anything else on here that is not directly in your interest so dont tell us if you have been to the car park again, been there before, told your friends about it, anything that makes it easier to identify you personally will be collected by the PE employees paid to read your posts and you will find it in the evidence bundle from PE telling the court that you were coached by a million experts on an internet forum so keep it simple and collate what you have and read it to find the gaps in your knowledge and then ask again.

Dont forget to demand a copy of the contract when you have to submit your evidence, there is a form for doing that but I cant remember the N number.

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Having looked at pictures, the sign is quite high yes (higher than a car anyway). It is at the entrance but to the right and pretty invisible in the dark. Should this be my main defence?

 

Do I state in my defence that I want to know who the landowner is, whether PE has the right to represent them and if they have planning permission for signs? Or should I try to find this out myself to note in my defence? I will certainly state that I want to see the contract between the landowner and PE.

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You are not submitting a defence yet, you are writing back to acknowledge the claim and denying it in its entirety and a full defence will be submitted within the time allowed. That gives you more time to prepare a full defence when necessary. You will then fill out the allocation questionnaire and choose a county court local or convenient to you.

Dont state that you want to know things, find out who the landowner is and ask them to provide proof of transferrence of their rights to PE. They may well not do this and it will cost you a few quid to force the issue so I wouldnt bother than going further than asking. As I said, there is a time and a form for asking for sight of the contract, it used to be called "discovery" but is dealt with on a separate court form so dont be putting anything on yours, just the Ack of service bits and the allocation.

If nothing else, this will make PE pay for the allocation and thus have to turn up or let the matter drop by being timed out on the allocation fee. There are pluse and minuses to this, a very strong defence, such as being the landowner yourself (are you reading Euro Car Parks?), would make them drop this hot potato but generally having more time gives you the advantage, even if they decide to pay the £40 to continue.

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Just the add to the above, today PE lost a case in court. This is what happened :-

 

Without any preamble, (the judge) tore into (PE's solicitor), asking him whether his client owned the land in question. Once it was established they didn’t, he said that he was going to strike out the claim.

 

Claim No. 3QT62646

In the: Brentford County Court 23/10/2013

Before: District Judge Jenkins

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Excellent news, absolutely no need to fudge the issue with so called 'genuine shopper' clauses and unnecessary contact with the PPC.

 

I'd like to think it went like this:

 

Judge "Are you the landowner?"

 

Sweaty PE rep "No"

 

Judge: "Well f**k off then"

 

PE must be down in the dumps today :lol:

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oh right..

if you don't pay us

 

we'll take it out your CTA X payments made through us......

 

urm..interesting off set rules:lol:

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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I usually post on the bailiff section and only starting taking an interest in the appalling mess of private parking companies following MY discovery of the Parking Eye v Somerfield Stores Court of Appeal Judgment on 17th October 2012.

 

A "little birdie" sent a copy to me on 17th October 2012. I forwarded a copy to this forum's owner (Bankfodder) that same day. You will see from the following link that he posted his initial thoughts on the Judgment that same day. You will my comments in post number 3.

 

A short while after making this post I also provided the forum with a full copy of the initial Parking Eye judgment from the Manchester Mercantile Court. I was not to know at that time that neither the DVLA or the BPA had known anything whatsoever about this significant legal case.

 

It is my personal opinion that if the government had known of these proceedings 6 months earlier, it may well have made them reconsider allowing PPC to pursue keeper liability.

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?369399-Parking-Eye-quot-dishonest-quot-used-quot-police-like-quot-letters-falshoods-quot-semi-literate-quot-misrepresented-their-authority

 

Parking parking companies are frequent visitors to this forum, Pepipoo and MSE and it is for this reason that I will not post too much info on the public forum suffice to say, that "behind the scenes" representations are being made to senior sources regarding significant sections of the initial Parking Eye judgment.

 

Turning back to this thread, the poster Nev Met has raised a vitally important question regarding "proof of posting". Let me assure anyone reading this post that his question is very significant indeed and is most certainly of importance. His background knowledge of this subject is second to none.

 

Visitors to this forum are here to seek help and reading one poster accusing another one (Nev Met) of making a post that was "offensive and bordering on bullying" is neither helpful or correct.

 

Rant over....

 

PS: Despite my username...I am a female but no nasty comments please.

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Just the add to the above, today PE lost a case in court. This is what happened :-

 

Without any preamble, (the judge) tore into (PE's solicitor), asking him whether his client owned the land in question. Once it was established they didn’t, he said that he was going to strike out the claim.

 

Claim No. 3QT62646

In the: Brentford County Court 23/10/2013

Before: District Judge Jenkins

 

.

 

This is EXCELLENT news and given the initial Parking Eye judgment from the Manchester Mercantile Court it is also the CORRECT outcome.

 

Given the significance of the case it would be far better to start a new thread.

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Just the add to the above, today PE lost a case in court. This is what happened :-

 

Without any preamble, (the judge) tore into (PE's solicitor), asking him whether his client owned the land in question. Once it was established they didn’t, he said that he was going to strike out the claim.

 

Claim No. 3QT62646

In the: Brentford County Court 23/10/2013

Before: District Judge Jenkins

 

You can read the full story on Parking Prankster it is quite amusing.

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?407063-How-will-Parking-Eye-deal-with-this-one.(36-Viewing)-nbsp

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Tomtubby, t here is a thread already started on the court case - I have linked it in post 23.

Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

Looking for a draft letter? Use the CAG Library

Dealing with Customer Service Departments? - read the CAG Guide first

 

1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy - HERE

2: Take back control of your finances - Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors? Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt  Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated - Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb 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.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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