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Morrisons and ParkingEye small claims court notice received today.


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After I contacted Morrisons with proof thatI had been shopping in their store on the day in question, PE have now sent me a letter offering to drop the claim if I pay them £60 (their costs).

 

Whatever you do, KEEP THAT LETTER!!!

 

If ParkingLie are now stupid enough to take you to court, take it with you on the day your case is heard and make it the first thing that you show the judge. They'll love that.

 

I'm sure ParkingLie will call it something else, but I feel that the judge may agree with me that it's either Blackmail or Demanding Money with Menaces.

 

"Pay us £60 or else", you really couldn't make it up (Unless you're ParkingLie) doh.gif

Please note that my posts are my opinion only and should not be taken as any kind of legal advice.
In fact, they're probably just waffling and can be quite safely and completely ignored as you wish.

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get back on to Morrisons and tell them the PE are still progressing claim and ask them for copy of letter from them to PE as it is your data so they wont have any problems with confidentiality.

Should Morrisons not be willing to help you can tell them that it will be the subject of a SAR and you will do the same to PE to see who is going to make the first move to comply with the DPA

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I have got the letter, don't worry :wink: - in fact, my lever arch file is starting to look quite healthy... I thought that letter could show PEs willingness to resolve the issue and me ignoring it could be a negative thing? I thought this line from the letter was more damning:

 

'It has come to our attention that you were a genuine customer on the date of the Parking Charge event' - admitting I was actually using Morrisons and not just abusing the car park.

 

I have been back to Morrisons to ask if any such physical contract/agreement with PE even exists but they bever replied. I didn't chase it up because I discovered they aren't the landowners, so whatever agreement they made is irrelevant. I have mailed the landowners and await their response.

 

I have already requested the document from PE (CPR 31.14) last week, so, as of tomorrow, they are beyond the one week deadline they are supposed to reply by. I'm guessing that will be a point in my favour in the actual case as well...

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Not the landowners? Good, then no "locus standi" for PE as they dont have a contract worth a light. It would be a bit like an estate agent telling visitors to my house that they have to pay them for parking on my drive when they visit me just because I used them to sell out my rented out house and they had an agreement with my tenant.

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  • 1 month later...

UPDATE - never received anything from PE from my CPR31.14 request (permission from landowner) and never heard back from the landowner either. I suspect the landowner just have an office with a receptionist to show some legal presence in the UK as they don't trade here any more.

 

I submitted my skeleton defence to the court and, today, PE have replied to say they will continue to court. They sent me an interesting 46 page defence document!

 

In it, they cite a recent case against them in East Anglia, which they won. Reading through it, there are some useful tips in there and one glaring reason why they won, which isn't a fact in my case. I won't clarify that now, in case PE lawyers read this :-) but I will update this thread after my case completes, for better or worse.

 

On those lines, there are lots of posts in this forum saying how 'PE always lose at small claims courts' BUT I don't see any actual threads with people that has actually happened too (I'm not talking about POPLA decisions). Is this because they are not allowed to talk about completed cases? Or has no-one actually won against them and they're too embarrased to admit it?

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Ah, nice one, that is what I wanted.

 

Interesting that in the one most relevant to me, the case lasted about 10 minutes! The defendant hardly said a word. In that case (PE v. Sharma), PE even had a contract with the landowner (which they don't have in my case) and PE still lost!

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  • 3 months later...

Ok, been a while but finally have my court date as mid-April and I've just received the wad of paper from PE.

 

Even though they never replied to my CPR 31.14 request, they have now included a document which is supposedly their contract with Morrisons. Two points:

 

1. Can I get it excluded on the day as evidence because they didn't send it when I asked?

 

2. According to the Land Regitsry, Morrisons are NOT the landowner, so surely this contract is useless? In the contract, they have a line that says;

 

'[Morrisons] being the landowner of the site (or as a tenant or licensee and having the prerequisite authority to bind the landowner)'

 

I assume I can argue that they have not proved any such 'prerequisite authority'? There is no mention anywhere in the court pack of the real landowner.

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When you get to the hearing you should tell the judge that PE have failed to provide the evidence requested as a CPR and ask that the claim be struck out for failing to show a basis for claim. (probably wont happen as you got the document with time to study it). Then PE will need to prove that Morrisons had the authority to assign the landlord's rights, which means that you would need to see the lease agreed between Morrisons and the freeholder. PE wont have that so they wont be able to claim it other than by saying that it was assumed that there was a right.

Your other strong point is that Morrisons told them to drop the matter and they didnt so they are not acting on behalf of anyone so what authority do they have now?

Lastly, their offer of dropping the case if you pay their costs does rather sink them.

Does any of theor paperwork mention PE v Beavis and Wardley? If so even before you complain about the non compliance with CPR tell the judge that PE are deliberately trying to mislead the court by using a case that is the subject of an appeal without making this clear. Their solicitor could be jailed for contempt if they use this as a precedent and dont mention the appeal and the judge WILL know about it so make sure you let them know that you do.

Lastly it is still abot PE's losses caused by your actions and these are zero. All of the costs they incur are either establishment costs (necessary to run a business in the first place) or costs incurred to chase you through the courts and these are a result of their own actions rather than yours. Can you imaging a similar scenario where you go into a furniture shop, browse the sofas for sale and decide not to buy anything but the shop chages you for wear and tear on thier carpet, staff time for asking if they can help you, money towards their window cleaning bills etc. Laughable.

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Thanks for that - they have quoted the Beavis case, so will make sure this is mentioned - is there a link to somewhere I can prove it is on appeal?

 

The letter offering to dismiss the case if I pay costs says 'without prejudice' on it - I thought that meant I couldn't use it in court?

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Without prejudice (technically) means that the content of the letter cannot be used against them in court. The "against them" being the important part of the definition.

 

However, you could include it as part of your evidence bundle, not to be used against them, but to show the timeline of events. Meaning that the judge will be able to draw his/her own conclusions wink.png

Please note that my posts are my opinion only and should not be taken as any kind of legal advice.
In fact, they're probably just waffling and can be quite safely and completely ignored as you wish.

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What's Morrison's take on this? Are they happy that one of their customers is being taken to court?

 

I contacted them originally - they came back to say they had persuaded PE to withdraw the claim IF I paid their £60 'costs'. They didn't seem to understand the whole idea of the illegality of PEs position or the principle of having to pay to park in a free car park.

 

I can sort of understand Morissons point of view - they are trying to stop local office people parking all day for free in their car park. In the cut-throat supermarket business, the cost of car park management (barriers, tickets, extra staff) is prohibitive, when they can hand it over to a company like PE and it costs them nothing. They won't even lose me as a customer as the shop is too convenient.

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without prejudice documents can be used but the contents are not binding.

Read the parking prankster's blog on PE abusing process by not mentioning the Beavis appeal. cut and paste as necessary.

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Morrisons know that any claim will fail if defended properly. Sadly, PE have blindsided them with their contract. Basically Morrisons have to pay a substantial amount of money to PE if they discontinue the contract. And by substantial, i do mean substantial.

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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  • 3 weeks later...

Great, my case is next Wednesday, the day after the Beavis appeal judgement is due (although it may come out later). According to the Prankster blog, if Beavis loses, so do I! If the judgement is not out by then, they might stay the case until it does.

 

My main point of defence was the fact that Mmorrisons is not the landowner and so have no right to allow PE to run the car park. This was based on a land registry search of who the landowner is - it is officially Safeway Stores Ltd. and not strictly Morrisons. I thought this meant that Safeways (who still trade in the US and are thus an active company) had kept ownership of the land and rented it out to Morrisons, although I could find no evidence of this either way and Safeways never replied to my letters (could not find any other contact details).

 

Now I realise that the address I sent the letters too (recorded delivery, signed for ok) is the SAME as Morrisons HQ !! So maybe they are the landowner's indirectly.

 

All of which might be irrelevant if the Beavis appeal loses! Wonderful!

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The Beavis appeal will only really apply to car parks where ParkingLie pay the landowner to operate. Which is very specific.

 

In all other cases, I think the general 'rule' of GPEoL (rather than commercial justification) will still play a part. Judges may be slightly more difficult to convince, but that's my take on it.

Please note that my posts are my opinion only and should not be taken as any kind of legal advice.
In fact, they're probably just waffling and can be quite safely and completely ignored as you wish.

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Safeways are morrisons. They own the UK company outright. Could always check if they actually have planning permission to operate the car park as a paid car park :)

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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There have been several recent articles in the local paper in respect of Parking Eye's actions in the car park. It may be worth getting a copy of the original planning permission in respect of the use of the car park.

When Safeways opened, there were articles in the paper then, in respect of allowing the public to use the car park (as it had been a public car park), but I don't recall anything about 'outside trading hours'.

quote:

'ParkingEye spokeswoman Tiffany Stromsoe said: "The original planning agreements of the site require that the car park is available to the public, at no charge, outside the store's trading hours. Subsequently, Morrisons agreed earlier this month that the car park management system would operate until 10pm, when the store closes.'

 

 

So Parking Eye know there is a planning agreement in respect of the car park, but does it actually include 'outside the store's trading hours'?

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so ask the planning dept at the local council about restrictions in parking at this site. Many of the old Safeways stores have it in the planning application or consent that free parking is just that and that trumps any contract PE may have or offer (basically theirs is unlawful)

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Case stayed, pending the 'Beavis' appeal.

 

I tried to argue that the Beavis case was different to mine because PE do not pay Morrisons any monthly fee to act in the car park, whereas they do pay in the Beavis case, so easier for them to calculate a PEoL. Judge registered this but wasn't convinced enough to carry on. Personally, I think this was because he didn't know enough of the issue - he told the PE solicitor to schedule a full half day if they re-list the case so he has time to research all the notes.

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Good job.

 

I don't think the Beavis case is actually going to make too much difference in the long run for the vast majority of car parks. As you rightly say, the car park that Barry Beavis parked in is an exception to the rule as ParkingLie pay the landowner to 'manage' the car parking there. In car parks where that doesn't happen (with any PPC) it's not really going to change the current situation in the slightest.

Please note that my posts are my opinion only and should not be taken as any kind of legal advice.
In fact, they're probably just waffling and can be quite safely and completely ignored as you wish.

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