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RT1970

Highview/DRP reactivated claim after 2.5 years - ** PCN CANCELLED **

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Great news, the only outcome really.


Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Thanks all, donation made :-)

 

Here's the redacted letter, obviously only suitable for those in the same situation although I guess bits of it could be used if appropriate for related scenarios.

 

 

 

 

DRP Plus Ltd

PO Box 411

Dukinfield

SK14 9DD

 

Your reference XXXX– Parking charge notice XXXX – Date XXXX

 

Dear XXXX

 

I have endured protracted correspondence with your company about the parking charge mentioned in your latest letter dated XXXX despite making it abundantly clear that I dispute the legitimacy of the charge and have no intention of paying it. My position has not changed over the last three years. The debt is denied. I do not owe you or your client any money, I reject your claim in its entirety and I will happily argue the case in front of a judge if you have the balls to try it on.

 

When the alleged incident took place I was not the driver of the vehicle and I informed your client of this fact in writing when I received the original PCN dated XXXX. Notwithstanding your client’s duty under POFA 2012 to pursue the driver rather than the keeper they deliberately delayed their response to my letter until the 28 days allowed for POPLA appeals had expired, and then invited me to appeal directly to them, which is an abuse of the BPA code of practice. I received further correspondence from them addressed to me as the vehicle keeper and eventually letters from your company adding punitive costs and fees to the original charge, which contravenes Schedule 4 (Clause 4.5) of POFA 2012: “The maximum sum which may be recovered from the keeper by virtue of the right conferred by this paragraph is the amount specified in the notice to keeper…” The case of Parking Eye v Somerfield established that even debt collection costs of £60 are not allowable.

 

In my earlier correspondence, I requested a copy of the agreement with the landowner at XXXX giving your client interest in the land and thus the authority to levy a charge, which was declined. I also pointed out that the charge stated on the signs in the car park differed from that on the original PCN, which makes the charge invalid because the PCN stated the incorrect amount, but that information was also ignored. I also asked for a breakdown of costs, which was not provided satisfactorily. Although your latest letter suggests otherwise, the fact that the ‘unfair contract terms’ defence was struck out in the Beavis vs Parking Eye supreme court case does not make me suddenly liable for this parking charge or the punitive additional costs you have arbitrarily applied, because the original charge was incorrect, I was deliberately denied access to the standard appeals process and the fees added for debt collection are illegitimate.

 

In the spirit of fair play (not that either you or your client deserve it) I am prepared to offer you the opportunity to settle this matter by alternative dispute resolution and will even agree to using POPLA if that is your preference. If your client is not willing to use alternative dispute resolution then Mr XXXX please tell them that I will look forward to seeing them in court. I will look forward to making them look like the utter shambolic idiots they are, and I will extract maximum costs from them commensurate with the amount of hassle they have caused me during the last three years. If your client insists on this approach, bearing in mind that the court often applies sanctions if offers of alternative dispute resolution are unreasonably refused, then I will expect them to follow practice directions (https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/pd_pre-action_conduct) and I will bring to the judge’s attention any contravention of these directions which is deliberately used to misrepresent your client’s case.

 

For further correspondence (and for issuing proceedings if your client elects to do so) please note that I have recently moved and have a new address, which is shown at the top of this letter. Please update your records and use my new address for any future communication.

 

Yours sincerely

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Good result for you, the parking co will often agree to cancel a ticket if they feel that their working practices are aout to be put under the microscope. This result means there is nothing for the BPA to investigate so business as usual for them.

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Thanks all, donation made :-)

 

Here's the redacted letter, obviously only suitable for those in the same situation although I guess bits of it could be used if appropriate for related scenarios.

 

 

 

 

DRP Plus Ltd

PO Box 411

Dukinfield

SK14 9DD

 

Your reference XXXX– Parking charge notice XXXX – Date XXXX

 

Dear XXXX

 

I have endured protracted correspondence with your company about the parking charge mentioned in your latest letter dated XXXX despite making it abundantly clear that I dispute the legitimacy of the charge and have no intention of paying it. My position has not changed over the last three years. The debt is denied. I do not owe you or your client any money, I reject your claim in its entirety and I will happily argue the case in front of a judge if you have the balls to try it on.

 

When the alleged incident took place I was not the driver of the vehicle and I informed your client of this fact in writing when I received the original PCN dated XXXX. Notwithstanding your client’s duty under POFA 2012 to pursue the driver rather than the keeper they deliberately delayed their response to my letter until the 28 days allowed for POPLA appeals had expired, and then invited me to appeal directly to them, which is an abuse of the BPA code of practice. I received further correspondence from them addressed to me as the vehicle keeper and eventually letters from your company adding punitive costs and fees to the original charge, which contravenes Schedule 4 (Clause 4.5) of POFA 2012: “The maximum sum which may be recovered from the keeper by virtue of the right conferred by this paragraph is the amount specified in the notice to keeper…” The case of Parking Eye v Somerfield established that even debt collection costs of £60 are not allowable.

 

In my earlier correspondence, I requested a copy of the agreement with the landowner at XXXX giving your client interest in the land and thus the authority to levy a charge, which was declined. I also pointed out that the charge stated on the signs in the car park differed from that on the original PCN, which makes the charge invalid because the PCN stated the incorrect amount, but that information was also ignored. I also asked for a breakdown of costs, which was not provided satisfactorily. Although your latest letter suggests otherwise, the fact that the ‘unfair contract terms’ defence was struck out in the Beavis vs Parking Eye supreme court case does not make me suddenly liable for this parking charge or the punitive additional costs you have arbitrarily applied, because the original charge was incorrect, I was deliberately denied access to the standard appeals process and the fees added for debt collection are illegitimate.

 

In the spirit of fair play (not that either you or your client deserve it) I am prepared to offer you the opportunity to settle this matter by alternative dispute resolution and will even agree to using POPLA if that is your preference. If your client is not willing to use alternative dispute resolution then Mr XXXX please tell them that I will look forward to seeing them in court. I will look forward to making them look like the utter shambolic idiots they are, and I will extract maximum costs from them commensurate with the amount of hassle they have caused me during the last three years. If your client insists on this approach, bearing in mind that the court often applies sanctions if offers of alternative dispute resolution are unreasonably refused, then I will expect them to follow practice directions (https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/pd_pre-action_conduct) and I will bring to the judge’s attention any contravention of these directions which is deliberately used to misrepresent your client’s case.

 

For further correspondence (and for issuing proceedings if your client elects to do so) please note that I have recently moved and have a new address, which is shown at the top of this letter. Please update your records and use my new address for any future communication.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Unless I'm reading this wrong, you seem to think they should be pursuing the driver under the POFA not the keeper. This only happens if the name and address of the driver is known.

The whole point of schedule 4 of the POFA is that the keeper CAN be held liable for a charge, if all the criteria are met. (They never are though!)

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Absolutely correct.

 

 

In my first letter to the PCC I informed them I was not the driver at the time of the alleged overstay

and let them know that the driver was happy for me to supply his details

so he could take over the correspondence with them.

 

 

I'd lent my car to a friend while his car was off road,

and when I showed him the NTK he agreed that I could send them his name and address

and he would sort it out with them.

 

 

But they ignored that information and waited a month to reply

(just enough time to exclude me from POPLA, funnily enough!)

and invited me to appeal to them directly,

which is when I started dragging up all the other issues

(no contract with landowner, mismatched sign/PCN, breakdown of costs, etc).

 

My argument was that by providing or offering to provide the driver's details in my first correspondence with them,

they were obliged to follow up with the driver under POFA 2012 Sched 4, 5(1).

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Absolutely correct.

 

 

In my first letter to the PCC I informed them I was not the driver at the time of the alleged overstay

and let them know that the driver was happy for me to supply his details

so he could take over the correspondence with them.

 

 

I'd lent my car to a friend while his car was off road,

and when I showed him the NTK he agreed that I could send them his name and address

and he would sort it out with them.

 

 

But they ignored that information and waited a month to reply

(just enough time to exclude me from POPLA, funnily enough!)

and invited me to appeal to them directly,

which is when I started dragging up all the other issues

(no contract with landowner, mismatched sign/PCN, breakdown of costs, etc).

 

My argument was that by providing or offering to provide the driver's details in my first correspondence with them,

they were obliged to follow up with the driver under POFA 2012 Sched 4, 5(1).

 

It's bugging me- did you actually provide the drivers name and address?

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Sorry, my post was a bit ambiguous in that regard.

 

Short answer: no.

 

More precise answer: I replied immediately to the PCN to tell them I wasn't the driver and offered to send them the driver's details (I was actually expecting them to send me some sort of form to fill in - I was unaware at the time how these companies operate so naively I thought there would be a proper procedure for this). Then they replied a month later, upping the fine and inviting me to appeal directly to them, by which time I had read some of the threads on here and was a bit more clued up, so I wrote back and asked for sight of the landowner's authorization, breakdown of costs etc. I did not actually send in my friend's details, only an offer to do so.

 

Do you think this is an important distinction? POFA 2012 Sched 4, 5(1b) states that they can only pursue the keeper if they are "...unable to take steps to enforce that requirement against the driver because the creditor does not know both the name of the driver and a current address for service for the driver..." My reading of that is that by offering to provide his details I was enabling them to take steps (the next step being to accept my offer) whereas I guess a really strict reading of the same paragraph would be that if they don't actually have the name and address of the driver they can elect to take action against the keeper at any time.

 

On a related subject, I find Sched 4, 5(2) similarly ambiguous: "Sub-paragraph (1b) ceases to apply if (at any time after the end of the period of 28 days beginning with the day on which the notice to keeper is given) the creditor begins proceedings to recover the unpaid parking charges from the keeper." What are proceedings in this context? One reading could mean serving court papers, but equally a company might say that by sending any letter or reminder after 28 days they are taking their own 'proceedings'.

 

Cheers

 

RT

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Sorry, my post was a bit ambiguous in that regard.

 

Short answer: no.

 

More precise answer: I replied immediately to the PCN to tell them I wasn't the driver and offered to send them the driver's details (I was actually expecting them to send me some sort of form to fill in - I was unaware at the time how these companies operate so naively I thought there would be a proper procedure for this). Then they replied a month later, upping the fine and inviting me to appeal directly to them, by which time I had read some of the threads on here and was a bit more clued up, so I wrote back and asked for sight of the landowner's authorization, breakdown of costs etc. I did not actually send in my friend's details, only an offer to do so.

 

Do you think this is an important distinction? POFA 2012 Sched 4, 5(1b) states that they can only pursue the keeper if they are "...unable to take steps to enforce that requirement against the driver because the creditor does not know both the name of the driver and a current address for service for the driver..." My reading of that is that by offering to provide his details I was enabling them to take steps (the next step being to accept my offer) whereas I guess a really strict reading of the same paragraph would be that if they don't actually have the name and address of the driver they can elect to take action against the keeper at any time.

 

I'd say you've answered that yourself!

 

On a related subject, I find Sched 4, 5(2) similarly ambiguous: "Sub-paragraph (1b) ceases to apply if (at any time after the end of the period of 28 days beginning with the day on which the notice to keeper is given) the creditor begins proceedings to recover the unpaid parking charges from the keeper." What are proceedings in this context? One reading could mean serving court papers, but equally a company might say that by sending any letter or reminder after 28 days they are taking their own 'proceedings'.

 

Cheers

 

RT

 

Thank you for the clarification. You wrote how I understood it.:nod:

 

5(2)... What about 5(1);

 

5(1)The first condition is that the creditor

 

(a)has the right to enforce against the driver of the vehicle the requirement to pay the unpaid parking charges

 

 

 

Schedule 4 of the POFA 2012 is an ill thought out and badly written piece of legislation. Ambiguous hardly covers it....

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Proceedings would mean a formal demand so they would have to say that they are claiming keeper liability under the PoFA and inform the keeper exactly how much is owed and why. Then they would have to give formal notice that a claim is being pursued via the courts. As there are timescales for appealing this makes the "proceedings" spread out so not 2 letters the same day

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Interesting post on the prankster's blog today:

 

"To dissect their incompetence, Wright Hassall have started out by misquoting 9(2)(b), which states nothing of the sort. They refer to registered keeper, while the Act refers to keeper. The two are not necessarily the same, as the Act makes clear in 2(1). They then misquote 9(2)(e), somehow turning an obligation of the operator into an obligation of the keeper. Along the way, they once again mangle keeper into registered keeper, and state that a current postal address of the driver is required. This is wrong - the Act defines the requirements to also allow 'an address at which the driver can conveniently be contacted'. Next, 9(2)(f) is similarly reversed, magically changing from a operator obligation into driver obligation."

 

I hadn't spotted that, but there it is in Sched 4(2)1:

 

“current address for service” means—

(a)in the case of the keeper, an address which is either—

(i)an address at which documents relating to civil proceedings could properly be served on the person concerned under Civil Procedure Rules; or

(ii)the keeper’s registered address (if there is one); or

(b)in the case of the driver, an address at which the driver for the time being resides or can conveniently be contacted;

 

So it seems that if you inform the PCC you were not the driver and offer to give them contact with the driver, even if you do not immediately provide the driver's full contact details, they are still obliged to then deal with the driver. Only if the driver denies being the driver can they use (5, 1b) to go after the keeper again...

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