Friday, 11 October 2013

Important POPLA ruling. Non POFA 2012 compliant charges are not enforceable

In an important decision published yesterday, POPLA ruled that non-POFA 2012 compliant parking charges are not enforceable unless the operator has proof who the driver was.

The Prankster publishes the assessors decision, with permission, here.

In a typical act of POPLA contrariness the assessor states:

"It is the appellants case that the operator has failed to establish liability for the parking charge because it did not issue a Notice to Keeper in compliance with Schedule 4 Paragraph 9 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2010 (stet) ('the Act')."

but later states;

"While not a ground raised by the Appellant, the validity of a Notice to Keeper is fundamental to establishing liability for a parking charge."

Oh well, at least the verdict was correct!

One wonders how the assessors require motorists to word their appeals to get their points across. A typical motorist is not a lawyer and does not necessarily know how to get their points across succinctly. Even The Prankster has had trouble in the past. Perhaps it is time for the Lead Adjudicator to step in and give some suggested wording to the motorist.

For the time being, the Prankster suggests the following wording.

"The requirements of the Protection of Freedoms Act were not satisfied because [insert reason here; eg the notice to keeper was not delivered to the keeper within the prescribed timescale]. The registered keeper cannot therefore be held liable to the parking charge. As the operator has neither named the driver(s) or provided any evidence who the driver(s) were the charge is not enforceable."

The Prankster has had some success with this in the past, as you can see from his POPLA appeal here. However, in this instance the operator, CP Plus, pulled out halfway through POPLA rather than get a POPLA ruling. Yesterday was the first time to the Prankster's knowledge that a ruling has been made by POPLA on this important issue. The Prankster thanks the motorist for letting him publish it.

The Prankster had some difficulty when he appealed against a second CP Plus ticket. In this case, CP Plus refused to accept that the reason was an appeal. The British Parking Association Ltd upheld the actions of CP Plus, ruling that it was up to the operator to decide what was and what was not an appeal. Currently The Prankster is still waiting for a reply from the BPA regarding this. Meanwhile, on the excellent advice of Mr Mustard he has also reported Debt Recovery Plus to the Credit Services Association for various breaches of their code of conduct while pursuing this charge on the behalf of CP Plus.

Perhaps it is time for The Prankster to contact the British Parking Association Ltd again.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


  1. The best way for the motorist to get their message across would be for appeals to include in-person hearings as that way any thing that is said which is not clear could be explored by the adjudicator to make sure he/she understands..

  2. PoFA is 2012 not 2010 ... so POPLA can't even get THAT right in their adjudication. ;-)

  3. POPLA appeals should all be published in full just as they are for the proper parking tribunal PATAS.