When a parking company is taking you to court, usually the most cost efficient way to settle the dispute is to use the independent appeals service, POPLA. This is free to the motorist and costs the parking company £27. In addition, the process is evidence based - both parties write in with their case, which is then heard by an assessor.
This therefore saves time and money for both parties, and also saves the courts a lot of time.
However, trying to get a parking company to use POPLA once a case has been filed can be like getting blood out of a stone. Why is this? The simple fact is that parking cases have only recently been hitting the courts in numbers and as a result few judges have experience of parking cases. Parking cases typically explore complex areas of law, resulting in 500 or more pages of documentation on both sides and hearings of between 3 hours and a day, all for a £100 parking charge. Many judges do not have the time to research all the issues and as a result decisions vary wildly from court to court and day to day.
Contrast this with POPLA, where the assessors only deal with parking cases and therefore have detailed knowledge of the law surrounding these areas.
The parking companies know that they will lose at POPLA, because it is impossible to run a business for substantial profit from charges levied to make good a loss. They therefore prefer to chance their arm at court.
Some judges have realised it would be far better for everyone concerned to refer the case back to POPLA. There have been no known cases where this happened where the issue had to go back to the courts for resolution, and this can therefore be seen as a success for all parties (as costs are kept down) and also for the court, whose precious time is not wasted in a hearing.
The Parking Prankster has therefore added a page to the website documenting cases which have been referred to POPLA. This can be used as reference material for anybody writing to the court to ask that their case be referred to POPLA.
The Parking Prankster