Tuesday, 28 June 2016

POPLA will rehear cases on procedural grounds

POPLA have now updated their website to clarify they will rehear cases on procedural grounds

What if I am not happy with the assessor’s decision?

POPLA is a one stage process and there are only two possible outcomes for an appeal brought to our service: either the appeal is allowed or it is refused. We understand that it is disappointing and even frustrating when an appeal results in an outcome that you were not hoping for, however, our role as an impartial appeals service means that quite simply, we must base our decisions upon the factual evidence presented to us. If it is clear that a procedural error has been made during the assessment of your appeal, we might review the case and make changes where we deem necessary. 
Happy Parking
The Parking Prankster

Saturday, 25 June 2016

MIL Collections discontinue the bucketload

MIL Collections are discontinuing cases where they know they cannot win. Here are a selection of recently discontinued cases.

MIL -v- Mrs S. D., Case No. C0QZ173C

MIL -v- Mr S. C., Case No. C8QZ540N

MIL -v- Mr S. H., Case No. C1QZ911D

MIL -v- Mr R. M, Case No. C3QZ569P

MIL -v- Mrs G. D., Case No. C7QZ8344

MIL -v- Mr P. V., Case No C8QZ707N

MIL -v- Mr M. O. Case No. B6QZ3H7A

MIL -v- C Ltd, Case No. B8QZ0K4T

MIL -v- Mr C. H., Case No. C6QZ220N

MIL -v- M M. A., Case No. C9QZ531N

MIL have started to realise that none of the claims they have filed are viable, and as judges have been increasing the amounts awarded against them on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour, have been limiting their losses by discontinuing claims. This saves them the £25 hearing fee, and more importantly, the £200 - £300 to get a solicitor to turn up on their behalf and try and argue a lost cause.

MIL have also been trying it on. It is common for them to try and squeeze out £50 from the claimant in a last ditch attempt before discontinuing. If you receive one of these letters, chances are that the next letter will be to discontinue.

If you have not received one of these letters then it is possible MIL think they might win in court because you have not filed a robust defence. The two main winning points have consistently been that there is no valid deed of assignment as the deed does not list the parking charge references purchased, and the claim smacks of champerty and maintenance as not debt exists; only the chance to sue for an amount which the parking company have made little attempt to validate and so which may or may not exist. More recently thew fact that MIL Collections have been filing witness statements in the name of a fictitious comic book lawyer has also been their downfall, but this at least can easily be corrected by them.

To change your defence usually requires you to file papers with the court and MIL, and costs around £50. The Prankster recommends you do update your defence, but give MIL the chance to fold first. To The Prankster's best knowledge, MIL have lost all contested hearings so there is no reason not to lay it on the line to them.

Dear MIL,

I am intending updating my defence to include the following points.
1) Your deed of assignment is not valid as it does not contain any reference to specific parking charges
2) The claim smacks of champerty and maintenance

(any other points you want to add)

I understand you have never won a contested hearing on these points and that it is publicly known you are widely discontinuing cases where these points are filed as a defence. Here is a selection of such cases:

MIL -v- Mrs S. D., Case No. C0QZ173C
MIL -v- Mr S. C., Case No. C8QZ540N
MIL -v- Mr S. H., Case No. C1QZ911D
MIL -v- Mr R. M, Case No. C3QZ569P
MIL -v- Mrs G. D., Case No. C7QZ8344
MIL -v- Mr P. V., Case No C8QZ707N
MIL -v- Mr M. O. Case No. B6QZ3H7A
MIL -v- C Ltd, Case No. B8QZ0K4T
MIL -v- Mr C. H., Case No. C6QZ220N
MIL -v- M M. A., Case No. C9QZ531N

In order to save both parties money, I suggest that you discontinue the claim. You have 14 days from the date of this letter to do this before I file my new defence points, which will increase your costs should I later prevail.

This offer is WITH PREJUDICE and I will include this in my evidence to the court.

If they don't respond within the 14 days, then file paperwork with the court and MIL, along with appropriate fee, to add the new defence points.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Alan Davies from MIL Collections flunks out of court

MIL v Ms X Warrington

MIL Collections appear to have finally realised that filing witness statements in the name of a fictitious comic book lawyer is not a winning strategy.

In this case, "Matt Murdoch" filed the initial witness statement, but following a challenge from the defendant, MIL asked for this witness statement to be discounted. Instead Alan Davies, the managing director of MIL Collections filed an almost identical witness statement.

Mr Wilkie represented the defendant and the claimant was represented by  a lawyer who was only handed the case papers the day before. Unusually in these cases she did not approach the defendant beforehand and the first communications was to inform them that the judge was ready to hear the case.

The judge was not happy with Alan Davies witness statement, which was filed late, and was also not impressed that Alan Davies had not bothered to turn up and had not informed the court he would be absent. The case was adjourned to be relisted on the first available date 14 days from today, so that Alan Davies could turn up and explain his actions. A time of 1.5 hours was allocated rather than the 30 minutes today. Costs were reserved.

Prankster Note

The Prankster has connections in Truro who inform him that the new-fangled inventions known as the 'motor car' and 'train' have made their way as far south as Cornwall. The Prankster therefore has no idea why Mr Davies could not be bothered to turn up, especially as he managed to get to Parkex last week.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

MIL buried in Bury

MIL v Mrs S at Bury. 15/06/2016

This was a Matt Murdoch/k case, with the fictitious blind lawyer preparing and signing the witness statement for MIL collections. This was always going to cause problems for MIL as comic book characters have difficulty in materialising in court in the real world. The defence was fully prepared by HO87, before handing the hot seat to to John Wilkie. The Defendant contacted MIL to point out the Murdoch/k issues as recently as 8 June, but they were adamant they were proceeding.

Given the recent successes with the Mr Murdoch/k issues, a Preliminary Application was prepared, together with a Costs Schedule, and these were sent to MIL at 3.45 on 14/06/2016 with copies for the judge on the day.

AS it happens, timed at 11.34, but received at 19.34, came a "notice of discontinuance" apparently signed by MIL Collections, and not served on the Defendant.

The judge looked at this, stated it wasn't valid, and as there was no attendance by MIL, this was unreasonable behaviour. He dismissed the claim with 27.14(2)(g) costs without the Defendant or her Representative having to
say a word. Costs of £50, to be paid within 14 days.

Short and sweet.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Michael Schwartz continues to send letters before claim for Civil Enforcement Limited despite practice restriction

Michael Schwartz is currently subject to practice restrictions as detailed on the SRA site.

Mr Schwartz shall act as a solicitor only in employment, the arrangements for which have been approved by the SRA.

Despite these restrictions, Michael Schwartz continues to work for the legal team of Civil Enforcement Limited, sending out dubious letters before claim. The Prankster questions whether this is or is not 'acting as a solicitor'.

If anyone receives such a letter before claim, or any other document wher eMichael Schwartz appears to be acting as a solicitor, The Prankster recommends you send a copy of your evidence to so they can investigate.

Meanwhile, you should also treat the letter as a genuine letter before claim and respond accordingly.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

ParkingEye lose in court. Signage terms not clear

ParkingEye vs Mrs Janice Rowan. C4FC524M Banbury 21/06/2016

Facts of the case

The defendant was timed at 2 hours 10 minutes 48 seconds from entrance to exit at Peartree Services, Oxford, which included time spent at the petrol station. The actual time parked would have therefore been well within the British Parking Association grace periods, including the grace period at arrival and the mandatory 10 minute grace period on exit.


The judgment found that the signage at Peartree services Oxford was not reasonable or transparent. The numerous signs stating "two hours free parking" would lead the reasonable person to assume it was time spent parking in the car park and that did not include time spent in the petrol station or associated services as ParkingEye were claiming.

Nobody from parking eye attended apart from a legal person externally employed.

Judgment was swift and contained criticism of the claimant's largely irrelevant automated bundle.

Prankster Note

The Prankster considers that cases like this should never make court. They bring the parking charges industry into disrepute, clog up the court system and cause stress and inconvenience to motorists. The time spent was well within the limits mandated by the code of practice and should have been picked up by ParkingEye's infamous '19 point checking system'. The ANPR cameras are clearly sited in the wrong place if they include time spent in the petrol station. Lastly ParkingEye's legal team should have picked this up once the defence was filed and should have dropped the claim at that point.

Happy Parking

Monday, 20 June 2016

New optical illusion sweeps internet. Bryn Holloway noticable by his abscence

In the past several optical illusions have puzzled web users. Is the dress black and blue or gold and white? Can you see the panda? Where is the hidden ipad? Now a new illusion is sweeping the globe. Where are the double red lines?

In a parking notice from Vehicle Control Services the parking company claim the vehicle is parked on double red lines. But where are they? Here are their CCTV images, reproduced at the original quality.

So far, only one person in the entire world has managed to see the double red lines; an assessor (who wishes to remain anonymous) who works for the "Independent" Appeals Service owned by Will Hurley and John Davies of the IPC, a trade association for the parking charges industry.

Here is the assessors verdict:
I am also shown evidence that ’No Stopping’ signs exist adjacent to the Appellant’s vehicle and that the vehicle is parked on double red lines.
Amazingly, not only can the assessor see the invisible double red lines, but they can also see an invisible sign 'adjacent to the Appellant's vehicle'. However, despite this description of the signs from Vehicle Control Services, The Prankster remains unable to see them. "To put the size of these signs into perspective, they are larger than a house door" On the other hand, perhaps English is not The Prankster's first language after all, and the sign which says 'Beware Pedestrian Crossing' actually reads 'No Stopping'

The Prankster understands the duties that disability legislation places on employers, but considers that employing blind people to examine photographs is not best practice. Perhaps the IPC are employing them for their clairvoyant capabilities?

Here is the Assessors verdict on a contract they have never seen:
The Appellant appears to suggest that the Operator has no legal standing to form contracts or charge drivers. This site has been audited by the IPC and a copy of the landowner’s authority has been provided to them as part of the audit process. In this appeal procedure the onus this is on the Appellant to prove their case on the balance of probabilities. I am satisfied from the evidence provided that that the Operator has the authority to issue and enforce Parking Charge Notices on this site.
The Assessor appears to be blissfully unaware of the dubious competence of the IPC audit process, and that large numbers of IPC companies have found this out to their cost in the courts, where real judges have ruled that the company does not have the right to issue charges after all. In several cases the IPC have been so incompetent they did not even realise the signage at the car park was in the name of a different operator altogether.

Amazingly, the Assessor's clairvoyant properties let them down later. In this case the registered keeper was at home cooking at the time of the incident, and produced witness statements both from herself and a vehicle passenger,  together with phone logs to prove this. As well as this, the operator identified the driver as male, whereas the keeper is female. Even with this overwhelming weight of evidence, the assessor choose to believe that the keeper was driving.
As the Appellant provides no documentary proof as to their whereabouts I am not satisfied that the Appellant has proved that they are not the Driver as appears to be claimed.
Finally, although the assessor claims to be either a barrister or solicitor, it is clear to The Prankster that one of the IAS's infamous baristas must have sneaked in and assessed the case instead.
In the case of Elliot v Loake (1982) the legal principle is established, that, in the absence of sufficient evidence to the contrary, the keeper of a vehicle is assumed to be the Driver
Any competent legal professional would know that Elliot v Loake establishes nothing of the sort.

  1. The case was concerned with the vehicle owner, not the keeper
  2. Instead of ruling there was 'absence of sufficient evidence to the contrary' the magistrates actually ruled the other way and that there was overwhelming evidence that the defendant was the driver
  3. In any case, any competent legal professional would know from reading the transcript that no legal principle is established. The case is simply a finding on the facts.

The motorist did complain to the Lead Assessor of the IAS , former judge Bryn Holloway. However they only received a generic reply refusing to investigate.

So, the IAS appears to be employing blind, incompetent assessors who are institutionally biased in that they believe operators statements without any supporting evidence, but disbelieve motorists statements even with overwhelming evidence, with a lead assessor notable only for his inability to take meaningful action in the many cases where miscarriages of justice have been reported to him.

The Prankster calls on the government to shut down the IPC until they provide a fair and impartial appeals service. Until this happens, The Prankster calls on Bryn Holloway to step up to the plate, do his job properly and ensure that the assessors are competent and impartial, rather than the disgraceful assessments he is allowing on his watch.

As for the assessor, no wonder they want to remain anonymous with a judgment like that. Where's Wally?

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Why POPLA witness staements are worthless. UKPC lose in court

UKPC v Miss H, Altrincham County Court.

The Prankster was contacted at short notice to help Miss H. Miss H had seen the Prankster blogs about faked UKPC photographs and thought the same might apply. The case looked unwinnable to The Prankster based on the submissions filed by both sides, but John Wilkie decided to take it on anyway as UKPC were claiming hugely inflated costs which made it likely a substantial saving could be made even if the case was lost. Mr Wilkie also studied the photographs carefully and agreed they did appear to be fake.

As a result, a skeleton based on the usual arguments was supplemented with an argument about photos, and a preliminary application about the likely non-attendance of the witness, Michael Elliott of UKPC, citing Link v M Ltd, PE v Mr H and UKPC v Mr M, was prepared.

Mr Wilkie was firmly of the view that if the preliminary application failed, the case was lost. The preliminary application failed.  However, the judge did say that she would give less weight to the evidence due to Mr Elliot's non-attendance and failure to notify the defendant.

And so the hearing began. For the Claimant, the young challenger, Mr Tang of SCS Law. For the defendant, the venerable Mr Wilkie.

Initial arguments by the claimant centred on Authority and actual evidence of the parking. Once he had dealt with these points, some of which were conceded (including that the OP was driver, had parked, had seen the signs, and had breached the terms) this was handed over to the defendant.

A 'contract' between UKPC and the 'landowner' had magically been produced on the day and the defence had been given 5 minutes to look this over and noted that there was no date, no authority from the lessee, no actual chain of authority from the Landowner to the Parking Company, and no
authority to sue in UKPC's name. Having brought all this to the attention of the court, the point was made that without a date, there is no evidence that this contract was in place when the parking events occurred, two years ago.

Following this, the Signage was attacked, as the single sign submitted was not the only sign in place, and hiding evidence like this which is visible in your photos is a bad idea.

Then came the photos. A photo taken at 12.41 on 17 September was in exactly the same parking space as 22 hours later, on 18 September at 10.34

But the killer point was that the same two other cars were also parked in the same place, to the left of the target vehicle, and also across the wall in a different car park.

As Mr Elliot was not present to be questioned on these discrepancies, Mr Wilkie suggested that this caused enough of an issue to justify dismissal of the evidence and claim.

The point was made that UKPC NtK's don't comply with either Section 8 or Section 9 of Schedule 4.

Finally, Mr Wilkie argued that as the newly revealed contract stated that UKPC was agent of the Managing Agent, who was Agent for the Landowner, who was Agent for the Lessee, there was no way Beavis could apply, despite the site type being the same, as PE paid to the principal, where on this site the contract revealed no fee paid for the management contract in either direction.

The other side was given a chance to respond, and made the submission that if they didn't have permission to put up the signs, why were they there. Mr Wilkie countered with the Akhtar appeal...

The judge asked us to leave for 5 minutes to consider her judgment.


1) Signs are sufficient to make a contract, despite the lack of consideration - Beavis applies. Signage was also sufficient to notify the reasonable man of the parking terms and conditions.

2) Statutory deficiencies in the NtK were irrelevant as the OP had admitted to being driver

3) Accuracy of photos - it was fair to say that the photos drawn to the attention of the judge did raise questions of the reliability of such evidence, and therefore cast a doubt on the entire evidence provided, however, this was not raised prior to the courtroom door, and either adjourning for an expert witness, or even instructing same, would be disproportionate to the value of the claim, especially when the OP admits they were parked.

The judge then returned to the Authority.

1) The authority relies on a contract. The contract as produced put the judge in difficulty as there were various issues in reliability of the document.

a) The contract is apparently for a different site according to the front of the contract, but the current site according to the content.
b) There is no date on the contract
c) There is no power in the contract to issue proceedings.

2) The contract refers to using a company called Debt Recovery Plus Limited to enforce, but this does not in itself mean UKPC cannot sue.

3) The judge reminded herself that it is for the claimant to prove their case, and because of the lack of a chain between landowner and UKPC, there was a gap in the authority. While this was addressed to a certain extent in the witness statement, the Claimant could not be cross-examined or give evidence in chief as to the veracity of the documents submitted.

As a result, the judge was not satisfied that the contract and evidence as supplied was sufficient to prove the claimant had Locus Standi. In the judges view, the fatal point to the case was the lack of attendance of the witness.

As a result, the claim was dismissed, with £90 loss of earnings for the Defendant.

Mr Wilkie would like to thank Mr Tang for his candour and professional courtesy.

Prankster note

Mr Wilkie is now 21-4

The result of this case once again throws into doubt the practice of POPLA allowing witness statements regarding contractual provenance to be used. These are pro-forma documents created by POPLA which are just handed to someone to sign to say a contract is in place. This case proves that even if the landowner or operator thinks a contract is in place, the actual contents are of vital importance as a contract might not actually be in place.

The IAS are even more laughable and do not even require a witness statement to be provided. The IAS rules solely on the word of the operator that a contract is in place. This encourages corrupt practices and the Prankster has seen one case where the operator was ticketing on the public highway! The Prankster contrasts this with the way the IAS assessors consider motorist evidence. In a recent case the assessor refused to believe the motorists statement that the car contained a 92 year old disabled passenger, despite the presence of a blue badge. This double standard shows clear institutional bias and in The Pranksters view means that the IAS is not fit for purpose. In The Prankster's view any legal person associated with the IAS sham appeal system should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

On football match days in London large numbers of enterprising young men create car parks with signage, take cash payments and issue tickets. When punters return from the match the signs and the young men have disappeared, but the cars often have a ticket of another kind - one from the council

The council are sadly unlikely to cancel the ticket.

UKPC are essentially operating in the same way. Without a valid contract from the landowner the contract to park is of no more value than that offered by the enterprising young men in London.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Friday, 17 June 2016

Proserve win pyrrhic victory

June 3rd 2016 Ransomes Park v Roberto Ices and another

Roberto Ices delivery vehicles were spotted on two occasions by Mr Duff, parked on Ransomes Park where the driver was a customer of one of the leaseholders.

Following a long war of words, this culminated in two hearing, the second of which was held on June 3rd. Once again Ransomes wheeled out a £3000 a day barrister. Roberto Ices were represented by John Wilkie.

Duff did not enjoy his cross-examination, which went into his bailiffs certificate, his corporate status and his business model, as well as touching on the DVLA Judicial Review, and various other cases where apparently Mr Duff had made claims which did not match up with his evidence in this case. The pen he was holding was not usable at the end of the examination, having been broken into several parts.

Nonetheless, as a result of Ransomes Park v Anderson being a judgment binding on the small claims judge, Roberto Ices did not prevail, and were ordered to pay £725 within 14 days.

Prankster Note

In The Ransomes Park v Anderson case HHJ Moloney found for Ransomes as he judged a trespass had occurred and that Ransomes has therefore incurred costs payable to Proserve. However in that case he limited the costs from £150 to £97.50 based not on evidence but because both parties agreed to accept his decision on the basis that it would be cheaper than to come back to court on another day. HHJ Moloney indicated that in subsequent cases it would be better to have some proper evidence as to costs.

Key paragraphs in the judgment include the following.
Given that finding, was the district judge right as a matter of law, to refuse to make any award to the claimant, and indeed to find for the defendant? The district judge’s judgment rested on two bases: one based on what the district judge perceived as problems with the enforceability of the contract between Ransomes and Proserve; and the other based on the claimant’s failure to mitigate by demonstrating that there was not some more reasonable charge, some more reasonable firm of bailiffs that it could employ.
Fourthly, even in a case where the loss is foreseeable, and is actually incurred, it is open to the defendant to reduce the amount of his liability by proving that the claimant has failed to mitigate his loss. That is to say, proving that there were reasonable steps open to the claimant to reduce his loss but the claimant unreasonably failed to take those steps and thus, in effect, unnecessarily increased the amount of his own loss. If a defendant can show that, then he need only pay the lesser sum that the claimant ought to have lost and not the greater sum that he in fact lost.
This raises two further issues, relevant not only to this case but also to other similar cases, which I understand have been stayed pending this judgment and will shortly be coming up before other district judges. Firstly, I have said that the burden of proof of absence of mitigation is on the defendant. It is also, however, true that the burden of proof of loss, a related but different matter, is on the claimant. There is no evidence here that I can see that Proserve did do an hour’s work on this case. I have re-read the evidence of Mr. Duff of Proserve, and Mr. Robson of Ransomes, and, so far as I can see, there is no attempt to show that an hour’s work was done, or that any evidence was given to Ransomes that an hour’s work was done. Even on the basis that one accepts that the £150 rate is pro-rata, not for an hour or part thereof, it appears in this case that the claimant has uncritically accepted Proserve’s invoices without requiring any proof or evidence that the specified time was spent. I note that all 18 of the cases on the invoice I have seen are charged at precisely one hour each. That is inherently improbable. To be frank, it smacks to me of an attempt to introduce into a trespass claim the sort of “agreed flat fee” approach commonly used in contractual parking cases, which as I have explained cannot apply in a tort case.
What I am referring to here is an apparent failure by Ransomes to prove that it was ever liable to pay Proserve, based on the fact that it did not seek or receive any proof from Proserve that the time had been expended. That is not a ground of appeal in this case, but in future cases I consider that as part of proving its loss Ransomes should plead and prove the amount of work that Proserve did, or is likely on the basis of its general business model to have done, in relation to the particular case in question. Without some evidence of that kind, it is difficult to see how Ransomes could have discharged its duty to prove that it was liable to pay Proserve the amount that Proserve charged it; and if it could not prove that, it would not be able to reclaim the sum from the individual driver.
I accept the analysis that has been given by counsel for Ransomes. Some of the costs are fixed costs, of course, but some are variable to the individual case. The agent has to be called in, he has to photograph the vehicle, the DVLA has to be involved, and then the charge notice drawn up. It appears to me that when one considers that probably several employees are going to have to be involved, and that even though there are economies of scale, this will be a substantial part of their work, and that Proserve is entitled to its proper profits on whatever basic cost there might be in this, then the amount recoverable for the basic job cannot possibly be less than £60, together with the £37.50 for the administrative work involved in kicking off the claim. So that will be an award of £97.50. (I do not want this assessment to be regarded as a precedent, or a sum that ought to be awarded in other cases. I have indicated the desirability that proper evidence is produced that will justify whatever sum is in fact claimed in a particular case.)

In this case the judge concurred that the burden of proof to establish a reasonable cost for photographing a vehicle and writing to the address on the side of the vehicle (as Proserve are not affiliated to an ATA they cannot apply to the DVLA for keeper details) was on the defendants and that they had not sufficiently proved their case that Ransomes could have found somebody to issue and process a parking charge for under £250.

The Prankster finds this somewhat surprising, as large numbers of parking operators make huge profits from issuing parking charges at charges around £70, and of course ParkingEye are able to make a profit on charges of £85 even when they pay £1,000 a week for the right to farm car parks.

Additionally, in the Ransomes case Proserve applied to the DVLA for details, which requires meticulous form filling and much effort. Since then they have lost access to the DVLA. Now the only way they can write to the keeper is to note down the address on the side of the vehicle (if there is one) and write to them that way. This is obviously much cheaper than previously.

The case was something of a pyrrhic victory for Ransomes as they will have spent over £6,000 on counsel, plus Mr Robson and Mr Duff have spent 2 days in court. The judgment will be no use to them in future cases, and in fact will help defendants by showing them that they will have to bring better proof that Ransomes have shown a "failure to mitigate by demonstrating that there was not some more reasonable charge, some more reasonable firm of bailiffs that it could employ."

The Prankster is confident that other parking operators can provide services to Ransomes at a much lower rate and will update the blog with future Ransomes cases. Parking Collection Services, for instance, appear to charge £20 to parking companies to contact keepers and send them a Notice To Keeper, based on the fact that the charge goes up by £20 once they are involved. It is not clear why Mr Duff cannot do the same for £20.

Mr Wilkie is now 20-4, regrettably.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Smart Parking charge vulnerable motorist at notorious Fistral Beach Car Park

The Prankster will let Stacy tell the tale in her own words. Stacey cannot drive, as she has epilepsy and problems moving-her car is registered to her under the motability scheme.

See this facebook page for more details

hello my name is Stacey.
I am little scared because I can not see my advocate for while to help me. and I have got a reply from the ticket people at Smart parking who we wrote to try and exsplain why I could not pay the meter.
I was on holiday in conwall in April this year and I come home to parking ticket for Fistral Beach. I went there because I read there was beach wheelchair. I not was sure if I could use the beach chair because I not have good upper body control but I wanted go see. when get to car park I check metre and say no parking free for disabled blue badge which I have blue badge. so I needed get some change pay meter so I go to get change and look at chair at same time as in same shop but problem was I had get over sand to get to shop and I get stuck in the sand.
it take 3 people to rescue me and my wheelchair from sand and then I decided I just go home cause I hurt me foot when got stuck and it scard me. so we go back to caravan. I not was drive my husband was drving. he take me back to van and make sure I ok give me meds and clamp my chair back in van.
I write to Smart parking and I exsplain all this to them and tell them it takes lot time to clamp and unclaimp a wheelchair and it not was my fault I not could get over sand to get money and we not did think parking have no free parking for disabled at all most have least some free parking even if it half hour.
we only was there from 2.34 to 3.07pm all time take unclamp me and clamp me back in and to get stuck and unstuck in sand I is real glad people help me get unstick from sand or I still be stuck there now.
I tell people at smart parking they can see my blue badge in the pictures they took of the van. so they know I was disabled and they can tell it wheelchair van with lift so it special van have clamp wheelchair in. but they say fine still stand and say MUST pay fine on same day as they WROTE the letter to me on 9th of june but I only get letter today. or they send it to debt collectors. so they now going send scary people my door because they not give me time to pay and I no feel I should pay for getting stuck in sand trying to get change for machine.
it not like me was there for 2 hours swim in sea and catchin sun. wish me had because it my dream go on beach but now they take my dream away to ever try go beach again.
on letter say they have tell me about obusman but that they wont deal with them so I am lots confussed about that. but give me a number I can make complaint to POPLA?
I gots letters me got scaned and picture of marks me left on beach and me sent picture of marks me left on beach to them to I not can work out how attach them to this post sorry.
I am scared they will send debt people my door. and they put charge up more. it was £60 if pay with in 28 days now £100 cause me made complaint that me think is wrong to no should be made to pay more for making complaint.
I am trying read everything on site I read rules say to and only to post if still cant find answeres but I am scard because they give me no time to pay or complain as I ment pay by now but only get letter today.
how do i attach things to here to show you?

No doubt Smart Parking employees will be sleeping happily in their beds tonight, pleased to have the prospect of another £100, and the satisfaction of dashing this lady's dreams of ever going to the beach again.

Shame on you, Smart Parking.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Monday, 13 June 2016

Race to the bottom starts in Australia

Messrs Hurley and Davies of IPC fame are apparently expanding their business interests into Australia, as this website shows.

Patron Hallow is one of the side businesses of the Red Cow Gang.

The live site can be seen at this link

Amusingly, the site editors forgot to remove the reference to the 'IPC Code of Practice'. Perhaps this is not so silly as the actual code of practice appears to have been lifted word for word from the IPC.

The Prankster warns Australia that the IPC has not been a force for good for parking management but has started a race for the bottom and a general lowering of standards across the industry, with forum shopping rife amongst operators.

Complaints about IPC operators form a large part of The Prankster's postbag, and Hurley and Davies have been noteworthy for their slippery attitude to legitimate complaints and total failure to do anything at all about them. Both their complaints procedure and their appeals service are in The Prankster's opinion a joke, with the appeals service showing all the characteristics of a kangaroo court**.

Although The Prankster has no idea of the level of knowledge of Hurley and Davis of the Australian Legal System, their knowledge of the UK legal system regarding parking is apparent from the wide number of failures of their firm Gladstones in court, with their main claim to fame in the cases appearing to be the increase in Gladstones bank balance at the expense of the parking operators. The only case thus far reported to The Prankster where Gladstones client won, Link Parking, resulted in them getting their contract terminated for their unreasonable behaviour towards motorists, The Prankster therefore warns Australia to take any advice from Hurley and Davies with a pinch of salt and to do their own checking.

Bonzer Parking

The Parking Prankster

** Cue kangaroo joke

Sunday, 12 June 2016

The IPC attempts to gag The Prankster...

...or do they?

The Prankster has received a schoolboy letter before claim for a defamation action. The letter purports to come from Paul Fitton of McHale and Co Solicitors on behalf of Gladstones Solicitors, the IPC, Will Hurley and John Davies.

The Prankster receives a number of communications from fools and charlatans every day, and this particular letter was both shoddy and badly worded. In The Prankster's opinion it did not appear to be the work of a real solicitor - or at least a competent solicitor. The Prankster therefore took the precaution of contacting both Mr McHale and Gladstones Solicitors to check whether the letter was genuine. Neither have responded at the time of blogging, despite the letters being posted in April.

The Prankster was also at the BPA parking summit with Will Hurley and John Davies, where neither of them mentioned the matter to him.

The Prankster can therefore only assume that the letter is a forgery. The letter is reproduced here for blog readers to make up their own mind.

The blog is question is this one.

Making Paul Fitton Look Like an Idiot

If Paul Fitton wants to contact the Prankster to see who has been besmirching his good name, and making him look like an idiot, then The Prankster would be happy to co-operate. McHale and Co have a valid address for service which The Prankster provided.

Would The Prankster recommend McHale and Co to prospective clients

If, on the other hand, the letter was genuine, then The Prankster questions why Paul Fitton has not replied, despite The Prankster contacting him 3 times (1 March, 10 March, 17 March) and Andrew McHale has not replied despite The Prankster contacting him on 16 April. If this is the normal standard of behaviour of McHale and Co then The Prankster would warn all prospective clients to steer well clear of this firm.

Gladstones also did not reply to The Prankster's letter of 16 April but this is apparently their normal business practice when motorists contact them so there is no surprise there. The Prankster has been informed by motorists many times that they have been stonewalled by Gladstones when attempting to find information.

Making Will Hurley and John Davies Look Like Fools

The Prankster would have to question why a legal firm would post a letter on the 29th February stating that they would have no alternative but to seek an injunction at 4pm on the 1st March.

As the letter would not even have been delivered by that time this was obviously an empty threat, and as an injunction still has not been sought in June, Paul Fitton's various clients did obviously find an alternative, which was...not to seek an injunction and not to reply to any of The Prankster's communications.

In The Prankster's opinion this makes Will Hurley and John Davies look a little foolish. If however any real solicitors want to get in touch with The Prankster and confirm that it is normal legal behaviour to do this sort of thing The Prankster would be happy to publish a clarification.

Defamation 101

An absolute defence to defamation is that statements are true. It is probably best therefore not to undermine your own case by confirming for your main point of contention.

Article contents
A quick check reveals that the domain was registered by one John Davies of Gladstones Solicitors.

5. For the avoidance of doubt, our clients assisted in the establishment of Peoples' Parking by way of providing IT service to build its website and registering its domain name.

11a Our clients and Peoples' Parking are not associated with each other, as you allege

So, The Prankster claims that John Davis of Gladstones Solicitors registered the domain; Paul Fitton confirms this is true, and then alleges this is defamatory.

It is clear then, that if the letter was 'genuine' that it is nothing more than a malicious attempt to trick The Prankster into paying legal fees to defend a vexatious claim. As nobody has replied to The Prankster's various communications it is obvious that there was no real intent behind the letter.

Next Steps

The last time The Prankster was threatened with a defamation action it was by Hill Dickinson. That ended with Katie Mickleburgh of Hill Dickenson looking rather foolish. Currently The Prankster is waiting for the next communication from Paul Fitton to see whether the letter is genuine, and if so is considering whether to refer Mr Fitton to the reply given in  Arkell v Pressdram.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Hopeless solicitors Gladstones bungle another case for Link Parking

Link Parking Ltd v M. Ltd. B8GF6J4J, Taunton 9 June 2016

Claim dismissed by DDJ Stockdale

Incompetent bunglers Gladstones Solicitors have lost yet another case for Link Parking. The Prankster previously reported on this case here. The judgment has now arrived for this case.

In this debacle the judge ruled that the particulars of claim prepared by Gladstones Solicitors were 'wholly insufficient'. The Prankster has spoken to Gladstones Solicitors who confirm they do no due diligence before filing a claim and just file whatever comes in from the client. Gladstones Solicitors claim that it would not be cost effective to actually do any work.

The Prankster believes that it is fine for businesses to look for legitimate ways to cut costs, but this is not the first time that a Gladstones Solicitors case has been thrown out by a judge for useless particulars of claim. The Prankster believes that Gladstones Solicitors are falling woefully short of their duty of care to their clients in their bid to run a cheap as chips operation.

Despite doing virtually no work, Gladstones Solicitors still had the cheek to ask for solicitors filing costs of £50. The defendant, M. Ltd, suspecting this was bogus, put Link Parking on the spot by asking if Gladstones had actually billed £50 for their work. Link Parking refused to answer the question, instead stating that they paid the invoices that Gladstones Solicitors send to them.

The Prankster considers that this is not good enough. If Gladstones Solicitors are only charging their clients, say, £25 to file a court claim, then this should be the amount requested on the filing form. Anything else would be artificially boosting the claim value. The filing charge is just that - a charge for filing a claim. It should not be used to bankroll further solicitor activities such as filling in direction questionnaires, preparing witness statements or appearing as advocate at a hearing.

If  Gladstones Solicitors are giving wrong information to the courts about the amount they are charging their clients then The Prankster considers them to be no better than scammers. The Prankster calls on Gladstones Solicitors to come clean and admit if they are actually charging their clients less than £50 to file a claim. If they are, then The Prankster calls on them to cease the practice and refund any overcharge to their victims.

Witness Statement

The particulars of claim were not the only shoddy work undertaken by Gladstones Solicitors in this case. The judge was also particularly critical of the witness statement they prepared, stating that the photographs 'are hopelessly illegible'

The Prankster has to agree, and considers if Gladstones Solicitors are under the impression that this quality of evidence is sufficient to prove a claim, it speaks volumes as to their competence as solicitors. This latest witness statement is only one of a series of witness statement blunders by Gladstones Solicitors, such as filing pictures of the wrong car park, pictures of wrong signs and inconclusive evidence of the right to issue charges.

Missing Witness

The judge also castigated Link Parking owner and director Martin Gardner for not bothering to turn up, sending a gun-for-hire solicitor instead.

"That the claimant's witness, Martin Gardner failed to turn up in inexplicable and inexcusable."

To fill in the back-story on this, normally small claim parking cases are held at the defendant's local court because the defendant is a consumer. However, as the defendant in this case was a limited company, the case would be held at the claimants local court. This was originally set by the courts as Knutsford, as Gladstones Solicitors filed the claim and this is their local court.

Knowing that Gladstones Solicitors never actually send anyone to court for these cases, preferring instead to use a local hired-gun, and also knowing that Link's home court of Taunton was much closer to the defendant, it did seem rather silly to hold the case at Knutsford. M ltd therefore contacted Gladstones pointing out there was not much point in them and Martin Gardner traipsing all the way to Knutsford, and suggesting that the case was held somewhere closer to them both.

Gladstones Solicitors never bothered to reply. Perhaps their cheap as chips business model means it is not worth their while replying to communications from defendants. Perhaps they had some other reason.

In any case the courts saw sense and moved the claim to Taunton. It is therefore ironic that Martin Gardner never bothered to turn up at his home court.

Prankster Note

It appears from the information provided to him that Gladstones Solicitors are hopelessly incompetent bunglers, and The Prankster cannot understand why anyone would want to use their services, seeing as their business model does not allow them to fund the costs of properly investigating a claim before filing it, does not allow them to fund filing properly detailed particulars of claim, and does not allow them to fund preparing a properly checked witness statement.

Link Parking will have paid Gladstones £50** for filing the claim, an estimated £50 for the directions questionnaire, an estimate £100 for preparing a witness statement, and perhaps £250 to the advocate who did turn up to the hearing. They will have saved money as Gladstones will have charged an estimated £0 for ignoring communications from the defendant. However, even if Link had won they would have only received £100 for the parking charge and £50 filing costs. It is obvious who the winner is here, and it is not Link Parking.

Fitness to Run an Accredited Trade Association (ATA)

The directors of Gladstones, Will Hurley and John Davies are also the directors of the IPC, who run the IAS appeals service. It is obvious to The Prankster that anyone as incompetent as Gladstones, and who appear to have such a poor knowledge of parking-related law judging by the number of cases they assist in losing in court, have no business in running an appeals service.

A proper appeals service should come to the same result over each case as a court would arrive at - not some judgment relying on the bizarre interpretations of Will Hurley and John Davies, and their hand-picket motley crew of Baristas.

The Prankster therefore calls on the government to take control of this scurrilous situation, and to set up a proper independent appeals service.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

**according to the particulars of claim, although not substantiated by the wriggling later on

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Can't pay won't pay - Smart Parking

Smart Parking's payment website appears to be down.

The Prankster suspects a fiendish plan; payments can only be made by hand at the Smart Parking office - but parking there will incur a further £100 charge.

Alternatively, they may have forgotton they bought Town and City a few years ago.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster