Monday, 31 October 2016

Excel Parking - You've been Gladstoned. Judge rules Elliott v Loake as not relevant

Excel v Mr C C8DP37F1 Stockport 31/10/2016

Mr C's vehicle was parked at the Peel Centre. For some reason, Excel Parking issued a parking charge which Mr C did not think was appropriate. BW Legal filed a claim on behalf of Excel, and Ms Kauser from Elms Legal represented them at the hearing.

This was a PPA Production, with Bargepole preparing the papers and John Wilkie coming to court.

Mr C may, or may not, have been driving his car on 8 April 2014 when he and his wife went to PC World at the Peel Centre to buy her a laptop; he genuinely doesn't remember.

Excel issued a NtK that they claimed was compliant with POFA, including the warning that if, 28 days after the issue of the notice, the sum was not paid or the driver notified to Excel, they would invoke keeper liability.

Ms Kauser kept coming back to the fact that as Mr C was in the car, even if he wasn't driving, he knows who was, and if he's not prepared to name the driver, it's a reasonable inference that he was driving, quoting Elliott v Loake as case law.

Bunkum, said Mr Wilkie, Elliot and Loake is a criminal case, which has no bearing on a civil matter, as Elliot was prosecuted for S.172, which cannot apply here.

The Claimant's witness statement was adjudged to be less than useful, and indeed part of it was entirely destructive to the case.

Locus and Agency were discussed and dismissed, and Mr C performed excellently on the witness stand, demonstrating memory issues making his failure to name the driver entirely credible and reasonable.

Following a long, hard discussion, the Judge asked for a few minutes, and when we returned made a finding of fact that the Excel wording does not comply with the mandatory requirements of POFA to invoke keeper liability. As Excel did not adduce evidence of the driver, and as Elliott v Loake
is not persuasive and can be distinguished, the claim was dismissed.

Defendant's costs of £98.60 to be paid by Excel in 14 days

This is another example of Simon Renshaw-Smith's competence knowing no beginnings. Excel must be fully aware that their NtK are not compliant with POFA, as they were losing for this reason at POPLA right up until the jump in with Skippy and the Team at the IPC - indeed it's one of the
reasons they did jump. For a "professional car parking management company" to be losing in court on this basis, a full four years after the implementation of POFA, is ludicrous.

This is yet another loss at the Peel Centre for BW Legal - this is looking less and less profitable for them if they are paying £2-300 per advocate-day, as there were 2 advocates for 2 Excel cases today as well as a third for a ParkingEye case. Mr Wilkie recognised all three faces and noted that he was likewise acknowledged and recognised.

Excel Parking - You've been Gladstoned

Prankster Note

The IPC's "Independent" Appeals Service swears by Elliott v Loake. and regularly rules that the keeper must therefore be the driver even when there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The Prankster has seen IAS decisions ruling Elliott v Loake applies in cases where the driver has proof of being elsewhere, where witness statements state the driver was not the keeper, and even when the driver according to the operator was a different sex to the keeper.

Following this bunkum, Messeurs Hurley and Davies quickly switch hats and file a claim using Gladstones Solicitors, persuading their clients that their flawed legal reasoning is likely to hold up in court. Bunkum. All these court claims do is swell the Hurley and Davies bank balances.

Now BW Legal are following in Gladstones footsteps, with Sean Barton and Rachael Withers at the helm. These two are filing claims like confetti for Excel and VCS, with no due diligence to ascertain whether the claim has the remotest chance of succeeding.

The Prankster thought it was not possible for a legal firm to be more inept and incompetent that Gladstones, but BW Legal are certainly trying hard. The Prankster believes no competent solicitor would ever claim that Elliott v Loake is authority for the keeper being the driver.

The Government created the Protection of Freedoms Act, schedule 4, so that keepers could be held liable for the parking actions of drivers. If operators like Simon Renshaw-Smith are not intelligent enough to use this Act, then The Prankster respectfully suggests they are in the wrong business.

The Prankster considers that the Peel Centre is the worst run car park in the entire country. The Prankster received more complaints about this car park than any other. If Simon Renshaw-Smith can't sign this car park properly and make sure his machines work, then he is not competent to be a car park operator and the DVLA should remove his ability to get keeper data.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Sunday, 30 October 2016

ParkingEye clock accuracy claims a myth

ParkingEye claims that their systems are time synchronised appear to be not totally accurate.

This ticket from Asda in Hemel Hempstead was purchased on 30/10/2016, but expired in March.


Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

ParkingEye ANPR flaw at M40 Oxford Services

ParkingEye have yet again failed to cancel a parking charge wrongly issued by their flawed ANPR.

In this case the vehicle keeper (Stan) visited a friend for her 50th birthday party in Oxford, travelling in convoy with another vehicle. They stopped at the M40 Oxford Services between 13.55 and 14.10 for 15 minutes. On the way back, they popped in to fill up with petrol, stopping from around 18:35 to 18:45.

Some days later Stan received a parking charge from ParkingEye accusing him of staying in the car park for 4 hours and 52 minutes.

Stan appealed, explaining that he visited the car park twice on his way to and from a party.

ParkingEye requested proof.

Stan sent them 3 witness statements confirming he was at the party.

ParkingEye ignored this, and sent a letter asking Stan who the driver was.

Stan sent another letter, telling them to read his previous two letters and witness statements

ParkingEye told Stan he had reached the end of their internal appeal process and gave him a POPLA code

Stan appealed to POPLA, including as evidence the witness statements and also a photo he took at the party.

ParkingEye submitted a 93 page evidence pack, including 40 pages listing the last 3 digits of all the vehicles that had entered and exited the services that day.

The registration details of Stan's friend's car was not listed amongst all these numbers, despite the fact that he, too, had also visited the service station twice.

Stan sent an email to POPLA pointing this out, along with a signed statement from his friend including his registration number.

POPLA upheld the appeal

Prankster Note

It is clear that ParkingEyes ANPR is fatally flawed. Stan's friend passed the entrance/exit four times, yet his registration was not listed even once in ParkingEye's printout.

Stan also passed four times and his registration was only listed twice.

ParkingEye are fully aware their ANPR is not fit for purpose yet their appeals service fail to cancel charges even when faced with overwhelming evidence.

This situation is not healthy and need to be addressed.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Park With Ease bail the day before court hearing

This claim concerns an alleged 6 minute overstay in White Moss car park next to Rydal Water in the Lake District. Park With Ease filed a court claim through Gladstones Solicitors.

A few days before the Gladstones started calling and emailing to try and get the motorist to make a settlement, which they kept reducing. Eventually they sent a last minute discontinuance notice the day before the hearing.

Prankster Note

Gladstones do not usually bail out, even if their case is fatally flawed, because this means they lose out on the chance to gouge their customers for more legal fees.

The Prankster therefore suspects that no advocates from LPC Law were available on the day to represent them in Lancaster.

It is worth noting that if Gladstones call and email you before a hearing with reduced offers to settle, it is likely they will be in the same boat. You should therefore consider this before accepting any offer.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

ParkingEye lose in court - unsolved mystery with ticket machine was not defendant's fault

Claim No C0FC15W4, ParkingEye v Ms G. Judge Middleton, County Court at Bodmin. 2pm, 26 October 2016

In this case Ms G paid for a parking ticket at Tower Road Newquay, but due to a machine malfunction the registration number was not printed on the ticket. ParkingEye therefore claimed that a breach of contract had occurred.

Ms G didn't reply to ParkingEyes initial charge on April 4th, which accused her of getting a parking charge either because she either hadn't paid for enough parking time or had overstayed. This, together with photos and times of her going in and out was the only data given. There were no other explanations or evidence and as Ms G knew she had paid and left within time she treated it as 'spam'. 

Eventually ParkingEye filed a court claim in June. Ms G had to file a defence not knowing what she had done wrong, and asked ParkingEye several times for information without reply. On August 20 they replied to her defence sending a printout which proved, linked with the entry & exit times that she had paid after all but there was a blank space where the VRN should have been. 

ParkingEye therefore added a new particular of claim to their reply to defence that the defendant had paid after all, but had breached the contract by not entering a correct VRN.

However, it is not possible to get a ticket without entering a VRN. Ms G went back to the car park prepared to invest £1.50 to prove this. The machines would not issue a ticket unless a VRN was entered.

The Hearing

In court, Ms G was ready to resort to the fact that they had neglected to accuse her of the missing VRN in the first place. (Prankster Note - claimants are not allowed to change the particulars of claim without filing a form and paying a fee. ParkingEye are well aware of this because they include this information in their reply to defence)

However, the judge knew you couldn't get a ticket without entering a VRN and that some blip had occurred. He could see Ms G had stayed for less time than she had paid.

He first asked their representative to explain why this had come to court when Ms G had clearly paid. The guy said something to the effect that 'I think PE were saying it was breach of contract by not putting the number in...'

The hearing was over in 10 minutes and the judge dismissed the claim. The exact reason for machine failure remained an unsolved mystery not central to the judgment.

Prankster Note

Although this wa a good win for Ms G, she still felt truly intimidated and bullied by the things ParkingEye wrote - as if she set out to cheat them when the most she could have done was have made an unintentional mistake, and in all probability this was a machine failure.

Modern ticket machines do not let you enter a registration unless the ANPR detects that the vehicle is in the car park. ParkingEye could enable this on their systems, but this would cut down on the number of parking charges they could issue, because relying on mistakes is the central core of their business.

There are a number of known errors with the parking machines ParkingEye and Excel parking use and several recent cases have been dismissed due to machine errors.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Parking companies breaking data protection by selling to MIL Collections

A freedom of information request has established that parking companies cannot sell keeper data obtained from the DVLA to MIL Collections unless the DVLA has approved this.

For parking companies to get keeper data from the DVLA, they sign a contract known as the KADOE contract. A copy of the contract has been released by FoI here.

This contract says what you can and cannot do with the keeper data. In particular,  clause D5.1 of the KADOE contract prohibits the Customer from disclosing the information they have received from the DVLA to any other person except:-

a) to a sub-contractor who acts as the Customer's data processor;
b) to a sub- contractor who acts as the Customer's debt collector;
c) with the prior written agreement of the DVLA.

MIL Collections are clearly not acting as a sub-contractor, and therefore parking companies must have prior written agreement from the DVLA to sell KADOE data to MIL.

The freedom of information request establishes that no companies have this permission.

Companies who have sold their data to MIL are therefore in breach of the KADOE contract and in breach of the Data Protection Act 1998.

There are also other conditions regarding the passing on of data, and it is not clear that MIL would pass these either.

MIL Collection have my data

it is important to note that not every case where MIL Collections have your data will necessarily be a breach of the Data Protection Act. In some cases, the parking company will not have your data from the DVLA. They might have it because you wrote to appeal a windscreen ticket, for instance, or because your address was written on the side of your vehicle.

However, if you received a notice to keeper in the post then chances are that the parking company got your data from the DVLA. If they did, as a first step you should write and complain.

Data Sharing & Protection Group
Strategy, Policy and Communications Group
SA6 7JL 

Dear DVLA,

I am writing in reference to Freedom of Information request FOIR5604.

I wish to complain that [parking company] have sold my personal data to MIL Collections Limited. I believe that this information was obtained from yourselves, and this is therefore a breach of the KADOE contract clause D5.1

The details of the parking event are:
Vehicle: [reg]
Date:     [date]

Please can you confirm:
1) The parking company received my personal data from yourself
2) The parking company did not have prior written permission from the DVLA to give data to MIL Collections 

If this is the case, please also inform me what steps you will be taking against the parking company, and how you intend to safeguard my personal data in the future.

Once the DVLA have confirmed your data has been misused, you can then take action against the parking company. The case of Vidal-Hall v Google Inc [2014] EWHC 13 (QB) provides authority that misuse of personal data is a tort and that damages may be non-pecuniary. The case of Halliday v Creation Consumer Finance Ltd [2013] All ER (D) 199 provides authority that a reasonable sum for compensation would be £750. A claim of up to £750 may therefore be possible. You may wish to take legal advice on the prospects of success. Filing a claim for £750 will cost £60. A claim for £299 will cost £25 online.

The first step would be a letter before claim.

Dear Parking Company,

Letter Before Claim

You have given my personal data to MIL Collections. You obtained this data from the DVLA, and your KADOE contract prevents you sending that data to third parties without prior written permission of the DVLA. The DVLA confirmed this is not the case. This is therefore misuse of my personal data.

The case of Vidal-Hall v Google Inc [2014] EWHC 13 (QB) provides authority that misuse of personal data is a tort and that damages may be non-pecuniary. The case of Halliday v Creation Consumer Finance Ltd [2013] All ER (D) 199 provides authority that a reasonable sum for compensation would be £750. 

In this case, I consider a reasonable sum for the distress caused would be £750. Please remit this amount within 14 days. If you have not remitted this sum, or made suitable arrangements to remit it, I reserve the right to take legal action without further notice.

I would be willing to use Alternative Dispute resolution to attempt to settle this matter and suggest the Consumer Ombudsman is a suitable body.

If they do not pay up, you could consider filing a claim. The particulars would be something like.

My name and address information (together with other information) is classified as personal data within the meaning of s1(1) of the Data Protections Act (DPA). [Parking Company] misused this data by obtaining it from the DVLA and then selling it to MIL Collections in breach of their KADOE contract with the DVLA. This caused harassment and personal distress to myself and s13 of the DPA provides for financial compensation for this.

The case of Vidal-Hall v Google Inc [2014] EWHC 13 (QB) provides authority that misuse of personal data is a tort and that damages may be non-pecuniary. The case of Halliday v Creation Consumer Finance Ltd [2013] All ER (D) 199 provides authority that a reasonable sum for compensation would be £750.

Time Limit

The Limitations Act may apply, which would mean you have 6 years to file your claim from the date the parking company sold your data to MIL. Whether or not MIL have taken you to court and won or lost would be immaterial (but may affect the level of claim), as your claim is against the parking company, not MIL.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Friday, 28 October 2016

Peel Centre machine failure - transcript of judgment available

The Prankster is aware of a large number of claims progressing through the courts regarding the Peel Centre. In many of these cases the motorist paid for a ticket and entered their registration correctly, but the ticket machines issued a bogus ticket with the wrong registration.

In a case previously reported by the Prankster the motorist entered their registration, but received a ticket with the letters 'QQ'.

In another case reported by the Prankster, the motorist visited the Peel centre and typed her registration but the machine gave a ticket with the letter 'P'.

In a similar case this week in a ParkingEye claim, the motorist entered their registration but got a blank ticket back - something ParkingEye claimed was impossible despite it being logged on their system.

In both these cases the judge dismissed the claim, ruling that the defendant on the balance of probabilities entered their registration correctly, and it was not their fault the software used by the parking company was buggy.

The judgment is now available on the Prankster Site in the case law section.

Please download CS033 Excel Parking v Mrs S. C8DP11F9 (Peel Centre ticket failure).

The final paragraph is reproduced here.

I am satisfied that the ticket then produced is the ticket that she has produced to the court. It was through no fault of hers that this ticket displayed the letters “QQ” instead of her registration number. She obtained a ticket. She made the payment to obtain that. She displayed that ticket. It shows the relevant time of entry. It shows the amount that she has paid and it shows the registration number that the ticket machine produced. It would have been unreasonable to expect the defendant to do anything further beyond that as far as I am concerned. The registration number is not accurately
reflected but that is through no fault on the part of the defendant and I find on the balance of probabilities that the defendant had inputted the correct registration number and she had then displayed the ticket that was issued and so to all intents and purposes had fully complied with the terms and conditions applicable to this car park. Accordingly, I am going to dismiss the claim

The Prankster hopes this transcript will be helpful to others in similar situations, and thanks the people who funded it.

There are a number of known errors with parking machines, and it is not the motorists fault when these errors occur. The Peel centre is particularly prone. It is probably the worst run car park in the whole country, as a disproportionate proportion of The Prankster's mailbag is taken up with complaints about this car park.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Excel advocate reduced to tears as judge rips 'evidence' to shreds

C8DP29F7 Excel Parking v Mr S, Manchester Court 27/10/2016

Mr S represented himself. Excel Parking were represented in court by a lady from LPC Law, backed by a witness statement prepared by Sohail Ismail from BW Legal.

The case concerned a parking event at the Peel Centre, Stockport, where Mr S. was not the driver. Mr S had many times provided the drivers name and address to Excel parking, who had chosen to ignore this and to proceed on the basis that as Mr S was the keeper he was also the driver, quoting Elliott v Loake.

The Peel Centre is one of the worst run car parks in the country, and complaints about it form a large percentage of the Prankster's postbag.

On arrival Mr S booked in with the usher and within one second the LPC Law advocate was trying to hand him some documents and have a chat. Mr S refused them, said he did not wish to speak and that whatever needed to be said would be said in front of the judge.

When the hearing began the judge explained all the procedures and where to sit. She had obviously read Mr S's evidence pack and asked if he wanted to say anything before they started. Mr S's first question was why a firm of solicitors could fail to send him and the court the evidence pack on time.

The judge immediately asked the LPC lady, who stated it had been a minor administrative error. The judge said it was a serious breach of the court order.

She asked Mr S if he wished to adjourn to a future date so he could seek legal advice and have more time to read and prepare my defence. Mr S replied that he was happy to go ahead. The judge immediately thanked him and said to the LPC Lawyer. "Mr S has kindly agreed to proceed and he managed to get his evidence in prior to the 14 days limit. That is very gracious of him."

She then went through the BW Legal evidence pack and tore through paragraph by paragraph forcing the LPC Lawyer to conceded on every point. After 5 minutes the LPC Lawyer was so distressed she was actually welling up. She was pretending to write notes and tears were dropping onto her notepad.

The judge condemned the BW Legal evidence pack and spoke with absolute disdain for the poor quality of evidence prepared by Sohail Ismail.

She then asked the LPC lawyer if she had anything else to add. The advocate had composed herself a bit by them. Apparently Excel had changed their mind after all about Mr S being the driver, as she asked for the case to be adjourned in order to join the driver as defendant in the action.

The judge explained that in this case this was not applicable and the answer was no.

The judge spoke to Mr S again and said he should not speak from this point onwards. He had hardly said a word anyway. She grabbed a big book, read out a paragraph,  said she found in Mr S's favour and added up his expenses at £95 wages and £6.40 train fare. She said she was really sorry she could not award more especially in this case.

The judge said it was clear from the paperwork that Mr S had informed Excel and its Debt Collectors of the correct name and address of the person driving the vehicle. Mr S was praised for his concise and clear evidence pack which as a lay person had managed to get it into the court on time unlike BW Legal.

She then told the LPC lawyer to inform her employer that as they only gave the information pack to the court 7 days in advance that instead of the usual 14 days to pay the £101.40 she was going to make it 7 days and that if this was not paid by the 3rd November would Mr S please return to the court and he would be helped to take further action with a bailiff.

Prankster Notes

The Prankster considers that if a company like BW Legal wish to file such a poorly constructed pack of lies as their witness statement, they deserve everything they get. If LPC Law are prepared to accept such hospital passes as cases then their advocates need to expect judges to rip them a new one on a regular basis. The Prankster and Mr S have some sympathy for the LPC Law lady. The Prankster suggests she refuse to accept cases from BW Legal in future, as they obviously rival Gladstones Solicitors in their level of incompetence.

Parking companies need to stick to the truth when filing claims and not invent facts to back up dodgy cases, bullying motorists into paying up by escalating costs without merit.

The witness statement claimed that Mr S had only provided the drive name and not their address, but did not back this up with any actual letters. Mr S, on the other hand, did include the letters in his evidence pack, making the advocate look stupid.

BW Legal were awarded the “Legal Team of the Year” at the CICM British Credit Awards 2016, but this presumed competence was not much in evidence today.

The Prankster considers this is a transcript well worth having and so will be funding this through book sales. If anyone want to chip in a fiver, please contribute here. Any monies left over will be put to future transcripts.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

ES Parking Enforcement at Spinningfield - you've been Gladstoned

Court report from MSE

I was in Court this week against ES Parking Enforcement for one of their 'no stopping' nonsense charges in the Spinningfields area in Manchester.

The judge had a good laugh at them in the end and their claim was dismissed after a lengthy 2 hour hearing.

Prankster Note

Please email me more details if you were involved in this; I have some ongoing cases at this site.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

District Enforcement - you've been Gladstoned

C8GF33C8 District Enforcement v Mr X. Portsmouth

Incompetent rogues Gladstones Solicitors have had yet another claim chucked out, this time without even making it to a hearing.

In order to save money Gladstones do not bother to do any meaningful due diligence and just file an incomprehensible load of rubbish as the particulars of claim. Judges are wising up to this, and striking out claims.

In this particular case the judge was slightly more lenient and gave Gladstones until 3rd August to file a comprehensible claim. Gladstones could not be bothered with this deadline, and instead filed on the 5th August.

Mr X asked the court to strike out the claim as Gladstones had not complied with directions, and in any case the particulars of claim contained false information, by containing a sign which was not present at the car park.

The court struck out the claim on the 17th September, and Mr X got the good news on the 21st.

Prankster Note

The Prankster has seen the signs on site and confirms that Gladstones were trying to file false information with the court. The Prankster considers this unacceptable behaviour and that if they cannot be bothered to be truthful, they should not be in this business.

With the number of cases being struck out by judges, the Prankster consider that this confirms that Will Hurley and John Davies are confirmed as rogues and charlatans of the highest order by claiming to offer a reputable service to parking operators while clearly doing nothing of the sort.

To recap, here are the mandatory Solicitor Regulatory Association principles which apply to all solicitors.

You must:
1. uphold the rule of law and the proper administration of justice;
2. act with integrity;
3. not allow your independence to be compromised;
4. act in the best interests of each client;
5. provide a proper standard of service to your clients;
6. behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in you and in the provision of legal services;
7. comply with your legal and regulatory obligations and deal with your regulators and ombudsmen in an open, timely and co-operative manner;
8. run your business or carry out your role in the business effectively and in accordance with proper governance and sound financial and risk management principles;
9. run your business or carry out your role in the business in a way that encourages equality of opportunity and respect for diversity; and
10. protect client money and assets.

As Gladstones clearly fail in the first five principles, The Prankster wonders why parking operators have not yet filed any complaints. Perhaps it is because they are worried that if they do, Will Hurley and John Davies will kick them out of the IPC.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Picture of the week - fishy letter from UKPC

The parking 'professionals' appear to be confusing themselves with Council wardens, as they think they are allowed to issue 'Penalty Notices' on 'Carp Parks'

[Update - it appears this is a fake and some enterprising person is sending these out without UKPC's permission. So this is a Red Herring]

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

PCM-UK - you've been Gladstoned...twice for the same car park

Pepipoo reported another two court cases have been lost by incompetent charlatans, Gladstones Solicitors.

The cases concerned a Sainsburys car park in Morden which has some adjacent spaces not part of the car park. The signage is poor and does not clearly explain which spaces are part of the car park and which are not. As a result shoppers think they are parking at Sainsburys, but are not.

Your Local Guardian has run a report on the car park, noting the confusion.

The first case was held on October 10th. The judge dismissed the claim, noting the inadequate signage, and awarded £108 in costs.

The second case was held on October 18th. In this hearing, the court had not received a copy of the PCM-UK witness statement. PCM-UK sent a local solicitor to defend them and the judge allowed the copy of the solicitors witness statement from Gladstones. He ruled that even he would have parked there with the signage confusion, and dismissed the claim, awarding costs to the defendant.

He also went on to say that there was so much information in the PCM signs and it wasn't clear enough. He instructed the solicitor to go back to his clients to actually say this site was completely mis-leading.

Prankster Note

The Prankster considers that there is a clear conflict of interest here. The IPC validates all signage, so Will Hurley and John Davies, (or their employees) will have signed off this signage as sufficient, despite the clear confusion caused. Will Hurley and John Davies, wearing their other hats as Gladstones Solicitors, will have advised PCM-UK they had a case, and will have gleefully taken their money and filed claims.

However, right-minded clear thinkers will of course realise, as the judges did, that the signage is defective.

Having lost the first case Gladstones would have had a duty of care to explain to their client the fast-receding chance of winning the second case.

Sadly this is a repeating pattern and Will Hurley and John Davies repeatedly condone signage which is not fit for purpose and which is designed not to provide a fair parking system, but to maximise parking revenue by allowing as many parking charges to be issued as possible.

This attitude does not fit well with an Associated Trade Association allowed access to keeper data. The Prankster calls on the government to either removed ATA access from the IPC, or to take away the ability from the IPC to regulate signage, since they are clearly either not competent or institutionally biased.

Motorists who were confused by the signage but were bullied into paying PCM-UK have up to 6 years to file a claim against PCM-UK for their monies back.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Link Parking - you've been Gladstoned. Frustration of contract

Port Talbot: 19-10-2016: C8GF30W7: Link Parking v Mr H

There was no time to hear this claim, which was adjourned. Link Parking will have paid their representative Mr Singh an estimated £200 to turn up and twiddle his thumbs.

Port Talbot: 19-10-2016: C1GF37H7: Link Parking v Mr N

Mr N represented himself. Link Parking sent a second representative for this case. In a hearing which lasted around 30 minutes, Mr N explained that he attempted to pay but the machines were not working. Gladstones Solicitors argued he should therefore have left the car park.

The judge was also critical that Gladstones only supplied the court with Link Parking's witness statement and not Mr N.  In any case, the witness statement was self contradictory and not helpful to the claim, even stating that the parking event happened in a different month to that of the photographic evidence.

The judge ruled that frustration of contract applied and that Mr N had attempted to fulfil his contractual obligations but could not because of the broken machine. The claim was dismissed.

Prankster Note

Another day, another farcical witness statement prepared by joke solicitors Gladstones.

The Prankster considers the judge is correct. Allowing a charge in this situation encourages parking companies to operate with broken machinery as often as they can. This would be detrimental to the landowner, who would receive no income from parking fees, while the immoral parking company cashes in by issuing charges galore.

If you are in the Cardiff or Port Talbot area and are being taken to court by Link there is a Facebook support group which can assist you. Search for Link Parking @Court. You will require proof of a court claim to join this group.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

AS Parking - you've been Gladstoned

AS Parking v Ms S Claim number: C3GF84YO. Truro, 18/10/2016

Court report

Hi. went to court this morning,  AS Parking sent an email to court yesterday to say they will not be perusing my case.  The judge said as I had not had any communication and had cost because of my attendance she awarded me £104. So they have to pay me within 14 days.! Or I can pursue them through the courts.  What a turn up thank you so much for your help,

Prankster Note

The Prankster agrees with the general sentiment. Parking Management is needed but not the immoral tactics used by AS Parking. The Prankster has received large numbers of complaints regarding car parks run by AS Parking and many concern the practice of supplying tickets without sticky labels and then charging motorists if the ticket blows over. This is happening too often to be acceptable. A proper operator would invest in a system which worked, such as tickets which stick properly, or a barrier system or a pay as you leave system. An immoral person would continue to issue large number of parking charges while making no attempt to fix the problem.

This time, Kevin McManus of AS Parking was the victim of a bigger bunch of scammers, Will Hurley and John Davies of Gladstones Solicitors, who con unsuspecting operators into thinking they provide a proper and diligent legal service. Will and John will be laughing all the way to the bank while Kevin has to stump up £104 for not properly discontinuing the claim.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Monday, 17 October 2016

POPLA dispute resolved

Parking Review has revealed that the dispute between London Councils and the British Parking Association has been settled for £25,000, rather than the £69,275 claimed.

This will be a disappointing result for London taxpayers, who now have to foot the bill for the extra £40k, subsidising motorists around the country.

They may well question Nick Lester's role in this, and whether there was a conflict of interest. Nick Lester worked for London Councils when the contract was arranged, and received an award for parking services, which The Prankster considers should be renamed the Nick Lester award for being Nick Lester.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

BW Legal. How to win/lose a claim

Stockport Court, 17/10/2016

Mr Wilke assisted with two cases today at Stockport regarding parking charges issues at the Peel Centre, both of which were before DDJ Moses. Excel were using BW Legal, who had engaged advocates from LPC Law to turn up on the day.

One he came fully prepared for. The other simply asked for a lay representative on the day. As he was present he walked into the lions den. 

Excel v Ms H - unprepared.

Excel were represented by a young chap from LPC Law.

Ms Hall stopped for 52 minutes in the Peel Centre complex because she felt ill. Excel argue this is a contractual event, and since she didn't pay, she owes them a PCN.

We tried very hard to argue that there was no contract, and even if there was, it had been frustrated by her illness, but as none of this had been pled or dealt with prior to court the judge rightly dismissed it, He decided
a contract had been entered into and breached. The defence was dismissed.

Mr Wilkie agrees with the judge on this - sorry to say - you can't ambush the claimant on the day.

Excel v Ms C C8DP36F0

This case was assisted by Barry Beavis to prepare a defence. Excel were represented by an older gentleman from LPC Law.

Ms C parked in the Peel Centre, and bought a ticket. She typed in her reg, and it printed "P". The judge made a finding of fact that her evidence was truthful, and that she purchased a ticket in compliance with the terms. 

Accordingly, as she was NOT in breach of contact, Excel were not entitled to ticket her.

The claim was dismissed with £86.55 costs - Excel's conduct was not unreasonable.

Prankster Notes

What do we learn from this?

a) You cannot overprepare for a court case. Even Ms C was not fully prepped for, as Fairlie an Fenton was not argued, despite the Excel's contract giving no tenancy or right to litigate. Mr Wilkie wasn't allowed to introduce
Fairlie and Fenton, or Excel and Cutts because it had not been raised in the initial defence.

b) Excel has faulty machines in the Peel centre, and knows it.

c) Excel's claims that the ANPR and the ticket machine are synchronised are false, and it is not the responsibility of the consumer to help them fix it.

d) With two cases of bad machines under the belt, it will be easier to argue unreasonable conduct for the third, fourth etc. The other claim was C8DP11F9 – Excel v Mrs S – 09/09/2016, Oldham Court.

This allows larger costs to be claimed against Excel in the event of a claim being dismissed. If you have a PCN or court claim due to a faulty ticket at Peel Centre, you should cite these cases, and also inform The Prankster.

e) Simon Renshaw-Smith is "not fit to run a Car Park." 

f) Excel Parking - you've been Gladstoned! Excel will have lost around £200 in the first case, even though they win the hearing. In the second claim, they will have lost an estimated £500.

Happy Parking 

The Parking Prankster

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Michael Schwartz suspended (suspended)

On the 9th September the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal suspended Michael Schwartz for 5 years for reasons unknown. The suspension is suspended, subject to compliance with the conditions imposed.

This notification relates to a Decision to prosecute before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. This is an independent Tribunal which reaches its own decision after considering all the evidence, including any evidence put forward by the Respondent. The Tribunal had certified that there was a case to answer.
The matter was heard on 8 and 9 September 2016.
The Tribunal ordered that Mr Schwartz be suspended from practice as a solicitor for a period of 5 years from the 9 September 2016, but that the suspension be suspended for 5 years from the same date subject to compliance with the following restrictions imposed by the Tribunal on the Respondent’s practice as a solicitor. 

During the five year period of suspension the Respondent may not:
1. Practise as a sole practitioner or sole manager or sole owner of an authorised or recognised body;
2. Be a partner or member of a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), Legal Disciplinary Practice (LDP), or Alternative Business Structure (ABS) or other authorised or recognised body;
3. Be a Compliance Officer for Legal Practice or a Compliance Officer for Finance and Administration;
4. Hold client money;
5. Be a signatory on any client account;
6. Work as a solicitor other than in employment approved by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
The Respondent shall immediately inform any actual or prospective employer of these conditions and the reasons for them.

The Prankster suggests that any person who has information that Michael Schwartz is breaking these conditions contacts the Solicitors Regulatory Authority.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Horizon Parking - you've been Gladstoned

Shysters Will Hurley and John Davies have conned yet another parking company by pretending to provide legal services while instead carrying on with their usual shoddy procedures.

Their particulars of claim were found to contain no particulars, resulting in the claim being struck out before a hearing.

"It is ordered that

1. The claim be struck out for want of any Particular in the Claim Form/Particulars of Claim.

2. Because this order was made without a hearing. Any party affected by it may apply within 7 days of service for it to be set aside, varied or stayed.

Here is a typical particulars of claim served by Gladstones Solicitors (with number plate details removed). It is clear they fail civil procedure rules and practice directions, and that Will Hurley and John Davies are therefore failing to provide a proper standard of service to their clients by charging them for filing such rubbish.

Prankster Note

It is a source of mystery why two such incompetent solicitors as Will Hurley and John Davies, who regularly lose parking cases in court,  regularly show little or no knowledge on how the courts work and have embarrassingly poor grasp of the legal situations regarding parking cases, are allowed to run a parking related trade association, The International Paring Community.

This time Horizon Parking were the losers. It may well be a blessing in disguise losing the case so early, and stopping the flow of cash into Will Hurley and John Davies bank account before Gladstones costs got too excessive.

Although they will have had to pay Gladstones an estimated £50 for debt collection and £50 for filing a claim, they will have saved an estimated £100 for Gladstones template witness statement and £200-£300 for a solicitor to turn up in court.

Gladstones probably forgot to mention to Horizon that they would lose money even if they won a hearing.

Here are the mandatory Solicitor Regulatory Association principles which apply to all solicitors.

You must:
1. uphold the rule of law and the proper administration of justice;
2. act with integrity;
3. not allow your independence to be compromised;
4. act in the best interests of each client;
5. provide a proper standard of service to your clients;
6. behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in you and in the provision of legal services;
7. comply with your legal and regulatory obligations and deal with your regulators and ombudsmen in an open, timely and co-operative manner;
8. run your business or carry out your role in the business effectively and in accordance with proper governance and sound financial and risk management principles;
9. run your business or carry out your role in the business in a way that encourages equality of opportunity and respect for diversity; and
10. protect client money and assets.

As Gladstones clearly fail in the first five principles, perhaps it is time for the SRA to take action against them.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Saturday, 15 October 2016

POPLA competence continues on downhill slide. Charge upheld for car which was never inside the car park.

The competence of POPLA sadly continues to decline as this latest judgment shows.

In this case the motorist never entered the car park, but turned around in the entrance once in the afternoon, and then again early the next morning. Here is a picture of the entrance.

Here is a picture of the car reversing into the entrance in the afternoon. The motorist gets no points for reversing style, as they are positioned in the middle of the road. Their reversing light can be seen to be on.

Here is the picture of the motorist reversing into the entrance in the morning. Once again, the reversing lights are on.

It is clear from both pictures that the vehicle is still on the public land, level with the double yellow lines, and has not entered the car park. Additionally the number plate is not visible and there is therefore no evidence that this is the car in question.

Here is the assessors verdict, which in The Prankster's opinion is completely incompetent and fuels the argument that the appeals body should by run by an independent body.

Prankster Note

The public should expect higher standards of POPLA assessors than this. The assessor is asking us to believe that the vehicle reversed into the car park in the afternoon, and then drove out at night, hot-wiring their reverse lights so it appears that they were reversing rather than driving forwards.

Frankly, The Prankster considers it more likely that the Consumer Ombudsman under-quoted for the POPLA contract, and as a result assessors are under too much time pressure to churn out template responses without properly considering the evidence before them. This of course does not excuse the assessor missing the obvious elephant in the room which is that the car is going out when it should be coming in. It also does not excuse the assessor ruling that the exit photograph is valid when the number plate cannot be read.

However, it does reinforce the Prankster's belief that ANPR is not fit for purpose to control car parks, and that the control of POPLA should be taken away from the BPA, where normal commercial pressures will naturally force them to accept a low bid, and given to government control where the service can be funded by an increase in keeper detail charges from say £2.50 to £5.00.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Friday, 14 October 2016

IPC suspend UKCPS

UKCPS have been suspended by the IPC. No further information as to why the suspension occurred is currently forthcoming.

The suspension began on the 13 October and means that UKCPS will not be able to access keeper data from the DVLA for any parking events which occur from the suspension date until the suspension is lifted.

Update 16/10/2016

The IPC have apparently unsuspended UKCPS, and decided to make them inactive from 13/12/2016 instead.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Sunday, 9 October 2016

ParkingEye get another CCJ

ParkingEye have received another CCJ.

According to Registry Trust Limited, the CCJ is for £222 and is for an unsatisfied judgment relating to case C6QZZA3Y. The date of the CCJ is 3/10/2016.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Chairman Nick Abell oversees Wright Hassall dragging down POPLA integrity. Rule differently on UKPC doctored photo case

Nick Abell is the Chairman of debt collectors Wright Hassall.

Under his leadership the POPLA brand has been irreparably tarnished and the legacy put in place by Henry Greenslade has been thrown away in little less than a year.

Leaving aside to impossibility of pretending to run a fair appeals system when the company acts as an aggressive debt collector on behalf of parking companies, under Nick Abell's leadership POPLA has descended into a farce, with assessors either incompetent or institutionally biased or both.

POPLA is now churning out template appeal verdicts without apparently considering the actual grounds of appeal and ignoring any appeal points they are unable to dismiss.

Wright Hassall's competence as debt collectors is also suspect. They are not members of the Credit Services Association, but the Prankster suspects that if they were, they would have been thrown out due to the multiple code of practice breaches their misleading and untrue letters create. It appears Excel Parking have come to the same conclusion, having ditched Wright Hassall for BW Legal, another bottom feeding debt collection company who believe the code of practice is 'more guidelines than actual rules.

Case 1

In this case, UKPC faked photographs to pretend the victim was at the car park for longer than she was. You may remember this case, because The Prankster reported on it here.

UKPC were suspended from DVLA access as a result of this case. Somehow this case has now got resurrected at POPLA.

Any competent assessor, knowing UKPC's history, would not believe the timestamps on the photographs and would take great care to check other evidence such as shadows.

Embarrassingly the Wright Hassall anonymous assessor has shown their incompetence and institutional bias by believing the operator, despite their  history of fraudulent behaviour.

Prankster Note

ISPA are the board which oversees POPLA. The chair and deputy chair have both recently resigned, and while The Prankster cannot say this is due to the appointment of Wright Hassall, The Prankster would comment that a oversight board which does not have the funding or powers to act is essentially toothless.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Friday, 7 October 2016

And then there were three...ISPA board gets smaller

The ISPA board appears to have shrunk yet again. Deputy Chair Saadiya Ahmad is no longer listed as a board member.

The Prankster has no idea why she has apparently left.

However The Prankster would not be surprised that the BPA decision to appoint an incompetent, institutionally biased parking company debt collect as POPLA assessors may have had some small part in this decision.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

ParkWithEase - ANPR Seriously flawed

Guest Report from Clive Elsdon

I went into one of their car parks in the lakes, and for a system that should be so simple (pay on exit only needs a barrier system, the same as apparently a time limit only needs a watch...) they have made it almost impossible to understand. We saw lots of people scratching their head trying to pay on arrival... but at least I had been forewarned of that issue.

That didn't help me much when I came to pay as I left though... You see, as I typed my reg number in, it kept asking me if a slightly different number was mine.. I correctly kept saying no to this, as it differed by one digit and I know how pedantic parking companies can be if you get one digit wrong. So unfortunately I could not pay.

Knowing what crooks parking companies are I went to the visitors centre at the location. When I said what had happened, they pulled out a long list of vehicle registration numbers and added my REAL number to the end. I paid them an estimate of what was owed and left... Still half expecting to get an NTK in the post.

I'm pleased to say that didn't happen... But perhaps some other poor soul with a registration number one digit different to mine had that pleasure? Luckily, despite there being 3 other registration plates in the family with the same position digit being different to the one in their system... they managed to misread it as one we didn't own! We had *2* ***, *3* ***, *4* *** and *8* ***. They read it as *9* ***, where the letters / numbers represented by * remain the same on all plates...

ANPR is seriously flawed. I think that's why councils are discouraged from using it... but also perhaps why PPC's like it... I guess some will see it as a "fine", perhaps not have kept evidence and just pay up... After all, it looks bloody official when it lands through the door....

Prankster Note

Despite ParkWithWEase operating a known flawed system they are more than happy to take motorists to court for imagined transgressions.

ANPR can be used in a constructive and fair way, but companies such as ParkingWithEase are obviously just out to abuse the motorist, and are one of the bottom-feeders who have joined the cynical ATA run by Will Hurley and John Davies of the IPC.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Thursday, 6 October 2016

UKPC - you've been Gladstoned

Huddersfield County Court 6/10/2016 UKPC v Mr M

This was before DJ Woodhead. Mr Smith from SCS Law represented the claimant. Mr Wilkie represented the defendant.

Several items had been identified in the skeleton, including that the claim should be for trespass, not breach of contract, and the fact the the tenant of the property had "exclusive" use of the parking space, with no mention of parking restrictions in either the lease or the tenancy.

UKPC tried their arguments of Authority, Beavis, Lease binding tenant etc.

But the case fell down because the UKPC contract was with the "Gate Residents LTD" while the agent was the "Gate Residents COMPANY Ltd, and additionally there was no chain from the Leaseholder or the Freeholder to
UKPC. This "troubled" the judge, and she gave the other side every chance to show how she should proceed - they couldn't, so the claim was struck out.

There were no costs, but as the claim was for £5300 claim, the defendant was not unhappy.

Prankster Note

It seems that Gladstones are not the  incompetent solicitor's trying to scratch around for parking business. UKPC have been well and truly stuffed by SCS Law. A competent solicitor would have done proper due diligence before the claim was issued and advised their client of the dangers of proceeding.

SCS Law claim on their website:

We have issued over 2000 legal proceedings in 2016 in relation to parking tickets and attended over 4000 hearings representing parking companies at court.

This does appear to be somewhat fanciful as this appears to be more than the combined number of hearings for BPA and IPC companies (row 82 is largely MIL) shown in the graph of hearings (not claims) below. However, perhaps The Prankster's data is incomplete. SCS Law are a trading name of LPC Law, who handle ParkingEye hearings.

SCS Law offer the following Small claims price list

£150 checking claim
£150 letter of claim
£200 claim issue
£400 trial preparation
£250 court representation

They do also offer an undisclosed volume discount for repeat business.

It is therefore unclear how much UKPC paid out, but the Prankster expects from the above price list that costs will be somewhere between £300 and £600.

UKPC - you've been Gladstoned!

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

MIL chicken out of court. The curious case of the disappearing claim

MIL v X, Warrington 4/10/2016

Back in June, MIL had a hearing in Warrington where the hearing was adjourned and MIL's witness, Alan Davis, ordered to attend court and explain why.

1) He hadn't made it to court that day, despite making it to ParkEX the previous week.
2) Who Matt Murdoch/k was, and why his signatures changed more often than a Formula 1 tyre.

This was previously reported by the Prankster at

On Tuesday 4 October, this matter was due to return to court.

MIL Collections filed a Discontinuance to the court electronically on 28 September (less than the seven days required) and didn't sent it to the Defendant until the weekend - it arrived with her on Monday. As a result when Mrs X and Mr Wilkie walked into court on the day, the judge agreed that MIL's conduct was entirely unreasonable, and the defendant was awarded Ł199 to be paid within 14 days.

Prankster's Note

This is yet another discontinued claim from MIL where their evidence is "spectacularly deficient" and they failed to send an advocate, despite their claims in Parking News that "we always send an advocate to hearings" and their claims in court that "any advocate that attends on MIL's behalf is fully compliant with the requirements set out in the Legal Services Act 2007"

Alan Davis has now discontinued three claims known to the Prankster where he has either been ordered to attend personally, or has been ordered to cause Matt Murdoch/k to appear. As most courts do not have IMAX or Cinema facilities, it seems unlikely that Murdoch/k will ever appear before a Judge.

In the meantime, Mr Wilkie now has 12 consecutive wins against MIL, while Mr Bargepole also has no losses to date. Anyone with an MIL claim is recommended to notify MIL at the earliest opportunity that they will be asking Mr Wilkie or Mr Bargepole to represent them at any hearing. Mr Wilkie will attend any court in the country provided that he is available and his travelling costs are covered.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

ACE Security - you've been Gladstoned!

Kingston upon Thames: 05-10-2016: C7GF642E: Pace Recovery and Storage v Mr Z

According to MSE, ACE Security (AKA Pace Recovery and Storage) are the latest company to find that paying Gladstones Solicitors an estimated £400 to assist with a claim for a £100 parking charge ends up with them £400 worse off, the legal profession £400 better off, and Will Hurley and John Davies laughing all the way to the bank.

The keeper, Mr Z, who was not the driver, received an NTK to which he replied requesting more particulars ACE sent a very dismissive letter claiming that they don't have to answer questions as the letter was from the Internet. They passed the case to their Solicitors, Gladstones.

Mr Z. received a Letter Before Claim to which he replied with the same questions. Gladstones never answer these questions because otherwise it makes the case uneconomic for them. They can only make a profit if they ignore practice directions, refuse to respond to requests for information and do no due diligence before filing claims.

As is their standard operating practice, Gladstones did not respond to the letter and instead filed their usual shoddy claim which failed to provide the information required by Civil Procedure Rule 16.4 and Practice Direction 16, paragraphs 7.3 – 7.5. This is a shameful trick used by Gladstones so that defendants have no chance to file a proper defence.

In their direction questionnaire Gladstones requested that the case was dealt with on paper, which Mr Z. opposed. This is another disreputable ploy used by Gladstones. At this point the defendant still has no idea of what the case is about, and will not have until Gladstones file their witness statement. At that point the defendant will be out of time to file more paper, and so is almost guaranteed to lose a paper hearing.

Luckily Mr Z was well aware of the legal tricks Gladstones use and requested a hearing in his home court. Mr Z filed all his evidence and witness statements with the court and Gladstones. Gladstones sent a very lengthy defence giving me all the information requested in his very first letter to ACE. ACE were meant to be represented by their owner and his defence was clearly written by one of the solicitors, being based on a well-known template Gladstones use.

On the hearing day ACE was represented by a rent-a-mouth advocate who had no clue what the case was about and was frantically checking his laptop and mumbling something. According to Mr Z, this advocate and Gladstones' practice were well known to the judge who dismissed the claim within 3 minutes of the hearing.

Gladstones did not file any documents with the court, which is par for the course for their shambolic organisation.

ACE Security - you've been Gladstoned!

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster