Friday, 23 December 2016

Government announce CCJ review due to parking companies exploiting legal system

Parking companies have for some time been exploiting the legal system by issuing claims to wrong addresses. This results in innocent motorists getting CCJs they know nothing about, which can mean they lose their house and job through no fault of their own.

Predatory companies like Gladstones Solicitors, BW Legal, Wright Hassall, MIL Collections and SCS issue claims without doing any due diligence which means that the vast majority of cases have no validity - in ParkingEye v Beavis it was revealed ParkingEye cancel 65% of charges on appeal, and POPLA cancel a further 45%. This means that something over 80% of all parking charges are issued invalidly. This number is increasing - in 2012 ParkingEye cancelled only 55% of charges on appeal.

The roboclaim industry specialises in churning out these claims and adding on spurious extra charges in the full knowledge that although most of the claims have no basis, a large number of people will either be frightened into paying up, or will fail to get the claim papers and so end up with a CCJ without knowing about it. If claims are defended they deliberately ignore practice directions and conduct themselves in a shameful manner knowing that judges in the small claims court rarely issue sanctions. This cynical exploitation of the legal system should not continue.

Today the Government announced it was taking steps to end this predatory situation.

The press release,entitled 'New measures to protect consumers from debt claims' is available here.

Parking companies have been especially singled out:
assess the role of parking companies and examine how drivers are informed of fines
 And the Department for Communities and Local Government will be taking further steps in due course to tackle poor practice by private parking companies.

 Consultation will start in the new year:
Round table events with consumer groups and advice organisations to gauge early views will take place in the new year before the consultation goes live.
No doubt the many people with ParkingEye CCJs who have already reported these to casehub will be keeping a keen eye on the situation.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster


  1. "assess the role of parking companies and examine how drivers are informed of fines"

    1. One way to inform drivers, well actually the RK's, would be to insist that all "fines" are sent out by recorded delivery.

  2. yes the article was reported in the daily mail this morning , however on the 12th September this year they had an article and interviewed Mrs May , a spokesperson said (12th September) ""The Prime Minister’s spokesman said: ‘There is an investigation now under way. We have a strong legal system and it is important that it cannot be abused. That is why the Ministry of Justice is now taking work to look into the specific issue around CCJs.’", so is this a new consultation , or were we lied to back in september (DM link is available)

  3. If the person knows that they have a parking ticket and they therefore have someone who believes that money is owed and that it could go to court, surely the recipient of the ticket has a duty to contact the collection company concerned to make sure that doesn't happen. If they are going to ignore everything or not pay and not update the address, then I think the problem is with the driver who leaves a matter outstanding.

    1. You are missing the point. Parking companies are deliberately abusing the system.

    2. E-Z pickins
      System can be easily fixed by amending pofa. Any CC claim must have a signed statement showing address of RK on date claim filed.

  4. @Dave Lewis
    In the ideal world of course. However this is the world of the private parking company and your comment assumes that, for example, "ghost PCN's" (PCN's that are photographed in situ on a car's windscreen but mysteriously vanish by the time the driver returns) don't exist and that vehicle keepers knew of the PCN in the first place. After all, it is the keepers who have/are falling victim to these CCJ's. The number of instances of notices we are assured were sent by parking companies simply never arriving defies logic - and the assurances. Furthermore, the dogged pursuit, by certain parking companies and their fellow travellers, of cases originating before the passing into law of the Protection of Freedoms Act guarantees that the number of "ambush CCJ's" can only increase. And this practice continues unabated despite the Government's announcement in September.

  5. Hopefully they will also review the 14 day default win timing, go away on a fortnight's holiday and you could easily get a default judgement against you without being able to do anything at all about it.

    I wonder if Dave Lewis would inform everyone who may have a potential debt to going back SIX YEARS when he moves.....I'll hazard a guess....

  6. There is another major issue to afflict this shameful
    industry - advertisement planning consent. I have
    researched dozens of the most controversial sites across England and Wales, and have been in touch
    with the respective planning departments. Some 40 councils have already confirmed that many car park signs require planning consent, which cannot be back-
    dated. Consent runs only from the date of the
    decision, and normally runs for 5 years at a time.

    In a typical case, the (contract-bearing) signs were installed in 2012, but didn't get consent until 2015, with possibly hundreds of PCN's issued between times. Although the contracts may nevertheless still be legally enforceable, both ATA/AOS schemes require car park operators to obey the law, and the Supreme Court in ParkingEye/Beavis, at 111, held that although the code of practice may not be legally binding all operators must abide by the code in order to obtain keeper details. Without these there is no ANPR.

    Finally, all landowner contracts I have seen state
    that it is a condition precedent (as well as con-
    current and subsequent) that all necessary
    permissions (and that includes planning) must be in place for the signs to be displayed. No wonder these contracts are kept secret and rarely seen in court!