It seems that for a properly defended case, judges will rip into ES Parking with regard to Spinningfield cases.
However, Brian Hargreaves is becoming something of a fixture in Manchester court, which presumably he would not do if he lost all the time. It is therefore important to bring the right points to the judge's attention in your defence. A judge can only hear the case on the defence points raised, so even if the parking company got Gladstones to assist them, if you go to court saying your defence is that you ate a lot of jelly and were wearing a blue tie, you are not likely to win, even if the judge has just dismissed the last 5 ES Parking claims in a row.
This case reported on Pepipoo explains some of the right points to bring to bear.
ES Parking were taking a limited company to court. The company had previously given ES the name of the driver, and an address at which they could easily be contacted, as required by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, sch 4. Despite this, ES continued to chase the keeper (the limited company), all the way to court.
ES Parking had at least 3 other cases on the go; it appears many people did not turn up to defend their cases so ES won by default. The gentleman in the preceding claim was persuaded by ES to settle before the case as he had no idea what to do (£180 for 2 "tickets"). ES asked if the defendants could do a deal (ES were claiming £389.14 in total for 2 "tickets"). They politely refused and went ahead with the case.
ES argued that they did not provide a home address for the driver. The defendants pointed out that the company address is a suitable service address for the driver; the judge agreed. He therefore dismissed the claim on this and other points.
The judge also stated a contract was not made as there were no signs on the road entrance and that the signs submitted as evidence did not match the photos submitted by the defence.
ES said the signs were removed the day after he took our photo as he was requested to do so by Manchester Council.
The judge also ruled the signage is incorrect - the signs state that the private land is managed by ES Parking Enforcement Ltd but it is not, the land is managed by Spinningfields Estate. The signs states "No Stopping at all" but as it's a dead end cars have no choice but to stop in order to turn around, there are no signs at the entrance to say "private road" or "no entry" The ES Witness statement claimed the signs were positioned "where bound to be seen" - the judge looked at the defences clear colour photos and concluded they were not bound to be seen. The judge also asked why the signs were at the maximum height allowed.
The sign state "Non-payment will result in additional charges" ES were asking for £50 - the judge ruled this was excessive.
The judge also noted that ES was relying on "ParkingEye Limited v Beavis" the judge ruled this was not relevant as no stopping was allowed and there was no free period of parking.
The defence asked for costs for time and expenses and additional costs under 27.14(2)(g) but the judge would not award any costs as they were a company.
The judge awarded £80 costs to their witness (the driver) for loss of earnings (they asked for £100) ES was ordered to pay the witness within 14 days.
It is a shame that parking companies and legal firms like Gladstones have no understanding of the laws which govern their industry.
POFA 2012 clearly states.
“current address for service” means—The Prankster considers that any legal firm which files a claim without doing the appropriate due diligence against a party which clearly has no liability, to be scammers and morally bankrupt. The Prankster reminds lawyers, (although he should not need to do this) that their first duty is to the court.
(a) in the case of the keeper, an address which is either—
(i) an address at which documents relating to civil proceedings could properly be served on the person concerned under Civil Procedure Rules; or
(ii) the keeper’s registered address (if there is one); or
(b) in the case of the driver, an address at which the driver for the time being resides or can conveniently be contacted;
ES Parking, you've been Gladstoned!
The Gladstones Alternative Universe
Employees cannot be conveniently contacted at a business address
The telephone is not a method of distance communication
Anyone can rock up to your house, nail a parking sign to your wall, and you would then owe them money for parking at your own house.
It is impossible not to be the driver if you were the keeper. Keepers never let other people drive their cars.
Deadlines imposes by judges are for fools. Gladstone employees are above petty concerns such as filing on time or obeying judges.
Practice directions are for fools. Legal experts can ignore practice directions in situations where it is too costly or time consuming to comply and do what they like. All practice direction apply to the other side though.
It is fine to do no due diligence and so submit false evidence in a witness statement
All parking cases are the same and a template witness statement can be used to cover all eventualities.(Note to accounts; its OK to bill for this each time though)
Even if you lose lots of cases on the same point of law, its still fair to keep filing more claims for as long as the parking company pay you money. After all, many people don't know the law and will either give up or file an irrelevant defence.
Its OK to own and run both a parking appeals company considering motorists and a legal firm filing claims on behalf of parking companies.
The Parking Prankster