[Update: Gladstone's witness statement finally arrived on February 1st, one day after the hearing]
Minster Baywatch v Mr S. C2GF3P3T Huddersfield, 31/1/2017
The driver (who was not the keeper) tried to buy a parking ticket, but the machines would not accept the right money. An appeal was made, but Charlotte from Minster came back with a load of tripe, including the gem "Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 states that you are permitted 28-days in which to Appeal this Notice". This is of course, a part of the Act which Charlotte made up.
As no appeal was allowed, the keeper decided not to pay, and some weeks later a claim form from Gladstones dropped through the door. No letter before claim was received.
Mr S was represented by Mrs S, who used the The Lay Representatives (Rights of Audience) Order 1999. The usher was not aware this could happen, but Mrs S had brought a copy of the Act. Minster were represented by an advocate hired by Gladstones.
As is common, Gladstones did not send any paperwork to the court or the defendant. Court rules do not apply to Gladstones, as they have been given an exemption by Lords Chief Justice on High William Hurley and John Davies. Unfortunately the judge had not been informed of the exemption, so threw the case out immediately.
She said that she had Mr S's paperwork and a letter explaining that he hadn't received Gladstones witness statement. She asked if this was still the case and Mrs S confirmed that it was. She also explained she hadn't received anything from Gladstones either, at which point the Gladstones representative became very apologetic. The judge asked the representative what she was hoping for and explained to me that she might not need to hear the defence at all. The representative didn't really give an answer so the judge asked if she was pushing for an adjournment; at which point Mrs S got a bit nervous. The representative said she would be happy to adjourn if the judge was, so the judge applied some sort of test with three limbs and the test failed on the first limb.
The judge then went on to say that there was no excuse for Gladstones not submitting the paperwork on time, especially as we as lay people had managed to do so. She had nothing from the claimant to examine and neither did we which put us at a disadvantage, but had given Gladstones a considerable advantage given that they had a copy of their Witness Statement. She also pointed out that she didn't take too kindly to Gladstones wasting the court's time, therefore she was striking it out.
Costs of £10 were awarded.
Unfortunately quite a few courts have not heard of Gladstones free pass to ignore the rules. This is of course completely unfair. The Prankster suggests that the Lords Chief Justice on High do a whistle-stop tour of the country, pointing out where the judges are going wrong and lecturing them or the error of their ways. If they do, they should probably pack light, and just take a toothbrush.
If the machines had allowed the driver to pay the £1.50 in the first place Minster Baywatch would be a few hundred pounds better off than they are now.
The Parking Prankster