AS Parking v. Miss S; C5GF0A7E. 27/1/17. Truro.
A family cars picked up a ticket at Perran Sands, Cornwall. Miss S was the keeper. Her father Mr S was the owner.
AS Parking managed to serve the Notice to Keeper (NTK) 3 days outside the 56 days limit, so keeper liability did not apply. That didn't stop Gladstones from serving a Letter Before Claim and, despite telling them the NTK was late, a robo-claim followed.
The case was due to be heard at Truro on 27/1/17. At 11.30am on 26th, Gladstones emailed to say they would settle for £160 - HaHaHa.
Luckily Mr S was well aware from The Prankster site that when Gladstones make an offer like this, they are about discontinue.
Sure enough, at 4.30pm on 26th, Gladstones emailed to discontinue. Annoyingly, Mr S had just arrived to "help out" as lay representative.
As the box on the form did not have a Judge's name on it, the defence team resolved to turn up and see "what's what". This gave Kev an uncomfortable 5 minutes, as he was there for another case.
We were all shown in to Judge Thomas in his chamber, who asked us if we were aware of the discontinuance and, if so, why were we there? They mentioned the missing name and showed him the form, but he said that box didn't need completion. A conversation then ensued as to the late notice and, after some debate, the Judge said that he would have considered costs, if Miss S had incurred them, but (he put it very nicely) Mr S was only an optional extra.
The Prankster can only guess why the case was discontinued. As usual Gladstones evidence pack was a masterclass in incompetence, so perhaps that was the reason.
1. In his evidence pack, Kev stated his NTK was dated a month before it was, even though he included a copy in his pack! How incompetent - that would have put them outside the start of the window as well as the end!
2. Kev's sign in his pack was obviously a mock-up (with typos) and had both BPA and IPC logos on it for a March '16 ticket.
3. His landholder authority dated from 2014 and contained this clause "The operator is authorised by the landholder to pursue the outstanding Parking Charges in accordance with the British Parking Association Approved Operator Scheme Code of Practice."
4. His signs were all over the shop - the photos were too small to see the detail, but logos were clearly different on some and in different positions and bold headings and not all the same.
AS Parking - you've been Gladstoned.
Judges have awarded lay representative travel costs before, under the unreasonableness rule, 27.14(2)g, so Kev was lucky Judge Thomas was not being strict on the day.
The Parking Prankster