Back in 2014, Mrs D's car was being driven by a man, who parked in Lowther Street, Carlisle, and went to purchase a ticket.
While he was doing so, NorthWest Parking Enforcement issued a Notice to Driver (NtD), and this was followed up by a Notice to Keeper, 62 days after the NtD.
As this meant Keeper Liability was not engaged, Mrs D studiously ignored the begging letters from NWPE, Debt Recovery Plus, their alter-ego Zenith Collections and finally, MIL Collections, who decided to take the matter to court.
HO87, a well know MIL expert and forum regular prepared the silver bullets, and, as is so often the case, asked John Wilkie if he could take aim and fire.
In court today, MIL finally fielded an advocate with rights of Audience, Ms Coulson of 18 St John Street Chambers. Mr Wilkie appeared for the Defendant. Ms Coulson was polite, courteous and friendly, and her comments to Mrs D following the case were appreciated.
Mr Wilkie wants to state what a pleasure it was to have an opponent who knew what she was doing and to face a decent challenge in court, and what a pity it was that the MIL evidence was of the usual quality.
After a discussion on signs, markings, times and Beavis, the matter turned on two questions.
1) Did the "deed of assignment" meet the requirements of law
2) Did MIL, as assignee have the right to pursue the Keeper, absent
compliance with the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 sch 4 (POFA).
In handing down his judgment, the judge ruled in respect of the first matter, the deed of assignment was not dated, has no context, did not deal with the debt in question and as such was invalid.
For completeness, the judge also stated that, without positive evidence of the driver, MIL could not pursue the Keeper unless they were relying on POFA. Elliot v Loake, Barnard v Sully and CPS v AJH Films are of no support to a common law presumption.
Claim dismissed, with £108 costs to the Defendant.
As usual, MIL have produced a bundle of evidence which could be generously described as "a hospital pass" but on this occasion, the loss has cost them significantly more - the minimum a barrister is likely to attend a hearing for is £300-400 per hour, although the exact figure is
not known on this occasion. Given the paucity of their paperwork and lack of any right to actually pursue these charges, one has to wonder why they bothered trying to polish this particular turd.
It is good to see MIL finally using an advocate with rights of audience, and the Prankster hopes this move to lawful conduct will be reflected in other elements of MIL's business.
In the meantime, the Prankster is aware of a number of discontinuances issued by MIL, and wonders what Mr Wilkie may have been doing behind the scenes - he's not just a pretty face. (Actually, having met him, he's not EVEN a pretty face).
The Prankster also wonders what MIL were doing pursuing a case where NorthWest Parking Enforcement purchased keeper details from the DVLA. The Prankster was under the impression that MIL had promised the DVLA they would stop processing cases where the keeper date came from the DVLA.
David Dunford of the DVLA certainly things so. In an email dated 2nd February, he stated:
MIL have already confirmed they will not process DVLA data obtained from any parking companies.So, why are MIL providing false information to the DVLA? And if they think they can provide false information to the DVLA and get away with it, how can anyone trust anything from them?
The Parking Prankster