NW Car Parks Ltd v Ms R. D3QZ93D2. Liverpool. DDJ Causton
This post on MSE reports a court loss by NW Car Parks.
NW Car Parks were represented by employee Lisa Mathew. Ms R represented herself.
MSE Observer report
The defendant and their family were celebrating a joyous occasion and had parked their vehicle in a dimly lit car park in the hours of darkness in Preston. A parking ticket was paid for and the family went off to enjoy their evening. On returning to the vehicle, the family were upset to find that a PCN was attached to the vehicle's windscreen. The ticket had been issued as the back wheel was slightly over the marking of the parking bay.
Subsequent correspondence from NW was ignored, as the defendant believed that, as they had purchased a parking ticket, they were not liable for the charge. The usual chain of letters came and went until NW issued a claim.
On receipt of the claim, the defendant chose to defend the claim and fully complied with the courts directions by preparing their signed and dated witness statements etc within the required time frame. Unfortunately NW chose not to provide a witness statement, merely sending the defendant an unsigned/undated document which was effectively a timeline of events.
The Judge asked Ms Mathew to explain why NW had not provided a witness statement, She replied by stating that this was NW's first court claim and that they did not know they needed to provide one! The Judge told Ms Mathew that NW had failed to comply with the directions. NW provided photos of the vehicle parked, yet provided photos of the signage in broad daylight. The defendant questioned this and quite rightly stated that the car park was poorly lit and signs were not easily readable.
Ms Mathew advised the Judge that the defendant had not engaged in NW's 'fair' appeal service. The Judge asked the defendant the reason for this. They advised him that they felt that, as they had paid to park, the pcn should not have been issued in the first place and that an appeal would be futile. After a short deliberation, the Judge dismissed the claim as NW had not complied with directions and that one wheel was only slightly over the bay marking.
The defendant was only awarded travel expenses of £5.50, They did ask about costs, but as they are self employed this was refused.
It must be noted that the defendant conducted themselves in a highly professional manner. I was most impressed by they way the defended the claim. I spoke to the defendant after the case and they told me that another family member had initially told them to pay the parking charge!
Congratulations to Ms R for a well deserved win and for seeing NW out for a 'golden duck'!
NW Car Park would be well advised to pick their claims with a bit more due diligence, and to follow the court's directions.
The Parking Prankster