Thursday, 15 June 2017

PACE given a pasting in Manchester

PACE Recovery and Storage v Lengyel. C7GF6E3R

A long time ago, the Parking Prankster was contacted by a Hungarian citizen, Mr Lengyel who had received a PCN while hiring a car and visiting a friend in the UK. The parking company, PACE had gone on to file a court claim and get a default judgment. Mr Lengyel was unaware of all this because he he had moved back to Hungary by then, and everything went to his former UK address. He wanted to contest the case, as he may return to the UK within the next 6 years.

The Prankster passed the case on to Bargepole, who had had a number of successes against PACE at that time, After Bargepole helped him to get the Judgment set aside, a date of May 24 was set for the substantive hearing. This was allocated to Manchester, as it had been agreed that this would be heard on papers only, the price of a trip from Hungary being somewhat prohibitive.

It ended up in front of DJ Iyer, well known for giving ES Parking a kicking in the past, and he didn’t disappoint on this occasion. DJ Iyer found that there were three fundamental flaws with the claim.

1) PACE did not have authority from the landowner to enter into contracts with driver. It did have the authority to issue tickets, but this would be on behalf of the landowner, so only the landowner could sue.

Prankster Note

The Prankster has not seen the contract in this claim but has seen other PACE contracts. it would seem this is a fundamental flaw with all their contracts which renders all their charges invalid.

2) The signage failed the fairness tests established in ParkingEye v Beavis and because of the imprecise wording and failure to adhere to the IPC code of practice, no contract was entered into by the driver.

Prankster Note

A similar, but slightly different sign from another site shows that PACE have a generic problem with the wording of their signs. This would therefore again invalidate all their charges. They would need to replace all their signage to overcome this problem.

3) As parking required a permit, and as the driver did not and could not have a permit, the contract in any case failed by the doctrine of impossibility. As many other judges have found with this type of signage, this would mean no contract could be in place and the driver would be a trespasser. As the claim did not argue trespass, it was therefore bound to fail.

Prankster Note

Even had the claim argued trespass it would have still failed, because only the land occupier can sue for trespass, and then only, as established in ParkingEye v Beavis, for actual damages, not fictional amounts.

The claim was therefore dismissed and Bargepole can claim another PACE scalp.

The full judgment is available on the Prankster's 'More Case Law' page, and should be very helpful to anyone defending a claim from PACE.

It is worth noting that the IPC claim to vet contracts and signage on behalf of their members. Will Hurley and John Davies apparently have a poor understanding of the laws regarding parking, as evidenced by the huge numbers of claims Gladstone's lose in the courts. Their claim is obviously worthless, as this case clearly illustrated. 

The Prankster suggests that IPC operators pay a proper solicitor who knows what they are doing to check out their contracts and signage, and consider suing the IPC for any costs involved in replacing these if it turn out they have been given bad advice.

PACE, you've been Gladstoned!

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

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