UK Parking Control v XYZ Ltd. Basildon 04/10/2017. D5HW078T DJ Monlieaux
UKPC represented by a solicitor from SCS Law
XYZ ltd represented by Mr D, an employee
The Prankster was asked for help by a small company.
In March 2017 they had received a worrying county court claim from a law company called SCS Law (a trading name of LPC Law), alleging that one of their vans had been parked on several occasions on the estate which their client UKPC managed the parking for. This was the first they had heard of this, so they requested more information, which was duly emailed to them.
The van was a company van which had been parked at the house of an employee at night. SCS Law alleged that no commercial vehicles were allowed on the estate between something like 19:00-07:00 and UKPC had “charged” the member of staff with this offence at various times in the middle of the night – midnight etc. The employee had no recollection of this happening, and did not receive any windscreen tickets. UKPC had sent everything to the previous address of the company, who did not receive any of it, even though redirection was in place. Unfortunately there were two buildings on the site with very similar addresses and the same postcode, and a large amount of post had gone missing.
The employee made enquiries and found out that UKPC do operate the parking there. New signs had been fitted around his estate, but these were done in late December – all of the charges were from October and November 2016.
The judge was not impressed by SCS Law's bundle. She ruled that the company had no keeper liability; although they were the registered keeper of the van, they were not the keeper for the purposes of POFA 2012, which defines keeper in a different way. The staff member who used the van was the keeper.
The driver was also not acting as agent of the company, because this was private use after the working day had finished.
No contract was formed with the driver because the signs were poor and not visible at night when the tickets were issued.
The paperwork had also not been received within the mandatory time period, and was therefore out of time to establish keeper liability.
The claim was dismissed.
There were a number of other flaws with the case, any of which could also have rendered the charges invalid. The signage was forbidding, which would make any contravention a trespass, and the charges invalid as per the rulings in ParkingEye v Beavis  UKSC 67. The UKPC contract appeared to be with a company which was dormant. It was not apparent why UKPC thought they could override the rights of the home owner to park on his own drive.
The operation appeared to be a self-ticketing one, with part of the income from each ticket going to the management company. This would appear to contradict their claim they were dormant.
which it was decided not to use were not explored.
The claim was handled by Andrew Morgan.
The claim was so flawed that The Prankster questions the judgment of Andrew Morgan for his handling of the case. SCS Law claim to be experts in parking law, but on this showing The Prankster can only conclude that they are completely incompetent.
The buck has to stop somewhere, so the Prankster holds director Len Crowder to account.
Really, if you are holding yourself up to be experts in some area of law, you should at least have basic knowledge of the issues.
The Parking Prankster