From July to September this year, the Ministry of Justice reported that 560,000 claims were issued in the county court – the second highest quarterly figure since 2006. Of these, 445,000 were specified money claims, a figure which was up 15% on the same period in 2016. The number of claims being defended increased year on year by 5% to 76,000.
If there have been 76,000 hearings between July and September, we can estimate there are 304,000 per year. The Gazette figures also imply 1 in 7 claims goes to a hearing.
Has the Parking Industry contributed to this problem?
Undoubtably. The British Motorists Protection Association keeps a tally of the number of parking hearings. Although it is not informed about all of them, there have been at least 6,828 of them (not including set-asides and re-hearings) this year. On this basis, parking companies file about 48,000 claims a year.
Parking hearings also contribute just over 2% to the total number of hearings.
Of these, well over half are filed by Gladstones Solicitors, who are owned by Will Hurley and John Davies. These are the same people who run the International Parking Community, a trade association who give members access to the DVLA keeper database. The IPC also run an appeals service which is well known for being run in an unfair manner with a clear bias against motorists
Will Hurley and John Davies have therefore set themselves up as judge, jury and executioner, with a nice little conveyor belt going.
They set up a trade association apparently designed to attract the rogues and bottom feeders of the industry. They dismiss motorists appeals on bogus grounds not in line with decisions made by the real courts. They then feed the charges through from the IPC to Gladstones, funding the costs themselves, but adding an estimated £125 per claim for their own pockets (£50 debt collection charge, £50 filing fee, £25 court fee).
Even though Gladstones have proven themselves to be totally incompetent in court, their approximately 4,000 hearings can be viewed as something of a loss leader. It is the 28,000 cases which never get to court which are the true business model of Gladstones, who are creaming in an estimated £3.5 million from a largely automated process requiring no effort or thought.
It is interesting that a pair of scoundrels can make themselves rich through a business model which disregards the fact that they are hopeless in court, (as often reported), but instead relies on bullying and intimidation to make motorists pay charges which based on Gladstones record, they would not be liable for if the case went to a hearing.
The Parking Prankster