MIL Collections v George. D8QZ60RM Truro 10/04/2018. DDJ Rutherford
Guest report from Mr George. MIL Collections were represented by Danielle Metters from LPC Law Mr George was represented by John Wilkie.
This case has also been reported on the Cornwall Live website.
DDJ Rutherford has quashed a parking charge and seriously rebuked debt collection company MIL Collections Ltd. The Truro based company were also ordered to pay £750 in costs to the defendant because of their “unreasonable conduct in litigation”.
The exceptional order came after Cornwall based Llawnroc Parking Services and MIL Collections had pursued motorist David George for payment despite Mr George having bought a parking ticket and proved this to the private parking company. Mr George was helped by the Parking Prankster, along with the BMPA and Private Parking Appeals director John Wilkie (acting privately as a Lay Representative) in his defence of a claim from MIL Collections for £215 after the alleged debt was incorrectly assigned to it by Llawnroc.
MIL Collections Christopher Barrett, who calls himself “Head of Legal” for the firm, under cross examination from John Wilkie, admitted the company often provided fictitious names or pseudonyms on documents used in evidence. He agreed Paul King, G Watson and Matt Murdoch and Matt Murdock, names which often appear on MIL litigation, were all made up. In finding for the defendant and awarding exceptional costs Deputy District Judge Stephen Rutherford said:
“If a professional debt agency brings a claim it must get the basic facts right…………
Many of the letters were written by fictitious people or the names they used are pseudonyms, the problem is these letters were produced (in evidence) and that information would never have come out without the astute questioning of Mr Wilkie. They included wrong dates and wrong amounts, I can forgive one mistake, when it get to two or more I become worried.”
The judges criticisms of MIL continued:
“Debt has to be properly assigned and a notice properly given. I’m not satisfied notice of assignment was properly given. I’m not satisfied this was a proper assignment in the first place. It was undated ……. and signed by a Mr Haddock which is a resemblance to a fictional character”.
When awarding costs to Mr George, Deputy District Judge Rutherford said in a small claim court case;
“Costs are only awarded if there has been unreasonable conduct. Late service of the (evidence) bundle, failure to comply with the pre-action protocols, breaking the Financial Conduct Authority rules, failure to comply with court orders, adding additional administration charges twice, effectively a way of trying to get back costs over and above small claims costs by the back door, all of that puts MIL Collections as having a cost order against them. It amounts to unreasonable conduct in litigation”.
Costs of £750 were awarded.
After the case the defendant, David George, said “ MIL Collections appears to use claims to the small claims track to scare people into paying debts which maybe disputed, they use tactics which are, at best misleading to individuals like myself, and the judge has found them out and rebuked them in court”. Mr George also said he was extremely grateful for the help provided by John Wilkie, and to the BMPA and the many Private Parking blogs and websites for their help and encouragement.
MIL's habit of using fictional comic book characters to sign their legal documents has now hit them hard. Although Matt Murdock may be a successful fictional lawyer, he is not in real life. At this time it is not known whether Capt. Haddock, the harbour master who signed the notice of assignment is real or false.
As MIL have never been known to win a parking case against John Wilkie, the Prankster has no hesitation in condemning their business model as being built on a tissue of lies, relying on intimidating motorists into paying amounts which have no basis in law.
MIL owner Alan Davies is therefore nothing more than a con man, relying on bluster and scare tactics to fleece unsuspecting motorists who do not know the true legal position.
If any motorists have paid MIL they have up to 6 years to sue them to get their money back. As MIL have no basis for pursuing these motorists it is likely they also have a valid data protection claim against MIL, and also possibly personally against Alan Davies and Christopher Barrett for using personal data unfairly and unlawfully. From 25 May 2018 any further incorrect use of personal data would be an offence against the new GDPR legislation, for which companies can be fined up to €20 million, or 4% annual global turnover.
As Alan Davies will by now have no doubt his business model is entirely bogus, it is possible the courts would award large amounts if they find against him.
The Parking Prankster