Author Topic: Civil Enforcement - No permit - Sacred Heart Church Wimbledon  (Read 224 times)

0 Members and 0 Guests are viewing this topic.

Keeper

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 21
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Civil Enforcement - No permit - Sacred Heart Church Wimbledon
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2024, 10:45:31 pm »
Thanks both for the responses

Signs are as in my first post - link again here for ready reference.

https://imgur.com/wqLkhDk

It's quite local to me, so happy to go and take any further photos if needed...

b789

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 963
  • Karma: +26/-3
    • View Profile
    • GullibleTree
Re: Civil Enforcement - No permit - Sacred Heart Church Wimbledon
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2024, 02:28:35 am »
This is what needs to be argued… compare the Beavis sign and the CE sign:



Do you notice the difference and how the charge is brought to the attention of the driver?
Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. - Mark Twain.

Keeper

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 21
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Civil Enforcement - No permit - Sacred Heart Church Wimbledon
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2024, 08:19:56 pm »
I see what you mean. Is there any regulation on this?

I did a google about Beavis and saw some of the history of that particular case - what is the relevance of the sign you've provided a photograph of?

Cheers

b789

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 963
  • Karma: +26/-3
    • View Profile
    • GullibleTree
Re: Civil Enforcement - No permit - Sacred Heart Church Wimbledon
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2024, 01:05:27 am »
Lord Dennings “Red hand rule”:



J Spurling Ltd v Bradshaw [1956] EWCA Civ 3 is an English contract law and English property law case on exclusion clauses and bailment. It is best known for Denning LJ's "red hand rule" comment, where he said, I quite agree that the more unreasonable a clause is, the greater the notice which must be given of it.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2024, 01:09:15 am by b789 »
Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. - Mark Twain.

Keeper

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 21
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Civil Enforcement - No permit - Sacred Heart Church Wimbledon
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2024, 09:33:43 am »
Thanks,

How's this?

______________________

Dear POPLA Adjudicator,

I am writing to appeal against the parking charge issued by Civil Enforcement Ltd (CEL) at Sacred Heart Church Wimbledon on 4th June 2024. I am contesting this charge on the following grounds:

Background:
On 4th June 2024, I attended a community meeting at Sacred Heart Church Wimbledon. Several other attendees also received parking fines on this occasion, highlighting a widespread issue with the clarity and visibility of the parking signage at this location. The signage is inadequate in communicating the terms and conditions to drivers, resulting in multiple penalties for individuals who were unaware of the specific parking restrictions.

Inadequate Signage:
The signage at Sacred Heart Church Wimbledon fails to comply with the British Parking Association (BPA) Code of Practice, specifically Section 19 which requires that signs must be clear and legible so that they are easy to see, read, and understand. The signage at the site is not sufficiently prominent, and the terms and conditions are not clearly visible upon entering the car park. As established in the case of ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis [2015] UKSC 67, the signage must be clear and prominent to ensure that the driver is aware of the charges. The signs at Sacred Heart Church are not adequately visible, especially in low light conditions, and fail to convey the necessary information to drivers. Attached are photographs taken at various times of the day showing that the signs are difficult to read and not adequately visible from a distance.

Lack of Prominent Notice of Charges:
Referring to the principle laid out by Lord Denning in J Spurling Ltd v Bradshaw [1956] EWCA Civ 3, known as the "red hand rule," the more unreasonable a clause, the greater the notice which must be given. The parking charge of £100 is substantial, and therefore, it requires clear and prominent notice. The signs at this location do not meet this standard, as they fail to effectively communicate the penalty charge. The terms should have been more prominently displayed, especially given the high charge.

Comparison with Beavis Case Signage:
The signage at Sacred Heart Church does not compare favourably with the signage in the Beavis case, which was deemed adequate by the Supreme Court. In the Beavis case, the charge was prominently displayed with clear terms, whereas in this instance, the signage is unclear and not sufficiently visible to the driver upon entering and parking. This failure to provide clear signage means that the parking charge cannot be considered enforceable.

No Evidence of Landowner Authority:
Civil Enforcement Ltd has not provided evidence that it has the authority to issue parking charges on behalf of the landowner at Sacred Heart Church Wimbledon. The BPA Code of Practice (Section 7) stipulates that operators must have a written agreement with the landowner that establishes their authority. I request that CEL provides a full, contemporaneous, and unredacted copy of their contract with the landowner, which authorises them to issue parking charges.

No Genuine Pre-Estimate of Loss:
The parking charge does not represent a genuine pre-estimate of loss. The charge of £100 is disproportionate to any potential loss incurred by the landowner or operator. The purpose of the charge should be to compensate for the actual loss caused by the parking contravention. Given that the car park was not full, the incident occurred at night, and parking at the Sacred Heart Church is not normally charged, the charge is punitive and unenforceable. There was no financial loss suffered by the landowner in this instance, making the charge unjustifiable.

Photographic Evidence:
I have included photographic evidence of the signage at the Sacred Heart Church from various angles and distances. These photos clearly show that the terms and conditions are not adequately conveyed to drivers, particularly in low light conditions or from typical viewing distances.

Lack of Contractual Agreement:
Due to the inadequate signage, there can be no contractual agreement between myself and Civil Enforcement Ltd. For a contract to be formed, the terms must be clearly communicated, and in this case, they were not. Therefore, I cannot be held liable for the charge.

Conclusion:
Given the above points, I respectfully request that POPLA upholds my appeal and cancels the parking charge issued by Civil Enforcement Ltd. The signage at the Sacred Heart Church Wimbledon is insufficient to meet the standards required for forming a contractual agreement and for clearly communicating the parking charges.

Thank you for considering my appeal.

Yours sincerely,

b789

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 963
  • Karma: +26/-3
    • View Profile
    • GullibleTree
Re: Civil Enforcement - No permit - Sacred Heart Church Wimbledon
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2024, 12:20:40 pm »
Please show us the photographic evidence you intend to use in your appeal.
Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. - Mark Twain.

DWMB2

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1182
  • Karma: +33/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Civil Enforcement - No permit - Sacred Heart Church Wimbledon
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2024, 12:23:19 pm »
No Genuine Pre-Estimate of Loss:
The parking charge does not represent a genuine pre-estimate of loss. The charge of £100 is disproportionate to any potential loss incurred by the landowner or operator. The purpose of the charge should be to compensate for the actual loss caused by the parking contravention. Given that the car park was not full, the incident occurred at night, and parking at the Sacred Heart Church is not normally charged, the charge is punitive and unenforceable. There was no financial loss suffered by the landowner in this instance, making the charge unjustifiable.
The Beavis case largely (but not entirely) killed off this point - I'd leave it out here.

b789

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 963
  • Karma: +26/-3
    • View Profile
    • GullibleTree
Re: Civil Enforcement - No permit - Sacred Heart Church Wimbledon
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2024, 12:53:47 pm »
As already pointed out, pre-estimate of loss is a non-runner. However, the points about the signage need to be expanded on, as does the landholder authority.

I am also interested in this image you posted earlier on:



Is this a file image from the operators website? If so, it is evidence that they have tampered with the images because the timestamp cannot be contemporaneous and must have been added later. Look at the image and one of the photos already has a timestamp on it but the two images have a second timestamp superimposed.
Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. - Mark Twain.

b789

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 963
  • Karma: +26/-3
    • View Profile
    • GullibleTree
Re: Civil Enforcement - No permit - Sacred Heart Church Wimbledon
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2024, 01:57:11 pm »
In terms of POPLA appeals, the burden of proof rests with the operator to provide clear evidence of the contravention it alleges occurred, and consequently, that it issued the PCN correctly.

POPLA Appeal Argument: Inadequate Signage and Lack of Landowner Authority by Civil Enforcement Ltd at Sacred Heart Church, Wimbledon

Appeal Summary:

The burden of proof rests with the operator, Civil Enforcement Ltd (CEL), to provide clear evidence of the alleged contravention and to demonstrate that the Parking Charge Notice (PCN) was issued correctly. The signage at Sacred Heart Church Wimbledon fails to meet the necessary standards of clarity, prominence, and legibility as set out in the British Parking Association (BPA) Code of Practice (CoP) and the Protection of Freedoms Act (PoFA) 2012. Furthermore, CEL has not provided adequate evidence of their authority to issue parking charges at this location. Therefore, the PCN should be cancelled.

1. Inadequate Signage:

The appellant contests that the signage at Sacred Heart Church, Wimbledon, is neither prominent, clear, nor legible from all parking spaces and there is insufficient notice of the sum of the parking charge.

2. BPA Code of Practice Compliance:

When evaluating the adequacy of the signage, it is essential to consider the minimum standards set out in the BPA Code of Practice:

- Section 19.3 of the BPA Code of Practice states: “You must place signs containing the specific parking terms throughout the site, so that drivers are given the chance to read them at the time of parking or leaving their vehicle… Signs must be conspicuous and legible, and written in intelligible language, so that they are easy to see, read and understand.”

The signage installed by Civil Enforcement Ltd (CEL) at Sacred Heart Church, Wimbledon, fails to comply with the British Parking Association (BPA) Code of Practice, specifically Section 19, which requires that signs must be clear and legible so that they are easy to see, read, and understand. The key issues with the signage are as follows:

a. Visibility and Legibility:

 
- The signage is not sufficiently prominent, especially upon entering the car park. The excessive amount of text and the way it is presented make it difficult for drivers to quickly comprehend the terms and conditions.

  - The signage fails to adequately attract attention, particularly in low light conditions. Photographs taken at various times of the day demonstrate that the signs are hard to read and not clearly visible from a distance.



b. Clear and Prominent Charges:

 
- As established in ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis [2015] UKSC 67, the signage must be clear and prominent to ensure that drivers are aware of the charges. In the Beavis case, the charge was prominently displayed and easily noticed by drivers. In contrast, the CEL signage does not prominently display the £100 charge.

The £100 parking charge is not prominently displayed. The charge is buried within a lot of text, reducing its visibility and the likelihood that a driver would see and understand the charge upon entering the car park.



3. Protection of Freedoms Act (PoFA) Compliance:

In addition to the BPA Code of Practice, PoFA 2012 also discusses the clarity needed to make a motorist aware of the parking charge. Specifically, it requires that the driver is given “adequate notice” of the charge.

- PoFA defines “adequate notice” as follows:

 
- “(3) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (2) “adequate notice” means notice given by:
   
- (a) the display of one or more notices in accordance with any applicable requirements prescribed in regulations under paragraph 12 for, or for purposes including, the purposes of sub-paragraph (2); or
    - (b) where no such requirements apply, the display of one or more notices which:
     
- (i) specify the sum as the charge for unauthorized parking; and
      - (ii) are adequate to bring the charge to the notice of drivers who park vehicles on the relevant land.”

Even if PoFA does not apply, this standard is reasonable for an independent assessment of the signage at this location.

4. Assessment Against POFA and BPA Requirements:

Having evaluated the signage at Sacred Heart Church Wimbledon against the requirements of Section 19 of the BPA Code of Practice and PoFA, it is evident that the signage fails to provide adequate notice of the parking charge. It does not bring the parking charge to the attention of the motorist, which is necessary to form a valid contract.

5. No Evidence of Landowner Authority:

The operator, Civil Enforcement Ltd, has not provided evidence that it has the authority to issue parking charges on behalf of the landowner at Sacred Heart Church, Wimbledon. The BPA Code of Practice (Section 7) stipulates that operators must have a written agreement with the landowner that establishes their authority. CEL is put to strict proof, by means of contemporaneous and unredacted evidence, of a chain of authority flowing from the landholder of the "relevant land" to the operator.

It is not accepted that the operator has adhered to the landholder's definitions, exemptions, grace period, hours of operation, etc., and any instructions to cancel charges due to complaints. There is no evidence that the freeholder authorizes this operator to issue parking charges or what the land enforcement boundary and start/expiry dates are, nor whether this operator has standing to enforce such charges in their own name rather than a bare license to act as an agent ‘on behalf of’ the landowner.

As this operator does not have a proprietary interest in the “relevant land,” I require that they produce an unredacted copy of the contract with the landowner. The contract and any 'site agreement' or 'User Manual' setting out details including exemptions - such as any 'genuine customer' or 'genuine resident' exemptions or any site occupier's 'right of veto' charge cancellation rights - is key evidence to define what this operator is authorized to do and any circumstances where the landowner in fact has a right to cancellation of a charge.

It cannot be assumed, just because an agent is contracted to merely put up some signs and issue Parking Charge Notices, that the agent is also authorized to make contracts with all or any category of visiting drivers and/or to enforce the charge in court in their own name (legal action regarding land use disputes generally being a matter for a landowner only). Witness statements are not sound evidence of the above, often being pre-signed, generic documents not even identifying the case in hand or even the site rules.

A witness statement might in some cases be accepted by POPLA, but in this case, it is unlikely to sufficiently evidence the definition of the services provided by each party to the agreement. Nor would it define vital information such as charging days/times, any exemption clauses, grace periods (which I believe may be longer than the bare minimum times set out in the BPA Code of Practice), and basic information such as the land boundary and bays where enforcement applies/does not apply.

Not forgetting evidence of the various restrictions which the landowner has authorized can give rise to a charge and, of course, how much the landowner authorizes this agent to charge (which cannot be assumed to be the sum on a sign because template private parking terms and sums have been known not to match the actual landowner agreement).

Paragraph 7 of the BPA Code of Practice defines the mandatory requirements, and I put this operator to strict proof of full compliance:

- 7.2 If the operator wishes to take legal action on any outstanding parking charges, they must ensure that they have the written authority of the landowner (or their appointed agent) prior to legal action being taken.

- 7.3 The written authorisation must also set out:

 
- (a) the definition of the land on which you may operate, so that the boundaries of the land can be clearly defined

  - (b) any conditions or restrictions on parking control and enforcement operations, including any restrictions on hours of operation

  - (c) any conditions or restrictions on the types of vehicles that may, or may not, be subject to parking control and enforcement

  - (d) who has the responsibility for putting up and maintaining signs

  - (e) the definition of the services provided by each party to the agreement

Conclusion:

Due to the inadequate signage at Sacred Heart Church, Wimbledon, which fails to comply with the BPA Code of Practice and does not provide clear and prominent notice of the parking charge, the PCN cannot be considered enforceable. Additionally, Civil Enforcement Ltd has not provided evidence of their authority to issue parking charges at this location. The signage does not meet the necessary standards to form a contract by conduct with the driver. Therefore, the PCN issued at this location should be canceled.


This expanded narrative now includes a comprehensive challenge to the operator’s authority, emphasising the need for unredacted evidence of their contractual rights and responsibilities as mandated by the BPA Code of Practice.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2024, 01:59:50 pm by b789 »
Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. - Mark Twain.