Author Topic: Private PCN St Michael's Court  (Read 1607 times)

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Chaseman

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Private PCN St Michael's Court
« on: August 10, 2023, 06:06:52 pm »
"The driver" parked the car in a private car park controlled by Parking Eye on 27 July. She is not now sure whether she paid for two hours and exceeded it, or the limit of free parking was 2 hours and she exceeded that. The PCN does not make it clear either. Under Parking Charge Information it states "By either not purchasing the appropriate parking time or by remaining at the car park for longer than permitted....the parking charge is now payable"

First this catch-all sort of wording to describe the "offence" would not be permissible in a Council PCN. Secondly the location is given only as St Michaels Court. No address, no town, no postcode. The ticket turned up while the driver was away and I had no idea where the place was so I Googled it and deduced it was Amersham. The car's V5 is in my name. I can obviously appeal citing vagueness of both the offence and the location but I guess Parking Eye will just turn that down automatically. I have no experience of the procedure for appealing to POPLA.

Questions:

  • Any chance such an appeal to Parking Eye will succeed?
  • If I appeal before the 14 day discount period is up (15 Aug) will PE put the discount on hold pending their reply?

I can delay things by writing to PE and stating that I am the RK but was not the driver and giving them the name of the driver but does this risk the discount and is there any point?
Presumably if one appeals to POPLA the full penalty of 100 is at risk? Any views on the likelihood of success there?
If I just ignore the thing altogether I presumably will get increasingly threatening letters referring to bailiffs and court summonses but are they actually likely to follow through on any of this?

GSV unfortunately dates from Sep 2018 when it may have been under control of a different contractor

https://www.google.com/maps/@51.6783501,-0.6044512,3a,45y,317.68h,91.05t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sgk6MB5utBikTYKU7_FlJog!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?entry=ttu

https://imgur.com/a/gWxfyQi
« Last Edit: August 11, 2023, 12:48:51 am by Chaseman »

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DWMB2

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Re: Private PCN Amersham
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2023, 07:02:34 pm »
[The driver] parked the car in a private car park in Amersham controlled by Parking Eye on 27 July. She is not now sure whether she paid for two hours and exceeded it, or the limit of free parking was 2 hours and she exceeded that. The PCN does not make it clear either.
I would imagine it is the former - as the PCN states:
"The signage states that, as a paid car park, a Parking Charge is applicable if the motorist fails to make the appropriate tariff payment"

"By either not purchasing the appropriate parking time or by remaining at the car park for longer than permitted....the parking charge is now payable"
I take your point about the 'catch all' phrase being rather vague, although it is standard for ParkingEye charges, and I think it would be an uphill battle to convince POPLA or a judge that the charge is not owed on that basis alone. A counter argument is that the two options describe largely the same thing: if a motorist pays for 2 hours parking and stays for 2 and a half, then they have both not purchased the appropriate parking time and stayed for longer than permitted.

I can obviously appeal citing vagueness of both the offence and the location but I guess Parking Eye will just turn that down automatically.
This might be a more applicable avenue. You're right that the location is rather vague - St Michael's Court isn't a particularly unique name for a location, and without a town or postcode it could refer to a number of locations. In order to hold you liable as the keeper (rather than holding the driver, who they do not know, liable), they need to comply with Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act. 9(2)(a) of that Act says they must

"specify the vehicle, the relevant land on which it was parked and the period of parking to which the notice relates"

You could make an argument that they have failed to specify the land with their vague description. I'm not aware of any authority/cases that have provided a definition of what is required in order to satisfy this requirement. On issues that aren't clear cut, it can be hard to predict which way POPLA will go, so it depends somewhat on your attitude to risk. Some useful background reading from over on PePiPoo: http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=144900 - in that case (involving UKPC), the notice simply stated a road and a postcode. The road in question was rather long with multiple private car parks, so the appeal largely centred on a failure to specify the relevant land.

If you're going to go down this route, show us a draft of your proposed appeal before sending anything.

guest179

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Re: Private PCN Amersham
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2023, 10:01:52 pm »

The driver" parked the car in a private car park in Amersham controlled by Parking Eye on 27 July.

How do you know? The question is rhetorical but not without purpose. Pl delete all reference to where you guess this breach might have occurred because IMO it undermines the main plank of your defence.

The PCN simply states 'St. Michael's Court'.

Pl amend your thread title. It's not your job as keeper (but not driver) to join up the dots of this PCN.

You are denied the ability to construct a proper defence for want of knowing where the hell it is alleged the breach is supposed to have occurred.

Chaseman

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Re: Private PCN St Michael's Court
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2023, 12:47:05 am »
I have read the case to which DWMB refers on Pepipoo and the draft letter provided by him in that case:

Quote
Dear Sirs,

I have just received your Notice to Keeper xxxxx for vehicle VRM xxxx

You have failed to comply with the requirements of Schedule 4 of The Protection Of Freedoms Act 2012 namely, but not limited to, failing to specify the location of the relevant land as required by section 9 (2)(a) of the Act. It is not possible to determine the location of the alleged breach of your conditions by the wide area covered by the street name and postcode you have given, which contains a number of private and public car parks. You cannot, therefore, transfer liability for the alleged charge from the driver at the time to me, the keeper.

There is no legal requirement to name the driver at the time and I will not be doing so.

I do not expect to hear from you again, or your debt collectors, except to confirm that no further action will be taken on this matter and my personal details have been removed from your records.

Yours etc

I note the keeper was successful in that case because POPLA agreed that the PPC had not specified the "relevant land". In that case the PCN had specified a road but one on which a number of private car parks sat. In my case the PCN gives the name "St Michael's Court" only with no town or postcode. A quick search on Google Maps shows several St Michael's Courts in the country so my argument is that this is even more vague than the Endorfin case. I am minded to use DWMB's template and file an appeal.

Does Parking Eye have to hold the discount open pending their reply?

The Rookie

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Re: Private PCN St Michael's Court
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2023, 10:39:09 am »
It would help if, when it comes to POPLA, you could find lots of 'St Michaels' court' so as to validate that it's not specific enough.

I readily found Alysham, Amersham, London, South Shields, Gloucester, Derby, Litchfield and Weybridge!
« Last Edit: August 11, 2023, 10:42:04 am by The Rookie »
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Chaseman

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Re: Private PCN St Michael's Court
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2023, 11:38:13 am »
Absolutely! The key to my appeal - could be all over the country. Looking at the case referenced by DWMB on Pepipoo where a rather long street was deemed too vague, a locus that could be in several parts of the country would seem to be a winner but I have never been to POPLA, only PATAS/LTs so don't know how consistent they are. Any views on chances of success?

Still asking the question - if I appeal to PE within 14 days i.e. by next Tues, will they keep the discount in place pending their reply?

The Rookie

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Re: Private PCN St Michael's Court
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2023, 11:54:17 am »
Still asking the question - if I appeal to PE within 14 days i.e. by next Tues, will they keep the discount in place pending their reply?
It will tell you on the PCN, but they will reject the appeal anyway (because they can) so it's not a relevant question unless you intend to pay when they reject, in which case you may as well pay now as they will reject.
There are motorists who have been scammed and those who are yet to be scammed!

DWMB2

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Re: Private PCN St Michael's Court
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2023, 12:47:28 pm »
I don't think there's anything compelling them to uphold the discount. From memory I can't remember if ParkingEye do or not.

But as The Rookie suggests, there's probably a 95% chance they'll reject your appeal regardless of its merits, so you should be prepared to go as far as POPLA if you're intending to fight it.

As I said in my previous reply, it somewhat depends on your attitude to risk. If you pay now, there's a 100% chance it'll cost you 60. If you go to POPLA, there's a chance you'll have to pay 0, and a chance that the full 100 will be in play*.

*Note than POPLA's decision would not be binding on you, if they rejected you can still refuse to pay and have the matter heard in court if ParkingEye choose to pursue it (a loss there would likely be around 200-220)

Chaseman

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Re: Private PCN St Michael's Court
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2023, 01:40:32 pm »
There is nothing on the PCN about preserving the discount. However the logic from Rookie and DWMB is sound. If we take it that they are going to reject, and if I am minded to pay up if they do, then I might as well pay now. I should say that I am not minded to pay now!

Quite understand the risk/reward argument. If there is at least a 50/50 chance of succeeding at POPLA then it is worth making the appeal. I haven't so far heard anyone say my chances at POPLA are <50% with the vague locus argument.

One further question - if the POPLA decision is not binding on me, is it binding on PE? Or is it just the case that PE would never bother to take it to court once an appeal had been upheld by POPLA?

DWMB2

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Re: Private PCN St Michael's Court
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2023, 01:55:36 pm »
I tend not to advise people on their chances at POPLA unless it's clear cut either way (i.e. a near guaranteed success or a guaranteed failure), simply because it's hard to predict which way the assessor will go on a given case, and I don't like to give people either false hope or false pessimism.

The POPLA decision is binding on ParkingEye but not on you. So if POPLA uphold your appeal, ParkingEye must cancel the charge.

Chaseman

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Re: Private PCN St Michael's Court
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2023, 12:44:04 pm »
OK I have decided to appeal this one, here's the draft. I fully expect Parking Eye to reject in which case I will take it to POPLA:

Quote
Dear Sirs,

I received your Notice to Keeper 226902/075498 for vehicle VRM LF64SFY of which I am the registered keeper. I was not the driver of the car on the date in question.

You have failed to comply with the requirements of Schedule 4 of The Protection Of Freedoms Act 2012 namely, but not limited to, failing to specify the location of the relevant land as required by section 9 (2)(a) of the Act. It is not possible to determine the location of the alleged breach of your conditions because you have stated the address as just "St Michaels Court". A quick check on Google Maps finds at least nine St Michaels Courts in England including Aylsham, Amersham, two addresses in London, South Shields, Gloucester, Derby, Litchfield and Weybridge. You cannot, therefore, transfer liability for the alleged charge from the driver at the time to me, the keeper.

There is no legal requirement to name the driver at the time and I will not be doing so. I look forward to receiving your notice of acceptance. Should you reject this representation I shall appeal to POPLA. It will not be in order for you to specify the address more closely in a reply. Only the information on the PCN is admissible. Please note I am making this representation within 14 days of issue of the PCN.

I have made up the last bit but hope it's true. I don't think they can come back and say "sorry, here's the full address with postcode, you have another 14 days to pay the discounted amount." But no doubt someone will advise.

DWMB2

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Re: Private PCN St Michael's Court
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2023, 01:48:23 pm »
Quote
I don't think they can come back and say "sorry, here's the full address with postcode, you have another 14 days to pay the discounted amount."
They can come back with whatever they like, but if they want to engage PoFA to hold the keeper liable, then it's what's on the Notice to Keeper that counts. For a belt and braces approach, you could send your appeal so that it arrives too late for them to issue a compliant notice (so if submitting online, day 13 would do it).

Chaseman

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Re: Private PCN St Michael's Court
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2023, 02:24:52 pm »
Yes, that's really what I was getting at i.e. they can't adduce new evidence/info  and have it included in "the process". I was intending to file on-line so with the date of issue being 1 Aug you reckon 14 Aug to file would be safe?

Chaseman

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Re: Private PCN St Michael's Court
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2023, 07:44:42 am »
I have now submitted the appeal on-line along the lines of the draft above. The interesting thing is that when I get into the appeal pages the full address where the offence is alleged to have occurred is shown. However, this just is not on the face of the PCN and hence I am arguing (or will argue if necessary) that this is inadmissible.

Chaseman

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Re: Private PCN St Michael's Court
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2023, 08:40:44 am »
Automated response from Parking Eye

Quote
Thank you for contacting Parkingeye, we acknowledge receipt of your appeal.
We endeavour to respond to all appeals as soon as possible. Whilst we consider an appeal the parking charge amount will not increase. Please note that a full written response may take up to 28 days.
Kind Regards,
Parkingeye Appeals Team

So they do maintain the discount pending their reply.