Author Topic: Private PCN St Michael's Court  (Read 1603 times)

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DWMB2

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Re: Private PCN St Michael's Court
« Reply #75 on: December 18, 2023, 09:32:13 pm »
See what comes back!

As they don't technically offer a formal means to challenge their verdicts as such, that's probably why their response makes reference to their service (although one might argue that them reaching a verdict is part of the 'service').

Chaseman

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Re: Private PCN St Michael's Court
« Reply #76 on: December 18, 2023, 10:11:26 pm »
It will be quite hard for them to say "we see nothing wrong with the service" without addressing the points I raise.

Chaseman

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Re: Private PCN St Michael's Court
« Reply #77 on: December 20, 2023, 11:00:04 pm »
Here's the reply to my complaint about the way in which the assessor came to her verdict:

Your complaint about POPLA case 6062593108.

Thank you for your letter dated 17 November 2023. This has been passed to me by the POPLA Team as I am responsible for handling complaints.

I note from your correspondence that you are unhappy with the decision reached by the assessor in your appeal against Parking Eye.

POPLA is an impartial and independent appeals service and we do not act either for the parking operator or the appellant. It is important to explain that it is not our remit to source evidence and documents from either party in support of their submission and our decisions are based on the evidence received from both parties at the time of the appeal. We cannot consider further evidence after the appeal has been completed.

POPLA is a one-stage process, and we would not change a decision because either party disputes the assessor’s decision. However, we may consider an appeal if there has been a procedural error, for example – if we failed to allow a motorist to comment on a parking operator’s evidence pack.

Having read your complaint, I have noted your following points and will address each one individually:

•   The crux of your complaint is that you appealed as the registered keeper of the vehicle, and you were not the driver of the vehicle at the time of the parking event. You believe the assessor has confused the registered keeper and the driver on the day. The parking operator sent a second PCN that did not refer to the Protection of Freedoms Act (PoFA) 2012.

After reviewing your complaint and the assessor’s decision, I note you have quoted the following:

“A payment report has been provided which shows that the appellant purchased 2 hours parking time that day. The appellant has overstayed the parking time by 35 minutes.”

I acknowledge the assessor has made an administrative error as these statements should have referred to the ‘driver’ and not ‘the appellant’. However, having read the entire rationale, I am satisfied the assessor considered keeper liability under PoFA and did not refuse your appeal on the basis that you were the driver of the vehicle:

“As such, PoFA 2012 has been met and the appellant as the registered keeper can now be held liable for any unpaid parking charges.”

Therefore, I am satisfied these administrative errors do not impact the outcome of the decision.

In addition, I must confirm that POPLA assesses the validity of the original PCN that was issued when determining if it complies with PoFA. There is no requirement for any PCN reminders that are subsequently issued to also contain the relevant information under PoFA.

•   You raise that the PCN did not state which ‘St Michael’s Court’ car park the notice related to. You advise there are nine car parks with this name across the country, and question how you were to know which one was used on the day in question.

Regarding the relevant land specified on the PCN, the assessor’s report stated:

“The parking operator has failed to specify the location of the relevant land as required in paragraph 9 of PoFA 2012. They say a google search shows that there are 9 different ‘St Michaels courts’.

Whilst I appreciate their concerns, within PoFA 2012 under schedule 4, paragraph 9 it states;

“The notice must—

(a)specify the vehicle, the relevant land on which it was parked and the period of parking to which the notice relates”.

By stating relevant land, it does not require a full site address including postal code. Therefore, I am satisfied that ‘St Michaels Court’ does identify the car park where the appellant parked and meets PoFA 2012 paragraph 9.”

The assessor is correct that PoFA does not explicitly require the notice to provide a full address when specifying the relevant land where the vehicle was parked. Whilst I note your point regarding nine other St Michael’s Court car parks being in the country, the driver would know which St Michael’s Court they used on the day - at the time in question. Hence, the parking operator gives you, as the registered keeper, the opportunity to provide the driver’s details to transfer liability to them.

It is your right to do so, but by choosing not to identify the driver, you have accepted liability for the charge as the registered keeper. As the car park is named on the PCN, the relevant land has been specified for the purpose of POPLA’s assessment.

As all the evidence provided has been considered, no procedural error has occurred and therefore, the outcome will not change. As POPLA is a one-stage process, there is no opportunity for you to appeal the decision.

If you still doubt the legitimacy of the parking charge, POPLA’s decision does not prevent you from disputing your issue through other channels, such as the courts, if you wish to do so. For independent legal advice, please contact Citizens Advice at: www.citizensadvice.org.uk or call 0345 404 05 06 (English) or 0345 404 0505 (Welsh).

To conclude, I am sorry that you have not had a positive experience when using our service. POPLA’s involvement with your case has now ended, and my response closes our complaints process. I must advise there will be no further review of your complaint and any further correspondence on the matter will not be responded to.

Yours sincerely,
Bethany Young
POPLA Complaints Team


The one thing Bethany Young does not address is the supposed "typographical error" whereby PE said they were not pursuing me under POFA 2012, which in different ways they said or referred to three times. She effectively says "the original PCN stands and we can ignore anything they said subsequently" ....such as a second PCN which was "a reminder" and the fact that PE told POPLA directly that they were not pursuing me under POFA.

On the bright side, I have not heard another word from PE about getting the parking penalty out of me.

DWMB2

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Re: Private PCN St Michael's Court
« Reply #78 on: December 20, 2023, 11:04:00 pm »
A more detailed reply than I expected them to bother providing, although the result was as expected!

On the bright side, I have not heard another word from PE about getting the parking penalty out of me.
Fingers crossed they've put you in the 'too much effort' pile - but keep your eye out for any correspondence, they have 6 years to make a claim, although ParkingEye aren't usually the type to wait until the last minute to issue a claim.

Chaseman

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Re: Private PCN St Michael's Court
« Reply #79 on: January 12, 2024, 07:56:18 pm »
Well it was too good to last. PE are now chasing me. What is not true is their statement that "You have been advised that the amount payable is £100 and you were provided with 28 days from the decision date to make payment". Well POPLA certainly did not say this and I did not hear a word from PE following the decision. They are now giving me a further 14 days to pay up. 14 days from when? Date of their letter? Clearly this is not a statutory period. Anything I can do here other than just pay up? Word seems to be that PE does aggressively pursue non-payers. I believe I can state that I am paying under duress and then claim the amount back via the Small Claims Court but frankly it's a hassle and I can't really see the judge ruling against both POPLA and a POPLA "appeal".

DWMB2

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Re: Private PCN St Michael's Court
« Reply #80 on: January 12, 2024, 08:22:54 pm »
I've never personally recommended the paying under duress idea, as, frankly it'd be difficult to claim you were under duress. It's not like the old days where cars were clamped and you had to pay if you wanted to drive away, nobody is forcing you to pay, only a judge can do that.

If you want to fight them you can wait to see if they sue then defend the matter in court - if you intend to do that you're better off waiting for them to sue you, rather than paying and then trying to sue them for the money back.

ParkingEye are one of the more litigious firms, they took (and won) one case as far as the Supreme Court (ParkingEye vs  Beavis).

As for what you do, that's your call, as it's your money at stake.

Chaseman

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Re: Private PCN St Michael's Court
« Reply #81 on: January 12, 2024, 10:51:29 pm »
They proudly trumpet the Beavis case in their letter. Presumably as a deterrent. Presumably the costs can escalate quite a lot if you go to Court so I doubt it's worth it.

DWMB2

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Re: Private PCN St Michael's Court
« Reply #82 on: January 12, 2024, 10:54:29 pm »
They can't escalate much in the County Court as costs are capped (unless the behaviour of either party is deemed unreasonable - the bar for this is very high so it is very rarely met).

The £70 of debt collector fees can generally be successfully challenged regardless of the outcome of the rest of the claim. A loss on a single ticket is generally in the region of £220 I believe.

Nosy Parker

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Re: Private PCN St Michael's Court
« Reply #83 on: January 13, 2024, 08:20:55 am »
But the discount is irrelevant, unless you intend to pay. And if you intend to pay, why bother appealing?

b789

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Re: Private PCN St Michael's Court
« Reply #84 on: January 30, 2024, 03:25:49 am »
I've just been through this thread and it is a classic example of how wrong POPLA can get it sometimes. Assessor bingo is certainly an apt description. In this case you probably got the "tea-boy' filling in on that day.

As noted, POPLA will never reverse a decision even when it admits to the assessors being wrong. Luckily, the assessors decision is not binding. The only way you get justice is to let a judge decide whether you owe a debt to PE.

Interestingly, just today, Monday 29th January 2024 (I'm currently 6 hours west of you in the UK so still Monday) I received a successful POPLA appeal decision for a very similar case involving PE!

Before I show you the details of the POPLA decision and how I went about appealing it, you should be aware that if PE think they're on shaky ground pursuing this case, after all the reminders, they will assign it to a debt collector/robo-claim solicitor, usually DCB Legal. This is a clear sign that they have little faith that this would stand up in court and so rely on the scam tactic of trying to scare the victim into paying up with a dodgy claim.

As I have pointed out elsewhere on this forum earlier today, if DCB Legal are involved, as long as a robust defence is submitted, there is a 99/9% likelihood that they will discontinue before any hearing.

The OP needs to wait and see if PE make their own claim or whether they pass it on to DCB Legal. Also, recently, PE have begun adding £20 on top of the £100 charge when they file their own claims which is a "bonus" in the sense that it weakens their claim by increasing the original charge beyond what is stated in their terms.

Now, here is the case that I helped a friend overturn a PE PCN (NtK) that did not clearly identify the relevant land.

The vehicle was parked in a Lidl car park in St Neots whilst the driver and passengers went to a nearby restaurant, not realising that out of store hours, there was only an invitation to park if £100 was paid. The NtK stated the location as "Lidl, St Neots". Nothing else about the location. No street name. No post code.

Upon doing a Google Maps search for "Lidl, St Neots" two separate Lidl's were shown. One was "Lidl, Cedar House, Cambridge St, Saint Neots PE19 1JL" and there other was "Lidl, 29 Great N Rd, Eaton Socon, Saint Neots PE19 8EN". Ambiguous, yes?

This was pointed out in the initial appeal to PE whilst pointing out that this was a breach of PoFA by not clearly identifying the "relevant land" but they refused the appeal without addressing the issue. A POPLA code was issued and the following was the POPLA appeal filed (PDF):

https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/f7kkc340y7p22p7my0vir/POPLAappeal-copy.pdf?rlkey=v7c6aqqevtl4mm34t2jpar937&dl=0

It is important to point out that in a POPLA appeal, you should make as many appeal points as possible, even if they seem far fetched. The operator must rebut every point. Failure to rebut a single point will mean that the appellant will be successful with the appeal.

PE submitted their own "operators response", again, failing to address the core issue of the failure to comply with the PoFA "relevant land" issue. The rebuttal again highlighted the operators lack of response to the core issue about "relevant land" which meant that the NtK was not PoFA compliant and so the keeper could not be held liable for the charge.

Here's the successful POPLA response received earlier today:

Operator Name

Parking Eye Ltd including Car Parking Partnership (CPP) - EW

Operator Case Summary

OP Case Summary

Decision

Successful

Assessor Name

Amy Smith

Assessor summary of operator case

The operator issued the Parking Charge Notice (PCN) for remaining at the site for longer than the stay authorised or without authorisation.

Assessor summary of your case

The appellant has raised the following points from their grounds of appeal:

  • They say the operator has failed to adhere to the requirements of Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act (PoFA) 2012.
  • They say it has not shown that the individual is in fact the driver.
  • They say the site name is listed as Lidl St Neots and there is no postcode listed.
  • They say there is 2 Lidl stores in that area, and this leaves ambiguity as to what location it is referring to.
  • They say Schedule 4 paragraph 9, 8 (a) has not been met as it does not confirm the relevant land.
  • They say they have not named the driver and as such there can be no assumptions as to who was driving.
  • They say PoFA 2012 has not been met.
  • They say the signs are inadequate which means it has failed to adhere to PoFA 2012 requirements and breached the British Parking Association (BPA) Code of Practice requirements.
  • They say the signs do not confirm which store it is referring to.
  • They say the store at 29 Great N Rd, PE19 8EN confirms that parking is free, yet the signs at Lidl store at Cedar House PE19 1JL do not meet the Code of Practice requirements in section 19.3 and 19.4 as they do not give adequate notice of the charge.
  • They say there is no evidence of landowner authority. They ask for strict proof from the operator of a chain of authority confirming the relevant land and states the operator is required to meet all requirements of proof of landowner including what it is entitled to do.
  • They say a witness statement is not sound evidence, however they say it can be accepted by POPLA, but is unlikely to confirm the definition of services.
  • They say it must meet section 7 of the Code of Practice.
  • They say the operator has failed to comply with the Code of Practice principles for Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR).
  • They say the operator must meet section 22.1 of the Code of Practice.
  • They say the signs do not confirm this and do not meet section 22.2 and 22.3.
  • The operator has failed the Code of Practice principles for failing to display the Approved Operator Scheme logo on the signs.
  • They say the BPA AOS scheme logo must be displayed at all times and there is no BPA logo on any signs which fails the Code of Practice requirements.

After reviewing the operator’s evidence, the appellant reiterates their grounds of appeal. The appellant has provided evidence of the signs at both sites and the PCN as evidence to support their appeal. This evidence will be considered in making our determination.

Assessor supporting rational for decision

I am allowing this appeal, with my reasoning outlined below:

The driver of the vehicle has not been identified. Therefore, the operator is pursuing the registered keeper for the PCN.

For the operator to transfer liability for unpaid parking charges from the driver of the vehicle to the registered keeper of the vehicle, the regulations laid out in the PoFA 2012 must be adhered to. The operator must meet schedule 4 paragraph 9 (2) (a) which states:

“(2)The notice must— (a)specify the vehicle, the relevant land on which it was parked and the period of parking to which the notice relates;”

In this case the PCN states Lidl St Neots, however the appellant has told us there is 2 Lidls in St Neots and the PCN does not confirm the Post Code.

Whilst the operator has confirmed it has a contract in place for enforcement for Lidl St Neots, there is no evidence of which store this is. Therefore, due to the lack of rebuttal from the operator I cannot categorically advise the appellant which store the PCN was issued at.

POPLA’s role is to assess if the operator has issued the PCN in accordance with the conditions of the contract. As the PCN does not state the relevant land I am not satisfied that the operator has issued the PCN correctly, and accordingly the appeal is allowed.

The appellant has raised other grounds in their appeal, but as I am allowing the appeal, it is not necessary for me to address these.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2024, 03:54:41 am by b789 »

Chaseman

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Re: Private PCN St Michael's Court
« Reply #85 on: February 04, 2024, 12:37:24 pm »
It sounds to me as though if Amy Smith had been considering my case I might well have succeeded. She only had to consider two Lidls in St Neots with the PCN not making clear which it was whereas the adjudicator in my case concluded that St Michaels Court was an adequate identification of relevant land despite no street, no town, no postcode and the fact that I had found 9 St Michael's courts in England.

In the response to my complaint about the way the assessor reached her decision Ms Bethany Young said:

Quote
Whilst I note your point regarding nine other St Michael’s Court car parks being in the country, the driver would know which St Michael’s Court they used on the day - at the time in question. Hence, the parking operator gives you, as the registered keeper, the opportunity to provide the driver’s details to transfer liability to them.

Effectively saying "you could ask the driver which car park they used on the day" which would seem to completely undermine the POFA requirement for strict compliance with Schedule 4 para 9. Assessor bingo as you say.

I have paid PE as it seemed too much hassle to take to court for the amount involved. I was not aware of the DCB Legal angle at the time I paid but will be better informed next time.

Nosy Parker

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Re: Private PCN St Michael's Court
« Reply #86 on: February 04, 2024, 12:58:57 pm »
I have paid PE as it seemed too much hassle to take to court for the amount involved.

Well you are free to donate to any cause you consider worthy of your charitable good nature - but Parkingeye doesn't strike me as a worth cause - especially as it would not be you taking it to court.  You didn't need to do anything. Parkingeye would have been the one that needed to take it to court ...
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Chaseman

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Re: Private PCN St Michael's Court
« Reply #87 on: February 04, 2024, 01:22:25 pm »
I should perhaps have said "go to court" rather than "take to court". I was partly influenced by earlier posts that referred to PE's litigious nature and thought that having had my appeal to POPLA effectively turned down twice (although PE likely not aware of the second) that they were likely to pursue all the way and thought not worth risking £220 as per DWMB on 12 Jan. I will know another time to look out for correspondence from DKB legal.

DWMB2

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Re: Private PCN St Michael's Court
« Reply #88 on: February 05, 2024, 10:35:38 am »
Fair enough, as I often say, it's your money at stake, so your call to make.

In the interests of clarity, my goal isn't to influence a particular course of action over another, just to point out both the options for success, and conversely any potential risks involved, so that people can make an informed decision on that basis.

Chaseman

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Re: Private PCN St Michael's Court
« Reply #89 on: February 05, 2024, 11:32:06 am »
Fair enough, as I often say, it's your money at stake, so your call to make.

In the interests of clarity, my goal isn't to influence a particular course of action over another, just to point out both the options for success, and conversely any potential risks involved, so that people can make an informed decision on that basis.

In which you have been fair and balanced.
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