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parking eye and small claims court!

(25 Posts)

Last December, at Watergate Bay in Cornwall, we parked att he pay and display, however the gates were open which was unusual as this is where you used to get your ticket. There was quite a bit of building work going on at the time and parking was limited, so thought payment was suspended. Honestly did not see any signs.

Got several payment notices from Parking Eye which we ignored as they are known for charging exorbitant fees.

This morning got a small claims summons for £150.00! (£90.00 charge, £50.00 solicitor fee and guess £10.00 court fee?)

Any advice?

Theas18 Tue 03-Sep-13 12:53:13

Firstly is it really a summons or a threatening " we will/could/might" type of letter.

If just this, then leave it.

Check over on MSE motoring forums for advice they are very good indeed.

Apparently it could be and some are taking people to court but It hink they still need to prove losses or something. I haven't checked over there for a while.

Good luck

Honestly I would pay up. The law has been changed to stop clamping but at the same time parking companies can now proceed against the registered keeper even if you don't respond to letters. It used to be rare that they took you to court but now they can. Dh is refusing to pay a ticket like this and i know this will end up happening to him too. I did tell him just to pay the bloody thing but he got all outraged about it being daylight robbery - which it is.

Yes, it's a proper county court summons.

My issue with it is that they changed the normal procedure and if there were signs, it absolutely wasn't obvious. Grrr.

Oblomov Tue 03-Sep-13 13:04:19

Who was the ticket originally from? If it's from the county council, a county council run car park, then that's one thing.
If it's a privately run company, and the car park is a private run thing, then the tickets and threats are meaningless, and you should never ever pay.

The ticket was originally from Parking Eye and yes, we did ignore all the notices, but can't really ignore the county court summons... sad

burberryqueen Tue 03-Sep-13 13:29:50

it could well be fake if i know parking eye

Can you phone the court and check if its genuine?

NightLark Tue 03-Sep-13 13:33:33

Have you looked on the MSE site? They have a lot of copies of PE letters on their threads - might be worth doing a comparison with your letter?

prh47bridge Tue 03-Sep-13 13:35:23

I disagree with northernlurker. Whilst the law does now allow parking companies to proceed against the registered keeper rather than the driver it does not mean they will succeed.

If the signage was inadequate the court is likely to find in your favour, meaning you won't have to pay anything. Even if they find against you it is unlikely they will uphold what amounts to a fine of £90. They will award damages to compensate for the loss the parking company has suffered. That could be just the amount you should have paid to park.

The parking company will not be able to claim their legal costs other than court fees. You should not have to pay their solicitor's fees.

You won't lose anything by defending this case. Argue that you believed payment had been suspended and that you could not see any signs. Argue also that the £90 being demanded is unreasonably high and that, as this is the small claims track, you should not have to pay the solicitor's fees. At worst you will end up having to pay them £150 as they are demanding but I think that is unlikely. It is more likely that you will end up having to pay them a much reduced figure and may not have to pay them anything at all.

Oblomov Tue 03-Sep-13 13:46:19

Bet you it's not an official court summonds. Just a fake one, made to look real, to scare you.
Private companies have no legal powers. They can't even make you pay for their supposedly official looking private ticket. It's all meaningless.

prh - you'd get on well with my dh grin I guess it depends how much energy you want to spend on it OP.

JustBecauseICan Tue 03-Sep-13 16:53:05

I am sitting on one at the moment.

I am torn between the MSE template letter telling them I refuse to accept their demand and just ignoring it. Mine was a free car park that I overstayed for 10 minutes in.

SwedishEdith Tue 03-Sep-13 17:30:38

I'm also sitting in one (not Parking Eye). The MSE advice seems to now be not to ignore but appeal to POPLA? I must admit, I'm shocked that the DVLA give access to VKI to anyone who pays

I have one at the moment, which I acquired parking on a road, on an industrial estate, on a Sunday. I'm happy for it to go to small claims as the signs were too high and placed at the entrance to a car park rather than the road, and the "damages" claimed in the form of the penalty notice don't bear any relation to any loss suffered.

I'm a solicitor and sadly looking forward to arguing these points in front of the DJ grin

Thank you PRH smile

Yup, it's a real county court summons. Proper forms and all.

Am wondering whether the change to pay and display rather than collect the ticket at the barriers means there is more of burden on the parking company to make the signage prominent? Or is this irrelevant?

SwedishEdith Tue 03-Sep-13 21:13:06

Look on MSE - search under Parking Eye. Loads and loads of threads on these companies and how to proceed from here. I believe PE are keener to try the small claims court approach but not sure how sucessful it is yet.

nothernexposure Tue 03-Sep-13 21:41:05

Google pepipoo, whole site about dealing with this. If you post on it someone should be able to help you draft an appeal etc.

BooksBooksEverywhere Tue 03-Sep-13 21:46:33

Agree with prh

I can think of a similar case where the motorist won in court, there may be others
www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/motorist-wins-18-month-ticket-battle-870812

prh47bridge Tue 03-Sep-13 22:28:40

If it is a pay and display car park there must be clear signs stating that - see the case to which BooksBooksEverywhere links. Personally I would agree that the fact it had just changed makes that particularly important but ultimately it depends what the judge thinks. If the signs haven't changed it may be worth taking photos to submit in evidence to demonstrate their lack of prominence.

flowery Wed 04-Sep-13 08:37:09

Signs at Watergate Bay are pretty prominent now, or were last week, so photos now won't help.

thanks for advice, but actually think that if signs have been made more prominent, then this sort of back up our point of there previous signage being inadequate, but obviously would be up to the judge.

flowery Thu 05-Sep-13 12:57:29

Trouble is you'd have no evidence that the signs have been made more prominent, only that they are reasonably prominent now.

Google Earth is my friend wink

flowery Thu 05-Sep-13 13:08:00

grin

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