Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Link Parking - you've been Gladstoned. Frustration of contract

Port Talbot: 19-10-2016: C8GF30W7: Link Parking v Mr H

There was no time to hear this claim, which was adjourned. Link Parking will have paid their representative Mr Singh an estimated £200 to turn up and twiddle his thumbs.

Port Talbot: 19-10-2016: C1GF37H7: Link Parking v Mr N

Mr N represented himself. Link Parking sent a second representative for this case. In a hearing which lasted around 30 minutes, Mr N explained that he attempted to pay but the machines were not working. Gladstones argued he should therefore have left the car park.

The judge was also critical that Gladstones only supplied the court with Link Parking's witness statement and not Mr N.  In any case, the witness statement was self contradictory and not helpful to the claim, even stating that the parking event happened in a different month to that of the photographic evidence.

The judge ruled that frustration of contract applied and that Mr N had attempted to fulfil his contractual obligations but could not because of the broken machine. The claim was dismissed.

Prankster Note

Another day, another farcical witness statement prepared by joke solicitors Gladstones.

The Prankster considers the judge is correct. Allowing a charge in this situation encourages parking companies to operate with broken machinery as often as they can. This would be detrimental to the landowner, who would receive no income from parking fees, while the immoral parking company cashes in by issuing charges galore.

If you are in the Cardiff or Port Talbot area and are being taken to court by Link there is a Facebook support group which can assist you. Search for Link Parking @Court. You will require proof of a court claim to join this group.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

AS Parking - you've been Gladstoned

AS Parking v Ms S Claim number: C3GF84YO. Truro, 18/10/2016

Court report

Hi. went to court this morning,  AS Parking sent an email to court yesterday to say they will not be perusing my case.  The judge said as I had not had any communication and had cost because of my attendance she awarded me £104. So they have to pay me within 14 days.! Or I can pursue them through the courts.  What a turn up thank you so much for your help,

Prankster Note

The Prankster agrees with the general sentiment. Parking Management is needed but not the immoral tactics used by AS Parking. The Prankster has received large numbers of complaints regarding car parks run by AS Parking and many concern the practice of supplying tickets without sticky labels and then charging motorists if the ticket blows over. This is happening too often to be acceptable. A proper operator would invest in a system which worked, such as tickets which stick properly, or a barrier system or a pay as you leave system. An immoral person would continue to issue large number of parking charges while making no attempt to fix the problem.

This time, Kevin McManus of AS Parking was the victim of a bigger bunch of scammers, Will Hurley and John Davies of Gladstones Solicitors, who con unsuspecting operators into thinking they provide a proper and diligent legal service. Will and John will be laughing all the way to the bank while Kevin has to stump up £104 for not properly discontinuing the claim.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Monday, 17 October 2016

POPLA dispute resolved

Parking Review has revealed that the dispute between London Councils and the British Parking Association has been settled for £25,000, rather than the £69,275 claimed.

This will be a disappointing result for London taxpayers, who now have to foot the bill for the extra £40k, subsidising motorists around the country.

They may well question Nick Lester's role in this, and whether there was a conflict of interest. Nick Lester worked for London Councils when the contract was arranged, and received an award for parking services, which The Prankster considers should be renamed the Nick Lester award for being Nick Lester.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

BW Legal. How to win/lose a claim

Stockport Court, 17/10/2016

Mr Wilke assisted with two cases today at Stockport regarding parking charges issues at the Peel Centre, both of which were before DDJ Moses. Excel were using BW Legal, who had engaged advocates from LPC Law to turn up on the day.

One he came fully prepared for. The other simply asked for a lay representative on the day. As he was present he walked into the lions den. 

Excel v Ms H - unprepared.

Excel were represented by a young chap from LPC Law.

Ms Hall stopped for 52 minutes in the Peel Centre complex because she felt ill. Excel argue this is a contractual event, and since she didn't pay, she owes them a PCN.

We tried very hard to argue that there was no contract, and even if there was, it had been frustrated by her illness, but as none of this had been pled or dealt with prior to court the judge rightly dismissed it, He decided
a contract had been entered into and breached. The defence was dismissed.

Mr Wilkie agrees with the judge on this - sorry to say - you can't ambush the claimant on the day.

Excel v Ms C C8DP36F0

This case was assisted by Barry Beavis to prepare a defence. Excel were represented by an older gentleman from LPC Law.

Ms C parked in the Peel Centre, and bought a ticket. She typed in her reg, and it printed "P". The judge made a finding of fact that her evidence was truthful, and that she purchased a ticket in compliance with the terms. 

Accordingly, as she was NOT in breach of contact, Excel were not entitled to ticket her.

The claim was dismissed with £86.55 costs - Excel's conduct was not unreasonable.

Prankster Notes

What do we learn from this?

a) You cannot overprepare for a court case. Even Ms C was not fully prepped for, as Fairlie an Fenton was not argued, despite the Excel's contract giving no tenancy or right to litigate. Mr Wilkie wasn't allowed to introduce
Fairlie and Fenton, or Excel and Cutts because it had not been raised in the initial defence.

b) Excel has faulty machines in the Peel centre, and knows it.

c) Excel's claims that the ANPR and the ticket machine are synchronised are false, and it is not the responsibility of the consumer to help them fix it.

d) With two cases of bad machines under the belt, it will be easier to argue unreasonable conduct for the third, fourth etc. The other claim was C8DP11F9 – Excel v Mrs S – 09/09/2016, Oldham Court.

This allows larger costs to be claimed against Excel in the event of a claim being dismissed. If you have a PCN or court claim due to a faulty ticket at Peel Centre, you should cite these cases, and also inform The Prankster.

e) Simon Renshaw-Smith is "not fit to run a Car Park." 

f) Excel Parking - you've been Gladstoned! Excel will have lost around £200 in the first case, even though they win the hearing. In the second claim, they will have lost an estimated £500.

Happy Parking 

The Parking Prankster

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Michael Schwartz suspended (suspended)

On the 9th September the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal suspended Michael Schwartz for 5 years for reasons unknown. The suspension is suspended, subject to compliance with the conditions imposed.

This notification relates to a Decision to prosecute before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. This is an independent Tribunal which reaches its own decision after considering all the evidence, including any evidence put forward by the Respondent. The Tribunal had certified that there was a case to answer.
The matter was heard on 8 and 9 September 2016.
The Tribunal ordered that Mr Schwartz be suspended from practice as a solicitor for a period of 5 years from the 9 September 2016, but that the suspension be suspended for 5 years from the same date subject to compliance with the following restrictions imposed by the Tribunal on the Respondent’s practice as a solicitor. 

During the five year period of suspension the Respondent may not:
1. Practise as a sole practitioner or sole manager or sole owner of an authorised or recognised body;
2. Be a partner or member of a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), Legal Disciplinary Practice (LDP), or Alternative Business Structure (ABS) or other authorised or recognised body;
3. Be a Compliance Officer for Legal Practice or a Compliance Officer for Finance and Administration;
4. Hold client money;
5. Be a signatory on any client account;
6. Work as a solicitor other than in employment approved by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
The Respondent shall immediately inform any actual or prospective employer of these conditions and the reasons for them.

The Prankster suggests that any person who has information that Michael Schwartz is breaking these conditions contacts the Solicitors Regulatory Authority.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Horizon Parking - you've been Gladstoned

Shysters Will Hurley and John Davies have conned yet another parking company by pretending to provide legal services while instead carrying on with their usual shoddy procedures.

Their particulars of claim were found to contain no particulars, resulting in the claim being struck out before a hearing.

"It is ordered that

1. The claim be struck out for want of any Particular in the Claim Form/Particulars of Claim.

2. Because this order was made without a hearing. Any party affected by it may apply within 7 days of service for it to be set aside, varied or stayed.

Here is a typical particulars of claim served by Gladstones (with number plate details removed). It is clear they fail civil procedure rules and practice directions, and that Will Hurley and John Davies are therefore failing to provide a proper standard of service to their clients by charging them for filing such rubbish.

Prankster Note

It is a source of mystery why two such incompetent solicitors as Will Hurley and John Davies, who regularly lose parking cases in court,  regularly show little or no knowledge on how the courts work and have embarrassingly poor grasp of the legal situations regarding parking cases, are allowed to run a parking related trade association, The International Paring Community.

This time Horizon Parking were the losers. It may well be a blessing in disguise losing the case so early, and stopping the flow of cash into Will Hurley and John Davies bank account before Gladstones costs got too excessive.

Although they will have had to pay Gladstones an estimated £50 for debt collection and £50 for filing a claim, they will have saved an estimated £100 for Gladstones template witness statement and £200-£300 for a solicitor to turn up in court.

Gladstones probably forgot to mention to Horizon that they would lose money even if they won a hearing.

Here are the mandatory Solicitor Regulatory Association principles which apply to all solicitors.

You must:
1. uphold the rule of law and the proper administration of justice;
2. act with integrity;
3. not allow your independence to be compromised;
4. act in the best interests of each client;
5. provide a proper standard of service to your clients;
6. behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in you and in the provision of legal services;
7. comply with your legal and regulatory obligations and deal with your regulators and ombudsmen in an open, timely and co-operative manner;
8. run your business or carry out your role in the business effectively and in accordance with proper governance and sound financial and risk management principles;
9. run your business or carry out your role in the business in a way that encourages equality of opportunity and respect for diversity; and
10. protect client money and assets.

As Gladstones clearly fail in the first five principles, perhaps it is time for the SRA to take action against them.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

Saturday, 15 October 2016

POPLA competence continues on downhill slide. Charge upheld for car which was never inside the car park.

The competence of POPLA sadly continues to decline as this latest judgment shows.

In this case the motorist never entered the car park, but turned around in the entrance once in the afternoon, and then again early the next morning. Here is a picture of the entrance.

Here is a picture of the car reversing into the entrance in the afternoon. The motorist gets no points for reversing style, as they are positioned in the middle of the road. Their reversing light can be seen to be on.

Here is the picture of the motorist reversing into the entrance in the morning. Once again, the reversing lights are on.

It is clear from both pictures that the vehicle is still on the public land, level with the double yellow lines, and has not entered the car park. Additionally the number plate is not visible and there is therefore no evidence that this is the car in question.

Here is the assessors verdict, which in The Prankster's opinion is completely incompetent and fuels the argument that the appeals body should by run by an independent body.

Prankster Note

The public should expect higher standards of POPLA assessors than this. The assessor is asking us to believe that the vehicle reversed into the car park in the afternoon, and then drove out at night, hot-wiring their reverse lights so it appears that they were reversing rather than driving forwards.

Frankly, The Prankster considers it more likely that the Consumer Ombudsman under-quoted for the POPLA contract, and as a result assessors are under too much time pressure to churn out template responses without properly considering the evidence before them. This of course does not excuse the assessor missing the obvious elephant in the room which is that the car is going out when it should be coming in. It also does not excuse the assessor ruling that the exit photograph is valid when the number plate cannot be read.

However, it does reinforce the Prankster's belief that ANPR is not fit for purpose to control car parks, and that the control of POPLA should be taken away from the BPA, where normal commercial pressures will naturally force them to accept a low bid, and given to government control where the service can be funded by an increase in keeper detail charges from say £2.50 to £5.00.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster