A new phenomenon has been hitting the small claim track recently - guerrilla lay representatives.
ParkingEye have been stacking the deck against motorists by sending in expensive lawyers to small claims hearings. Even faced with an excellent defence these people are experts at diverting the judge into looking at the wrong aspects of the case, using legal jargon and their knowledge of court procedure against unrepresented motorists.
Any victory using these methods is a Pyrrhic victory. ParkingEye fork out £200-£300 for these lawyers which is not reclaimable in the small claims court. Thus, ParkingEye will make at least a £100 loss on the day. They further compound this by ordering transcripts of the case for £200-£300. This is obviously not about the money; it is cleverly designed and orchestrated campaign to create a climate of intimidation. Using their transcripts and mentioning only the wins and never the losses they present a one-sided view of the true situation on their web site, in their POPLA appeals, and in the documents used in other court cases. Judge Melville-Shreeve summed this up nicely in ParkingEye v Collins-Daniel.
Now however a network of lay representatives has sprung up - people who know the ins and outs of parking cases and can help out on the day. ParkingEye never know where these people will pop up next. Sometimes the appearance is pre-arranged; sometimes they just mosey along on the day and see who needs help. Anyone can be a lay representative, and ParkingEye cannot object to their use in the small claims court.
Where they cannot turn up, an Amicus Curiae pack is faxed into the court and asked to be put in front of the judge. An Amicus Curiae is a friend of the court, with no relationship to either party. The AC packs are designed to put the true state of affairs before the judge and inform the judge on what has happened in similar cases in other courts.
Reports are coming in that these AC packs are helping out even in cases where motorists have put in hopeless defenses.
Nothing quite like this has ever been seen before. These people are making legal history.
No doubt this will all be made into a film in 10 years time.
The Parking Prankster