The judge was scathing about them and indicated that they were "very well known" on his circuit. He was most grateful of the McCafferty transcript I provided for him and he will refer to it in all future casesThe motorist was awarded around £86 in costs.
CEL play a clever numbers game. In the 18 months from 1 October 2012 to 31 March 2014 CEL filed 2094 claims, or 116 a month (FoI 85865 from the MoJ) . Only 55 cases were heard between August and October (inclusive) or 18 a month (MoJ figures).
If we assume that all the cases which were not heard were settled for the claim amount (£130 not including court fees), then the monthly figures play out as follows:
Settled cases: 98 * £130 = £12,740
For each hearing they fail to turn up to, it costs £35 filing fee, £25 hearing fee, plus defendant's cost. Not all judges will award costs, while some will regard CEL's behaviour as unreasonable and award more costs than are normally allowed in the small claims court. Let us set an average figure of £100 for costs, which is probably on the high side.
Aborted hearings = 18 * (£35+£25+£100) = £2880
Profit = £12,740 - £2,880 = £9,860
This is an exceedingly good profit, using the court system as a form of scary debt collector, but rarely following through to actual hearings. In all reported cases when they do turn up, CEL get soundly spanked at court, because their claims are without basis.
The Parking Prankster