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Do I go to court?, Please advise on whether I should continue to appeal and go to court.
Bluecat54
post Mon, 4 Oct 2021 - 21:11
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Hello!

I would be really grateful for some advice....

I received a PCN (private company - civil enforcement) which I was really surprised about as, as far as I was aware, I had bought a ticket.

Turns out that I had accidentally switched the 2 middle numbers of the 4 digit location code.

I appealed this via POPLA, claiming how in the codes of practice they do state that minor and major keying errors should be considered (no fine if minor, max £20 if major). I also submitted evidence of the ticket I had bought, which was for the same price, time, and day. I had a notification today to say that my appeal was rejected. The reviewer only mentions car number plates in relation to the codes of practice, and seems to have rejected the appeal as the error was regarding the location code and not my car registration.

I feel this is hugely unfair, and don't see how they can discriminate given that these are both forms of data that I am required to enter. The location code being the least familiar too!

If any one has any advice on whether I should just pay up (£100) or see this through to court it would be much appreciate.

Thank you.
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post Mon, 4 Oct 2021 - 21:11
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Albert Ross
post Mon, 4 Oct 2021 - 21:48
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As a poll; I agree with your interpretation of a minor keying error.

As such (but this is me) I would continue to Court.

Just hold out the £20 as a Calderbank offer. for protection of costs.

Then; if in court you lose, but the Judge agrees on £20 for keying error. It will protect you from Costs.
But if you win then you may apply for Litigant in Person Rates.


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Jlc
post Mon, 4 Oct 2021 - 22:02
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It's interesting that the CoP only makes reference to the VRM - but I agree it should apply to any piece of information where the motorist is required to manually input it. Personally, I would fight it - there stakes are not particularly high...


--------------------
RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information, SAR=Subject Access Request

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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nosferatu1001
post Tue, 5 Oct 2021 - 09:24
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Which parking company?
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Bluecat54
post Tue, 19 Oct 2021 - 08:34
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QUOTE (nosferatu1001 @ Tue, 5 Oct 2021 - 10:24) *
Which parking company?


It is civil enforcement ltd.

Sorry for my delayed respons. Thank you all for your guidance so far.

I did complain to POPLA and asked for my case to be reviewed by another reviewer, however this second reviewer apparantly came to the same conclusion.

I am now in the process of complaining to the BPA about civil enforcement and POPLA as I feel as though their codes of practice around keying errors are being misused by these companies. I am hoping they will clarify that this code of practice can be applied to the location code, as this is also information that is required to be keyed in and the codes also acknowledge the increasing use of apps to purchase parking tickets.

Although, I have now a letter from civil enforcement demanding I pay the £100, otherwise they will start court proceedings. So I am hoping the BPA will get back to me soon.

I will update you on the outcome! And as always, any other advice/guidance is welcomed.
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Jlc
post Tue, 19 Oct 2021 - 08:40
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It will almost certainly end up in a claim - the BPA won't stop that even if they did update the CoP…

However, that isn't a reason to throw the towel in - unless you really don't want to go to a hearing, fight it.


--------------------
RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information, SAR=Subject Access Request

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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nosferatu1001
post Tue, 19 Oct 2021 - 09:24
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I doubt it says they WILL start court proceedings,m excuse then it would have to be called a letter before claim. Is it called that?
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Dave65
post Tue, 19 Oct 2021 - 09:33
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No doubt they will add another £60 along the way for debt collectors costs.
You would object to this with them and certainly bring this up in your defence if it went to court.
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Bluecat54
post Wed, 20 Oct 2021 - 15:28
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I'm so gutted.

BPA have got back to me saying they don't think there has been a breech, as their codes do only reference vehicle registration number.

I just don't see the logic. I clearly bought a ticket and made a simple human error which hasn't been protected in anyway. So disappointment. I literally could have "entered something completely unrelated to [my] registration" and have been fined £20 instead as a major keying error, yet I switch the two middle digits or the location code and have to now pay £100.

If anyone has any advice on actually going to court, how much it would cost me, and the liklihood I would win, I would be very grateful. I've never done anything like this and the thought scares me a bit, so I am tempted to just pay the fine. I wouldn't know where to start!

I also honestly didn't think I would get here, I was so confident I would win. Still in disbelief!
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Jlc
post Wed, 20 Oct 2021 - 16:44
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Not surprised, after all who do the ATA's represent… (strictly there has not been a breach of the current CoP)

The risks are not high but as I noted before requires potentially attending a hearing. I would say your chances are better than evens but nothing is certain.

Many PPC's seem to like to escalate the charge - which in itself is often considered an abuse of process (even the CoP allows for it). Even better if the signage doesn't specify it explicitly.

I guess the location code could be more problematic as this decides how tariffs are redirected. The parking company is unlikely to receive the tariff - they just live off breaches (which is why they aren’t ever keen to let go). Does the app confirm the location upon entering the code or blindly accept payment?

In terms of costs these are usually restricted to fixed court costs, such as £25 claim fee, £50 solicitors & £25 hearing fee. Whilst the claimant may try and claim more this rarely happens unless ‘unreasonable behaviour' by the defendant is shown (it's a high bar).

This post has been edited by Jlc: Wed, 20 Oct 2021 - 16:39


--------------------
RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information, SAR=Subject Access Request

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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Bluecat54
post Wed, 20 Oct 2021 - 18:17
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Thank you JLC, this is really helpful.

No its not a blind payment. But in my defence, for the area I paid for it only had a road name and not a location/county. This was in the app confirmation and in the text confirmation. I feel that this contributed to me not recognising my fault, as I was unfamiliar with the road, but knew the general area. So should it have specified, I'm confident I would have then just bought another ticket.

But saying that, I don't think that will do much for my case as they will just say its my responsibility to check that the info is accurate.

Grrrr so annoying. Such an innocent human error which just should be covered under the keying errors code of practice.
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