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Court Summons for private parking charge. Advice Please!, Failure to display my Blue badge in a free car park.
grunwald
post Sun, 12 May 2013 - 13:55
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I was awarded a parking charge whilst parked for no more than 10 minutes in an almost empty free car park in a disabled bay because I forgot to display my Blue Badge. I have walking problems and had to find a trolley to return an unwanted item to a shop and in the process of this forgot to display the badge. I have used this car park before but not for several months and was not aware that the car park was enforced. There are no signs by the disabled bays other than those stating that the bays are for the use of Blue Badge Holders only. Having just issued the ticket the operator was waiting as I returned to the car. I showed him that my badge was in order and he said I should write to the Parking company which I did. I included evidence that difficulty in remembering details is a proven symptom of my disability. ( I was granted a "reasonable Adjustment" as required by the Disability Discrimination Act re parking when I was in employment) Following my letter the parking company insisted on a charge of £100 so I appealed to POPLA in May - with the same result. They suggested I could have taped down the badge so that it was always on display. This would actually be in contravention of the Blue Badge scheme as my partner sometimes drives the car when I am not present.
As I have committed no offence, caused no inconvenience or loss of income to another party I cannot see how any charge to myself can be justified. on Friday 10th May I received a county court summons. I am angry and minded to fight this but am worried about incurring further costs. My defense if I make one could include three strands.
1. Failure to consider a reasonable adjustment under the disability discrimination act.
2. The £100 cost cannot be justified as no loss of income or other cost resulted from my failure to display my badge.
3. Inadequate signage warning customers of the enforcement. On a subsequent visit i noted a sign at the entrance where it cannot to read because it faces the main road where it is not possible to slow down or stop. Some bays have signs next to them, but not the disabled bays. Can anyone advise me how I should proceed and what costs might be if I was to loose?

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post Sun, 12 May 2013 - 13:55
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tapas600
post Sun, 12 May 2013 - 14:04
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Don't worry. We are looking at this right now.



--------------------
Remember: No one can fine you or issue a penalty other than a court, a policeman or a local authority under legislative powers.
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, Schedule 4
Further guidance on PoFA - DfT Guidance on Section 56 and Schedule 4 of POFA 2012
Essential Reading: Approved Operator Scheme (AOS) Guide to the Legislation
- to learn how the private parking charges process works look at this flowchart
- to see what your steps should be in challenging any private parking charges use this interactive wizard
- to help you appeal charges to PMCs use these Appeal Points Templates by Lynnzer. Amend as necessary to fit your personal circumstances.
- to post images and documents I use http://imageshack.us and http://www.scribd.com
Parking on Private Land Appeals or POPLA is run by London Councils - the British Parking Association Ltd. (BPA Ltd) pays London Councils for this service.
In fact, POPLA is a kangaroo court that rubber stumps private parking companies claims - read this Telegraph article and this Blog. The related documents can be found here.
To see for yourself why POPLA has no legal powers and is not really independent please download and read this document from London Councils’ Transport & Environment Committee.
More evidence that POPLA is not independent - read how PPCs are subverting the due appeal process and seek a back door deal to influence POPLA decisions.
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Salmosalaris
post Sun, 12 May 2013 - 14:05
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Can you post up some paperwork, thoroughly redacted , to remove anytrhing that could identify you. This doesn't add up


--------------------
Note, I am not legally qualified and not offering legal advice .Liability for application of anything I say lies with the reader
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jagger
post Sun, 12 May 2013 - 14:09
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It's no longer the disability discrimination act, but the Equality Act 2010. Failure to make reasonable adjustment is a serious breach. The guys here will help you with this, I don't know if its conceivable to counter sue them for an Equality Act breach but they will let you know.

Also this is the first case I've seen going to the small claims after a popla rejection. Did you get help with the appeal to popla ? What is the name of the parking company involved ?
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Jlc
post Sun, 12 May 2013 - 14:10
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What a disgrace. Which PPC is this?


--------------------
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

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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grunwald
post Sun, 12 May 2013 - 17:01
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Thanks everyone. The ticket was from Excel Parking. I went to the local rag who did an article because I'm not the first disabled driver to be charged for parking in a disabled space in that car park. I don't have a copy of my POPLA appeal response as I seem to have accidentally deleted it! The postal response consisted of a bunch of photocopies and didn't include any decision notice so I suppose I just hoped that this was the end of it! Due to problems receiving incoming e-mails on my main account I only saw the decision a week ago and unfortunately have no record of it now. I suppose I'll have to ask Excel for another copy as I presume I'll need it for any defence I make. As all Excel are about is income generation they'll probably want another £100 to e-mail a copy! I'll upload supporting documents when I've hidden any id references.
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bargepole
post Sun, 12 May 2013 - 17:12
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QUOTE (grunwald @ Sun, 12 May 2013 - 18:01) *
Thanks everyone. The ticket was from Excel Parking. I went to the local rag who did an article because I'm not the first disabled driver to be charged for parking in a disabled space in that car park. I don't have a copy of my POPLA appeal response as I seem to have accidentally deleted it! The postal response consisted of a bunch of photocopies and didn't include any decision notice so I suppose I just hoped that this was the end of it! Due to problems receiving incoming e-mails on my main account I only saw the decision a week ago and unfortunately have no record of it now. I suppose I'll have to ask Excel for another copy as I presume I'll need it for any defence I make. As all Excel are about is income generation they'll probably want another £100 to e-mail a copy! I'll upload supporting documents when I've hidden any id references.

This doesn't add up.

The response which included a "bunch of photocopies" would have been Excel's response to your POPLA appeal.

The adjudicator's decision would have come direct from POPLA, and it's them who you should contact if you've lost the original.


--------------------
We'll fight them on the roads, we'll fight them in the courts, and we shall never, ever, surrender
Cases Won = 20 (17 as McKenzie Friend) : Cases Lost = 4. Private Parking tickets ignored: 3. Paid: 0.
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grunwald
post Sun, 12 May 2013 - 17:22
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Hi Jagger,
I forgot to answer all your points. No I didn't get help with the POPLA appeal. All the advice from parking forums was that court action was no more than a scare tactic so I didn't take it that seriously. Having now looked up their terms of reference, POPLA seems structured so much in favour of PPCs that I wonder if it would have made any difference if I had taken advice. I didn't mention Equality Act or DDA specifically but included some articles about cognitive problems in M.S. I presume reasonable adjustments are still an anticipatory duty under E.A. so it shouldn't' have needed spelling out. I hope the court does not accept POPLA as an impartial and fair process?
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kommando
post Sun, 12 May 2013 - 18:01
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POPLA is not a statutory authority so a Judge should not take any notice of a lost POPLA appeal, also the POPLA process did not bind you to the decision only the PPC. The Judge will take the Equality Act 2010 very seriously however so the PPC must be mad to take this further, if they do they had better bring a toothbrush. They are still using the court claim as a scare tactic but have picked the wrong case.
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Atilla
post Sun, 12 May 2013 - 18:22
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SRS either has a maoosive pair of b*lls or he his completely stoopid. Or perhaps both?

He really knows how to get on the wrong side of the juduciary.

This post has been edited by Atilla: Sun, 12 May 2013 - 18:23
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jagger
post Sun, 12 May 2013 - 18:42
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Do you have a link for the local newspaper you went to, it would be handy to read about the situation. Thanks
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bama
post Sun, 12 May 2013 - 20:03
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I would like to sew the written POPLA assessment - suitably anonymised of course.


--------------------
Which facts in any situation or problem are “essential” and what makes them “essential”? If the “essential” facts are said to depend on the principles involved, then the whole business, all too obviously, goes right around in a circle. In the light of one principle or set of principles, one bunch of facts will be the “essential” ones; in the light of another principle or set of principles, a different bunch of facts will be “essential.” In order to settle on the right facts you first have to pick your principles, although the whole point of finding the facts was to indicate which principles apply.

Note that I am not legally qualified and any and all statements made are "Reserved". Liability for application lies with the reader.
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SchoolRunMum
post Sun, 12 May 2013 - 20:34
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Sooo wish the OP had asked for help with that POPLA appeal. This needs a complaint to POPLA surely because they cannot blithely side with a PPC relying upon a contractual term that breaks the law through direct discrimination. But the OP will need to ask POPLA for a copy of the decision again first, and will need his POPLA Code to do so.

But more urgent is the defence against this pathetic claim!

I also think this is worthy of a counter claim for damages and distress to a disabled person caused by direct discrimination, in contravention of the Equality Act 2010. If the OP counter-claims does it mean that Excel cannot just drop the case? I hope so!

Your case is a perfect one for a Counter-claim because you told Excel about your disability issues at every single step of the way including face-to-face with the person who issued the ticket. So Excel certainly 'knew or should have known' about the disability - and so IMHO to pursue a 'charge' and in particular to drag a disabled person to Court for not displaying a Blue Badge (which does not even apply - as such - on private land) is direct discrimination.

- It is failure to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people ('Blue Badge only' is unreasonable IMHO, in particular when the company were alerted to the needs of this individual).

- It is direct discrimination, proved by the different treatment of disabled people when using 'special bays', when compared with parent & child bays (very comparable, easy to show discrimination).

- And harassment under the Equality Act. The remedy for which is monetary compensation.

And whoever contracted Excel there are liable too...!! They (Retail Park or individual Supermarket?) are not going to like this one little bit. I will help all I can to word the defence.
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tapas600
post Sun, 12 May 2013 - 21:26
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QUOTE (SchoolRunMum @ Sun, 12 May 2013 - 21:34) *
This needs a complaint to POPLA surely because they cannot blithely side with a PPC relying upon a contractual term that breaks the law through direct discrimination.

Oh, yes, they can. POPLA 'independence' myth needs a good busting in the b411s.

Thank you for stepping in.

This post has been edited by tapas600: Sun, 12 May 2013 - 21:27


--------------------
Remember: No one can fine you or issue a penalty other than a court, a policeman or a local authority under legislative powers.
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, Schedule 4
Further guidance on PoFA - DfT Guidance on Section 56 and Schedule 4 of POFA 2012
Essential Reading: Approved Operator Scheme (AOS) Guide to the Legislation
- to learn how the private parking charges process works look at this flowchart
- to see what your steps should be in challenging any private parking charges use this interactive wizard
- to help you appeal charges to PMCs use these Appeal Points Templates by Lynnzer. Amend as necessary to fit your personal circumstances.
- to post images and documents I use http://imageshack.us and http://www.scribd.com
Parking on Private Land Appeals or POPLA is run by London Councils - the British Parking Association Ltd. (BPA Ltd) pays London Councils for this service.
In fact, POPLA is a kangaroo court that rubber stumps private parking companies claims - read this Telegraph article and this Blog. The related documents can be found here.
To see for yourself why POPLA has no legal powers and is not really independent please download and read this document from London Councils’ Transport & Environment Committee.
More evidence that POPLA is not independent - read how PPCs are subverting the due appeal process and seek a back door deal to influence POPLA decisions.
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SchoolRunMum
post Sun, 12 May 2013 - 21:28
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POPLA would never find in favour of a PPC where the (imaginary) signs said 'Only men can park here' - they'd say 'hold up, that's discrimination'! Same here, they should have seen this for what it is.
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grunwald
post Sun, 12 May 2013 - 22:02
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Thanks again everyone.
The link to the newspaper article [url="http://www.examiner.co.uk/.../almondbury-ms-man--pictured-i."]Newspaper Article

or e-mail david.himefield@examiner .co.uk
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SchoolRunMum
post Sun, 12 May 2013 - 22:12
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Here is your article:

http://www.examiner.co.uk/news/local-west-...86081-32555760/

I am about to email that journalist if you don't mind. They need to know that POPLA has failed to spot the law-breaking discrimination here and that Excel are actually trying to sue you, when in fact IMHO it is you who could/should be suing not only Excel but also the Leeds Road Retail Park (and possibly POPLA...but that might be better as a complaint!).
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jagger
post Sun, 12 May 2013 - 22:42
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Frankly after that newspaper article I think Excel must be insane, this a clear breach of the Equality Act, how on earth they taking this to the small claims god only knows. I'm not conversant in small claims enough to advise on that side of things, but from looking at this surely there must be a counter claim for the breach?

It's just shocking that popla has not allowed this, though we don't know what the appeal was, so that is something that should be found. Once found, if they ignored a clear breach of the equality act, can they be held to account with excel ?
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grunwald
post Sun, 12 May 2013 - 22:52
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I've attached my letter to Excel and my POPLA appeal which looks very sparse in retrospect! I included my original letter to Excel, the newspaper article and an article on MS and work barriers. The first two paragraphs of this detailed cognitive and memory problems which I added "Help to explain why I forgot to display my badge whilst my mind was occupied with the problem of carrying the shelf I was returning to B&Q.

I note that ten minutes is mentioned a number of times and may have significance. Is there a meant to be a ten minute wait before a ticket is given? In my case the parking space is only a few yards from the entrance door to the returns dept and the counter is just inside. I found a trolley next to the parking space and staff were already there at the counter. There were no other customers and I was served straight away. Even with my mobility I don't think the entire operation would have taken ten minutes.

I have e-mailed POPLA requesting another copy of their appeal decision.

Dear Schoolrun mum I have no objection to you contacting the journalist. I i was thinking of doing so myself but will hang on a bit. After hearing your comments I might contact my local Law Centre.
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jagger
post Sun, 12 May 2013 - 22:55
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I can't read the popla appeal document, it's maybe because of my phone. But the letter to Excel means that they should have cancelled this immediately as they had proof that you had a blue badge (even though its not needed on private land), no reasonable adjustment at all. I think Excel are in a lot of trouble here, there is clear discrimination. It just highlights this company for what it is, a money making operation only!
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