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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70522
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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my wife overstayed at a car park (retail park)

Customer Question

my wife overstayed at a car park (retail park) run by Parking eye & have ignored all there letters & have now received a county court notice .they are asking forXXXXXfees 15 solicitors fees50 total £150 what is the chance of challenging this on the basis I did not enter into a contract with them & also they have lost nothing as you get 4hrs free parking & the car park was not full .I also understand that if we lose it will go on a register & passed to credit ref agencies can we ask the not to happen as we were disputing the amount claimed, thanking you in anticipation mike xxxxxx

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question . My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Whats the date of this contravention please?

Were there signs up?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

11/10/2012 yes

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

You don't have challenge on the basis that there was no contact but you might have other defences.

This is a private land fine. They are not parking fines whatever they may look like. I realise that many of them mimic those issued by the council or the police but they do not have the same authority.

A private land firm is not an emanation of the state. It does not have the right to punish you for the manner of your parking any more than your neighbours do.

This is essentially an invoice arising from a civil dispute. They say that you accepted a contract by parking there and breached it by staying too long or otherwise parking at variance with the contract.

Private land fines used to be very easy to escape by refusing the details of the driver. They only have a contract with the driver. Unfortunately the Protection of Freedoms Act came into force in October 2012 and it makes the registered keeper liable for the penalty if he does not disclose the details of the driver within 28 days.

All that means is that the claim runs against the registered keeper. It just makes it easier to find the person against whom there should be enforcement.

The chances are high that they will not sue. Even though the law has recently changed in their favour and they were quite aggressive in the beginning, they do not sue in the majority of cases.

If they do sue then they would only have a claim for the sum of the original fine plus about £35 in costs. They will send you debt collection letters in which they will threaten to sue you for their debt collection costs. Do not be intimidated by that. They have no claim for that.

Even if they do go to court, they would still have to prove that the signs are adequate and clear. Quite often they are not.

Also, they will have to prove that they have suffered loss. They may be able to claim a very small amount in administration costs but it is going to be the sum they are trying to claim from you. Their loss would seem to amount to no more than about £5.

They will send you some very nasty letters though. You will get debt collection letters making threats of legal action. They will probably get Graham Whyte solicitors to write to you as well. None of these are anything to worry about. It will not impact upon your credit history and it will not add to the costs.

Unless you actually get a court summons, none of these correspondences have any legal basis. If you do get a court summons then you can always part admit the claim and offer £5 for their loss.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

you have not read my question as they have issued a court summons as detailed in my question

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
the solicitor had not read my question as I said that a county court summons had been issued
Expert:  leanne-jones replied 4 years ago.
Hello - my name is XXXXX XXXXX it will be my pleasure to assist you today.

Do you still need help?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

they have issued a county court summons for a total of £150 as in my original question will you please answer based on this

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
The reason you are experiencing delay is that you relisted this which causes it to drop off my screen.

I'm not sure what you wanted to know? The question seems to have been answered
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

a county court summons has been issued as stated in my question
so will you please answer the question

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Your original question was whether you could argue that you had no contract and thats been answered above.

Also, the loss point has been covered.

Is the post above visible to you? I know there have been bugs online that have prevented viewing.