In a previous blog post, we reported about a Car Parking Notice for allegedly 12 minutes parking. For those of you who are interested in the outcome of the Notice, read on…
I was interested to see how hard the Notice was pressed and, having received several letters from the operator of the car park’s ‘Legal Department’, I received one marked ‘LETTER BEFORE COUNTY COURT CLAIM’. You should always respond to such a letter before action and I did in terms that I did not accept the Notice and the car park operator would need to substantiate its claim and provide further information.
Since then, I have received two further lengthy and formal letters from the car park operator, one from its Legal Department and the other from its Enforcement Department. I responded to both in terms that it still needed to substantiate its claim and provide further information. I pointed out that I was a commercial litigation solicitor and suggested the writer of the letters ring me to discuss the matter. I had tried ringing him/her but the operator’s automated telephone service meant that I could not get through. All it would allow me to do was to pay. To help, I even enclosed my business card, twice in fact, but I have not received a call.
These car park operators are very much in the public eye at the moment. They are not popular with the Daily Mail and there have been several articles on them. It is likely that the Government will also at some point intervene and legislate – a similar situation to the ‘infamous’ car clampers who caused controversy some years ago.
The ‘legal’ letters I have received from the car operator are well put together. They give an impression they are written in essence by lawyers, that there is no defence to the Notice and that court proceedings will follow if payment is not made. These letters are very effective. Most people simply pay up. The car parking operators are making very good profits.
And so the lesson?
1. Never under estimate the power and effect a letter before action can have.
2. But just because someone asserts it has a claim, make sure you test that there is in fact a case to answer.
For more information, email email@example.com.