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Scotland 2017-06-20T09:51:46+00:00

Scottish motorist ordered to pay £24,500 for historic unpaid private parking charges.

Vehicle Control Services v Carly Mackie in the Dundee Sheriff Court 13th January 2017 – Court Reference A7/15.

A Scottish motorist who deliberately ignored parking restrictions because she didn’t believe parking charges were valid in Scotland is now faced with a £24,500 bill following a landmark judgment from The Scottish Court Service in Dundee. The judgment can be viewed in full here.
Our client Vehicle Control Services Ltd were contracted to provide an effective parking management solution based on the issue of free permits to residents. The parking protection scheme featured prominent warning signs at the eight points of entry to the property to advise all visitors they were entering private property and if they chose to park their vehicle they accepted the terms and conditions set out on the notices, namely that a permit must be displayed at all times.

The motorist, Carly Mackie, continued to park without the required permit.  The reason for non-payment was because she believed that parking charges were unenforceable in Scotland.  The judgment states “She was protesting against what she believed was an illegal scheme of some kind” and she “was waging a personal ‘crusade’ to prove the parking scheme was illegal or unenforceable”.  Ms Mackie was even offered by the car park management a visitors permit that would afford her parking for only £40/month, but she refused.

Sherriff George Alexander Way ruled that “The defender refused to pay the parking charges not because she was unware of the parking scheme or the terms of the notices or the financial consequences of parking at any time, but because she did not believe that the charges were valid in law.  The parking charges flow from a valid contract between the pursuers and the defender and she is liable for them.”

This is understood to be the highest value parking charge case ever awarded in the United Kingdom.  As some people in Scotland believe that parking charges are unenforceable (despite the landmark 2015 Supreme Court judgment ruling in favour of a parking operator) a record number of court cases are now being pursued in Scotland.  We are happy to work with any Scottish motorist experiencing financial difficulties who would like to make a payment arrangement to settle historic charges before court action is taken.  Please phone our dedicated team on 0141 301 2355 now to discuss options now.

Scottish motorist who claimed she could not remember who was driving
her vehicle ordered to pay £2560 plus legal expenses.

A Scottish motorist who racked up 16 parking charges over a three-month period has been issued with a Decree for £2560 plus legal expenses (the total cost of which is yet to be determined).

The driver originally submitted that she could not remember who was driving the car on each occasion that it parked without displaying a pay and display ticket. This is a tactic often used by parking charge evaders, who believe that this is a fool-proof argument to effectively park for free anywhere in Scotland.

Under legal examination in court the Defender was in the words of the Sheriff “evasive” after claiming that she “could not remember” who was driving. Giving evidence under oath she was unable to provide facts that she was not driving the vehicle.
In his written Judgment (AVAILABLE TO VIEW HERE) Sheriff Kenneth J. McGowan, under the subsection ‘Credibility and Reliability’ said this of the Defender:

“…I accept [the Parking Operator’s witnesses] evidence as both credible and reliable.
I cannot say the same for the defender. I found her repeated assertions that she did not know or did not remember things unpersuasive.”
Ultimately the Defender finally admitted to being the driver on all 16 occasions that a parking charge was issued, as acknowledged by the Sheriff:

“when the terms of the original answers were put to her, she accepted that she had been the driver of the car on all 16 occasions. I accepted that evidence.”

The Sheriff was satisfied with the validity of the Parking Operator’s evidence, even after the legitimacy of their contract to enforce parking charges at the car park was put into question by the Defender. The Sheriff concluded that “The pursuers needed to prove each breach on the balance of probabilities. In my view, they have done so.”

Decree was granted on 24th May 2017 under case reference SA2572/16. The full written Judgment is available to view here.

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