Today at the Court of Appeal, the judgement on the case of ParkingEye Vs Beavis was handed down. Lord Justice Moore-Bick, Lord Justice Patten, and Sir Timothy Lloyd decided that Barry Beavis’ appeal is DISMISSED. On initial inspection, this is not great news for the motorist. Over the coming days it will be interesting to assess the findings of the judges.
However, the judges have allowed Barry Beavis to appeal the decision at the Supreme Court; the highest court of appeal in the UK for civil cases. Appeals are allowed to progress where they are of the highest public importance. It may take up to 2 years or more to get to a hearing, so it may take some time to settle the issue for good. Who knows, the next Government may step in and sort the industry before it gets that far….?
The forum poster Bargepole, who supported Barry through the case, has commented:
The COA have neatly sidestepped the fundamental question of the appeal, which was whether penalties could be commercially justified.
Instead, they have ruled that PE’s charges should not be treated as penalties, and therefore unenforceable, because the level of charge is not ‘extravagant and unconscionable’ which they say is the true test of whether a clause is a penalty.
They also say that there are social, or public policy, reasons why the charges should be enforced, because if they were not, the spaces in the car park would become unavailable for customers. They also say that PE would suffer a likely loss of contract with the BA Pension Fund if they were unable to perform the contract with them. (The Armageddon scenario).
It is also stated that the contractual arrangements between PE and the landowner are irrelevant for the purposes of this decision, so that blows the ‘fishing licence’ argument out of the water.
They have also said that the signage most likely creates a bare licence rather than a contract, although it was not in their remit to rule on that, but in any event the outcome would have been the same.
Mr Hossain has prepared a submission requesting leave to appeal to the Supreme Court, Mr Kirk has made a submission opposing it, and the CA have sent in a statement supporting Mr Hossain’s application.
So, as always, a topical tune to cheer us all up…