WA Wilson Parking claim for damages. I was not the driver!

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by Travis Calley, 5 November 2019.

  1. Travis Calley

    Travis Calley Active Member

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    It's my phone which I carry with me and use for Android Auto navigation when driving.
     
  2. Atticus

    Atticus Well-Known Member

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    Well I guess your phone is in the clear... Won't be proof that you were with it though.

    Personally I think your clutching at straws.... Your wife parked there & exceeded the limit. $65 isn't a huge fine. You may even be able to pay it by installments... If they take it to court, I suspect you will end up with court costs as well. I don't think a magistrate will accept that you had no idea who may have had your car at the time..

    Your call. I can't offer any more, but I wish you luck
     
  3. Travis Calley

    Travis Calley Active Member

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    I also have credit card purchases that say I wasn't there at the time of the alleged breach either.
    Thanks for the well wishes :)
     
  4. Rob Legat - SBPL

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    The issues are (assuming various bits and pieces, which are the domain of evidence and burden of proof) as follows. This is also from a completely dispassionate point of view - I'm making no judgment on whether car park rates are reasonable or justified:

    - The car park has evidence that the car was there.
    - The car park has proof that you are the owner of the car.
    - The car park doesn't need to prove that you parked the car there, just that your car was parked there.
    - In the absence of a sustainable claim that you weren't in possession or control of the vehicle at the time, such as it having been stolen (and backed up by an appropriate police complaint), the car park is entitled to assume that either you or someone with your permission parked the car in the car park. And, by permission, that is permission to use the vehicle.
    - It's your vehicle. If you can't control or regulate who uses it when, then you're going to be in the firing line (so to speak).
    - So long as the car park's terms and conditions were clearly posted (often a sticking point), then whoever parked the car there did so in acknowledgment of those terms and conditions. Why should the car park lose out simply because you won't offer up who the driver was?
     
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  5. GC.

    GC. Well-Known Member

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    Rob, I am curious as to why you think that Travis should dob his wife in. Is this because you believe that he is required to by law, or because you think that it is the right thing to do?

    This (Lawanswers) website has a blog post on this issue that says "the car park company is only allowed to chase after the driver who’s responsible for the debt, not the registered owner of the vehicle." although the post is close to 5 years old, so may no longer be relevant. Private Car Park Fines - Know Your Rights - Legal Blog - LawAnswers.com.au
    I know that the law requires the registered owner to identify the driver if the Police ask, but do not know of any requirements to disclose this to a car park operator (unless they take it to court and put you under oath), and I would be surprised if the law permitted someone to run up debts in your name just because you allowed them to use your car.
    That blog post also discusses excessive amounts of these "fines" that you touched on briefly. Should Travis be looking into this as well?

    Additionally, my understanding is that once Travis notified Wilson Parking that he disputed the debt, that they were then not permitted to pass it onto a collections agency until they had verified it. Should Travis be taking this up with the debt collector?
     
  6. Rob Legat - SBPL

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    I don't think that Travis should dob his wife in. I didn't say that.

    The interpretation of the law differs state to state, but I imagine the requirement to chase the driver would apply where the driver is known. Here, Travis won't nominate the driver so my comment is that the law would work to allow him to be considered the driver - either in actuality, or as de facto because he's unable/refusing to state who it actually was.

    I think you'll find that as far as they're concerned, they have verified it. And while verification of debt is an established practice in debt collection, it is a 'guideline' and not an absolute requirement (although it is often treated as such).
     
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