UK Parking Control Limited threaten Nutsville with the Police, the High Court, maybe even a pig in a basket.

Yesterday Nutsville received a Letter Before Action (LBA) claiming to be sent on behalf of UK Parking Control Limited.

 

As so often with members operating in the wild west of the parking industry they have decided to issue legal threats to Nutsville, rather than deal directly with us over any concerns they may have had.

 

So here is the email we received from B P Collins LLP Solicitors, with their text in red and our thoughts in black.

 


By Email to news@nutsville.com and by email and post to Mr Thomas Sheldren, 49 Hallam Street, London, W1W 6JW
LETTER BEFORE COURT ACTION

Dear Mr Sheldren / Operator of “www.nutsville.com”.
My firm acts on behalf of UK Parking Control Limited. It is understood that you own the website known as “www.nutsville.com“.

 

Oh no he doesn’t

 

On your website there is currently an article referring to my client, together with a number of pictures. The article is at : http://nutsville.com/?p=4177.

 

My client informs me that the information contained on your website was obtained by a third party, or third parties, without legal authority to do so. The information was then posted on a website called “www.pepipoo.com”.

 

This was in breach of the Data Protection Act,(http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/29/contents) and also in breach of the Computer Misuse Act, due to the fact that some material was obtained by using a password, without authorisation, to access their website. The relevant section of the Act is at :http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1990/18/section/1

Really, and we thought it was UKPC who may have breached the Data Protection Act, that was kind of what our blog post was about. But that’s OK then, as we didn’t obtain our information from www.pepipoo.com. The images we used in our blog post http://nutsville.com/?p=4177 were not obtained from any forum, and neither were the images we used behind any form of username/password protection, not even a silly password such as ‘test’. So why are UKPC wasting our time telling us about some percieved wrong doings performed by a third party?

My client is in the process of informing the police of the crime which has been committed against them.

Good for them, but what crime? So this is a criminal matter then, lets hope they don’t get done for wasting police time.

My client anticipates that you and your website are innocent parties and were unaware at the time the material was posted that it was obtained illegally.

Hooray, we’re innocent then.

However, you are now aware of the factual position and your actions/inactions hereon may expose you to a damages claim by my client.

We are not aware of any factual position because we haven’t been provided with any facts yet, but carry on.

You will appreciate my client is taking this issue very seriously.

Good, glad UKPC are taking something seriously, pity it wasn’t website security.

Accordingly, in light of the above my client requests the removal from your website by 10 am tomorrow, 2 April 2013, the article referred to at http://nutsville.com/?p=4177.

Ahh, so UKPC would like the whole blog post removed then, so this is what this letter is about. UKPC are trying to cover this up, is that why there is no notice on their website apologising to their customers (as the president of the British Parking Association likes to call them) for publishing all those customer details?

If you decide not to do so my client will have no option other than to inform the police of your involvement in this matter and to bring injunctive High Court proceedings against you to request that a Court orders the removal of the material, together with an order for my client’s costs. My client’s sincere hope is that this will not be necessary in the circumstances.  For the avoidance of doubt I appreciate that today is a bank holiday. However, it is clear from your website that you posted the material which is referred to in this email on Saturday, 30 March 2013, and therefore my client considers this request is reasonable, and achievable, taking into account the seriousness of the crime which has been committed against them.

Inform the Police , ahh so we are now being accused of a undertaking a criminal act. What crime, they haven’t told us what crime, but if we are off to the High Court as well, doesn’t make it a civil case, not a criminal case?

Furthermore, my client requests you to confirm to me by email that you and/or “www.nutsville.com” undertake not repost (or post) on “www.nutsville.com” any material obtained from “ww.pepipoo.com” or from any other source in relation to the matter referred to in this email.

Oh dear, this very blog post is referring to ‘the matter’, opps we’ve done it again. But UKPC are also trying to tell us we cannot post any material obtained from Pepipoo. Who do these people think they are trying to tell us we can’t use pepipoo.com for source material, which we didn’t for the http://nutsville.com/?p=4177 post anyway.

However, in this regard, it would be reasonable for you to take independent legal advice, should you wish to do so, and therefore my client requests that you confirm your position regarding providing the requested undertaking within the next 7 days, i.e. by 4pm on 8 April 2013.

Oh for gawd sake, is this an April fools joke, one minute we have until 10am today to pull down our blog post, now it’s the 8th of April.

In the meantime, my client reserves its position against you and/or “www.nutsville.com”. I confirm that on the basis the material referred to in this email is removed from www.nutsville.comby the deadline requested,…

Which deadline?

….not reposted, and no further posting made of any material obtained from www.pepipoo.com or any other third party regarding this matter and you provide the undertaking referred to above no court proceedings will be brought against you by my client.

I look forward to hearing from you positively by 10 am tomorrow, 2 April 2013.

Hope they were following us on Twitter this morning.

Yours sincerely,

Matthew Brandis
Partner & Practice Group Leader / Litigation and Dispute Resolution
For and on behalf of B P Collins LLP Solicitors

www.bpcollins.co.uk

T – 01753 279 039
F – 01753 889276
Collins House
32-38 Station Road
Gerrards Cross
Bucks
SL9 8EL

 

So that was the comedy solicitors letter we received, which jumped between civil and criminal matters. Gave no reason for demanding the whole blog post be taken down. Told us not to use material from a forum completely unconnected with with our blog post or Nutsville.

 

Just another load of parking industry bullies, used to threatening people.

 

The BPA have a long way to go to try to make the parking industry respectable. Sadly as we write this the BPA on their twitter account are trying to claim the UKPC website was hacked. Yet our blog post used images which were behind no security at all, open to all on the Internet with a web browser, which is why UKPC have been reported to the ICO.

 

Perhaps the BPA can’t afford to lose any more of those lovely membership fees, what with them already having to dip in to their reserve fund to prop up the failing POPLA.

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9 Comments

Kill SwitchApril 2nd, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Ha hahahahahahaha, that’s made my evening, thanks for putting up this post,

Note to self, wipe grin from face.

Pat PendingApril 2nd, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Can we expect a reply from Nutsville similar to this?

Arkell v. Pressdram (1971) [unreported]
Solicitor (Goodman Derrick & Co.):

We act for Mr Arkell who is Retail Credit Manager of Granada TV Rental Ltd. His attention has been drawn to an article appearing in the issue of Private Eye dated 9th April 1971 on page 4. The statements made about Mr Arkell are entirely untrue and clearly highly defamatory. We are therefore instructed to require from you immediately your proposals for dealing with the matter. Mr Arkell’s first concern is that there should be a full retraction at the earliest possible date in Private Eye and he will also want his costs paid. His attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of your reply.

Private Eye:

We acknowledge your letter of 29th April referring to Mr J. Arkell. We note that Mr Arkell’s attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of our reply and would therefore be grateful if you would inform us what his attitude to damages would be, were he to learn that the nature of our reply is as follows: fuck off.

[No further reply]

Oh I do hope so. Thanks for sharing this Nutsville this has really brightened me up and made me laugh out loud despite having Man Flue.

sheilaApril 2nd, 2013 at 6:54 pm

note to yourself, wipe shit out of your mouth lololololol pmsl pmsl

Pat PendingApril 2nd, 2013 at 7:50 pm

Now now Sheila play nicely, I can’t think why you are so upset, or were they you’re legs we saw on the bed?

Dave HortonApril 2nd, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Pat Pending, kin brilliant comment, had me in stitches, hope Nutsville use it!!!

DarcusApril 2nd, 2013 at 9:37 pm

And how many years of law school do you have to do to write illogical tripe like that? It’s just too funny to mock.

Pat PendingApril 3rd, 2013 at 12:25 am

@Dave Horton
How I wish it was my reply, but sadly no! I can only pass it on.
Like Noel Coward said, when asked as he was entering Australia, “Do you have any convictions?”
He aparantly replied ” My dear boy I did not Know it was still a requierment”
I rest my case M’lude.

LegolasApril 12th, 2013 at 11:14 am

Apologies if this sounds like raining on a parade, but I rather fear that UKPC have been a little cleverer than you think.
This Letter Before Action has very little to do with forcing Nutsville to remove a critical blog. I have no doubt that UKPC has failed in its data protection duties. However, with the matter having now gone to the ICO, the UKPC must now ensure that it is seen to do, to paraphrase, “everything reasonably within its power to prevent further distribution of classified images and data.”
The letter presents as a given the fact that the images and data were obtained illegally by a third party who breached its web security. In my experience of bodies like the ICO, this will be enough to deflect criticism of blame away from UKPC. Equally, the letter is careful to steer clear of defamation and false accusations by stating that Nutsville is probably an innocent party. However the existence of the Letter Before Action cleverly throws the ball back into Nutsville’s court, leaving it, and possibly Pepipoo, as the alleged bad guys in the story from the ICO’s point of view depending on what Nuts does next.
If Nutsville removes the blog, the ICO will say job done and go home. If it doesn’t remove the blog, UKPC will say that they’ve reviewed their security procedures going forward and have tried to prevent the spread of the stolen sensitive data via legal means but those awful bloggers have refused to play ball. Either way the real failure of UKPC will get lost in the melee and the ICO will simply look for the quickest and easiest box-ticking solution. Net result – business as usual for UKPC, brought about by the sending of a legally laughable Letter Before Action.
Don’t think for a moment that these people are as incompetent as you suggest when it comes to deflecting criticism or that they aren’t aware of the many flaws in their letter. The flaws are there to protect UKPC and the lawyers that wrote the letter. Sorry to say it, but it seems to me they’ve played a very clever card that has completely trumped you. The sad truth is that being right and exposing failures is not nearly enough when you’re up against these guys.

bimerMay 3rd, 2013 at 11:20 am

nice try legalas – or should we call you Matthew Brandis – BP collins solicitors; Try harder next time.

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