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England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions

You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions >> Sutton v Parking Adjudicator [2001] EWCA Civ 1325 (26 July 2001)
Cite as: [2001] EWCA Civ 1325

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Neutral Citation Number: [2001] EWCA Civ 1325
NO: C/2001/1313


Royal Courts of Justice
London WC2

Thursday, 26th July 2001

B e f o r e :


- v -


Computer Aided Transcript of the Stenograph Notes of
Smith Bernal Reporting Limited
180 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2HD
Telephone No: 0171-421 4040 Fax No: 0171-831 8838
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)


MR ANTHONY SUTTON, the Applicant in person


Crown Copyright ©

    Thursday, 26th July 2001

  1. LORD JUSTICE PILL: This is an application for permission to appeal a refusal by Turner J to grant permission to apply for judicial review of a decision of the Parking Adjudicator. Permission was refused by Turner J on 7th June 2001. It had previously been refused on the papers by Jackson J on 22nd December 2000.

  2. The chronology has been set out in detail. The penalty charge notice was issued on 21st May 1999. On 2nd July the applicant, Mr Anthony Sutton, appealed to the Parking Appeal Service. That appeal was dismissed on 30th December 1999. On 11th October the applicant applied for a review of that decision. On 17th December 1999 the Parking Adjudicator dismissed the application to review and on 21st June 2000 a review of the adjudicator's decision was again dismissed.
  3. This litigation has been the subject of detailed scrutiny in the decisions to which I have referred. Mr Sutton appears in person this morning. He has submitted bundles of documents to the Court. I have read what is described as a supplementary skeleton argument dated 2nd July 2001, and that runs to 26 pages. When I invited Mr Sutton to address me this morning, he submitted a very clearly set out further document which runs to 36 pages. It covers much of the same ground as earlier documents and submissions, although there are some additional matters. It was helpful for these submissions to have been reduced to writing, what Mr Sutton describes as the American style. Of course I would have preferred it in advance of the hearing but in any event I rose to read it, and have done so.
  4. I refer to the issues set out in the supplementary skeleton argument. I say at this stage that I do not consider it would be helpful if I were to attempt to set out comprehensively all the matters which have been raised in the course of this dispute or to describe in any more detail than I have done the chronology. The details of the case, as Mr Sutton has described them, are set out in the supplementary skeleton argument beginning at page 2. That is a helpful statement of the history as Mr Sutton sees it, and it runs to 75 paragraphs. Paragraph 75 states:
  5. "The Applicant therefore renews his application for permission for Judicial Review in order to exhaust his right to 'an effective remedy' under article 13 Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, before taking his case to the European Court of Human Rights at Strasbourg."
  6. Three issues are stated under the "list of issues":
  7. "1. Whether application should be reconsidered by Court of Appeal unfettered by Judgment of Turner J.
    2. Whether Turner J was correct not to consider in detail of all the applicant's grounds for seeking permission for judicial review.
    3. Whether Turner J was correct regarding reasons given by Ms Witts in her appeal decision dated 30 September 1999.
    On the first point, this Court is unfettered by the judgment of Turner J in the sense that it is no way bound by it. The Court has to form its own views on the merits of the application for permission and to decide whether there is an arguable case that permission should be granted. That is not to say that the Court ignores the judgment of Turner J who set out in the course of 16 paragraphs the reasons why he refused the application.
    As to the second point, Turner J was to have regard to the proceedings which had taken place before the application was made to him. He was not obliged, in my view, to set out in his judgment all the issues which had been debated before the Parking Appeal Service. It was for him to consider whether an arguable case had been made out for the case to proceed to a full judicial review of the decisions complained of. I do not criticise Turner J for dealing with the matter in the way he did, having regard to the manner in which it had been dealt with by the Parking Appeal Service.
    As to the third point, in my judgment, the matter was sufficiently dealt with by Turner J. Mr Sutton has referred me to the case of Flannery and another v Halifax Estate Agencies Ltd [2001] All ER 373, and set out in his supplementary argument a substantial part of the judgment of Henry LJ in that case. Turner J was, in my view, entitled to deal with the matter as he did having considered, as I have, the manner in which the decision had been reached and the appeals approached by the Parking Appeal Service.
    In the course of his supplementary skeleton argument and in the further submission of this morning, Mr Sutton has referred to the decision of Mr Hickinbottom in Moulder v London Borough of Sutton Case Ref: 1940113243. In that case a copy of the report of which has been supplied, to Mr Hickinbottom decided that the Penalty Charge Notice issued in that case was a nullity and it was not such that the authority could rely upon it to found an NTO or any subsequent enforcement procedure. Mr Hickinbottom directed the London Borough of Sutton to cancel the PCN and the NTO based upon it. The decision is dated 24th May 1995.
    The applicant seeks permission to amend his form 86A to incorporate the points which arose in that case. I indicated that I was not prepared to grant permission. No draft application has been submitted to me, though the grounds emerge from Mr Sutton's documents to which I have referred. It is important that judicial review proceedings are launched promptly. Having referred to the chronology and to the fact that this is a public law remedy in which there is a strong public interest in priority and in being dealt with promptly, I am not prepared at this stage, the matter having gone through the procedures it has, and in the way it has, to grant permission to extend the scope of the application.
    I only add that Mr Hickinbottom has himself been involved in the appeal procedure in this case and must have been aware of the decision of Moulder which he had given in 1995. He considered the matter comprehensively in this case.
    Points are raised as to whether these proceedings are or are not criminal proceedings. I do not find it appropriate to attempt to resolve that issue upon this application or to find that the need to resolve that issue is a reason for giving permission in this particular case.
    I turn briefly to the general points raised in his final submissions in the documents of today. Mr Sutton states, at page 35:
    "The issues raise important issues not least because of the implementation of the Human Rights Act 1998 on 2 October 2000 and the right to both a fair determination of either civil rights or a criminal charge under article 6(1) of the European Convention and also 'peaceful enjoyment of possessions under article 1 of Protocol of the Convention in respect of which I should be afforded an 'effective remedy' under article 13 of the Convention.
    The case would have widespread repercussions for the Parking enforcement and the conduct of appeal hearings before Parking Adjudicators throughout the whole country if permission is granted."
  8. I have to consider a particular application for permission. I bear in mind the important requirement that there should be a fair trial and that there should be an effective remedy as provided in the European Convention now incorporated into the Human Rights Act. Having regard to the procedures which Parliament has provided in this area in the 1991 Act and regulations thereunder, I cannot hold that it is arguable that there is any breach either of article 6(1) or article 13 in the law of England and Wales.
  9. I have dealt with the three specific issues raised by the applicant in his "list of issues". I have indicated that I do not consider it would be helpful or that it is appropriate again to attempt to set out comprehensively a history of the matter, the detail of the arguments raised and the decisions made upon them. It seems to me that the Parking Appeal Service had adequately considered the case put before them. The decisions reached were decisions which those who made them were entitled to reach, and in my judgment they were sufficiently reasoned, having regard to the circumstances of the particular case. I am not persuaded that an application of the principle in Flannery leads to a finding that that it is arguable that the decision of Ms Witts was insufficiently reasoned.
  10. This application has been considered on paper by Jackson J and at an oral hearing by Turner J. The application for permission to appeal is now made to me. For the reasons I have given the application is refused.
  11. (Application for permission to appeal refused)

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