Care Park Pty Ltd

So you received a fine or letter of demand from Care Park?  Or perhaps a letter from the NSW RMS?  These pages explain the process of getting off fines issued by Care Park.  Do not blindy follow the appeal instructions on the back of your Care Park fine, or the appeal instructions on the Care Park Pty Ltd website.  Instead, follow the instructions on this website.
 
This website explains your rights regarding "fines" you receive from Care Park and how to attempt to get the fines withdrawn.  See the links at left to navigate this website.  The FAQs pages, in particular FAQ's 1 to 5 fully explain the process  to follow to hopefully avoid having to pay an illegal fine.  As well as being amongst Australia's largest parking operators, Care Park also produces a large share of complaints regarding unfair fines. 

Care Park have issued proceedings against a number of driver the Melbourne Magistrates Court.  Received court papers from Care Park?  See my court facts page.

What the legal community thinks of Care Park

The Consumer Action Law Centre has sought leave to add new claims of unconscionable conduct and harassment to its test case against private car park operator Care Park on behalf of its client, Mitchell Davis, after Care Park used new tactics to try to stop the legal proceeding from going ahead.   Read more.... 

In May 2012, the New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) department sent letters to thousands of vehicle owners whom Care Park Pty Ltd had applied thru the courts to obtain their names and addresses.  The letter advised vehicle owners to seek the advice of the NSW Office of Fair Trading.  The RMS had been frustrated with supplying names and addresses of vehicle owners under order from the courts.

Care Park Pty Ltd have been known to demand statutory declarations to prove you were not the driver.  Such demands are arguably unfair and unreasonable since in contract law it is encumbant on the person who claims money is owed to them to prove that the money is owed.  It is not up to the alleged debtor to prove that they do not owe any money.  And for anyone to say otherwise arguably breaches the ACCC Debt Collection Guidelines.

Care Park slugs unsuspecting local drivers:   Lawyer Mr Tom Willcox said that the demand of $88 for failing to display a valid parking ticket was grossly disproportionate to any loss Care Park Pty Ltd might have suffered through his client not obtaining a ticket, especially as even now they only charge 80c an hour for parking in the area.  See Consumer Action Law Centre media release Tuesday 16 December 2008

The Consumer Action Law Centre has written to Care Park seeking a review of their business practices.  See our Legal Help page for more details.
 

Attorney General asked to investigate Care Park lawyers -  Parke Lawyers 

In Victorian State Parliament on 9th June 2010, the member for Clayton asked the Attorney General  to "initiate an investigation of the practices of Parke Lawyers. Parke Lawyers operates on behalf of Care Park, a company which has been the subject of previous complaints in the Parliament regarding its claims for liquidated damages in private car parks".  The member for Clayton went on to say "the role of Parke Lawyers in these sharp practices seems, at best, highly questionable".  The member for Clayton then urged the Attorney General to "investigate Parke Lawyers and to ensure that the vulnerable are not victims of legal firms who prey on the weak and ignorant".  Read more ....

 

An analysis of Care Park letters of demand

Take a look at this payment demand letter from Care Park.  You will notice that it says the fine includes costs of "identifying and contacting you as the registered owner".  Well, they can't make you pay their legal costs of going to court to get your name and address from the RMS or Vicroads.  This is because legal costs in a court case are subject to an order from a court, and no court has ordered you to pay any costs with regards to identifying you.  It also says "unless we hear from you within 10 days, we will assume that you were the driver of the vehicle at the above date and time".   Well they have no legal right to assume anything.  They are the ones who must prove you were the driver of the vehicle.  It then says "if you were not the driver, you may complete a statutory declaration (Nomination of Driver') form".  Well again, they cannot say this.  You see, they have no legal right to ask you to prove you were not the driver, they have no legal right to demand a statutory declaration, and they are treading on shakey ground when they refer to a "Nomination of Driver" form because that term resembles the name of statutory documents state government use.  Just google "nomination of driver" and you'll find first hit is likely to be state government department website explaining the process for statutory fines.
 
Now take a look at this payment demand letter from Care Park.  It says "if you wish to avoid the cost of court proceedings, you must immediately pay the overdue amount". That statement from Care Park appears to me to be unfair. There is another way to avoid the costs of court proceedings (should they ever occur) and that is to defend the proceedings. If you successfully defended any proceedings that were served on you, then you would not have to pay the cost of court proceedings, and Care Park would have to pay those costs themselves. And there are yet other ways to avoid the costs of proceedings, such as apply for the case to be moved the low cost jurisdiction of the NSW Consumer, Trader & Tenancy Tribunal, or the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. 
 

Complaint to the ACCC about Care Park

One car owner complained to the ACCC that they had been harassed by Care Park even after they had denied liability for the debt.  The ACCC replied in a letter saying that the behaviour described could come under the misleading and deceptive conduct provision of Australian Consumer Law.  The ACCC did not take action against Care Park (becasue the ACCC does not represent individuals but rather looks at the broader consumer landscape) but said they would log the complaint against Care Park in the ACCC national database which the ACCC uses to look for trends and to spot rogue traders.  If you have received payment demands from Care Park after you have denied liablity, or have received a demand for a statutory declaration, then you are able to lodge a complaint with the ACCC and with your state consumer body such as Consumer Affairs or Fair Trading.  If there are enough complaints, an investigation will be launched into Care Park's conduct by one of these bodies.
 

Care Park parking signs examined

Note how in the following Care Park sign it says:
 
 "Market days Wednesday-Thursday-Friday-Saturday FIRST TWO HOURS FREE No ticket required". 
 
Then see how on the Care Park sign underneath that contains the terms and conditions it says
 
"You must obtain a valid ticket or pass and display it on the dashboard of the vehicle" and then subsequently "if you fail to comply with these terms and coditions you must pay liquidated damages of $88.00 to Care Park" 
 
So, on market days which rule applies - do you have to obtain and display a ticket or not?  Confused?  No wonder Care Park rake so much money in.
 

Consumer Affairs warning about Care Park

The Department of Consumer Affairs in Victoria at one stage had a warning about Care Park on the Consumer Affairs "Scams and Alerts" page.  The warning said:
 
Public Warning - Care Park Pty Ltd
 
Pursuant to section 162A of the Fair Trading Act 1999, the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria has issued the following public warning.
 
The Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria warns consumers about the activities of Care Park Pty Ltd [ABN 47 083 921 215]. Consumers are advised to be cautious in their dealings with this company.
 
Care Park Pty Ltd operates a number of car parks on a "pay and display" system. Under this system, users of the car parks are obliged to purchase a parking ticket from a vending machine. This ticket records the date and time of purchase. The users are further obliged to display this ticket on the dashboard of the car.
 
Care Park Pty Ltd employs "parking officers" who patrol the car parks. These parking officers issue Payment Notices and attach these notices to the windscreen of any car which, in their determination, is not displaying a valid parking ticket. These Payment Notices are addressed to the owner of the car and require the owner to pay a sum (usually $88) to Care Park Pty Ltd for breach of "Conditions of Entry".
 
Consumer Affairs Victoria has received complaints and enquiries from consumers concerned that Care Park is issuing fines and/or misleading consumers by adopting procedures which closely resemble infringement procedures open to authorised law enforcement agencies. To avoid any confusion consumers are advised that:
 
* Care Park is not an authorised law enforcement agency.
* Care Park is a private company, it has no power to issue fines or impose penalties.
* Care Park has no power to require anyone to furnish statutory declarations.
 
Care Park asserts a right to recover "liquidated damages" from users of its car parks where those users breach the terms of a parking contract. "Conditions of Entry" are displayed on signs erected at or near the entrances to the car parks. The contract is said to be formed when a driver enters and parks a car at the car park.
 
Consumer Affairs Victoria is concerned that the procedures adopted by Care Park, which resemble the infringement penalty procedures used by law enforcement agencies, may mislead owners of cars into accepting liability for a fee in circumstances where they may not be liable.
 
Consumers are advised to be cautious in their dealings with this company.
 

Care Park beaten in court

Care Park recently took a driver to court.  The driver was represented by lawyer Sean Hardy.  Care Park lost the case and a cost order was made against Care Park, who had to pay Mr Hardy's legal fees.

Other entities connected with Care Park

Care Park use Parke Lawyers and Crown Collections to try to enforce their penalties.  You will notice that Care Park Pty Ltd, Crown Collections and Parke Lawyers Melbourne offices all share the same address in St Kilda Road Melbourne.
 

Ownership of Care Park

Directors
- Craig Williams
- David Chiu
- Cheong Thard Hoong
- Wai Hung Boswell
- Robert Belteky

Shareholders
- Craig Williams' company Chartbridge Propriety Limited
- Deanne Pointon
- Warmlink Pty Ltd
- Fec Care Park Holdings (Australia) Pty  Ltd

Ultimate Holding company
- FAR EAST CONSORTORIUM INTERNATIONAL LIMITED

Chartbridge Pty Ltd is wholly owned by Craig Williams 
Warmlink Pty Ltd is partially owned by Robert Belteky, but I am unaware of who the other shareholders of Warmlink are.

To trace this further, one would need to run ASIC checks on the following:
- Fec Care Park Holdings (Australia) Pty  Ltd
It should be performed  as a "historic check" (cost $18).

Craig Williams and Robert Belteky are the only two directors of Care Park that are based in Australia, with Robert Belteky also being the CEO of Care Park.  Beltkey started the company in 1998 on his own.  In 2008 Far East Consortium International Limited, which is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, bought into Care Park and provided it additional capital to expand its operations.  Far East Consortium International Limited remains as the majority shareholder.  Robert Belteky run the company on a day to day basis and it is Belteky's name which appears on affidavits for preliminary discovery that are used in Magistrates Court Proceedings to obtain the names and  address of vehicle owners.  He holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Melbourne, and is (or was) a shareholder in rugby club Melbourne Victory.  Robert Belteky is the former chief executive of the collapsed KC Parksafe. KC Parksafe was liquidated after KC Parksafe co-owner Benjamin Kamer was charged in 1998, but not convicted, of stealing $1 million from Melbourne City Council.

Care Park Court cases

Care Park, like Australian National Car Parks, takes the occasional person to court to satisfy the RTA.  So far, I have only seen cases in NSW.  I am starting to track the cases here:

29/05/2012 Stephen Names Case number 201200089298. Downing Centre, Sydney.  Discontinued.
18/10/2012 RMS Case number 201200285963 Downing Centre, Sydney.  Application for preliminary discovery.
04/04/2013 Guan Nan Xue Case number 201000377358. Downing Centre, Sydney.
05/07/2013 Milestone Information Technology, case number D10866463,   Melbourne Magistrates' Court. 
01/08/2013  John William Whittam case number C3758/2013 v Care Park   
05/09/2013 Nicholas Teplin case number D11540225  Melbourne Magistrates' Court,   pre-hearing conference
09/09/2013 Michael O'Connell case nbr D11774049  Melbourne Magistrates' Court , Arbitration
30/09/2013 Danell Pty Ltd case nbr D11774231 Melbourne Magistrates' Court, pre-hearing conference
30/09/2013 Arman Surenian case nbr D11773883 Melbourne Magistrates' Court pre-hearing conference
02/10/2013  Chew Aka Sigobodhla, Brianna Case Number D11773588 Melbourne Magistrates' Court, pre-hearing conference  
03/10/2013  Glencarn Real Estate Pty Ltd Case Number D11486196 Moorabbin Magistrates' Court, registrars hearing.
04/10/2013 Adam Snell, case number D11693624   Melbourne Magistrates' Court, interloc application  
11/10/2013  Scott, Glen Case Number D12005286 Melbourne Magistrates' Court, pre-hearing conference   
14/10/2013  Watson, Bridget Case Number D11896930 Melbourne Magistrates' Court, pre-hearing conference 
16/10/2013  Ganter, Rudolph Case Number D12005446 Melbourne Magistrates' Court, pre-hearing conference    
18/10/2013  Sharkas, Hala Case Number D12004227    Melbourne Magistrates' Court, pre-hearing conference   
23/10/2013  Flanagan, Corey Case Number D12005606 Melbourne Magistrates' Court, pre-hearing conference    
23/10/2013  Hogg, Alex Case Number D12005537 Melbourne Magistrates' Court, pre-hearing conference  
24/10/2013  Case Number D12082239 Melbourne Magistrates' Court - Civil, Defence to claim    
30/10/2013  Clark, Jacob Case Number D12113032    Melbourne Magistrates' Court, pre-hearing conference    
12/11/2013  Cranswick, Leon Case Number D12112968 Melbourne Magistrates' Court, pre-hearing conference    
18/11/2013  Witchen, Phillip Case Number D12271157 Melbourne Magistrates' Court, pre-hearing conference    
25/11/2013  Paulo, Ngatokoatamarik Case Number D12005832 Melbourne Magistrates' Court, pre-hearing conference    
29/11/2013  Garita, Michelle Case Number D12005355 Melbourne Magistrates' Court, pre-hearing conference


Contacting Care Park

disputes@carepark.com.au
1300 760 544

If you do not get your question answers on the above email or phone number, then call or email:
Yolanda Torrisi
Customer and Public Relations Manager
0412 261 870
yolanda@yolandatorrisi.com


Care Park media references

Ċ
Johnny Smithson,
May 14, 2014, 7:28 PM
Ċ
Johnny Smithson,
May 14, 2014, 7:28 PM
ą
Johnny Smithson,
May 14, 2014, 7:28 PM
ą
Johnny Smithson,
May 14, 2014, 7:28 PM
ą
Johnny Smithson,
May 14, 2014, 7:28 PM
Ċ
Johnny Smithson,
May 14, 2014, 7:28 PM
Ċ
Johnny Smithson,
Jun 13, 2015, 5:55 PM
Comments