Supreme Court torpedoes license plate parking
Today, the Supreme Court issued a important statement In an individual case surrounding license plate parking: parkers cannot be required to enter their license plate number when parking. If a person can prove that he paid for his parking space, any parking fine should be annulled. This puts the parking policies of Amsterdam and numerous other Dutch municipalities in jeopardy for good. Privacy First considers this a major victory in the fight for more privacy in public spaces.
Privacy First has for years been calling on citizens to oppose license plate parking through the model notice of objection on our website. This objection letter has now been downloaded thousands of times and is constantly used successfully.
Early 2015 Privacy First chairman Bas Filippini already won his own lawsuit against the municipality of Amsterdam over license plate parking. Our president had deliberately not entered a license plate number when parking, as this violated the right to privacy in the sense of anonymity in public spaces. The Amsterdam court subsequently ruled that if a parker did not enter a license plate number but had demonstrably paid, no parking fine should be imposed. Parking manager Cition BV (now Egis Parking Services, municipality of Amsterdam) deliberately did not appeal this ruling, but did so in a number of other, similar lawsuits by individual citizens without a lawyer. This cowardly tactic by Cition cost the municipality of Amsterdam dearly in late 2015: in about eight similar cases, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal came to the same conclusion as the Amsterdam District Court earlier in the Privacy First case (followed by the Supreme Court today in another similar case). It is now up to Amsterdam (and all other Dutch municipalities) to adjust its parking policy after all: voluntary rather than mandatory introduction of license plates in parking!
Privacy First additionally urges the reintroduction of cash or other anonymous means of payment, such as an anonymous parking card. In this regard, Privacy First will soon take further legal action to abolish license plate parking altogether.
Update 4 March 2016, some of the news reports in recent days:
Telegraph.co.uk, 26 February 2016: Supreme Court puts line through license plate parking.
Telegraph.co.uk, 26 February 2016: Privacy First pleased with Supreme Court ruling (via ANP).
Telegraph.co.uk, 26 February 2016: Rotterdam ignores ban on license plate parking.
AT5, 26 February 2016: Supreme Court puts pressure on license plate parking.
NOS.co.uk, 26 February 2016: Entering license plate number for parking ticket not mandatory.
RTLNews.co.uk, 26 February 2016: Wrong license plate number in paid parking no reason for fine.
NU.co.uk, 26 February 2016: Supreme Court puts line through license plate parking.
AD.co.uk, 26 February 2016: No parking fine for incorrectly entering license plate number.
Metronieuws.co.uk, 26 February 2016: Wrong registration number entered when parking? No fine!
Parool.nl, 26 February 2016: Supreme Court puts pressure on license plate parking.
Gemeente.nu, 26 February 2016: Supreme Court bans license plate parking.
RTVNH.nl, 26 February 2016: Dash through license plate parking: in these municipalities you have privacy again.
News.co.uk, 26 February 2016: Supreme Court ruling: end to license plate parking?
Domestic Administration, 27 February 2016: License plate parking gets crunch from Supreme Court.
TROSRadar.co.uk, 27 February 2016: License plate parking gets crunch from Supreme Court.
Also published in the Volkskrant, Trouw, BN/De Stem, De Stentor, Brabants Dagblad, Dagblad van het Noorden, Twentsche Courant Tubantia, Gooi- en Eemlander, Gelderlander, Eindhovens Dagblad, Haarlems Dagblad, IJmuider Courant, Leeuwarder Courant, Leidsch Dagblad, Noordhollands Dagblad, Provinciale Zeeuwse Courant & Reformatorisch Dagblad.
Radio: brief response Privacy First to BNR News Radio and interviews Privacy First at RTV Utrecht, Radio Rijnmond (mp3) and Amsterdam FM, 26 February 2016. The interview at Radio Rijnmond revealed that Rotterdam essentially disregards the Supreme Court ruling, as is correct reported by the Telegraph. Privacy First considers this position of the Rotterdam municipality reprehensible and contrary to the trias politica. We hope the Rotterdam city council will soon put a stop to this and revamp Rotterdam's parking policy. If not, all that remains for Rotterdam is another go to court. Below is the entire interview with Privacy First chairman Bas Filippini and a spokesperson from the Rotterdam municipality on Radio Rijnmond:
Written questions Rotterdam city council following Supreme Court ruling, 1 March 2016: click HERE (original in pdf).
RTV Utrecht, 3 March 2016: Utrecht councillors push for anonymous parking.
AD.co.uk, 3 March 2016: Utrecht plans to introduce anonymous parking in the city.
The Stentor, 5 March 2016: License plate parking Zwolle under fire.
The Stentor, 7 March 2016: Research into cost of retaining paper parking ticket Zwolle.
Telegraph.co.uk, 10 March 2016: 'Clarification on license plate parking'.
Update 3 June 2016: today, the Supreme Court left intact the Amsterdam Court of Appeal's ruling that a parker may refuse to enter his/her license plate number for privacy reasons; click HERE. The relevant judgment of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal dated 5 Nov 2015 can be found HERE. This shows once again that the introduction of a license plate for parking should never be made compulsory, as long as the parker in question pays (demonstrably) for his/her parking space.