But will a man who ignored years of warnings bother heeding a court order?

On 26 July, Osaka District Court awarded compensation to a convenience store in Ibaraki City, Osaka Prefecture, which was seeking damages from a man who repeatedly parked there between 2013 and 2015.

According to the store, the man lived nearby during the period in question and had left his two vehicles parked in front of the store for a total of over 11,000 hours. The store’s management gave numerous verbal and written warnings but all went ignored. As such they were seeking 9.9 million yen (US$89,000), the estimated value of parking there in addition to punitive damages from obstructing their ability to do business.

▼ This kind of reckless parking is perhaps more common that one might think. The following video shows a car left in a pay parking lot that has racked up a bill of 996,300 yen ($9,000).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the defendant failed to mount any form of defense and submitted no statements of any kind to the court. As a result, the judge decided to accept the convenience store’s complaints as they were and awarded them the bulk of what they were seeking, 9.2 million yen ($83,000).

While a legal victory for the abused business, readers of the news could easily see where this was going to lead.

“That guy’s never going to pay. Can they seize his property?”
“It would have been cheaper just to rent a parking space.”
“I wonder if he’s going to pay…”
“Hopefully that was a convenient space, because it’s going to cost him.”
“This should be a criminal case.”
“I’m a little disappointed he didn’t respond to the lawsuit. I would have liked to have heard his excuse.”
“Wow, I’ve read about murder cases where they didn’t even have to pay that much.”

The defendant certainly doesn’t seem to be the proactive type, so there will probably be some more legal wrangling to attempt to get such a large sum of money out of him. Nevertheless, it serves as another example of how conveniences stores are growing increasingly impatient with people unjustifiably using their spaces.

▼ Some stores have adopted sophisticated surveillance systems which monitor license plates and automatically bill anyone who parks for more than 20 minutes.

And with good reason too, as intrusive cars like this can block out potential paying customers. On the other hand, it isn’t all bad. These cars can also help prevent elderly people, who mistake the brake and gas pedals, from driving through the front windows, a problem that seems to happen at convenience stores with disturbing frequency recently.

Source: Jiji.com, Hachima Kiko
Images: SoraNews24