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  • FIRST POST
    • Xanthanan
    • By Xanthanan 27th Aug 16, 2:56 PM
    • 67Posts
    • 63Thanks
    Xanthanan
    Excel Parking, BW Legal and now what looks like court papers
    • #1
    • 27th Aug 16, 2:56 PM
    Excel Parking, BW Legal and now what looks like court papers 27th Aug 16 at 2:56 PM
    Back in 2014 a vehicle hired by me went into a car park to pick up an item from the back entrance of a charity shop. The driver (wasn't me and could have been anyone from a list of a few people) just went there to load and I guess tehy presumed they would get a few minutes grace as they weren't actually parking. Im told the passenger went into the shop and took a while before he came out of the shop with the manager carrying the sofa, chairs, cushions etc. which were then loaded and off they went.

    A couple of months later I got a letter from Excel parking saying I (they presumed I was the driver) had to pay a charge as I had failed to pay to park. I will have to go and find all the letters as I cant remember exactly but it was something like a 10 min 'grace period' and the driver took something like 15. There were pictures of the vehicle on the letter (or on one of the subsequent letters) but I cant remember exactly how clear they were. The letter demanded so much (maybe £60), or the charge would go up to £100 after so long and if left longer I could end up with more costs and court actions etc. I guess I should have googled better about what to do at the time but what I found meant that I thought I was already pretty 'up to speed' with what to do, simply ignore them and they will eventually go away. Numerous letters and phone calls were successfully ignored, both from Excel and then later Rossendales collect (a debt recovery company). I still managed to do what I thought was the right thing and ignore it all and they did eventually go away.

    However, earlier this year I got a new demand from BW legal, as usual demanding monies and again threatening court action and ignored it as I thought that would never happen, which brings me to today. I have now got what looks like court papers for the Northampton "County Court Business Centre". The ignore them plan appears to not work and I find myself on this forum, reading that the plan wasn't as up to date as I had hoped.

    The court papers say I have upto 14 days to respond but I have a further pressure, I am off to the USA in 5 days so I need to sort it fast. I'm tempted to pay the extortionate amount of almost £250 which is what the papers claim but I'm really not pleased it should be so costly for what was a few minutes by someone else and some out of date advice.

    Does anyone have a way forward? Even if that way forward is 'pay the money and stop moaning'
    Last edited by Xanthanan; 21-03-2017 at 9:12 PM. Reason: Added further details after reviweing 2 year old info!
Page 3
    • Marktheshark
    • By Marktheshark 22nd Nov 16, 5:22 PM
    • 5,529 Posts
    • 6,931 Thanks
    Marktheshark
    If you were a bit keener now is the time to smell blood and counter claim for your full expenses and time.
    You have them on the ropes now.
    Brexit will become whatever they invent it to be.
    • Redx
    • By Redx 22nd Nov 16, 5:22 PM
    • 14,758 Posts
    • 18,555 Thanks
    Redx
    and why are they overworked ?

    because the government was promised that POFA2012 and POPLA would bring down the amount of court cases, yet the opposite is true, the PPC,s are misusing the small claims court as enforcers in their sc@ms
    Newbies !!
    Private Parking ticket? check the 2 sticky threads by coupon-mad and crabman in the Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking Board forum for the latest advice or maybe try pepipoo or C.A.G. or legal beagles forums if you need legal advice as well because this parking forum is not about debt collectors or legal matters per se
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 19th Jan 17, 9:00 PM
    • 48,190 Posts
    • 61,655 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Thank you again for quick and very helpful replies.

    I have downloaded the POPLA report and the section on keeper liability is very interesting and does touch briefly on hirers of vehicles which is my particular involvement. It makes it pretty clear that the keeper (be it owner, hirer or registered keeper) cannot be 'reasonably presumed' to be the driver with which the parking company has their 'contract' with.

    This afternoon I spoke to a rather stressed sounding helpdesk agent for MCOL and they have confirmed that my case has been stayed. However, having read through Lamilad's thread he had similar which all got reversed when the courts re-activated his case after discovering a letter that came from the claimant (or their solicitor) which was supposedly lost (left unopened) in an overworked court system. I realise that could happen to me even a month after the auto-stay so am not holding my breath. Also I realise they could pay the fee to reactivate the case at any time.

    I did try to ask if that 'lost letter' scenario could also happen to me but the overworked agent pretty much misunderstood my question twice and then said goodbye, oh well, he certainly sounded like he wanted to get finished for the day!
    Originally posted by Xanthanan
    Did the case proceed, Xanthanan? The defence was solid and covered the bases but I am concerned some other posters think the defence is all they need to do, then rock up at a hearing months later with little paperwork in between. Nope.

    Just a reminder to others reading this and facing imminent court hearings NOT to overlook that you must file a Witness Statement and the evidence (typically including signage photos, case law and court transcripts that support the defence, Schedule 4 of the POFA with dates and para 8(2)f or 9(2)f highlighted, Henry Greenslade's wording from the POPLA Annual Report 2015 about 'Understanding Keeper Liability'..etc.).
    PRIVATE PCN in England/Wales? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT

    Click on the trail, top of this page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    DON'T read old advice to ignore, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • Xanthanan
    • By Xanthanan 14th Feb 17, 8:00 PM
    • 67 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    Xanthanan
    Apologies for failing to respond, my fault for so blindly assuming I could put it to rest, today the court letter finally arrived. It appears the game is now back afoot and I need to compile the complete defence, respond to the court paperwork and get my head back around a subject I don't have much understanding of.

    Firstly, the apologies are in particular for Marktheshark, Redx and Coupon-Mad, all of which deserved far more than my lack of replies, but also to anyone else reading this and wondering what the heck to do. Looks like this thread could be a complete record of the whole process, even though I hoped it was finished with back in November.

    So there are two things I need to deal with immediately.

    1. The letter from the courts was NOT sealed and open when delivered through the letterbox. I have no idea if anything is missing, am I best to enquire about the contents with the 'very rushed helpline'? Is there any way this could extend dates or even permanently put the case aside? (is that the right term even?)
    2. Should I enquire if the 'auto-stay' was removed through courts presuming the lost the correspondence or if the client paid the necessary fee?

    Also I need to re-read what to do next (my goldfish like memory doesn't help here) and I accept I need to get my finger out with that.

    I have now completed the DQ form with the exception of the mediation question (A1) and I presume it is better (and viewed in a more positive light) if you agree to mediation, even if the mediation fails to reach an agreement.

    The next hassle will be to get it photocopied (I work from home so no copier) and send copies to Excel and BW legal.
    Last edited by Xanthanan; 21-03-2017 at 8:55 PM. Reason: Added info and a question about the DQ form
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 15th Feb 17, 1:38 AM
    • 48,190 Posts
    • 61,655 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    No to Mediation, every time. You probably need to re-read bargepole's posts as linked under 'Small Claim?' in the NEWBIES thread because he explains the stages an the paperwork and which boxes to tick. NOT Mediation!

    You only need to send a copy to BW Legal and the Court (BW Legal acting for Exxcel means you don't have to deal with Excel as well).
    PRIVATE PCN in England/Wales? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT

    Click on the trail, top of this page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    DON'T read old advice to ignore, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • Xanthanan
    • By Xanthanan 15th Feb 17, 12:25 PM
    • 67 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    Xanthanan
    Understood, thank you for the response, will sort this evening and do some further re-reading
    • Xanthanan
    • By Xanthanan 17th Feb 17, 5:25 PM
    • 67 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    Xanthanan
    I finally managed to speak to the MCOL helpline today and they confirmed that nothing was missing from the unsealed letter, what they sent is what I received.

    When asked why the case should have been stayed in October and then magically revived over three months later the agent said that the claimant (BW Legal I presume) had sent a list of claims (mine included) within the original timeframe and it was somehow 'missed' by the courts.

    They were asked to provide evidence that the letter was sent and apparently they did. Anyone can fake a document to be honest and in my opinion it wouldn't have been beyond them to do that. What needs to be seen is the original letter received by the court (hopefully stamped with a 'received by' date) and that is the only undisputed proof that could be trusted.

    However without the court releasing that stamped document as evidence I couldn't prove it myself, merely speculate. Is it worth pursuing?
    Last edited by Xanthanan; 21-03-2017 at 8:55 PM.
    • Xanthanan
    • By Xanthanan 15th Mar 17, 1:26 AM
    • 67 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    Xanthanan
    Continuing to build my defence pack with evidence and a WS that's growing by the day. I have had allocation to Bradford CC confirmed but no further letters about dates or other stuff yet.


    I PM'd Lamilad earlier as he had a similar case and I read he is keen to help out, my real worry is the personal organisation and paperwork side of being in the court which he can help me with. I don't want to drop the ball procedurally or with bad paperwork when I have what looks like a good case otherwise.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 15th Mar 17, 2:38 PM
    • 48,190 Posts
    • 61,655 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Hopefully Lamilad may be able to assist in some way.
    PRIVATE PCN in England/Wales? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT

    Click on the trail, top of this page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    DON'T read old advice to ignore, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • Lamilad
    • By Lamilad 15th Mar 17, 7:44 PM
    • 698 Posts
    • 1,529 Thanks
    Lamilad
    I PM'd Lamilad earlier as he had a similar case and I read he is keen to help out, my real worry is the personal organisation and paperwork side of being in the court which he can help me with. I don't want to drop the ball procedurally or with bad paperwork when I have what looks like a good case otherwise.
    Originally posted by Xanthanan
    I wouldn't worry too much about this particular aspect. Yes, it's important to present things in an organised fashion but you don't need to go out spending a fortune on expensive stationary.

    It's more important to know where everything is so you can grab it quickly if you need it.

    Present your paginated bundle in a file (basic ring binder or similar) and use numbered dividers to separate the various docs.

    Include an index page at the front like the one I used:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/34qrh62gz7jb277/Court%20Bundle%20Index%20%284%29.docx?dl=0

    You should number every page in the file sequentially, from no. 1 right through to whatever the last page is. So you can say 'here you'll find on page 66 [a picture of Simon Renshaw-Smith being bludgeoned to death by Lamilad]'

    Basically, You want your file to be easy to navigate and easy for the judge to follow.
    • Xanthanan
    • By Xanthanan 15th Mar 17, 8:02 PM
    • 67 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    Xanthanan
    Thanks both, your advice is very reassuring and I must owe the contents of a micro brewery, a small vineyard and the local greasy spoon's tea urn (pick refreshment of your choice) to all of the people who have got me this far.

    Last night I made up a nice walkthrough of POF and how it applied to my case as a handy guide to refer to (and it helped me actually understand the flow). I was very proud of it even though it was only in a notepad document, however, saving it would have been a good idea as I went to bed late and woke up to a locked up PC this morning... Oh dear, I left it all day but it didn't come back!...

    It should be good practice to repeat the exercise later tonight (after some TV) and this time in MS Word for better production values and a chance of it being saved in a crash
    Last edited by Xanthanan; 21-03-2017 at 8:56 PM. Reason: speeling is hurd
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 15th Mar 17, 10:35 PM
    • 48,190 Posts
    • 61,655 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    You should number every page in the file sequentially, from no. 1 right through to whatever the last page is. So you can say 'here you'll find on page 66 [a picture of Simon Renshaw-Smith being bludgeoned to death by Lamilad]'
    Originally posted by Lamilad


    Last night I made up a nice walkthrough of POF and how it applied to my case as a handy guide to refer to (and it helped me actually understand the flow). I was very proud of it even though it was only in a notepad document, however, saving it would have been a good idea as I went to bed late and woke up to a Locked up PC this morning... Oh dear, I left it all day but it didn't come back!...
    Can you find it under recent documents?
    PRIVATE PCN in England/Wales? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT

    Click on the trail, top of this page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    DON'T read old advice to ignore, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • Xanthanan
    • By Xanthanan 15th Mar 17, 11:17 PM
    • 67 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    Xanthanan
    Can you find it under recent documents?
    Originally posted by Coupon-mad
    No Im afraid not, it was an untitled notepad document, typed but never saved, if I had saved it somewhere along the line I would have been able to at least get the saved one back but alas, I'm bad at computering despite being 'in the trade' and was unlucky

    Its a good test to go through the exercise again ... it will help me feel more confident when talking about the process in front of people that know legal stuff far better than I.

    I also had 3 unsaved spreadsheets, 4 unsaved Word documents and around 20 browser windows / tabs open at the time. After the reset (I had to reboot to unfreeze the PC) I could recover the Word and Excel documents as saving backups is something they do automatically, the browser tabs can be found from history if needed but the notepad doc had fallen on the floor and all the 1's and 0's sank into the carpet.
    Last edited by Xanthanan; 21-03-2017 at 8:56 PM.
    • Xanthanan
    • By Xanthanan 25th Mar 17, 9:25 PM
    • 67 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    Xanthanan
    OK so the production of my witness statement and defence has progressed reasonably well over the last few weeks in my opinion, but it does all seem to be one fat document rather then two separate ones. Should the witness statement be short and to the point whereas the defence is more describing and introducing the 'arguments for the defence' before presenting evidence where applicable?

    Its becoming more apparent that my defence is one of two halves and it should be all over in the first half...
    1st Half, I wasn't the driver, they didn't use POFA. I have proof of both so I should win on this alone.
    2nd Half (If necessary) Judge believes the Excel 'assumption' that I was the driver so I argue primarily on failures of CoP (they were BPA at the time) for grace periods (I'll be doing a video), lack of contract for loading / unloading activities and a few other lesser points. I don't see why I should need to argue about a scenario that didn't happen but it would be unfair for me to have no defence if I fail to convince the Judge I was working at hone when it all happened.

    My court date arrived by post today, I am due to appear in early May giving me a couple more weeks to get the defence / WS / combined doc / whatever it ends up to be, into a reasonable state. Then I would be starting a cycle of getting feedback from you guys, amending / updating / representing & getting more feedback. This should allow me time to concentrate on printing / copying / mailing in the last couple of weeks in April as documents must be served 14 days before the hearing.

    The letter from the court states the case is suitable for mediation and then explains how to use that service, it doesn't suggest what to do if I DONT want to use the service, I presume I just ignore it if I don't want to use it. I understand opinions amongst the forum regulars about the mediation service and how useful it is (or isn't) and the only outcome I would accept was a complete drop of the claim anyway.

    I re-did that run through of how POFA worked for my case and its not bad (in my opinion). Is there anywhere I can put it for opinions without it being a bit too 'public' and in danger of prying eyes?

    I've started looking at the case law point referenced in other defences that I can use and I have been confused by this from Lamilads transcript (Its very similar to my circumstances)

    From Item 7 of Lamilads judgement transcript:
    "R (on the application of Duff) v Secretary of State for Transport [2015] EWHC 1605. That decision states clearly that there is no presumption in law that the registered keeper of a vehicle is the driver."

    Despite looking through it a number of times I cant see where it says that, even in a roundabout manner. Am I looking at the right document? (There are a few on pranksters case law pages) Is it that the language is too legal for my brain? How am I being so dim?

    Other than that I seem to have found the relevant info for most of the other references in the various defence points from my original basic defence from last year.

    Once I'm finished with the final defence / WS etc. where can I put it for comment or is it best directly passed around to a few helpful (if seriously overworked) forum veterans?
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 26th Mar 17, 12:47 AM
    • 48,190 Posts
    • 61,655 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Should the witness statement be short and to the point whereas the defence is more describing and introducing the 'arguments for the defence' before presenting evidence where applicable?
    Yes but it doesn't really matter in small claims as long as it is clear in bullet points, numbered and with numbered pages and line spaced for ease of reading.

    Its becoming more apparent that my defence is one of two halves and it should be all over in the first half...
    1st Half, I wasn't the driver, they didn't use POFA. I have proof of both so I should win on this alone.
    2nd Half (If necessary) Judge believes the Excel 'assumption' that I was the driver so I argue primarily on failures of CoP (they were BPA at the time) for grace periods (I'll be doing a video), lack of contract for loading / unloading activities and a few other lesser points. I don't see why I should need to argue about a scenario that didn't happen but it would be unfair for me to have no defence if I fail to convince the Judge I was working at hone when it all happened.
    I agree, that sounds like a good running plan.


    From Item 7 of Lamilads judgement transcript:
    "R (on the application of Duff) v Secretary of State for Transport [2015] EWHC 1605. That decision states clearly that there is no presumption in law that the registered keeper of a vehicle is the driver."

    Despite looking through it a number of times I cant see where it says that, even in a roundabout manner. Am I looking at the right document? (There are a few on pranksters case law pages) Is it that the language is too legal for my brain? How am I being so dim?
    You are not being dim, we couldn't understand it either! The Judge was in fact talking about Henry Greenslade's words from the POPLA Annual Report 2015, a page which lamilad included in his bundle. The POPLA Annual report page happens to have reference to "R (on the application of Duff) v Secretary of State for Transport [2015] EWHC 1605 as a note at the bottom and we think the Judge looked at that!
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 26-03-2017 at 12:50 AM.
    PRIVATE PCN in England/Wales? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT

    Click on the trail, top of this page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    DON'T read old advice to ignore, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • Lamilad
    • By Lamilad 26th Mar 17, 3:08 PM
    • 698 Posts
    • 1,529 Thanks
    Lamilad
    for grace periods (I'll be doing a video)
    If you submitting a video as evidence then you'll need to ring the court and let them know so they can ensure the necessary equipment is made available for you to play it. They may tell you to bring the equipment such as a laptop. They'll also want to know the format - avi, mpeg4 etc.

    And you'll still need to serve this evidence on BWL. An email attachment would obviously be the easiest way.
    • Xanthanan
    • By Xanthanan 27th Mar 17, 8:57 PM
    • 67 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    Xanthanan
    Thank you both, that's helped settle the nerves again and helps me feel like I'm on the right track. I did start to break the wall of text into two separate documents so I will keep on with that and see how it looks once its done.

    I plan to do a fully timed transcript of the video as well as having it ready to show (after arranging facilities with the court as necessary) but I really hope that the transcript and timings within it should be convincing enough without sitting through what will most likely be a rather amateur production. I'll be more than happy to show it, but what a waste of time it would be when its all neatly summarised on a piece of A4.
    • claretmad62
    • By claretmad62 27th Mar 17, 10:41 PM
    • 184 Posts
    • 160 Thanks
    claretmad62
    Page 13 on the 2015 Popla annual report, last paragraph and note at the end of the page if you were still searching...
    • Xanthanan
    • By Xanthanan 27th Mar 17, 11:33 PM
    • 67 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    Xanthanan
    Thank you Claretmad62, I now see the note applied to the bottom of page 13 about "The Queen (on the application of Duff) -v- Secretary of State for Transport [2015] EWHC 1605 (Admin)". The section in the main body of the report that it refers to makes perfect sense to me now having read that darn long judgement at least 3 times!! lol

    I am using extracts from pages 12 and 13 both for keeper (and hirer) liability as well as the 'presumption' of the driver in my defence thanks to all of the brilliant guidance given earlier in the thread.
    • Xanthanan
    • By Xanthanan 5th Apr 17, 3:30 AM
    • 67 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    Xanthanan
    I plan to do a fully timed transcript of the video as well as having it ready to show (after arranging facilities with the court as necessary) but I really hope that the transcript and timings within it should be convincing enough without sitting through what will most likely be a rather amateur production. I'll be more than happy to show it, but what a waste of time it would be when its all neatly summarised on a piece of A4.
    Originally posted by Xanthanan
    So I did the recording over the weekend and ended up with a video and transcript that shows it takes considerably longer than Excel allow in their signs. I used a 7 day free trial of Adobe Premier pro to edit the video and its done a nice job to say I'd never done that before (I may have enjoyed doing that a bit TOO much!). I also learnt the following from watching the video too many times during the editing...

    1. I'm terribly rude to my other half, especially as she was an unpaid helper doing it from the goodness of her heart. I don't talk to her very nicely and never realised that before
    2. I will never be an actor or a TV presenter, too ugly and forgetful!
    3. It takes quite a time to walk around a pretty small car park and read all of the signs. I ignored duplicates and read / walked at a reasonable pace.

    So is this video something that must be kept secret (at least until after the hearing) or can I upload it somewhere without making it invalid as evidence?

    I'd also like to upload WS, defence doc and various other homemade exhibits (like that POFA run through) for comment but want to avoid doing anything that may be deemed wrong in the courts eyes.
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