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  • FIRST POST
    • presc
    • By presc 29th Nov 16, 3:34 PM
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    presc
    Parking Ticket - Overstayed 6mins
    • #1
    • 29th Nov 16, 3:34 PM
    Parking Ticket - Overstayed 6mins 29th Nov 16 at 3:34 PM
    Hi,

    I got a parking ticket today for overstaying on a private car park (ES Parking Enforcement LTD) for 6 mins. I tried to find someone I could talk to, but I only bumped in on a Civil Enforcement Officer from a local council. The person I talked to said that it was illegal for the parking company to give me a ticket for overstaying for 6mins, and that it needs "10mins observation" to issue a penalty.

    The officer even made a note for me, including her registration number, so I can quote her when dealing with the parking company.

    I was wondering if someone could help me figure out what would be the best approach to solve this - was the parking company right to issue me a ticket? Is referencing a local officer going to enforce my appeal? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Page 3
    • Redx
    • By Redx 30th Mar 17, 2:03 PM
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    Redx
    yes, that link works fine and also allows people to download the doc file as a pdf (which I have just tested and done by opening the downloaded pdf in adobe reader)

    thank you
    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
    • presc
    • By presc 30th Mar 17, 8:22 PM
    • 21 Posts
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    presc
    Ok, I will stick to this thread, not a problem, and yes, the claim form came from Northampton.

    Thanks for the link. This one works fine.

    I didn't fill in the online application yet, because there's a few things I wanted to figure out first:
    First thing is quite complicated - the claim is not personally for me, but rather for my mother. Her English is not that great, so I usually type stuff for her in the thread - I didn't mention it before because it didn't feel relevant (here or for the case) and for simplicity.

    My partner had a similar parking ticket situation, and she recommended the forum to me. Her case didn't go further than a couple of debt collectors letters, so I hoped for the same here. Seeing the claim makes it quite more complicated - if it eventually does go to the court, my mother won't be able to defend herself, unless with a translator - but even then I have a feeling that a lot of things may get lost in translation. I was wondering that if I would be able to act on her behalf at the court (if the case went that far)?

    As well as that, I also wondered if this changes anything in filing in the application, specially the parts about:
    "Statement of Truth" - should I selected "I am a Litigation Friend" instead of "I am the defendant"?
    Should I select "Contest Jurisdiction"? My mother is a resident in UK, so I'm still not sure if that box is relevant.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 31st Mar 17, 12:28 AM
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    Coupon-mad
    if it eventually does go to the court, my mother won't be able to defend herself, unless with a translator...I was wondering that if I would be able to act on her behalf at the court (if the case went that far)?
    Yes you can act as Lay Rep unless the Judge is as awful as the two at Wigan and Liverpool this week (rare). You can find examples of threads here by Lay Reps, e.g. search for and read Gin and Milk's thread. She acted as Lay Rep for her husband and won (Defendant MUST attend court with the Lay Rep!).


    should I selected "I am a Litigation Friend" instead of "I am the defendant"?
    Eeeek NONONO! It does not go in your name! I hope your acknowledged in HER name?! If not then that's not a properly filed AOS.


    Should I select "Contest Jurisdiction"?
    Surely that is answered in the AOS guide and in bargepole's post about how to fill the forms in (one of the links in the NEWBIES thread post #2 about what happens when). NEVER contest jurisdiction unless the defendant lives outside England/Wales.

    OK, so at least you aren't doing this in your name now. Someone lost on pepipoo recently despite a decent defence, after making that rookie error and putting his name on the defence as the defendant was disabled and he was her carer. Felt sorry for them but (common sense) think about it, the Defendant is the person to sign a defence, no third party can do that, it's a legal form, you can't put your name on it instead.
    PRIVATE PCN in England/Wales? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT

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    • presc
    • By presc 31st Mar 17, 4:55 PM
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    presc
    Thanks for the info. It's good to know that if it comes to it, I can represent my mother in the court.

    No worries, I didn't acknowledge in my name.

    Sure, that makes sense. I was just making sure.

    I've sent the AOS. I will start digging in into the defense threads and will post a draft here, once I have something figured. Many thanks!
    • presc
    • By presc 15th Apr 17, 4:15 PM
    • 21 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    presc
    Hi, I have managed to put a first draft of the defence together. I looked around the forums, and stuck together bits from other defence letters that seemed like could work with my own case. I also added bits for my case particularly.

    To make it easier to go through, I placed some of my comments/questions in blue throughout the letter.

    I know it’s Easter and people have better things to do, but any help would be greatly appreciated.
    -------------

    Statement of Defence

    I am XXXXX, defendant in this matter and deny liability for the entirety of the claim for the following reasons:

    1. It is admitted that the Defendant was the authorised registered keeper of the vehicle in question at the time of the alleged incident.

    2. The identity of the driver of the vehicle on the date in question has not been ascertained.
    a) The Claimant did not identify the driver.
    b) The Defendant has no liability, as they are the Keeper of the vehicle and the Claimant must rely upon the strict provisions of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 in order to hold the defendant responsible for the driver’s alleged breach.

    3. The full details of the contract which it is alleged was broken have not been provided.
    a) The Claimant has disclosed no cause of action to give rise to any debt.
    b) The Claimant has stated that a parking charge was incurred.

    The claim simply states: “The driver of the vehicle registration XXXXX incurred the parking charge(s) on XXX for breaching the terms of parking on the land at XXXXX.”

    The claimant fails to comply with International Parking Community Code of Practice regarding the grace periods:
    “15.1 Drivers should be allowed a sufficient amount of time to park and read any signs so the may make an informed decision as to whether or not to remain on the site.
    15.2 Drivers should be allowed a sufficient amount of time to leave a site after a pre-paid or permitted period of parking has expired.”

    Parking Charge Notice was issued 6mins after the pre-paid ticket has expired, a time which can be believed as not unreasonable to read the signs and/or to make a decision whether to purchase another parking ticket or leave the area.

    Signage on the land does not state that Grace Periods do not comply on the particular parking area at XXXXX [image of signage on the parking].

    What’s interesting, is that the first notice to keep has “Reason of Issue: Exceeded maximum allocated or pre-paid time”, whereas the claim itself has generic “driver has incurred the parking charge(s)” formula. Not sure if they have to state the “reason” on the claim if it was previously stated on NTK, but I would imagine this could somehow support the idea of “robo-claim” on the Gladstones side.

    Also, not sure if mentioning the Grace Periods makes much sense, when the claim just generalizes the charges, not mentioning the reason.

    4. The defendant wrote to the claimant on xxxxx asking for:
    i) Full particulars of the parking charges
    ii) Who the party was that contracted with ES Parking.
    Iii) The full legal identity of the landowner
    iv) A full copy of the contract with the landholder that demonstrated that ES Parking had their authority.
    v) If the charges were based on damages for breach of contract and if so to provide justification of this sum
    vi) If the charge was based on a contractually agreed sum for the provision of parking and If so to provide a valid VAT invoice for this 'service'.
    vii) To provide a copy of the signs that ES Parking can evidence were on site and which contended formed a contract with the driver on that occasion, as well as all photographs taken of the vehicle in question.

    The claimant has not responded. Withholding any relevant photos of the car, particularly the windscreen and dashboard, and the signage terms, despite being asked for by the Defendant at the outset, is against the SRA code as well as contrary to the ‘overriding objective’ in the pre action protocol. As Gladstones are a firm of solicitors whose Directors also run the IPC Trade Body and deal with private parking issues every single day of the week there can be no excuse for these omissions.

    I actually written to them twice: once right after seeing the ticket on the window, and second time when I got NTK.

    I would be tempted (not sure if correctly though) to point out that the first letter I’ve sent was tracked and they never received it, as to proof they neglect it on purpose. The second time I’ve sent them a letter, it was not tracked but I do have a proof of postage. I would try to point out that “what are the chances of Royal Mail failing to deliver a letter twice”, but it does seem like a little bit weak defence?

    Further to that, my partner also had a similar problem and she also had written to them with no response. Not sure if that bears any importance (probably none), but I have seen people quoting other cases in their defenses.


    5. The Claimant’s solicitors are known to be a serial issuer of generic claims similar to this one, with no due diligence, no scrutiny of details nor even checking for a true cause of action.
    HMCS have identified over 1000 similar poorly produced claims and the solicitor's conduct in many of these cases is believed to be currently the subject of an active investigation by the SRA. I believe the term for such conduct is ‘robo-claims’ which is against the public interest, demonstrates a disregard for the dignity of the court and is unfair on unrepresented consumers. I have reason to believe that this is a claim that will proceed without any facts or evidence supplied until the last possible minute, to my significant detriment as an unrepresented Defendant.

    I suggest that parking companies using the small claims track as a form of aggressive, automated debt collection is not something the courts should be seen to support.

    6. ES Parking Enforcements are not the lawful occupier of the land. I have the reasonable belief that they do not have the authority to issue charges on this land in their own name and that they have no rights to bring this case.
    a) The Claimant is not the landowner and is merely an agent acting on behalf of the landowner and has failed to demonstrate their legal standing to form a contract.
    b) The claimant is not the landowner and suffers no loss whatsoever as a result of a vehicle parking at the location in question
    c) The Claimant is put to proof that it has sufficient interest in the land or that there are specific terms in its contract to bring an action on its own behalf. As a third party agent, the Claimant may not pursue any charge. I have the reasonable belief that they do not have the authority to issue charges on this land in their own name and that they have no right to bring action regarding this claim.

    7. The Claimant has sent threatening and misleading demands which stated that further debt recovery action would be taken to recover what is owed by passing the debt to a ‘local’ recovery agent (which suggested to the Defendant they would be calling round like bailiffs) adding further unexplained charges of £25 to the original £100 with no evidence of how this extra charge has been calculated. No figure for additional charges was 'agreed' nor could it have formed part of the alleged 'contract' because no such indemnity costs were quantified on the signs. Terms cannot be bolted on later with figures plucked out of thin air, as if they were
    incorporated into the small print when they were not. This appears to be an added cost with no apparently no qualification and an attempt at double recovery, which the POFA Schedule 4 specifically disallows.
    b) The Defendant also disputes that the Claimant has incurred £50 solicitor costs.
    c) The Defendant has the reasonable belief that the Claimant has not incurred £50 costs to pursue an alleged £100 debt.
    d) Notwithstanding the Defendant's belief, the costs are in any case not recoverable.
    e) The Claimant described the charge of £50.00 "legal fees" not "contractual costs".
    CPR 27.14 does not permit these to be recovered in the Small Claims Court.

    The Protection of Freedom Act Para 4(5) states that the maximum sum that may be recovered from the keeper is the charge stated on the Notice to Keeper.


    Note: writing this up, and going through all the paperwork, I think I may have messed this up big time - I totally missed to respond to their “Letter before claim” from the Gladstones, which mentioned that I had 2 weeks to acknowledge and reply to them. Not sure how big of an impact it’s going to have now.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 15th Apr 17, 8:52 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    You don't have to respond to a LBC, your mother was worried and just missed the chance and the claim arrived before she could respond. and yes, she should state that she replied twice to the unwarranted charge letters during 2016. She can rely upon the Interpretations Act which deems that a letter put in the post 1st class is deemed delivered two working days later unless proved to the contrary (and you have proof of posting).

    So definitely mention the appeals made in good faith, which were completely ignored.

    This should be expanded:
    Parking Charge Notice was issued 6mins after the pre-paid ticket has expired, a time which can be believed as is not unreasonable to read the signs and/or to make a decision whether to purchase another parking ticket or leave the area. This is supported by the fact that a minimum grace period of at least ten minutes after expiry of paid-for time was introduced as the standard benchmark in the UK in 2015. Both private parking Trade Bodies amended their Codes of Practice to suit; a fact that this Claimant and their legal representative, Gladstones, is well aware of, given that Gladstones is run by the same controlling minds behind the IPC.

    This operator is in breach of the IPC code of Practice in issuing this charge after just six minutes (a time not even proven because the operator's watch is not routinely synchronised to the Pay and Display machines).
    You appear to have quoted the IPC Code of Practice wrongly. it defines ten minutes as the minimum:

    https://theipc.info/uploads/vjnl0XFpge5CLwGPL3dN-KbdoEvOKUccAjn36Cbetwo/Amended%20Code%20of%20Practice%2001.10.2016.pdf

    ''15. Grace Periods
    15.1 Drivers should be allowed a sufficient amount of time to park and read any signs so they may make an informed decision as to whether or not to remain on the site. Drivers must be allowed a minimum period of 10 minutes to leave a site after a prepaid or permitted period of parking has expired.

    The reference to 10 minutes in 15.2 above shall not apply where the period of pre-paid or permitted parking does not exceed 1 hour providing that the signage on the site makes it clear to the motorist, in a prominent font, that no grace period applies on that land.''

    If your Mum (the keeper) was the driver or passenger, does she have mobility problems that could be mentioned as well?

    If she wasn't the driver the defence should say so (remember the statement of truth and to get her to sign this, all in her name (not you).
    PRIVATE PCN in England/Wales? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT

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    DON'T read old advice to ignore, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • presc
    • By presc 18th Apr 17, 7:53 PM
    • 21 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    presc
    Thank you, I have made the changes to the defense letter.

    Few questions though:
    My mother doesn't have any mobility problems and she was the driver at the time. From what I understand, I should not mention that she was a driver? Or...

    Just for clarity:
    The claim doesn't explain why she got the ticket, but then I go and talk about the grace periods, meaning that she clearly knows she overstayed, also meaning she must have been the driver. So in that case, is it better to say that she was the driver and explain why she has overstayed?

    Also, the previous letters from the PPC mentioned the reason for the ticket, but the claim does not. It does seem like an opportunity to mention that the claim was a "robo-claim".
    • presc
    • By presc 20th Apr 17, 8:49 PM
    • 21 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    presc
    Ok, here's an updated version of the defence. The points where I added the changes are mainly 3, 4 and 5.

    I also was wondering: Should I include all the photos when sending this letter (I imagine that's a yes?) and should they have be named accordingly and mentioned appropriately in the main body of the text? E.g. Appendix 1,2,3...?

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Statement of Defence

    I am XXXXX, defendant in this matter and deny liability for the entirety of the claim for the following reasons:

    1. It is admitted that the Defendant was the authorised registered keeper of the vehicle in question at the time of the alleged incident.

    2. The identity of the driver of the vehicle on the date in question has not been ascertained.
    a) The Claimant did not identify the driver.
    b) The Defendant has no liability, as they are the Keeper of the vehicle and the Claimant must rely upon the strict provisions of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 in order to hold the defendant responsible for the driver’s alleged breach.

    3. The full details of the contract which it is alleged was broken have not been provided.
    a) The Claimant has disclosed no cause of action to give rise to any debt.
    b) The Claimant has stated that a parking charge was incurred.

    The claim simply states: “The driver of the vehicle registration XXXXX incurred the parking charge(s) on XXX for breaching the terms of parking on the land at XXXXX.”

    The claimant fails to comply with International Parking Community Code of Practice regarding the grace periods:
    “15.1 Drivers should be allowed a sufficient amount of time to park and read any signs so they may make an informed decision as to whether or not to remain on the site.
    15.2 Drivers must be allowed a minimum period of 10 minutes to leave a site after a prepaid or permitted period of parking has expired.
    15.3 The reference to 10 minutes in 15.2 above shall not apply where the period of pre-paid or permitted parking does not exceed 1 hour providing that the signage on the site makes it clear to the motorist, in a prominent font, that no grace period applies on that land.”


    Parking Charge Notice was issued six minutes after the pre-paid ticket has expired, a time which is not unreasonable. This is supported by the fact that a minimum grace period of at least ten minutes after expiry of paid-for time was introduced as the standard benchmark in the UK in 2015. Both private parking Trade Bodies amended their Codes of Practice to suit; a fact that this Claimant and their legal representative, Gladstones, is well aware of, given that Gladstones is run by the same controlling minds behind the IPC.

    This operator is in breach of the IPC code of Practice in issuing this charge after just six minutes (a time not even proven because the operator's watch is not routinely synchronised to the Pay and Display machines).

    Signage on the land does not state that Grace Periods do not comply on the particular parking area at XXXXX [image of signage on the parking].


    4. The defendant wrote to the claimant two different occasions (on XXXX and XXXX) trying to appeal and resolve the situation. The defendant asked for:
    i) Full particulars of the parking charges
    ii) Who the party was that contracted with ES Parking.
    Iii) The full legal identity of the landowner
    iv) A full copy of the contract with the landholder that demonstrated that ES Parking had their authority.
    v) If the charges were based on damages for breach of contract and if so to provide justification of this sum
    vi) If the charge was based on a contractually agreed sum for the provision of parking and If so to provide a valid VAT invoice for this 'service'.
    vii) To provide a copy of the signs that ES Parking can evidence were on site and which contended formed a contract with the driver on that occasion, as well as all photographs taken of the vehicle in question.

    The claimant has not responded to any of the letters, despite the fact that postal service is their preferred way of receiving correspondence. According to Interpretations Act 1987, I believe that the appeals I send to the claimant were received but simply ignored. The claimant withheld any relevant photos of the car, particularly the windscreen and dashboard, and the signage terms, despite being asked for by the Defendant at the outset. It’s against the SRA code as well as contrary to the ‘overriding objective’ in the pre action protocol. As Gladstones are a firm of solicitors whose Directors also run the IPC Trade Body and deal with private parking issues every single day of the week, there can be no excuse for these omissions.


    5. The Claimant’s solicitors are known to be a serial issuer of generic claims similar to this one, with no due diligence, no scrutiny of details nor even checking for a true cause of action.
    HMCS have identified over 1000 similar poorly produced claims and the solicitor's conduct in many of these cases is believed to be currently the subject of an active investigation by the SRA. This, and the fact that the claim did not mention the reason for the parking charge, other than, what seems to be a generic formula, makes this claim look like one of the ‘robo-claims’ - a term that is being increasingly used for such conduct. Practices such as this are against the public interest, it demonstrates a disregard for the dignity of the court and is unfair on unrepresented consumers. I have reason to believe that this is a claim that will proceed without any facts or evidence supplied until the last possible minute, to my significant detriment as an unrepresented Defendant.

    I suggest that parking companies using the small claims track as a form of aggressive, automated debt collection is not something the courts should be seen to support.


    6. ES Parking Enforcements are not the lawful occupier of the land. I have the reasonable belief that they do not have the authority to issue charges on this land in their own name and that they have no rights to bring this case.
    a) The Claimant is not the landowner and is merely an agent acting on behalf of the landowner and has failed to demonstrate their legal standing to form a contract.
    b) The claimant is not the landowner and suffers no loss whatsoever as a result of a vehicle parking at the location in question
    c) The Claimant is put to proof that it has sufficient interest in the land or that there are specific terms in its contract to bring an action on its own behalf. As a third party agent, the Claimant may not pursue any charge. I have the reasonable belief that they do not have the authority to issue charges on this land in their own name and that they have no right to bring action regarding this claim.


    7. The Claimant has sent threatening and misleading demands which stated that further debt recovery action would be taken to recover what is owed by passing the debt to a ‘local’ recovery agent (which suggested to the Defendant they would be calling round like bailiffs) adding further unexplained charges of £25 to the original £100 with no evidence of how this extra charge has been calculated. No figure for additional charges was 'agreed' nor could it have formed part of the alleged 'contract' because no such indemnity costs were quantified on the signs. Terms cannot be bolted on later with figures plucked out of thin air, as if they were
    incorporated into the small print when they were not. This appears to be an added cost with no apparently no qualification and an attempt at double recovery, which the POFA Schedule 4 specifically disallows.
    b) The Defendant also disputes that the Claimant has incurred £50 solicitor costs.
    c) The Defendant has the reasonable belief that the Claimant has not incurred £50 costs to pursue an alleged £100 debt.
    d) Notwithstanding the Defendant's belief, the costs are in any case not recoverable.
    e) The Claimant described the charge of £50.00 "legal fees" not "contractual costs".
    CPR 27.14 does not permit these to be recovered in the Small Claims Court.

    The Protection of Freedom Act Para 4(5) states that the maximum sum that may be recovered from the keeper is the charge stated on the Notice to Keeper.



    DEFENDANT DECLARATION

    I believe that the facts stated in this witness statement are true.


    Signed by the Defendant


    ………………………………….
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 20th Apr 17, 10:05 PM
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    • 58,763 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Just for clarity:
    The claim doesn't explain why she got the ticket, but then I go and talk about the grace periods, meaning that she clearly knows she overstayed, also meaning she must have been the driver. So in that case, is it better to say that she was the driver and explain why she has overstayed?
    I would defend this as driver if I were her. Not get tied up in knots as 'keeper' in this case.


    Also, the previous letters from the PPC mentioned the reason for the ticket, but the claim does not. It does seem like an opportunity to mention that the claim was a "robo-claim".
    Yes.
    PRIVATE PCN in England/Wales? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT

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    • presc
    • By presc 21st Apr 17, 7:08 PM
    • 21 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    presc
    I would defend this as driver if I were her. Not get tied up in knots as 'keeper' in this case.
    In this case I have removed the 2nd point in the defense and changed the #1 to:

    1. It is admitted that the Defendant was the authorised registered keeper and the driver of the vehicle in question at the time of the alleged incident.

    Yes.
    I have added it in the 5th point (as in previous post).


    I guess that in this case this is it? It's just a matter of filling in the blanks?
    This: http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5546325 explains that at this stage I just need to send the defence and later (point #5 - Witness Statement) I will have to file all the documents. In that case how can I reference the photos in the defence? Or I just don't and later I simply file the evidence?



    Also, RedX earlier in this thread mentioned that:
    (the case) could be "dropped" beforehand, meaning it may never get in front of a judge in person. there is a long way to go before any court appearance
    But other threads such us "Court Claim Procedure" just talks about one thing after the other. Doesn't really mention that it can be dropped. Basically, you got the claim = you go to the court.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 21st Apr 17, 10:04 PM
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    • 58,763 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    In that case how can I reference the photos in the defence? Or I just don't and later I simply file the evidence?
    You can mention that you have photo evidence in the defence if you wish but no need for detail, because you then file that with the WS before the hearing.


    But other threads such us "Court Claim Procedure" just talks about one thing after the other. Doesn't really mention that it can be dropped. Basically, you got the claim = you go to the court.
    That's because most cases do end up with a hearing so we wouldn't want to mislead people into thinking loads of cases are discontinued. Most are not. But we help people win pretty much every case.

    Of course some cases are discontinued. Search this board for 'discontinued' as a keyword and you find some cases where that has happened - the most recent (apart from CEL and MIL cases which are currently always discontinued when well defended in 2016/17) was LoadsofChildren123's case, where the claimant gave up just before the hearing.
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 22-04-2017 at 6:30 PM.
    PRIVATE PCN in England/Wales? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT

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    • presc
    • By presc 22nd Apr 17, 11:31 AM
    • 21 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    presc
    This is the "final" defence as of now, which I am about to get printed, signed and sent.
    I am yet to fill in the blanks, and set the proper formatting (Times New Roman, 12pt).

    I cleaned it up and added a supportive statement at the begging of the claim.

    I would appreciate someone having a final look over it (at least the statement at the top), to make sure I didn't make any massive mistakes.

    Thank you for your support.

    ---------------------------------------

    Statement of Defence

    I am XXXXX, Defendant in this matter and I deny liability for the entirety of the claim.

    On [DATE] the Defendant arrived at the parking at [XXXX] after the parking charge notice was issued six minutes after the pre-paid ticket has expired. The Defendant, tried to locate the operator who issued the parking charge notice, to try and explain the situation, and the fact that the ticket should not have been issued as there are grace periods in force on the parking area.

    As the Defendant could not locate anyone responsible for issuing the ticket, an appeal was made by letter but no response was heard from the Claimant.

    After receiving the notice to keeper, the Defendant tried to contact the Claimant once again, explaining the situation, but again, no response was heard. After that the Defendant received a “demand for payment” letter where the charge was increased by £25 with no eligible explanation as to why that’s the case. Since the previous appeals made by the Defendant were ignored, the Defendant decided to wait for further action from the Claimant.

    After several weeks, a claim form was received by the Defendant.


    I deny the claim for the following reasons:

    1. It is admitted that the Defendant was the authorised registered keeper and the driver of the vehicle in question at the time of the alleged incident.

    2. The full details of the contract which it is alleged was broken have not been provided.
    a) The Claimant has disclosed no cause of action to give rise to any debt.
    b) The Claimant has stated that a parking charge was incurred.

    The claim simply states: “The driver of the vehicle registration XXXXX incurred the parking charge(s) on XXX for breaching the terms of parking on the land at XXXXX.”

    The Claimant fails to comply with International Parking Community Code of Practice regarding the grace periods:
    “15.1 Drivers should be allowed a sufficient amount of time to park and read any signs so they may make an informed decision as to whether or not to remain on the site.
    15.2 Drivers must be allowed a minimum period of 10 minutes to leave a site after a prepaid or permitted period of parking has expired.
    15.3 The reference to 10 minutes in 15.2 above shall not apply where the period of pre-paid or permitted parking does not exceed 1 hour providing that the signage on the site makes it clear to the motorist, in a prominent font, that no grace period applies on that land.”


    Parking Charge Notice was issued six minutes after the pre-paid ticket has expired, a time which is not unreasonable. This is supported by the fact that a minimum grace period of at least ten minutes after expiry of paid-for time was introduced as the standard benchmark in the UK in 2015. Both private parking Trade Bodies amended their Codes of Practice to suit; a fact that this Claimant and their legal representative, Gladstones, is well aware of, given that Gladstones is run by the same controlling minds behind the IPC.

    This operator is in breach of the IPC code of Practice in issuing this charge after just six minutes (a time not even proven because the operator's watch is not routinely synchronised to the Pay and Display machines).

    Signage on the land does not state that Grace Periods do not comply on the particular parking area at XXXXX.

    3. The Defendant wrote to the Claimant two different occasions (on XXXX and XXXX) trying to appeal and resolve the situation. The Defendant asked for:
    i) Full particulars of the parking charges
    ii) Who the party was that contracted with ES Parking.
    iii) The full legal identity of the landowner
    iv) A full copy of the contract with the landholder that demonstrated that ES Parking had their authority.
    v) If the charges were based on damages for breach of contract and if so to provide justification of this sum
    vi) If the charge was based on a contractually agreed sum for the provision of parking and If so to provide a valid VAT invoice for this 'service'.
    vii) To provide a copy of the signs that ES Parking can evidence were on site and which contended formed a contract with the driver on that occasion, as well as all photographs taken of the vehicle in question.

    The Claimant has not responded to any of the letters, despite the fact that postal service is their preferred way of receiving correspondence. According to Interpretations Act 1987, Defendant believes that the appeals which were sent to the Claimant were received but simply ignored. The Claimant withheld any relevant photos of the car, particularly the windscreen and dashboard, and the signage terms, despite being asked for by the Defendant at the outset. It’s against the SRA code as well as contrary to the ‘overriding objective’ in the pre action protocol. As Gladstones are a firm of solicitors whose Directors also run the IPC Trade Body and deal with private parking issues every single day of the week, there can be no excuse for these omissions.


    4. The Claimant’s solicitors are known to be a serial issuer of generic claims similar to this one, with no due diligence, no scrutiny of details nor even checking for a true cause of action.
    HMCS have identified over 1000 similar poorly produced claims and the solicitor's conduct in many of these cases is believed to be currently the subject of an active investigation by the SRA. This, and the fact that the claim did not mention the reason for the parking charge, other than, what seems to be a generic formula, makes this claim look like one of the ‘robo-claims’ - a term that is being increasingly used for such conduct. Practices such as this are against the public interest, it demonstrates a disregard for the dignity of the court and is unfair on unrepresented consumers. The Defendant has reasons to believe that this is a claim that will proceed without any facts or evidence supplied until the last possible minute, to my significant detriment as an unrepresented Defendant.

    The Defendant suggests that parking companies using the small claims track as a form of aggressive, automated debt collection is not something the courts should be seen to support.


    5. ES Parking Enforcements are not the lawful occupier of the land. Defendant has a reasonable belief that they do not have the authority to issue charges on this land in their own name and that they have no rights to bring this case.
    a) The Claimant is not the landowner and is merely an agent acting on behalf of the landowner and has failed to demonstrate their legal standing to form a contract.
    b) The Claimant is not the landowner and suffers no loss whatsoever as a result of a vehicle parking at the location in question.
    c) The Claimant is put to proof that it has sufficient interest in the land or that there are specific terms in its contract to bring an action on its own behalf. As a third party agent, the Claimant may not pursue any charge. The Defendant has a reasonable belief that the Claimant does not have the authority to issue charges on this land in their own name and that they have no right to bring action regarding this claim.


    6. The Claimant has sent threatening and misleading demands which stated that further debt recovery action would be taken to recover what is owed by passing the debt to a ‘local’ recovery agent (which suggested to the Defendant they would be calling round like bailiffs) adding further unexplained charges of £25 to the original £100 with no evidence of how this extra charge has been calculated. No figure for additional charges was 'agreed' nor could it have formed part of the alleged 'contract' because no such indemnity costs were quantified on the signs. Terms cannot be bolted on later with figures plucked out of thin air, as if they were
    incorporated into the small print when they were not. This appears to be an added cost with no apparently no qualification and an attempt at double recovery, which the POFA Schedule 4 specifically disallows.
    a)Further cost of £35 was added in the court claim with no explanation
    b) The Defendant also disputes that the Claimant has incurred £50 solicitor costs.
    c) The Defendant has the reasonable belief that the Claimant has not incurred £50 costs to pursue an alleged £100 debt.
    d) Notwithstanding the Defendant's belief, the costs are in any case not recoverable.
    e) The Claimant described the charge of £50.00 "legal fees" not "contractual costs".
    CPR 27.14 does not permit these to be recovered in the Small Claims Court.

    The Protection of Freedom Act Para 4(5) states that the maximum sum that may be recovered from the keeper is the charge stated on the Notice to Keeper.


    7. Because the Particulars of Claim are so sparse (a breach of inter alia CPR Rule 16.4) it is difficult for the Defendant (a litigant in person) to file a proper defence. For the avoidance of doubt, should this matter proceed then the Defendant puts the Claimant to full proof of every aspect of its claim. He must also, given the lack of particularisation of the claim, reserve the right to raise further points in his defence, should the Claimant further particularise its claim (for instance, in any witness evidence).


    Any photographic evidence, as well as copy of the appeal letters will be provided with the witness statement.


    DEFENDANT DECLARATION

    I believe that the facts stated in this witness statement are true.


    Signed by the Defendant


    ………………………………….
    • The Deep
    • By The Deep 22nd Apr 17, 12:47 PM
    • 6,499 Posts
    • 5,408 Thanks
    The Deep
    I think that they will back down. Have you written to them telling them that if they do pull out, or the judge finds for you, you will seek compensation from them for wasting your time.
    You never know how far you can go until you go too far.
    • presc
    • By presc 22nd Apr 17, 1:02 PM
    • 21 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    presc
    Hi, I did mention this in the second appeal, but I doubt they even opened the letter, so I don't think it will have an impact on them.

    I guess I will just send the letter now.

    I imagine that actually getting a compensation is a lot of work, so I think I will pass and I would just be glad to get this over with. Hopefully they will back down. Thanks.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 22nd Apr 17, 6:34 PM
    • 45,805 Posts
    • 58,763 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Make sure Mum signs it and dates it - if you have time, post it to the CCBC. Or email it if time is short.
    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.

    • presc
    • By presc 23rd Apr 17, 10:28 AM
    • 21 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    presc
    I think I would be tempted to send it through email.

    Just had a look at the gov.uk website.

    There are two email addresses I would consider sending it to:
    One is called "Claim responses & directions" and other is "County Court Business Centre".

    Claim responses seems more reasonable, but the second one seems more official?


    Also, the postal addresses are a little confusing. I wanted to send to the the address that was on the Claim Form, but again, on the gov.uk website it says: "Write to us:" and it's a totally different address.

    The Court Claim Procedure thread simply says: "send it to Northampton" so now I'm a bit unsure as to which address is the best one to use.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 23rd Apr 17, 2:11 PM
    • 45,805 Posts
    • 58,763 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Searching the forum would always be quicker than asking us on this thread!

    A board search for ccbc email finds it posted a dozen times in the last month alone; here's one result I got in 30 seconds:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=72432772#post72432772

    HTH, use the 'search the board' drop down each time, it will help you later on 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.

    • presc
    • By presc 5th May 17, 9:42 PM
    • 21 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    presc
    Hi,

    It's been a little while and (as suspected) I got an email from Gladstones about not having oral hearing.

    In the "Court Claim Procedure" thread it says to fill in the Directions Questionnaire when we get one form court (didn't get one yet) and there's a note added that Gladstones will ask for hearing on paper in which case I should reply in specific way.

    Gladstones have now sent me an email with a copy of their Directions Questionnaire filled in, and a "Request for Special Direction" which says:
    "We kindly request that the Court send the N159 form (attached) to the Defendant for their consideration and, upon the Defendant consenting to the case being heard on the papers alone, the Judge makes the following direction;"
    It has some basic info to fill in, as well as "Reply to the court" boxes, in which I can select if I want to agree for paper only hearing.


    If that helps, here's the email I got from Gladstones:

    We act for the Claimant and have notified the Court of our Client’s intention to proceed with the claim.

    Please find attached a copy of our Client’s completed Directions Questionnaire, which will be filed with the court upon their request. You will note we intend to request a special direction that the case be dealt with on the papers and without the need for an oral hearing

    This request is sought simply because the matter is in our Client’s opinion relatively straightforward and the costs incurred by both parties for attending an oral hearing would be disproportionate.

    You will note our Client has elected not to mediate. Its decision is not meant to be in any way obstructive and is based purely on experience, as mediation has rarely proven beneficial in these types of cases. Notwithstanding this, our Client would be happy to listen to any genuine payment proposals that you wish to put forward.


    Yours sincerely



    I presume I have to ignore the email, wait for the paper from the court and reply as directed on the Court Procedure thread? Should I fill in the extra document they attached when sending it to court?


    Also, a quite important question - at what point can I declare that I want to represent my mother in the court?
    Last edited by presc; 05-05-2017 at 9:46 PM.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 5th May 17, 10:06 PM
    • 45,805 Posts
    • 58,763 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Your mother doesn't need to declare in advance she will be accompanied by a lay rep, and you don't 'declare' anything in your name. I would say read Gin and Milk's thread because it deals with that Gladstone's letter/email and the lay rep question. She also accompanied and spoke for her husband and won in court. Just like your case.

    You can find their thread by either searching for that posting member or a forum search of this parking board only for the words 'Gin Milk'.
    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.

    • presc
    • By presc 6th May 17, 12:32 PM
    • 21 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    presc
    Thanks Coupon-mad. I did some research, and just wanted to confirm the next steps (I'm quite stressed out about this whole case, and the last thing I want to do, is to get something wrong).

    ---
    1) Regarding the DQ, we haven't yet received one from the court. I've read that it's best to call the court and ask about it, but it's a bit tricky, since my mum won't be able to make the call, and the court won't pass any information to me since it's not my claim.

    I will be seeing my mum next Friday, when we can both call, so she can confirm that it's ok for them to talk to me. However, I feel that it's going to be a bit late, and I'm not sure what the times to submit this are. I know it's 14 days since we get the DQ, but we didn't get one...

    I'm guessing best thing to do, is to download the DQ, fill it in and send it off?

    ---
    2) About the "hearing on paper" stuff, I need to fill the document Gladstones sent me (request for special direction" and add the explanation that I want to oppose to it (something like post #94 in the Gin and Milk thread).

    That's what I'm unsure of actually.. Do I fill in their document, or do I just add the statement as an extra letter attached when I send my DQ?

    ---
    3) It was somewhere suggested to email Gladstones, asking them to drop the case so they can save the money. I'm wondering if that's a valid thing to do, because it didn't seem to be up-voted by other members of the Pepipoo forum (I'm just thinking to save us some stress coming to the court).

    If the case does go to court (which it seems like it will), I think I would be up for trying to get some kind of compensation out from them. Is it still possible to do? My defence is already submitted and I didn't mention anything like this in there...

    ---
    4) Regarding the Lay Rep, all I have to do is to come to the court with my mum, and tell the usher that I want to be the Lay Rep, based on the The Lay Representatives (Rights of Audience) Order 1999. Or did I miss something?
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