Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • tea_queen
    • By tea_queen 19th Feb 17, 1:56 PM
    • 28Posts
    • 15Thanks
    tea_queen
    Take action or pay up?
    • #1
    • 19th Feb 17, 1:56 PM
    Take action or pay up? 19th Feb 17 at 1:56 PM
    Hi, I'm new to this forum but I have read quite a few of the posts, including the newbie ones. I'm hoping you can advise me regarding the next steps I should take regarding a Letter Before Claim received from Gladstones Solicitors Friday.

    This is in relation to a PCN notice received on 13th August 2015 and was then appealed to the issuer (Euro Parking Services) first through their online appeals (where they were offered a reasonable price to pay for time car was there) and then numerous letters for several months until around October 2015, with the initial request for £60, then £100 because the PCN wasn't paid within the initial timeframe given.

    I then received another letter from them in October 2016 (with no reference to the correspondence the previous year) asking for the £100 as it was still unpaid. Again this letter was responded to and nothing further received.

    I have now received the letter from Gladstones Solicitors requesting £160 within 14 days of the letter (received 7 days in from the date on the letter) or they've been instructed to start proceedings against me without further notice.

    I am now at the point where I'm fed up of returning home worried about the letters I've received, I don't want to pay this extortionate fee but reading the posts on here, the appeals process can be a long one.

    I realise I haven't given many particulars regarding the parking ticket scenario - overview - after PCN received, I reviewed the signage in the car park, there was a sign on the side of a building to the side of car park entrance - you'd only see this as driving in (not leaving as you'd have your back to it) and if you were looking for it with good eyesight due to text size) saying car park opening times for customers of the shop (PCN received after 'closing'), then within the car park itself some signage around the perimeter, not lit up &/or very high up, to the point at which trying to take a photo of the sign, a taller friend still couldn't get a good photo and had to use a flash on the camera in order to see it (due to it being dark after 4pm). It may be worth noting the car park did not offer any way to buy tickets, had previously been a free car park at any time (not just during shop opening hours), and in the last year the shop has changed hands and is once again a free car park.

    I guess my first questions are, are they allowed to file legal claims so long after the initial PCN, and if I do appeal what is the most likely outcome in terms of winning and expense to myself?

    Thanks in advance.
Page 2
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 12th Mar 17, 6:29 PM
    • 50,082 Posts
    • 63,471 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    The letter has enclosed the correspondence sent to me and photographic evidence (in response to me asking for all evidence against me), however they have only actually sent the first two letters from 2015 in response to my appeal, and the three photos of the car. Does this mean this is the only evidence they can bring to a court?
    No it doesn't. They can supply a fuller evidence pack at Witness Statement stage and so can you (e.g. you can go and get fresh photos showing how illegible the terms are and sparse signage).

    We would say respond by email telling them their evidence is woeful, that you require all photos taken and evidence that there was a contravention and evidence as to the terms on the sign.
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 19-03-2017 at 11:12 PM.
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • tea_queen
    • By tea_queen 12th Mar 17, 11:02 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    tea_queen
    Fantastic, thank you Coupon-mad, I have done that now. I'll be interested if they respond as I was surprised to receive the letter if I'm honest, but considering this last letter said there would be no further correspondence if they do respond they'd be dragging out the process further before putting in the claim.
    I have already started putting together pictorial evidence for myself in preparation (as much as possible given that the signage has been removed at the site), so I will start putting together my written evidence in the next few weeks.

    Thanks again
    • tea_queen
    • By tea_queen 19th Mar 17, 10:39 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    tea_queen
    Update:

    I received an email in response to the one I sent last week, with just the answers to the questions I had asked in the posted letter to Gladstones, which were:

    In order to understand my legal position, I also require the following information:

    1 Is your client's intended action funded on a contractual charge, a breach of a contract or trespass?
    2 What is the basis of the additional £60 charge?
    3 If it is for legal services, has your client already paid it?
    Answers:

    1. Contractual Charge
    2. After 28 days of the charge being issued £60 is incurred and acts as a nominal contribution to our Client's losses i.e the time and resources spent on the case
    3. Addressed above

    You have a further 7 days from the date of this email to make payment in full in the absence of which a claim will be issued against you without further notice.


    From this response received I do not believe this changes anything as it's pretty much the expected response from them I would have thought? In which case I'm inclined to respond essentially saying go ahead, as I presume anything more detailed will be a waste of my time - would you agree? On the plus side the fact that they're arguing contractual reasons is in line with my arguments against the charge.

    Thanks
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 19th Mar 17, 11:21 PM
    • 50,082 Posts
    • 63,471 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Yes. And you can add that they can't recover any sums added to the amount on any Notice to Keeper; the POFA Schedule 4 makes this clear.

    Further, ParkingEye v Beavis helpfully confirmed that the penalty rule is certainly engaged in less complex private parking charge cases and in Beavis £85 was the only sum sought. This was held in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court as an amount set high enough to more than cover the costs of a fully-automated and generic 'car park enforcement' business model and allow for profit. Therefore is is completely disingenuous to suggest that random sums can be bolted on top of a 'parking charge' taking it over the £100 ceiling and suggesting that this is ''a nominal contribution to losses i.e the time and resources spent on the case''.

    Utter fabrication which CPR 27.14 certainly disallows - a thinly-veiled attempt at double recovery.
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • tea_queen
    • By tea_queen 19th Mar 17, 11:50 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    tea_queen
    That's good news thanks Coupon-mad! I've added this into my notes for when I write up the full defense and will look up that case for more details
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 20th Mar 17, 12:18 AM
    • 50,082 Posts
    • 63,471 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Yes you need to be familiar with the only parking case to have gone to the Supreme Court, because all PPCs try to jump on that bandwagon despite the fact most cases hugely differ and turn on different facts, less clear signs, etc.
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • tea_queen
    • By tea_queen 9th Apr 17, 9:29 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    tea_queen
    Hi, just a quick update, I have now received the County Court Claim Form and am about to fill in the online form to acknowledge/ defend the case (as per these instructions https://www.dropbox.com/s/xvqu3bask5m0zir/money-claim-online-How-to-Acknowledge.pdf?dl=0) so I guess I will shortly be writing up my full defence!
    • tea_queen
    • By tea_queen 9th Apr 17, 11:08 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    tea_queen
    I've just realised that the court address for my case is Northampton - does anyone know why they've put this to a court an hour and half away from where I am/ where the PCN was issued? There are at least 7 courts closer than Northampton for money claims? I'm just shocked as I had presumed it would be the court in the next city, not a 3 hour round journey to attend - is there a chance the location will be moved?
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 9th Apr 17, 11:15 PM
    • 50,082 Posts
    • 63,471 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    You haven't been reading enough yet, if you haven't seen that the hearing goes to your local court. Northampton CCBC is merely the MCOL 'admin central' court that dishes them out, if you like.

    Read post #2 of the NEWBIES thread again and sit down and read bargepole's linked thread about what happens when and how to complete each paperwork stage. I'm sure our advice there tells you that the local court for any hearing, is yours.
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • Xanthanan
    • By Xanthanan 9th Apr 17, 11:17 PM
    • 67 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    Xanthanan
    The Northampton address is normal for Money claim online cases, you will get a chance to select a more local court for the hearing at the "DQ" stage. That's if Gladstones don't bail when they see your defence
    • Xanthanan
    • By Xanthanan 9th Apr 17, 11:18 PM
    • 67 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    Xanthanan
    Ooops just too slow... Listen to CM ... She's pretty good at this stuff
    • tea_queen
    • By tea_queen 9th Apr 17, 11:23 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    tea_queen
    Ah phew, thanks both! I don't mind driving for that long but the thought of a journey that far whilst being nervous about defending a case didn't sound like a great idea!

    I will definitely have another read through of those threads thanks Coupon-mad, and I am going to start putting my defence together properly on Wednesday, so hopefully I will have something to work with from then (fingers crossed Gladstones bail Xanthanan )
    • tea_queen
    • By tea_queen 23rd Apr 17, 1:24 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    tea_queen
    Hi, so I made a start on my defense last week and then got sidetracked but here is where I stand at the moment - it's by no means the finished article I realise, but I'd be grateful if you could tell me if I'm on the right track. I know I haven't yet explored some the cases (Beavis) as Coupon-mad mentioned, and will endeavour to add that in this evening.

    I have completed the pictorial evidence pages already, which I will try to share this evening as well. The text in red below are all the sections that I think still require work/ am not sure of (sorry I know there are a lot, some of them may be fine and I'm just being overly cautious, but some I'm not sure whether they are applicable).

    I also wanted to query if it is worth commenting that every other car within the car park had a PCN on their windscreen - they could argue that it is the driver's responsibility to read the signage etc, however surely it should support my claim that signage was poor if every other driver missed them too? I'm not sure how to work this in though:

    Defence Statement
    1. It is admitted that Defendant is the owner of ####

    2. It is admitted that the Defendant is unable to admit or deny the precise times she was parked in ### Car Park as she has no recollection of this. The Claimant is put to proof of the same.

    3. It is denied that the Claimant has complied with Schedule 4, Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 in the following ways:

    1. With reference to 2.2, the claimant failed to display satisfactory signage to inform the defendant of the “parking charge” that applied to the aforementioned car park. Signage was placed in unsuitable locations (e.g. hidden behind parked cars, high up on poles and at pedestrian-entry viewpoints only) and without appropriate lighting to highlight said signage in these particular locations. Available photographic evidence of signage has been provided within supporting documents.

    2. With reference to 2.3, the claimant failed to provide adequate notice within available signage to drivers in the following ways:
    i. By displayed signage giving unclear stipulations for any charges that can be incurred, e.g. one sign quotes parking as being “for Patrons whilst on the premises only”, but does not indicate a charge when the relevant retail store was closed.
    ii. By displaying signage with any mention of the potential charge for parking being lost in the small print and therefore not complying to signage requirements.

    3. With reference to 4.5, the maximum sum the claimant can recover from the keeper is the amount specified in the notice to keeper, and therefore the amount now being sought by the claimant is unlawful.

    4. With reference to 7.2(b), the claimant failed to provide the full detail of the circumstances relating to the charge – at the time of writing this statement, no evidence of the signage in question has been provided to show how the charge requirement was brought to the attention of the driver has been provided, and instead only that signage was present on site.
    In the absence of ‘adequate notice’ of the terms and the charge (which must be in large prominent letter such as the brief, clear and multiple signs in the Beavis case) this fails to meet the requirements of Schedule 4 of the POFA.


    4. It is denied that the Claimant entered into a contract with the Defendant. As held by the Upper Tax Tribunal in Vehicle Control Services Limited v HMRC [2012] UKUT 129 (TCC), any contract requires offer and acceptance. The Claimant was simply contracted by the landowner to provide car-park management services and is not capable of entering into a contract with the Defendant on its own account, as the carpark is owned by and the terms of entry set by the landowner. Accordingly, it is denied that the Claimant has authority to bring this claim. The proper Claimant is the landowner.
    5. If there was a contract, it is denied that the penalty charge is incorporated into the contract. As per Thornton v Shoe Lane Parking [1971] 2 QB 163, the relevant term must be made known before a contract was formed. Here, the charge was not incorporated into the contract because the signage was not placed in easily viewable locations around the site as previously noted, could not be viewed before parking the car, and details of the “parking charge” were hidden amongst the fine print of the signage, making it difficult for a driver to review the “contract”. The driver did not enter into any ‘agreement on the charge’, no consideration flowed between the parties and no contract was established. The Defendant denies that the driver would have agreed to pay the original demand of £100 to agree to the alleged contract had the terms and conditions of the contract been properly displayed and legible.

    6. Alternatively, even if there was a contract, the provision requiring payment of £160 is an unenforceable penalty clause. Following Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co Ltd v Selfridge & Co Ltd [1915] AC 847, clauses designed to punish a party for breach of contract may only be upheld if they represent a genuine pre-estimate of loss. The provision is a penalty and not a genuine pre-estimate of loss for the following reasons: (a) as the Claimant is not the landowner and suffers no loss whatsoever as a result of a parking overstay; (b) the amount claimed is evidently disproportionate to any loss suffered by the Claimant; and (c) the penalty bears no relation to the circumstances because it remains the same no matter whether a motorist overstays by ten seconds or ten years.

    7. Further and alternatively, the provision requiring payment of £160 is unenforceable as an unfair term contrary to Regulation 5 of The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. This is a term which falls within Schedule 1, paragraph(e) of the Regulations being a term ‘requiring any consumer who fails to fulfil his obligations to pay a disproportionately high sum in compensation”. The term was not individually negotiated and causes a significant imbalance in the parties’ respective rights and obligations, because the charge is heavily disproportionate in respect of a short overstay and is imposed even where consumers are legitimately using the carpark for its designated purpose.

    8. Save as expressely mentioned above, the Particulars of Claim is denied in its entirety. It is denied that the Claimant is entitled to the relief claimed or any relief at all.

    9. The Defendant disputes that the Claimant has incurred ‘Legal representative’s costs’ of £50 to prepare the claim. The Defendant refers the Court to the incompetent Particulars of Claim that disclose neither the basis for the claim nor a definite cause of action. I submit these ‘costs’ are artificially invented figures in an attempt to circumvent the Small Claims costs rules using double recovery. The Court is invited to report Gladstones to the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority for this deliberate attempt to mislead the Court, in contravention of their Code of Conduct.

    10. 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.

    11. 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.

    12. 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. This continued harassment for a sum of money which is escalating, yet is not my liability, is causing significant alarm and distress and in that respect is on all fours with the case of Ferguson v British Gas which also turned upon unreasonable contact from debt collectors regarding a debt not properly established in law, or owed at all.

    13. It is denied that the Claimant has authority to bring this claim. The proper Claimant (if any debt exists, which is denied) would be the landowner.

    14. I request the court strike out this claim for the reasons stated above, and for similar reasons cited by District Judge Cross of St Albans County Court on 20/09/16 where a similar claim was struck out without a hearing, due to Gladstones' template particulars for a private parking firm being 'incoherent', failing to comply with CPR16.4, and ''providing no facts that could give rise to any apparent claim in law''.

    As an unrepresented litigant-in-person, I respectfully ask that I be permitted to amend and or supplement this interim defence as may be required following a fuller disclosure of the Claimant’s case.

    I believe the statements in this defence are true to the best of my knowledge and that as the Defendant, I am not liable for the sum claimed, nor any sum at all. The court is invited to strike out the claim as having no prospect of success.

    Signed______________________

    Dated __________________


    Thanks for any feedback you can give at this stage, I plan to work on the rest of this tonight so that I can get it sent off during the course of this week (my deadline is the end of the month).
    • tea_queen
    • By tea_queen 23rd Apr 17, 2:14 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    tea_queen
    Actually, I've just got time to post the photo pages now:

    http://tinypic.com/r/n70co5/9

    http://tinypic.com/r/r8s111/9

    http://tinypic.com/r/2irru2r/9

    http://tinypic.com/r/1zx1s0y/9

    http://tinypic.com/r/2hzfhe/9
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 23rd Apr 17, 2:18 PM
    • 50,082 Posts
    • 63,471 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    I also wanted to query if it is worth commenting that every other car within the car park had a PCN on their windscreen - they could argue that it is the driver's responsibility to read the signage etc, however surely it should support my claim that signage was poor if every other driver missed them too?
    I would add that, although without photo evidence to prove that, the other side will say it is hearsay.

    Your photos are good - not filed with the defence though. Pics come later with your Witness Statement before a hearing.

    Your defence has valid points but I would remove #6 and #7. You can't rely on 'no loss' nor the UTCCRs because the Beavis case killed the idea of 'no loss' and because the UTCCRs are no longer law as they fall within the Consumer Rights Act 2015. The wording you used there is old.
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 23-04-2017 at 2:26 PM.
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • nigelbb
    • By nigelbb 23rd Apr 17, 2:55 PM
    • 1,930 Posts
    • 2,680 Thanks
    nigelbb
    I would add that, although without photo evidence to prove that, the other side will say it is hearsay.
    Originally posted by Coupon-mad
    C-M that's not what hearsay evidence is. If the OP states what they saw then it is direct evidence & when given on oath they can be cross examined. Hearsay evidence would be where the OP had been told facts by somebody else so it couldn't be given on oath or cross examined. The clue is in the name.

    It might be nice to have photographic confirmation but the OP's statement should suffice given the severe penalties for perjury.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 23rd Apr 17, 3:45 PM
    • 50,082 Posts
    • 63,471 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    OK - I agree he should include it, but expect the claimant to deny it or their rep to say 'I have no knowledge either way of other PCNs but the defendant has shown no photographs to make this point and he would say that, wouldn't he. In addition, he has no knowledge of the reason for any other PCN that day.'
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • tea_queen
    • By tea_queen 26th Apr 17, 8:14 AM
    • 28 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    tea_queen
    Hi, Thanks for the comments so far, I have amended my defence as follows - particular parts I want to check now are highlighted, either because I have amended/added (red) or am not completely sure what they mean (green) and therefore not sure if relevant?

    Defence Statement
    1. It is admitted that Defendant is the owner of ###

    2. It is admitted that the Defendant is unable to admit or deny the precise times she was parked in 99p Store Car Park as she has no recollection of this. The Claimant is put to proof of the same.

    3. It is denied that the Claimant has complied with Schedule 4, Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 in the following ways:
    1. With reference to 2.2, the claimant failed to display satisfactory signage to inform the defendant of the “parking charge” that applied to the aforementioned car park. Signage was placed in unsuitable locations (e.g. hidden behind parked cars, high up on poles and at pedestrian-entry viewpoints only) and without appropriate lighting to highlight said signage in these particular locations.
    2. With reference to 2.3, the claimant failed to provide adequate notice within available signage to drivers in the following ways:
    i. By displayed signage giving unclear stipulations for any charges that can be incurred, e.g. one sign quotes parking as being “for Patrons whilst on the premises only”, but does not indicate a charge when the relevant retail store was closed.
    ii. By displaying signage with any mention of the potential charge for parking being lost in the small print and therefore not complying to signage requirements.
    3. With reference to 4.5, the maximum sum the claimant can recover from the keeper is the amount specified in the notice to keeper, and therefore the amount now being sought by the claimant is unlawful.
    4. With reference to 7.2(b), the claimant failed to provide the full detail of the circumstances relating to the charge – at the time of writing this statement, no evidence of the signage in question has been provided to show how the charge requirement was brought to the attention of the driver has been provided, and instead only that signage was present on site.
    In the absence of ‘adequate notice’ of the terms and the charge (which must be in large prominent letter such as the brief, clear and multiple signs in the Beavis case this fails to meet the requirements of Schedule 4 of the POFA.

    Furthermore, the defendant believes it is worth noting that all other cars parked within the car park at the time of PCN issue also received PCNs, supporting the claim that signage was missed not only by the Defendant, but all other drivers entering this car park at this time and date as well.

    (I may actually be able to get some supporting evidence of this, a colleague was also parked there at the time and so will have his photographic evidence from Gladstones - he gave in to their scare tactics though and paid up)

    4. It is denied that the Claimant entered into a contract with the Defendant. As held by the Upper Tax Tribunal in Vehicle Control Services Limited v HMRC [2012] UKUT 129 (TCC), any contract requires offer and acceptance. The Claimant was simply contracted by the landowner to provide car-park management services and is not capable of entering into a contract with the Defendant on its own account, as the carpark is owned by and the terms of entry set by the landowner. Accordingly, it is denied that the Claimant has authority to bring this claim. The proper Claimant is the landowner.

    5. If there was a contract, it is denied that the penalty charge is incorporated into the contract. As per Thornton v Shoe Lane Parking [1971] 2 QB 163, the relevant term must be made known before a contract was formed. Here, the charge was not incorporated into the contract because the signage was not placed in easily viewable locations around the site as previously noted, could not be viewed before parking the car, and details of the “parking charge” were hidden amongst the fine print of the signage, making it difficult for a driver to review the “contract”. The driver did not enter into any ‘agreement on the charge’, no consideration flowed between the parties and no contract was established. The Defendant denies that the driver would have agreed to pay the original demand of £100 to agree to the alleged contract had the terms and conditions of the contract been properly displayed and legible.

    6. The Protection of Freedoms Act does not permit the Claimant to recover a sum greater than the parking charge on the day before a Notice to Keeper was issued. The Claimant cannot recover additional charges. The Claimant claims a sum of £100 as a ‘parking charge’ (for which liability is denied) plus The Particulars of Claim include £60.00 that the claimant has untruthfully presented as contractual charges. The claimant's solicitor has, however, described the charge in correspondence as "After 28 days of the charge being issued £60 is incurred and acts as a nominal contribution to our Client's losses i.e the time and resources spent on the case" and is well aware that CPR 27.14 does not permit such charges to be recovered in the Small Claims court. The defendant also has the reasonable belief that the charges have not been invoiced and/or paid. The defendant also has a good faith belief that due to the sparse particulars that the £50 claimed for filing the claim has not been incurred. This appears to be an attempt at double recovery as a way to inflate the value of the claim. In any event the protection of freedoms act is clear that a vehicle Keeper, even if they are liable for the charge which is denied, would only be liable for the amount of the penalty charge notice, and no further costs.

    7. The claimant may try to rely upon ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis [2015] UKSC 67, ('the Beavis case') yet ParkingEye would not have been able to recover any sum at all without 'agreement on the charge'. In the Beavis case, the £85 charge was held to be allowable to act as a disincentive in that case only, based upon very specific and unique facts in a 'complex' case involving the existence of a specific legitimate interest from the landowners regarding turnover of parking spaces and very clear, brief and prominent signs. In fact, the Supreme Court Judges observed that it would be unfair if drivers were to be penalised for parking slightly out of bay lines when causing no obstruction (this was specifically mentioned at the hearing and was clearly not something they would have allowed). Further, it was held at the Court of Appeal that a parking charge sum of £135 would fail the penalty rule. The authority for this is 'Parkingeye Ltd v Somerfield Stores Ltd [2012] EWCA Civ 1338 (17 October 2012


    8. Save as expressely mentioned above, the Particulars of Claim is denied in its entirety. It is denied that the Claimant is entitled to the relief claimed or any relief at all.

    9. The Defendant disputes that the Claimant has incurred ‘Legal representative’s costs’ of £50 to prepare the claim. The Defendant refers the Court to the incompetent Particulars of Claim that disclose neither the basis for the claim nor a definite cause of action. I submit these ‘costs’ are artificially invented figures in an attempt to circumvent the Small Claims costs rules using double recovery. The Court is invited to report Gladstones to the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority for this deliberate attempt to mislead the Court, in contravention of their Code of Conduct.

    10. 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.

    11. 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.

    12. 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. This continued harassment for a sum of money which is escalating, yet is not my liability, is causing significant alarm and distress and in that respect is on all fours with the case of Ferguson v British Gas which also turned upon unreasonable contact from debt collectors regarding a debt not properly established in law, or owed at all.

    13. It is denied that the Claimant has authority to bring this claim. The proper Claimant (if any debt exists, which is denied) would be the landowner.

    14. I request the court strike out this claim for the reasons stated above, and for similar reasons cited by District Judge Cross of St Albans County Court on 20/09/16 where a similar claim was struck out without a hearing, due to Gladstones' template particulars for a private parking firm being 'incoherent', failing to comply with CPR16.4, and ''providing no facts that could give rise to any apparent claim in law''.

    As an unrepresented litigant-in-person, I respectfully ask that I be permitted to amend and or supplement this interim defence as may be required following a fuller disclosure of the Claimant’s case.
    I believe the statements in this defence are true to the best of my knowledge and that as the Defendant, I am not liable for the sum claimed, nor any sum at all. The court is invited to strike out the claim as having no prospect of success.

    Signed______________________

    Dated __________________


    __

    I'm hoping the above covers everything I need, and once those few queries are sorted this defense will be ready to submit. I may have missed it in the guides but does this defense get submitted through the website or do I need to post it? I can now only find a reference to 'submit' this, but I thought I read somewhere that a copy should be posted but now I can't locate this. I still have time to post this if I send it tomorrow/ Friday (official deadline is the 1st but I want to get it sent with a day or so spare if possible), but no point wasting postage if I can just email it.

    Thanks again
    • Redx
    • By Redx 26th Apr 17, 9:42 AM
    • 15,515 Posts
    • 19,600 Thanks
    Redx
    read what BAREGEPOLE says in his threads about submitting the defence

    it can be emailed as an attachment , preferably as a pdf (or word doc)

    BARGEPOLE or CM have stated that the MCOL site messes up the formatting if submitted online , which is why it is not recommended

    personally , I would post it using the BARGEPOLE words of wisdom, plus I would also email it as an attachment and phone the court to ensure it is filed in under the MCOL reference number as well

    please remember, if you have basic questions like these, the answer is always in post #2 of that NEWBIES sticky thread, which is why you will be pointed at it over and over again

    ps:- your postage costs (and printing costs etc) can be claimed back if you win , so why are you quibbling over wasted postage costs ?

    you will be claiming up to about £95 on the day with a costs order if you win , including travel costs , car park costs and postage costs , plus time off work etc if allowed
    Last edited by Redx; 26-04-2017 at 9:45 AM.
    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 26th Apr 17, 11:30 PM
    • 50,082 Posts
    • 63,471 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    2. It is admitted that the Defendant is unable to admit or deny the precise times she was parked in 99p Store Car Park as she has no recollection of this. The Claimant is put to proof of the same.
    Nonono. Maybe:

    I have no recollection of parking at this location, however, more than one insured person drives this car.* On the balance of probabilities the driver was not me and therefore this Claimant has no cause of action against me, as registered keeper.


    * if true!
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

3,830Posts Today

5,263Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • RT @thismorning: 'Sometimes the best gift is releasing somebody else from the obligation of having to give to you' says @MartinSLewis. Do y?

  • Shana tova umetuka - a sweet Jewish New Year to all celebrating. I won't be online the rest of t'week, as I take the time to be with family

  • Dear Steve. Please note doing a poll to ask people's opinion does not in itself imply an opinion! https://t.co/UGvWlMURxy

  • Follow Martin