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  • FIRST POST
    • AnnieAnne
    • By AnnieAnne 11th Mar 17, 2:30 AM
    • 4Posts
    • 2Thanks
    AnnieAnne
    Civil Enforcement Ltd County Court Claim Form
    • #1
    • 11th Mar 17, 2:30 AM
    Civil Enforcement Ltd County Court Claim Form 11th Mar 17 at 2:30 AM
    Hello

    I have spent the last few days/week reading through the NEWBIE thread and also countless threads of various cases, however I am just looking for some advice on my situation.

    I have been issued a County Court Claim Form which relates to a PCN i received last year from CEL. In summary, I was visiting a leisure centre which has a 3 hour free parking 1 hour no return policy. Daft I know but I overstayed the 3 hours by around 30 minutes. (I had taken a newborn baby swimming and as a first time mother this can take some time to get both of us ready, fed etc, as I also then spent sometime in the cafe and simply lost track of time. I have a bank statement showing my payment in the leisure centre). It was a Wednesday day time and the car park wasn't even half full.

    As I have become quite ill with stress over this whole situation and would like to be able to 'close the book' and after some thorough reading on here, I have sent the PPC a WITHOUT PREDJUDICE offer of settlement for the original PCN amount of £60. I used a template on here written by LazyDaisy.

    In the meantime I only have a couple of days left until the deadline on the court papers, What would you suggest I do- should I Aknowledge and defend the claim? I feel as I breached their policy, do I have a strong enough defense? I believe that 'acknowledging the claim' is something i can do online, otherwise if it's done postally I will need to send off tomorrow so looking for some urgent advice really.

    I feel a little overwhelmed as I am not legally tuned at all and no matter how much I am reading and concentrating on trying to make sense of everything on here, I am still really struggling. The thought of going to court and preparing legal documents fills me with anxiety hence why my first choice is to settle this outside of court. I feel like a speck in a tonne of info and completely out of my depth!
    I really appreciate any help you can provide.

    Thank you
    Last edited by AnnieAnne; 11-03-2017 at 9:30 AM.
Page 1
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 11th Mar 17, 7:47 AM
    • 11,782 Posts
    • 17,916 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    • #2
    • 11th Mar 17, 7:47 AM
    • #2
    • 11th Mar 17, 7:47 AM
    Your choices are:

    1. Pay off CEL now and get rid of the hassle - no one here recommends that.

    2. Ignore the court papers - default judgment against you guaranteed for the full amount shown in the PoC. If you don't then pay that, your credit rating is trashed with serious impact on your ability to raise loans, mortgage, mobile phone contracts, maybe even jeopardise employment/job prospects - no one here recommends that (potentially disastrous option).

    3. Acknowledge service of the papers NOW, as this provides an additional 14 days to put together a defence (put nothing in the defence box at the acknowledgement stage). You seem to be perilously close to the first 14 day deadline, miss that and you're effectively at 2 (above). Well defended cases have seen CEL discontinue proceedings - in fact we haven't seen one go to court for a long, long time, it's as though the CEL strategy is to obtain default judgments, so defend and you could well see this dropped.

    Draft out your initial defence and the court savvy regulars will help you to hone it. Do a forum search on 'CEL defence' to find a number of previous cases.

    In parallel - have you complained to the leisure centre and asked them to intervene? It can be a very successful strategy. Mention that CEL are taking you to court and you will be calling on the LC manager to appear as a witness (a bit of bluff can go a long way!).
    NEWBIES - wise up - DO NOT IGNORE A PARKING CHARGE NOTICE - you have been warned!

    Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

    Please note: I am NOT involved in any 'paid for' appeals service.
    • Redx
    • By Redx 11th Mar 17, 8:48 AM
    • 13,522 Posts
    • 16,542 Thanks
    Redx
    • #3
    • 11th Mar 17, 8:48 AM
    • #3
    • 11th Mar 17, 8:48 AM
    after acknowledging online (to get the extra 14 days) , search the forum for the basic CEL defence as mentioned NUMEROUS TIMES by coupon mad on here

    then adapt it , or make sure it doesnt say anything it shouldnt and use it

    see post #2 of the NEWBIES sticky thread too ,it has plenty of help on these matters

    most people are not "au fait" with the court process , so nobody here expects you to be an expert, or you would not be posting

    once defended, as mentioned above its unlikely to progress as they are looking for "sitting ducks" with their ehads buried in the sand

    read some of the other CEL court case threads over the last 6 months, get the gist from those (which is what us regulars have done , even though we dont have pending court cases)

    reading and research will help, but following the coupon-mad advice listed in numerous recent threads is what you need to do , her advice is paramount on here

    plus read any and all "bargepole" posts and threads too , especially the ones linked in post #2 of the NEWBIES sticky thread , follow HIS advice to the letter as well

    remember, this isnt a legal forum but people will help you because they hate these sc@mmers whose business plan is to rack up invoices and then harass people for 6 years (its definitely NOT about "parking" per se)

    and in future, use the RETURN KEY toi break up your great wall of text, people like myself find it hard to read, so I have not read it. If I can do it , you can too

    edit post #1 and break up the text into paragraphs , also make sure that in your court papers you do the same, itrs basic but it needs to be done

    and LOSE THE GUILT COMPLEX too
    Last edited by Redx; 11-03-2017 at 8:50 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
    • AnnieAnne
    • By AnnieAnne 11th Mar 17, 9:37 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    AnnieAnne
    • #4
    • 11th Mar 17, 9:37 AM
    • #4
    • 11th Mar 17, 9:37 AM
    Thank you.
    I will acknowledge the claim now.

    I have read many CEL defences on here and will definitely use them to assist with the preparation of mine.

    I haven't spoken to the leisure centre but I saw someone on a different case to get a letter from them as a Witness Statement (if they agree to help) so am planning to do just that.

    thanks again
    • AnnieAnne
    • By AnnieAnne 11th Mar 17, 9:46 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    AnnieAnne
    • #5
    • 11th Mar 17, 9:46 AM
    • #5
    • 11th Mar 17, 9:46 AM
    That you for getting back to me. As soon as I posted and noticed the poor spacing I have been trying to edit - all done now!

    I have read #2 on newbies and will re-read again, I found lots of helpful and easy to understand however I just wasn't sure if my particular case would be strong enough as a defence.

    As mentioned I will be acknowledging the claim now and start working on defence.

    Thanks again
    • Redx
    • By Redx 11th Mar 17, 11:52 AM
    • 13,522 Posts
    • 16,542 Thanks
    Redx
    • #6
    • 11th Mar 17, 11:52 AM
    • #6
    • 11th Mar 17, 11:52 AM
    excellent , put the draft defence on here when its at or near completion, so people can give you feedback (just omit and personal details or references for now , put those in at the end , just before submission)

    and THANK YOU for editing post #1 too

    if they had a FOUR HOUR rule , with no return within 1 hour , you would not be in this situation

    so never assume it is your fault , these places should be realistic about what they offer
    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 11th Mar 17, 11:59 PM
    • 43,969 Posts
    • 56,714 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #7
    • 11th Mar 17, 11:59 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Mar 17, 11:59 PM
    Thank you.
    I will acknowledge the claim now.

    I have read many CEL defences on here and will definitely use them to assist with the preparation of mine.

    I haven't spoken to the leisure centre but I saw someone on a different case to get a letter from them as a Witness Statement (if they agree to help) so am planning to do just that.

    thanks again
    Originally posted by AnnieAnne
    CEL cases are fairly easy to defend and we've never had one go to a hearing on here or on pepipoo forum, despite lots of cases being defended. The point is to avoid a hearing if possible of course, as I am sure you would rather avoid it. never seen one yet after a forum defence v CEL!

    So, for other newbies to see as well, here is a typical CEL generic defence to use/adapt (NOT his earlier versions, only post #16):

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=71748239#post71748239

    With the usual outcome, no hearing:

    Just wanted to thank everyone on the forum & especially everyone that offered advice on this thread as the court confirmed that my case has been stayed.
    We had yet another one confirmed as stayed only last week v CEL. You won't need that new outfit for court...!

    PRIVATE PCN in England/Wales? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT

    Click on the breadcrumb trail, top of page: Household & Travel > Motoring > Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking & READ THE 'NEWBIES' FAQS THREAD.
    DON'T read old advice to ignore, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • AnnieAnne
    • By AnnieAnne 22nd Mar 17, 10:51 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    AnnieAnne
    • #8
    • 22nd Mar 17, 10:51 PM
    • #8
    • 22nd Mar 17, 10:51 PM
    Hello again

    I am sorry for the delay, I have had recent surgery and now just about recovered in time to prepare/ adapt my defence, would anyone mind taking a look and letting me know your thoughts and if this is sufficient to send off within the next couple of days please?
    I understand from the Newbies thread that this is a skeleton defence (am I correct?) Therefore thinking perhaps this is a little detailed..

    Really appreciate any help that anyone can offer.

    Annie



    In the County Court Business Centre
    Claim Number ****
    Between:
    Civil Enforcement Limited v ******
    Defence Statement

    The Claim Form issued on the 22nd February 2017 by Civil Enforcement Limited was not correctly filed under The Practice Direction as it was not signed by a legal person but signed by “The Legal Team”. The Claim form is signed 'Civil Enforcement Limited (Claimant's Legal Representative)' so is this paragraph still relevant?

    I deny I am liable to the Claimant for the entirety of the claim for each of the following reasons:

    1/ This Claimant has not complied with pre-court protocol:
    (a)There was no compliant ‘Letter before County Court Claim’, under the Practice Direction.
    (b) This is a speculative serial litigant, issuing a large number of identical 'draft particulars'. The badly mail-merged documents contain very little information. The covering letter merely contains a supposed PCN number with no contravention nor photographs.
    (c) The Claim form Particulars were extremely sparse and divulged no cause of action nor sufficient detail. The Defendant has no idea what the claim is about - why the charge arose, what the alleged contract was; nothing that could be considered a fair exchange of information.

    2/ The Claimant failed to meet the Notice to Keeper obligations of Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. Absent such a notice served within 14 days of the parking event and with fully compliant statutory wording, this Claimant is unable to hold me liable under the strict ‘keeper liability’ provisions.

    Schedule 4 also states that the only sum a keeper can be pursued for (if Schedule 4 is fully complied with, which it was not, and if there was a 'relevant obligation' and relevant contract' fairly and adequately communicated, which there was not) is the sum on the Notice to Keeper. They cannot pluck another sum from thin air and bolt that on as well when neither the signs, nor the NTK, nor the permit information mentioned a possible £251.62 for outstanding debt and damages.

    3/ This case can be distinguished from ParkingEye v Beavis [2015] UKSC 67 (the Beavis case) which was dependent upon an undenied contract, formed by unusually prominent signage forming a clear offer and which turned on unique facts regarding the location and the interests of the landowner. Strict compliance with the BPA Code of Practice (CoP) was paramount and Mr Beavis was the driver who saw the signs and entered into a contract to pay £85 after exceeding a licence to park free. None of this applies in this material case.

    4/ Inadequate signs incapable of binding the driver - this distinguishes this case from the Beavis case:
    (a) Sporadic and illegible (charge not prominent nor large lettering) of site/entrance signage - breach of the POFA 2012 Schedule 4 and the BPA Code of Practice and no contract formed to pay any clearly stated sum.
    (b) Non existent ANPR 'data use' signage - breach of ICO rules and the BPA Code of Practice. I need to go back to the car park to double check signage
    (c) It is believed the signage was not lit and any terms were not transparent or legible; this is an unfair contract, not agreed by the driver and contrary to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 in requiring a huge inflated sum as 'compensation' from by an authorised party using the premises as intended.
    (d) No promise was made by the driver that could constitute consideration because there was no offer known nor accepted. No consideration flowed from the Claimant.

    5/ BPA CoP breaches - this distinguishes this case from the Beavis case:
    (a) the signs were not compliant in terms of the font size, lighting or positioning.
    (b) the sum pursued exceeds £100.
    (c) there is/was no compliant landowner contract.

    6/ No standing - this distinguishes this case from the Beavis case:
    It is believed Civil Enforcement do not hold a legitimate contract at this car park. As an agent, the Claimant has no legal right to bring such a claim in their name which should be in the name of the landowner. I don't actually know who is the landowner, is this something I need to investigate?

    7/ No legitimate interest - this distinguishes this case from the Beavis case:
    This Claimant files serial claims regarding sites where they have lost the contract, known as revenge claims and it believed this is one such case. This is not a legitimate reason to pursue a charge out of proportion with any loss or damages the true landowner could pursue. I'm not sure this is relevant to my case..

    8/ The Beavis case confirmed the fact that, if it is a matter of trespass (not breach of any contract), a parking firm has no standing as a non-landowner to pursue even nominal damages.

    9/ The charge is an unenforceable penalty based upon a lack of commercial justification. The Beavis case confirmed that the penalty rule is certainly engaged in any case of a private parking charge and was only disengaged due to the unique circumstances of that case, which do not resemble this claim.

    10/ The claimant has added unrecoverable sums to the original parking charge. If Mr Cohen is an employee then the Defendant suggests he is remunerated and the particulars of claim dated 22nd February 2017 are templates, so it is not credible that £50 legal costs were incurred. I deny the Claimant is entitled to any interest whatsoever.

    The Defendant denies any liability whatsoever to the Claimant in any matter and asks the Court to note that the Claimant has:
    (a) failed to disclose any cause of action in the incorrectly filed Claim Form issued on 22nd February 2017.

    The vague Particulars of Claim disclose no clear cause of action. The court is invited to strike out the claim of its own volition as having no merit and no reasonable prospects of success.

    I believe the facts contained in this Defence Statement are true.

    Signed
    Date
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