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  • FIRST POST
    • e30_1989
    • By e30_1989 5th Apr 17, 10:46 AM
    • 11Posts
    • 5Thanks
    e30_1989
    County Court Claim Form Received - Advice required ple
    • #1
    • 5th Apr 17, 10:46 AM
    County Court Claim Form Received - Advice required ple 5th Apr 17 at 10:46 AM
    I'm new to the forum so hello to everyone and hoping I can receive a bit of guidance as per the Small Claim post request in the Newbies section. Hopefully below contains all the information someone may need to help but please feel free to ask me further questions.

    In brief, I received a Private Parking Charge in mid-April 2016 nearly a year on I've now received a County Court Claim to the sum of £245.59.

    It all started with me pulling over on the riverfront (I won’t give an exact location due to anonymity) and having a quick smoke for a matter of minutes, in the sunshine early on a Sunday morning, no residents bar one parked car and a learner driver who also pulled in.. No problem.. It is effectively part of the highway on a one way system - Turns out this area was a ‘permit holders only’ space, manned by London Parking Solutions, member of the IPC. 2 weeks later received a letter containing a PCN of £100 (£60 within 14 days).
    The online photographic evidence is extremely poor quality, unable to make out who is sat in the car and only just able to recognise the number plate characters. They are not timestamped and the sign I was parked near looked to have graffiti covering it, the close-up pic of the sign appears to be from a different camera and had black tape covering a section of the sign.

    Of course riled up (and not realising how carefully worded you needed to be) I appealed the invoice to LPS - admitting it was myself in the car and owner, I essentially said "I pulled in to take a telephone call (to play on it being illegal) and I was only there for a few mins so how could i be parked". The initial appeal was rejected. I did not consult any help from the internet at this stage.

    I then Appealed to the IAS – I said effectively the same and that too was rejected, with them basically saying – “you could have sat in the car with the engine running indefinitely, regardless of the amount of time were there, you were parked”. I still hadn’t found any assistance prior to this.

    After looking online I discovered that it will likely go the debt collection stage, which it did, by a company which is part of the IPC, I ignored both letters I received. The last one I received was in Q3 2016. February I received a Letter Before Claim – I ignored this too having discounted it as a fake, thinking it was an attempt from LPS to scare me into paying. I beleived this because the rear of the page had the debt collectors writing, payment options, etc. Was also blurry, had spelling mistakes and not the quality you would expect from a genuine solicitor. I was incorrect with my judgement and now have Court papers.

    Admittedly by this stage I did not take this as seriously as I probably should of done, using probably half the advice the internet gave me. I have since spoken to a solicitor and found advice online and I have just under 14 days to respond to the court claim. Ideally I don’t want to pay them and defend the case, as for principle £100 to stop for a matter of mins is disgusting, £10 I would probably cough up and make it go away.

    At this stage I’m looking for advice, opinions, guidance on what I have a defence below, if its plausable or what alternative steps to take. I’m hoping some of you will be able to give solid advice or opinions due to the anonymity of the site – unfortunately solicitors and the debt line have only given me flaky information so far. On another note it appears the IPC community is very close knit, designed to sting individuals like me, they make £25 from PPC’s for every appellant they receive and appears to be a very much ”we help you, you help us” business model, hence the reason for the extremely high rejection rate.

    Please see what I’ve written below so far for my defence on the claim:

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The reason for me occupying the premises was that I temporarily pulled in to take an urgent telephone call, which is illegal to do whilst driving. I found a safe place that appeared to of been council owned land as it is effectively part of the highway. I’ll also add that the parking area opposite side of the road is council owned too.

    The Sign at the time and also pictured in the evidence appears to have had black graffiti on the top half of the sign, this was also confirmed by the hair salon (opposite) that I called to try to establish who the landowner of the parking spaces was. Also, the pictured sign given in evidence appears to have black tape covering the lower half of the black box. True or false, this could be a tactic used by the creditor to change and amend the terms of their contract, or to make look like they are no longer enforceable, to suit themselves in order to take action on individuals like myself. Predatory tactics?

    After deciding I DID NOT want to PARK I noticed the visible parts of the sign, disagreed with the contractual agreement and left the premises. I was not in the space long enough to have even turned my engine off, let alone cause obstruction to the rightful landowner. Part B, Section 15, Grace Periods of the Third Edition IPC code of practice, that London Parking Solutions should follow, was not.

    As far as I’m concerned, I did not park nor agree to the terms of the contractual agreement.

    There was actually a learner car that had also pulled over with occupants inside the vehicle, which also led me to believe there would be no issue with me pulling in.

    I feel the invoice itself is totally unfair and unjustified for the matter of minutes I was parked on, what effectively is, part of the highway. If a resident/owner for that specific space arrived and wished to enter I would easily have been able to exit the space and move on. Exactly the same as temporarily/accidently pulling over someone’s driveway.

    Not to mention, no one that pulls over onto double yellow lines temporarily in a safe place, whilst also occupying the vehicle, receives an immediate parking charge for such a high sum of money. If the state does not operate this way, surely it is not justified for private individuals to try to claim this money.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Page 2
    • waamo
    • By waamo 8th Apr 17, 4:40 PM
    • 2,018 Posts
    • 2,437 Thanks
    waamo
    Please for your own advice start your own thread. This one involves a live court case and things will get very confusing trying to answer questions from several people.
    This space for hire.
    • Lamilad
    • By Lamilad 9th Apr 17, 12:13 AM
    • 887 Posts
    • 1,861 Thanks
    Lamilad
    My mother is asking me to pay the fine because it is making me ill, but to just give away money knowing that these individuals are getting away with this sickens me even more.
    So it should. As advised you need to start your own thread but from the small amount of the information you have provided I'd say your case is very winnable. DO NOT PAY!
    • e30_1989
    • By e30_1989 25th Apr 17, 3:07 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    e30_1989
    The defence
    I'd like to thank everyone first for their help so far on my case. Below is the defence I have written up myself with the assistance of you lot and the example defences. Hopefully it is up to standard and a usable defence. Please comment or let me know of any adjustment that I may need to make. I will continue to check over this evening as I may want to add further points.

    Defence
    1. 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.

    2. It is denied that any 'parking charges or indemnity costs' (whatever they might be) are owed and any debt is denied in its entirety.

    3. This is a completely unsubstantiated and inflated three-figure sum, vaguely and incoherently adduced by the claimant's solicitors. The Particulars are not clear and concise, so I have had to cover all eventualities in defending a 'cut & paste' claim. This has caused significant distress and has denied me a fair chance to defend this claims in an informed way, hence the reason both appeals have been rejected due to me supplying extremely brief defence points.

    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.

    5. 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.

    6. 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.

    7. The particulars of claim fail to comply with Practice Direction 16, paragraphs 7.1 (1), 7.3
    PD 16 Paragraphs 7.1 - 7.3:
    "7.1 Where a claim is made for an injunction or declaration in respect of or relating to any land or the possession, occupation, use or enjoyment of any land the particulars of claim must:
    (1) state whether or not the injunction or declaration relates to residential premises, and
    (2) identify the land (by reference to a plan where necessary).
    7.2 Where a claim is brought to enforce a right to recover possession of goods the particulars of claim must contain a statement showing the value of the goods.
    7.3 Where a claim is based upon a written agreement:
    (1) a copy of the contract or documents constituting the agreement should be attached to or served with the particulars of claim and the original(s) should be available at the hearing, and
    (2) any general conditions of sale incorporated in the contract should also be attached (but where the contract is or the documents constituting the agreement are bulky this practice direction is complied with by attaching or serving only the relevant parts of the contract or documents)."

    8. It is unapparent that the Claimant is the lawful occupier of the land. Absent a contract with the lawful occupier of the land being produced by the claimant, or a chain of contracts showing authorisation stemming from 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 right to bring action regarding this claim.
    The Claimant is therefore put to strict proof that at the time of the alleged event they were in possession of sufficient authority to issue parking charges and institute proceedings in their own name and can demonstrate a clear chain of authority from the landowner. Please refer to PD 16 Paragraph 7.1 (1) above.
    In the absence of strict proof I submit that the Claimant has no case and invite the court to strike the matter out.

    9. These are prohibiting signs and I, the defendant, cannot enter a contract (or have one imposed) for something that is not allowed. The signs make it clear that the parking is for 'Permit Holders Only'. I, the defendant were not allowed to park there in the first place (according to the signage), therefore, can only have been a trespasser. The only person who can sue a trespasser is the landowner and not London Parking Solutions and even then, only for actual damages caused. No form of parking was offered/permitted to any person or vehicle that did not have a permit, therefore, because no offer was made, no contract could be entered and any claim thereafter unable to proceed. Due to this, I again ask the court to strike the matter out.

    10. As per the IPC third edition code of practice, Section A, Part 2.4, I request that proof should be provided for sections: 2.41 , 2.42 and 2.43.

    2.4: If you obtain and process vehicle Keeper Data you are obliged to:

    2.41 Be registered with the Information Commissioner.
    2.42 Be compliant with all necessary legislation.
    2.43 Adhere to DVLA requirements relating to Keeper Data.
    11. It is believed that the Claimant may seek to rely on a rather unique interpretation of the judgement in ParkingEye Vs Barry Beavis and endeavour to persuade the court that the case created a precedent. As this case was for a large, publicly used car park, specifically for customers of a shopping centre, the reality is that no such precedent was created.

    12. If the court is minded to accept that the Claimant has standing then I submit that the signs on site at the time of the alleged event were insufficient in terms of their condition, wording and visibility to reasonably convey a contractual obligation and did not in any event at the time comply with the requirements of the Code of Practice of the Independent Parking Committee’s Accredited Operators Scheme a signatory to which the Claimant was at the relevant time.

    13. The Claimant’s signs at the site, given in evidence and photos taken of the site since the claim was issued:
    a) Have tape covering certain terms/areas of the sign
    b) Fail to make it clear that the motorist is entering onto private land
    c) Have damage, wear and fixings which distort wording

    14. There is no indication as to the amount of time the defendant spent on the site, this is apparent from the Photographic evidence given by the claimant which is not timestamped. There is also no mention of this in the Particulars of Claim or at any other stage of the imposed contract. As stated the defendant was only on site for a duration of 10 minutes or less, therefore not on the site long enough to fully seek, read and make an informed decision on whether or not to agree/disagree to any contractual agreement.

    15. Further to section 9 14, the IPC third edition code of practice, Section B, Part 15, Grace Periods states the following:
    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 should be allowed a sufficient amount of time to leave a site after a pre-paid or permitted period of parking has expired.
    This was clearly not carried out by the claimant. The British Parking Association defines circa 10 minutes as an acceptable time frame to seek, read and agree/disagree with terms of parking – the IPC has no such time indication. However, taking this time period into account as a socially & precedentially acceptable minimum, and, the space was not occupied exceeding this grace period, it should not be possible for a contractual agreement to have been entered.
    16. Due to the nature of the parking area and the design of the road that runs parallel, it is effectively part of the highway, which can easily be mistaken by individuals like myself that need to pull over in an emergency, that it is a safe place to pull over temporarily. This, together with the fact that certain terms/parts of the sign were covered and no clear indication on either sign, or other areas of the land stating it is private, it is misleading and the claimant is using this advantage to produce forced contractual agreements. As stated in the Third edition IPC code of Practice, Section B, Part 14; the claimant is arguably using predatory tactics.

    17. It is denied that the signs on display fall under any of the classes in Schedule 1 or Schedule 3 of The Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007 or that the Claimant has advertisement consent for the signs. The Claimant is therefore put to strict proof that at the time of the alleged event they had both advertisement consent and the permission from the site owner to display the signs.

    18. Photographic evidence the claimant has provided were not from CCTV or ANPR equipment. It is apparent that it was taken by an individual with a camera. This should not be seen sufficient proof to issue a Notice to Keeper without first issuing a Notice to Driver (usually contained in a pack on the windscreen)

    19. In the absence of strict proof I submit that the Claimant was committing an offence by displaying their signs and therefore no contract could have been entered into between the driver and the Claimant.

    20. The Claimant is put to strict proof of all his assertions.

    21. In the above circumstances, I respectfully ask that the court dismiss the claim
    Last edited by e30_1989; 25-04-2017 at 3:20 PM.
    • e30_1989
    • By e30_1989 26th Apr 17, 2:53 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    e30_1989
    Further to my previous post I have added further points and reworded certain areas, please see below. As far as i'm aware Monday the 1st is my deadline to file a defence so ideally need to email it to them by Friday this week (I forgot my password to the MCOL site and takes up to 7 days to send a letter to reset ).


    1. 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.

    2. It is denied that any 'parking charges or indemnity costs' (whatever they might be) are owed and any debt is denied in its entirety.

    3. This is a completely unsubstantiated and inflated three-figure sum, vaguely and incoherently adduced by the claimant's solicitors. The Particulars are not clear and concise, so I have had to cover all eventualities in defending a 'cut & paste' claim. This has caused significant distress and has denied me a fair chance to defend this claim in an informed way.

    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.

    5. 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.

    6. 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.

    7. The particulars of claim fail to comply with Practice Direction 16, paragraphs 7.1 (1), 7.3
    PD 16 Paragraphs 7.1 - 7.3:
    7.1 Where a claim is made for an injunction or declaration in respect of or relating to any land or the possession, occupation, use or enjoyment of any land the particulars of claim must:
    (1) state whether or not the injunction or declaration relates to residential premises, and
    (2) identify the land (by reference to a plan where necessary).
    7.2 Where a claim is brought to enforce a right to recover possession of goods the particulars of claim must contain a statement showing the value of the goods.
    7.3 Where a claim is based upon a written agreement:
    (1) a copy of the contract or documents constituting the agreement should be attached to or served with the particulars of claim and the original(s) should be available at the hearing, and
    (2) any general conditions of sale incorporated in the contract should also be attached (but where the contract is or the documents constituting the agreement are bulky this practice direction is complied with by attaching or serving only the relevant parts of the contract or documents).

    8. It is unapparent that the Claimant is the lawful occupier of the land. Absent a contract with the lawful occupier of the land being produced by the claimant, or a chain of contracts showing authorisation stemming from 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 right to bring action regarding this claim.
    The Claimant is therefore put to strict proof that at the time of the alleged event they were in possession of sufficient authority to issue parking charges and institute proceedings in their own name and can demonstrate a clear chain of authority from the landowner. Please refer to PD 16 Paragraph 7.1 (1) above.
    In the absence of strict proof I submit that the Claimant has no case and invite the court to strike the matter out.

    9. These are prohibiting/forbidding signs and I, the defendant, cannot enter a contract (or have one imposed) for something that is not allowed. The signs make it clear that the parking is for 'Permit Holders Only'. I, the defendant were not allowed to park there in the first place (according to the signage), therefore, can only have been a trespasser. The only person who can sue a trespasser is the landowner and not the claimant, even then, only for actual damages caused. No form of parking was offered/permitted to any person or vehicle that did not have a permit, therefore, because no offer was made, no contract could be entered and any claim thereafter unable to proceed.

    10. Further to the above point, In the cases of B4GF26K6 PCM (UK) v Mr B, B4GF27K3 PCM (UK) v Mr W and B4GF26K2 PCM (UK) v Ms L it was demonstrated that forbidding signage at residential parking spaces did not create a contract. Due to this, I again ask the court to strike the matter out.

    11. As per the IPC third edition code of practice, Section A, Part 2.4, I request that proof should be provided for sections: 2.41 , 2.42 and 2.43.
    2.4: If you obtain and process vehicle Keeper Data you are obliged to:
    2.41 Be registered with the Information Commissioner.
    2.42 Be compliant with all necessary legislation.
    2.43 Adhere to DVLA requirements relating to Keeper Data.

    12. It is believed that the Claimant may seek to rely on a rather unique interpretation of the judgement in ParkingEye Vs Barry Beavis and endeavour to persuade the court that the case created a precedent. As this case was for a contract that meant the defendant overstaying in a contractually offered time limit, in a large, publicly used car park, specifically for customers of a shopping centre, the reality is that no such precedent was created as the scenario is completely separate.

    13. I submit that the signs on site at the time of the alleged event were insufficient in terms of their condition, wording and visibility to reasonably convey a contractual obligation and did not in any event at the time comply with the requirements of the Code of Practice of the Independent Parking Committee’s Accredited Operators Scheme a signatory to which the Claimant was at the relevant time.

    14. The Claimant’s signs at the site, given in evidence and photos taken of the site since the claim was issued:

    a) Have tape covering certain terms/areas of the sign
    b) Fail to make it clear that the motorist is entering onto private land
    c) Have damage, wear and fixings which distort wording

    15. There is no indication as to the amount of time the defendant spent on the site, this is apparent from the Photographic evidence given by the claimant which is not timestamped. There is also no mention of this in the Particulars of Claim or at any other stage of the imposed contract. As stated the defendant was only on site for a duration of 10 minutes or less, therefore not on the site long enough to fully seek, read and make an informed decision on whether or not to agree/disagree to any contractual agreement.

    16. Further to the above point, the IPC third edition code of practice, Section B, Part 15, Grace Periods states the following:
    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 should be allowed a sufficient amount of time to leave a site after a pre-paid or permitted period of parking has expired.
    This was clearly not carried out by the claimant. The British Parking Association defines circa 10 minutes as an acceptable time frame to seek, read and agree/disagree with terms of parking – the IPC has no such time indication. However, taking this time period into account as a ‘sufficient’ and precedentially acceptable minimum, and, the space was not occupied exceeding this grace period, it should not be possible for a contractual agreement to have been entered.

    17. Due to the nature of the parking area and the design of the road that runs parallel, it is effectively part of the highway, which can easily be mistaken by individuals like myself that need to pull over in an emergency, that it is a safe place to pull over temporarily. This, together with the fact that certain terms/parts of the sign were covered and no clear indication on either sign, or other areas of the land stating it is private, is misleading and the claimant is using this advantage to produce forced contractual agreements. As stated in the Third edition IPC code of Practice, Section B, Part 14; the claimant is arguably using predatory tactics.

    18. Further to this, as section 20 will begin to highlight; if it is told that mobile/handheld recording equipment was in fact used, that it will further strengthen the defendants point that the claimant has used predatory tactics to issue false contracts.

    19. It is denied that the signs on display fall under any of the classes in Schedule 1 or Schedule 3 of The Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007 or that the Claimant has advertisement consent for the signs. The Claimant is therefore put to strict proof that at the time of the alleged event they had both advertisement consent and the permission from the site owner to display the signs. In the absence of strict proof I submit that the Claimant was committing an offence by displaying their signs and therefore no contract could have been entered into between the driver and the Claimant.

    20. Photographic evidence the claimant has provided were not from CCTV or ANPR equipment. It is apparent that it was taken by an individual with a camera. This should not be seen as sufficient proof. Any CCTV or ANPR equipment that may be claimed to have been used would have been affixed to public land/highways or to private property not owned by the claimant, therefore put to strict proof that any recording equipment used had proper permissions from the rightful land owners.

    21. As also highlighted in the section above; Most images/videos taken via mobile recording equipment are not properly/accurately timestamped. It has already been publicly proved that UKPC has ‘doctored’ images of parked cars to have a false timestamp and the defendant puts the claimant to strict proof that no such act has been carried out if timestamped photos are provided at the last minute.

    22. If recording equipment used was in fact via personal camera or device then the claimant should not be able to issue a Notice to Keeper without first issuing a Notice to Driver (usually contained in a pack on the windscreen, that I did not receive).


    23. Legality to using such evidence to obtain keeper details from the DVLA is to be put to strict proof.

    24. The Claimant is put to strict proof of all his assertions.

    25. In the above circumstances, I respectfully ask that the court dismiss the claim
    • e30_1989
    • By e30_1989 23rd May 17, 12:41 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    e30_1989
    Just to update, I submitted the defence and received the Directions Questionnaire shortly afterwards - This has been submitted and confirmed received by the court.

    Interestingly they let me know on the phone that the Claimants Solicitors have not yet submitted their Directions Questionnaire which is overdue the 14 day period.
    ^The 'Notice of Transfer of Proceedings has now arrived^
    Looks like the hearing is going to proceed (at my local court fortunately). I have no times yet but will likely update here again after the hearing and decision has been made. Wish me luck, I'm 50/50 with my confidence of winning..
    Last edited by e30_1989; 25-05-2017 at 11:46 AM. Reason: No longer valid information
    • e30_1989
    • By e30_1989 5th Sep 17, 4:03 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    e30_1989
    Final Update & Thanks
    With a Court hearing set for the 29th Sep and on the verge of submitting the statement of truths for the case, I received a letter Saturday morning from the Solicitors representing the claimant. The contents of which stated that it was a notice of discontinuance for the claim, to which myself and the court have received a copy of.

    Evidently, threatening to 'take legal action' with the courts is simply their final scare tactic to make someone pay obscene charges, w**kers.

    Thanks all for the assistance. Hopefully this thread will be a good read for anyone that has received a invoice from London Parking Solutions.
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 5th Sep 17, 4:36 PM
    • 14,590 Posts
    • 22,950 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    You might now want to seek a costs order against them.

    https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part38
    We cannot provide you with a silver bullet to get you out of this. You have to be in for the long run, and need to involve yourself in research and work for you to get rid of this. It is not simple. We will help, but can't do it for you.

    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.
    • handymanuk
    • By handymanuk 5th Sep 17, 4:50 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    handymanuk
    Good news.
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 5th Sep 17, 5:45 PM
    • 504 Posts
    • 602 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    Need, ask for your costs to date based on the claimants unreasonable behaviour.

    The clearly had no intention of going to court.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 5th Sep 17, 5:47 PM
    • 50,114 Posts
    • 63,496 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    One letter claims your costs, 3 figures:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=73079968#post73079968
    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.

    • e30_1989
    • By e30_1989 6th Sep 17, 11:09 AM
    • 11 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    e30_1989
    Hi All, after looking at it initially I thought as this claim was allocated to the small claims track that I would be unable to do file costs. I have since discovered I can if the claimant has acted 'unreasonably'.
    My only concern is that I did not issue any counter-claim or costs upon submitting any of the info to court, will it affect this cost claim?
    Below is my draft cost claim letter I tailored for myself using one from a pepipoo thread. Feel free to advise alterations/additions.

    "Dear Sir or Madam,

    I had a Court date set for 29/09/2017 and the hearing scheduled for 11:30am on that date. Dated the 31st of Aug 2017, I received a Notice of Discontinuance from the Claimants solicitor. Upon inquiring with the court, I found that this was indeed received by the court and the claim halted in its entirety.
    I as the Defendant in this matter have undergone costs. The claimant has at no point during the course of this claim complied with any of the requirements. They did not (to the best of my knowledge) serve their directions questionnaire, they failed to acknowledge or reply to a part 18 request and they did not serve on me their witness statement.

    CPR r.38.6 states that the claimant is liable for the defendant's costs after discontinuance (r.38.6(1)) but that this does not apply to claims allocated to the small claims track (r.38.6(3)). However, the white book states (annotation 38.6.1): "Note that the normal rule as to costs does not apply if a claimant in a case allocated to the small claims track serves a notice of discontinuance although it might be contended that costs should be awarded if a party has behaved unreasonably (r.27.14(2)(d))." I believe it should actually refer to r.27.14(2)(g) as that is the rule which allows the court to award costs for unreasonable behaviour.

    On this basis I would like to request a costs order to be made against the Claimant given that they have behaved unreasonably by discontinuing this claim, and also by not submitting any evidence/witness statement in support of their claim other than their claim form, and by not serving me with a copy of their Directions Questionnaire contrary to the court order. Initially I was happy to swallow costs, but clearly the claimant had no intention of going to court, likely to have been at great cost of money/time/resources to the court. The Defendant too had significant costs to prepare the Defence and prepare attendance of the hearing and the costs claimed are as follows:

    Schedule of costs

    Research and preparation of defence as litigant in person @£18 per hour, 6 hours. Total £108.

    Printing of 3 copies of witness statement (not submitted to either party, as discontinuance arrived prior to posting), defence documentation, skeleton argument, and postal costs for all documentations sent. Estimate £21.

    Self-employed, 7 day working week on average of £35,000pa, based on a 48 working weeks year to account for leave, daily rate works out to £104.17 per day. To date a total of 0.5 days has been lost. Total £52.09.

    The grand total of cost claimed is: £181.09

    Yours faithfully"

    P.S: I also called the court this morning to confirm they received the discontinuance, which they did.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 6th Sep 17, 8:21 PM
    • 50,114 Posts
    • 63,496 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    My only concern is that I did not issue any counter-claim or costs upon submitting any of the info to court, will it affect this cost claim?
    Nope, that's irrelevant.

    You are fine! You are entitled to claim your costs under the law applicable, and can certainly argue unreasonableness in the hope the Judge agrees and grants a decent sum.

    Just remove this, below, you do not need to say why you didn't mention costs thus far, because...you didn't need to until this point!
    Initially I was happy to swallow costs, but
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 07-09-2017 at 1:54 AM.
    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.

    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 6th Sep 17, 10:51 PM
    • 504 Posts
    • 602 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    Use the lip rate of £19 per hour OR use the higher 50% of a band D rate so £60 ph that courts have stated might be accepted. Then 4 hours is £76 to £240

    Have you seen the other costs letters? Cmm has given a few links around the more recent threads.
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