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  • FIRST POST
    • nextman
    • By nextman 28th Apr 17, 4:14 PM
    • 8Posts
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    nextman
    Gladstones Letter of Claim
    • #1
    • 28th Apr 17, 4:14 PM
    Gladstones Letter of Claim 28th Apr 17 at 4:14 PM
    Hi all.

    I recently received a "letter before claim" from gladstone solicitors. It was relating to a parking fine from september 2015. After reading up I wasnt sure if this was someone pretending to be a solicitor to get some money out of me so I responded and asked for cause of action (something i saw another user on the forum do). I received a response today that said i have 14 days to pay before a letter of claim is issued.

    Some background on the parking fine: I have a flexible working plan and at the time I was regularly using diffrrent car parks from day to day. Sometimes multiple car parks in the same area as i wasnt sure if i was going to be at work for 2 hours or 10. Also I carshare occasionally with my cousin who lives next door and works with me.

    In september 2015 i received a few parking tickets from SIP and RCP but just ignored them untill they sent something to my house. In this case SIP has sent me a couple of notices demanding i pay. I have responded to every letter from them and the subsequent debt collector denying that I was the driver they were looking for. I requested an appeal but this was rejected as the appeal period had passed. so I asked them to send me everything they had to prove that I was the driver of the car. I used a template that i found online. In the end they gave up and stopped contacting me - until I received the letter from GLS this week.

    At this point i think i will have to respond to them with a letter asking them to bring the claim so that i can defend myself. I wish i hadnt got myself into this mess but now I just dont want to pay untill i absolutely have to. Mostly because although I may have been the driver, I cant be sure and i have never parked at that gravel pit they call a car park unless it was a last resort. It is under the arches at chapel warf and its jam packed every morning.

    What are my chances in court? Also will losing the claim effect my credit status? Will I even have to make an appearance in court? I have other tickets trom around the same time that i have not been chased up for (from SIP) - can these be used against me or grouped within this claim?Those are my main concerns at the moment. ANY HELP APPRECIATED.
Page 1
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 29th Apr 17, 12:00 AM
    • 46,894 Posts
    • 60,221 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #2
    • 29th Apr 17, 12:00 AM
    • #2
    • 29th Apr 17, 12:00 AM
    Have you read post #2 of the Newbies thread first and acknowledged this claim on MCOL?
    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.

    • mirawais
    • By mirawais 15th May 17, 1:17 PM
    • 5 Posts
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    mirawais
    • #3
    • 15th May 17, 1:17 PM
    • #3
    • 15th May 17, 1:17 PM
    Hi mate
    I am in the same situation. any updates pal ? i have got the same letter
    thank you
    • pogofish
    • By pogofish 15th May 17, 10:50 PM
    • 7,126 Posts
    • 7,143 Thanks
    pogofish
    • #4
    • 15th May 17, 10:50 PM
    • #4
    • 15th May 17, 10:50 PM
    Hi mate
    I am in the same situation. any updates pal ? i have got the same letter
    thank you
    Originally posted by mirawais
    Read the Newbies Sticky and Start your own thread please.

    Hijacking threads won't get you the best help.
    • mirawais
    • By mirawais 16th May 17, 11:29 PM
    • 5 Posts
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    mirawais
    • #5
    • 16th May 17, 11:29 PM
    • #5
    • 16th May 17, 11:29 PM
    Am not hijacking anything mate, You need help with your selection of words. was trying to get some info. I am new to this.
    • beamerguy
    • By beamerguy 17th May 17, 8:12 AM
    • 5,285 Posts
    • 6,707 Thanks
    beamerguy
    • #6
    • 17th May 17, 8:12 AM
    • #6
    • 17th May 17, 8:12 AM
    Am not hijacking anything mate, You need help with your selection of words. was trying to get some info. I am new to this.
    Originally posted by mirawais
    Then start your own thread

    This thread belongs to nextman ... hence hijacking
    RBS - MNBA - CAPITAL ONE - LLOYDS

    DISGUSTING BEHAVIOUR
    • nextman
    • By nextman 23rd May 17, 6:20 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    nextman
    • #7
    • 23rd May 17, 6:20 PM
    • #7
    • 23rd May 17, 6:20 PM
    UPDATE: sent them a letter from Gans post. requesting cause of action, communications (including the issued notice from the windscreen) etc. I kept proof of postage but they didn't respond. They have just submitted the claim documents instead. They want £160 parking charges/damages, £7.09 interest (no idea what for), £50 legal costs and £25 court fee.

    I'm guessing I now need to acknowledge the claim and prepare my defense.
    • Lamilad
    • By Lamilad 23rd May 17, 6:45 PM
    • 681 Posts
    • 1,464 Thanks
    Lamilad
    • #8
    • 23rd May 17, 6:45 PM
    • #8
    • 23rd May 17, 6:45 PM
    I'm guessing I now need to acknowledge the claim and prepare my defense.
    Correct, research SIP court threads and others to put your own defence together. Post your draft here for further advice.

    You will mention in your defence that you acted reasonably in trying to engage with them prior to the claim being issued and if they had also acted reasonably instead of ignoring you then litigation could have been avoided
    • The Deep
    • By The Deep 23rd May 17, 6:47 PM
    • 6,578 Posts
    • 5,521 Thanks
    The Deep
    • #9
    • 23rd May 17, 6:47 PM
    • #9
    • 23rd May 17, 6:47 PM
    They are not like a proper solicitor and do not behave like a normal solicitor should. They operate on the thinnest of margins and, if you put up a rigourous defence, they usually collapse, read some of these.

    https://www.google.co.uk/?gws_rd=ssl#q=you've+been+gladstoned+prankster&spf =1495561536731

    If they ignore your legitimate questions, bring this to the notice of the judge.
    Last edited by The Deep; 23-05-2017 at 6:49 PM.
    You never know how far you can go until you go too far.
    • nextman
    • By nextman 10th Jun 17, 2:39 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    nextman
    I am in the process of writing my defense. I wanted to know if this is a valid point. As I dont have the original documents that they have issued along the way ( I threw these out during a spring clean), I can't be certain whether they have complied with POFA. I've requested all the documents relating to the claim twice (I have proof of postage for one) but I've never had any correspondence with them other than "pay us or we'll take you to court".

    I would appreciate any help with the wording on this. I understand its a bit flimsy as I havent kept most of the relevant documents myself.
    • nextman
    • By nextman 10th Jun 17, 3:17 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    nextman
    My defense as it stands (based on something I saw on another forum)

    1. It is admitted that Defendant is the owner of the vehicle with registration XXXXXXX.
    2. Defendant is unable to admit or deny the precise times he was parked on the land at Spaw Street Arches as he has no recollection of this. The Claimant is put to proof of the same.

    3. Defendant has requested copies of all documents relating to this claim on 2 occasions but the claimant has not obliged. As Defendant has no recollection of the particulars relating to the claim, he is not able to admit or deny any charge in this matter.

    Furthermore, as this information was not provided by the claimant, Defendant is unaware of the precise nature of this claim. Defendant does not know whether the claim is due to an overstay at the land, an invalid ticket, not displaying a ticket or perhaps parking outside of a designated bay.

    4. As the claimant has unreasonably refused to provide any relevant documentation, Defendant has no way of knowing if the claimant has complied with Schedule 4, Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and mounting a defense if the Claimant has not complied with this legislation.

    5. Defendant had also requested any photo evidence or records showing that the vehicle was parked on the land at Spaw Street Arches on the relevant date but this request was ignored. Furthermore the Particulars of Claim do not contain the precise timings of the charge being incurred, Defendant believes this is because the claimant has no evidence to support this claim.

    6. 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.

    Defendant had requested details of ownership of the land before the claim was made but this request was also ignored by the claimant.

    7. Alternatively, even if there was a contract, the provision requiring payment of £242.09 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;
    (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; and
    (d) the clause is specifically expressed to be a penalty on the Claimant's signs. - NEED TO CONFIRM THIS YET BUT SUSPECT IT MAY BE TRUE

    7. Further and alternatively, the provision requiring payment of £242.09 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 obligation 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 expressly 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.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 10th Jun 17, 3:42 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    2. Defendant is unable to admit or deny the precise times he was parked on the land at Spaw Street Arches as he has no recollection of this. The Claimant is put to proof of the same.
    ''he was parked''?

    You want to throw away the POFA?
    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.

    • nextman
    • By nextman 12th Jun 17, 2:18 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    nextman
    ''he was parked''?

    You want to throw away the POFA?
    Originally posted by Coupon-mad
    Should i take this out altogether or change it? How about this:

    2. Defendant is unable to admit or deny parking on the land at Spaw Street Arches as he has no recollection of this. The Claimant is put to proof of the same.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 12th Jun 17, 10:10 PM
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    • 60,221 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Much better, in that part.

    But your 2 x points #7 are both not suitable and need removing. One talks about 'no GPEOL' (dead as a dodo) and one talks about the UTCCRs (repealed), both unable to be used, since 2015. And SIP do not call their charges a 'penalty'.

    As for #4, #5 and #6, I would add to the end of each point: 'The claimant is put to strict proof.'

    Your defence is very short and misses out this sort of thing (hat tip to Lucy Bea and LoadsofChildren123):


    - The Claimant’s solicitors may attempt to use Parking Eye Limited v Beavis 2015 UKSC 67. The Defendant maintains that this case in fact supports this defence in that:
    (a) In Beavis, the Defendant accepted that there was a contract formed by the clear and prominently displayed signage.
    (b) In Beavis, the Claimant was held to have complied with the Code of Practice of the British Parking Association; it was held that strict compliance with a Parking Industry code of practice was expected of any Claimant seeking to enforce a parking charge. It is averred that this Claimant has failed to comply with the IPC Code of Practice, including but not limited to, non-compliance with the rules about clear signage and grace periods, as well as the ban on predatory practices.
    (c) In Beavis, the driver was identified.
    (d) In Beavis, there was a 'complex' commercial justification, which was deemed to be 'entirely different' from cases the courts had seen before where a small parking fee was alleged to have been unpaid. More 'ordinary' transactional parking charge cases, where there was a quantifiable tariff/charge of a few pounds alleged to be due, were held to 'rarely' avoid falling foul of Lord Dunedin's four tests for a penalty, and the penalty rule is certainly engaged in such cases as this.
    (e) In Beavis, the Judges at the Supreme Court were not unanimous but ParkingEye managed to avoid falling foul of the penalty rule, due to the unique circumstances at the location, the unusually 'clear and brief' signs placed all over the car park, including at the entrance, and due to a rare 'legitimate interest' in charging a sum to deter drivers from overstaying a free licence to park, instead of charging an hourly tariff.

    - No evidence has been provided that the driver breached the terms, or what those terms were, or whether the signs were legible and/or capable of offering a parking licence and creating a contract to pay a parking charge displayed in equivalent large lettering to any tariff.

    - The driver has not been identified by the Defendant and the Claimant has produced no evidence to show that he was driving the vehicle at the relevant time.

    - The only liability which the Defendant can have is therefore as registered keeper of the vehicle. The Defendant denies that he has any liability as registered keeper. Although there is a provision in law under Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act of 2012 ("the POFA"), which provides that a parking company can recover unpaid parking charges from the vehicle’s keeper, the Claimant has not served the required, compliant Notice to Keeper. Further, it is averred that the Claimant failed to provide 'adequate notice' of the charge to the driver, in clear, brief terms on prominent signage.

    - It is denied that there was any 'relevant obligation' or 'relevant contract' relating to any single parking event. As such, there can be no 'keeper liability' and the Defendant has no liability in law.

    - The Particulars of Claim disclose no cause of action and are in breach of several aspects of Civil Procedure Rules (CPR), so much so that they are incoherent, containing no details about the Claim, how it arises or to what it relates.

    - The Defendant responded to every letter from this Claimant and the subsequent debt collector demands, asserting that the Defendant was not the driver (the vehicle is shared between family members who work at the same location). The Defendant also requested the Claimant’s solicitor to comply with the Practice Direction on Pre-action Conduct and Protocols as per paragraphs 6(a) and (c) and provide basic details to show any cause of action, in prompt response to their ultimatums to pay the charge now claimed.

    - The Defendant has also requested ADR but was denied any right to appeal or ADR, at all stages. The Claimant’s solicitor has not replied to recent letters and has instead proceeded directly to court proceedings the small claims court. The Defendant draws the court's attention of the court to paragraphs 15 and 16 of the Practice Direction regarding non-compliance and sanctions. Moreover, a Claim must be set out in full in the Particulars of Claim, a clear requirement of Rule 16.2(1)(a), 16.4(1)(a)).

    - It is submitted that (apart from properly incurred court fees) any added legal costs are simply numbers made up out of thin air, and are an attempt at double recovery by the Claimant, which would not be recoverable in the small claims court. In any case, the POFA Schedule 4 prevents claims exceeding the sum potentially recoverable which is fixed and restricted under that statute, to the sum on a compliant Notice to Keeper. There are no true legal costs; in fact the Defendant understands that Gladstones offer claims filing free of charge to paid-up IPC members. At the time this Claim was filed, the IPC and the IAS 'appeals' process and Gladstones Solicitors all shared the same Directors. This and the lack of detail and diligence in this robo-claim, demonstrates Gladstones do not come to this matter with clean hands.

    - The Claimant’s solicitors are known for proceeding to court with generic claims with no scrutiny of details or even confirming a true cause of action. The Defendant understands that they are currently under investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The Defendant thus believes the Claimant and its their solicitors are showing disregard for the dignity of the court and using small claims in order to extract money from panicked and busy unrepresented consumers without the time or know-how to formulate a defence, using an automated system which is against the public interest.

    - There are many examples of similarly poorly pleaded claims being struck out, e.g. District Judge Cross of St Albans County Court on 20/09/16 struck out a similarly poorly-pleaded claim 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''. In addition, District Judge Musgrave of Birmingham County Court struck out another Gladstones claim 19/1/2017 for being “utterly hopeless and inadequate” and “an abuse of process.” One of their solicitors have been quoted as saying “We issue on a vast majority of claims, majority of which are not defended and therefore it is time consuming and not financially viable to send further particulars of claim.” The Defendant asserts that financial viability is not an excuse for court rules to be ignored.

    - The Claimant has not in fact provided any facts or evidence to enable the Defendant to file a proper defence, meaning the Defendant has had to research and cover all possible defences, causing significant distress and taking a considerable amount of time. The Defendant has reason to believe that this claim will proceed without and facts or evidence supplied until the last possible minute, a significant disadvantage to the unrepresented Defendant, who has no legal experience.

    - I reserve the right to amend my defence if the particulars are at some stage brought forward and show otherwise. Again, it is denied that the driver had any contract, and that even if they did, that the keeper has any responsibility for contracts the driver may or may have not made.

    - It is submitted that the conduct of the Claimant and the Claimant’s solicitors is wholly unreasonable and vexatious, and a punitive costs order will be sought against the Claimant and a wasted costs order against its solicitors.

    I believe the facts stated in this Defence are true.


    Signature


    Date
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 12-06-2017 at 10:15 PM.
    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.

    • nextman
    • By nextman 13th Jun 17, 10:54 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    nextman
    Wow. Thanks alot. Am I ok to add that to my defense as it is? (Along with the other ammendments you mentioned)

    Also, should I submit it online in MCOL or send it in writing.
    Last edited by nextman; 13-06-2017 at 10:59 PM.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 14th Jun 17, 7:38 PM
    • 46,894 Posts
    • 60,221 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Yes, use that together with your first points, minus the ones mentioned.

    No not on MCOL, and only in writing by post to CCBC if you get proof of posting. And only if you have lots of time.

    Most here email it as a PDF to CCBC with the claim number and 'defence' in the subject line. How to set out the top headers/font and line spacing of your defence to stay onside with the Judge is explained by bargepole in a link in post #2 of the NEWBIES thread, self explanatory and well worth reading.
    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.

    • nextman
    • By nextman 16th Jun 17, 5:23 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    nextman
    I have submitted my defence in a PDF sent to CCBCAQ. I left it quite late - 33 days from the issue of the claim comes to Wednesday , and my defence will count as "submitted" on Monday 19th as it's after 4pm today.

    Can't thank you enough really @copuon-mad, don't know where I'd be without your help on this forum.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 16th Jun 17, 7:55 PM
    • 46,894 Posts
    • 60,221 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    You might want to send Gladstones a copy as a courtesy (partly because the CCBC are behind with paperwork by weeks).

    Tell G's robustly, that this defence has been filed with the CCBC, and ask them not to waste your time with rubbish about suggesting the case is heard 'on the papers' or drivel about Elliott v Loake or CPS v AJH Films.
    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.

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