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    • MA61
    • By MA61 15th May 17, 12:09 PM
    • 74Posts
    • 70Thanks
    MA61
    Preparing defence for County Court
    • #1
    • 15th May 17, 12:09 PM
    Preparing defence for County Court 15th May 17 at 12:09 PM
    Hi all


    I have consulted these boards and benefitted greatly from advice up to this stage. My court date is not much more than 2 weeks away. I called the court last week and was told that the claimant had paid the court fee so the hearing would be going ahead and that I should submit any further evidence two weeks in advance.


    Is it okay to start posting here with a view to preparing well for the big day? Is there anything specific which would help please? Or should I just start giving a background, details of correspondence and a copy of my hastily put together written defence, along with what I aim to rely on (which isn't an awful lot, if I am being honest )


    I have winged it up to now and one of the regulars on here kindly said that I should wing it no longer as they were there to help. I am so very grateful for both the practical advice and moral support received until now!


    Thanks as ever
    A
Page 2
    • MA61
    • By MA61 16th May 17, 10:53 PM
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    MA61
    They won't produce evidence on the day, they'll send you their WS & 'evidence' within a few days as they are under the same deadline as you. Then you battle it out at the hearing, on the evidence shown by both sides (you and them). Not about POC.
    Originally posted by Coupon-mad
    Thanks for the clarification. So I am basically !!!!ed then, I don't know what the basis is of their claim so I have to second guess it, and as I have left it too late what with everything else I have going on (dealing with Father's estate, caring for 80 year old Mother - and consequently living away from home where my post goes) I don't have time to construct something which will counter every eventuality. I will go along on the day but after several months of stubbornness I am about to give up. I've spent hours reading forums (and rules and practice directions) and am still none the wiser really - or rather, maybe I am, but just do not have the time to construct everything by the deadline. Feeling very glum now.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 16th May 17, 11:06 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    No you are not stuffed, my Goodness how many times on here do we have to reinsert backbones! This is NORMAL for these cases and we win them 99% of the time.

    Just do your WS and then when you see theirs, show us a link to their drivel next week. Your WS is really SIMPLE, nothing to construct.

    Get a grip, everyone manages this and it's well worth the fight.

    Of course your WS can point out you have no idea of the basis of the claim!
    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.

    • MA61
    • By MA61 16th May 17, 11:13 PM
    • 74 Posts
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    MA61
    No you are not stuffed, my Goodness how many times on here do we have to reinsert backbones! This is NORMAL for these cases and we win them 99% of the time.

    Just do your WS and then when you see theirs, show us a link to their drivel next week. Your WS is really SIMPLE, nothing to construct.

    Get a grip, everyone manages this and it's well worth the fight.

    Of course your WS can point out you have no idea of the basis of the claim!
    Originally posted by Coupon-mad
    Sorry, I seem to spend hours of my life dealing with absurd bureaucracies and corporate bullies (or at least, incompetents) on behalf of my family as well as myself, My life seems like a Kafka novel sometimes. ;-)

    I'm a stubborn !!!!!!! but all this !!!!!!!! takes up inordinate amounts of time and sometimes I have a strop :-D. Thanks for your advice and support.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 16th May 17, 11:21 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    Yep, I agree! What we do here takes up inordinate amounts of time and sometimes I have a strop too!

    But it IS worth the fight.

    Your WS is just that, a basic statement from you, as witness, about your position re what was/wasn't received, in this case, telling the Judge you have no clear idea of the basis of the claim, due to the lack of full particulars, so if and when you see a Statement and any evidence (at last) from this Claimant, you may need to respond again and intend to file a skeleton argument once you are aware what the claim is about.

    And that you would expect their 'witness' to attend court to be questioned on the handling of the claim and why no evidence of particulars were filed until the WS stage (if they do) which will smack of an ambush. You could add in general terms that you were not the only driver of the car at the material time but can vouch that no driver would have parked at any location without authority of the landowner/party in possession but you await the basis of the case, to know how to answer fully and in order to assess what evidence may be relevant to assist your defence.

    You could always finish by inviting the Judge to vacate the hearing and strike the claim out due to the failure of the claimant to file any basis of the claim. You never know!
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 16-05-2017 at 11:24 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.

    • MA61
    • By MA61 19th May 17, 9:44 AM
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    MA61
    Thanks for your guidance, I submitted my WS. It was a bit half-!!!!!d and focussed more on the fact that the claim was spurious and had no basis and no evidence had been produced and that I would only be able to prepare a defence once I had received a compliant PoC and knew whether it was breach of contract, trespass etc, however it is better than nothing!

    Part of me hopes that they don't bother making the 230 mile journey (naively assuming their solicitors are in fact actually based in Cheshire) and the claim gets struck out.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 19th May 17, 9:48 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    The solicitors don't turn up, they send a local hired gun (often a legal rep with no Right of Audience, like here):

    http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=113246

    and here (one of two wins reported here today, along with the win by NtG):

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5645061

    You need to know how to challenge RoA by reading threads & the Parking Prankster's Blog, which gives you the Law Gazette link & case law.

    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 21-05-2017 at 5:37 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.

    • MA61
    • By MA61 21st May 17, 10:59 AM
    • 74 Posts
    • 70 Thanks
    MA61
    Thanks as ever will do the research. Funnily enough I'm studying law part time with the OU so this is actually reasonably interesting

    No WS or any other papers have been sent to me, I am not sure whethr I understand the significance of that though.

    Regards
    A
    • Lamilad
    • By Lamilad 21st May 17, 11:47 AM
    • 696 Posts
    • 1,526 Thanks
    Lamilad
    Thanks as ever will do the research. Funnily enough I'm studying law part time with the OU so this is actually reasonably interesting

    No WS or any other papers have been sent to me, I am not sure whethr I understand the significance of that though.

    Regards
    A
    Originally posted by MA61
    Depends how close you are too your hearing. If they're only a few days late the court won't care. If they're very late (less than 7 days before the hearing) that's different and you can request the claim is struck out.

    However it's more likely the judge will adjourn and reschedule. If that happens you claim you wasted costs for travel, parking and taking a day off work

    Ring the court and ask if they've received the claimants bundle. If not tell them you want this failure recorded on your case notes. Do the same every couple of days
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 21st May 17, 5:40 PM
    • 48,111 Posts
    • 61,559 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Thanks as ever will do the research. Funnily enough I'm studying law part time with the OU so this is actually reasonably interesting
    Originally posted by MA61
    Great - now we know that, we will expect you at the hearing to nail the rep on ROA, and get him/her excluded, and then to press the Judge for the claim to be struck out due to the non-appearance of the claimant.




    Lamilad has a 'Preliminary Matters' sheet you can use as prep, I think (I've been too busy at work to do more than advise on forums recently).
    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.

    • Lamilad
    • By Lamilad 21st May 17, 7:03 PM
    • 696 Posts
    • 1,526 Thanks
    Lamilad
    press the Judge for the claim to be struck out due to the non-appearance of the claimant.
    Have they written to you to advise that the claimant will not attend and will instead send an advocate to represent them?
    • MA61
    • By MA61 26th May 17, 4:40 PM
    • 74 Posts
    • 70 Thanks
    MA61
    Great - now we know that, we will expect you at the hearing to nail the rep on ROA, and get him/her excluded, and then to press the Judge for the claim to be struck out due to the non-appearance of the claimant.




    Lamilad has a 'Preliminary Matters' sheet you can use as prep, I think (I've been too busy at work to do more than advise on forums recently).
    Originally posted by Coupon-mad
    Well I'm only doing an introductory module, I'm not quite Rumpole of the Bailey, at least not yet

    Preliminary matters sheet I will search for, thanks.
    • MA61
    • By MA61 26th May 17, 4:51 PM
    • 74 Posts
    • 70 Thanks
    MA61
    Have they written to you to advise that the claimant will not attend and will instead send an advocate to represent them?
    Originally posted by Lamilad
    Well until now I haven't received anything (but I am away from 'home' as I care for my mother during the week and go to work from there). Been really busy with work this week and only just got round to calling the court this afternoon. It seems that they have received two statements from the claimant, on the 24th and 25th. I do not know if I have received anything from them. The woman at the court suggested speaking to the claimant to request it but as they (or rather Gladstones) have ignored all my correspondence I do not want to even bother with those scum (sorry, did I let my frustration boil over there??)

    I am going to put together some bullet points over the weekend and I will know only on Monday if I have received anything in the post as I will be staying with my mother until then. Is it okay to post my points up here or do I need to be wary of the so-called solicitors reading it?

    Thanks as ever for your help, I cannot convey just how much I appreciate it!
    • Lamilad
    • By Lamilad 26th May 17, 11:01 PM
    • 696 Posts
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    Lamilad
    Is it okay to post my points up here or do I need to be wary of the so-called solicitors reading it?
    Post anything you need advice on. Don't worry about the solicitors reading it.

    It seems that they have received two statements from the claimant, on the 24th and 25th. I do not know if I have received anything from them.
    Depending on what you have received we can advise further on the preliminary matters.

    Well I'm only doing an introductory module
    Not sure what you mean by this. Is it to do with your skeleton argument?
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 26th May 17, 11:09 PM
    • 13,586 Posts
    • 21,299 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    Not sure what you mean by this. Is it to do with your skeleton argument?
    More to do with the following than any skelly!

    Funnily enough I'm studying law part time with the OU so this is actually reasonably interesting
    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.
    • MA61
    • By MA61 28th May 17, 9:14 PM
    • 74 Posts
    • 70 Thanks
    MA61
    Post anything you need advice on. Don't worry about the solicitors reading it.


    Depending on what you have received we can advise further on the preliminary matters.


    Not sure what you mean by this. Is it to do with your skeleton argument?
    Originally posted by Lamilad
    unfortunately I won't get to my post (if they have indeed sent me anything) until tomorrow. I am still going to have a crack at putting some points together tonight and will keep you posted, thank you!
    • MA61
    • By MA61 28th May 17, 9:16 PM
    • 74 Posts
    • 70 Thanks
    MA61
    More to do with the following than any skelly!
    Originally posted by Umkomaas
    Yes that's right. Just learning about basics about civil vs criminal law, the common law system, structure of English courts, European Law, Human Rights etc. Very basic stuff at present.
    • MA61
    • By MA61 29th May 17, 11:33 PM
    • 74 Posts
    • 70 Thanks
    MA61
    Due to circumstances beyond my control (my 80 year old mother's ill health the last few days) I have not been able to get home to check my post, when I had intended to do so over the weekend. I intend to go tomorrow afternoon or evening, in time for the hearing on Wednesday morning.

    I have emailed the court and stated that the claimant had not filed their witness statement in accordance with the 14 day time limit (as set out in Direction 6 on the Allocation to Small Claims Track (Hearing) and at the time of writing I have had not had sight of their witness statements and have asked this to be taken into account (nice woman at the court when I phoned on Friday said they had received docs from claimant on 24th and 25th).

    I have tried searching 'Lamilad preliminary matters' to no avail but I am tired, and it is late. I have been reading Part 27 of the Small Claims Track, in particular 27.9. I know I am flying blind here, but I know that that the document that was filed (and presumably) sent to me on that date has to notify me that the claimant will not be attending else it may be struck out.

    (1) If a party who does not attend a final hearing–
    (a) has given written notice to the court and the other party at least 7 days before the hearing date that he will not attend;
    (b) has served on the other party at least 7 days before the hearing date any other documents which he has filed with the court; and
    (c) has, in his written notice, requested the court to decide the claim in his absence and has confirmed his compliance with paragraphs (a) and (b) above,
    the court will take into account that party’s statement of case and any other documents he has filed and served when it decides the claim.
    (2) If a claimant does not –
    (a) attend the hearing; and
    (b) give the notice referred to in paragraph (1),
    the court may strike out(GL) the claim.


    https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part27#27.14

    I know that the other party's wilful incompetence is alone not enough to win me this (as its the facts that matter, and balance of probabilities), and I am probably up against it, but this is notionally how I intend to approach it:

    1) Address the possible lack of compliance with the above Practice Direction

    2) That the claimant's failure to file a witness statement within the 14 day limit has hampered my chances of defending the claim (I know the judge won't be interested in the fact that I haven't actually been at home since last Monday 22nd, my mum's 80th, so haven't been able to pick up post - but surely this kind of thing is the whole point of giving fair notice to the other party?)

    3) The Particulars of Claim provide no information regarding why the charge arose, what the original charge was, what the alleged contract was, whether the claim is brought for breach of contract or trespass, nor anything which could be considered a fair exchange of information. The Claimant’s solicitor has not stated on the claim form that particulars of claim will follow. This action has denied me a fair chance to defend the claim

    4) That the Letter Before Claim did not provide sufficient information with respect to the basis of the claim and therefore does not reasonably facilitate any defence of it, nor was any alternative opportunity for resolution offered. In particular, it does not comply with the Practice Direction on Pre-action Conduct and Protocols specifically:
    2.1 (2); 2.1 (3); 2.1 (5) and

    2.2 (1); 2.2 (2)



    5) No correspondence with the claimant’s solicitors which sought to establish the basis for the claim, has been acknowledged or replied to

    6)
    As no evidence of particulars have been filed, if such details are provided at the Witness Statement stage (if indeed they have been), then I believe this is tantamount to an ‘ambush’ and does not give me fair opportunity to defend the claim.

    7)
    No driver would have parked at any location without the authority of the landowner / party in possession.

    8) That no evidence has been provided to me (photographic) or otherwise that the vehicle in question was parked at the location at the date and time specified, nor that any appropriate conditions were not adhered to (i.e. absence of parking permit)

    9) That the claim is therefore spurious and that I respectfully request that it be struck out, and that costs are awarded to the defendant [this one is a tough one, as even though I will be conduction a 240 mile round journey, and have switched my working days to attend the hearing, and it has taken me several hours to deal with these shysters, I don't feel as if I have much of a case to evidence costs].

    I know I probably haven't prepared that well, but as I may have explained before, I'm doing this all while caring, working, studying and dealing with a load of other stuff (including anxiety and depression which paralyses me for whole days at a time). But I'm a stubborn !!!!!!! and the fact that this 'company' enforces parking in an area of social housing (vulnerable people) makes me really angry. The guy I know who lives there (and I was presumably visiting) has serious mental health issues for which he takes medication and would not provide me with a copy of his lease, for example, due to his paranoia.

    Thoughts, as ever, appreciated please.

    P.S. If I can persuade my friend tomorrow to provide me with a copy of his lease and/or a statement setting out that I was his visitor would that help at this late stage? So far he has been reticent.

    P.P.S. Do I need to take proofs of posting for the (ignored) letters I sent to Gladstones with me? Reason I ask is because I have one, but the other will take some serious searching and want to know if its worth investing the time please.
    Last edited by MA61; 29-05-2017 at 11:47 PM. Reason: Additional info
    • MA61
    • By MA61 30th May 17, 5:01 PM
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    MA61
    I have been trying, in my spare moments over these last few days, to get my head around Right of Audience, to bolster my points above. This post seems to be reasonably helpful, but I confess I do not have absolute clarity. Effectively, the person that is sent to argue on behalf of the claimant has to be a solicitor? http://parking-prankster.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=right+of+audience
    Or is it that they have to be in some way registered with a regulatory body?

    I have been looking at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2007/29/schedule/3 but I seem to be tying myself in knots. I don't wish to be high maintenance but would appreciate any pointers to help me get my head around the Right of Audience so I can raise this tomorrow morning please. Thanks ever so much!

    Just about to drive home so about 8 or 9pm I will be able to see what (if anything) I have been sent by the Claimant.

    With thanks
    A
    • MA61
    • By MA61 30th May 17, 6:36 PM
    • 74 Posts
    • 70 Thanks
    MA61
    Ok I think I am going to just have to rely on this and see if I can wing it:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showpost.php?p=72471103&postcount=6

    Will update when I get home and I can see what they have sent but time is running out. I guess I just turn up and give it my best shot. I just don't get why the onus should be on me to learn case law, regulations and directions when I am a lay person.

    I might as well set up as a company and send spurious small claims to all and sundry with no evidence or justification and rely on their ignorance of the law to make a living, doesn't seem like a very fair system at all.
    • IamEmanresu
    • By IamEmanresu 30th May 17, 7:23 PM
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    IamEmanresu
    Who is the claimant?
    Life's for living, get on with it rather than worrying about these. If they hassle, counter claim.
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