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  • FIRST POST
    • Vielwerth
    • By Vielwerth 5th Jun 17, 5:55 PM
    • 4Posts
    • 1Thanks
    Vielwerth
    Court claim issued - No Marked Bays, Confusing Signage
    • #1
    • 5th Jun 17, 5:55 PM
    Court claim issued - No Marked Bays, Confusing Signage 5th Jun 17 at 5:55 PM
    Hello there, first post, first PCN at risk of going to court.

    EDIT - Docs can be found here:

    drive.google.com/open?id=0BwXipWyUznKcOFJVZUJLUnJHYTQ
    (not allowed to post links so please copy and paste this into your browser.)

    Photo links can be found below.

    I've just had papers served by Northampton for some parking what I did back on 6th November 2016. This was in Cardiff and the company managing the site is the one directed by a failed sex toy company director.

    I parked in a "car park" (a muddy, gravel filled field) to visit a friend in the block of flats opposite. I admit to clearly seeing the signage, but I thought would nip in and ask my friend (the tenant) if it was okay to park there (if the car park was actively being managed, tickets being issued, etc). If not, I would move the car.

    Another friend who had arrived before me stated confidently that because there were no bays, and the T&Cs referred to being parked in a bay, that it was "alright". I took him at his word and left the car parked there.

    When I went to check the car a few hours later, a PCN was stuck to the windscreen. I immediately checked all the signs and noted that there were 5 signs in total. They were not all the same, however. There were two groups of signs, differentiated by the exact wording of the T&Cs (a set of 3 and a set of 2). The set of 3 looked more worn and generally a little older than the set of 2. But from a distance, an average person would not be able to tell that these signs say different things, and would likely assume that they were all the same.

    I'll refer to the set of 3 as the "old signs" and the set of 2 as "new".
    Here is an "old" sign.


    imgur.com/a/wiBKV

    And here is a "new" sign (the one I suspect that Link actually intended to apply to the site) -

    imgur.com/a/6T3HQ


    Here is a ground view of the site. Not an "allocated bay" anywhere to be seen.

    imgur.com/a/YyyaW

    Here are some preliminary notes I've typed up for my defence which I'll need to send off before the 13th June 2017:
    ----------------------------
    I submit that this claim by Link Parking be dismissed for the following reasons:
    Link Parking attempted to enforce a contract using signage that was faulty or contradictory.
    1. Two sets of terms and conditions, causing confusion.
    a. No indication of which particular T&Cs was intended to be in force.
    b. Signage of both sets of T&Cs look identical from a distance. I believe a reasonable person would not, on initial inspection, realise that there are two T&Cs.
    2. One set of terms and conditions offering a pay and display provision for parking, when there was no such provision (machines, tickets, etc).
    a. No details on signage on how to acquire valid pay and display documentation
    3. The other set of terms and conditions insisting on two conditions being fulfilled to prevent a PCN being issued, namely "displaying a permit" AND being "parked in an allocated bay". At the time of writing, there are no "allocated bays"; the parking area is waste ground composed of gravel and mud.
    Regardless of which T&Cs are intended by the claimant to apply to the site, it is impossible for a driver of a vehicle parked at the site to comply with the listed terms and conditions and the contract is therefore unenforceable (should I put this line in???)
    Other possible points -
    · Parking company claiming on behalf of Horizon Properties? (Horizon do not appear on the signage).
    · Gladstone Solicitors failed to respond to my time limit of 14 days. (they were 3 weeks late).
    · Who is the landowner?
    · Letters feel like they've been written by a computer, and do not specifically refer to the points I made.
    · Email from horizon advising of deadline for assistance with parking tickets was sent after the deadline mentioned in email had actually passed. Clearly there was intended to be some kind of "grace period". I was ticketed before this time was up.
    · Can T&Cs be enforced when one part (allocated bays) doesn't exist? The signage specifically says "permit AND parked in a bay"... Can a contract be enforced with just one half of the conditions (on the signage) in place to be complied with?
    · Tenant and I discovered discarded signage in a rubbish pile about halfway down the alleyway. They were two "new" signs. Was it Horizon Staff who put the signs up?

    ---------------
    Here is my actual defence that I have typed up and ready to go in MCOL.


    The claim is denied in its entirety except where explicitly
    admitted here. I assert that I am not liable to the Claimant for
    the sum claimed, or any amount at all, for the following reasons:

    1. The claimant insists that an enforceable contract has been
    created due to signage at the site in question. The signage is
    confusing and contradictory, and therefore an enforceable contract
    does not and has not existed. The problems with this signage are
    detailed below.

    1.a - At the site in question, there are two sets of terms and
    conditions.

    1.a.1 - One set of signage (referred to henceforth as the new
    signs) insists on two conditions being fulfilled in order to forgo
    the charge of £100 for parking. Namely that a permit must be
    displayed, AND the vehicle must be parked in an allocated bay.

    I am in possession of photographic evidence. The signage is
    clearly newer and cleaner, suggesting it has been put up well
    after the other set described below.

    1.a.2 - The other set of T&C signage (referred to henceforth as
    the old signs) insists on 1 of three conditions being fulfilled to
    avoid the same charge described in 1.a.1. The one condition of
    interest is:

    Parking is permitted for: Vehicles fully displaying a valid
    pay-and-display ticket and parked fully within the confines of a
    marked bay.

    I am in possession of photographic evidence. The signage is
    clearly older and dirtier, suggesting it has been put up well
    before the new set described above.

    1.b. - There is no indication whatsoever which set of terms and
    conditions is supposed to take precedence.

    1.c. - Signage of both sets of T&C signage look identical from a
    distance, even in clear weather and good lighting. I believe a
    reasonable person would not, on initial inspection, realise that
    there are two T&Cs.

    2. The new T&C signage refers to the need for both conditions to
    be fulfilled to avoid a charge. This is impossible, as there are
    no marked allocated bays onsite. I am in possession of
    photographic evidence which shows that the parking area is
    comprised of mud and gravel, and is, as of 20/05/2017, undeveloped
    waste ground, with no paint or other markings to define where
    these alluded to bays are.

    3. The old T&C signage, specifically the section listed in 1.a.2,
    states the ability to pay and display a ticket. Thus inferring the
    existence of such a provision (i.e. ticket machines, payment
    devices, etc). There is no such provision of this and I am in
    possession of photographic evidence of this.

    3.a - There are no visible details on how or where to obtain a
    valid pay and display ticket.

    3.b - The same argument from 2. also applies, in that there are no
    bays onsite for any vehicle to park in (the requirement for which
    is stipulated in 1.a.2)

    I would also like to point out that the Claimant's solicitors,
    Gladstone Solicitors, have failed to abide by Practice Direction
    for Pre-Action Conduct (paras 13-16), by failing to respond to my
    letter sent in response to their Letter Before Claim within the
    deadline stipulated in my letter (14 days), taking just over 4
    weeks to arrive.

    With the above, I feel it is clear that the signage the Claimant
    attempted to use to enforce a contract is confusing and
    contradictory, and therefore enforces nothing. It is clear that
    the Claimant has failed in their responsibility to the public and
    the landowner to provide clear signage if they wish to impose such
    terms and conditions on members of the public. As such, I am not
    liable for any sum or amount claimed by the Claimant. I therefore
    request the court to strike out the claim as having no basis or
    likelihood of success.
    ---------------
    I hope you'll be able to give some advice. I've never been to court before, and they're asking for approx. £263 (160 for the fine, 50 for the solicitor's fees, and the remainder for the court costs).
    If you require any other documentation (like my appeal letter to Link and letter to Gladstones) please do not hesitate to request this. (I did not appeal to IAS after reading online how they are considered a kangaroo court and that a win for the parking company can strengthen the parking company's position.)

    I can also make a rough site map if anyone wants.
    Last edited by Vielwerth; 01-07-2017 at 6:38 PM.
Page 1
    • Redx
    • By Redx 5th Jun 17, 7:07 PM
    • 15,145 Posts
    • 19,060 Thanks
    Redx
    • #2
    • 5th Jun 17, 7:07 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Jun 17, 7:07 PM
    edit the above post to remove any hint of who was driving

    from now on use the following words

    THE DRIVER

    THE KEEPER


    the word I should not be used wherever possible
    "ME , MYSELF and I" are banned

    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 5th Jun 17, 9:05 PM
    • 48,804 Posts
    • 62,310 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #3
    • 5th Jun 17, 9:05 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Jun 17, 9:05 PM
    Here is my actual defence that I have typed up and ready to go in MCOL.
    We don't recommend that format for defence, not submitting it in MCOL. See the NEWBIES thread for how to set out a defence with headings, that you sign and date as a statement of truth and then email to CCBC.


    I'll refer to the set of 3 as the "old signs" and the set of 2 as "new".
    Here is an "old" sign.

    http://imgur.com/a/wiBKV

    And here is a "new" sign (the one I suspect that Link actually intended to apply to the site) -

    http://imgur.com/a/6T3HQ

    Here is a ground view of the site. Not an "allocated bay" anywhere to be seen.

    http://imgur.com/a/YyyaW
    Terrible car park, unclear and conflicting terms and as you say, no bays.
    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.

    • Vielwerth
    • By Vielwerth 12th Jun 17, 9:34 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Vielwerth
    • #4
    • 12th Jun 17, 9:34 AM
    • #4
    • 12th Jun 17, 9:34 AM
    Defence sent via email to CCBC. Try as I might I really couldn't find any cases to cite about parking bays not existing or two sets of T&Cs. Hopefully I can expand on that in later stages.
    • Vielwerth
    • By Vielwerth 1st Jul 17, 6:28 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Vielwerth
    • #5
    • 1st Jul 17, 6:28 PM
    • #5
    • 1st Jul 17, 6:28 PM
    Hello again.

    So, a directions questionnaire arrived a few days ago from Gladstones. It was as expected (asks for paper hearing, hearing to be in claimant's home court, etc).

    The notice of allocation at the back, however, is completely blank. I was under the impression that this page would have "stuff" on it, or a date by which I had to respond with my own directions questionnaire, or fill in that notice of allocation and send it back . Or am I supposed to wait for a copy of the same document to arrive from the court that is specifically for me?

    I don't know if MCOL will show if the court has received the Directions Questionnaire from Link, but just in case, the "last received document" listed is my defence.

    I have finally digitised and sanitised all documents (except the original windscreen PCN which I couldn't find) I have relating to this and you can find them here -

    drive.google.com/open?id=0BwXipWyUznKcOFJVZUJLUnJHYTQ
    (not allowed to post links so please copy and paste this into your browser.)

    Specifically, this folder contains:
    1. Notice to Keeper (from Link)
    2. Letter Before Claim (from Gladstones)
    3. Response to Letter Before Claim (from me)
    4. Response to my response (from Gladstones)
    5. Claim Form (from the Court)
    6. Part 18 Request to Link (from me)
    7. My Defence (from me)
    8. Acknowledgement of Defence (from the Court)
    9. SAR (from the DVLA)
    10. Directions Questionnaire (from Gladstones).

    My defence is probably so amateur so to make some of the regulars here cry, but sadly I didn't realise until quite late how important a document it is (namely anything you don't mention here can't be brought up in the future). So it's largely copy and pasted arguments from other defences I've found that I felt were relevant. BMPA advised I stick to a mainly narrow defence regarding the signs, as Link Parking will find that difficult to explain (unless the "marked bays" are marked with invisible paint), so I have done so. But I would appreciate any advice on any hurdles I may have inadvertently created for myself with such a sloppy defence.

    Please feel free to have a browse and of course, any advice would be gleefully accepted!
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 1st Jul 17, 6:38 PM
    • 48,804 Posts
    • 62,310 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #6
    • 1st Jul 17, 6:38 PM
    • #6
    • 1st Jul 17, 6:38 PM
    am I supposed to wait for a copy of the same document to arrive from the court that is specifically for me?
    Yes, but don't wait too long. Or download a N180 yourself from the court webpages and fill it in exactly as shown in the NEWBIES thread in the section about DQ stage.

    Here's how one poster over on PePiPoo has just dealt with this letter. Post #48 of that thread is the relevant source for you.

    http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=113766&pid=1294793&st=40&#entr y1294793

    Here's you Google drive link so we can all take a look:

    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0BwXipWyUznKcOFJVZUJLUnJHYTQ

    I wouldn't disagree with the BMPA advice, they are good.
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 04-07-2017 at 1:03 AM.
    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.

    • Vielwerth
    • By Vielwerth 3rd Jul 17, 2:41 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Vielwerth
    • #7
    • 3rd Jul 17, 2:41 PM
    • #7
    • 3rd Jul 17, 2:41 PM
    Will MCOL be updated if the court receives Gladstones DQ?
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 4th Jul 17, 1:04 AM
    • 48,804 Posts
    • 62,310 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #8
    • 4th Jul 17, 1:04 AM
    • #8
    • 4th Jul 17, 1:04 AM
    Eventually.
    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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