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  • FIRST POST
    • LucyBea
    • By LucyBea 5th Jun 17, 10:54 PM
    • 33Posts
    • 27Thanks
    LucyBea
    Part 18 Gladstones/Millennium Swansea
    • #1
    • 5th Jun 17, 10:54 PM
    Part 18 Gladstones/Millennium Swansea 5th Jun 17 at 10:54 PM
    Hi,
    I would appreciate any feedback on my part 18 request to Gladstones who are acting on behalf of Millennium in Swansea.

    I’ll post it in my second post, first the facts:

    The driver of my vehicle (2 people are insured on it but others drive it using their own insurance) was parked in a petrol garage forecourt in Swansea for about 13 minutes (or so?), unaware of the poor and hidden signage from Millennium. This was back in July 2015 when Millennium were part of BPA. The signs (found after the PCN was given) allow parking for 10 minutes without a permit, a windscreen ticket was given after 11 minutes for “no permit displayed” for £100. (In retrospect the driver thinks they saw the ticket giver grinning at them as they returned to the vehicle.) There are also very large signs at this location simply saying “no parking” (which the driver also did not see, although they should have!)

    The driver unfortunately did not appeal and POPLA was not offered. Then a “notice to owner” was sent to me as keeper of the vehicle 3 months later for £150. I wrote to them pointing out that they had not complied with POFA and had no cause against me as keeper.

    Debt recovery letters arrived & ignored, varying amounts.

    LBC from Gladstones arrived Sept 2016. I entered into email correspondence with them, first pointing out the lack of POFA, then asking for many points to be clarified to align with practice direction (basis of claim and why I am liable, what was the action was based on – contractual charge, breach of contract, trespass, how the amount of money has been calculated and increased, and I proposed ADR)

    Nothing from Gladstones until April when they sent 3 photos of my vehicle’s windscreen (no signage in the pictures because there is none visible from where the car is parked) and an email with lines like “Further evidence will be provided in our Client's witness statement should the matter proceed to court” and “The parking charge was £100 on issue. As you did not pay the charge within the 28 days allowed you are in breach of contract. Breach of contract entitles the innocent party to damages as of right in addition to the parking charge incurred. As you didn’t pay the charge the matter was passed to us and the debt has, as a result of this referral risen as my client’s staff have spent time and material facilitating the recovery of this debt. This time could have been better spent on other elements of their business. My client believes the costs associated with such time spent were incurred naturally as a direct result of your breach and as such claims them as a damage. The costs are a pre-determined and nominal contribution to the actual losses. Alternatively, my client does have a right to costs pursuant to the sign (i.e. the contract).”

    They also say “As our client is not a member of the British Parking Association an appeal to POPLA is not possible. You had the opportunity to appeal, yet didn’t in the requisite time frame. In any event, had you appealed on the same grounds as you now do, it would have been refused. And, irrespective of whether any appeal was made or not, it would not impact on the lawfulness of the parking charge.”

    I replied in less than 7 days requesting the same details as before (but not actually detailing them, referring to the correspondence below). They replied saying their LBC was compliant with practice direction. I replied politely in less than 7 days detailing the information I required.

    NEXT THING – COURT PAPERS.

    “The driver of the vehicle incurred the parking charges for breaching the terms of parking on the land at… The defendant was driving the vehicle and/or is the Keeper of the Vehicle. The claimant claims £125 for parking charges/ damages and indemnity costs if applicable….”
Page 2
    • LucyBea
    • By LucyBea 9th Jun 17, 11:28 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    LucyBea
    Arrgh having a bit of a panic about how I am leaving it to the last minute!

    Court papers were dated 11 May. I know Bargepole recommends posting, but I'm sure I read something on the forums about emailing a defence - not MCOL as I know it spoils the format. I've been searching for this for ages now, did I imagine it?
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 9th Jun 17, 11:32 PM
    • 48,217 Posts
    • 61,688 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Email it attached as a (signed & dated, then scanned back in) PDF.
    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.

    • LucyBea
    • By LucyBea 11th Jun 17, 11:24 AM
    • 33 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    LucyBea
    Quick question as I'm accusing Millennium of a criminal offence:
    Do they really need planning/advertisement consent for small signs on private land? They do not obstruct the public view (can hardly see them, of course!)

    Thank you so much!
    • Redx
    • By Redx 11th Jun 17, 11:28 AM
    • 14,767 Posts
    • 18,573 Thanks
    Redx
    depends on the size of the signs , so although this has been discussed many times on here , only the council can really decide if they have failed on the regulations

    so if they are large signs , then yes, they do need planning permission or advertising consent or possibly both

    I suggest you search the forum for the relevant info using suitable search words
    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
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 11th Jun 17, 1:34 PM
    • 13,593 Posts
    • 21,320 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    Quick question as I'm accusing Millennium of a criminal offence:
    Do they really need planning/advertisement consent for small signs on private land? They do not obstruct the public view (can hardly see them, of course!)

    Thank you so much!
    Originally posted by LucyBea
    But this isn't any kind of showstopper for you. We've seen numerous cases (Liverpool John Lennon Airport being a classic) where the local planning authority have been informed of the failings of the PPC to apply for advertising consent, but not one has proceeded with criminal prosecution - they've either prevaricated, turned a blind eye, or issued retrospective consent (which isn't allowed - but it hasn't stopped them).

    Where it has been raised in court defences, judges have either skated over the point, or have said that if the planning authority are not progressing this, then they are not in a position to make any informed judgment.

    You have more potent points to get stuck in on, put it into your defence but don't spend disproportionate time chasing shadows down blind alleys.
    Last edited by Umkomaas; 11-06-2017 at 1:39 PM.
    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.
    • LucyBea
    • By LucyBea 11th Jun 17, 1:43 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    LucyBea
    Thanks Redx and Umkomaas I agree it's not a strong point as the signs are tiny, so I have amended my defence accordingly.

    I would be incredibly grateful for feedback on my defence. I really wanted to keep it short but It's ended up quite long so I'll post it in a few segments. LoadsofChildren's case was somewhat similar and she did such an incredible job I have used a lot of that. Thank you so much LoadsofChildren for all the hard work!

    In the County Court
    Claim Number: XXX
    Between Millennium Door and Event Security LTD and XXX

    Defence Statement

    Preliminary Matters
    1. Although it has not been established that the Claimant, Millennium Door and Event Security, has a legal capacity to bring claims for the on behalf of Millennium Parking Services, for the purpose of this defence we will refer to both bodies as “the Claimant.”

    2. I invite the court to strike out this claim for (1) having no cause against the Defendant, the registered keeper of the vehicle, (2) failing to comply with the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) and (3) having no prospect of success.

    2. (1) The driver has not been identified by the Defendant. Although there is a provision in law under Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act of 2012 to recover unpaid parking charges from the vehicle’s keeper, the Claimant did not comply with the requirements of this act at all, most notably, they failed to deliver any notice within the relevant period required by the Act. (Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, Schedule 4, paragraph 8, subparagraphs (4) and (5): that the notice be delivered in the “period of 28 days following the period of 28 days beginning with the day after that on which the notice to driver was given” (56 days). In this case the alleged parking event took place XX/X/2015 and a “Notice to Owner” sent by different entity, “Parking Collection Services” was dated XX/XX/2015, a period of 77 days.) As such, the Defendant has no liability in law.

    2. (2a) 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 has 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 on four separate occasions in prompt response to their ultimatums. The Defendant has also requested ADR as per paragraph 8. The Claimant’s solicitor has not replied and has instead proceeded directly to the small claims court. I draw the 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)). The Particulars of Claim have now been requested as a formal Part 18 request; no reply has yet been made.

    2. (2b) 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. They are currently under investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The Defendant thus believes the Claimant and 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. HMCTS has identified over 1000 similar poorly produced claims (evidence for this?) and there are many examples of them being struck out. District Judge Anson of Preston County Court struck out with no hearing a case brought by Gladstones on behalf of Parking Control Management on 20/9/2016 as “the particulars of claim are incoherent, do not set out the facts, give rise to no apparent claim in law, fail to comply with CPR 16.4…” 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.”

    2. (2c) The Claimant has not in fact provided any evidence to enable the Defendant to file a proper defence, meaning the Defendant has had to cover all possible defences, causing significant distress. 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. It is submitted that the conduct of the Claimant and the Claimant’s solicitors is wholly unreasonable and vexatious. A punitive costs order will be sought against the Claimant and a wasted costs order against its solicitors.

    2. (3) The Claimant was not a party to any contract, and any contract that may exist is therefore unenforceable. There is nothing whatsoever reasonable about this Claim: the Defendant believes it to be a tactic to extract a sum of money to which it has absolutely no legal right.
    • LucyBea
    • By LucyBea 11th Jun 17, 1:49 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    LucyBea
    STATEMENT OF DEFENCE

    1. I, XXX XXX, am the Defendant in this matter. I was the authorised registered keeper of the vehicle registration XXXXXX on XX/X/2015. I deny liability for the entirety of the claim. I deny that the Claimant can have incurred £50 of solicitors’ costs or that these are recoverable.

    2. As this Claim is likely to be a generic “roboclaim” as previously discussed, the Defendant is therein described as “driver and/or keeper.” As POFA requirements were not met and no attempt at a compliant Notice to Keeper was sent as per the Act, the Defendant can but assume the Claimant will make its case based on (1) their unlawful assertion that “the keeper is assumed to be the driver unless proved otherwise” and incorrectly use the criminal case Elliot v Loake 1983 Crim LR 36 to argue this point. The Particulars of Claim do not mention a contract, instead refer to the driver “breaching the terms of the parking on the land;” however with no more specific details, and as only a landowner can claim damages for trespass, the Defendant can but assume the Claimant will make its case by asserting (2) the driver entered into a contract with the Claimant, which the Defendant also denies.

    3. 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.

    LEGALITY OF CLAIM

    Claimant’s rights to bring a Claim

    4. No evidence has been provided that the Claimant has sufficient interest in the land at XXX, Swansea, nor that there is an agreement from the land owner granting any rights whatsoever to the Claimant, nor that there any terms within this agreement which entitle the Claimant to attempt to levy any parking charges, nor or that the Claimant has rights to bring a claim on its own behalf. The Claimant is put to full proof of this.

    5. No evidence has been provided that the Claimant has locus standi to bring this claim: it was not identified on the signage, nor the notice to driver, and the Defendant has reason to believe that it is not named in the parking contract

    6. No evidence has been provided that “Millennium Parking Services,” identified in the signage, has any legal personality and is therefore capable of entering into any contract

    7. As no landowner contract has been provided the Defendant is unable to assess the contractual right of the Claimant to pursue these proceedings. The Defendant reserves the right address this in court as she has reason to believe the Claimant's parking contract did not authorise them to issue a parking charge notice in the first place

    Claimant’s breaches of legislation

    8. No evidence has been provided that the signs themselves meet the requirements of planning law; failing to apply for advertisement or planning consent is a criminal offence#

    9. Millennium Parking Services breached many aspects of the British Parking Association’s Code of Practice, which is mandatory for members, and in Parking Eye Limited v Beavis 2015 UKSC 67, on which the Claimant’s solicitor will no doubt intend to rely, it was held that compliance with the Code of Practice is paramount to the enforceability of any contract

    10. The Claimant is in breach of Consumer Rights, including but not limited to breaches of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 which requires transparency (s.68) and defines unfair terms (s.62) regarding disproportionate sums

    11. The Claimant is attempting to recover an unjustifiable inflated sum, breaching the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012

    12. Pursuant to the doctrine of ex dolo malo non oritor actio, the Claimant is not to rely on illegal or immoral acts in order to profit from them.

    LIABILITY AS DRIVER

    13. The Claimant has asserted that the Defendant, as keeper of the vehicle, is presumed to be the driver unless proven otherwise, and claims that Elliot v Loake 1983 Crim LR 36 sets a precedent for this. The Defendant believes Gladstones solicitors are attempting to deliberately mislead vehicle owners in citing this case:

    13.1. This case does not provide that any presumption can or should be made, nor that it is for the Defendant to rebut it. A claim is for the Claimant to prove and there is no reverse burden of proof in respect to parking charges
    13.2. In Elliot v Loake there was irrefutable evidence of the driver’s identity including forensic evidence and this criminal case has been dismissed by Judges in cases brought by Gladstones Solicitors. (evidence for this?)
    13.3. Parking on Private Lands Appeal (POPLA) lead adjudicator and barrister, Henry Michael Greenslade, clarified that: “There is no ‘reasonable presumption’ in law that the registered keeper of a vehicle is the driver. Operators should never suggest anything of the sort.” (POPLA annual review 2015)

    14. The Claimant may assert that the driver was acting as the keeper’s agent
    14.1 This would render Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act redundant
    14.2 If true, a keeper could then be held accountable for all unlawful acts committed by a driver which is nonsensical

    15.The Defendant has no liability as keeper of the vehicle, whether or not a valid contract was formed between the Claimant and the driver. In any event it is denied that there was any such contract. 

    LIABILITY PURSUANT TO AN ALLEGED CONTRACT

    16. It is denied that the driver entered into a contract with the Claimant, Millennium Door and Event LTD, or with Millennium Parking Services, who name appears on the inconspicuous signage at the site.

    17. The signage at this site is wholly insufficient to form any contract. The Claimant is not even identified on the signage

    18. It is also in breach of the specific and mandatory requirements of the British Parking Association Code of Practice to which Millennium Parking Services was required to adhere at the time of this alleged incident

    19. The responsibility for signage does not lie with the driver to look for it, but for the Claimant to ensure signage was so obvious that any reasonable driver would have seen it, understood it, and been able to read it; a driver cannot consent to and then breach an unknown contract
    19.1. Terms offered must be clear and unambiguous. The signage displayed was in fact too small for the driver to even notice, cluttered and illegible
    19.2. The day of the alleged incident the signage was obscured by foliage
    19.3. If the signage does make an offer, it is for “short stay parking” with no legible specifics as to how long this is
    19.4. There was no warning sign at the entrance to the land referring to terms and conditions, a further mandatory requirement

    20. Millennium Parking Service’s intention was not to offer a genuine contract to park. The wording on the (obscured) signage is forbidding: “warning private property 24 hour car park management permit holders and short stay only,” and aims to deter unauthorized parking by attempting to enforce a penalty. This is contrary to the Consumer Rights Act of 2015

    21. The parking charges sought are not a genuine pre-estimate of loss, but an extravagant penalty, and therefore unenforceable. In the Beavis case, the Supreme Court was only prepared to accept a charge of £85 sufficient to act as a disincentive. The Supreme Court had previously stated that £135 would be unacceptable (ParkingEye v Somerfield). The charge of £125 to the Defendant is clearly extravagant and disproportionate to the Claimant’s interest and in fact comprises non-contractual elements

    22. There is a long precedent of very similar cases dismissed due to poor signage on which the Defendant will rely

    23. 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 her defence and intends to use it:
    23.1. This case was not based on breach of contract, and the Defendant accepted that there was a contract formed by the clear and prominently displayed signage.
    23.2. The Claimant had complied with the Code of Practice of the British Parking Association; this case held that strict compliance with the code of practice is expected of a Claimant seeking to enforce a parking charge

    24. No evidence has been provided that the driver breached the terms on the inconspicuous signage: the vehicle was photographed at 11:07 and 11:16 on the day in question, is the “short stay parking" the Claimant alleges to offer for less than 9 minutes?
    (NOTE – the notice to driver says time issued 11:15, observed 11:04 to 11:14, I am merely saying there is no evidence of this…)

    BREACHES OF CPR
    (still working on this section)
    The Defendant holds that the Claimant has behaved unreasonably in both pre-action and post-action conduct

    BPA BREACHES
    (Still working on this section)

    LIABILITY AS KEEPER

    The Defendant recognises that there is a provision in law under Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act of 2012 to recover unpaid parking charges from the vehicle’s keeper, if all the conditions set out in paragraphs 5,6,11 and 12 are met.
    As the Claimant did not comply with the requirements of this Act at all, and no valid “Notice to Keeper” was ever sent from the Claimant, nor Millennium Parking Services, thus there is no legal basis for the keeper to be held accountable under this Act.

    I believe the facts stated in this Defence are true
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 11th Jun 17, 5:02 PM
    • 48,217 Posts
    • 61,688 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Looking very good. I am glad you are basing it on the one written by LoadsofChildren123.
    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.

    • Redx
    • By Redx 11th Jun 17, 7:53 PM
    • 14,767 Posts
    • 18,573 Thanks
    Redx
    also read this on pranksters blog site too

    https://parking-prankster.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/india-beavan-agrees-to-drop-millenium.html
    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
    • LucyBea
    • By LucyBea 11th Jun 17, 9:49 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    LucyBea
    Ha! Very useful.
    Thank you Redx :-)
    • LucyBea
    • By LucyBea 12th Jun 17, 12:51 AM
    • 33 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    LucyBea
    Last couple of sections of defence I hadn't finished before are now below.
    I would be very grateful for any feedback on this bit or the stuff above!
    Thank you so much

    BREACHES OF CPR
    25. The Defendant believes that the Claimant has behaved unreasonably in both pre-action and post-action conduct. Records of the Defendant’s correspondence with the Claimant’s solicitor will be produced for the court.
    26. The Letter Before Claim (LBC) of 01/09/2016 did not comply with the Practice Direction on Pre-Action Conduct and Protocols, providing scant information and not giving the basis of the claim, summary of the facts nor how the amount of money has been calculated as per paragraphs 6 (a) and 6 (b). Neither was Alternative Dispute Resolution offered as per paragraph 3, although the Defendant proposed this.
    27. When the Defendant asked for more information in a prompt email response to Gladstones solicitors 13/9/2017, she was told the LBC was compliant and “I am unsure as to what more you require to recall the incident of a parking charge.” The Defendant responded 25/9/17 specifically asking for basic details such as basis of claim (breach of contract, trespass?) and summary of facts. No response was made for over 5 months until 07/04/17, when these details were still not provided. The Defendant’s final request was made 25/04/17, to which she received no reply.
    28. The Claimant is obliged to explain their case in sufficient detail for the intended defendant to be able to understand it and to respond to it and the requirements of the Practice Direction are neither voluntary nor a guide. The Practice Direction is part of the CPR and it binding on parties to litigation. Paragraphs 13-16 make it clear that parties are expected to comply with the obligations and the court will punish those who do not. The Claimant’s behaviour has in fact denied the parties the possibility of any real attempt to resolve matters without resorting to Court.
    29. The Particulars of Claim are incoherent (which the Claimant and/or its solicitors know, because other near-identical claims issued by its solicitors have been struck out in other County Courts). They disclose no cause of action and contain no detail whatsoever which allow the Defendant to understand and deal properly with the Claim, including filing an appropriate Defence (instead of having to account for all possibilities). This is a serious and significant breach of CPR part 16.4.
    30. The Particulars of Claim have now been requested as a formal Part 18 request; no reply has yet been made.

    BPA BREACHES
    31. As Millennium Parking Services were a member of the British Parking Assocation (BPA)’s Approved Operated Scheme (AOS) at the relevant time, they were bound by its Code of Practice (CoP). This CoP is not a voluntary document and compliance with it is paramount. The Supreme Court in Beavis held that compliance to the CoP is essential for a Claimant seeking to enforce a parking charge.
    32. Despite its obligations to observe the CoP, the Claimant was (and is) in breach of a number of important aspects, including but not limited to:
    32.1 The Claimant did not allow grace periods required by the BPA, who deem the “grace period should be at least 15 minutes beyond the time their permitted parking period expired” (Section A)
    32.2 The Claimant has not made drivers aware of terms and conditions “from the start” (Section B18)
    32.3. The Claimant did not place any entrance signs, let alone the standard form of mandatory entrance sign the BPA requires (Section B18)
    32.4. Signs were not conspicuous and legible, easy to see, read or understand (Section B18)
    32.5. The charge was not shown clearly and fully to driver on signs (it cannot even be seen in a photograph taken in front of the sign) (Section B19)
    32.6. Parking charge is “punitive and unreasonable” (Section B 19)
    32.7. No Parking On Private Land Appeal (POPLA) was offered (Section B22)
    32.8. The Claimant illustrates a distinct lack of knowledge and understanding of its legal obligations, legislation and guidance in all areas (Section A)
    • IamEmanresu
    • By IamEmanresu 12th Jun 17, 6:31 AM
    • 1,362 Posts
    • 2,547 Thanks
    IamEmanresu
    Copper Quarter?

    See http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=110213&view=findpost&p=1292026
    Life's for living, get on with it rather than worrying about these. If they hassle, counter claim.
    • LucyBea
    • By LucyBea 12th Jun 17, 9:42 AM
    • 33 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    LucyBea
    Hi IamEmanresu,
    No it wasn't Copper Quarter... I'm yet to even see the parking contract.
    Thank you for the links to other current cases though, it's very helpful :-)
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 12th Jun 17, 11:36 AM
    • 967 Posts
    • 1,671 Thanks
    Loadsofchildren123
    Thanks Redx and Umkomaas I agree it's not a strong point as the signs are tiny, so I have amended my defence accordingly.

    I would be incredibly grateful for feedback on my defence. I really wanted to keep it short but It's ended up quite long so I'll post it in a few segments. LoadsofChildren's case was somewhat similar and she did such an incredible job I have used a lot of that. Thank you so much LoadsofChildren for all the hard work!

    In the County Court
    Claim Number: XXX
    Between Millennium Door and Event Security LTD and XXX

    Defence Statement

    Preliminary Matters
    1. Although it has not been established that the Claimant, Millennium Door and Event Security, has a legal capacity to bring claims for the on behalf of Millennium Parking Services, for the purpose of this defence we will refer to both bodies entities are referred to herein as “the Claimant.”

    2. The Defendant invites the court to strike out this claim pursuant to its inherent powers in CPR Rule 1.4(2)(c) and Practice Direction 26, paragraph 5.1for (1) having no cause against the Defendant, the registered keeper of the vehicle, (2) failing to comply with the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) and (3) having no prospect of success.



    insert para:
    The Defendant admits that [s]he is the registered keeper of the vehicle registration xxxxx but denies that [s]he was driving it at the relevant time.

    2. (1) The driver has not been identified by the Defendant and the Claimant has produced no evidence to show that [s]he was driving the vehicle at the relevant time.


    [new sub para] The only liability which the Defendant can have is therefore as registered keeper of the vehicle. The Defendant denies that [s]he has any liability as registered keeper. Although there is a provision in law under [S]he admits that Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act of 2012 ("the Act") provides that a parking company can recover unpaid parking charges from the vehicle’s keeper, however the Claimant cannot rely on the Act because it the Claimant did not comply with its requirements of Act at all, most notably, it they failed to deliver any notice to keeper within the relevant period required by the Act. (Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, Schedule 4, paragraph 8, subparagraphs (4) and (5): that the notice must be delivered in the “period of 28 days following the period of 28 days beginning with the day after that on which the notice to driver was given” (56 days). In this case the alleged parking event took place XX/X/2015 and a “Notice to Owner” sent by different entity, “Parking Collection Services” was dated XX/XX/2015, a period of 77 days.) As such, the Defendant has no liability in law.

    2. (2a) 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 has 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 on four separate occasions in prompt response to their ultimatums to pay the charge now claimed. The Defendant has also requested ADR as per paragraph 8. The Claimant’s solicitor has not replied 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)). Proper The Particulars of Claim have now been requested in a formal Part 18 request; no reply has yet been made.

    2. (2b) 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. HMCTS has identified over 1000 similar poorly produced claims (evidence for this? - I agree, take it out) and t There are many examples of similarly poorly pleaded claims being struck out. District Judge Anson of Preston County Court struck out with no hearing a case brought by Gladstones on behalf of Parking Control Management on 20/9/2016 as “the particulars of claim are incoherent, do not set out the facts, give rise to no apparent claim in law, fail to comply with CPR 16.4…” 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.

    2. (2c) 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 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. It is submitted that the conduct of the Claimant and the Claimant’s solicitors is wholly unreasonable and vexatious. A punitive costs order will be sought against the Claimant and a wasted costs order against its solicitors.

    2. (3) The Claimant was not a party to any contract, and any contract that may exist is therefore unenforceable. There is nothing whatsoever reasonable about this Claim: the Defendant believes it to be a tactic to extract a sum of money to which it has absolutely no legal right.
    Originally posted by LucyBea


    Making a start on this for you - anything unclear about the above let me know
    • LucyBea
    • By LucyBea 12th Jun 17, 2:43 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    LucyBea
    Amazing LoadsofChildren123 - you are a wizard with words!
    I am really pleased with those edits, thank you so much.
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 12th Jun 17, 7:43 PM
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    Loadsofchildren123
    I worked on the next bit but it wouldn't post and I had to leave work. Will post first thing tomorrow.
    • LucyBea
    • By LucyBea 12th Jun 17, 10:06 PM
    • 33 Posts
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    LucyBea
    Can't thank you enough...
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 13th Jun 17, 9:43 AM
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    Loadsofchildren123
    Doing this in sections, I'm having difficulty posting anything at all. The paragraph numbering will need to be redone.
    1. I, XXX XXX, am the Defendant in this matter. I denies that she was driving the vehicle registration xxxx on xx/x/2015, but admits that was the authorised registered keeper of the vehicle on that date registration XXXXXX on XX/X/2015.The Defendant denies I deny liability for the entirety of the claim on the following grounds:
    i. the Claimant has no locus standi to bring the claim;

    ii. the Defendant was not driving
    iii. the Defendant cannot be held liable as the registered keeper;

    iv. even if the Defendant were found to be the driver or liable as registered keeper, in any event there can be no liability because no contract was formed between driver and the Claimant.



    2. The Defendant also denies I denythat the Claimant can have incurred £50 of solicitors’ costs or that these are recoverable.

    2.
    The Defendant believes that As this Claim is [s]likely to be[/a] a generic “roboclaim” and is in difficulties in understanding the claim being brought against heras previously discussed,: she Defendant is therein described as “driver and/or keeper.” As POFA requirements were not met and no attempt at a compliant Notice to Keeper was sent as per the Act.The Defendant can but assume the Claimant will make its case based on (1) their an incorrect assertion that “the keeper is assumed to be the driver unless proved otherwise” and incorrectlyrelying on a misrepresentation of the findings in use the criminal case Elliott v Loake 1983 Crim LR 36 to argue this pointand (2) an incorrect assertion that the driver entered into a contract with the Claimant- although the Particulars of Claim do not mention a contract, instead referring to the driver “breaching the terms of the parking on the land;” however with no more specific particulars details, and as only a landowner can claim damages for trespass, the Defendant can but assume the Claimant will make its case by asserting (2) the driver entered into a contract with the Claimant, which the Defendant also denies.

    3.
    The Defendant believes that the Claimant will attempt to remedy its defective Particulars of Claim, and circumvent the requirements of CPR Rule 17.1(2) (and the requirements of paragraph 6(a) and (c) of the Practice Direction – Pre-Action Conduct) by providing particulars of its claim and supporting evidence in its witness evidence. Should this occur, the Defendant specifically reserves the right to add to/amend this my defence to address any new matters raised 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.



    LEGALITY OF CLAIM

    Claimant’s rights to bring a Claim
    Locus Standi

    4.
    The Defendant denies that the Claimant has locus standi to bring this Claim, on the following basis:


    4.1 The Defendant puts the Claimant to full proof that it No evidence has been provided that the Claimant has any proprietory sufficientinterest in the land at XXX, Swansea, nor that there is an agreement between it and from the landowner granting it the any rights whatsoever to the Claimant, nor that there any terms within this agreement which entitle the Claimant to attempt to levy any parking charges or to , nor or that the Claimant has rights to bringpursue a claim on its own behalf. The Claimant is put to full proof of this.

    4.2 No evidence has been provided that the Claimant has locus standi to bring this claim: it was not identified on the signage, nor the notice to driver, or the Notice to Keeper [check this – I think my NtK did id MDES not MPS], and the Defendant has reason to believe that it is not named in puts it to full proof that it was a party to any the parking contract with the landowner and the terms of that contract, and that it was a party to any contract that it claims was formed with the driver.

    4.3 It was No evidence has been provided that “Millennium Parking Services” (“MPS"), and not the Claimant, which was identified in the signage and the Notice to Driver, which was held out as an entity in its own right and which the Defendant believes entered into any contract with the landowner. The Defendant denies that MPS has any legal personality and it is therefore incapable of entering into any contract, either with the landowner or with a driver.

    5.
    Once the Claimant produces a valid contract between it and the As no landowner contract has been provided the Defendant is unable will be able properly to assess the contractual right of the Claimant to issue any charge to the said vehicle or to pursue these proceedings and The Defendant reserves the right address this further in court as she has reason to believe the Claimant's parking contract did not authorise them to issue a parking charge notice in the first place

    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 13th Jun 17, 10:01 AM
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    Loadsofchildren123
    Claimant’s breaches of legislation

    6. Pursuant to the doctrine of ex dolo malo non oritor actio, the Claimant
    cannot rely on illegal or immoral acts to bring a claim, nor can it in order seek to profit from them. [I’ve moved this para up]:

    6.18. No evidence has been provided that the signs themselves meet the requirements of planning law; [It’s better to know the position rather than expect them to evidence it – go onto Swansea’s planning portal, you need to post code of the place, then do a planning application search, putting in the postcode will give you a list of every application that has been made and its status – if no application make an online complaint, the council will investigate immediately – in my case they did so and the signs came down within a week, although that may have been a coincidence – assuming no application: The Claimant and/or MPS has not applied for or obtained failing to apply for advertisement or planning consent for the signage it has installed on the relevant land, which is a criminal offence pursuant to Regulation 27 of The Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 1992



    6.2 The Claimant is in breach of Consumer Rights legislation, including but not limited to breaches of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 which requires transparency (s.68) and which prohibit defines unfair terms (s.62) which include charging regarding disproportionate sums

    6.39. the Claimant (and/or MPS) Millennium Parking Services has breached many aspects of the British Parking Association’s Code of Practice, compliance with which is mandatory for members, and in Parking Eye Limited v Beavis 2015 UKSC 67, on which the Claimant’s solicitor will no doubt intend to rely, it was held that compliance with the Code of Practice is paramount to the enforceability of any contract/contractual charges. [was it a member of bpa??? It changed to IPC in Nov ’15 – check the IPC website, it gives the joining date.]

    11. The Claimant is attempting to recover an unjustifiable inflated sum, breaching the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 [is this part of the Act?]



    LIABILITY AS DRIVER

    13. The Claimant has asserted that the Defendant, for the sole reason that she is as keeper of the vehicle, must be is presumed to be the driver unless she proves otherwise,
    and it relies on and claims that Elliott v Loake 1983 Crim LR 36 in support of that assertion sets a precedent for this. The Defendant believes that the Claimant and/or its Gladstones solicitors are attempting to deliberately mislead vehicle owners (and the court) in citing this case because they know or must know that this assessment of the case is entirely wrong.

    14. In fact, Elliott v Loake This case does not provide that for any such presumption can or should to be made, nor that it is for the Defendant to rebut it. This claim, like any other, is for the Claimant to prove. and tThere is nothing unique about parking charges which reverses the burden of proof in respect to parking charges.


    15. In Elliot
    t v Loake is distinguished: in that case there was irrefutable forensic and witness evidence that the registered keeper was drivingof the driver’s identity including forensic evidencewhich is entirely absent in this case, and its relevance criminal case has been dismissed by other courts Judges in similar cases brought by the Claimant’s Gladstones Solicitors. (evidence for this? See Parking Prankster blog, and Lamilad’s threads – he has made his transcript is available, it’s Excel v Lamoreux but I might have spelt that wrongly – take care here because I think the Excel cases are not Gladstones but BW Legal, if you can't find at least two examples you may have to say “brought by other parking companies”)



    16. Parking on Private Lands Appeal (POPLA) lead adjudicator and barrister, Henry Michael Greenslade, has stated publicly clarified that: “There is no ‘reasonable presumption’ in law that the registered keeper of a vehicle is the driver. Operators should never suggest anything of the sort.” (POPLA annual review 2015)

    14. The Claimant may assert that the driver was acting as the keeper’s agent
    and rely on the case of CPS v AJH Films [2015] EWCA Civ 1453. The latter case is distinguished from this claim: in it the driver was the keeper’s employee and therefore acting on its behalf in the course of his employment. The proposition that the case has any relevance is denied: if this were correct then it would follow that:


    14.1
    The introduction of keeper liability pursuant to Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act would have been unnecessary and redundant
    14.2 If true, a keeper could then be held accountable for all unlawful acts committed by a driver while in possession of the vehicle
    (clearly a which isnonsense)
    14.3 This would render
    The entire car hire business would become unfeasible if hirers were deemed liable for the actions of drivers (and a private arrangement where a keeper lends his/her vehicle to a third party can be treated no differently)


    The applicability of the CPS case to a scenario such as this was dismissed by HHJ Smith sitting at Stockport in an appeal on 8 June 2017 (case number M17X062, Excel Parking Services v Smith).


    15.The Defendant has no liability as
    driver of the vehicle (whether or not a valid contract was formed between the Claimant and/or MPS and the driver – which, for the avoidance of doubt, is any event it is denied that there was any such contract).
    1.
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 13th Jun 17, 10:07 AM
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    Loadsofchildren123
    LIABILITY AS KEEPER[ I’ve moved this section up]

    16.
    The Defendant denies that she is liable for the amount claimed as the registered keeper of the vehicle.

    17. The Defendant admits recognises that there is a provision in law under Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act of 2012 to recover unpaid parking charges from a the vehicle’s keeper, but denies that such liability has transferred to her under the provisions of the Act.


    18. For such liability to transfer from driver to keeper, if all the conditions set out in paragraphs 5, 6, 11 and 12 of Schedule 4 must first be are met. The Defendant denies that some or all of those conditions have not been met, as set out below, and so the Claimant cannot rely on Schedule 4 of the Act and the Defendant cannot, as registered keeper, be held liable for the charges claimed:

    18.1 Paragraph 5(1)(a): the Claimant must have the right to enforce the charge against the driver, which the Defendant denies on the basis that no contract can have been formed between the Claimant and/or MPS and the driver (these matters are dealt with at paragraphs x-x below insert para numbers of the no-contract section).

    18.2: Paragraph 6(1)(a): a Notice to Driver must have been given in accordance with paragraph 7 (and the Defendant denies that the Notice to Driver in this case complies with paragraph 7) and a Notice to Keeper must have been served in accordance with paragraph 8 (and the Defendant denies that the Notice to Keeper complies with paragraph 8, primarily because it was sent to the Defendant 77 days after the parking event, whereas it should have been sent and received between day 28 and day 56 after the parking event - there are also other aspects in which it fails to comply with paragraph 8).


    18.3 Paragraph 11(1)(a) and (b): the Defendant puts the Claimant to full proof of its compliance with this condition.


    18.4 Paragraph 12: in the absence of regulations by the Secretary of State, the Claimant should have complied with the Code of Practice of its Accredited Trade Organisation (in this case the BPA, or is the IPC?), because compliance is mandatory and is a condition of such membership.

    18. As the Claimant did not comply with the requirements of this Act at all, and no valid “Notice to Keeper” was ever sent from the Claimant, nor Millennium Parking Services, thus there is no legal basis for the keeper to be held accountable under this Act.


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