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    • Swanseaparker
    • By Swanseaparker 18th Jun 17, 10:27 AM
    • 3Posts
    • 2Thanks
    County Court Claim Form Received
    • #1
    • 18th Jun 17, 10:27 AM
    County Court Claim Form Received 18th Jun 17 at 10:27 AM
    Hi all,

    Having read through the newbies thread I'm following the advice of starting my own thread. Before I proceed with writing my defence, I wanted some advice please. It is similar to the case Loadsofchildren123 posted here (sorry as i'm a new user I'm unable to post the html link):

    The PPC in question is Excel and have instructed BW Legal to act on their behalf. The PCN was issued in January 2012 (pre-POFA) and from what I recall, it was a similar issue where a permit had fallen off the windscreen after who ever was driving left the vehicle. This was not the only time this happened but was surprised to get a PCN for this. The advice I read at the time was to ignore all correspondence from Excel and whichever debt collector (Roxburgh, Graham White etc.) so again was surprised to find myself now receiving a county claim form 5.5 years after the incident. The total amount on the claim form is £268.34, broken down as:

    Principle debt - £100
    8% interest per annum - £39.34
    Contractual costs - £54

    Court fees - £25
    Legal rep costs - £50

    Essentially the advice I'm looking for is how I should approach this and I see 2 options:

    1) It is pre-POFA and I don't believe they have proof of who the driver is (the only catch here is if they have CCTV footage) so prepare my defence using templates using the pre-POFA example from the newbie thread
    2) As with Loadsofchildren123's post above, suggest that my contract was with Admiral and not Excel. I'm slightly concerned about this approach as if it did end up going as far as court, would I have to get Admiral involved at the cost suggested in the thread (£255). My other concern is, as they've issues the claim form, am I too late to be pursuing the course in the thread as this will definitely extend over the 33 day period given to submit a defence?

    I'm aware I need to request all documentation/photographs from BW Legal, citing CPR 31.14 and plan to do this once I have advice on which approach to take. The list above isn't extensive and if anyone has any other suggestions on ways to approach this I would greatly appreciate it. Also, if you require any more information from me, please ask. I didn't think to take any photos at the time given the general consensus within Admiral to "ignore them and they will go away". I almost made it to the 6 year mark too!

    Thanks in advance,
    Last edited by Swanseaparker; 18-06-2017 at 2:25 PM.
Page 1
    • Fruitcake
    • By Fruitcake 18th Jun 17, 10:46 AM
    • 39,203 Posts
    • 78,329 Thanks
    • #2
    • 18th Jun 17, 10:46 AM
    • #2
    • 18th Jun 17, 10:46 AM
    I suggest you edit slightly the paragraph about the permit falling down after someone left the vehicle. This cold be interpreted as revealing the driver's identity.

    Have you read the link by Bargepole in the NEWBIES thread to the step by step court process. It tells you what to do and when, and help with some of the form filling.

    To start with you must acknowledge the claim and state you are going to defend, but do not put anything in the defence box, not even a full stop.

    I don't think you need to contact Admiral or include them in the claim, but in your defence you state that the scammer trying to scam you is the wrong one.

    I don't suppose you have the original PCN.
    Last edited by Fruitcake; 18-06-2017 at 10:50 AM.
    I married my cousin. I had to...
    I don't have a sister.

    All my screwdrivers are cordless.
    "You're Safety Is My Primary Concern Dear" - Laks
    • beamerguy
    • By beamerguy 18th Jun 17, 10:48 AM
    • 5,279 Posts
    • 6,696 Thanks
    • #3
    • 18th Jun 17, 10:48 AM
    • #3
    • 18th Jun 17, 10:48 AM
    "Principle debt - £100
    8% interest per annum - £39.34
    Contractual costs - £54

    Court fees - £25
    Legal rep costs - £50

    Seems that BWLegal are getting even more stupid than they have been.

    They used to claim £54 for legal costs and were told time and time again that they were wrong.
    Now they claim £54 as Contractual costs

    WHAT Contractual costs ???

    It's pre-POFA and they need to know who was the driver.

    This will be yet another case of BWLegal being whooped in court yet again

    Lamilad is the person here who will guide you through this.
    Lamilad can chew up BWLegal and spit them out in the sewer
    where they belong

    • Redx
    • By Redx 18th Jun 17, 10:48 AM
    • 14,403 Posts
    • 17,972 Thanks
    • #4
    • 18th Jun 17, 10:48 AM
    • #4
    • 18th Jun 17, 10:48 AM
    the initial defence is submitted before the 28 to 33 day deadline , regardless of if you have received all the additional paperwork etc

    evidence and photos and witness statements are submitted a few weeks before the hearing date , so plenty of time to expand on the submitted defence but ensure you have covered yourself with a lack of "POC" etc , so that you can alter any further defence accordingly due to having a paragraph complaining about the sparse details and lack of evidence etc

    make sure you have acknowledged the claim to extend the deadline by 14 days (to 28 days from 14 days)

    post #2 of that NEWBIES thread will assist with the basics
    Last edited by Redx; 18-06-2017 at 10:50 AM.
    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
    • Swanseaparker
    • By Swanseaparker 19th Jun 17, 1:03 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    • #5
    • 19th Jun 17, 1:03 PM
    • #5
    • 19th Jun 17, 1:03 PM
    Thanks a lot for your responses so far, I plan to acknowledge the claim later today, in the meantime I've adapted Loadsofchildren123's letter from the thread above, I'd appreciate comments on whether I should send this to BW Legal today please:

    I have received the above claim from the County Court Business Centre.

    I intend to defend the claim and I invite you to withdraw at this early stage, before costs are incurred by me in defending. I believe it is baseless and misconceived and is bound to fail.

    At the time in question (XX XX 2012) I was employed by Admiral. As an employee I was entitled to apply for permission to park in the staff car park. Such permission was granted to me after my employment started, and in return I paid Admiral £50 per month for the parking, deducted at source from my salary. I had understood that as I was a permit-holder I would not be charged and that Admiral would speak to you to arrange for the PCN issued on XX XX 2012 to be cancelled.

    It is therefore the case that I entered into a contract with Admiral in respect of the parking. The contract did not include any obligations, other than (on Admiral’s part) to provide me with a parking space and (on my part) to display the permit I was subsequently given (not in any specific, prescribed manner) and to pay £50 per month. There was no reference whatsoever in the agreement with Admiral that I would be penalised in any way, including the payment of any charges, for failing to comply with the terms of the agreement, and there was no reference whatsoever to complying with further terms and conditions imposed by your client.

    After entering into the contract with Admiral, I was given a parking permit and a plastic pocket to use to display the permit in my windscreen (“the windscreen pocket”). The permit bore my car registration, which I had provided to Admiral.

    On the rear of the windscreen pocket were what purported to be terms and conditions, in very small lettering, which referred to the parking and how the permit should be displayed, with a vague reference to “charges” for any breaches. They referred vaguely to further terms and conditions displayed in the car park. At the foot of the rear of the windscreen pocket is your client’s name, Excel Parking Services Ltd, and the company registration number, and a helpline telephone number. There was no reference anywhere in the wording to the creation of a contract between Excel and the holder of the permit. By the time I received the permit I had already entered into the contract with Admiral for it to provide me with a parking space in return for £50 per month.

    As for the signs in the car park, these were clearly aimed at discouraging non-permit holders from parking there (the clear intention of your engagement by Admiral to manage the car park).

    All of this clearly demonstrates that I cannot have entered into any contract with your client. I ask you to consider the above and respond to the following points:
    • I had already been granted the right to park by the party in control and occupation of the land, namely Admiral Group Plc. Your client, a third party with no relationship to me, had no legal locus to amend, alter, add to or limit those rights by imposing new or further contractual terms on me.
    • No contractual terms were ever “offered” to me by your client and I never accepted any contractual terms that may have been “offered”. No consideration flowed either from your client to me, or from me to your client. I already had the right to park granted to me by Admiral Group Plc. The three elements required for the formation of a contract (offer, acceptance, consideration) are therefore completely absent.
    • In any event, the terms and conditions which you client seeks to impose upon me (set out on the back of the windscreen pocket) fail to define the “charge” that could be imposed for any failure to comply with them.
    • To the extent that I was obliged to display the permit given to me by my employer (and it is denied that there were any such specific terms), the requirement must have been reasonable and capable of being complied with. The windscreen pocket was not fit for purpose because it fell off the windscreen while the car was unattended on several occasions. The driver used all reasonable endeavours to comply with it by displaying the permit in the windscreen pocket (if there was any such specific obligation, which I deny). When the driver left the vehicle, the windscreen pocket was in situ. The fact that it fell from the windscreen was completely out of their control and not because of any act or omission on their part, and they could not have done anything more than they did to comply with the obligation your client relies upon to bring its claim.
    • Your client could easily have checked with Admiral to see if I was a valid permit holder: Admiral held my registration number which was recorded on my permit. The intention of any agreement between your client and Admiral was quite clearly to prevent unauthorised parking, not to penalise genuine permit holders for events which were out of their control.
    • Your client has added in costs/administrative charges which are not defined in any contractual document: there is simply a vague reference to these on the signs in the car park. For any contractual term to be capable of acceptance, it must be certain and clear.

    I invite your client to withdraw its claims before further costs are incurred by me in dealing with them.

    If your client will not withdraw, then I ask for your response to the matters above and for the following documents:

    • The contract (or chain of contracts) between your client and Admiral Group Plc giving your client authority to carry out parking management and on what terms;
    • Any and all photographs taken of my car on XX XX 2012;
    • A copy of any document your client asserts sets out the terms of the alleged contract between it and me (this may be the same as 4 below);
    • A copy of the signs on display and a plan of where in the car park they were displayed on those dates;

    These are core documents, central to your client’s claim. As such, they are documents which should have been produced at an early stage (regardless of whether or not I asked for them) in the pre-action phase, pursuant to paragraph 6 of the Practice Direction – Pre-Action Conduct. The contract requested under 3 above should have been appended to your client’s Claim Form according to Practice Direction 16 (which accompanies Rule 16 of the CPR) - if the contract is claimed to be written, the Claim Form must include a copy of the document constituting the agreement (paragraph 7.3(1)), or general conditions (paragraph 7.3(2)), or if the agreement is said to have been created through conduct the particulars must specify the conduct relied on, and by whom, when and where acts relied upon were done (paragraph 7.5). Your client’s Claim Form does neither.

    I am requesting these documents because I clearly require them in order to be able to prepare a proper defence to the claim, as is my entitlement. The CPR clearly anticipate an early exchange of information, as per paragraph 6 of the Practice Direction – Pre-Action Conduct, Rule 16 and Practice Direction 16 – any failure to produce the information I have asked for will be nothing other than a deliberate attempt to frustrate my ability to defend the claim and will be drawn to the court’s attention as unreasonable conduct pursuant to Rule 27.14(2)(g) and as a failure to comply with pre-action obligations. You will have denied me the opportunity to “take stock” pursuant to paragraph 12 of the Practice Direction, or to enter into any meaningful discussions with you pursuant to paragraph 13. I will seek the sanctions provided for by paragraph 15 of the Practice Direction.

    Since there is clear evidence that this claim have been wrongly brought, I am advised that your client has breached the terms of the Data Protection Act because your client has accessed my keeper details from the DVLA when it had no right to do so. Should this matter proceed then I put you on notice that I will make a counterclaim for damages in respect of such breaches (in respect of each PCN). I understand that there is case law which supports a damages award of £750 for each breach. In this case, I believe I am entitled to claim an award of aggravated damages because I understand that your client was admonished for wrongfully accessing and storing/using data in 2012 and suspended by the DVLA from accessing further data – all of which means that your client must have been aware of the provisions of, and its duties pursuant to, the Data Protection Act.

    I have replaced the word "I" with "the driver" where necessary. I have also removed the various references to the "VCS signs" as I believe they were the blue and yellow Excel signs back in 2012 (again my memory from 5.5 years ago is a tad hazy). I left the Data Protection part in, although it is 2012 and likely after my PCN, I have moved houses since and Excel/BWL must have run some DVLA/electoral roll searches on me?

    My question is, should I send this letter, or should I just send the section requesting the documentation/photographs and mention I will be defending in full as it is pre-POFA and they have failed to provide evidence of who the driver was? Sorry for the additional questions, but having read through the examples, my situation seems to be a mixture of a few (pre-POFA and permit owner) and I'm not sure which will be easier to defend in court or less likely to proceed in the first instance.

    Fruitcake - as for the original PCN, I believe I have it somewhere but having moved houses a few times, not entirely sure where it is. I'll try to dig it out this evening, will it affect the writing of my defence in any way?

    Thanks again,
    Last edited by Swanseaparker; 19-06-2017 at 1:14 PM.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 19th Jun 17, 7:33 PM
    • 46,883 Posts
    • 60,192 Thanks
    • #6
    • 19th Jun 17, 7:33 PM
    • #6
    • 19th Jun 17, 7:33 PM
    I think send the longer letter as you have shown, not a shorter one that they are more likely to ignore.

    I agree with Loadsofchildren123 that these cases should be fought in detail and robustly threatening counter-claims, because that's the only language these scammers understand.

    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.

    • Swanseaparker
    • By Swanseaparker 20th Jun 17, 10:27 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    • #7
    • 20th Jun 17, 10:27 AM
    • #7
    • 20th Jun 17, 10:27 AM
    I've sent the email above to BW Legal and acknowledged the claim (on MCOL), will spend the next week or so putting my defence together and post here for any further advice. Thanks again for your help so far, very much appreciated!
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