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  • FIRST POST
    • tbay07
    • By tbay07 7th Aug 17, 8:29 PM
    • 9Posts
    • 3Thanks
    tbay07
    Vehicle Control Services County Court Claim - Am I stuffed?
    • #1
    • 7th Aug 17, 8:29 PM
    Vehicle Control Services County Court Claim - Am I stuffed? 7th Aug 17 at 8:29 PM
    Hi,

    I realise there are a number of threads posted about this issue on here but most of the advice says to start a new thread with the particulars so here goes:

    I got a private parking ticket back in November 2015 for not displaying my pass at work. My pass is just literally a piece of paper with my company's name on, not very 'official'. It amounted to 100 pounds, which I thought was excessive for a space I'm entitled to park in and just not showing my pass clearly. I appealed to the private company and never heard back.

    That was until a year later, when I got two more parking charges on two consecutive days in November 2016 when I had a scarf on my chair that covered up my pass. I know this is my own fault and I should have had this pass displayed, however I then appealed these two charges together, explaining what had happened and I wrote this from my company email address, which I asked them to use as proof of my employment and therefore entitlement to park in that space. It's also worth noting I took a picture of signs up in the car park that contradict each other. One is from the parking fine company which says you must have a permit and another sign right next to it says the spaces are reserved for staff and visitors of my company. I'm not sure how visitors would have a valid permit.

    I never heard back from my appeal, only to then receive (in February this year) a 'notice to take legal action' letter which I responded to informing the company I had an appeal in place and had not heard back. The next correspondence I got was another 'notice to take legal action' letter in May, by this point I was quite fed up and ignored it.

    Until today, when I received a County Court Claim Form for the 300 pounds in charges as well as interest on top and court fees.

    I know at least 5 other people in my office who have forgotten their passes, and my manager is currently in talks with someone to tr and put a stop to these fines being issued to employees.

    I know I've made some basic errors (in hindsight) but things are tight financially at the moment and I really can't afford to pay what they're asking.

    I suppose I'm looking to get advice on what to do next really.

    1) Should I attend court and fight VCS
    2) Should I get a solicitor
    3) Should I attempt a settlement.

    I'm so rubbish at this sort of thing. Any help would be great!

    Thanks,

    Tanya
Page 1
    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 7th Aug 17, 8:32 PM
    • 34,064 Posts
    • 18,027 Thanks
    Quentin
    • #2
    • 7th Aug 17, 8:32 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Aug 17, 8:32 PM
    The newbies faq thread does cover dealing with a court claim. Go there now and first job is to file an acknowledgement of service - see the walkthrough for this linked in the FAQ


    Then spend time on getting your defence together


    And still get you on to your employer to get the tickets cancelled


    Answers:
    1) Yes


    2 & 3) No
    • Redx
    • By Redx 7th Aug 17, 8:43 PM
    • 17,159 Posts
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    Redx
    • #3
    • 7th Aug 17, 8:43 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Aug 17, 8:43 PM
    and NONE OF YOU has been issued with any "fines"

    whoever told you they are "fines" is an idiot !!

    they are invoices for "services rendered" , in this case invoices because VCS believe the drivers have broken the parking rules

    at no time will VCS have said the word "fine" on any paperwork, its against the law to do so, they cannot pass themselves off as the authorities

    ideally , you want the landholder/employer to write witness statements on your bahlf (and the others affected) supporting the will for no legal action to be taken

    and please read post #2 of the NEWBIES sticky thread too
    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
    • Lamilad
    • By Lamilad 8th Aug 17, 12:15 AM
    • 1,254 Posts
    • 2,489 Thanks
    Lamilad
    • #4
    • 8th Aug 17, 12:15 AM
    • #4
    • 8th Aug 17, 12:15 AM
    I took a picture of signs up in the car park that contradict each other. One is from the parking fine company which says you must have a permit and another sign right next to it says the spaces are reserved for staff and visitors
    This is a crucial point. Signage is the medium by which they form a contract with you. It has to be ample, prominent and unambiguous. If you can establish in court that the signage is defective (as it would seem to be) then you argue that no contract has been formed and you have no liability.

    I'd say you have a very winnable case.

    Not sure how similar this thread is to your case but it may be worth a read...
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5638268
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 8th Aug 17, 3:22 AM
    • 1,531 Posts
    • 1,686 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    • #5
    • 8th Aug 17, 3:22 AM
    • #5
    • 8th Aug 17, 3:22 AM
    Also, if you have permission from teh landholder (the company) to park, then you dont need any third part to come along and say THEY can offer you parking. Its a nonsense. They have no consideration

    Do as told. ACKNOWLEDGE your claim ONLINE TODAY. Do it. Do NOT contest jurisdiction. Do NOT click "start defence" - absolutely nothing at all must be entered as your defence.

    Please confrim DATE OF ISSUE. Once acknoweldged you have 28+5 days for the court to RECEIVE your defence - so if posting you must post two WORKING days before.

    You then write your defence and post it here.
    • tbay07
    • By tbay07 8th Aug 17, 3:26 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    tbay07
    • #6
    • 8th Aug 17, 3:26 PM
    Acknowledgement of Service
    • #6
    • 8th Aug 17, 3:26 PM
    I can't get onto the thread about acknowledgment of service as it's in Dropbox and can't access this at work. I can wait until a get home but in a nutshell what do I need to include in my acknowledgement? On the letter it has tick boxes that say

    1. I intend to defend all of this claim
    2. I intend to defend half of this claim
    3. I intend to contest jurisdiction.

    Also do I need to give me address? They sent this letter and the others to my work address- which I'm assuming they got because they admit I work here (and therefore am entitled to park here!)

    Thanks for your help so far!

    Tanya
    • IamEmanresu
    • By IamEmanresu 8th Aug 17, 3:33 PM
    • 1,931 Posts
    • 3,419 Thanks
    IamEmanresu
    • #7
    • 8th Aug 17, 3:33 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Aug 17, 3:33 PM
    I know at least 5 other people in my office who have forgotten their passes, and my manager is currently in talks with someone to tr and put a stop to these fines being issued to employees.
    Sounds like "revenge" action. Have they been thrown off site?
    Idiots please note: If you intend NOT to read the information on the Notice of Allocation and hand a simple win to the knuckle dragging ex-clampers, then don't waste people's time with questions on a claim you'll not defend.
    • waamo
    • By waamo 8th Aug 17, 3:56 PM
    • 2,247 Posts
    • 2,707 Thanks
    waamo
    • #8
    • 8th Aug 17, 3:56 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Aug 17, 3:56 PM
    I can't get onto the thread about acknowledgment of service as it's in Dropbox and can't access this at work. I can wait until a get home but in a nutshell what do I need to include in my acknowledgement? On the letter it has tick boxes that say

    1. I intend to defend all of this claim
    2. I intend to defend half of this claim
    3. I intend to contest jurisdiction.

    Also do I need to give me address? They sent this letter and the others to my work address- which I'm assuming they got because they admit I work here (and therefore am entitled to park here!)

    Thanks for your help so far!

    Tanya
    Originally posted by tbay07
    Option 1 and yes give your address, unless you want everything sent to your work.
    This space for hire.
    • tbay07
    • By tbay07 8th Aug 17, 3:58 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    tbay07
    • #9
    • 8th Aug 17, 3:58 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Aug 17, 3:58 PM
    Have they been thrown off site?
    Originally posted by IamEmanresu
    No, our company is part of a large corporation and we share the building with other companies too, so trying to get anything done about this is like pulling teeth! My manager is off at the minute as well so I can't even find out who he's currently complaining too, I may have to message him and find out before putting my defense together.
    • waamo
    • By waamo 8th Aug 17, 4:08 PM
    • 2,247 Posts
    • 2,707 Thanks
    waamo
    Do not delay acknowledging the claim otherwise you will get a default judgement against you.
    This space for hire.
    • tbay07
    • By tbay07 9th Aug 17, 11:16 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    tbay07
    I managed to get on to the dropbox document and have now acknowledged the claim.

    The Issue date on the letter is 2nd August 2017

    Now to start my defense....I'm really not sure where to begin with this. Should I argue the poor signage and leave it at that or should I say I have a right to park in the space and feel £300 (3 fines of £100) is extortionate for forgetting my pass?

    It may be worth noting that I've appealed to the company and haven't ever received confirmation that my claim was not successful, but have received notice of legal actions letters and then this claim.

    Thank you all for your help so far!!
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 9th Aug 17, 11:29 AM
    • 16,327 Posts
    • 25,424 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    You now need to use post #2 of the NEWBIES FAQ sticky as your bible and guide from here on. It will take you through, via comment and links to examples, what you have to do and by when.

    You need to read it carefully and thoroughly; it should be your 'go to' reference source until you get to the courtroom. Almost every question worth asking is contained in it (or through it). Please don't ask questions of busy regulars about any of the process steps as an alternative to searching for it yourself. At best they will just refer you back to the sticky, at worst they might ignore your question completely.

    When you have a draft of your defence (please note spelling - we are not America!) you can put it up for comment, but please don't have any over expectation on receiving detailed replies, there are very few regulars who have court experience, so there are fewer people prepared to comment - and as this is holiday season, the forum is relatively deserted of regulars at this time of year, but the number of cases increases through people parking in unfamiliar places whilst on holiday.
    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.
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 9th Aug 17, 11:32 AM
    • 1,877 Posts
    • 3,060 Thanks
    Loadsofchildren123
    You need to look to see what your rights include. Read my Admiral thread that Lamilad linked to. How did you get your permit? From your employer? Do you pay for the parking? Did you sign anything when they gave you your permit?
    There's not enough information here to know how to advise. You may be able to pressurise your employer more to cancel the PCNs and may be able to say that you had a pre-existing right to park which means that you cannot have entered into any new contract with the PPC imposing different terms to those imposed by your employer. Eg your employer may have said you had to display the permit, then that's an obligation to the employer not the PPC, and there was probably nothing saying you would have to pay a charge if you didn't display it. Did they have your reg number (in which case there's a reasonable expectation that they might double check you're not a permit holder before suing you).... etc.
    • tbay07
    • By tbay07 23rd Aug 17, 5:36 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    tbay07
    I have (finally) drafted my defence after reading through all of the documents. I have just used a template from another forum that seemed very similar to mine and tailored it to fit my case better.

    Apologies if I've gotten the wrong end of the stick with what to do, I'm very new to all of this and have no legal background!

    I appreciate any help you can offer. Here goes:

    Claim Number: ____
    Vehicle Control Services Ltd (Claimant) vs. Me (Defendant)
    I am ___, the defendant in this matter and registered keeper of vehicle ___.

    Statement of Defence

    I deny that I am liable for the entirety of the claim for the following reasons:

    1. It is admitted that at all material times the Defendant was the owner of a ___ vehicle variously with registration marks___ as permitted by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority ("the DVLA")

    2. It is neither admitted nor denied that to which the Claimant are permitted to undertake parking enforcement. The Claimant is put to strict proof.

    3. It is admitted that the Defendant parked her vehicle on the dates stated whilst working at MY COMPANY. The premises are operated by MY COMPANY with whom the Defendant works and is permitted parking free of charge. The Defendant denies any separate contract with the Claimant in respect of parking arrangements.

    4. It is not admitted that the Claimant has contractual or other lawful authority to bring proceedings against the Defendant. The Claimant is put to strict proof. Further, and in the alternative, the Defendant avers that the Claimant requires the permission of MY COMPANY or the owner of the relevant land, if different, to commence proceedings.

    5. The Defendant works at the premises and as such is entitled to parking, which was agreed with MY COMPANY. The Defendant has continued to abide by the contract in place between the land owner and MY COMPANY which does not mention a permit or subsequent charges if this is not displayed. In the premises, it is denied that there was any breach of contract or of parking terms. The Claimant's claim is wholly misconceived.

    6. The claim against the defendant is for breach of contract. The defendant argues there was no contract in place. The defendant can evidence poor signage at the premises. There are three different signs on the premises. One indicates MY COMPANY employees and visitors are welcome to park in the spaces provided. The defendant argues this sign does not mention any permits required to park on the premises. The text is very prominent compared to the small printed sign issued by the claimant. The defendant avers that theirs would be one of several contract the defendant could have entered into by their own logic.

    8. The Defendant avers that the Claimant has issued proceedings inappropriately, prematurely and without complying with the practice directions on pre-action conduct.

    9. The defendant contacted the claimant to appeal twice and did not receive notice of the outcome of the claim. The claimant continued to send two notices of intended court proceedings. The claimant failed to respond to the defendantís appeal. The claimant failed to provide the defendant with the opportunity to appeal with the relevant independent body.

    9. The Defendant avers that the Claimant's claim has no reasonable prospect of success. The defendant asks the court to eliminate the claim as having no reasonable prospect of success as it stands.

    STATEMENT OF TRUTH
    The Defendant believes that the facts set out in the Defence are true.

    The key points I'm trying to make here are that the signs are very unclear, there was already a contract in place with my company that doesn't mention anything about permits and they failed to reply to my appeal letters.

    Thanks for everyone's help so far
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 24th Aug 17, 2:45 AM
    • 1,531 Posts
    • 1,686 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    3) what do you mean by "operates" ? I assume that company leases the land? If so what dies the lease say? You've not told us, despite being told to.
    • tbay07
    • By tbay07 24th Aug 17, 6:37 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    tbay07
    Sorry - I meant licensed to.

    I have the Licence For Car Parking Space agreement from work. I'm going to upload it in its entirety now - hold on.

    Argh - as a new user it won't let me post a link

    imgur.com/a/pifw1

    edit: that might have worked. Let me know if it hasnt!


    There - no mention of charges or of Vehicle Control Services
    • batdad
    • By batdad 25th Aug 17, 8:09 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    batdad
    Sounds like you have a decent chance. Good luck.
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 25th Aug 17, 10:35 AM
    • 1,531 Posts
    • 1,686 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    http://imgur.com/a/pifw1

    So there is already a licence to park, so primacy of contract, and no requirement to enter into a contract with a 3rd party or pay them any money
    VCS has no consideration to offer - they cant offer you parking in a space you can already park in - and so no contract can possibly be formed

    Thats two legal defences already.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 25th Aug 17, 9:05 PM
    • 52,853 Posts
    • 66,364 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    The key points I'm trying to make here are that the signs are very unclear, there was already a contract in place with my company that doesn't mention anything about permits and they failed to reply to my appeal letters.
    The defence looks good so far, maybe needing some headings to make each point clear.

    And it cries out for a reference to case law; Saeed v Plustrade springs to mind, as referred to by Johnersh, a solicitor, in this defence under the section he headed as:

    Authority to Park and Primacy of Contract

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=72977032#post72977032


    That licence is the golden bullet to accompany your Witness Statement when you file it later, some 3 weeks before the hearing.
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • tbay07
    • By tbay07 8th Jan 18, 6:29 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    tbay07
    Witness Statement
    So I've (finally) been asked to provide my supporting documents to my claim.

    After looking on the newbie thread, I've got my case law documents printed and will include these as well as some pictures on the confusing signs and my parking contract.

    As I've put myself down as the only witness I've gathered (from the newbie thread) I have to now provide a statement. Is this different to my defence or do I just put a copy of my defence in?

    If it's different, I'm not sure what I need to add as my defence pretty much has everything in it that I want to say.

    I think I have all the relevant documents to send after I've cleared this up, please also let me know if you think there's something I may have missed.

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Thanks!
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