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  • FIRST POST
    • TobyZ
    • By TobyZ 19th Aug 17, 12:07 PM
    • 37Posts
    • 27Thanks
    TobyZ
    CCJ from BE Legal/Excel relating to incident in 2012
    • #1
    • 19th Aug 17, 12:07 PM
    CCJ from BE Legal/Excel relating to incident in 2012 19th Aug 17 at 12:07 PM
    Hi all,

    So, yesterday was fun...Had what I have now discovered is the familiar shock of discovering a CCJ on my credit record about which I had no knowledge prior to a CCJ. Have spent a day reading all the amazing material on here, peppipoo and the Parking Prankster, which has made me realise I'm far from alone in this. Less anxious, but now more angry!

    The situation, based on the info I've been able to gather, is this - I am the registered keeper of a vehicle which they allege committed an offence in Chorlton Square car park in March 2012. It seems from the forums that this location is a pretty notorious one as it has a road running through it which is treated as part of the car park but is not properly marked as such.

    I honestly have no idea who was driving the car then or what happened (and I have no paperwork to go on either at present). I moved house in July 2012, and then again in July 2013. The CCJ was served to my old (nearly 5 yrs out of date) address in March 2017. Obviously, I never found out anything until yesterday when the check on Experian started a long day of panicky phone calls and reading on this forum. In addition, I sold the car the incident relates to in February 2016, so I wasn't even the registered keeper any more when the CCJ was issued.

    My initial intention was to apply for set aside without consent. Indeed, I have already paid the £255 court fee for a set aside without consent application as I was super-worried about all the stuff saying that an application had to be made quickly, and the Court advised over the phone that paying the fee would be treated as notice of an intention to make an application.

    I do think, based on my reading here, that I would have a strong case to get the set aside and to dispute the ticket, in particular as it relates to an alleged offense which dates to before the FOPA 2012 legislation.However, there are a couple complications regarding my case (which I'd be keen to discuss in PMs if someone is willing but don't want to mention here at present) which I am anxious could impact on my ability to get the contested set aside granted. The main concern for me (as with many) is the impact this would have on my credit record - paying the fine is not an issue financially, though I do hate to reward bottom feeding behaviour.

    I am wondering if my best course of action might be to lodge the contested set aside paperwork, to demonstrate that I'm serious and know how to contest, while also contacting BW Legal or Excel to see if they will agree to an uncontested set aside. It seems from what I've read on here that this is the "play it safe" and "low time cost" option - if you can get them to agree to it (which appears not to be too hard), then you pay up, the CCJ gets wiped off and you can go on with your life. I'm also tempted by this option because I'm going to be very busy with work and family stuff in the next couple of months so I could do without having to set aside lots of time to prepare for and attend court hearings etc.

    What do you guys think? Is this a viable strategy? What's the best way to go about getting BW Legal or Excel to agree to the uncontested set-aside if so? How do I make sure that everyone follows through and wipes the CCJ off my credit record (which is my primary concern here)? Is it possible to withdraw my contested set aside application if I get the Claimants to agree to an uncontested set aside, and if so do I get some of the money back?

    I've also prepared a draft Witness Statement based on successful contested set asides I've read on here and peppipoo - if it is worth at least starting the contested set aside process then I'd be really keen to get advice/feedback from you guys on this.

    Thanks in advance for all your help - these forums have been a godsend for me already. So much information, and its amazing to know that there are smart hard working people who have your back when the cowboys ride into town!
Page 5
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 9th Nov 17, 6:31 PM
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    Loadsofchildren123
    Great to hear this. Of course it is common sense. Well done on getting costs.
    Of course excel could have agreed to the set aside much earlier, without the need for a hearing.
    Into your defence now.
    Limitation applies to date of claim, not determination. So it isn’t an issue.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 9th Nov 17, 11:51 PM
    • 51,855 Posts
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    Coupon-mad
    Just spotted this, hooray! Well done:

    So he awarded costs! Court fee, work losses (£90) and travel.
    So they coughed up over £350 - plus the cost/time of the BW Legal person wasted - chortle!

    All to do a complete circle and clear your credit rating and get you back to where you were, and they paid for that, and are no further forward. Plus they've already spent money on the case and a court fee, even before deciding whether to take you on in court!
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 10-11-2017 at 12:05 AM.
    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.

    • Johnersh
    • By Johnersh 10th Nov 17, 8:22 AM
    • 750 Posts
    • 1,393 Thanks
    Johnersh
    Congratulations on the set aside and getting the costs. That's important as it now creates less incentive for the claimant to press on with the claim and potentially to lose again.

    The capitulation at the door of court shoes that the PPCs know full well that many of their defaults may be vulnerable because of a lack of even basic checks.

    SET ASIDE
    I think I posted Marshall Rankine v Maggs up here - probably on another thread. It would have killed the need for the hypothesising. Paras 95 to 105 are particularly helpful. http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2006/20.html&query=marshall+and+rankine+and+maggs&metho d=boolean

    Also, Google "adrian zuckerman service claim form". His quite lengthy explanation (pdf download) is old, but the explanations regarding the service process remain sound and it's surprisingly readable.

    In most cases the address from the dvla will be sufficient to proceed. However, once a couple of years have passed and particularly if there has been no response to anything this his helpful authority that assumptions are unsafe. In Marshall there was, I believe, a 4 year period between meeting the defendant at the address and issue. Obviously that case was even better as the Defendant had never lived there, but the analysis is helpful.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 10th Nov 17, 8:20 PM
    • 51,855 Posts
    • 65,486 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Congratulations on the set aside and getting the costs. That's important as it now creates less incentive for the claimant to press on with the claim and potentially to lose again.

    The capitulation at the door of court shoes that the PPCs know full well that many of their defaults may be vulnerable because of a lack of even basic checks.

    SET ASIDE
    I think I posted Marshall Rankine v Maggs up here - probably on another thread. It would have killed the need for the hypothesising. Paras 95 to 105 are particularly helpful. http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2006/20.html&query=marshall+and+rankine+and+maggs&metho d=boolean

    Also, Google "adrian zuckerman service claim form". His quite lengthy explanation (pdf download) is old, but the explanations regarding the service process remain sound and it's surprisingly readable.

    In most cases the address from the dvla will be sufficient to proceed. However, once a couple of years have passed and particularly if there has been no response to anything this his helpful authority that assumptions are unsafe. In Marshall there was, I believe, a 4 year period between meeting the defendant at the address and issue. Obviously that case was even better as the Defendant had never lived there, but the analysis is helpful.
    Originally posted by Johnersh
    That's very useful to know, an authority for Ds to argue that a PPC should have taken steps to find out with a simple trace/search, where the D lives after a gap of more than mere months.

    Cheers Johnersh. I tried Googling for one like that case and couldn't spot one.
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 12-11-2017 at 12:24 AM.
    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.

    • IamEmanresu
    • By IamEmanresu 11th Nov 17, 5:14 AM
    • 1,819 Posts
    • 3,214 Thanks
    IamEmanresu
    I tried Googling for one like that case and couldn't spot one.
    http://adrianzuckerman.co.uk/files/File/cjq2009_1editorsnote_-_new_provisions_for_service.pdf

    Top of page 6 reference to CPR r.6.9(3)

    Try harder Coupon

    PS Drop me a line.
    Last edited by IamEmanresu; 11-11-2017 at 5:21 AM.
    Life's for living, get on with it rather than worrying about these. If they hassle, counter claim.

    Send them that costs schedule though, 24 hours before the hearing, and file it with the court. Take with you evidence that you have sent the costs schedule to them and when.
    LoC
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 12th Nov 17, 12:24 AM
    • 51,855 Posts
    • 65,486 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    I'll try harder IamEmanresu, and have dropped you a line.

    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.

    • TobyZ
    • By TobyZ 23rd Nov 17, 7:17 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    TobyZ
    Hi all,

    Two letters from BW Legal this week. One had my cheque in it (for which, once again, thanks to all on here - couldn't have done it without you). The other, alas, contained their amended particulars of claim. I was kind of hoping they'd give up, so you've got to give them marks for persistence, if nothing else.

    The claim's really weak - including three issues they've lost in court on, in particular clear signage - this is the infamous Chorlton Excel car park in 2012 and failure to purchase pay and display tickets (they've had cases thrown out for the machine in this exact car park breaking down. Very ropey digital pictures are attached which pretty much confirm that the signage was poor.

    So, I could fight it, no doubt. But...I have some serious family issues to deal with in the next couple of months and don't really want this taking up my time. The cost's not really a massive issue for me now the CCJ's off my record - though I do find paying these sharks galling on principle. However, I have to put family first so I am considering just paying it to make it go away.

    So my question for you guys is - what's the most effective way to do that? I assume I should make a without prejudice offer, in writing, without admitting liability? Should I try offering less than they've asked for (they've added on various spurious costs as usual?)

    I know you would all much rather I fight it, and part of me is still tempted to, but I am not sure I can spare the time at the moment. Can you offer any advice on making this go away quickly, efficiently, and for good?
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 24th Nov 17, 12:58 AM
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    • 65,486 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Hmmm...I wouldn't pay it and I appreciate your position - but I still wouldn't.

    A defence based on the usual stuff should see it off, and if you are only busy with issues for the next 2 months, write to the court and say when you are unavailable (till Feb)?
    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.

    • TobyZ
    • By TobyZ 24th Nov 17, 11:43 AM
    • 37 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    TobyZ
    Thanks CM. I know you guys would always fight to the end : )

    I hadn't considered delaying to be honest. Are the courts open to such things? And could I get the two week deadline on preparing my defence extended? It will be a bit of a headache to sort that out in time to be honest.
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 24th Nov 17, 12:19 PM
    • 1,757 Posts
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    Loadsofchildren123
    You can extend your defence deadline by agreement with the PPC or if the court gives permission.


    PPC unlikely to agree and you'd have to pay £100 for a paper application for permission (and you may not get those costs, unless you can show that the PPC unreasonably refused the extension request). With your application you'd have to explain your reasons.


    I understand your predicament. Why not ask the PPC to agree to extend time and explain why and then review? The only downside of that is they will then think they have you on the run if you were to later offer to settle.


    In terms of making an offer, historically PPCs will usually refuse any offer for anything other than the full amount. That's their business model: proceed regardless and the cases they lose are loss leaders because most people will pay, even those who start out defending, or not even turn up in court on the day. But here they can see you are willing to put up a fight and to devote time to defeating them so they may accept a lower offer of, say, the original ticket amount (which is probably the same as the fee you'd have to pay to extend time for your defence).
    • TobyZ
    • By TobyZ 26th Nov 17, 6:13 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    TobyZ
    Thanks LoadsofChildren. That's very helpful. I've been leaning back towards carrying on to be honest. My wife pointed out that given how long it takes the court to allocate a hearing date (it was near on 2 months for the set aside), and the large number of business days lost over Christmas, its unlikely this will come to a hearing before the difficult period is out of the way for me (by end Jan things should be settled again).

    I have therefore been looking again at the BW Legal documents. Am I right in thinking that they can only rely on the material they have submitted in this particulars document, and that they cannot use anything else that I haven't seen as it would prejudice the case against me? The case they've made is pretty thin, and with really weak evidence (some blurry photos). But I'm worried they might produce more material later - are they allowed to do so?
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 26th Nov 17, 7:10 PM
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    nosferatu1001
    If the court has ordered exchange of documents by a different date, they can provide more at that point.
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 27th Nov 17, 10:33 PM
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    Loadsofchildren123
    PPCs often only include more details of the claim in the WS. It's wrong but they get away with it in small claims.
    • TobyZ
    • By TobyZ 30th Nov 17, 4:29 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    TobyZ
    OK - so I don't know for sure at this stage what I am defending against? Will I also get a chance to update my defence in response to material they raise later? Seems pretty unfair if I don't get a chance to respond to their case, particularly as they are legal professionals and I'm not.
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 30th Nov 17, 8:48 PM
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    Loadsofchildren123
    You say in your defence that the case has been very sparsely pleaded and you do not understand the basis of the claim and reserve the right to add points to your defence if the claim is particularised further at any stage (eg in the WS).
    Technically you can’t amend your defence without leave. But technically they should also particularise their claim properly in the POC. Do you’d expect to get away with it. You can deal with any additional points in your skeleton.
    Although a practising Solicitor, my posts here are NOT legal advice, but are personal opinion based on limited facts provided anonymously by forum users. I accept no liability for the accuracy of any such posts and users are advised that, if they wish to obtain formal legal advice specific to their case, they must seek instruct and pay a solicitor.
    • TobyZ
    • By TobyZ 1st Dec 17, 6:09 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    TobyZ
    Hi all, I've just drafted up my Witness Statement and defence statement (that's the "skeleton" right?). Would welcome comments on both so am posting up here. Need to be sent off by Thursday, but hoping to get them sent ahead of that. Here's the Witness Statement:

    I am XX and I am the Defendant in this matter.
    This is my Witness Statement in support of my defence against the claim brought against me by BW Legal and Excel Parking Services Ltd in respect of a Parking Charge Notice issued in March 2012.
    1.1. On DATE vehicle registration number XXX parked in The Square car park in Chorlton-!!!-Hardy for 52 minutes between 13.29 and 14.21.
    1.2. It is admitted that the Defendant was the registered keeper of the vehicle in question at the time of the alleged incident. At the time of the incident, however, the vehicle was regularly used by two drivers – myself and my wife – who were both named on the insurance. The car was also used occasionally by other relatives – mainly my brothers – who have fully comprehensive insurance.
    1.3. My wife and I both regularly visited Chorlton for the purposes of shopping, but we have no recollection of who was driving the car on this particular date. We ceased to use the car park in question due to repeated problems with the ticketing machines there, which require entry of a full number plate and frequently malfunction. I can recall no further details regarding the incident, which was in all likelihood a routine trip undertaken over five years ago.
    1.4. I have no recollection of receiving the Parking Charge Notice letter dated XX contained in the Particulars of Claim. At this time, my presence in the residence was irregular as my wife and I were working in different cities, on temporary contracts. We were also in the process of preparing to move house, which we undertook a couple of months later. I do not know if I received this document and responded to it (I can find no record of this) or disposed of it without response. Again, the incident was a long time ago, during a very busy and stressful period in my life. Thus it is impossible to recall any particulars. I note that the claimant has not provided evidence of any follow up correspondence in the Particulars of Claim. I believe several pieces of follow up correspondence would normally be required by the Code of Practice for Private Enforcement on Private Land and Unregulated Car Parks. I have no recollection of any follow up correspondence, nor has the Claimant provided any in their Particulars of Claim.
    1.5. The next knowledge I had of this incident was when I discovered that the Claimant had obtained a Default Judgement against me as the Defendant in a claim (their reference XX). This claim had not been served at my current address and I thus was not aware of the Default Judgement D7DP900V until 18th August 2017 when I discovered it while doing a routine check on my credit file.
    1.6. On 18th August I contacted BW Legal, lawyers for the Claimant using information given to me by Northampton County Court. The Claimant provided no information not already available from the summary emailed to me by the County Court. On 22nd August, I rang a second time to request full paperwork relating to this incident. I was advised by XX of BW Legal that I would have to submit a Data Subject Access Request in writing with a £10 fee for documentation to be released. Processing of this application could take up to 40 days.
    1.7. My application for set aside was granted on 13th November 2017 by District Judge XX. I was awarded costs due to the claimant’s failure to take reasonable actions to ensure my address was current.
    Statement of Truth:
    I believe that the facts stated in this Witness Statement are true.
    • TobyZ
    • By TobyZ 1st Dec 17, 6:25 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    TobyZ
    Here's the defence (what do I call it by the way, is it just "Defence"?) - would really welcome advice and feedback on this! Sorry its so long!!
    1.1. It is admitted that the Defendant was the registered keeper of the vehicle at the time of the alleged incident. The Defendant ceased to be the registered keeper of the vehicle in February 2016, when the vehicle was sold.
    1.2. Two drivers were named on the insurance for the vehicle at the time of the incident – the Defendant and his wife. Both were regular users of the vehicle around the time of the incident. Other drivers also occasionally used the vehicle, under the provisions of fully comprehensive insurance
    1.3. The Defendant has no recollection as to who was driving the vehicle at the time of the incident, which was five and a half years ago at the time of writing.
    1.4. The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (PoFA 2012), which came into force in October 2012, is the only legislation currently available allowing a private parking firm to hold a registered keeper liable. From the limited information provided by the Particulars of Claim, I note that the date of the alleged contravention is XX 2012, predating the PoFA 2012 coming into force. This being the case, the claimant cannot hold the registered keeper liable, only the driver.
    1.5. The claimant has provided no evidence demonstrating the identity of the driver in the Particulars of Claim. They have demonstrated no awareness of the need to prove the identity of the driver and have, indeed, made repeated misleading statements relying on an unevidenced presumption that the keeper is the driver.
    1.6. For example, paragraph 7 in the Particulars of Claim “The Defendant, by physically entering and leaving their Vehicle at the Car Park…” relies on the unproven assumption that the Defendant is the driver. Statement 8 “The Defendant breached the Terms and Conditions…” similarly relies on this unproven assumption; as does statement 10 “…the Defendant failed to purchase a valid Pay and Display Ticket…”
    1.7. Statement 11 “the Claimant believes that the Defendant was the person responsible for the Vehicle on the Contravention Date” is also a misleading statement. It again relies solely on a presumption that the Defendant was the driver. No evidence is provided to support this claim in the Particulars of Claim.
    1.8. All of these statements rely on a presumption that the keeper and the driver are the same person. I wish to bring to the court's attention that the claimant and their solicitors have made repeated attempts to use misleading statements such as this to get around an inability to identify drivers, despite repeatedly being informed that no such presumption in law exists. PATAS and POPLA Lead Adjudicator and barrister, Henry Michael Greenslade, clarified that with regards to keeper liability, “There is no ‘reasonable presumption’ in law that the registered keeper of a vehicleis the driver and operators should never suggest anything of the sort” (POPLA report 2015)
    1.9. In 2012, the year of this alleged parking event, the Claimant (Excel Parking Ltd) were sanctioned (banned) by the DVLA for stating or implying in signs or documents that a registered keeper could be held 'liable for the payment of charges' and/or had any 'legal responsibility' to name the driver. It is contended that this is exactly what Claimant and their solicitor is now doing in making repeated misleading statements implying keeper liability and/or proof of the identity of the driver, without supplying any evidence in the Particulars of Claim to support these statements. Implying that a keeper could be eliable/responsible for the actions of a driver was identified by the DVLA as 'a significant breach' of the Trade Body Code of Practice which was with the British Parking Association at the time. So serious a matter was this, Excel were banned from obtaining data by the DVLA for three months.
    1.10. I submit that the claimant is abusing the Court process by bringing a claim from a period immediately prior to its ban for breach of the Trade Body Code of Practice, in which it undertakes exactly the kind of unevidenced assumption of keeper liability which lead to the ban in that year.
    1.11. I note also that the Claimant has withheld the full paperwork relating to this claim – the single page letter dated XX 2012 makes reference to an appeals process on the reverse of the letter, which is not supplied. I contend that given the Claimant’s subsequent ban for misleading statements in documents, that the withheld documentation may reveal statements in breach of the Trade Body Code of Practice
    1.12. In light of the above, paragraph 3 which states “At all material times, the Claimant has been an Accredited Member of Approved Trade Associations certified by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and was awarded Approve Operator status through its full compliance with their Code of Practice for Private Enforcement on Private Land and Unregulated Car Parks” is incomplete and misleading. Within a few months of the Claim incident, the Claimant was in fact banned by the DVLA for breaching the Code of Practice. This is material to the claim as the documents and practices which lead to the ban were most likely those in operation at the time the Claim Incident occurred.
    1.13. The Claimant asserts in paragraph 6 that “At all material times, there was and is sufficient and adequate signage for the Terms and Conditions to have been brought to the attention of any motorist (including the Defendant) wishing to use the Car Park
    1.14. I note in passing that this statement once again makes an unevidenced claim that the Defendant was the motorist using the Car Park in this incident.
    1.15. Aside from this, the statement is demonstrably false. In the case of Excel Parking Services Ltd v M R Cutts at Stockport county Court in 20122, claim 1SE02795, DDJ Lateef dismissed the claim by Excel ann ordered the company to pay Mr Cutts’ costs. The Judge personally visited the site to view the signs in situ and found that Excel Parking Services Ltd had not taken reasonable steps to draw Mr Cutts’ attention to the terms and conditions of using the car park. In an article for the Plain Language Commission on 23rd April 2012, Martin Cutts, who is the author of “Lucid Law”, the “Plain English Lexicon” and the “Oxford Guide to Plain English” cites DDJ Lateef speaking to the Manchester Evening News after her visit:
    “The notices that I have seen have reference to failure to comply in an area of lettering that is around four times larger than the lettering that confirms that this is a pay and display car park. To my mind, that suggests that the claimants real interest lies in a failure to comply, [rather] than actually seeking to bring to a driver’s attention the fact that they are about to enter a pay and display car park.”
    1.16. Far from providing “sufficient and adequate signage for the Terms and Conditions”, the Claimant has provided a case study in the provision of insufficient and inadequate signage, involving an incident just months prior to the Claim incident, in a nearby car park.
    1.17. The Defendant contends that as this material case occurred shortly after the Cutts case, and as Excel are known to use signs in their pay and display car parks which are all of generally the same style, layout and design, the signage in operation at the Chorlton Square car park was similarly insufficient and inadequate to make the driver aware of the terms and conditions.
    1.18. This is confirmed by the digital pictures supplied by the Claimant, which demonstrate inadequacy on a number of grounds. They are digitally date stamped on XX August, some five months after the alleged incident and at a time of year (high summer) when lighting conditions are at their best.
    1.19. Despite the optimal lighting conditions, and the picture being taken at close range, the vast majority of text on each of the images is completely illegible. This cannot be taken as adequate to make any driver fully aware of the terms and conditions, as was amply demonstrated in the Excel Parking Ltd vs Cutts case.
    1.20. In paragraph 9, the claimant asserts that “This is a 24 Hour Pay & Display Car Park” and that the signage goes on to state that “Failure to comply will result in a parking charge notice being issued and a charge of £100 being enforced, discounted to £60 if payment is received 14 days of the notice issue date.” They further state in this paragraph that “Copies of this signage are attached to these Particulars of Claim”. The images of signage are the only evidence the Claimant has supplied to support these claims
    1.21. Contrary to paragraph 9, the phrase “This is a 24 Hour Pay & Display Car Park” is visible, in small print, on only one of the three signs provided. On none of the signs is legible text concerning the consequences of failure to comply visible at all.
    1.22. This confirms that, as already demonstrated in the Cutts case, these were inadequate signs incapable of binding the driver. This distinguishes the case from Parking Eye vs Beavis [2015] UKSC 67, where the judgement of the Court relied on the signage being obvious and the amount of the penalty being known to the consumer so that they could make their decision whether to park and risk a large penalty. Here are a few of the references to signage from the judgement:
    Para 100: “The charge is prominently displayed in large letters at the entrance to the car park and at frequent intervals”
    Para 108: “But although the terms, like all standard contracts, were presented to motorists on a take it or leave it basis, they could not have been briefer, simpler, or more prominently proclaimed. If you park here and stay more than two hours, you will pay £85”
    Para 205: “The requirement of good faith in this context is one of fair and open dealing. Openness requires that the terms should be expressed fully, clearly and legibly, containing no concealed pitfalls or traps. Appropriate prominence should be given to terms that might operate disadvantageously to the customer.”

    1.23. It is evident from the pictures of signage submitted by the Claimant that the signs in operation manifestly fail to meet the standards laid down in the Beavis case.
    1.24. The penalty charges sought are not prominent on any of the signs – indeed they are not visible at all. If such penalty charges are not legible on a high quality digital camera image, it is not reasonable to imagine they would be visible to a driver entering the car park.
    1.24. The contract terms are not brief, simple or prominently proclaimed. They are lengthy, written in tiny font, and completely illegible on all three of the signs provided by the claimant.
    1.25. This signage clearly violates the requirement of good faith via fair and open dealing. The terms are not expressed fully, clearly or legibly. A driver entering this car park could not reasonably be deemed aware of any liability for a penalty charge of £60 or £100 if they failed to comply with the (largely illegible) terms and conditions, for no statement regarding this penalty charge is visible at all on the images supplied.
    1.26. The assertions made by the claimant regarding liability for penalty charges in paragraphs 9 and 12 in the Particulars of Claim are thus not supported by the evidence they have supplied. The statements they assert are visible on the signage are simply not visible on the digital images of the signage they have provided. Therefore, no contract was formed to pay any clearly stated sum.
    1.27. In addition to failing to provide adequate signage, the Defendant has reason to believe, based on several high profile incidents, that the equipment operated at this car park could have been defective at the time of the incident.
    1.28. The Claimant makes use of ANPR images recording the entrance and exit of the Vehicle for which the defendant was Registered Keeper. The car park where the incident occurred has featured in several high profile controversies due to poorly placed ANPR technology resulting in tickets being incorrectly issued to drivers.
    1.29. The Manchester Evening News reported on 18th August 2011 that local residents leaving near the car park had been issued with multiple parking charge notices for parking in their own driverways (Exhibit A attached)
    1.30 On 1st April 2016, the Manchester Evening News reported that a care worker had wrongly been issued with multiple fines after passing through the site with no intention to park (Exhibit B attached). This was the result of the placement of ANPR technology along an unobstructed former public highway, which is inconsistent with the requirement of good faith through fair and open dealing. Drivers proceeding without halting along this unobstructed highway were not able to read, or necessarily even notice, the signage concerning the car park charges and in any event had no intention of entering in to a parking contract – as is clearly evidence from the image accompanying the story (Exhibit C attached) which shows the unobstructed highway running through the car park, with no signage visible at all.
    1.31. The ticketing machines used at the car park, and others operated by the Claimant have also been subject to prominent criticism.
    1.32. On 11th July 2017, the Manchester Evening News reported the case of Blessing Burgess, who was issued with a Parking Charge Notice despite having paid to park, due to making an error in the entry of her car number plate (Exhibit D attached). The claimants refused to accept this defence, and were defeated in court. The claimant’s refusal to accept the clear evidence that a customer had paid to use their car park demonstrates once again their lack of commitment to good faith and plain dealing.
    1.33. A further case with very similar details was then reported in the Manchester Evening News on 12th July 2017, relating to the Chorlton Square car park (Exhibit E). Loretta Koselka was issued with a Parking Charge Notice, and despite having kept her ticket, she was pursued by the Claimants through to a court case. She said after the case:
    “I felt very intimidated, I live on my own and I received a lot of threatening letters. They kept hassling me, and by the final letter they wanted me to pay £250.I am not stupid and I am not someone who would try to get out of paying for a parking ticket, I always pay to park. It could be that there are people out there, maybe around my age, who would just pay it because they are worried about what will happen if they don’t.I am an honest person, but their whole attitude towards me was terrible. They need to be stopped.”
    1.34. These high profile cases underscore that the technology relied upon by the Claimant is manifestly flawed, and that they are willing to pursue vexatious penalty charge notice claims even when clear evidence exists that there is no basis for such claims. Given these established facts, I believe it is incumbent on the Claimant to provide clear evidence of the contravention in question. The ANPR images submitted in the Particulars of Claim are insufficient given the Claimant’s track record of bad faith dealing and aggressive pursuit of innocent customers. The Claimant is therefore requested to provide full ticket machine records from the car park on the date in question, to enable to Defendant to check for the possibility of human error or machine error as an explanation for the alleged incident.
    1.35. I further submit that the Claimant’s claim is without merit due to additional substantial issues in law. There are as follows:
    1.35.1 Lack of Standing by Claimant: The Claimant is unlikely to be the landowner of the car park in question, and will have no proprietary interest in it. This means that the Claimant, as a matter of law, will have no locus standi to litigate in their own name. Any consideration will have been provided by the landholder, and only they would have been able sue for any damages or trespass.
    1.35.2. Claimed charge is an Unenforceable Penalty: I further submit that the Parking Charge that the Claimant claimed, given it is not based on any loss suffered due to the alleged breach, is nothing but an unenforceable penalty.
    1.35.3. No contract with the claimant: Any contract must have offer, acceptance and consideration both ways. There would not have been consideration from the Claimant to the motorist; the fee for parking benefits the landowners, not the Claimant. Therefore, there is no consideration from the motorist to the Claimant.
    1.36. Based on the issues raised in this defence, the Defendant asserts that the Claim is without merit, and should be dismissed in its entirety.
    1.37. I would further note that the case has been very sparsely pleaded, disadvantaging the defendant as a litingant in person without legal training. I reserve the right to add points to my defence if the claim is particularised further at any stage

    Statement of Truth:
    I believe that the facts stated in this Defence are true
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