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  • FIRST POST
    • sheddweller
    • By sheddweller 23rd Aug 17, 8:42 PM
    • 4Posts
    • 1Thanks
    sheddweller
    SIP Gladstones. Claim form + MCOL
    • #1
    • 23rd Aug 17, 8:42 PM
    SIP Gladstones. Claim form + MCOL 23rd Aug 17 at 8:42 PM
    *Ive read the newbies and followed 'guide to MCOL & how to acknowledge service'*
    Hi everyone,
    I received a PCN in Jan of this year, at an SIP car park on Clippers Quay, Salford.
    I had received 2 prior and paid both within the initial deadline, but the by third, had *wised up* to the private car park game, and decided to bin it. Ignoring letters and the like, right up until receiving a Claim Form from County Court Business centre and Gladstones solicitors last week, issue date 09 Aug 17.

    Some extra details that I think may be of interest to you very kind and helpful people; I had received previous fines and paid, and I had also paid for parking on the very day the PCN was issued. I have evidence of this as I paid using the paybyphone website, Paybyphone keep a downloadable record of all receipts. One frustrating issue I am having, is trying to discover if I had challenged this PCN, as I did challenge one of the PCNs from this car park, to no avail.
    Is this information vital in knowing how best to tackle this defence?

    On to the Claim form from CCBC. I have sanitised the below, as I had read the solicitors trawl the forums.

    Particulars of Claim:
    The driver of the vehicle registration ****** (the 'Vehicle') incurred the parking charge(s) on **/**/** for breaking the terms of parking on the land at Clippers Quay Salford.
    The defendant was driving the vehicle and/or is the Keeper of the vehicle.
    AND THE CLAIMANT CLAIMS
    £1** for parking Charges / Damages and indemnity costs if applicable, together with interest of £5.86 pursuant to s69 of the County Courts Act 1984 at *5 pa, continuing to Judgement at £0.04 per day.

    The amount claimed is then inflated with court fee & legal rep cost, totally nearly £300.

    I have followed the guide to MCOL & how to acknowledge service from the Newbies thread. Acknowledging service and enrolling as of 21st Aug, and will now begin to prepare my defence.

    I am follwing Loadsofchildren123's guide;
    *cannot post URLs yet*
    From newbies "A Gladstones defence, using some wording suggested by IamEmanresu:"

    This posts and others from the newbies, seem to have a valid and all encompassing defence draft, but what do I know? again assistance or advice would be a massive help;
    *cannot post URLs yet*
    Title: Claim Form from County Court and No LBA from Gladstones
    Post: #22

    I would appreciate greatly advice on best draft for my circumstances, and any guidance you can give. This forum has given me confidence that this can be beaten, but I want to be more than prepared for this. I am very new to this forum, and have already spent two nights reading about similar claims from Gladstone's. I am growing my understanding still, so apologise if this seems ill informed.

    Thank you for reading, Shed.
Page 1
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 23rd Aug 17, 11:24 PM
    • 51,427 Posts
    • 65,029 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #2
    • 23rd Aug 17, 11:24 PM
    • #2
    • 23rd Aug 17, 11:24 PM
    One frustrating issue I am having, is trying to discover if I had challenged this PCN, as I did challenge one of the PCNs from this car park, to no avail.
    Is this information vital in knowing how best to tackle this defence?
    No I don't think that matters. The fact you are receiving these even when you had paid for parking, and have had more than one, can be used to 'paint a compelling picture' for the Judge later, of a predatory practice on their part.

    If you didn't appeal, then that can be explained by you previously being rinsed for unfair PCNs, until you realised the game this industry plays out and knew that you had paid to park so there was no reason to engage in what research told you is considered by posters here to be a 'kangaroo court' old boys network ''appeal''. The IPC and IAS both being 'run' by the same Directors as run Gladstones - you may have read of this conflict of interests involving Mr Hurley and Mr Davies, although they have tried hard to 'distance the companies' recently:

    http://parking-prankster.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/all-change-at-gladstones-and-ipc.html

    You sound like you have done some good research, so the next step is to show us the draft you have cobbled together and we will assist.

    Also be aware that the amazing success rate we have on this forum of winning 99% of the time (one loss in a year) is for cases where OPs stick around, and come back at witness statement/evidence stage and get help with perfecting that, then replying on their thread again regularly just before the hearing.

    Well prepared and assisted Defendants can be confident of their likelihood to win at the hearing with our help and tips, and equally you will know that losing a case is no biggie - no CCJ, it would just be the time to pay in the end, that's all.

    Well worth fighting.

    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.

    • sheddweller
    • By sheddweller 29th Aug 17, 7:04 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    sheddweller
    • #3
    • 29th Aug 17, 7:04 PM
    • #3
    • 29th Aug 17, 7:04 PM
    Coupon-mad, thanks for your reply. I have had a go at drafting up my defence, let me know what you think. I have also seen some people choose to send a letter or email Gladstone's asking for their evidence and correspondence, worthwhile?

    I am XXX, Defendant in this matter and I assert that the Claimant has no cause for action for the following reasons:

    1.It is admitted that the Defendant was the authorised registered keeper of the vehicle in question at the time of the alleged incident.

    2. It is believed that it will be a matter of common ground that claim relates to a purported debt as the result of the issue of a Parking Charge Notice (PCN) in relation to an alleged breach of the terms and conditions by the driver of the vehicle XXXX XXX when it was parked at Clippers Quay, Salford.

    3. Further based upon the scant and deficient details contained in the Particulars of Claim and correspondence, it appears to be the Claimant's case that:
    a. There was a contract formed by the Defendant and the Claimant on ***/2017.
    b. There was an agreement to pay a sum or parking charge
    c. That there were Terms and Conditions prominently displayed around the site
    d. That in addition to the parking charge there was an agreement to pay additional and unspecified additional sums.
    e. The Claimant company fully complied with their obligations within the International Parking Community Code of Practice of which they were member at the time.

    4. It is denied that:
    a. A contract was formed
    b. There was an agreement to pay a parking charge.
    c. That there were Terms and Conditions prominently displayed around the site.
    d. That in addition to the parking charge there was an agreement to pay additional and unspecified additional sums.
    e. The claimant company fully complied with their obligations within the International Parking Community Code of Practice of which they were member at the time.

    5. It is further denied that the Defendant is liable for the purported debt.

    Rebuttal of Claim
    6. The Defendant made all reasonable efforts to make payment for parking by using an approved payment channel.
    a. Payment for parking was made via telephone using a cashless system provided by PayByPhone.
    b. This is a distance contract which requires certain information to be supplied in advance.
    c. The service makes no provision for the printing of a ticket to display.
    d. The Defendant followed the PayByPhone instructions exactly as shown on the signage at the payment machine.
    d. This was not a fully automated contract. On telephoning the payment provider and following the initial touch tone service, the Defendant was referred to and conversed with an employee of PayByPhone to register a new account/vehicle details with the PayByPhone service. After which they were transferred back to the automated touch-tone service to complete payment details.
    e. The payment channel did not indicate any failure to make payment and responded as if payment had been made. As such the Defendant believed the necessary payment had been made.
    f. The failure of the payment service to accept payment is not the Defendant’s responsibility. It is not reasonable in these circumstances for the driver to assume any more obligations for making the payment.
    In Jolley v Carmel Ltd [2000] 2 –EGLR -154, it was held that a party who makes reasonable endeavours to comply with contractual terms, should not be penalised for breach when unable to fully comply with the terms.

    7. The Defendant did not enter into any 'agreement on the charge', no consideration flowed between the parties and no contract was established.

    8. The Defendant denies that they would have agreed to pay the original demand of £100 to agree to the alleged contract had the terms and conditions of the contract been properly displayed and accessible.
    a. The amount demanded is excessive and unconscionable and especially so when compared to the level of Penalty Charge Notice issued by the local Council which is set at £50 or £25 if paid within 14 days.

    9. The signage on this site was inadequate to form a contract with the motorist.
    a. The signage on and around the site in question was unclear and not prominent and did not meet the British Parking Association (BPA) Code of Practice or the International Parking Community (IPC) Code of Practice. The Claimant was a member of the IPC at the time and committed to follow its requirements. Therefore no contract has been formed with driver to pay the amount demanded by the Claimant, or any additional fee charged if unpaid in 28 days.
    b. The size of font of the prices advised for parking is much larger than the font of the contract and the offer is not sufficiently brought to the attention of the motorist, nor are the onerous terms (the £100 parking charge) sufficiently prominent to satisfy Lord Dennings "red hand rule”.
    c. In the absence of ‘adequate notice’ of the terms and the charge (which must be in large prominent letters such as the brief, clear and multiple signs in the Beavis case) this fails to meet the requirements of Schedule 4 of the POFA.
    e. The PayByPhone signage specifically states that there is “No need to display a ticket in your car” therefore there was no breach of any ‘relevant obligation’ or ‘relevant contract’ as required under Schedule 4 of POFA.
    f. If the Claimant wanted to impose a condition to continuously display permits, then they should have drafted clear instruction to that effect, requiring specific terms of how to 'continuously display' when a paper ticket has not been issued or there is no contravention.
    g. Where contract terms have different meanings, as in this instance when a paper ticket was not issued due to the chosen method of payment, then Section 69 of the CRA 2015 provides a statutory form of the contra proferentem rule, such that the consumer must be given the benefit of the doubt.
    The term is fundamental to the contract, and the Defendant invites the Court to find that it is not transparent and therefore unfair. If a fundamental term to the contract is deemed to be unfair, then the contract will cease to bind the parties. The Defence invites the Court to take these issues into account in determining the fairness of the term.

    10. The Claimant’s representatives, Gladstones, have artificially inflated the value of the Claim from £xx to £xx. The Defendant submits the added costs have not actually been incurred by the Claimant; that these are figures plucked out of thin air and applied regardless of facts.
    a. If the “parking charge” listed in the particulars of claim is to be considered a written agreement between Defendant and Claimant then under 7.3, the particulars fail to include “a copy of the contract or documents constituting the agreement”.
    b. The Claimant has at no time provided an explanation how the sum has been calculated, the conduct that gave rise to it or how the amount has climbed from £xx to £xx. This appears to be an added cost with no apparently no qualification and an attempt at double recovery, which the POFA Schedule 4 specifically disallows.
    b. The Protection of Freedom Act Para 4(5) states that the maximum sum that may be recovered from the keeper is the charge stated on the Notice to Keeper.

    Non-disclosure of reasonable grounds or particulars for bringing a claim:
    11. SIP Parking Ltd are not the lawful occupier of the land. The Defendant has reasonable belief that they do not have the authority to issue charges on this land in
    their own name and that they have no rights to bring action regarding this claim.
    a. The Claimant is not the landowner and is merely an agent acting on behalf of the
    landowner and has failed to demonstrate their legal standing to form a contract.
    b. The Claimant is not the landowner and suffers no loss whatsoever as a result of a
    vehicle parking at the location in question
    c. The Claimant is put to proof that it has sufficient interest in the land or that there are specific terms in its contract to bring an action on its own behalf. As a third party
    agent, the Claimant may not pursue any charge
    d. The Particulars of Claim are deficient in establishing whether the claim is brought in trespass. If the driver on the date of the event was considered to be a trespasser if not allowed to park there, then only the landowner can pursue a case under the tort of trespass not this Claimant, and as the Supreme Court in the Beavis vs ParkingEye (2015) [2015] UKSC 67 case confirmed, such a matter would be limited to the landowner themselves claiming for a nominal sum.

    12. The Particulars of Claim fail to fulfil CPR Part 16.4 because it does not include a statement of the facts on which the claimant relies, only referring to a Parking Charge Notice with no further description; it fails to establish a cause of action which would enable the Defendant to prepare a specific defence:
    ‘The driver of the vehicle registration
    XXXX XXX incurred the parking
    charge(s) on ****/2017 for breaching the
    terms of parking on the land at Clippers Quay Salford.
    The Defendant was driving the Vehicle and/or
    is the Keeper of the Vehicle
    AND THE CLAIMANT CLAIMS
    £*** for Parking Charges / Damages and
    indemnity costs if applicable, together with
    interest of £5.86 pursuant to s69 of the
    County Courts Act 1984 at 8% pa, continuing
    to Judgement at £0.04 per day’

    13. The claimant has not provided enough details in the particulars of claim to file a full defence. In particular, the full details of the contract which it is alleged was broken have not been provided.
    a) The Claimant has disclosed no cause of action to give rise to any debt.
    b) The Claimant has stated that a parking charge was incurred.
    c) The Claimant has given no indication of the nature of the alleged charge in the Particulars of Claim. The Claimant has therefore disclosed no cause of action.
    d) The Particulars of Claim contains no details and fails to establish a cause of action which would enable the Defendant to prepare a specific defence.
    It just states “parking charges” which does not give any indication of on what basis the claim is brought. There is no information regarding why the charge arose, what the original charge was, what the alleged contract was nor anything which could be considered a fair exchange of information. The Particulars of Claim are incompetent in disclosing no cause of action.

    14. The Defendant invites the court to strike out or dismiss the claim under Rule 3.4(2)(a) of PRACTICE DIRECTION 3A as having not set out a concise statement of the nature of the claim or disclosed reasonable grounds or particulars for bringing a claim (Part 16.4(1)(a) and PRACTICE DIRECTION 16 paragraphs 3.1-3.8). In C3GF84Y (Mason, Plymouth County Court), the judge struck out the claim brought by KBT Cornwall Ltd as Gladstones Solicitors had not submitted proper Particulars of Claim, and similar reasons were cited by District Judge Cross of St Albans County Court on 20/09/16 where another relevant poorly pleaded private parking charge claim by Gladstones was struck out without a hearing due to their ‘roboclaim’ particulars being incoherent, failing to comply with CPR16.4, and ''providing no facts that could give rise to any apparent claim in law''. The Practice Direction also sets out the following example which is analogous to this claim: ‘those which set out no facts indicating what the claim is about, for example ‘Money owed £5000’.’

    15. The Defendant researched the matter online, and discovered that the Claimant is a member of the Independent Parking Committee (IPC), an organisation operated by Gladstones Solicitors. They also operate the Independent Appeals Service (IAS), the allegedly independent body appointed by the Claimant’s trade body, the IPC. This research revealed that the IAS, far from being independent, is a subsidiary of the IPC, which in turn is owned and run by the same two Directors who also run Gladstones Solicitors. The individuals in question are John Davies, and William Hurley. These findings indicate a conflict of interest. Such an incestuous relationship is incapable of providing any fair means for motorists to challenge parking charges, as well as potentially breaching the Solicitors Regulation Authority Code of Conduct.

    16. The Claimant’s solicitors are known to be a serial issuer of generic claims similar to this one, with no due diligence, no scrutiny of details nor even checking for a true cause of action. Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service have identified over one thousand similar poorly produced claims and the solicitors conduct in many of these cases is believed to be currently the subject of an active investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

    17. The Defendant believes the terms for such conduct is ‘robo claims’ which is against the public interest, demonstrates a disregard for the dignity of the court and is unfair on unrepresented consumers. The Defendant has reason to believe that this is a claim that will proceed without any facts or evidence supplied until the last possible minute, to their significant detriment as an unrepresented Defendant.

    18. The Defendant respectfully suggests that parking companies using the small claims track as a form of aggressive, automated debt collection is not something the Courts should be seen to support.

    19. The Defendant denies the claim in its entirety voiding any liability to the claimant for all amounts due to the aforementioned reasons. It is submitted that the conduct of the Claimant is wholly unreasonable and vexatious.

    20. The Defendant invites the court to dismiss this claim out as it is in breach of pre court protocols in relation to the particulars of claim under Practice Direction 16, set out by the Ministry of Justice and also Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) under 16.4 and to allow such Defendant’s costs as are permissible under Civil Procedure Rule 27.14.

    I believe the facts stated in this Defence Statement are true.fendant in this matter and I assert that the Claimant has no cause for action for the following reasons:

    1.It is admitted that the Defendant was the authorised registered keeper of the vehicle in question at the time of the alleged incident.

    2. It is believed that it will be a matter of common ground that claim relates to a purported debt as the result of the issue of a Parking Charge Notice (PCN) in relation to an alleged breach of the terms and conditions by the driver of the vehicle XXXX XXX when it was parked at Clippers Quay, Salford. The PCN stated the contravention as “No ticket displayed.”

    3. Further based upon the scant and deficient details contained in the Particulars of Claim and correspondence, it appears to be the Claimant's case that:
    a. There was a contract formed by the Defendant and the Claimant on ***/2017.
    b. There was an agreement to pay a sum or parking charge
    c. That there were Terms and Conditions prominently displayed around the site
    d. That in addition to the parking charge there was an agreement to pay additional and unspecified additional sums.
    e. The Claimant company fully complied with their obligations within the International Parking Community Code of Practice of which they were member at the time.

    4. It is denied that:
    a. A contract was formed
    b. There was an agreement to pay a parking charge.
    c. That there were Terms and Conditions prominently displayed around the site.
    d. That in addition to the parking charge there was an agreement to pay additional and unspecified additional sums.
    e. The claimant company fully complied with their obligations within the International Parking Community Code of Practice of which they were member at the time.

    5. It is further denied that the Defendant is liable for the purported debt.

    Rebuttal of Claim
    6. The Defendant made all reasonable efforts to make payment for parking by using an approved payment channel.
    a. Payment for parking was made via telephone using a cashless system provided by PayByPhone.
    b. This is a distance contract which requires certain information to be supplied in advance.
    c. The service makes no provision for the printing of a ticket to display.
    d. The Defendant followed the PayByPhone instructions exactly as shown on the signage at the payment machine.
    d. This was not a fully automated contract. On telephoning the payment provider and following the initial touch tone service, the Defendant was referred to and conversed with an employee of PayByPhone to register a new account/vehicle details with the PayByPhone service. After which they were transferred back to the automated touch-tone service to complete payment details.
    e. The payment channel did not indicate any failure to make payment and responded as if payment had been made. As such the Defendant believed the necessary payment had been made.
    f. The failure of the payment service to accept payment is not the Defendants responsibility. It is not reasonable in these circumstances for the driver to assume any more obligations for making the payment.
    In Jolley v Carmel Ltd [2000] 2 –EGLR -154, it was held that a party who makes reasonable endeavours to comply with contractual terms, should not be penalised for breach when unable to fully comply with the terms.

    7. The Defendant did not enter into any 'agreement on the charge', no consideration flowed between the parties and no contract was established.

    8. The Defendant denies that they would have agreed to pay the original demand of £100 to agree to the alleged contract had the terms and conditions of the contract been properly displayed and accessible.
    a. The amount demanded is excessive and unconscionable and especially so when compared to the level of Penalty Charge Notice issued by the local Council which is set at £50 or £25 if paid within 14 days.

    9. The signage on this site was inadequate to form a contract with the motorist.
    a. The signage on and around the site in question was unclear and not prominent and did not meet the British Parking Association (BPA) Code of Practice or the International Parking Community (IPC) Code of Practice. The Claimant was a member of the IPC at the time and committed to follow its requirements. Therefore no contract has been formed with driver to pay the amount demanded by the Claimant, or any additional fee charged if unpaid in 28 days.
    b. The size of font of the prices advised for parking is much larger than the font of the contract and the offer is not sufficiently brought to the attention of the motorist, nor are the onerous terms (the £100 parking charge) sufficiently prominent to satisfy Lord Dennings "red hand rule”.
    c. In the absence of ‘adequate notice’ of the terms and the charge (which must be in large prominent letters such as the brief, clear and multiple signs in the Beavis case) this fails to meet the requirements of Schedule 4 of the POFA.
    e. The PayByPhone signage specifically states that there is “No need to display a ticket in your car” therefore there was no breach of any ‘relevant obligation’ or ‘relevant contract’ as required under Schedule 4 of POFA.
    f. If the Claimant wanted to impose a condition to continuously display permits, then they should have drafted clear instruction to that effect, requiring specific terms of how to 'continuously display' when a paper ticket has not been issued or there is no contravention.
    g. Where contract terms have different meanings, as in this instance when a paper ticket was not issued due to the chosen method of payment, then Section 69 of the CRA 2015 provides a statutory form of the contra proferentem rule, such that the consumer must be given the benefit of the doubt.
    The term is fundamental to the contract, and the Defendant invites the Court to find that it is not transparent and therefore unfair. If a fundamental term to the contract is deemed to be unfair, then the contract will cease to bind the parties. The Defence invites the Court to take these issues into account in determining the fairness of the term.

    10. The Claimant’s representatives, Gladstones, have artificially inflated the value of the Claim from £xx to £xx. The Defendant submits the added costs have not actually been incurred by the Claimant; that these are figures plucked out of thin air and applied regardless of facts.
    a. If the “parking charge” listed in the particulars of claim is to be considered a written agreement between Defendant and Claimant then under 7.3, the particulars fail to include “a copy of the contract or documents constituting the agreement”.
    b. The Claimant has at no time provided an explanation how the sum has been calculated, the conduct that gave rise to it or how the amount has climbed from £xx to £xx. This appears to be an added cost with no apparently no qualification and an attempt at double recovery, which the POFA Schedule 4 specifically disallows.
    b. The Protection of Freedom Act Para 4(5) states that the maximum sum that may be recovered from the keeper is the charge stated on the Notice to Keeper.

    Non-disclosure of reasonable grounds or particulars for bringing a claim:
    11. SIP Parking Ltd are not the lawful occupier of the land. The Defendant has reasonable belief that they do not have the authority to issue charges on this land in
    their own name and that they have no rights to bring action regarding this claim.
    a. The Claimant is not the landowner and is merely an agent acting on behalf of the
    landowner and has failed to demonstrate their legal standing to form a contract.
    b. The Claimant is not the landowner and suffers no loss whatsoever as a result of a
    vehicle parking at the location in question
    c. The Claimant is put to proof that it has sufficient interest in the land or that there are specific terms in its contract to bring an action on its own behalf. As a third party
    agent, the Claimant may not pursue any charge
    d. The Particulars of Claim are deficient in establishing whether the claim is brought in trespass. If the driver on the date of the event was considered to be a trespasser if not allowed to park there, then only the landowner can pursue a case under the tort of trespass not this Claimant, and as the Supreme Court in the Beavis vs ParkingEye (2015) [2015] UKSC 67 case confirmed, such a matter would be limited to the landowner themselves claiming for a nominal sum.
    Last edited by sheddweller; 07-09-2017 at 12:27 AM.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 30th Aug 17, 6:24 PM
    • 51,427 Posts
    • 65,029 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #4
    • 30th Aug 17, 6:24 PM
    • #4
    • 30th Aug 17, 6:24 PM
    I have also seen some people choose to send a letter or email Gladstone's asking for their evidence and correspondence, worthwhile?
    Yes, because they might not reply and then you can cite their failure to provide the full evidence disclosure to enable you to make an informed decision about the defence, and to narrow the issues.

    Your draft looks like TWO defences, the first numbered 1-20 then it starts again, repeating stuff, numbered 1 - 11?

    Have a look at this similar one about a failed parking payment App and it's SIP:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=73030452#post73030452

    It includes a section about it being a 'distance contract', which failed to comply with the The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013.

    And read my reply there in post #29 as if it was for you - put in headings, use the pepipoo linked example as a guide. That other poster has now done that, and the headings make it easier for the Judge to follow.
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 30-08-2017 at 6:31 PM.
    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.

    • sheddweller
    • By sheddweller 6th Sep 17, 10:40 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    sheddweller
    • #5
    • 6th Sep 17, 10:40 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Sep 17, 10:40 PM
    Thanks Coupon-mad, how's this;

    Statement of Defence

    In the County Court Business Centre
    Claim Number: ****

    Between:

    SIP Parking LTD v ****

    DEFENCE


    Preliminary

    1. The Particulars of Claim lack specificity and are embarrassing. The Defendant is prejudiced and is unable to prepare a full and complete Defence. The Defendant reserves the right to seek from the Court permission to serve an Amended Defence should the Claimant add to or expand his Particulars at a later stage of these proceedings and/or to limit the Claimant only to the unevidenced allegations in the Particulars.

    1.1 The Claimant’s solicitors are known to be a serial issuer of generic claims similar to this one, with no due diligence, no scrutiny of details nor even checking for a true cause of action. HMCS have identified thousands of similar poorly pleaded claims.

    1.2 The Defendant believes the term for such conduct is ‘robo-claims’ which is against the public interest, demonstrates a disregard for the dignity of the court and is unfair on unrepresented consumers. I have reason to believe that this is a claim that will proceed without any facts or evidence supplied until the last possible minute, to my significant detriment as an unrepresented Defendant.

    2. The Particulars of Claim fail to refer to the material terms of any contract and neither comply with the CPR 16 in respect of statements of case, nor the relevant practice direction in respect of claims formed by contract or conduct.

    2.1 The Defendant further notes the Claimant's failure to engage in pre-action correspondence in accordance with the pre-action protocol and with the express aim of avoiding contested litigation.

    2.2 The Defendant has discovered that the Claimant's Trade Body, the Independent Parking Committee (IPC), is an organisation operated by the same Directors as are/were recorded at Gladstones Solicitors, at least until very recently. They - John Davies and Will Hurley - are also responsible for the IAS.

    2.3 The Defendant now submits that the IAS 'decision' should be disregarded; it is ostensibly described as an appeal service, yet the Assessors' names remain secret. No figures or reports are published by the IAS but the publication 'Parking Review' reported that only 20% of appeals were upheld (compared to POPLA where 50% have consistently been upheld since its inception in 2012).
    2.4 Now the Defendant notes that Gladstones are employed in bringing this claim, demonstrating a clear conflict of interests.


    Background

    3.It is admitted that the Defendant was the authorised registered keeper of the vehicle in question at the time of the alleged incident.

    4. It is believed that it will be a matter of common ground that claim relates to a purported debt as the result of the issue of a Parking Charge Notice (PCN) in relation to an alleged breach of the terms and conditions by the driver of the vehicle *** when it was parked at Clippers Quay, Salford. The PCN stated the contravention as “No ticket displayed.”

    5. Further based upon the scant and deficient details contained in the Particulars of Claim and correspondence, it appears to be the Claimant's case that:
    a. There was a contract formed by the Defendant and the Claimant on ***.
    b. There was an agreement to pay a sum or parking charge
    c. That there were Terms and Conditions prominently displayed around the site
    d. That in addition to the parking charge there was an agreement to pay additional and unspecified additional sums.
    e. The Claimant company fully complied with their obligations within the International Parking Community Code of Practice of which they were member at the time.

    Rebuttal of Claim

    6. It is denied that:
    a. A contract was formed
    b. There was an agreement to pay a parking charge.
    c. That there were Terms and Conditions prominently displayed around the site.
    d. That in addition to the parking charge there was an agreement to pay additional and unspecified additional sums.
    e. The claimant company fully complied with their obligations within the International Parking Community Code of Practice of which they were member at the time.

    7. It is further denied that the Defendant is liable for the purported debt.
    8. The Defendant made all reasonable efforts to make payment for parking by using an approved payment channel.
    a. Payment for parking was made via telephone using a cashless system provided by PayByPhone.
    b. This is a distance contract which requires certain information to be supplied in advance.
    c. The service makes no provision for the printing of a ticket to display.
    d. The Defendant followed the PayByPhone instructions exactly as shown on the signage at the payment machine.
    d. This was not a fully automated contract. On telephoning the payment provider and following the initial touch tone service, the Defendant was referred to and conversed with an employee of PayByPhone to register a new account/vehicle details with the PayByPhone service. After which they were transferred back to the automated touch-tone service to complete payment details.
    e. The payment channel did not indicate any failure to make payment and responded as if payment had been made. As such the Defendant believed the necessary payment had been made.
    f. The failure of the payment service to accept payment is not the Defendant's responsibility. It is not reasonable in these circumstances for the driver to assume any more obligations for making the payment.
    In Jolley v Carmel Ltd [2000] 2 –EGLR -154, it was held that a party who makes reasonable endeavours to comply with contractual terms, should not be penalised for breach when unable to fully comply with the terms.

    7. The Defendant did not enter into any 'agreement on the charge', no consideration flowed between the parties and no contract was established.

    8. The Defendant denies that they would have agreed to pay the original demand of £100 to agree to the alleged contract had the terms and conditions of the contract been properly displayed and accessible.
    a. The amount demanded is excessive and unconscionable and especially so when compared to the level of Penalty Charge Notice issued by the local Council which is set at £50 or £25 if paid within 14 days.

    9. The signage on this site was inadequate to form a contract with the motorist.
    a. The signage on and around the site in question was unclear and not prominent and did not meet the British Parking Association (BPA) Code of Practice or the International Parking Community (IPC) Code of Practice. The Claimant was a member of the IPC at the time and committed to follow its requirements. Therefore no contract has been formed with driver to pay the amount demanded by the Claimant, or any additional fee charged if unpaid in 28 days.
    b. The size of font of the prices advised for parking is much larger than the font of the contract and the offer is not sufficiently brought to the attention of the motorist, nor are the onerous terms (the £100 parking charge) sufficiently prominent to satisfy Lord Denning's "red hand rule”.
    c. In the absence of ‘adequate notice’ of the terms and the charge (which must be in large prominent letters such as the brief, clear and multiple signs in the Beavis case) this fails to meet the requirements of Schedule 4 of the POFA.
    e. The PayByPhone signage specifically states that there is “No need to display a ticket in your car” therefore there was no breach of any ‘relevant obligation’ or ‘relevant contract’ as required under Schedule 4 of POFA.
    f. If the Claimant wanted to impose a condition to continuously display permits, then they should have drafted clear instruction to that effect, requiring specific terms of how to 'continuously display' when a paper ticket has not been issued or there is no contravention.
    g. Where contract terms have different meanings, as in this instance when a paper ticket was not issued due to the chosen method of payment, then Section 69 of the CRA 2015 provides a statutory form of the contra proferentem rule, such that the consumer must be given the benefit of the doubt.

    The term is fundamental to the contract, and the Defendant invites the Court to find that it is not transparent and therefore unfair. If a fundamental term to the contract is deemed to be unfair, then the contract will cease to bind the parties. The Defence invites the Court to take these issues into account in determining the fairness of the term.

    10. The Claimant’s representatives, Gladstones, have artificially inflated the value of the Claim from £100 to £240.86. The Defendant submits the added costs have not actually been incurred by the Claimant; that these are figures plucked out of thin air and applied regardless of facts.
    a. If the “parking charge” listed in the particulars of claim is to be considered a written agreement between Defendant and Claimant then under 7.3, the particulars fail to include “a copy of the contract or documents constituting the agreement”.
    b. The Claimant has at no time provided an explanation how the sum has been calculated, the conduct that gave rise to it or how the amount has climbed from £100 to £***. This appears to be an added cost with no apparently no qualification and an attempt at double recovery, which the POFA Schedule 4 specifically disallows.
    b. The Protection of Freedom Act Para 4(5) states that the maximum sum that may be recovered from the keeper is the charge stated on the Notice to Keeper.

    Non-disclosure of reasonable grounds or particulars for bringing a claim:

    11. SIP Parking Ltd are not the lawful occupier of the land. The Defendant has reasonable belief that they do not have the authority to issue charges on this land in
    their own name and that they have no rights to bring action regarding this claim.
    a. The Claimant is not the landowner and is merely an agent acting on behalf of the
    landowner and has failed to demonstrate their legal standing to form a contract.
    b. The Claimant is not the landowner and suffers no loss whatsoever as a result of a
    vehicle parking at the location in question
    c. The Claimant is put to proof that it has sufficient interest in the land or that there are specific terms in its contract to bring an action on its own behalf. As a third party
    agent, the Claimant may not pursue any charge
    d. The Particulars of Claim are deficient in establishing whether the claim is brought in trespass. If the driver on the date of the event was considered to be a trespasser if not allowed to park there, then only the landowner can pursue a case under the tort of trespass not this Claimant, and as the Supreme Court in the Beavis vs ParkingEye (2015) [2015] UKSC 67 case confirmed, such a matter would be limited to the landowner themselves claiming for a nominal sum.

    12. The Particulars of Claim fail to fulfil CPR Part 16.4 because it does not include a statement of the facts on which the claimant relies, only referring to a Parking Charge Notice with no further description; it fails to establish a cause of action which would enable the Defendant to prepare a specific defence:
    ‘The driver of the vehicle registration
    **** incurred the parking
    charge(s) on **/2017 for breaching the
    terms of parking on the land at **.
    The Defendant was driving the Vehicle and/or
    is the Keeper of the Vehicle
    AND THE CLAIMANT CLAIMS
    £** for Parking Charges / Damages and
    indemnity costs if applicable, together with
    interest of £5.86 pursuant to s69 of the
    County Courts Act 1984 at 8% pa, continuing
    to Judgement at £0.04 per day’

    13. The claimant has not provided enough details in the particulars of claim to file a full defence. In particular, the full details of the contract which it is alleged was broken have not been provided.
    a) The Claimant has disclosed no cause of action to give rise to any debt.
    b) The Claimant has stated that a parking charge was incurred.
    c) The Claimant has given no indication of the nature of the alleged charge in the Particulars of Claim. The Claimant has therefore disclosed no cause of action.
    d) The Particulars of Claim contains no details and fails to establish a cause of action which would enable the Defendant to prepare a specific defence.
    It just states “parking charges” which does not give any indication of on what basis the claim is brought. There is no information regarding why the charge arose, what the original charge was, what the alleged contract was nor anything which could be considered a fair exchange of information. The Particulars of Claim are incompetent in disclosing no cause of action.

    14. The Defendant invites the court to strike out or dismiss the claim under Rule 3.4(2)(a) of PRACTICE DIRECTION 3A as having not set out a concise statement of the nature of the claim or disclosed reasonable grounds or particulars for bringing a claim (Part 16.4(1)(a) and PRACTICE DIRECTION 16 paragraphs 3.1-3.8). In C3GF84Y (Mason, Plymouth County Court), the judge struck out the claim brought by KBT Cornwall Ltd as Gladstones Solicitors had not submitted proper Particulars of Claim, and similar reasons were cited by District Judge Cross of St Albans County Court on 20/09/16 where another relevant poorly pleaded private parking charge claim by Gladstones was struck out without a hearing due to their ‘roboclaim’ particulars being incoherent, failing to comply with CPR16.4, and ''providing no facts that could give rise to any apparent claim in law''. The Practice Direction also sets out the following example which is analogous to this claim: ‘those which set out no facts indicating what the claim is about, for example ‘Money owed £5000’.’

    15. The Defendant researched the matter online, and discovered that the Claimant is a member of the Independent Parking Committee (IPC), an organisation operated by Gladstones Solicitors. They also operate the Independent Appeals Service (IAS), the allegedly independent body appointed by the Claimant’s trade body, the IPC. This research revealed that the IAS, far from being independent, is a subsidiary of the IPC, which in turn is owned and run by the same two Directors who also run Gladstones Solicitors. The individuals in question are John Davies, and William Hurley. These findings indicate a conflict of interest. Such an incestuous relationship is incapable of providing any fair means for motorists to challenge parking charges, as well as potentially breaching the Solicitors Regulation Authority Code of Conduct.

    16. The Claimant’s solicitors, Gladstones, are known to be a serial issuer of generic claims similar to this one, with no due diligence, no scrutiny of details nor even checking for a true cause of action. Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service have identified over one thousand similar poorly produced claims and the solicitor's conduct in many of these cases is believed to be currently the subject of an active investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

    17. The Defendant believes the terms for such conduct is ‘robo claims’ which is against the public interest, demonstrates a disregard for the dignity of the court and is unfair on unrepresented consumers. The Defendant has reason to believe that this is a claim that will proceed without any facts or evidence supplied until the last possible minute, to their significant detriment as an unrepresented Defendant.

    18. The Defendant respectfully suggests that parking companies using the small claims track as a form of aggressive, automated debt collection is not something the Courts should be seen to support.

    19. The Defendant denies the claim in its entirety voiding any liability to the claimant for all amounts due to the aforementioned reasons. It is submitted that the conduct of the Claimant is wholly unreasonable and vexatious.

    20. The Defendant invites the court to dismiss this claim out as it is in breach of pre court protocols in relation to the particulars of claim under Practice Direction 16, set out by the Ministry of Justice and also Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) under 16.4 and to allow such Defendant’s costs as are permissible under Civil Procedure Rule 27.14.

    I believe the facts stated in this Defence Statement are true.




    Lots going on at the moment, so apologies for the sparse correspondence. I believe the above to be a viable defence to send off to CCBC and appreciate greatly your ongoing advice and support, Thank you.
    Last edited by sheddweller; 07-09-2017 at 12:25 AM. Reason: Removing personal info.
    • Redx
    • By Redx 6th Sep 17, 10:59 PM
    • 16,480 Posts
    • 20,634 Thanks
    Redx
    • #6
    • 6th Sep 17, 10:59 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Sep 17, 10:59 PM
    edit the personal details and claim number out of the above please
    Newbies !!
    Private Parking ticket? check the 2 sticky threads by coupon-mad and crabman in the Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking Board forum for the latest advice or maybe try pepipoo or C.A.G. or legal beagles forums if you need legal advice as well because this parking forum is not about debt collectors or legal matters per se
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 7th Sep 17, 1:56 AM
    • 51,427 Posts
    • 65,029 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #7
    • 7th Sep 17, 1:56 AM
    • #7
    • 7th Sep 17, 1:56 AM
    I never like this, IMHO there is no need to restate the other side's case!

    5. Further based upon the scant and deficient details contained in the Particulars of Claim and correspondence, it appears to be the Claimant's case that:
    a. There was a contract formed by the Defendant and the Claimant on ***.
    b. There was an agreement to pay a sum or parking charge
    c. That there were Terms and Conditions prominently displayed around the site
    d. That in addition to the parking charge there was an agreement to pay additional and unspecified additional sums.
    e. The Claimant company fully complied with their obligations within the International Parking Community Code of Practice of which they were member at the time.
    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.

    • sheddweller
    • By sheddweller 7th Sep 17, 1:44 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    sheddweller
    • #8
    • 7th Sep 17, 1:44 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Sep 17, 1:44 PM
    Thanks again Coupon-mad, I will remove the section as advised.

    I will now follow procedure, print and sign my defence, scan to PDF and send as an attachment to Gladstones and CCBC.

    Thank you.
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