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  • FIRST POST
    • mric2000
    • By mric2000 12th Sep 17, 5:34 PM
    • 8Posts
    • 1Thanks
    mric2000
    Current (TODAY!) Court Defence: PCM / Gladstones
    • #1
    • 12th Sep 17, 5:34 PM
    Current (TODAY!) Court Defence: PCM / Gladstones 12th Sep 17 at 5:34 PM
    Hi all,
    Firstly, a massive thank you to everyone who puts the time into this forum. It is such a useful source of information to help us "clueless" to get through the mass of confusion in this area.

    OK, so I have read through the relevant parts of the NEWBIES sticky and various examples relating to Gladstone cases and, as I am looking to post my defense tomorrow, I thought it would be wise to seek final clarification before I do - wish I found the forum sooner!!

    Here is the outline of my situation:
    1. - 2 PCN issues at the same location 2 weeks apart (on 31st January 2017 and 15th February).
    2. - Car is a lease car, of which I am the hirer.
    3. - I only have record of being informed of one PCN (the one dated 15th Feb), which incidentally has my first name and surname the wrong way round. The other PCN has my details correct, according to the Debt Collector correspondence, LBC and Claim Form. Until receipt of the LBC I was only aware of one PCN, which I had admittedly ignored as it was incorrectly addressed etc.
    4. - The PCN dated 15th Feb was sent by post to the lease company, who informed PCM that I was the keeper at the time and they subsequently reissued the PCN "invoice" to me by post. I do not recall having any additional documentation provided at that time as is apparently required, although I cannot say with any certainty given the timescales? I have no record of the other PCN (31st Jan) being sent to me.
    5. - The location of the PCN being issued is a private road as part of Gloucester Business Park, although the exact location is part of a Retail and Leisure complex, which is seemingly deemed part of the Business Park, although this is not apparent when accessing the area. Having since found the photos online for both PCNs, the car was parked on the roadside where there are no yellow lines or restrictive markings in place.
    6. - Signs stating that the Park is private property etc are located approximately 0.7 miles from the location.
    7. - on receiving the LBCs (which were both issued on the same date, despite the 2 week gap between the 2 alleged offences), I have acknowledged both through the MCOL site and my defense must now be submitted by 16th September. I will be posting both defenses tomorrow by registered post, as advised.


    I have drafted my initial defense, although I am sure there will be gaps in my understanding. I am also unsure if I am correct to include reference to the Beavis case as the signs that are found at the location of this offense seem to make an offer, rather than prohibit?

    I have included the following Dropbox link (as I cannot see how to attach files to this post?) to include a number of files that are relevant to my case. These files include:
    • - one of the LBCs (both pretty much the same)
    • - both Claim Forms
    • - the key text from the letter that was posted back to Gladstones after their LBCs were issued. Admittedly this was sent right on the deadline for response :/
    • - a separate folder with the following photos
      • > "Pvt Property" - photo of the sign stating it is a private estate, which is located 3/4 mile away from the alleged offence. There is a large business park round the corner from this area, which is more of a retail/leisure area with shops, gym, salon, pharmacy etc. In looking at this, Gloucester Business Park own the overall estate, including the retail area, but this isnt clear in my opinion. I (and others) have always read the sign to relate to the specific business park area and not this retail area, which seems separate.
      • > "Sign" is one of the three (that I have seen) signs located at this spot.
      • > "Approach" is the approach to the place where the vehicle was parked (which is on the left just after the parked car in the photo). If you zoom in you can see the 3 signs on lampposts - all approximately 8ft high to the bottom of the signs.
      • > "Road" - shows where the vehicle was parked - by the shopping trolley
      • > "1" and "1a" show the view from where the vehicle was parked, where there is a large poster at the end of the road. the second photo is a zoomed in photo of that sign/poster
      • > "Poorly marked bays" shows the specific allocated bays which are marked with a slightly different colour slab. This is unlikely to form part of my case, but thought it useful to include


    Here is the link to the Dropbox folder to access these files: dropbox.com/sh/tes27qay7w0g20x/AABSDs6wGLLDonzXxyzmMnDKa?dl=0
    NB- as a new poster I cannot include links, so please copy and paste the above text onto the end of the Drop box .com domain - if that makes sense?
    Please advise if there is a better way to may them available.
    Please also advise if you need me to provide any further information.

    Obviously this a large opening post!!! So, I will post my initial defense in the following post.

    In all honesty, and as may become apparent to some of the experts on this forum, I have included some elements within my defense without really understanding why or if they should be included. So, any advice on this is greatly appreciated!!

    Thanks
    Last edited by mric2000; 13-09-2017 at 12:09 PM.
Page 1
    • mric2000
    • By mric2000 12th Sep 17, 5:40 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    mric2000
    • #2
    • 12th Sep 17, 5:40 PM
    Initial Skeleton Defence
    • #2
    • 12th Sep 17, 5:40 PM
    My initial Defence draft below. All to be sent registered post and presented in Times New Roman, size 12 with 1.5 line spacing, as advised by bargepole (Many Thanks!).
    This is the defence for the first case (dated 31st January and correctly addressed/named):
    >
    >
    >
    IN THE COUNTY COURT
    CLAIM NO. XXXXX
    BETWEEN:
    PARKING CONTROL MANAGEMENT (UK) LIMITED Claimant
    AND
    XXXXX Defendant

    DEFENCE

    Introduction
    1. I am XXXX, the defendant in this matter. My address for service is XXXXX
    2. This is my statement of truth and my defence.
    3. The claim states "parking charges and indemnity costs if applicable" which gives no indication of on what basis the claim is brought, for example whether this charge is founded upon an allegation of trespass or 'breach of contract' or contractual 'unpaid fees'. This information has been formally requested but not supplied by the claimant’s representative (Gladstones Solicitors). Because of this, I have had to cover all eventualities in defending such a 'cut & paste' claim which has caused significant distress and has denied me a fair chance to defend this claim in an informed way.
    Therefore, as an unrepresented litigant-in-person I respectfully ask that I be permitted to amend and or supplement this interim defence as may be required following a fuller disclosure of the Claimant's case.
    4. For the avoidance of doubt on the relevant date I was the keeper/hirer of a XXXXX, registered number XXXXX. The registered keeper is XXXXX (i.e. the leasing company). I can neither confirm nor deny who was driving on the day as it is some time since the event.
    5. It is believed that it will be a matter of common ground that the purported debt arose as the result of the issue of a parking charge notice in relation to an alleged breach of the terms and conditions by the driver of the above vehicle when it was parked at Whittle Square - Gloucester on 31/1/2017.

    Purported Basis of Claim
    6. Further, based upon the scant and deficient details contained in the Particulars of Claim and “robo-claim” correspondence, it appears to be the claimant's case that:
    a. There was a contract formed by the defendant and the claimant on 31/1/2017.
    b. There was an agreement to pay a sum or parking charge.
    c. That there were Terms and Conditions clearly and prominently displayed around the site.
    d. That there is clear and prominent signage on entry to the Whittle Square Leisure & Retail Park to signify the change of road and parking regulations, from those detailed in The Highways Act (1980).
    e. That in addition to the Parking charge there was an agreement to pay additional and unspecified additional sums.
    f. The claimant company fully complied with their obligations within the terms of Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.
    g. The claimant company fully complied with their obligations within the International Parking Community Code of Practice of which they were member at the time.
    h. That the claimant and/or representatives (Gladstones Solicitors Limited) have responded to all reasonable requests for support information as part of this claim and alleged offence.
    i. Further that the defendant has not paid the alleged debt.

    Rebuttal of Claim
    7. It is denied that:
    a. A contract was formed.
    b. There was an agreement to pay a parking charge.
    c. There were Terms and Conditions clearly and prominently displayed around the site.
    d. There is any signage on entry to the Whittle Park Leisure & Retail Park to denote any change of road and parking regulations, from those detailed in The Highways Act
    (1980)
    e. That in addition to the Parking charge there was an agreement to pay additional and
    unspecified additional sums.
    f. The claimant company fully complied with their obligations within the terms of
    Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.
    g. The claimant company fully complied with their obligations within the International
    Parking Community Code of Practice of which they were member at the time.
    h. That the claimant and/or representatives (Gladstones Solicitors Limited) have
    responded to all reasonable requests for support information as part of this claim and
    alleged offence.
    i. That I am liable for the purported debt.

    8. It is further denied that I owe any debt to the claimant or that any debt is in fact owed or that any debt exists or could ever exist or has ever existed. That in any event the claimant has failed to comply with the requirements of the Civil Procedure Rules and that their claim is both unfounded and vexatious.
    9. The claimant is put to the strictest proof of their assertions.

    My Defence
    My defence will rely principally upon the following points:
    10. That the signs erected on site are incapable of forming the basis of a contract and indeed make it clear that that is not the case. It is therefore denied that any contract was formed or was capable of being formed.

    11. Should the claimant rely on the case of ParkingEye v Beavis, I wish to point out that there is a test of good faith.
    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 which might operate disadvantageously to the customer.”
    12. Underlining that is Section B.2.1, B.2.2 of the IPC Code of Practice which gives clear instructions as to the placing, visibility and clarity of any signs that are used to form contracts. It says:
    2.1 Where the basis of your parking charges is based in the law of contract it will usually be by way of the driver of a vehicle agreeing to contractual terms identified by signage in and around a controlled zone. It is therefore of fundamental importance that the signage meets the minimum standards under The Code as this underpins the validity of any such charge. Similarly, where charges are founded in the law of trespass and form liquidated damages, these too must be communicated to drivers in the same way.
    2.2 Signs must conform to the requirements as set out in a schedule 1 to the Code
    13. The defendant refutes that there were clear and visible signs, with Terms that formed the basis of a contract and which met the specifications above.
    14. In order to issue parking charges, and to pursue unpaid charges via litigation, the Claimant is required to have the written authority of the landowner, on whose behalf they are acting as an agent. Section B.1.1 of the IPC Code of Practice outlines to operators:
    1.1 If you operate parking management activities on land which is not owned by you, you must supply us with written authority from the land owner sufficient to establish you as the “Creditor” within the meaning of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (where applicable) and in any event to establish you as a person who is able to recover parking charges. There is no prescribed form for such agreement and it need not necessarily be as part of a contract but it must include the express ability for an operator to recover parking charges on the landowner's behalf or provide sufficient right to occupy the land in question so that charges can be recovered by the operator directly. This applies whether or not you intend to use the keeper liability provisions.
    The Claimant, and their legal representatives, have failed to supply the Defendant with evidence of such authority even upon the Defendant’s written request. The Claimant is put to strict proof of the same, in the form of an unreacted and contemporaneous contract, or chain of authority, from the landowner to the Claimant. A Managing Agent is not the Landowner.
    The same is a requirement of any contract based on conduct.
    15. If in the alternative it is the claimant's case that his claim is founded in trespass (which is in any event denied) then in a “free parking” setting, any damages in trespass can only be assessed based on a calculation of the proportion of income lost based on the time of the alleged occupation. Any sum sought could therefore not be established or at worst would be minimal and de-minimis.
    16. That the original amount demanded through speculative invoicing is excessive and unconscionable.
    17. Further, the Claimant and their legal representatives, Gladstones Solicitors, have artificially inflated the value of the Claim from £100 to £240.72. I submit the added costs have not actually been incurred by the Claimant; any additional charges were not stated on the parking signs and these figures have been plucked out of thin air and applied regardless of facts, as part of their robo-claim litigation model, in an attempt at double recovery, circumventing the Small Claims costs rules. Further, Gladstones Solicitor appear to be in contravention of the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority Code of Conduct.
    18. In the alternative, the attention of the court is drawn to para. 4(5) Schedule 4 Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 which sets out that the maximum amount recoverable from the registered keeper, where the keeper liability provisions have been properly invoked (which is expressly denied in this case) is that amount specified in the Notice to Keeper (whether issued in accordance with paras 8(2)c; 8(2)d, 9(2)c or 9(2)d of the Act).
    19. In view of all the foregoing The Court is invited to dismiss the Claim out of its own motion, and to allow such Defendant’s costs as are permissible under Civil Procedure Rule 27.14
    20. The claimant is put to strict proof of the assertions they have made or may make in their fuller claim.

    I believe the facts stated in this Defence are true

    Signed ______________________
    Dated 12-09-2017
    Last edited by mric2000; 13-09-2017 at 12:08 PM.
    • beamerguy
    • By beamerguy 12th Sep 17, 6:44 PM
    • 5,962 Posts
    • 7,684 Thanks
    beamerguy
    • #3
    • 12th Sep 17, 6:44 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Sep 17, 6:44 PM
    PCM are rather active at the moment but do not understand
    they are employing incompetent solicitors .... Gladstones

    PCM ... read up about Gladstones in the parking pranksters
    blog so you can understand what to expect ... not very good.
    RBS - MNBA - CAPITAL ONE - LLOYDS

    DISGUSTING BEHAVIOUR
    • mric2000
    • By mric2000 12th Sep 17, 7:51 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    mric2000
    • #4
    • 12th Sep 17, 7:51 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Sep 17, 7:51 PM

    PCM ... read up about Gladstones in the parking pranksters
    blog so you can understand what to expect ... not very good.
    Originally posted by beamerguy
    I'm going to get stuck into this in more detail this evening and in the coming weeks, under the assumption this will get to court.
    Thanks
    • beamerguy
    • By beamerguy 12th Sep 17, 8:12 PM
    • 5,962 Posts
    • 7,684 Thanks
    beamerguy
    • #5
    • 12th Sep 17, 8:12 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Sep 17, 8:12 PM
    I'm going to get stuck into this in more detail this evening and in the coming weeks, under the assumption this will get to court.
    Thanks
    Originally posted by mric2000
    Good idea, don't leave it until the last moment

    Work on the complete failings of Gladstones

    Everything Gladstones do from now on is just a repeat
    which is good reason for a judge to whoop them again
    RBS - MNBA - CAPITAL ONE - LLOYDS

    DISGUSTING BEHAVIOUR
    • mric2000
    • By mric2000 12th Sep 17, 8:16 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    mric2000
    • #6
    • 12th Sep 17, 8:16 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Sep 17, 8:16 PM
    Thanks.
    Do you consider the initial defense I have posted to be sufficient at this stage? (bearing in mind I will be posting the two versions tomorrow to ensure they arrive by Friday)
    • mric2000
    • By mric2000 13th Sep 17, 6:34 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    mric2000
    • #7
    • 13th Sep 17, 6:34 AM
    Any advice?
    • #7
    • 13th Sep 17, 6:34 AM
    Just wondering if anyone else has any further feedback, before I post these off today.
    I don't think my defense is "solid" given my lack of knowledge in this field, so would welcome any pointers or feedback before finalising it.
    Thanks
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 13th Sep 17, 10:48 AM
    • 504 Posts
    • 601 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    • #8
    • 13th Sep 17, 10:48 AM
    • #8
    • 13th Sep 17, 10:48 AM
    DefenCe. Not defense.

    It is solid if you understand it. It is not your "initial" defence either - it is your ONLY defence. You dont get to alter or add to it later on without paying.
    • mric2000
    • By mric2000 13th Sep 17, 12:05 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    mric2000
    • #9
    • 13th Sep 17, 12:05 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Sep 17, 12:05 PM
    Sorry nosferatu1001 - my computer is set to US English as most of my customers are US based - my bad.

    Thank you.
    I will get these both posted today and will continue to read up on the finer details to ensure I have a sound understanding of the various arguments.
    • mric2000
    • By mric2000 13th Sep 17, 6:46 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    mric2000
    Addressing the incorrect name
    Out of interest, I would welcome any advice on the inclusion of this opening point in my second defence.
    As stated above, 2 claims are issued 1 issued to me correctly, while the other has the name mixed up.
    Assuming my name is Wilson James, one is correctly addressed to W James, while the other (and all previous correspondence) is incorrectly addressed to J Wilson.
    As such I have included the following opening (with the names changed accordingly), if nothing else but to highlight the incompetence of Gladtsones from the start.

    DEFENCE
    1. I am W James the defendant in this matter. My address for service is XXXXXX. I have assumed myself to be the Defendant on the basis that I reside at this address, although all correspondence for this claim have been incorrectly addressed to J Wilson, who does not exist at this address.

    I would welcome any thoughts on this. Is it worth including? Pointless? Or no harm - why not.

    Thanks
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 13th Sep 17, 7:29 PM
    • 50,098 Posts
    • 63,477 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    I think no harm, why not...and even more than that.

    They have issued two claims, with two different claim numbers, and one is to J Wilson and one is to W James. And each claim is for a different PCN, which has essentially the same facts, same car, same car park, same level of charge, contravention, etc.

    Should have been one claim, otherwise this wastes your time and exposes you to more costs, and wastes the court's resources in fielding two sets of defences, WS, evidence, and two hearings about essentially the same issue, being heard twice.

    I think you should word the start very strongly that this is an abuse of process, caused partly by the fact Gladstones never check anything and issue robo-claims in their hundreds, and partly by their client's error with the name of the Defendant, one of whom doesn't exist. Ask for an order under the court's own discretion, to save valuable court time, that one or both claims to be struck out.

    Failing that, ask that the Claimant's solicitor be ordered by the court to pay to re-file the matters as one claim in the right Defendant's name.

    I wonder if Johnersh or LoadsofChildren123, who are both solicitors, will be along and can advise whether you should not even write a full defence to the one in the wrong name (I am not sure, I see you have acknowledged both).

    I would (meanwhile) remove #6 because I never see the logic of the example defences that actually repeat the claimant's case. It doesn't bear repeating, it's crap!

    Use your words for your defence, part of which will be they have failed to hold you liable as lessee/hirer, because the Claimant failed to serve a Notice to Hirer with the statutory copies of hire documents that are mandatory to be served to the hirer themselves, in order for an operator to claim hirer liability, in accordance with para 13 and 14 of Schedule 4 of the POFA.
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 13-09-2017 at 7:32 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.

    • mric2000
    • By mric2000 13th Sep 17, 7:54 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    mric2000

    Thank you Coupon-Mad. That all makes perfect sense and I will modify accordingly.
    Also a bit baffling why they have issued both claims on the same date, despite the 2 week gap between both PCNs, but I'm starting to realise that Gladstones seem to do a lot of baffling things....

    Best regards
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 13th Sep 17, 8:12 PM
    • 50,098 Posts
    • 63,477 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Because they will have done a robo-claim run that day. You were next in the pile of victims.
    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.

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