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    • Dollshouse
    • By Dollshouse 14th Sep 17, 11:57 AM
    • 20Posts
    • 7Thanks
    County court advice needed
    • #1
    • 14th Sep 17, 11:57 AM
    County court advice needed 14th Sep 17 at 11:57 AM
    I have a few days before the deadline for sending an Acknowledgement of service and I need to decide whether or not to defend.

    I don’t want to give out identifying details because I am gathering evidence and don’t want to alert the claimant about my defence until I have to. So I will explain the basic facts without giving away too much.

    The driver was visiting a friend in a town some distance away and they went into town in the evening. She told the driver to park in a private car park which she was convinced was a free car park in the evening. When the driver returned to the car a Notice of Parking Charge was stuck to the windscreen. Working on out-of-date information it was thrown away. When paperwork arrived at my home address I threw it all away (I know, I know, you don’t need to say it). Now I have a County Court claim against me.

    Because I have none of the paperwork I think my defence will have to rely entirely on the signs at the car park. I think I have a very strong case but and I want advice on whether or not I can win.

    There is a prominent notice at the entrance to the car park that indicates it is a free customer car park. The car park is unlit but there are street lights on the street at the front. There are the fairly standard private car park notices further back in the car park. The trump card seems to me to be the sign saying it’s a free car park. The lettering of the word ‘free’ is about 95mm high, the sign is at the entrance is at eye level and positioned where headlights hit it at night. The car was parked just inside the entrance after dark and no other signs were looked at before parking.

    There are private car park notices around the car park but these are all further back and all in positions where headlights would not hit them. They all have lettering much smaller than the big ‘free’ sign at the entrance.

    I have been and had a close look at all the signs and there are other contradictions in the signs. I have been told that it used to be a free car park and they have put up new signs but left the old signs in place.

    The new signs say: Terms and conditions ... Pay and Display ... breach of any term or condition will result in ... charge of £***... By entering or remaining on this land you agree to abide by all of the terms and conditions. In the middle of all the small print in letters 6mm high it says. Terms and conditions apply 24hrs a day... that is the only indication that they expect payment 24hrs a day.
    I don’t know if it matters but there are two sets of terms and condition on display. One set is in small print on the new signs and another set is more prominent and in much bigger lettering which I assume is from an earlier time and which make no mention of payment. Is that relevant? It does say on the new small sign that you have to abide by all terms and conditions.

    The friend knew it was a paying car park during the day but assumed it was free when the payment kiosk was not manned. I have spoken to another local who told me he also assumed it was free when the kiosk was closed and that he often parks there on Sundays without paying.

    I am still gathering evidence and now have, including me, four witnesses who are willing to make written statements.

    It seems to me that I have a very strong argument but I have doubts. I can’t believe they would be so stupid to try and take me to court if their case was so weak. Is their case weak or am I being niave?

    I have trawled through stuff on this forum and it all looks very complicated. My case seems very simple and straightforward to me but other defences on here have a large number of points. If I decide to defend would I really need to write such a long and complicated defence in such a short time?
    Last edited by Dollshouse; 15-09-2017 at 9:02 AM.
Page 3
    • Dollshouse
    • By Dollshouse 5th Oct 17, 5:14 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    They aren't claiming against the keeper, they are claiming against the driver and/or the keeper.
    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 5th Oct 17, 5:18 PM
    • 33,482 Posts
    • 17,360 Thanks
    Do they know who was driving??
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 15th Oct 17, 12:41 AM
    • 51,673 Posts
    • 65,329 Thanks
    They aren't claiming against the keeper, they are claiming against the driver and/or the keeper.
    Originally posted by Dollshouse
    We know, these firms always do, when they haven't a clue who was driving. But you are best defending as keeper, and your case is no different in that respect than others.

    I don't have the NTK so I don't know whether or not it was worded correctly or served correctly.
    You will see the NTK in their evidence.
    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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