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  • FIRST POST
    • Laura Anne
    • By Laura Anne 3rd Oct 17, 9:41 PM
    • 18Posts
    • 5Thanks
    Laura Anne
    GEMINI/County Court Business Centre Claim
    • #1
    • 3rd Oct 17, 9:41 PM
    GEMINI/County Court Business Centre Claim 3rd Oct 17 at 9:41 PM
    Small Claims Court Letter
    Hi, I wonder if you can advise what is the best procedure to follow. A PCN incurred at Stepping Hill Hospital from GEMINI on 13/11/2016. No Notice to Keeper/Driver received, only communications from a third party solicitor. The latest communication is from County Court Business Centre in Northampton with PCN number not mentioned or time of ticket - includes charges for court fee and legal representative's costs.

    I was considering a defence of no Notice to Keeper/Driver and I thought it worth mentioning that the PCN number has never been mentioned in any correspondence. All correspondence has been demands from third party Gladstones who appear to have name and address of keeper and nothing else

    I am struggling to decide which is the best form of defence to choose.
Page 1
    • Laura Anne
    • By Laura Anne 4th Oct 17, 12:08 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Laura Anne
    • #2
    • 4th Oct 17, 12:08 AM
    County Court Business Centre Claim
    • #2
    • 4th Oct 17, 12:08 AM
    I have composed this defence for the County Court, would you be able to check it for me to make sure it is suitable for submission - thank you
    Last edited by Laura Anne; 11-10-2017 at 12:38 PM. Reason: I removed this defence and re written it as below following the advice given
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 4th Oct 17, 1:17 AM
    • 51,756 Posts
    • 65,399 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #3
    • 4th Oct 17, 1:17 AM
    • #3
    • 4th Oct 17, 1:17 AM
    Gemini Parking Solutions’ PCN fails to comply with the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (POFA).
    But you said there was no PCN at all, so that makes no sense.

    The defence draft reads like a POPLA appeal (except from your point#8 onwards, which is more defence-like). It's not reading like the example defences in the NEWBIES thread. Have another look, defences are in shorter numbered sentences, not long 'blurb' like we use to win at POPLA.
    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.

    • Laura Anne
    • By Laura Anne 4th Oct 17, 1:37 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Laura Anne
    • #4
    • 4th Oct 17, 1:37 PM
    County Court Business Centre Claim
    • #4
    • 4th Oct 17, 1:37 PM
    Hi, Thank you so much for your remarks, I will adjust the defence. I can not find any evidence of the PCN number, certainly not on the CCBC Claim Form. This is why I find it difficult to defend. No Notice to Keeper/Driver, just demands from Gladstones to contact Debt Recovery Plus with no ref for PCN. I'll do the letter again.
    • Redx
    • By Redx 4th Oct 17, 1:42 PM
    • 16,911 Posts
    • 21,020 Thanks
    Redx
    • #5
    • 4th Oct 17, 1:42 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Oct 17, 1:42 PM
    look at other GLADSTONES court claim threads from THIS YEAR ONLY

    look at the sections that state there are scant Particulars Of Claim (POC) , where people say until they have those details they reserve the right to add to a defence

    the ones that ask the judge to strike out the claim due to a lack of detail

    the ones that ask the judge to insist on a POC and an extension to allow you to respond to those details when known

    its poor details that give you more to rubbish the claim in the first place

    why are you NOT reading ones like this one below yours ?

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5698354
    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
    • Laura Anne
    • By Laura Anne 7th Oct 17, 8:36 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Laura Anne
    • #6
    • 7th Oct 17, 8:36 PM
    County Court Business Centre Claim
    • #6
    • 7th Oct 17, 8:36 PM
    I have looked at lots of defence letters and tried to pick the relevant bits from each. I am composing this defence for someone else. Given the solicitors appalling presentations I have been checking the scant info on the claim. It manifest that Gladstones ref number matches a ref number (not a PCN number) on a debt collection letter from January. On the debt collection letter there is the PCN number and the date of the contravention - the date being in oct 16. The date on the claim is Nov 16. The keeper assures me that the ticket incurred in Oct was definitely the only one. The keeper is currently enquiring if she was working on the date mentioned on the claim. Its looking increasing possible that the date is spurious. However I would be grateful if you could check my latest attempt please.
    Last edited by Laura Anne; 14-10-2017 at 10:49 PM. Reason: Updated defence letter below
    • Laura Anne
    • By Laura Anne 13th Oct 17, 3:08 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Laura Anne
    • #7
    • 13th Oct 17, 3:08 PM
    GEMINI/County Court Business Centre
    • #7
    • 13th Oct 17, 3:08 PM
    Would anyone be able to check the draft in the previous post. to see if it is OK to send?

    Thanks
    • claxtome
    • By claxtome 13th Oct 17, 5:50 PM
    • 334 Posts
    • 334 Thanks
    claxtome
    • #8
    • 13th Oct 17, 5:50 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Oct 17, 5:50 PM
    So you got no PCN on car nor received anything through the post strange. I think the defence is reasonable but suggest the following. More experienced members will help further...

    3. Gemini has not provided any Parking Charge Notification Information nor a Notice To Keeper (NTK)
    I suggest that you refer to relevant part of Schedule 4 of POFA Act in your defence->
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012/9/schedule/4/enacted
    Particularly para 9 (4) as 9 applies if no notice to driver given.
    Last edited by claxtome; 13-10-2017 at 5:52 PM.
    • claxtome
    • By claxtome 13th Oct 17, 6:01 PM
    • 334 Posts
    • 334 Thanks
    claxtome
    • #9
    • 13th Oct 17, 6:01 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Oct 17, 6:01 PM
    Suggest for more details of POFA Act see this thread:
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5726939
    • Laura Anne
    • By Laura Anne 13th Oct 17, 11:22 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Laura Anne
    GEMINI/County Court Business Centre
    Thanks for your help, I had a quick look and will update tomorrow. No PCN number on the County Court Claim or on Gladstone letters, only on Debt collection letter which refers to a different date. So, correct, no ticket on car for date mentioned on CC Claim.
    • claxtome
    • By claxtome 14th Oct 17, 5:43 AM
    • 334 Posts
    • 334 Thanks
    claxtome
    Also had another thought I am sure Gemini will have broken some of the regulations in their Code of Practice (CoP).
    Gemini are BPA members as you can see by clicking the link below:
    http://www.britishparking.co.uk/BPA-Approved-Operators

    Suggest you read the BPA CoP by clicking on the link on this page:
    http://www.britishparking.co.uk/Code-of-Practice-and-compliance-monitoring

    Particularly section 20. Maybe just mention "as well as contravening BPA CoP" when you mention failing Schedule 4 POFA rules.

    You might find it useful reading other sections of CoP as they may have carried out other misdemeanors - like signage etc for your car park. You could the signage in the car park against the guidelines as doubt it fully complies. So you can maybe beef up your defence - point 7.

    The more work you put in reading these the more help you will receive from the regulars as it shows you are willing to help yourself.
    Last edited by claxtome; 14-10-2017 at 5:53 AM.
    • claxtome
    • By claxtome 14th Oct 17, 8:38 AM
    • 334 Posts
    • 334 Thanks
    claxtome
    When you get a few minutes I suggest you send a Subject Access Request to DVLA, it is free and you just submit an email, to request who has requested access to the keeper details of the car in question. The page below has details of where to send it and what you need to include in the email:
    https://www.gov.uk/request-information-from-dvla

    It will take a week or two to come back but the sooner you do it the sooner you can rely on the info. Should certainly help in your case where no PCN on car or via post or a Notice to Keeper received.

    Maybe too late for your defence statement but could certainly be used for the next stage -> Witness statement.
    • Laura Anne
    • By Laura Anne 14th Oct 17, 11:38 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Laura Anne
    GEMINI/County Court Business Centre
    Thank you so much for those pointers, I checked signage on google maps and took screenshot of entrance sign, i'm not able to enter carpark (on google maps) but entrance sign does not meet requirements. I have added points from BPA CoP and POFA to point 3 and 7. Please say if you think I could improve. I was hoping this would be the end of it but yes I can write do DVLA to prepare for next stage

    .
    Last edited by Laura Anne; 17-10-2017 at 8:20 PM.
    • Laura Anne
    • By Laura Anne 17th Oct 17, 9:17 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Laura Anne
    GEMINI/County Court Business Centre
    I have updated the defence statement and added some pointers, will it now be ok to send, it needs to be emailed tomorrow

    Thanks
    • claxtome
    • By claxtome 17th Oct 17, 10:35 AM
    • 334 Posts
    • 334 Thanks
    claxtome
    Sorry 'Laura Anne' hadn't seen you had replied to the thread the other day.
    The update looks better.
    I have assumed you have referenced the correct sections of BPA CoP. (I have no reason to suggest you haven't)

    Just remembered you need to write your defence in the third person and not use 'I' but instead use 'the Defendant' and instead of 'Gemini' refer to them as 'the Claimant'

    Also check for grammatical errors - for instance end of paragraph 3 doesn't have a full stop.

    I take it you are aware that that the defence you email needs to show your signature.
    • Laura Anne
    • By Laura Anne 17th Oct 17, 6:21 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Laura Anne
    GEMINI/County Court Business Centre
    Thank you so much, I will make all those amendments - Do you put the signature on the form? and send this with the form?

    I understand what you mean about the correct sections..... I'm hoping so!

    WIth regard to para 3 'Gemini has not provided any Parking Charge Notification Information BPA CoP 20.12 - POFA 6.1 nor a Notice To Keeper (NTK) BOP CoP 20.4 and 20.6 POFA 9.1 and 9.2'

    20.12 BPA reads 'An effective ‘Notice to Keeper’ within the meaning of POFA 2012, must meet the requirements of Schedule 4 of the Act. In particular:
    • paragraphs 6 (1) (a) and 8 (2), if you have already given an effective Notice to Driver at the time of the parking event
    • paragraphs 6 (1) (b) and 9, if you have not given an effective Notice to Driver.

    And 20.4 reads 'The parking charge notice is the document you:
    • give to drivers, or attach to their vehicle windscreen, to tell them they have broken your terms and conditions and are now liable for parking charges, or
    • send to vehicle keepers asking them to pay the parking charges, if you do not have the driver’s details, or
    • send to vehicle hirers, asking them to pay the parking charges, if you discover that the vehicle was rented.
    POFA 2012 refers to the ‘Notice to Driver’, the ‘Notice to Keeper’ and the ‘Notice to Hirer’. All are types of parking charge notice'

    By all means please tell me if its incorrect
    • Redx
    • By Redx 17th Oct 17, 6:26 PM
    • 16,911 Posts
    • 21,020 Thanks
    Redx
    you date and save the final defence as a pdf , you PRINT IT out on paper

    you sign and date the signature in black pen

    you scan it back to the pc or laptop and save as a pdf

    you email this signed and dated pdf to the CCBC using their email

    you put the MCOL REF and NAME in the email header

    you put the same details in the email body (adding name and address too) and put , see attached defence , please add it to the file with reference 123456789 BLAH BLAH

    then you phone the CCBC and ensure it has been added to the claim file
    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
    • Laura Anne
    • By Laura Anne 17th Oct 17, 7:06 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Laura Anne
    Thank you again, I have 'repaired' the above defence statement using the pointers you so kindly mentioned
    • Laura Anne
    • By Laura Anne 17th Oct 17, 8:17 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Laura Anne
    GEMINI/County Court Business Centre
    In the County Court
    Claim Number:
    Between
    GEMINI v
    DEFENCE STATEMENT

    1. It is acknowledged that I am The Defendant,and also the Registered Keeper of the vehicle.

    2. The Defendant denies that any "parking charges or indemnity costs" as stated on the Particulars of Claim are owed and any debt is denied in it's entirety. The date of the alleged incident is 2016. There is no related Penalty Charge Number on any of the correspondence from Gladstones Solicitors Limited or contained in the Particulars of Claim, nor is the time of the incident.

    3. The Claimant has not provided any Parking Charge Notification Information BPA CoP 20.12 POFA 6.1 nor a Notice To Keeper (NTK) BOP CoP 20.4 and 20.6 POFA 9.1 and 9.2.

    4. The Claimant has not shown that the individual, whom they are pursuing, is in fact liable for the charge. The Claimant failed to meet the Notice to Keeper obligations of Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. No Notice to Keeper, with fully compliant statutory wording was served within 14 days of the parking event. The Claimant therefore, is unable to hold The Defendant liable under the strict ‘Keeper Liability’ provisions.

    Schedule 4 also states that the only sum a keeper can be pursued for (if Schedule 4 is fully complied with, which it was not, and if there was a 'relevant obligation' and relevant contract' fairly and adequately communicated, which there was not as there was no clear, transparent information about how to obtain a permit either inside or outside the site) is the sum on the Notice to Keeper. The Claimant cannot pluck another sum from thin air and bolt it on as well, when neither the signs, the Notice to Keeper or a Penalty Charge Notice mentioned a possible £244.93 as an outstanding debt and damages.

    5. The claim form itself is vague and lacks pertinent information as to the grounds for The Claimant’s case. The particulars of claim fail to meet CPR16.4 and PD16 7.3 - 7.5 and merely provide a date and an "amount" consisting of a completely unsubstantiated and inflated three-figure sum, vaguely and incoherently adduced by The Claimant's solicitors.
    The Claimant has not provided enough details in the particulars of claim to enable the filing of a full defence:
    5.1. The Claimant has not disclosed a cause of action to give rise to any debt.
    5.2. The Claimant has stated that a ‘parking charge’ was incurred.
    5.3. The Claimant has not given any indication to the nature of the alleged charge in the Particulars of Claim. The Claimant has therefore failed to disclose no cause of action.
    5.4. The Particulars of Claim does not contain 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 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 that could be considered a fair exchange of information.
    The Particulars of Claim are incomplete because no reasonable cause of action was disclosed.

    6. 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. HMCTS have identified over 1000 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 SRA.

    I believe 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.

    7. No contract was entered into between The Claimant and the Driver or Registered Keeper. It is denied that the signs used by this claimant can have created a fair or transparent contract with a driver. BPA CoP 18.2, 18.4 and 18.8.

    8. Accordingly, it is denied that The Claimant has authority to bring this claim. The correct Claimant (if any debt exists, which is denied) would be the landowner. Strict proof is required that there is a chain of contracts leading from the landowner to The Claimant, and no proof has been provided.

    9. A Letter before Action that complied with the Practice direction on pre-action conduct has not been received. The Letter before Action can be seen to miss the following information:
    9.1. A clear summary of facts on which the claim is based.
    9.2. A list of the relevant documents on which their client intends to rely.
    9.3. How the “charge amount” of 160.00 has been calculated and justified.
    9.4. Any form of possible negotiation.

    10. The Defendant 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.

    11. The alleged debt as described, in the claim are unenforceable penalties, being unconscionable charges exposed as offending against the penalty rule, in ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis.

    12. This case can be easily distinguished from ParkingEye v Beavis which the Judges held was 'entirely different' from most ordinary economic contract disputes. Charges cannot exist merely to punish drivers. The Claimant has failed to show any comparable 'legitimate interest' to save their charge from Lord Dunedin's four tests for a penalty, which the Supreme Court Judges found was still adequate in less complex cases, such as this allegation.
    13. It is submitted that (apart from correctly incurred court fee) any added legal fees/costs are simply numbers made up out of thin air, and are an attempt at double recovery by The Claimant.

    14. It is also submitted that the conduct of The Claimant in pursuing this claim is wholly unreasonable and vexatious. As such, The Defendant is keeping careful note of all wasted time/costs in dealing with this matter and should the case continue to trial (or in the event of the Claimant filing a Notice of Discontinuance) The Defendant will seek further costs, pursuant to Civil Procedure Rule 27.14(2)(g).

    15. The Court is invited to take Judicial Notice of the fact that the Claimant's solicitors, Gladstones Solicitors Limited, is engaged in a course of conduct which involves issuing tens of thousands of totally meritless Claims, which are routinely dismissed by District Judges sitting in this Court, and other County Court hearing centres in all parts of England & Wales. The Court is therefore invited to refer the matter to the Designated Civil Judge, for consideration of the issuing an Extended Civil Restraint Order against The Claimant, pursuant to CPR Practice Direction 3.1(3).

    16. The Defendant denies the claim in its entirety, voiding any liability to The Claimant for all amounts, due to the aforementioned reasons. The Defendant asks that The Court will give consideration to exercise its discretion to order the case to be struck out, under CPR Rule 3.4, for want of a detailed cause of action and/or for the claim having no realistic prospects of success.

    17. If The Court is not minded to make such an order, then when Directions are given, the Defendant asks that there is an order for sequential service of witness evidence (rather than exchange) because it is expected that The Claimant will use its witness statement to provide the sort of detail which should have been disclosed much earlier, and The Defendant should have the opportunity to consider it, prior to serving evidence and witness statements in support of this defence.

    18. The Defendant requests that The Court strike out this claim for the reasons stated above, and for similar reasons cited by District Judge Cross of St Albans County Court on 20/09/16 where a similar claim was struck out without a hearing, due to the Gladstones Solicitors Limited template particulars, for a private parking firm, being 'incoherent', failing to comply with CPR16.4, and ''providing no facts that could give rise to any apparent claim in law''.

    18.2. On the 27th July 2016 DJ Anson sitting at Preston County Court ruled that the very similar parking charge particulars of claim were deficient and failing to meet CPR 16.4 and PD 16 paragraphs 7.3 – 7.6. He ordered the Claimant in that case to file new particulars which they failed to do and so, The Court confirmed that the claim be struck out.

    18.3. The Defendant asks that the court orders Further and Better Particulars of Claim and asks leave to amend the Defence

    Statement of Truth: I confirm that the contents of this statement are true to the best of my knowledge and belief.
    • claxtome
    • By claxtome 17th Oct 17, 8:31 PM
    • 334 Posts
    • 334 Thanks
    claxtome
    It looks good - I have no further comments.
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