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  • FIRST POST
    • Megannie
    • By Megannie 7th Oct 17, 4:14 PM
    • 5Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Megannie
    CEL - Court Claim received
    • #1
    • 7th Oct 17, 4:14 PM
    CEL - Court Claim received 7th Oct 17 at 4:14 PM
    Hi Everyone

    Have looked at the 'Newbies' page but now seeking more advice - grateful for any help/tips please.

    Received what I think is a 'roboclaim' from CEL yesterday, a N1 claim form for nearly £400. Never had one before so feel a bit stressed - it relates to an incident 3 years ago. We parked in a space and tried to pay the 20p cost but the coin was rejected, as it was a cold, winters day and no-one was about, we decided to stay anyway. Had forgotten all about it until we received a letter from 'Wright Hassall' over a year ago. I thought it was a wind up at first, but it does refer to same place and date so cameras must have taken the car reg on way in (but yet I do not recall signs warning this). We were not familiar with car park so did not realise. Cannot easily check signage now as we do not live near (and of course signs could have changed alot since our visit).

    Anyway I ignored letter from Wright Hassle as I stupidly took the 'bury head in sand' approach, but also I had read online that they can scaremonger...But I am angry as from reading on here I believe I should have received a parking fine notification long before this? Letter just said they 'may pass this matter to Litigation Dept'.

    Now received a court claim, it has scarce particulars, which I think is common from what I have read on here, and we have not yet received a copy of them in the post from CEL.

    I have acknowledged receipt of service online and want to defend this. I cannot afford to pay £400 and don't think I should when their machine rejected my money, and given that I only received one letter prior to this!

    I have until the end of the month to come up with my defence and have started to copy the one posted on here previously by manxhero.

    Do you think I have a chance of winning this? Really worried :-( If I post a draft defence on here could someone help please?

    Thanks in advance all.
Page 1
    • Redx
    • By Redx 7th Oct 17, 4:47 PM
    • 15,958 Posts
    • 19,989 Thanks
    Redx
    • #2
    • 7th Oct 17, 4:47 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Oct 17, 4:47 PM
    court is a lottery , judge bingo, nobody can predict how far this will go or what the outcome will be

    yes , post your draft defence on here for comment

    dont beat yourself up too much about the IGNORING bit

    we tell most people to come back when they get either an LBC or an MCOL, you have the latter

    BUT , the rules on MCOL changed a week ago, so if the date on this roboclaim is in oct 2017 then they may have failed to follow those new rules , especially if there are scant details on the claim (like there were on the old ones)

    post your draft defence first though
    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
    • Megannie
    • By Megannie 7th Oct 17, 6:07 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Megannie
    • #3
    • 7th Oct 17, 6:07 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Oct 17, 6:07 PM
    Thanks RedX, any support gratefully received.

    I will post draft defence asap, currently researching what's out there already, it really is a minefield!
    • Lamilad
    • By Lamilad 7th Oct 17, 7:08 PM
    • 1,016 Posts
    • 2,020 Thanks
    Lamilad
    • #4
    • 7th Oct 17, 7:08 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Oct 17, 7:08 PM
    Do you think I have a chance of winning this?
    No, not really.... Because it's unlikely it will ever see the inside of a courtroom.

    CEL very rarely pursue claims to an actually hearing when they are robustly defended... and when they did, recently, they were beaten by the motorist and ordered to pay costs.

    I have until the end of the month to come up with my defence and have started to copy the one posted on here previously by manxhero.!
    Don't just read one, their have been loads of CEL defences on here over the last few months. Pluck the best bits from each to make your own then post it here for review.

    But don't just blindly copy and paste... You'll need to edit accordingly to make sure it's appropriate and relevant to your case/ circumstances.
    • Megannie
    • By Megannie 13th Oct 17, 6:55 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Megannie
    • #5
    • 13th Oct 17, 6:55 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Oct 17, 6:55 PM
    Hi All

    Sorry I know it is Friday night.....but if anyone should have some time to spare I would be grateful if you could let me know if my defence is ok to send. Thanks very much.

    In the County Court Business Centre
    Claim Number:
    Between: Civil Enforcement Limited v

    Defence Statement

    I am XXXXX the defendant in this matter and the registered keeper of vehicle XXXXX. I deny that I am liable for the entirety of the claim for each of the following reasons:

    1. The Claim Form issued on the 2 October 2017 by Civil Enforcement Limited was not correctly filed under The Practice Direction as it was not signed by a legal person but signed by ‘Civil Enforcement Limited (Claimant’s Legal Representative)’.

    2. This Claimant has not complied with pre-court protocol. And as an example as to why this prevents a full defence being filed at this time, a parking charge can be for trespass, breach of contract or a contractual charge. All these are treated differently in law and require a different defence. The wording of any contract will naturally be a key element in this matter, and a copy of the alleged contract has never been provided to the Defendant.

    a) There was no compliant ‘Letter before Court Claim’, under the Practice Direction.

    b) The Claim form Particulars were extremely sparse and divulged no cause of action nor sufficient detail. The Defendant has no idea what the claim is about; why the charge arose, what the alleged contract was; nothing that could be considered a fair exchange of information. The Claim form Particulars did not contain any evidence of contravention or photographs.

    c) The Claimant is a speculative serial litigant, issuing a large number of identical 'draft particulars'. The badly mail-merged documents contain very little information.

    d) The Defence therefore asks the court to strike out the claim as having no reasonable prospect of success as currently drafted.

    e) Alternatively, the Defendant asks that the Claimant is required to file Particulars which comply with Practice Directions and include at least the following information;

    (i) Whether the matter is being brought for trespass, breach of contract or a contractual charge, and an explanation as to the exact nature of the charge

    (ii) A copy of any contract it is alleged was in place (e.g. copies of signage)

    (iii) How any contract was concluded (if by performance, then copies of signage maps in place at the time)

    (iv) Whether keeper liability is being claimed, and if so copies of any Notice to Driver / Notice to Keeper

    (v) Whether the Claimant is acting as Agent or Principal, together with a list of documents they will rely on in this matter

    (vi) If charges over and above the initial charge are being claimed, the basis on which this is being claimed

    (vii) If Interest charges are being claimed, the basis on which this is being claimed

    g) Once these Particulars have been filed, the Defendant asks for reasonable time to file another defence.

    3. The Claimant failed to meet the Notice to Keeper obligations of Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. Absent such a notice served within 14 days of the parking event and with fully compliant statutory wording, this Claimant is unable to hold me liable under the strict ‘keeper liability’ provisions.

    4. There can be no 'presumption' by the claimant that the keeper was the driver. Henry Greenslade, lead adjudicator of POPLA in 2015 and an eminent barrister and parking law expert stated that “However keeper information is obtained; there is no ‘reasonable presumption’ in law that the registered keeper of a vehicle is the driver. Operators should never suggest anything of the sort.”

    5. The Claimant has added unrecoverable sums to the original parking charge. It is believed that the employee who drew up the paperwork is remunerated and the particulars of claim are templates, so it is simply not credible that £50 'legal representative’s (or even admin) costs' were incurred

    6. This case can be distinguished from ParkingEye v Beavis [2015] UKSC 67 (the Beavis case) which was dependent upon an undenied contract, formed by unusually prominent signage forming a clear offer and which turned on unique facts regarding the location and the interests of the landowner. Strict compliance with the BPA Code of Practice (CoP) was paramount and Mr Beavis was the driver who saw the signs and entered into a contract to pay £85 after exceeding a licence to park free. None of this applies in this material case.

    7. In the absence of any proof of adequate signage that contractually bound the Defendant then there can have been no contract and the Claimant has no case.

    a) Inadequate signs incapable of binding the driver – this distinguishes this case from the Beavis case.

    b) Non-existent ANPR ‘data use’ signage – breach of ICO rules and the BPA Code of Practice.

    8. It is believed Civil Enforcement do not hold a legitimate contract at this car park. As an agent, the Claimant has no legal right to bring such a claim in their name which should be in the name of the landowner.

    9. CEL suggests that Beavis sets a precedent. This is only true if the facts of the case are similar. In this case, none of the exceptions to disengage the penalty apply.

    10. The Beavis case confirmed the fact that, if it is a matter of trespass (not breach of any contract), a parking firm has no standing as a non-landowner to pursue even nominal damages.

    11. The Claimant has added unrecoverable sums to the original parking charge. If the ‘Civil Enforcement Limited (Claimant’s Legal Representative)’ is an employee then the Defendant suggests he/she is remunerated and the particulars of claim date 2 October 2017 are templates, so it is not credible that £50 ‘Legal representative’s costs’ were incurred. I deny the Claimant is entitled to any interest whatsoever.

    12. In the event the claim progresses, then as an unrepresented litigant in person, I reserve the right to alter, vary and add to this defence or reply to any further particulars of claim/documents the Claimant may provide.


    I confirm that the above facts contained in this Defence statement are true.

    Signed:
    Name:
    Date:
    • Megannie
    • By Megannie 16th Oct 17, 5:09 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Megannie
    • #6
    • 16th Oct 17, 5:09 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Oct 17, 5:09 PM
    Hi

    I would be so grateful for any advice re: my defence please. Having sleepless nights over this, not sure how I would feel if actually gets to court :-(

    I have changed it a bit to as follows (had omitted some things as wasn't sure about them - note my comments in brackets).

    Thanks so much.

    In the County Court Business Centre
    Claim Number:
    Between: Civil Enforcement Limited v

    Defence Statement

    I am XXXXX the defendant in this matter and the registered keeper of vehicle XXXXX. I deny that I am liable for the entirety of the claim for each of the following reasons:

    1. The Claim Form issued on the 2 October 2017 by Civil Enforcement Limited was not correctly filed under The Practice Direction as it was not signed by a legal person but signed by ‘Civil Enforcement Limited (Claimant’s Legal Representative)’.

    2. This Claimant has not complied with pre-court protocol. And as an example as to why this prevents a full defence being filed at this time, a parking charge can be for trespass, breach of contract or a contractual charge. All these are treated differently in law and require a different defence. The wording of any contract will naturally be a key element in this matter, and a copy of the alleged contract has never been provided to the Defendant.

    a) There was no compliant ‘Letter before Court Claim’, under the Practice Direction.

    b) This is a speculative serial litigant, issuing a large number of identical ‘draft particulars’. The badly mail-merged documents contain very little information.

    c) The Schedule of Information is sparse of detailed information. (Not sure what this schedule is or where can it be found?)

    d) The Claim form Particulars were extremely sparse and divulged no cause of action nor sufficient detail. The Defendant has no idea what the claim is about; why the charge arose, what the alleged contract was; nothing that could be considered a fair exchange of information. The Claim form Particulars did not contain any evidence of contravention or photographs.

    e) The Defence therefore asks the court to strike out the claim as having no reasonable prospect of success as currently drafted.

    f) Alternatively, the Defendant asks that the Claimant is required to file Particulars which comply with Practice Directions and include at least the following information;

    (i) Whether the matter is being brought for trespass, breach of contract or a contractual charge, and an explanation as to the exact nature of the charge

    (ii) A copy of any contract it is alleged was in place (e.g. copies of signage)

    (iii) How any contract was concluded (if by performance, then copies of signage maps in place at the time)

    (iv) Whether keeper liability is being claimed, and if so copies of any Notice to Driver / Notice to Keeper

    (v) Whether the Claimant is acting as Agent or Principal, together with a list of documents they will rely on in this matter

    (vi) If charges over and above the initial charge are being claimed, the basis on which this is being claimed

    (vii) If Interest charges are being claimed, the basis on which this is being claimed

    g) Once these Particulars have been filed, the Defendant asks for reasonable time to file another defence.

    3. The Claimant failed to meet the Notice to Keeper obligations of Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. Absent such a notice served within 14 days of the parking event and with fully compliant statutory wording, this Claimant is unable to hold me liable under the strict ‘keeper liability’ provisions.

    There can be no 'presumption' by the claimant that the keeper was the driver. Henry Greenslade, lead adjudicator of POPLA in 2015 and an eminent barrister and parking law expert stated that “However keeper information is obtained; there is no ‘reasonable presumption’ in law that the registered keeper of a vehicle is the driver. Operators should never suggest anything of the sort.”

    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) is the sum on the Notice to Keeper. They cannot pluck another sum from thin air and bolt that on as well when neither the signs, nor the NTK, nor the permit information mentioned a possible £xxx for outstanding debt and damages.(Not sure if should keep this paragraph as we did not receive a NTK, first letter was from Wright Hassall on x/x/16!)

    4. The Claimant has added unrecoverable sums to the original parking charge. It is believed that the employee who drew up the paperwork is remunerated and the particulars of claim are templates, so it is simply not credible that £50 'Legal representative’s (or even admin) costs' were incurred.

    6. This case can be distinguished from ParkingEye v Beavis [2015] UKSC 67 (the Beavis case) which was dependent upon an undenied contract, formed by unusually prominent signage forming a clear offer and which turned on unique facts regarding the location and the interests of the landowner. Strict compliance with the BPA Code of Practice (CoP) was paramount and Mr Beavis was the driver who saw the signs and entered into a contract to pay £85 after exceeding a licence to park free. None of this applies in this material case.

    7. In the absence of any proof of adequate signage that contractually bound the Defendant then there can have been no contract and the Claimant has no case.

    a) The Claimant is put to strict proof that at the time of the alleged event they had both the advertisement consent and the permission from the site owner to display the signs.

    b) In the absence of strict proof I submit that the Claimant was committing an offence by displaying their signs and therefore no contract could have been entered into between the driver and the Claimant. (We did not see any signs at all so should I even write this?)

    c) Inadequate signs incapable of binding the driver – this distinguishes this case from the Beavis case:

    i) Sporadic and illegible (charge not prominent nor large lettering) of site/entrance signage – breach of the POFA 2012 Schedule 4 and the BPA Code of Practice and contract formed to pay any clearly stated sum.

    ii) Non-existent ANPR ‘data use’ signage – breach of ICO rules and the BPA Code of Practice.

    d) BPA CoP breaches – this distinguishes this case from the Beavis case:

    i) The signs were not compliant in terms of positioning (if there at all)

    ii) The sum pursued exceeds £100.

    8. It is believed Civil Enforcement do not hold a legitimate contract at this car park. As an agent, the Claimant has no legal right to bring such a claim in their name which should be in the name of the landowner. (Not sure about this – I found it on MSE in a defence from a case that was stayed – defendant used same car park )

    9. CEL suggests that Beavis sets a precedent. This is only true if the facts of the case are similar. In this case, none of the exceptions to disengage the penalty apply.

    10. The Beavis case confirmed the fact that, if it is a matter of trespass (not breach of any contract), a parking firm has no standing as a non-landowner to pursue even nominal damages.

    11. The charge is an unenforceable penalty based upon a lack of commercial justification. The Beavis case confirmed that the penalty rule is certainly engaged in any case of a private parking charge and was only disengaged due to the unique circumstances of that case, which do not resemble this claim.

    The Defendant denies any liability whatsoever to the Claimant in any matter and asks the Court to note that the Claimant has:

    (a) Failed to disclose any cause of action in the incorrectly filed Claim Form issued on 2nd October 2017. (Not sure what cause of action refers to)

    (b) Sent a template, well-known to be generic cut and paste 'Particulars' of claim relying on irrelevant case law (Beavis) which ignores the fact that this Claimant cannot hold registered keepers liable in law, due to their own choice of non-POFA documentation. (Not received any detailed particulars yet – does this relate to those on claim form?)

    The vague Particulars of Claim disclose no clear cause of action. The court is invited to strike out the claim of its own volition as having no merit and no reasonable prospects of success.

    12. In the event the claim progresses, then as an unrepresented litigant in person, I reserve the right to alter, vary and add to this defence or reply to any further particulars of claim/documents the Claimant may provide.

    I confirm that the above facts and statements are true to the best of my knowledge and recollection.
    Signed:
    Name:
    Date:
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