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  • FIRST POST
    • ixworth
    • By ixworth 17th Oct 17, 3:29 PM
    • 37Posts
    • 8Thanks
    ixworth
    CEL Claim Defence - Almost ready to submit I think
    • #1
    • 17th Oct 17, 3:29 PM
    CEL Claim Defence - Almost ready to submit I think 17th Oct 17 at 3:29 PM
    I've prepare my defence to a CEL claim and have one last question before it gets sent.


    In my case I can evidence that I was at work 150 miles away from the car park at the time of the alleged infraction. Should this be mentioned explicitly?




    In the County Court Business Centre
    Between:
    Civil Enforcement Limited
    V
    XXXXXXXXXXX




    Claim Number: XXXXXXXX




    I, XXXXXXXXXXXXX, deny I am liable to the Claimant for the entirety of the claim for each of the following reasons:
    • The Claim Form issued on 11/10/2017 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”.

    • This Claimant has not complied with pre-court protocol (as outlined in the new Pre Action Protocol for Debt Claims, 1 October 2017). 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.


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

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

      3. The Schedule of information is sparse of detailed information.

      4. 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. These documents, and the ‘Letter before County Court Claim’ should have been produced, pursuant to paragraph 6 of the Practice Direction – Pre Action Conduct. This constitutes a deliberate attempt to thwart any efforts to defend the claim or to “take stock”, pursuant to paragraph 12 of the Practice Direction. Again, this totally contradicts the guidance outlined in the new Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims (2017), the aims of which are:

        1. ‘early engagement and communication between the parties, including early exchange of sufficient information about the matter to help clarify whether there are any issues in dispute
        2. enable the parties to resolve the matter without the need to start court proceedings, including agreeing a reasonable repayment plan or considering using an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedure
        3. encourage the parties to act in a reasonable and proportionate manner in all dealings with one another (for example, avoiding running up costs which do not bear a reasonable relationship to the sums in issue) and
        4. support the efficient management of proceedings that cannot be avoided.’

      5. The Defence therefore asks the Court to strike out the claim as disclosing no cause of action and having no reasonable prospect of success as currently drafted.

      6. Alternatively, the Defendant asks that the Claimant is required to file Particulars which comply with Practice Directions and include at least the following information;
        1. 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
        2. A copy of any contract it is alleged was in place (e.g. copies of signage)
        3. How any contract was concluded (if by performance, then copies of signage maps in place at the time)
        4. Whether keeper liability is being claimed, and if so copies of any Notice to Driver / Notice to Keeper
        5. Whether the Claimant is acting as Agent or Principal, together with a list of documents they will rely on in this matter
        6. If charges over and above the initial charge are being claimed, the basis on which this is being claimed
        7. If Interest charges are being claimed, the basis on which this is being claimed.

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

    • 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.

      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 it is believed that neither the signs, nor any NTK mentioned a possible additional £149.66 for outstanding debt and damages.

    • 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.
    • 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. As far as I can ascertain, based upon the very vague particulars of claim and complete lack of evidence and photographs, and without having been furnished with the alleged signage 'contract', none of this applies in this material case.

    • 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.
      1. The Claimant is put to strict proof that at the time of the alleged event they had both advertisement consent and the permission from the site owner to display the signs.
      2. 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.
      3. Inadequate signs incapable of binding the driver - this distinguishes this case from the Beavis case:
        1. 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 no contract formed to pay any clearly stated sum.
        2. It is believed the signage was not lit and any terms were not transparent or legible; this is an unfair contract, not agreed by the driver and contrary to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 in requiring a huge inflated sum as 'compensation' from by an authorised party using the premises as intended.
        3. No promise was made by the driver that could constitute consideration because there was no offer known nor accepted. No consideration flowed from the Claimant.
        4. The signs are believed to have no mention of any debt collection additional charge, which cannot form part of any alleged contract.
      4. BPA CoP breaches - this distinguishes this case from the Beavis case:
        1. the signs were not compliant in terms of the font size, lighting or positioning.
        2. the sum pursued exceeds £100.
        3. there is / was no compliant landowner contract.

    • No standing - this distinguishes this case from the Beavis case:
      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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Due to the length of time, the Defendant has little to no recollection of the day in question. It would not be reasonable to expect a registered keeper to be able to recall the potential driver(s) of the car over 10 months later. In any case, there is no such obligation in law and this was confirmed in the POPLA Annual Report 2015 by parking expert barrister and Lead Adjudicator, Henry Greenslade, who also clarified the fact that registered keeper can only be held liable under the POFA Schedule 4 and not by presumption or any other legal argument.


    The Defendant denies any liability whatsoever to the Claimant in any matter and asks the Court to note that the Claimant has:
    • Failed to disclose any cause of action in the incorrectly filed Claim Form issued on 11th October 2017.
    • 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.


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

Page 3
    • Castle
    • By Castle 17th Nov 17, 7:56 PM
    • 1,307 Posts
    • 1,697 Thanks
    Castle

    As such there is discretion. In the circumstances, I'd write to the Court with the allocation questionnaire, copying in the Defendant flagging the point, to see if s/he plays ball.
    Originally posted by Johnersh
    I think you mean Claimant.
    • Johnersh
    • By Johnersh 17th Nov 17, 8:01 PM
    • 728 Posts
    • 1,349 Thanks
    Johnersh
    I think you mean Claimant.
    Yes indeed, thanks. Not for the first time. As a Claimant only lawyer, I occasionally have difficulty tweaking the terminology on this forum. Will amend my original.

    The great thing about this forum is that there's more than one pair of eyes on everything.
    • ixworth
    • By ixworth 20th Nov 17, 1:58 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    ixworth
    Be aware that the position is not clear cut with late particulars.

    The position is this.

    1. On the one hand the Claimant is out of time and needs to apply for relief from sanctions;
    2. On the other hand, the CPR does not say expressly that Particulars served late are to be struck out or debarred, such that it may be argued you should apply if you want that to happen.

    It's unfortunate, because if you were late with a Defence the Claimant would be entitled to default judgment. The position is not mirrored.

    As such there is discretion. In the circumstances, I'd write to the Court with the allocation questionnaire, copying in the Claimant flagging the point, to see if the DJ plays ball.

    With the Particulars dated 11/10/2017 all served late, the issue is twofold:

    1. You received them late so the date on the document is entirely misleading;
    2. [in my view the greater crime] CEL appear to have been relying on a single document that was checked and signed on 11/10/17 and then using it for all cases, save only to amend and alter the schedule attached (which actually contains the information that goes to the heart of the claim, not the generic material). Thus there is no confidence that the document was ever checked or signed by the signatory or evidence that his signature was used with approval in connection with this pleaded case.

    LoadsofChildren 123 has previously raised the question as to whether the certificate of service has the real postal date on it or one based on the date of Particulars. That is a really interesting point (as is who signed it) as few solicitors signing one would be prepared to risk their career on it.
    Originally posted by Johnersh


    I can't find an actual example of a letter to accompany the DQ so have pulled one together based on the complaints letters to CCBC, and also incorporating Johnersh's piece about Ashley Cohen.
    As usual your comments, corrections, suggestions etc. will be greatly appreciated.


    <<<<
    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am submitting a completed Directions Questionnaire N180 with regard to Claim Form
    XXXXXXXX
    . I am including this note to bring to the Court’s attention some facts about the way that this claim is being handled by the claimant (Civil Enforcement Limited (CEL)).



    The Claim form was issued on 11th October 2017, stating that the detailed Particulars of Claim would be provided to me within 14 days after service of the claim form. The Claim Form was therefore served on 15th October 2017 (5 days later, as set out in paragraph 5.7 of Practice Direction 7E which relates solely to MCOL claims).
    This means that the Particulars of Claim should have been served on or by 28th October 2017. This would mean that they should have been posted by Monday 26th October 2017. The time limits for service are clearly set out in Rules 6.3(b) and 6.20(b), and the requirement to serve separate Particulars within 14 days is contained in Rule 7.4(1)(b).


    The further Particulars of Claim and covering letter were actually sent under cover of 1st November 2017. As such, according to Rule 6.3(b) they were served on the 3rd November 2017. However they were dated the 11th October 2017. I can provide evidence if necessary to corroborate these dates.
    CEL has made a poor attempt to conceal the actual date on which it served the further Particulars by backdating them by 21 days, together with the covering letter that they sent.


    I would direct you to the fact that CEL, as far as I am aware, has also failed to include a signed N215 Certificate of Service which would be supported by a Statement of Truth. If this is in fact the case then this would appear to be a clear attempt to avoid the consequences, via CPR 32.14, of filing false evidence.
    I cannot fathom any reason for CEL having backdated its further Particulars of Claim, other than to try to gain an advantage by confusing me into having to rush to file my defence prematurely, which I did.


    I didn't realise that under Rule 9 and 10.3(1)(a) I should not have returned my AoS until after the further PoC were served, nor should I have filed my Defence until I had sight of the Claimant’s case. My Defence was served on 25th October, the PoC served on 3rd November (8 days later than they should have been served according to rule 7.4(1)(b)). The reason that I filed my AoS and Defence earlier than I needed to was because MCOL sent me the response/defence pack with the Claim Form, whereas it shouldn't have been provided to me until the further PoC were served (rule 7.8(1)(a), which was rather misleading and led me to believe I had to acknowledge and defend with urgency.
    My understanding of the rules is that the Claimant may not file the Particulars late, and the sanctions in Rule 3.8 apply unless it applies for relief under Rule 3.9 (which, to my knowledge, it has not done). Consequently, the court should not allow the further Particulars of Claim unless and until the Claimant makes that application, or the court gives directions.


    CEL is a commercial Claimant pursuing many other claims of this nature. It must therefore have knowledge of, and understand, the Civil Procedure Rules. These sorts of blatant, and from my researches, routine breaches should not be allowed because they prejudice Litigants in Person like me who are not well versed in court procedures and the court rules. It is with some difficulty that I have understood the various obligations and time limits set out in the Civil Procedure Rules, as a Litigant in Person, whereas a commercial Claimant such as CEL has no such excuse.
    I am writing to you because I understand that the issue with CEL backdating their Particulars of Claim, and failing to file the Certificate of Service, has become extremely common. It appears that they have issued a huge batch of claims on or around 10th/11th October with which they cannot cope.


    CEL appear too to have been relying on a single document that was checked and signed on 11/10/17 and then using it for all cases, save only to amend and alter the Schedule attached (which actually contains the information that goes to the heart of the claim, not the generic material in their PoC). Thus there is no confidence that the document sent to me was ever checked or signed by the signatory or evidence that his signature was used with approval in connection with this pleaded case.
    I wonder what the court will do about CEL's abuse of the system. Surely all court users, both professional and lay, are expected to abide by the Civil Procedure Rules: this is why they exist, to put all parties on an equal footing. CEL are ignoring and abusing the rules which is prejudicing what appears to be a large number of lay defendants.


    It is prejudicial to me (a litigant in person) for CEL to be allowed to rely on PoC which not only were filed late, but which I had not seen when I drafted my defence.
    I believe that the court has the power to make an order of its own volition, exercising its inherent case management powers under rule 3.3(1) and (4).

    Can I further ask the court to order that witness statements be served sequentially, rather than exchanged, because the further PoC and the LBC before it are so vague that I still don't understand the claim fully (e.g. CEL claim I am in breach of contract but have not provided a copy of all of its terms).



    XXXXXXXXXXXX (defendant)
    >>>>
    • logician
    • By logician 20th Nov 17, 2:21 PM
    • 88 Posts
    • 37 Thanks
    logician
    Just received the Particulars of Claim for my CEL case which was issued on 10th October 17. They're either playing games, or particularly inept (probably both infuses).

    a) The PoC is dated 11th October but the letter has a postmark of 27th October. I didn't therefore receive it until 18 days after the claim. Outside of the 14 days I had to respond in. Is this allowed? In fact are they allowed to issue the PoC after submitting their initial claim?
    b) The PoC is signed by Ashley Cohen. I thought there were restrictions applied to him. Am I correct, or is this over now?
    c) The PoC is 2 pages of widely spaced text with the usual reference to Beavis and another reference to Vine Vs Waltham Forest Borough Council. Is this case relevant. Does it need defending.
    d) Isn't such a cursory PoC at variance with the procedural guidelines CEL have to comply with now? I assume a judge will recognise this failing were it to get as far as court.
    e) Scant as the PoC detailscare, I can see now that allowed free parking period was exceeded by under 12 minutes. Had I been furnished with this information in the initial MCOL I would have included something about grace periods in my defence (is 12 minutes within a reasonable Grace Period?). Can I do raise this now or do I have to wait for the Witness Statement?

    I can see now some guidance on other posts that I shouldn't have filed a defence until receiving the full PoC. Have I burned my bridges by acting promptly?

    Notwithstanding the above, I guess I now wait for DQ? Anything else I need to do in the meantime.

    Thanks as usual to all of you.

    Ixworth
    Originally posted by ixworth


    I can't find an actual example of a letter to accompany the DQ so have pulled one together based on the complaints letters to CCBC, and also incorporating Johnersh's piece about Ashley Cohen.
    As usual your comments, corrections, suggestions etc. will be greatly appreciated.


    <<<<
    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am submitting a completed Directions Questionnaire N180 with regard to Claim Form
    XXXXXXXX
    . I am including this note to bring to the Court’s attention some facts about the way that this claim is being handled by the claimant (Civil Enforcement Limited (CEL)).



    The Claim form was issued on 11th October 2017, stating that the detailed Particulars of Claim would be provided to me within 14 days after service of the claim form. The Claim Form was therefore served on 15th October 2017 (5 days later, as set out in paragraph 5.7 of Practice Direction 7E which relates solely to MCOL claims).
    This means that the Particulars of Claim should have been served on or by 28th October 2017. This would mean that they should have been posted by Monday 26th October 2017. The time limits for service are clearly set out in Rules 6.3(b) and 6.20(b), and the requirement to serve separate Particulars within 14 days is contained in Rule 7.4(1)(b).


    The further Particulars of Claim and covering letter were actually sent under cover of 1st November 2017. As such, according to Rule 6.3(b) they were served on the 3rd November 2017. However they were dated the 11th October 2017. I can provide evidence if necessary to corroborate these dates.
    CEL has made a poor attempt to conceal the actual date on which it served the further Particulars by backdating them by 21 days, together with the covering letter that they sent.


    I would direct you to the fact that CEL, as far as I am aware, has also failed to include a signed N215 Certificate of Service which would be supported by a Statement of Truth. If this is in fact the case then this would appear to be a clear attempt to avoid the consequences, via CPR 32.14, of filing false evidence.
    I cannot fathom any reason for CEL having backdated its further Particulars of Claim, other than to try to gain an advantage by confusing me into having to rush to file my defence prematurely, which I did.


    I didn't realise that under Rule 9 and 10.3(1)(a) I should not have returned my AoS until after the further PoC were served, nor should I have filed my Defence until I had sight of the Claimant’s case. My Defence was served on 25th October, the PoC served on 3rd November (8 days later than they should have been served according to rule 7.4(1)(b)). The reason that I filed my AoS and Defence earlier than I needed to was because MCOL sent me the response/defence pack with the Claim Form, whereas it shouldn't have been provided to me until the further PoC were served (rule 7.8(1)(a), which was rather misleading and led me to believe I had to acknowledge and defend with urgency.
    My understanding of the rules is that the Claimant may not file the Particulars late, and the sanctions in Rule 3.8 apply unless it applies for relief under Rule 3.9 (which, to my knowledge, it has not done). Consequently, the court should not allow the further Particulars of Claim unless and until the Claimant makes that application, or the court gives directions.


    CEL is a commercial Claimant pursuing many other claims of this nature. It must therefore have knowledge of, and understand, the Civil Procedure Rules. These sorts of blatant, and from my researches, routine breaches should not be allowed because they prejudice Litigants in Person like me who are not well versed in court procedures and the court rules. It is with some difficulty that I have understood the various obligations and time limits set out in the Civil Procedure Rules, as a Litigant in Person, whereas a commercial Claimant such as CEL has no such excuse.
    I am writing to you because I understand that the issue with CEL backdating their Particulars of Claim, and failing to file the Certificate of Service, has become extremely common. It appears that they have issued a huge batch of claims on or around 10th/11th October with which they cannot cope.


    CEL appear too to have been relying on a single document that was checked and signed on 11/10/17 and then using it for all cases, save only to amend and alter the Schedule attached (which actually contains the information that goes to the heart of the claim, not the generic material in their PoC). Thus there is no confidence that the document sent to me was ever checked or signed by the signatory or evidence that his signature was used with approval in connection with this pleaded case.
    I wonder what the court will do about CEL's abuse of the system. Surely all court users, both professional and lay, are expected to abide by the Civil Procedure Rules: this is why they exist, to put all parties on an equal footing. CEL are ignoring and abusing the rules which is prejudicing what appears to be a large number of lay defendants.


    It is prejudicial to me (a litigant in person) for CEL to be allowed to rely on PoC which not only were filed late, but which I had not seen when I drafted my defence.
    I believe that the court has the power to make an order of its own volition, exercising its inherent case management powers under rule 3.3(1) and (4).

    Can I further ask the court to order that witness statements be served sequentially, rather than exchanged, because the further PoC and the LBC before it are so vague that I still don't understand the claim fully (e.g. CEL claim I am in breach of contract but have not provided a copy of all of its terms).



    XXXXXXXXXXXX (defendant)
    >>>>
    Originally posted by ixworth

    @ Ixworth

    Your dates and details on this thread are contradictory and all over the place !

    Your opening post states the claim had an issue date on the 11//10/17
    Other posts state this claim had an issue date on the 10/10/17


    Your post ~14 on this thread which you made on the 29th October confirming you had received the additional particulars of claim..(albeit dated 11/10/17)


    NB The additional particulars of claim need to be served within 14 days after SERVICE of the claim form.

    So check your dates again...

    Be very wary of what you send to the court..
    TAKE PITY ON THOSE BLIND BADGERS

    FOR EVERYONE ELSE - THERE IS SPECSAVERS*

    * NB OTHER REPUTABLE OPTICIANS ARE AVAILABLE
    THE POSTER DOES NOT ENDORSE ANY ONE OPTICIAN
    • ixworth
    • By ixworth 20th Nov 17, 2:59 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    ixworth
    @ Ixworth

    Your dates and details on this thread are contradictory and all over the place !

    Your opening post states the claim had an issue date on the 11//10/17
    Other posts state this claim had an issue date on the 10/10/17


    Your post ~14 on this thread which you made on the 29th October confirming you had received the additional particulars of claim..(albeit dated 11/10/17)


    NB The additional particulars of claim need to be served within 14 days after SERVICE of the claim form.

    So check your dates again...

    Be very wary of what you send to the court..
    Originally posted by logician


    Sorry, I can understand that will look confusing. My dates are correct but I have 2 almost identical claims going through for slightly different dates and times. but for the same vehicle and car park. I also have/had a 3rd claim for a different vehicle in a CEL car park (subject of a different thread as the circumstances are different). I'm afraid the Driver had a bad habit of forgetting when the 3 hours were up.


    I haven't mentioned this on here before because the circumstances are almost identical except for dates and times and I have been applying people's advice to both claims identically.


    Interestingly the claim I have been referring to previously on this thread hasn't yet passed to DQ stage even though it is for an earlier date.


    Just to check though. The additional particulars of claim need to be served within 14 days after SERVICE of the claim form. So Claim Raised on 11th = Claim Served on 15th = PoC Due on 28th? Is this not correct?
    • logician
    • By logician 20th Nov 17, 3:13 PM
    • 88 Posts
    • 37 Thanks
    logician

    Just to check though. The additional particulars of claim need to be served within 14 days after SERVICE of the claim form. So Claim Raised on 11th = Claim Served on 15th = PoC Due on 28th? Is this not correct?
    Originally posted by ixworth
    If a court claim has an issue dated stamped of 11/10/17 - it is deemed served 5 days afterwards - so served on the 16/10/17

    So the additional particulars of claim would need to be with you (served) within 14 days of the 16/10/17 - i.e. on or before 30/10/17
    TAKE PITY ON THOSE BLIND BADGERS

    FOR EVERYONE ELSE - THERE IS SPECSAVERS*

    * NB OTHER REPUTABLE OPTICIANS ARE AVAILABLE
    THE POSTER DOES NOT ENDORSE ANY ONE OPTICIAN
    • ixworth
    • By ixworth 20th Nov 17, 3:22 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    ixworth
    Thanks. I thought I'd read that Claim Date was Day 1. I'll revise this to:
    Claim Raised on 11th
    Claim Served on 16th
    PoC Due on 30th.


    PoC weren't served until 3rd November so still 4 days late.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 20th Nov 17, 5:16 PM
    • 51,635 Posts
    • 65,294 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    My dates are correct but I have 2 almost identical claims going through for slightly different dates and times. but for the same vehicle and car park. I also have/had a 3rd claim for a different vehicle in a CEL car park (subject of a different thread as the circumstances are different). I'm afraid the Driver had a bad habit of forgetting when the 3 hours were up.
    Your letter should point out the unreasonableness of the Claimant in also filing several claims for what are events that would reasonably represent just one claim, because the matters turn on the same facts/law. List the 3 claim numbers (even the one with the other car) and ask that the Court uses its discretion to list them as one single hearing and to require just one set of Witness Statement/evidence from Claimant and Defendant.
    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.

    • ixworth
    • By ixworth 23rd Nov 17, 5:25 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    ixworth
    Your letter should point out the unreasonableness of the Claimant in also filing several claims for what are events that would reasonably represent just one claim, because the matters turn on the same facts/law. List the 3 claim numbers (even the one with the other car) and ask that the Court uses its discretion to list them as one single hearing and to require just one set of Witness Statement/evidence from Claimant and Defendant.
    Originally posted by Coupon-mad
    Thanks for getting back to me on this.


    I've thought about it for a while and am going to leave these as unrelated claims for now. The different car one has not had any response since I appealed back in July and I'd rather not stir things up on that one. I wonder if aggregating 2 or 3 claims together might just make it worth CEL's time actually going to court.
    Also CEL haven't progressed the other Claim to DQ yet. I'm wondering if they'll bother.
    • ixworth
    • By ixworth 23rd Nov 17, 5:38 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    ixworth
    Letter to go with DQ complaining about CEL breach of rules.
    I finally have a draft letter ready to go when I submit my completed DQ next week.


    Thanks to LoC123 for help on this.


    <<<<<<


    Dear Sir/Madam,


    I am submitting a completed Directions Questionnaire N180 with regard to Claim Form XXXXXXXX. I am including this note to bring to the Court’s attention some facts about the way that this claim is being handled by the claimant (Civil Enforcement Limited (CEL)).


    Late Service of Particulars of Claim
    The Claim form was issued on 11th October 2017. It gave virtually no indication of what the claim related to; instead stating that further Particulars of Claim would be provided to me within 14 days after service of the claim form. The Claim Form was therefore served on 16th October 2017 (5 days later, as set out in paragraph 5.7 of Practice Direction 7E).



    This means that the separate Particulars of Claim should have been served on or by 30th October 2017. This would require that they be posted by Friday 27th October 2017. The time limits for service are clearly set out in Rules 6.3(b) and 6.20(b), and the requirement to serve separate Particulars within 14 days is contained in Rule 7.4(1)(b).


    The further Particulars of Claim and covering letter were actually sent on 1st November 2017. As such, according to Rule 6.3(b) they were served on the 3rd November 2017. However both PoC and the covering letter were backdated to the 11th October 2017. I enclose a copy of the envelope which shows that the PoC were posted on 1 November, and a copy of the backdated covering letter to corroborate these dates.

    Given the fact that the separate PoC , and covering letter appear to have been generated automatically from a standard template (presumably on 11th October 2017) rather than being crafted by hand, I do not believe there can have been any valid reason for CEL’s delay in providing them to me.The only reason that I can think of for CEL having delayed providing its further Particulars of Claim is to try to gain a tactical advantage by confusing me into having to rush to file my defence prematurely, which I did.


    I didn't realise at the time that I received the Claim Form, that under Rule 9 and 10.3(1)(a) I should not have returned my AoS until after the further PoC were served, nor should I have filed my Defence until I had sight of CEL’s full Particulars of Claim. My Defence was served on 25th October, the PoC was not served until 3rd November (4 days later than the latest that they should have been served according to rule 7.4(1)(b)).


    The reason that I filed my AoS and Defence earlier than I needed to was because MCOL sent me the response/defence pack with the Claim Form, whereas I believe it shouldn't have been provided to me until the further PoC were served (rule 7.8(1)(a). The response/defence pack informed me that I had 14 days to respond which was rather misleading and led me to believe I had to acknowledge and defend with more urgency than was necessary. I understand that this is a failing of MCOL, but I believe that CEL were aware of this and have adopted their late service of PoC to gain an unfair advantage over me.


    My understanding of the rules is that the Claimant may not file the Particulars late, and the sanctions under Rule 3.8 apply unless they apply for relief under Rule 3.9 (which, to my knowledge, CEL has not done). Consequently, the court should either not allow the further Particulars of Claim unless and until CEL makes that application, or should give directions as to how CEL’s breach of the rules should be remedied.

    If the court decides to allow the late-submitted PoC, I would ask for the opportunity to take 14 more days to consider them and possibly revise my defence to address points not evident from the claim form.


    Failure to submit an N215
    I would direct you to the fact that CEL has failed to submit to the court a signed N215 Certificate of Service which would be supported by a Statement of Truth. This would appear to be a clear attempt to avoid the consequences, via CPR 32.14, of filing false evidence. I believe claimants are required to submit a signed N215 to the court whenever they provide separate PoC for an MCOL claim.



    I’m not sure of the importance of this rule under normal circumstances but where there is an assertion that documents have been deliberately backdated / or misdated and that a correctly filed and signed N215 would make this evident then I believe this is very important as it constitutes an attempt to hide this breach from the court.


    Failure to comply with pre-court protocol
    CEL has not complied with pre-court protocol (as outlined in the new Pre Action Protocol for Debt Claims, 1 October 2017). As an example as to why this prevented a full defence being filed, 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 and details of how it is claimed the driver breached its terms has never been provided to me.



    The limited information that CEL did provide to me eventually did not contain any evidence of contravention or photographs, nor a copy of the “Letter before County Court Claim” that was supposed to have been sent to me (I have no record of having received this), nor a copy of the landowner contract under which they assert authority to operate, nor a copy of the full terms set out in the signage, nor a map showing where the signs were located etc. I understand that these should all have been produced, pursuant to paragraph 6 of the Practice Direction – Pre Action Conduct. This constitutes a deliberate attempt to thwart any efforts to defend the claim properly or to “take stock”, pursuant to paragraph 12 of the Practice Direction.

    In Summary
    I have set out in this letter CEL’s failures to comply with the CPR. Its failure to comply with the rules put me, an ordinary Litigant in Person, at a significant disadvantage. Two examples of the prejudice caused to me is that I have been given no opportunity to consider the basis, or the strength, of the claim, and my defence to it, and no opportunity to engage in discussions with the Claimant with a view to reaching agreement or at least narrowing the issues, and the late service of the Particulars of Claim caused me to file an early defence, before I had sight of the Particulars.



    Given CEL's multiple breaches of the CPR, I ask the court to give consideration, under its inherent case management powers, to strike out the claim. The court's powers to do so are contained in CPR Rule 1.4(2) (c) and Practice Direction 26, paragraph 5.1.


    If the court is not minded to make an order of its own volition, then the court has the power to treat this letter as an application rather than asking me to issue a Notice of Application – the power to do this is contained in CPR Part 23.3(2) (b) which provides specifically that the court may dispense with the requirement for an application notice.


    The court’s powers to strike out a claim are contained in CPR Rule 3.4 and the “test” is if:
    (a) the statement of case discloses no reasonable grounds for bringing a claim; or

    (b) the statement of case is an abuse of the court’s process; or
    (c) there has been a failure to comply with a Rule, Practice Direction or Order.


    CEL is a commercial Claimant pursuing many other claims of this nature. It must therefore have knowledge of, and understand, the Civil Procedure Rules. These sorts of blatant, and from my researches, routine breaches should not be allowed because they prejudice Litigants in Person, who are not well versed in court procedures and the court rules. It is with some difficulty that I have understood the various obligations and time limits set out in the Civil Procedure Rules, as a Litigant in Person, whereas a commercial Claimant such as CEL has no such excuse.


    If the court is minded to allow this claim to continue, when it issues directions I ask that it provides for Witness Statements to be served sequentially (CEL first), due to CEL’s failure to comply with their pre-action obligations and their still inadequate Particulars of Claim. I am having difficulty understanding how CEL is going to evidence their claim and, on the assumption that they will provide this information (that I should already have had) in their Witness Statement then it appears right and fair that I should have sight of it before having to file my own evidence.


    Yours sincerely


    XXXXXXXX (defendant)


    >>>>>>>>


    I am waiting for confirmation on the matter of the N215 before I actually send this. I have until 7th December to get my DQ back. I've emailed CCBC for this information but will phone them next week if I don't hear back from them.
    • Berribear
    • By Berribear 29th Nov 17, 6:59 PM
    • 47 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Berribear
    ixworth, absolutely superb complaint letter, if you don't mind, I've copied and edited it and sent it with my N180.


    Thank you
    • Johnersh
    • By Johnersh 29th Nov 17, 8:40 PM
    • 728 Posts
    • 1,349 Thanks
    Johnersh
    A punchy letter, but not bonkers or unfair in asking "what now?" by any means. Let's see where it gets you once a DJ looks at it all.
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