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  • FIRST POST
    • pandorapandora
    • By pandorapandora 21st Nov 17, 12:53 PM
    • 11Posts
    • 1Thanks
    pandorapandora
    Help Please! Parking Fine County Court Pack
    • #1
    • 21st Nov 17, 12:53 PM
    Help Please! Parking Fine County Court Pack 21st Nov 17 at 12:53 PM
    Hi all

    I wondered if someone could please give me some advice?

    Last winter I paid to park in a S.I.P private car park for three hours for Christmas shopping. After shopping we went for something to eat - the restaurant was heaving (Xmas!), food hadn't arrived yet and I only had half an hour left on my parking, so I rang up the above company (premium rate line - cost me more than the extra hour of parking!) to pay. The customer service lady wanted me to read out my card number - as I was surrounded by strangers, I asked if I could pay online instead. She gave me the website and the location number (I checked it twice with her!). I then went to the website, paid for the hour and then got back to the car and had a ticket! I just presumed they hadn't checked their computer system and had gone by the physical ticket on the windscreen which had expired 20 mins before, so wasn't too concerned. I then forgot all about it until (I think March/May) I got a letter. I rang up, couldn't get through to a human so I emailed them explaining the above and that I'd paid for the extra hour. I received an automated response but heard nothing back from a human, so thought they'd accepted my explanation.

    Two months ago I received a letter from their solicitors asking me to pay a whopping fine or to send any defence, which I did. I got a copy of my phone bill showing the £4 call to them on the date (half an hour BEFORE the ticket expired), along with a copy of my bank statement showing the payment of £4-ish for the extra hour coming out of my account. The solicitor replied saying I have paid the wrong company - Manchester Parking NOT S.I.P! I rang S.I.P and was given the location number by S.I.P. - checked twice!

    My colleague has advised me that the parking company's own customer services number probably routed through to a national call centre (Pay By Parking) as many of them do; so the woman has probably given me the wrong location code.

    A week later I've now been sent a county court pack asking me whether I wish to pay £250, acknowledge or defend. I'm so annoyed because I've done nothing wrong for this but I'm very anxious about the prospect of a CCJ as this could affect my job.

    Can anyone please advise? Do I get a solicitor? I've never had anything like this or so much as a speeding ticket before so this is giving me sleepless nights.

    Thanks
Page 2
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 6th Dec 17, 12:03 PM
    • 1,739 Posts
    • 2,837 Thanks
    Loadsofchildren123
    1. I am XXX, Defendant in this matter. My address for service is XXXX. This is my statement of truth and my defence.

    2. The Particulars of Claim are extremely sparse and coupled with the Claimant's failure to comply with its pre-action obligations to fully explain the claim results in the Defendant being unable to understand how the claim is being pursued and to defend it properly. As an unrepresented litigant-in-person, the Defendants seeks I seek the Court's permission to amend and supplement this defence as may be required upon disclosure of the claimant's case.

    3. For the avoidance of doubt o On the relevant date the Defendant I was the registered keeper of a xxxxx, registered number xxxx.


    5. [I've moved this] The Defendant admits that on x date [s]he parked on land at Tariff Street, Manchester, which is private land on which the Claimant operates. However, the Defendant denies that [s]he breached the Claimant's terms and conditions for parking because [s]he paid in full for the entire period of parking, by purchasing a pay and display ticket and by following the Claimant's instructions in order to top up that initial period of parking by paying for a further period of parking using the internet service provided by the Claimant.


    new para: the Defendant denies any liability to the Claimant and I assert that the Claimant has no cause for action for the following reasons:



    12. [I've moved this up] The Defendant denies [s]It is denied/s] that a contract was formed.


    new para: Alternatively, if any contract was formed, the Defendant was not in breach of it because he followed all instructions given by the Claimant to pay for the full period of parking. If any error was made, it was made by the Claimant, who was either in breach of such contract or whose actions resulted in the frustration of the contract. In Jolley v Carmel Ltd [2000] 2 –EGLR -154, it was held that a party who makes reasonable endeavours to comply with contractual terms, should not be penalised when unable to fully comply with the terms. existed the and it is further denied that any contravention of “exceeding the time for parking” was communicated to me nor was it within my control. Even if a contract was potentially formed it was frustrated by the human error of the Claimant, and it is trite law that no party. The Defendant cannot be held liable for the breach of the other party to the contract to another under such circumstances of frustration of contract.

    4. It is believed that it will be a matter of common ground that claim relates to a purported debt as the result of the issue of a Parking Charge Notice (PCN) in relation to an alleged breach of the “terms of parking on the land at Tariff St Manchester” by the driver of the above vehicle on XX/XX/XXXX.



    a) Paid for parking by way of a ‘pay and display’ coin machine and displayed the produced ticket in the windscreen of the above vehicle on the date in question.
    b) Called the Claimant directly by telephone, prior to the expiry of the Pay and Display ticket, and was provided with the location number for the car park to enter onto the ‘Pay By Phone’ website in order to pay for an extra hour’s parking.
    c) Contacted ‘Pay By Phone’ prior to the expiry of the Pay and Display ticket to request a website password in order to pay online.
    d) Completed payment online using the details as advised by the Claimant, again prior to the expiry of the Pay and Display ticket.
    e) Therefore complied with all contractual terms.


    6. In response to a ‘Final Reminder’ letter from the Claimant, the Defendant clearly demonstrated to the Claimant via email on 24/03/2017 that payment had been made on the date in question, enclosing evidence of the request made at 1:34pm (before expiry of the ticket at 2:08pm) for a password from the ‘Pay By Phone’ website in order to make payment, and evidence via bank statement and statement from the ‘Pay By Phone’ website of the subsequent payment to ‘top up’ parking covering the hour of 2:01pm to 3:01pm. An automated response to this email from the Claimant was received, but no further correspondence regarding the issue.

    7. Following receipt of another standardised letter from the Claimant, the Defendant telephoned the Claimant to check if the previous response had been received, and was advised to resend the previous email, which was resent as requested on 24/05/2017.

    8. Correspondence from the Claimant’s solicitors Gladstones was then received in July. In response, the Defendant sent the above evidence plus an excerpt from a telephone bill provided by the Defendant’s mobile telephone network EE on 24/07/17, clearly showing the call (as mentioned in 5b above) made to the Claimant’s income-generating direct telephone number) at 1:41pm, lasting 5 minutes and 43 seconds at a cost to the Defendant of £3.11.

    9. The telephone conversation at 1:41pm was held by the Claimant and Defendant in plenty of time before expiry of the purchased parking time at 2:08pm in order to obtain appropriate details required for the Defendant to make appropriate payment. The Defendant is not responsible for any internal errors made by the Claimant causing inappropriate information to be provided resulting in the ‘top up’ payment made by the Defendant not marrying with the actual location of the car.


    10. Documentation received from the Claimant’s solicitor states:
    a) That the Defendant exceeded the time for parking that had been purchased.
    b) That the Claimant accepts that the Defendant did pay for parking, as evidenced by the bank statement provided by the Defendant
    c) That it was an obligation of the terms and conditions of parking that the Defendant paid the Claimant – SIP Parking Ltd – not Manchester Parking.

    11. Further based upon the scant and deficient details contained in the Particulars of Claim and correspondence, it appears to be the claimant's case that:
    a. There was a contract formed by the defendant and the claimant on XX/XX/20XX.

    b. There was an agreement to pay a sum or parking charge

    c. That there were Terms and Conditions prominently displayed around the site

    d. That in addition to the Parking charge there was an agreement to pay additional and unspecified additional sums.

    e. The claimant company fully complied with their obligations within the terms of Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.

    f. The claimant company fully complied with their obligations within the International Parking Community Code of Practice of which they were member at the time.

    g. Further that the defendant has not paid the alleged debt.






    new para number:
    The Defendant denies that any contract was formed with the Claimant:


    b. There was no any agreement to pay a parking charge.
    c. That there were Terms and Conditions were not prominently displayed around the site which communicated any additional punitive parking charge (effectively a private 'fine') in large lettering, in a clear and concise way, on a par with the tariff signs where the fees were advertised in the largest font. By contrast, the 'parking charge' is positively buried in small print, contrary to Lord Denning's 'Red Hand Rule' and contrary to the requirements of the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
    x. The Defendant did not enter into any 'agreement on the charge', no consideration flowed between the parties and no contract was established.
    x. The Defendant denies that he would have agreed to pay the demanded amount or to agree to the alleged contract had the terms and conditions of the contract been properly displayed and accessible.
    d. In respect of the additional period of parking paid for by the Defendant online, using the Claimant's Pay by Phone website, this was an offer of a 'distance contract', and the Claimant failed to comply with the The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013, which state:
    ''Confirmation of distance contracts:
    16.—(1) In the case of a distance contract the trader must give the consumer confirmation of the contract on a durable medium.
    (2) The confirmation must include all the information referred to in Schedule 2 unless the trader has already provided that information to the consumer on a durable medium prior to the conclusion of the distance contract.
    (3) If the contract is for the supply of digital content not on a tangible medium and the consumer has given the consent and acknowledgment referred to in regulation 37(1)(a) and (b), the confirmation must include confirmation of the consent and acknowledgement.''


    new main para number:
    x. That in addition to the parking charge t There was any no agreement to pay additional and unspecified additional sums , which are in any case unsupported by the Beavis case and unsupported for cases on the small claims track.

    main para number: The Claimant company failed to fully comply with its obligation to follow the Approved Operator Scheme's Code of Practice of the International Parking Community; such compliance is necessary for the "penalty rule" to be disengaged, as found in the Beavis case.



    13. It is further denied that the Defendant is liable for the purported debt.

    Rebuttal of Claim
    14. The Defendant made all reasonable efforts to make a ‘top up’ payment for parking by using an approved payment channel.

    a. Payment for parking was made online on the Pay By Phone website.

    b. This is a distance contract which requires certain information to be supplied in advance.

    c. The service makes no provision for the printing of a ticket to display.

    d. The Defendant followed the Pay By Phone website instructions using location information as provided by the Claimant over the telephone.

    e. The payment channel did not indicate any failure to make payment and responded as if payment had been made. As such the Defendant believed the necessary payment had been made.

    f. The error of the Claimant in providing the correct location number for the payment service is not the Defendants responsibility. It is not reasonable in these circumstances for the driver to assume any more obligations for making the payment.




    17. The amount demanded of £170.64 is excessive and unconscionable and especially so when compared to the level of Penalty Charge Notice issued by the local Council for parking after the expiry of paid for time at a Pay and Display bay, which is set at £50 or £25 if paid within 14 days. [put this para with the one that says penalty rule not engaged]

    18. [combine this para with one above that says code breached and signage inadequate, remove repetition]
    The signage on this site was inadequate to form a contract with the motorist.
    a. The signage on and around the site in question was unclear and not prominent and did not meet the British Parking Association (BPA) Code of Practice or the International Parking Community (IPC) Code of Practice. The Claimant was a member of the IPC at the time and committed to follow its requirements. Therefore no contract has been formed with driver to pay the amount demanded by the Claimant, or any additional fee charged if unpaid in 28 days.
    b. The size of font of the prices advised for parking is much larger than the font of the contract and the offer is not sufficiently brought to the attention of the motorist, nor are the onerous terms (the £100 parking charge) sufficiently prominent to satisfy Lord Dennings "red hand rule”.
    c. In the absence of ‘adequate notice’ of the terms and the charge (which must be in large prominent letters such as the brief, clear and multiple signs in the Beavis case) this fails to meet the requirements of Schedule 4 of the POFA.
    d. The PayByPhone signage specifically states that there is “No need to display a ticket in your car” therefore there was no breach of any ‘relevant obligation’ or ‘relevant contract’ as required under Schedule 4 of POFA.
    e. If the Claimant wanted to impose a condition to continuously display permits, then they should have drafted clear instruction to that effect, requiring specific terms of how to 'continuously display' when a paper ticket has not been issued or there is no contravention.
    f. Where contract terms have different meanings, as in this instance when a paper ticket was not issued due to the chosen method of payment, then Section 69 of the CRA 2015 provides a statutory form of the contra proferentem rule, such that the consumer must be given the benefit of the doubt.
    The term is fundamental to the contract, and the Defendant invites the Court to find that it is not transparent and therefore unfair. If a fundamental term to the contract is deemed to be unfair, then the contract will cease to bind the parties. The Defence invites the Court to take these issues into account in determining the fairness of the term.

    19. The Claimant’s representatives, Gladstones, have artificially inflated the value of the Claim from £1 for a valid one hour parking charge to £170.64. The Defendant submits the added costs have not actually been incurred by the Claimant; that these are figures plucked out of thin air and applied regardless of facts. [again I think this para can be combined with another one to avoid repetition]
    a. If the “parking charge” listed in the particulars of claim is to be considered a written agreement between Defendant and Claimant then under 7.3, the particulars fail to include “a copy of the contract or documents constituting the agreement”.
    b. The Claimant has at no time provided an explanation how the sum has been calculated, the conduct that gave rise to it or how the amount has climbed from £1 for a valid one hour parking charge to £170.64. This appears to be an added cost with no apparently no qualification and an attempt at double recovery, which the POFA Schedule 4 specifically disallows.
    b. The Protection of Freedom Act Para 4(5) states that the maximum sum that may be recovered from the keeper is the charge stated on the Notice to Keeper.

    The Claimant has failed to establish Non-disclosure of reasonable grounds or particulars for bringing a claim:
    20. SIP Parking Ltd are not the lawful occupier of the land. The Defendant has reasonable belief that they do not have the authority to issue charges on this land in their own name and that they have no rights to bring action regarding this claim.
    a. The Claimant is not the landowner and is merely an agent acting on behalf of the landowner and has failed to demonstrate their legal standing to form a contract.
    b. The Claimant is not the landowner and suffers no loss whatsoever as a result of a vehicle parking at the location in question.
    c. The Claimant is put to proof that it has sufficient interest in the land or that there are specific terms in its contract to bring an action on its own behalf. As a third party agent, the Claimant may not pursue any charge.
    d. The Particulars of Claim are deficient in establishing whether the claim is brought in trespass. If the driver on the date of the event was considered to be a trespasser if not allowed to park there, then only the landowner can pursue a case under the tort of trespass not this Claimant, and as the Supreme Court in the Beavis vs ParkingEye (2015) [2015] UKSC 67 case confirmed, such a matter would be limited to the landowner themselves claiming for a nominal sum.

    21. [again this duplicates a point made at the start, so combine these paras to avoid repetition - I'd put a section at the start headed "Preliminary Matters: Claim should be struck out pursuant to Rule 3.4 by the court exercising its inherent case management powers] The Particulars of Claim fail to fulfil CPR Part 16.4 because it does not include a statement of the facts on which the claimant relies, only referring to a Parking Charge Notice with no further description; it fails to establish a cause of action which would enable the Defendant to prepare a specific defence:
    ‘The driver of the vehicle registration XXXX XXX incurred the parking charge(s) on XX/XX/2016 for breaching the terms of parking on the land at Tariff Street Manchester.
    The Defendant was driving the Vehicle and/or is the Keeper of the Vehicle
    AND THE CLAIMANT CLAIMS
    £160.00 for Parking Charges / Damages and indemnity costs if applicable, together with
    interest of £10.64 pursuant to s69 of the County Courts Act 1984 at 8% pa, continuing
    to Judgement at £0.04 per day’

    22. The claimant has not provided enough details in the particulars of claim for the Defendant to file a full defence. In particular, the full details of the contract which it is alleged was broken have not been provided and the Claimant has not specified whether the claim is brought for breach of contract or in trespass.

    a. The Claimant has disclosed no cause of action to give rise to any debt.

    b. The Claimant has simply stated that a parking charge was incurred.

    c. The Claimant has given no indication of the nature of the alleged charge in the Particulars of Claim. The Claimant has therefore disclosed no cause of action.

    d. The Particulars of Claim contains no 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 of 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 which could be considered a fair exchange of information. The Particulars of Claim are incompetent in disclosing no cause of action.

    23. The Defendant invites the court to strike out or dismiss the claim under Rule 3.4(2)(a) of PRACTICE DIRECTION 3A as having not set out a concise statement of the nature of the claim or disclosed reasonable grounds or particulars for bringing a claim (Part 16.4(1)(a) and PRACTICE DIRECTION 16 paragraphs 3.1-3.8). In C3GF84Y (Mason, Plymouth County Court), the judge struck out the claim brought by KBT Cornwall Ltd as Gladstones Solicitors had not submitted proper Particulars of Claim, and similar reasons were cited by District Judge Cross of St Albans County Court on 20/09/16 where another relevant poorly pleaded private parking charge claim by Gladstones was struck out without a hearing due to their ‘roboclaim’ particulars being incoherent, failing to comply with CPR16.4, and ''providing no facts that could give rise to any apparent claim in law''. The Practice Direction also sets out the following example which is analogous to this claim: ‘those which set out no facts indicating what the claim is about, for example ‘Money owed £5000’.’

    24. The Defendant researched the matter online, and discovered that the Claimant is a member of the Independent Parking Committee (IPC), an organisation operated by Gladstones Solicitors. They also operate the Independent Appeals Service (IAS), the allegedly independent body appointed by the Claimant’s trade body, the IPC. This research revealed that the IAS, far from being independent, is a subsidiary of the IPC, which in turn is owned and run by the same two Directors who also run Gladstones Solicitors. The individuals in question are John Davies, and William Hurley. These findings indicate a conflict of interest. Such an incestuous relationship is incapable of providing any fair means for motorists to challenge parking charges, as well as potentially breaching the Solicitors Regulation Authority Code of Conduct.

    25. 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. Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service have identified over one thousand similar poorly produced claims and the solicitors conduct in many of these cases is believed to be currently the subject of an active investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

    26. The Defendant believes the terms 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. The Defendant has reason to believe that this is a claim that will proceed without any facts or evidence supplied until the last possible minute, to their significant detriment as an unrepresented Defendant.

    27. The Defendant respectfully 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.

    28. The Defendant denies the claim in its entirety voiding any liability to the claimant for all amounts due to the aforementioned reasons. It is submitted that the conduct of the Claimant is wholly unreasonable and vexatious.

    29. The Defendant invites the court to dismiss this claim out as it is in breach of pre court protocols in relation to the particulars of claim under Practice Direction 16, set out by the Ministry of Justice and also Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) under 16.4 and to allow such Defendant’s costs as are permissible under Civil Procedure Rule 27.14.

    I believe the facts stated in this Defence Statement are true.

    Signed:

    Date: XX/XX/XXXX
    Originally posted by pandorapandora



    I've made some fairly hefty changes, and suggested others.
    What you should avoid is making out your defence, and then repeating it all under "Rebuttal". Just say everything once.


    It's not perfect by any means because I kind of got lost towards the end as points already made got repeated/expanded upon. Have another play around with it. First of all put a structure on it. Early on, list your defence points and then run through each in turn in a methodical way.


    Repost when you've done that and we can have another look at it.
    Although a practising Solicitor, my posts here are NOT legal advice, but are personal opinion based on limited facts provided anonymously by forum users. I accept no liability for the accuracy of any such posts and users are advised that, if they wish to obtain formal legal advice specific to their case, they must seek instruct and pay a solicitor.
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 6th Dec 17, 12:07 PM
    • 1,739 Posts
    • 2,837 Thanks
    Loadsofchildren123
    In the defence, you just state your legal defences. Eg
    1. No contract was formed;
    2. Alternatively, if a contract was formed, the D did not breach its terms;
    3. Alternatively, if the D did breach its terms, such breach was caused by the Claimant, thereby frustrating/voiding the contract because it was made impossible for the Defendant to comply.
    4. etc.


    The facts to back up and illustrate each defence point come later, in your WS. So all the info about buying the original ticket then phoning them to pay for an additional period etc is irrelevant for the defence. The only defence point relevant to this is that you paid and therefore complied and any breach was theirs or was caused by them, or made it impossible for you to comply, frustrating the contract.
    Although a practising Solicitor, my posts here are NOT legal advice, but are personal opinion based on limited facts provided anonymously by forum users. I accept no liability for the accuracy of any such posts and users are advised that, if they wish to obtain formal legal advice specific to their case, they must seek instruct and pay a solicitor.
    • pandorapandora
    • By pandorapandora 6th Dec 17, 10:13 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    pandorapandora
    Second Draft - Defence
    Preliminary Matters: Claim should be struck out pursuant to Rule 3.4 by the court exercising its inherent case management powers

    1. The Particulars of Claim fail to fulfil CPR Part 16.4 because it does not include a statement of the facts on which the claimant relies, only referring to a Parking Charge Notice with no further description; it fails to establish a cause of action which would enable the Defendant to prepare a specific defence:

    ‘The driver of the vehicle registration XXXX XXX incurred the parking charge(s) on XX/XX/2016 for breaching the terms of parking on the land at Tariff Street Manchester.
    The Defendant was driving the Vehicle and/or is the Keeper of the Vehicle

    AND THE CLAIMANT CLAIMS

    £160.00 for Parking Charges / Damages and indemnity costs if applicable, together with interest of £10.64 pursuant to s69 of the County Courts Act 1984 at 8% pa, continuing to Judgement at £0.04 per day’

    The Defendant invites the court to dismiss this claim out as it is in breach of pre court protocols in relation to the particulars of claim under Practice Direction 16, set out by the Ministry of Justice and also Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) under 16.4 and to allow such Defendant’s costs as are permissible under Civil Procedure Rule 27.14.

    2. INADEQUATE PARTICULARS OF CLAIM:

    The claimant has not provided enough details in the Particulars of Claim for the Defendant to file a full defence. In particular, the full details of the contract which it is alleged was broken have not been provided and the Claimant has not specified whether the claim is brought for breach of contract or in trespass.
    a. The Claimant has disclosed no cause of action to give rise to any debt.

    b. The Claimant has simply stated that a parking charge was incurred.

    c. The Claimant has given no indication of the nature of the alleged charge in the Particulars of Claim. The Claimant has therefore disclosed no cause of action.

    d. The Particulars of Claim contains no details and fails to establish a cause of action which would enable the Defendant to prepare a specific defence.

    e. It just states “parking charges” which does not give any indication of 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 which could be considered a fair exchange of information. The Particulars of Claim are incompetent in disclosing no cause of action.


    3. INVALID AND EXCESSIVE CHARGES:

    a. There was any no agreement to pay additional and unspecified additional sums, which are in any case unsupported by the Beavis case and unsupported for cases on the small claims track.

    b. The Claimant failed to fully comply with its obligation to follow the Approved Operator Scheme's Code of Practice of the International Parking Community; such compliance is necessary for the "penalty rule" to be disengaged, as found in the Beavis case.

    c. The demanded value of the Claim of £170.64 has been artificially inflated from £1 for a valid hour’s parking. These added costs are excessive and unconscionable have not actually been incurred by the Claimant. This is especially so when compared to the level of Penalty Charge Notice issued by the local Council for parking after the expiry of paid for time at a Pay and Display bay, which is set at £50 or £25 if paid within 14 days.

    d. If the “parking charge” listed in the particulars of claim is to be considered a written agreement between Defendant and Claimant then under 7.3, the particulars fail to include “a copy of the contract or documents constituting the agreement”.

    e. The Claimant has at no time provided an explanation how the sum has been calculated, the conduct that gave rise to it or how the amount has climbed from £1 for a valid one hour parking charge to £170.64. This appears to be an added cost with no apparently no qualification and an attempt at double recovery, which the POFA Schedule 4 specifically disallows.

    f. The Protection of Freedom Act Para 4(5) states that the maximum sum that may be recovered from the keeper is the charge stated on the Notice to Keeper.

    4. FAILURE TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE SIGNAGE:


    The signage on this site was inadequate to form a contract with the motorist.

    a. The signage on and around the site in question was unclear and not prominent and did not meet the British Parking Association (BPA) Code of Practice or the International Parking Community (IPC) Code of Practice. The Claimant was a member of the IPC at the time and committed to follow its requirements. Therefore no contract has been formed with driver to pay the amount demanded by the Claimant, or any additional fee charged if unpaid in 28 days.

    b. The size of font of the prices advised for parking is much larger than the font of the contract and the offer is not sufficiently brought to the attention of the motorist, nor are the onerous terms (the punitive parking charge - effectively a private 'fine') sufficiently prominent to satisfy Lo Lord Denning's 'Red Hand Rule' and contrary to the requirements of the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

    c. In the absence of ‘adequate notice’ of the terms and the charge (which must be in large prominent letters such as the brief, clear and multiple signs in the Beavis case) this fails to meet the requirements of Schedule 4 of the POFA.

    d. The PayByPhone signage specifically states that there is “No need to display a ticket in your car” therefore there was no breach of any ‘relevant obligation’ or ‘relevant contract’ as required under Schedule 4 of POFA.

    e. If the Claimant wanted to impose a condition to continuously display permits, then they should have drafted clear instruction to that effect, requiring specific terms of how to 'continuously display' when a paper ticket has not been issued or there is no contravention.

    f. Where contract terms have different meanings, as in this instance when a paper ticket was not issued due to the chosen method of payment, then Section 69 of the CRA 2015 provides a statutory form of the contra proferentem rule, such that the consumer must be given the benefit of the doubt.
    The term is fundamental to the contract, and the Defendant invites the Court to find that it is not transparent and therefore unfair. If a fundamental term to the contract is deemed to be unfair, then the contract will cease to bind the parties. The Defence invites the Court to take these issues into account in determining the fairness of the term.

    5. FAILURE TO ESTABLISH REASONABLE GROUNDS:

    The Claimant has failed to establish reasonable grounds or particulars for bringing a claim:

    a. SIP Parking Ltd are not the lawful occupier of the land. The Defendant has reasonable belief that they do not have the authority to issue charges on this land in their own name and that they have no rights to bring action regarding this claim.

    b. The Claimant is not the landowner and is merely an agent acting on behalf of the landowner and has failed to demonstrate their legal standing to form a contract.

    c. The Claimant is not the landowner and suffers no loss whatsoever as a result of a vehicle parking at the location in question.

    d. The Claimant is put to proof that it has sufficient interest in the land or that there are specific terms in its contract to bring an action on its own behalf. As a third party agent, the Claimant may not pursue any charge.

    e. The Particulars of Claim are deficient in establishing whether the claim is brought in trespass. If the driver on the date of the event was considered to be a trespasser if not allowed to park there, then only the landowner can pursue a case under the tort of trespass not this Claimant, and as the Supreme Court in the Beavis vs ParkingEye (2015) [2015] UKSC 67 case confirmed, such a matter would be limited to the landowner themselves claiming for a nominal sum.

    6. STRIKE-OUT/DISMISSAL:

    The Defendant invites the court to strike out or dismiss the claim under Rule 3.4(2)(a) of PRACTICE DIRECTION 3A as having not set out a concise statement of the nature of the claim or disclosed reasonable grounds or particulars for bringing a claim (Part 16.4(1)(a) and PRACTICE DIRECTION 16 paragraphs 3.1-3.8). In C3GF84Y (Mason, Plymouth County Court), the judge struck out the claim brought by KBT Cornwall Ltd as Gladstones Solicitors had not submitted proper Particulars of Claim, and similar reasons were cited by District Judge Cross of St Albans County Court on 20/09/16 where another relevant poorly pleaded private parking charge claim by Gladstones was struck out without a hearing due to their ‘roboclaim’ particulars being incoherent, failing to comply with CPR16.4, and ''providing no facts that could give rise to any apparent claim in law''. The Practice Direction also sets out the following example which is analogous to this claim: ‘those which set out no facts indicating what the claim is about, for example ‘Money owed £5000’.’

    7. GLADSTONES/IPC:

    The Defendant researched the matter online, and discovered that the Claimant is a member of the Independent Parking Committee (IPC), an organisation operated by Gladstones Solicitors. They also operate the Independent Appeals Service (IAS), the allegedly independent body appointed by the Claimant’s trade body, the IPC. This research revealed that the IAS, far from being independent, is a subsidiary of the IPC, which in turn is owned and run by the same two Directors who also run Gladstones Solicitors. The individuals in question are John Davies, and William Hurley. These findings indicate a conflict of interest. Such an incestuous relationship is incapable of providing any fair means for motorists to challenge parking charges, as well as potentially breaching the Solicitors Regulation Authority Code of Conduct.

    8. GLADSTONES INCOMPETENCE:

    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. Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service have identified over one thousand similar poorly produced claims and the solicitors conduct in many of these cases is believed to be currently the subject of an active investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

    9. ROBO CLAIMS:

    The Defendant believes the terms 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. The Defendant has reason to believe that this is a claim that will proceed without any facts or evidence supplied until the last possible minute, to their significant detriment as an unrepresented Defendant.

    10. IMPROPER ‘SMALL CLAIMS’ USE:

    The Defendant respectfully 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. CLAIMANT CONDUCT:

    The Defendant denies the claim in its entirety voiding any liability to the claimant for all amounts due to the aforementioned reasons. It is submitted that the conduct of the Claimant is wholly unreasonable and vexatious.

    I believe the facts stated in this Defence Statement are true.

    Signed:

    Date: XX/XX/XXXX
    • pandorapandora
    • By pandorapandora 6th Dec 17, 10:15 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    pandorapandora
    Thank you for all help so far. I've separated into sections as you recommended, combined paragraphs where suggested and deleted the struck through content.

    Hope this is better? AM feeling much more confident now whereas before I just felt anxiety and nausea!
    • claxtome
    • By claxtome 7th Dec 17, 5:19 AM
    • 326 Posts
    • 322 Thanks
    claxtome
    I would put the 2 paragraphs under 8 and 9 under one heading "ROBO CLAIMS" as your heading name for 8 is a bit harsh in a legal document.
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 7th Dec 17, 9:22 AM
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    Loadsofchildren123
    Am I missing something, you've left out your best defence, which is that you paid for the entire period of parking, and if there was any breach it was theirs and any contract that may have been created was therefore frustrated or void for impossibility of performance.....


    To my mind, it's difficult to marry up this defence (which is your best defence) with the no contract/insufficient signage argument - so I'd make it clear you argue these in the alternative. But make your "I paid" defence the first one.


    3a I think say that no contract was OFFERED in respect of additional signage - the terms of any offer must be clear and certain in order to be capable of acceptance, and a vague reference to additional charges is not clear or certain and not capable of acceptance.
    Although a practising Solicitor, my posts here are NOT legal advice, but are personal opinion based on limited facts provided anonymously by forum users. I accept no liability for the accuracy of any such posts and users are advised that, if they wish to obtain formal legal advice specific to their case, they must seek instruct and pay a solicitor.
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 7th Dec 17, 9:28 AM
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    Loadsofchildren123
    btw, good work, it is certainly much easier to follow now. I agree with claxtome's suggestion as well. I'd put a summary after the prelim issues to just summarise each of your defences, in the order you deal with them - just so the judge can see straight away what your defences are.
    So eg:
    The Defendant denies any liability to the Claimant for the following reasons:
    i. no contract was formed between the parties;
    ii. In any event, even if a contract was formed (which is denied) the Defendant complied with it
    iii. the Claimant has no locus standi to bring the claim [this is the authority point]
    etc.
    Put them in a logical order.


    On the one hand, it's most logical to start with the no contract argument. HOWEVER, I think your stronger defence is that you paid and therefore DID comply with any contract. That's the argument you want to focus on. The trouble is, how can you say their signage is inadequate etc when the fact is that you DID see it, and you took steps to comply with it - therefore I don't see how the inadequate signage helps you. The two arguments are contradictory.
    Although a practising Solicitor, my posts here are NOT legal advice, but are personal opinion based on limited facts provided anonymously by forum users. I accept no liability for the accuracy of any such posts and users are advised that, if they wish to obtain formal legal advice specific to their case, they must seek instruct and pay a solicitor.
    • pandorapandora
    • By pandorapandora 7th Dec 17, 1:47 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    pandorapandora
    Thanks so much for the help. I took it out because you'd struck through it on your version so I thought you were advising me to take it out?

    I'll put it back in (in concise form) when I get back from work tonight, take heed of the other points and repost it.

    I rang up today to check how long I have left to defend and I've got until COB on the 20th Dec - nearly two weeks left to send my defence so that's good!
    • pandorapandora
    • By pandorapandora 7th Dec 17, 1:53 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    pandorapandora
    Haha the headings were for me to make sense of what I was doing and get my doc into logical sections to help me take out repetition - I was planning on removing those on the final version! God that would totally get their backs up

    I will definitely merge those two sections as suggested. I have nearly two weeks to get this right but at least now it's all a bit more familiar now, as I was so overwhelmed before!

    Thanks so much for helping me.
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 7th Dec 17, 3:21 PM
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    Loadsofchildren123
    This was in the version I played around with:


    5. [I've moved this] The Defendant admits that on x date [s]he parked on land at Tariff Street, Manchester, which is private land on which the Claimant operates. However, the Defendant denies that [s]he breached the Claimant's terms and conditions for parking because [s]he paid in full for the entire period of parking, by purchasing a pay and display ticket and by following the Claimant's instructions in order to top up that initial period of parking by paying for a further period of parking using the internet service provided by the Claimant
    Although a practising Solicitor, my posts here are NOT legal advice, but are personal opinion based on limited facts provided anonymously by forum users. I accept no liability for the accuracy of any such posts and users are advised that, if they wish to obtain formal legal advice specific to their case, they must seek instruct and pay a solicitor.
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 7th Dec 17, 3:23 PM
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    Loadsofchildren123
    Shortly after that (after old para 12 which I moved up to below para 5 above) I had put:




    new para: Alternatively, if any contract was formed, the Defendant was not in breach of it because...
    but then I'd struck out the rest. Insert something like "the Defendant complied with its terms by paying for the full period of parking" at the end of that incomplete sentence. Sorry, it was getting a bit messy by the time I hit post!
    Although a practising Solicitor, my posts here are NOT legal advice, but are personal opinion based on limited facts provided anonymously by forum users. I accept no liability for the accuracy of any such posts and users are advised that, if they wish to obtain formal legal advice specific to their case, they must seek instruct and pay a solicitor.
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 7th Dec 17, 3:26 PM
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    Loadsofchildren123
    I think you can be fairly confident and relax..... you paid and can prove it. the only issue here is their mistake, but you can show you called the correct number and you can confirm that you used the code they sent you.
    they won't be able to produce the operator you spoke to, and you were the only other one party to that phone call so unless you come across as completely shifty then the judge really has no viable option other than to believe you. If there was human error, it wasn't yours. You cover this in your WS, saying how you carefully noted down the code and read it back to her and she confirmed it was correct, and then when you entered it online you double checked it. So any mistake was theirs and you cannot be held liable because of it.
    Although a practising Solicitor, my posts here are NOT legal advice, but are personal opinion based on limited facts provided anonymously by forum users. I accept no liability for the accuracy of any such posts and users are advised that, if they wish to obtain formal legal advice specific to their case, they must seek instruct and pay a solicitor.
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 7th Dec 17, 3:27 PM
    • 1,739 Posts
    • 2,837 Thanks
    Loadsofchildren123
    by all means use headings that you then delete, to help yourself, but it's useful to leave some in as it breaks it up for the judge and makes it much easier to follow. The better your documents, the more favourable he will be to you.
    Although a practising Solicitor, my posts here are NOT legal advice, but are personal opinion based on limited facts provided anonymously by forum users. I accept no liability for the accuracy of any such posts and users are advised that, if they wish to obtain formal legal advice specific to their case, they must seek instruct and pay a solicitor.
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