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  • FIRST POST
    • ParkerManc
    • By ParkerManc 24th Dec 17, 4:54 PM
    • 11Posts
    • 1Thanks
    ParkerManc
    Gladstones/SIP Court Claim
    • #1
    • 24th Dec 17, 4:54 PM
    Gladstones/SIP Court Claim 24th Dec 17 at 4:54 PM
    Hi folks,

    As instructed by the newbie sticky(which I have read and to my knowledge understood) I am opening a thread now I have received a court claim form. I have acknowledged the form online(done within the 5 allotted days) and I am now preparing my defence.


    I found this template to be a very similar situation to my own....


    (Pay by phone App failure if you don't have time to click through).

    I am XXX, Defendant in this matter and I assert that the Claimant has no cause for action for the following reasons:

    1.It is admitted that the Defendant was the authorised registered keeper of the vehicle in question at the time of the alleged incident.

    2. 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 and conditions by the driver of the vehicle XXXX XXX when it was parked at Spaw Street Arches, Salford, Manchester. The PCN stated the contravention as “No ticket displayed.”

    3. 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/2016.
    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 International Parking Community Code of Practice of which they were member at the time.

    4. It is denied that:
    a. A contract was formed
    b. There was an agreement to pay a 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 International Parking Community Code of Practice of which they were member at the time.

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

    Rebuttal of Claim
    6. The Defendant made all reasonable efforts to make payment for parking by using an approved payment channel.
    a. Payment for parking was made via telephone using a cashless system provided by PayByPhone.
    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 PayByPhone instructions exactly as shown on the signage at the payment machine.
    d. This was not a fully automated contract. On telephoning the payment provider and following the initial touch tone service, the Defendant was referred to and conversed with an employee of PayByPhone to register a new account/vehicle details with the PayByPhone service. After which they were transferred back to the automated touch-tone service to complete payment details.
    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 failure of the payment service to accept payment is not the Defendants responsibility. It is not reasonable in these circumstances for the driver to assume any more obligations for making the payment.
    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 for breach when unable to fully comply with the terms.

    7. The Defendant did not enter into any 'agreement on the charge', no consideration flowed between the parties and no contract was established.

    8. The Defendant denies that they would have agreed to pay the original demand of £100 to agree to the alleged contract had the terms and conditions of the contract been properly displayed and accessible.
    a. The amount demanded is excessive and unconscionable and especially so when compared to the level of Penalty Charge Notice issued by the local Council which is set at £50 or £25 if paid within 14 days.

    9. 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.
    e. 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.
    f. 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.
    g. 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.

    10. The Claimant’s representatives, Gladstones, have artificially inflated the value of the Claim from £xx to £xx. 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.
    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 £xx to £xx. 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.

    Non-disclosure of reasonable grounds or particulars for bringing a claim:
    11. 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.

    12. 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 Spaw Street
    Arches.
    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 £6.81 pursuantto s69 of the
    County Courts Act 1984 at 8% pa, continuing
    to Judgement at £0.04 per day’

    13. The claimant has not provided enough details in the particulars of claim to file a full defence. In particular, the full details of the contract which it is alleged was broken have not been provided.
    a) The Claimant has disclosed no cause of action to give rise to any debt.
    b) The Claimant has 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.

    14. 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’.’

    15. 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.

    16. 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.

    17. 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.

    18. 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.

    19. 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.

    20. 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.


    The only difference being I have 3 tickets for the same fault, luckily I have a logged call to their support team on one of the days and also a payment later in the day when the app came live again for another.

    I am using the above as my template and will be amending it to suit over the next few days.


    If anyone knows of additional new information I should be adding to the above then it is hugely appreciated. I would have had to relent by this point were it not for the trove of information on this forum, I am now well informed and fired up to stick up for my rights against a company that seem intent on using bully tactics.

    Kind regards.
Page 1
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 24th Dec 17, 7:09 PM
    • 5,114 Posts
    • 3,575 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #2
    • 24th Dec 17, 7:09 PM
    • 24th Dec 17, 7:09 PM
    I would suggest that you have no need to state the details of the claimant's claim.

    To that end, perhaps your points 3. and 13, should be removed.

    I.e. leave the claimant to state their case - as good, or as bad, as they are able.
    .
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 24th Dec 17, 11:00 PM
    • 52,824 Posts
    • 66,330 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #3
    • 24th Dec 17, 11:00 PM
    • 24th Dec 17, 11:00 PM
    I agree, it is too long and I don't think anyone needs to re-state their case at all.

    Have a look at the more concise defences written recently by bargepole and Johnersh.
    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.

    • ParkerManc
    • By ParkerManc 27th Dec 17, 5:37 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    ParkerManc
    • #4
    • 27th Dec 17, 5:37 PM
    • 27th Dec 17, 5:37 PM
    Thanks folks. I will remove section 3.

    In section 13 I'm wondering if it's worth keeping in for these points...

    13. The claimant has not provided enough details in the particulars of claim to file a full defence. In particular, the full details of the contract which it is alleged was broken have not been provided.
    a) The Claimant has disclosed no cause of action to give rise to any debt.

    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.


    I actually haven't been given any pictures or evidence by SIP of the parking offence, is this something I should include in my defence or something I should go straight to them with? Or perhaps it isn't even pertinent at this late stage?
    • Lamilad
    • By Lamilad 27th Dec 17, 6:23 PM
    • 1,253 Posts
    • 2,486 Thanks
    Lamilad
    • #5
    • 27th Dec 17, 6:23 PM
    • 27th Dec 17, 6:23 PM
    I actually haven't been given any pictures or evidence by SIP of the parking offence, is this something I should include in my defence or something I should go straight to them with? Or perhaps it isn't even pertinent at this late stage?
    Yes you should state (if it is true) that they have not provided you with a full detailed breakdown of the case against you along with supporting evidence evidence - a clear breach of CPR part 16.

    And they failed to engage in pre action correspondence to the extent that you can fully understand their case and provide a focused defence disputing any specific issues.

    Your para #13 is repetitive. Do away with the sub paras and amalgamate them into one concise statement.
    • ParkerManc
    • By ParkerManc 5th Jan 18, 4:08 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    ParkerManc
    • #6
    • 5th Jan 18, 4:08 PM
    • 5th Jan 18, 4:08 PM
    Ok so here is my updated defence. Any final feedback massively appreciated before I submit it tomorrow....

    I am XXX, Defendant in this matter and I assert that the Claimant has no cause for action for the following reasons:

    1.It is admitted that the Defendant was the authorised registered keeper of the vehicle in question at the time of the alleged incident.

    2. 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 and conditions by the driver of the vehicle XXXX XXX when it was parked at Spaw Street Arches, Salford, Manchester. The PCN stated the contravention as “No ticket displayed.”

    3. The PCN stated the contravention as “No ticket displayed.” This cannot be a contravention when a driver uses the Pay by Phone option, as I did.


    4. It is denied that:

    a. A contract was formed, and it is further denied that any contravention of ''no ticket displayed'' occurred or can have occurred when using the Pay by Phone option, the failure of which was not communicated to me nor was it within my control. Even if a contract was potentially formed it was frustrated by the unexpected and uncommunicated failure of the Claimant's app, and it is trite law that no party can be held liable for breach to another under such circumstances of frustration of contract.

    b. There was any agreement to pay a parking charge.

    c. That there were Terms and Conditions 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.

    d. That in addition to the parking charge there was any 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.

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

    f. The Pay by Phone app, being indisputably an offer of a 'distance contract', complied with the The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013, which says:

    ''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.''



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

    Rebuttal of Claim
    6. The Defendant made all reasonable efforts to make payment for parking by using an approved payment channel.
    a. Payment for parking was made via telephone using a cashless system provided by PayByPhone.
    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 PayByPhone instructions exactly as shown on the signage at the payment machine.
    d. This was not a fully automated contract. On telephoning the payment provider and following the initial touch tone service, the Defendant was referred to and conversed with an employee of PayByPhone to register a new account/vehicle details with the PayByPhone service. After which they were transferred back to the automated touch-tone service to complete payment details.
    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 failure of the payment service to accept payment is not the Defendants responsibility. It is not reasonable in these circumstances for the driver to assume any more obligations for making the payment.
    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 for breach when unable to fully comply with the terms.

    7. The Defendant did not enter into any 'agreement on the charge', no consideration flowed between the parties and no contract was established.

    8. The Defendant denies that they would have agreed to pay the original demand of £100 to agree to the alleged contract had the terms and conditions of the contract been properly displayed and accessible.
    a. The amount demanded is excessive and unconscionable and especially so when compared to the level of Penalty Charge Notice issued by the local Council which is set at £50 or £25 if paid within 14 days.

    9. 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.
    e. 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.
    f. 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.
    g. 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.

    10. The Claimant’s representatives, Gladstones, have artificially inflated the value of the Claim from £105 to £630. 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.
    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 £105 to £630. 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.

    Non-disclosure of reasonable grounds or particulars for bringing a claim:
    11. 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.

    12. 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 Poland/Jersey Street.

    The Defendant was driving the Vehicle and/or
    is the Keeper of the Vehicle
    AND THE CLAIMANT CLAIMS
    £480.00 for Parking Charges / Damages and
    indemnity costs if applicable, together with
    interest of £20.29 pursuantto s69 of the
    County Courts Act 1984 at 8% pa, continuing
    to Judgement at £0.04 per day’

    13. The claimant has not provided enough details in the particulars of claim to file a full defence. In particular, the full details of the contract which it is alleged was broken have not been provided.
    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.

    14. 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’.’

    15. 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.

    16. 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.

    17. 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.

    18. 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.

    19. 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.

    20. 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.
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 5th Jan 18, 5:24 PM
    • 5,114 Posts
    • 3,575 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #7
    • 5th Jan 18, 5:24 PM
    • 5th Jan 18, 5:24 PM
    I do not think your para 12 need to repeat the Claimants PoC.

    Para 12 should end at it fails to establish a cause of action which would enable the Defendant to prepare a specific defence.


    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.
    Is that relevant? You appear to be defending this as the driver.


    How has the claim risen from £160 to £630 now?


    Sorry, but to me, too much of this reads as a witness statement.

    Read again C-m's last sentence:
    Have a look at the more concise defences written recently by bargepole and Johnersh.
    Originally posted by Coupon-mad
    Last edited by KeithP; 05-01-2018 at 5:28 PM.
    .
    • ParkerManc
    • By ParkerManc 6th Jan 18, 12:19 AM
    • 11 Posts
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    ParkerManc
    • #8
    • 6th Jan 18, 12:19 AM
    • 6th Jan 18, 12:19 AM
    Thanks Keith I shall amend part 12.

    The reason I have stuck with this defence is because it's based on a template defence which won in court very recently, very similar scenario even down to the parking company and solicitor.

    I will have a look at the more concise defences now, I'm just erring on the side of safety by going with something very recently successful.
    • ParkerManc
    • By ParkerManc 6th Jan 18, 1:18 AM
    • 11 Posts
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    ParkerManc
    • #9
    • 6th Jan 18, 1:18 AM
    • 6th Jan 18, 1:18 AM
    Ok please pardon me, I am struggling to find Bargepole's defence, I have read the Newbie sticky back to front and also searched by username but can't find the appropriate post. If anyone could point me in the right direction I would be hugely appreciative.
    • claxtome
    • By claxtome 6th Jan 18, 6:10 AM
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    claxtome
    • 6th Jan 18, 6:10 AM
    Think the bargepole defence C-M is referring to is -> http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5760853&highlight=#2

    Note: I found this by Click 'Advanced search' button and filled out->

    Username 'bargepole'
    Selected 'posts only' radio button
    Clicked 'Search now' button
    Scrolled down selecting each post in turn
    • ParkerManc
    • By ParkerManc 7th Jan 18, 1:27 AM
    • 11 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    ParkerManc
    • 7th Jan 18, 1:27 AM
    Ok so I'm sure this will need some tweaking and it seems worryingly short in comparison to the defence above but I realise you fine folks know your onions so I have amended Bargepoles defence to suit my circumstances.

    Any feedback on this defence and whether its stronger than the one above is massively appreciated. I believe I have to submit my defence on \Monday.

    Thanks.

    1. The Defendant denies that the Claimant is entitled to the relief claimed, or any amount at all.

    2. The Claimant's sparse Particulars do not disclose necessary details for a cause of action which could give rise to a claim. As such, they do not comply with the requirements of Civil Procedure Rule 16.4.

    3. The Defendant has received previous correspondence from the Claimant, suggesting that 'parking charges' were owed, due to a failure to display a valid ticket.

    4. The contractual obligation to display a ticket can not be complied with when using the Paybyphone app, as used by the defendant. The app, even when used directly as instructed at the parking site, has no provision for printing a ticket.

    5. On the material dates, the Defendant made all reasonable efforts to use the Paybyphone app, however due to a failure of the app, outside of the defendants control, the app did not take payment.

    6. Due to a buggy and unreliable user interface, failure of the app was not made clear to the defendant.

    6. In light of the foregoing, it is submitted that the Claimant has no cause of action, and has no evidence that the Defendant entered into any contractual terms,whether expressly, by conduct, or at all.

    I believe that the facts contained in this Defence are true.

    Signature

    Date
    • claxtome
    • By claxtome 7th Jan 18, 8:06 AM
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    claxtome
    • 7th Jan 18, 8:06 AM
    Think you need to add at the beginning:
    1.It is admitted that the Defendant was the authorised registered keeper of the vehicle in question at the time of the alleged incident.
    Suggest adding in as a new 4:
    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.
    The current 4 I suggest rewording as follows forming a new 5:
    5. Even if there was a contractual obligation to display a ticket it can not be complied with when using the Paybyphone app, as used by the defendant. The app, even when used directly as instructed at the parking site, as the app has no provision for printing a ticket.
    And Combine the existing 5 and 6 to form a new 6:
    On the material dates, the Defendant made all reasonable efforts to use the Paybyphone app, however due to a failure of the app, outside of the defendants control, the app did not take payment due to a buggy and unreliable user interface. The failure of the app was not made clear to the defendant.
    New 7:
    The contract formed was frustrated by the unexpected and uncommunicated failure of the Claimant's app, and it is trite law that no party can be held liable for breach to another under such circumstances of frustration of contract.
    New 8:
    It is denied that the Pay by Phone app, being indisputably an offer of a 'distance contract', complied with the The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013, which says:

    ''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 9:
    It is believed SIP Parking Ltd are not the lawful occupier of the land and therefore 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
    .
    Then add the final bits:
    In light of the foregoing, it is submitted that the Claimant has no cause of action, and has no evidence that the Defendant entered into any contractual terms,whether expressly, by conduct, or at all.

    I believe that the facts contained in this Defence are true.

    Signature

    Date
    Hope this helps
    Last edited by claxtome; 07-01-2018 at 8:17 AM.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 8th Jan 18, 12:13 AM
    • 52,824 Posts
    • 66,330 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • 8th Jan 18, 12:13 AM
    And here's one I wrote, you might want to grab parts of this?

    Posters are welcome to use any of it, and it includes a generic (suitable for any defence) reference to a court's duty to consider unfairness, even of the price, if a term is not transparent:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=73663604#post73663604
    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.

    • ParkerManc
    • By ParkerManc 8th Jan 18, 2:20 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    ParkerManc
    • 8th Jan 18, 2:20 PM
    Thanks folks, looks like i'm all set!


    The only query I have is on the new number 9. I don't actually know if that's true as I haven't tried to find out?
    • claxtome
    • By claxtome 8th Jan 18, 3:32 PM
    • 454 Posts
    • 479 Thanks
    claxtome
    • 8th Jan 18, 3:32 PM
    The only query I have is on the new number 9. I don't actually know if that's true as I haven't tried to find out?
    Assuming you are talking about the new number 9 I suggested in post #12 I would say it is up to the Claimant to prove otherwise.
    • ParkerManc
    • By ParkerManc 16th Jan 18, 1:24 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    ParkerManc
    • 16th Jan 18, 1:24 PM
    Hi folks, Director's questionnaire came through today. I'll read up on how to fill it in.
    • ParkerManc
    • By ParkerManc 16th Jan 18, 9:02 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    ParkerManc
    • 16th Jan 18, 9:02 PM
    Ok so it's actually Gladstones directors questionnaire that I've been sent, do I wait for mine or do I have to send off for it?
    • claxtome
    • By claxtome 16th Jan 18, 9:10 PM
    • 454 Posts
    • 479 Thanks
    claxtome
    • 16th Jan 18, 9:10 PM
    Ok so it's actually Gladstones directors questionnaire that I've been sent, do I wait for mine or do I have to send off for it?
    You should get one sent OR if you prefer I believe you can download a form off the gov.uk website.
    Try searching for Directions Questionnaire (N180) using Google
    Last edited by claxtome; 16-01-2018 at 9:20 PM.
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