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  • FIRST POST
    • angelfire
    • By angelfire 8th Jan 18, 8:13 AM
    • 812Posts
    • 184Thanks
    angelfire
    County Court Claim Excel parking/BW Legal, in need of help!
    • #1
    • 8th Jan 18, 8:13 AM
    County Court Claim Excel parking/BW Legal, in need of help! 8th Jan 18 at 8:13 AM
    Hi everyone,


    I posted on the Pepipoo forums yesterday but have been advised to come here for advice/help.


    I have read the Newbies thread, but have received a County Court Claim and so it says I'm to start a new thread, so here it is!


    Particulars of Claim

    The claimants claim is for the sum of £100.00 being monies due from the Defendant to the Claimant in respect of a PCN issued on June/16 at (time stated) at Bryan House, Wigan ANPR Charging Scheme Std (60-100).

    The PCN relates to Ford under registration L*** ***.
    CN but the defendant failed to do so. Despite demand having been made, the defendant has failed to settle their outstanding liability.
    The claim also includes statutory interest pursuant to the County Courts Act 1984 at a rate of 8% per annum daily rate of 0.02 from June 2016 to 01/01/2018 being an amount of £11.66. The claimant also claims £60.00 contractual costs pursuant to PCN T's & C's.



    I have stupidly ignored and thrown previous letters, as I didn't think they were genuine, but I do seem to remember now a letter arriving with a photo of my vehicle.
    As for the day in question, I'm not sure if it will have been myself driving, or my partner/family member. All I do know is that I don't ever park without a ticket, or as is more often the case, I use paybyphone. I do not know if the car park stated here uses that system or not.


    I have been on to the MCOL site and acknowledged receipt of the claim, but have no idea how to build a defence? I am hoping to gather some help from others, if it is felt that I can somehow fight this, or at least part of the cost?


    Thank you all in advance,


    D


    Edit to add: I have now read post 2 of the Newbies thread, but before I start to prepare a defence for others to peruse, I need more information about what they are actually taking me to court for. I need to know what, (If any), pics they have of my vehicle for a start. How do I go about getting this info? Who do I write to or call, would it be BW Legal or Excel Parking themselves?
    How do I decide whether signage on the car park is appropriate and indeed, it was so long ago, it could have been changed since the alleged occurred?





    Last edited by angelfire; 08-01-2018 at 8:48 AM. Reason: Additional text
Page 2
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 9th Jan 18, 12:24 PM
    • 5,127 Posts
    • 3,592 Thanks
    KeithP
    There are some linked from post #2 of the NEWBIES FAQ sticky thread which list all the things that should be supplied but are perhaps not.
    The first three links in that post will help.

    Just tailor one to suit what you have received and what you still need.
    Originally posted by KeithP
    No idea why that wasn't useful.
    It's pretty much the same as nosferatu1001 has told you.
    .
    • angelfire
    • By angelfire 9th Jan 18, 9:44 PM
    • 812 Posts
    • 184 Thanks
    angelfire
    No idea why that wasn't useful.
    It's pretty much the same as nosferatu1001 has told you.
    Originally posted by KeithP
    You make a fair point! Apologies, this whole process is unnerving and quite daunting. The legal jargon is taking some time to get my head around and it can be easy to panic, then I either donít take everything in or I misread stuff! I do appreciate all of the helpful responses people have taken their time to write on my thread. I am wondering if Iíve bitten off more than I can chew, but Iím here now so will see it through to the bitter end!

    Thank you again

    D x
    • IamEmanresu
    • By IamEmanresu 10th Jan 18, 6:32 AM
    • 1,940 Posts
    • 3,423 Thanks
    IamEmanresu
    To explain the MSE way of doing things might help.

    The MSE approach is to throw everything including the kitchen sink at the defence and the WS rather than narrowing it down to the facts at hand.

    These are simple issues covering

    a) who was driving and do they know who was driving (this is a strong point for you as explained above)

    b) did the driver know the space was controlled (it is a P&D car park so yes)

    c) was the driver aware of the penalty for failing to meet the P&D requirements (you argue no as the signs are too fussy and may not be there /be visible)

    d) Do Excel have authority to be there (check with local rates department)

    So no more than 4 key questions and a few technical ones.

    but there is always the kitchen sink.
    Idiots please note: If you intend NOT to read the information on the Notice of Allocation and hand a simple win to the knuckle dragging ex-clampers, then don't waste people's time with questions on a claim you'll not defend.
    • angelfire
    • By angelfire 10th Jan 18, 8:04 AM
    • 812 Posts
    • 184 Thanks
    angelfire
    Thank you for your explanation, that does make it easier to understand. Iíve sent my email to BWLegal asking for more info so I am going to start working on my defence this evening, and will post up what I come up with according to the guidelines youíve said and the info in the newbies thread.

    Thanks again!
    • angelfire
    • By angelfire 15th Jan 18, 8:32 PM
    • 812 Posts
    • 184 Thanks
    angelfire
    First draft of my defence
    So the situation thus far -

    Claim Form issued - 05/01/18
    Acknowledged receipt on MCOL - 07/01/18, received 08/01/18

    How long does this now give me to add my defence, is it until the 5th February?

    Here is my defence so far, if anyone would be so kind as to critique it for me?
    Defence Statement (Draft 1)


    It is admitted that Defendant is the registered keeper of the vehicle in question.
    However the Claimant has no cause of action against the Defendant on the following grounds:-

    1. The registered keeper has not been proven as the driver, as such the keeper can only be held liable if the claimant has fully complied with the strict requirements.

    2. 1. The Protection of Freedom Act 2012 Schedule 4 has not being complied with.

    a) Notwithstanding that the Claimant claims no right to pursue the Defendant as the registered keeper under PoFA, the Claimant has failed to meet the conditions of the Act and has never acquired any right to pursue the Defendant in this capacity if it cannot identify the driver.

    b) The keeper can only be held liable if the Claimant has fully complied with the strict requirements including 'adequate notice' of £100 charge and prescribed Notice to Keeper letters in time and with mandatory wording.

    c) The claimant has no right to assert that the defendant is liable based on ‘reasonable assumption’. PATAS and POPLA Lead Adjudicator and barrister, Henry Michael Greenslade, clarified that with regards to keeper liability, "There is no ‘reasonable presumption’ in law that the registered keeper of a vehicle is the driver and operators should never suggest anything of the sort"(2015).


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


    4. The signage on and around the site did not meet the British Parking Association (BPA) Code of Practice or the Independent Parking Committee (IPC) Code of Practice. The Claimant was a member of the IPC at the time and committed to follow its requirements. The claimant was also formerly a member of the BPA, whose requirements they also did not follow. Therefore no contract has been formed with driver to pay £100, or any additional fee charged if unpaid in 28 days.

    The signage is inadequate in terms of the following:

    • Lack of illumination of signage (and the car park), poor visibility
    • Lack of clarity and prominence of terms and conditions
    • Illegible text due to font size, density, colour and complexity
    • Large numbers of confusing and conflicting signs, including signs from other parties, such that it was not clear which signs had precedence
    • Lack of relevant terms and conditions, such as the fees for parking
    • Inadequate positioning of signs, at unsuitable heights


    5. As the Claimant failed to make reasonable efforts to make the terms and conditions of the car park clear and prominent, particularly during the hours of darkness, it cannot be assumed that anyone entering the car park was immediately aware of, and agreed, the terms and conditions. The Claimant is put to strict proof that the Defendant saw, read and agreed the terms upon which the claimant is relying on the night in question.


    6. No evidence has been provided that a valid ticket was not purchased. Photographs of the keeper’s vehicle entering and exiting the car park does not constitute a proven contravention of the parking conditions. No ticket was placed on the vehicle and the Claimant has failed to provide any evidence that a valid ticket was not on display.


    6. It is denied that the Claimant has authority to bring this claim. The proper Claimant is the landholder. Strict proof is required that there is a chain of contracts leading from the landholder to Excel Parking Services Ltd. Is this a valid point?

    a) Excel Parking Services Ltd is not the lawful occupier of the land Again, I think others who have had claims made against them for a contravention on the same car park, have found this to be untrue, but do I leave it in as defence anyway?

    b) Absent a contract with the lawful occupier of the land being produced by the claimant, or a chain of contracts showing authorisation stemming from the lawful occupier of the land, I have the reasonable belief that they do not have the authority to issue charges on this land in their own name and that they have no locus standi to bring this case.


    7. No sum payable to this Claimant was accepted nor even known about by any driver; as they were not given a fair opportunity to discover the onerous terms by which they would later be bound.


    8. The claimant has yet to respond to a request for further information, (including NTK) emailed by the defendant and sent to BW Legal and Excel Parking Services Ltd on the 10/01/2018. Information requested:

    a) A request to explain if Excel Parking Services Ltd are making a claim as an agent of the landowner or making the claim as occupier in their own right.

    b) A request to explain if the amount claimed by Excel Parking Services Ltd is for a genuine pre estimate of loss for a breach of contract or a contractual sum?

    c) A request to provide copies of the signs on which Excel Parking Services Ltd rely and confirm the signs were in situ on the date of the event. Also to provide the date the signs were installed.

    d) A request to confirm that the signs were at the entrance to the site on the date in question. Also to confirm that the signs meet the British Parking Association's Code of Practice Appendix B (Entrance signs) or the Independent Parking Committee’s Schedule 1.

    e) A request for a copy of the Notice to Keeper


    9. The amount is a penalty, and the penalty rule is still engaged, so can be clearly distinguished from ParkingEye v Beavis which the Judges held was 'entirely different' from most ordinary economic contract disputes for the following reasons:-

    a) The Claimant has no commercial justification
    b) The Claimant did not follow the IPC or BPA Code of Practice
    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 amount claimed is a charge and evidently disproportionate to any loss suffered by the Claimant and is therefore unconscionable.
    e) The Court of Appeal for the Beavis case made a clear reference to the fact that their decision was NOT relevant to pay-per-hour type car parks.

    10. The Protection of Freedoms Act does not permit the Claimant to recover a sum greater than the parking charge on the day before a Notice to Keeper was issued. The Claimant cannot recover additional charges. The Claimant claims a sum of £171.66 as the ‘amount claimed’’ (for which liability is denied) plus the Particulars of Claim include £60 that the claimant has presented as contractual costs pursuant to PCN terms and conditions. In contradiction to this the claimant's solicitor has, however, described the Principal Debt as £100 and solicitor's costs as a further £110 in correspondence with the keeper summarised within the letter titled ‘Notice of county court claim issued’. The Defendant also has the reasonable belief that the Claimant has not incurred the stated additional costs and it is put to strict proof that they have actually been incurred. Even if they have been incurred, the Claimant has described them as "Legal representatives costs". These cannot be recovered in the Small Claims Court regardless of the identity of the driver.


    11. 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 case confirmed, such a matter would be limited to the landowner themselves claiming for a nominal sum.


    12. Save as expressly mentioned above, the Particulars of Claim is denied in its entirety. It is denied that the Claimant is entitled to the relief claimed or any relief at all.

    Therefore I ask the court to respectfully strike out this claim with immediate effect.
    I believe that the facts stated in this Statement of defence, (date I intend to send) are true."


    Signed
    Last edited by angelfire; 15-01-2018 at 8:33 PM. Reason: spelling
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 15th Jan 18, 9:10 PM
    • 52,853 Posts
    • 66,373 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Claim Form issued - 05/01/18
    Acknowledged receipt on MCOL - 07/01/18, received 08/01/18

    How long does this now give me to add my defence, is it until the 5th February?
    On or preferably before 7th February (day 33).

    In #8, don't call a document an acronym 'NTK' because a Judge will not know what that means unless you have previously named it in full.


    Suggested changes here:

    1. The registered keeper has not been proven as the driver's identity has not been established or evidenced by the Claimant, as such, the registered keeper can only be held liable if the claimant has fully complied with the strict requirements of the only applicable law.

    2. 1. The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 15-01-2018 at 9:15 PM.
    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.

    • angelfire
    • By angelfire 16th Jan 18, 8:17 AM
    • 812 Posts
    • 184 Thanks
    angelfire
    Thank you Coupon Mad for your reply, I have made the suggested changes.


    Assuming my defence is good to go, should I now put it on MCOL, or wait to see if BW Legal respond to my email requesting information?


    Does the timing of my defence on there make any difference whatsoever?


    thank you!
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 16th Jan 18, 1:14 PM
    • 5,127 Posts
    • 3,592 Thanks
    KeithP
    Do not put your defence on MCOL.

    Have another read of Bargepole's walkthrough linked from post #2 of the NEWBIES thread, where you will see:
    ...trying to fit it [the defence] in the online box destroys the formatting, and makes it hard for the Judge to read.
    .
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 16th Jan 18, 1:38 PM
    • 1,540 Posts
    • 1,690 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    Why not use the full 33 days?

    Or close to, at any rate

    There is no prize for being early. just do NOT be late!
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