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PCN - Portswood Centre, Southampton // Claim Form - CC Business Centre (Northampton)

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NevTheDogNevTheDog Forumite
13 posts
10 Posts First Anniversary
Hi All,

I have been reading through the NEWBIES Sticky Thread and many other posts relating to my case regarding TWO parking fines I received in 2016 and 2017 from Britannia Parking.

Following the advice I received from the forums, and without reading too much into it I have up until this point ignored all comunication received from various debt collectors and up until most recently, BW Legal.

Following the communication from BW Legal, I spoke to a solicitor who practices Civil Law (family friend - I did not pay for this service) who consequently wrote me a letter which basically told them to kindly told them to **** off while also being a sort of SAR.

This has not really got me anywhere and I have since been issued TWO claim forms.

I KNOW that from the information already posted that I need to respond to this claim on MoneyClaim.gov, but I am stuck to where I go from here.

Bear in mind that I have TWO parking fines within three months of each other - how can I form any sort of valid defence for this?

Thanks in advance..
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Replies

  • KeithPKeithP Forumite
    25.8K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    What are the Issue Dates on each of your Claim Forms?

    Did they come from the County Court Business Centre in Northampton, or from somewhere else?
  • NevTheDogNevTheDog Forumite
    13 posts
    10 Posts First Anniversary
    20th and 22nd Feb.

    Yes they came from this place. I have seen many posts online about this court being a scam, although I’m not sure how much I trust these as I’m seeing conflicting arguments on this.
  • KeithPKeithP Forumite
    25.8K posts
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    They are likely genuine.
    You'll find out when you try to do the Acknowledgement of Service.

    With a Claim Issue Date of 20th and 22nd February, you have until Monday 11th March and Wednesday 13th March respectively to do the Acknowledgement of Service, but there is nothing to be gained by delaying it. To do the AoS, follow the guidance offered in a Dropbox link from post #2 of the NEWBIES FAQ sticky thread. About ten minutes work - no thinking required.

    Having done the AoS, you have until 4pm on Monday 25th March 2019 to file the first Defence and Wednesday 27th March 2019 to file the second.

    That's over three weeks away. Loads of time to produce perfect Defences, but don't leave it to the very last minute.


    When you are happy with the content, your Defence should be filed via email as suggested here:
      Print your Defence.
    1. Sign it and date it.
    2. Scan the signed document back in and save it as a pdf.
    3. Send that pdf as an email attachment to [email protected]
    4. Just put the claim number and the word Defence in the email title, and in the body of the email something like 'Please find my Defence attached'.
    5. Log into MCOL after a few days to see if the Claim is marked "defended". If not chase the CCBC until it is.
    6. Do not be surprised to receive a copy of the Claimant's Directions Questionnaire, they are just trying to put you under pressure.
    7. Wait for your DQ from the CCBC, or download one from the internet, and then re-read post #2 of the NEWBIES FAQ sticky thread to find out exactly what to do with it.
  • MistyZMistyZ Forumite
    1.8K posts
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    Well Hello Portswood Centre Car Park again.

    You will get great support here from those who, unlike me, are well-versed in the court stage. However I just want to point out that the land management company responsible for the Car Park changed last year - was CBRE, now KMP Solutions. KMP appear to have sacked Britannia.

    I don't know how or indeed if this change will have any bearing on your case, just letting you know.
  • NevTheDogNevTheDog Forumite
    13 posts
    10 Posts First Anniversary
    It seems to be a common one at the moment - A mate and I spent a couple of hours last night looking at everything as he is also in the same situation with two parking tickets.

    My contraventions are before 2018 so I doubt that the sacking of Britannia will have any effect will it?? I dont know...
  • edited 1 March 2019 at 3:14PM
    MistyZMistyZ Forumite
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    edited 1 March 2019 at 3:14PM
    NevTheDog wrote: »
    My contraventions are before 2018 so I doubt that the sacking of Britannia will have any effect will it?? I dont know...

    Sure, it is hard to know if it'll help. But I think Britannia have a particularly bad rep. with that particular car park which probably makes them all the more desperate to wring every last (historical) penny out of it.
    I'd imagine that the simple fact that their contract was cancelled by the new land management company looks bad for them and might give your evidence extra credibility.
  • NevTheDogNevTheDog Forumite
    13 posts
    10 Posts First Anniversary
    Hi again,

    So I have been reading through similar stories at the same car park and have seen more about the situation with the land management companies. Am I at a stage where this could still be cancelled or do I still have to submit a defence?
  • KeithPKeithP Forumite
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    Unless it is actually cancelled, you need to file a Defence.

    Of course that goes without saying, but no-one can predict the future.

    You have a deadline for filing a Defence - Monday 25th March.

    My suggestion would be to prepare a Defence now so that it is ready to file by that date.

    My thinking is that now that court claims have been filed, i.e. they have spent real money, they are unlikely to withdraw.

    But who knows?

    Prepare for the worst.
  • NevTheDogNevTheDog Forumite
    13 posts
    10 Posts First Anniversary
    In the County Court


    Claim Number: XXXX
    Between
    Britannia Parking Group Limited (Claimant)
    and!
    <my name> (Defendant)


    STATEMENT OF DEFENCE

    I am <my name>, defendant in this matter. It is admitted that the Defendant was the authorised registered keeper of the vehicle in question at the time of the alleged incident. The Defendant denies liability for the entirety of the claim for reasons summarised as follows:

    (1). The identity of the driver of the vehicle on the date in question is unknown and has not been ascertained.

    i). The Claimant has failed to identify the driver.

    ii). The Defendant has no liability, as they are the Keeper of the vehicle and the Claimant must rely upon the strict provisions of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 in order to hold the defendant responsible for the driver’s alleged breach.

    iii). The code of practice for BPA registered parking companies clearly states ‘The driver is responsible for paying the parking ticket.‘

    (2) This is a speculative serial litigant, issuing a large number of identical draft particulars. The term 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. I have reason to believe that this is a claim that will proceed without any facts or evidence supplied until the last possible minute, to my significant detriment as an unrepresented Defendant.

    (3) The claimant has not provided enough details in the particulars of claim to file a full defence.

    (4) The Claimant does not own the land therefore, there is reasonable belief that the Claimant does not have the authority to issue charges on this land in their own name and have no locus standing to bring this case.

    i). 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.

    ii). The claimant is not the landowner and suffers no loss whatsoever as a result of a vehicle parking at the location in question.!

    iii). 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. This Claimant files serial claims regarding sites where they have lost the contract, which are known as revenge claims and it believed this is one such case. This is not a legitimate reason to pursue a charge out of proportion with any loss or damages that the true landowner could pursue.

    (5) It is required that the claimants send a Letter Before Action which complies with the Practice direction on pre-action conduct. None of the letters sent by BW Legal were a Letter Before Action, plus all these letters missed out the following information:

    i) A clear summary of facts on which the claim is based.

    ii) A list of the relevant documents on which your client intends to rely, unless I am to assume they will be relying on no documents.

    This is a breach of the Principles contained in the Solicitors Regulation Authority Handbook version 8, published on 1st October 2013.

    (6) 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 £100 to £251.92. This appears to be an added cost with apparently no qualification and a blatant attempt at double recovery, which the POFA Schedule 4 specifically disallows. 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 Claim Form states that the claimant has added interest at 8.00% to the total. However the right to do this only applies in business-to-business transactions. A company cannot claim statutory interest if their customer is a consumer and not acting in the course of business. In such scenarios, a company can only claim interest if the contract sets an interest rate. And no evidence of this has been provided.

    (7) The signage was inadequate to form a contract with the motorist.

    i). The signage on this site is inadequate to form a contract. Upon visiting the car park following the alleged contraventions, the signs are illegible from the driver's seat due to small size and poor choice of location. (The time alleged was after 8pm during winter months when it would have been dark).!!

    [ii). The BPA code of practice states: ‘There will be a sign at the entrance to the car park that will explain in the broadest terms that the car park is private land and that it is managed by an AOS operator’. This signage is not presented obviously at the car park.

    iii). 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.

    iv). This case can be distinguished from ParkingEye v Beavis [2015] UKSC 67, 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.

    v). In the absence of any proof of adequate signage that contractually bound the driver in question, then there can have been no contract and the Claimant has no case.

    (vi) Sporadic and illegible (charge not prominent nor large lettering) of site/entrance signage - breach of the POFA 2012 Schedule 4 and the BPA Code of Practice.

    (vii) It is believed the signage and any terms were not transparent or legible; this is an unfair contract, not agreed by the driver and contrary to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 in requiring a huge inflated sum as 'compensation' from by an authorised party using the premises as intended.

    (viii) No promise was made by the driver that could constitute consideration because there was no offer known nor accepted. No consideration flowed from the Claimant.

    (ix) The signs are believed to have no mention of any debt collection additional charge, which cannot form part of any alleged contract.

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

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

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

    (a) Failed to disclose any cause of action in the incorrectly filed Claim Form issued on 12th June 2017.

    (b) Sent a template, well-known to be generic cut and paste 'Particulars' of claim relying on irrelevant case law (Beavis) which ignores the fact that this Claimant cannot hold registered keepers liable in law, due to their own choice of non-POFA documentation.

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

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

    (1) The driver did not enter into any 'agreement on the charge', no consideration flowed between the parties and no contract was established. The Defendant denies that the driver would have agreed to pay the original demand to agree to the alleged contract had the terms and conditions of the contract been properly displayed and accessible.

    (2) The Schedule of Information provided with the Particulars of claim do not claim that 'if you breach this rule then you agree to pay our charge'.

    (3) The Claimant has sent threatening and misleading demands. The first letter claimed the debt would be forwarded to a debt recovery agent (clearly designed to suggest to the Defendant they would be calling round like bailiffs). The second letter escalated this with a claim the company could ‘proceed with debt recovery action’, despite them having no legal right to do this. It also claimed that if they issued court proceedings against me, and my ability to obtain credit in the future could be affected.

    The threats are wilfully misleading implying that solicitors have the power to obtain a CCJ. The correct procedure of which seems to have been omitted in an attempt to scare a typical layman into settling.
  • NevTheDogNevTheDog Forumite
    13 posts
    10 Posts First Anniversary
    This is what I have for my defence. Would this be okay to submit for both as they are both exactly the same?
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