IMPORTANT REMINDER: Please make sure your posts do not contain any personally identifiable information. If you are uploading images, please take extra care that you have redacted all personal information.
Advent-ures in the MSE Forum... Our Advent calendar is live, helping you discover a new corner of the community each day. Visit the homepage and scroll down

National Car Parks Ltd PCN to keeper

edited 7 April 2019 at 1:36PM in Parking tickets, fines & parking
12 replies 658 views
MirasMiras Forumite
5 Posts
Hi there everyone.
My story begins on Friday the 24th of August 2018. Drove my car to one of NCP's car parks on Epsom High Street and parked my motor in one of the bays available. Unfortunately leaving my home in haste resulted in leaving my wallet behind. I then walked up to the ticket machine and made several attempts of cash payment all of which were unsuccessful. I have taken a video of the payment process which shows after entering all vehicle details that the coins were rejected by the machine.
After receiving the PCN from NCP Ltd I made my appeal but could not send the vid due to its size as the evidence. I did ask NCP for other form of electronic way of sending the evidence but had no response whatsoever.
Few months went by and I was contacted by BW Legal bunch that stated I owe a debt and they are a legal party to collect it from me. I have ignored all phone calls and post up until the day of 26/03/2019 when I discovered that the claim was filed against me and that they demand the sum of £100 (original PCN) + £60 (have no idea where this 60 comes from) + £25 court fee + £50 legal representative cost and lastly £8.04 of Statutory Interest pursuant cost totalling to over £200.:eek:
It might be of importance that I have received the Claim Form with the date of issue 13 Mar 2019 but delivered on 26 Mar 2019 leaving me only few days to respond. In addition I did receive a letter from HM Courts&Tribunals service with the information that the claim was made against me and issued on 13/03/2019 but due to technical failure the claim was not posted until 22/03/2019. I now have until 4pm on 11/04 to respond to this claim.
I have already sent the Acknowledgement of service form to extend the time for my defence.
I have done a little research but found nothing relevant to my situation and I do not really know where to start drafting my defence statement.
Any help would be highly appreciated.
Best regards to all
«1

Replies

  • edited 31 March 2019 at 10:40PM
    KeithPKeithP Forumite
    31.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    edited 31 March 2019 at 10:40PM
    Miras wrote: »
    It might be of importance that I have received the Claim Form with the date of issue 13 Mar 2019 but delivered on 26 Mar 2019 leaving me only few days to respond. In addition I did receive a letter from HM Courts&Tribunals service with the information that the claim was made against me and issued on 13/03/2019 but due to technical failure the claim was not posted until 22/03/2019. I now have until 4pm on 11/04 to respond to this claim.
    I have already sent the Acknowledgement of service form to extend the time for my defence.
    That letter from HMC&TS says that you have to respond to the Claim by 11th April. You have done that by filing the AoS. Although you sent the form, I would suggest that you also do the AoS online as described below. Forms have a habit of getting lost, misfiled, etc.

    By filing the AoS before 11th April, you have given yourself an extra fourteen days to file your Defence.


    As suggested above, I think you would be wise to redo the AoS online. You have until Thursday 11th April 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 file linked 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 Thursday 25th April 2019 to file your Defence.

    That's over three weeks away. Loads of time to produce a perfect Defence, 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 "defence received". 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.


    Having said all that, if I were you I would definitely try to file your Defence a couple of days before that deadline.
    The reason being that the 11th April date given by HMC&TS implies an Issue Date on a Saturday. Most unlikely.
  • D_P_DanceD_P_Dance Forumite
    11.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    Read this

    https://parking-prankster.blogspot.com/2016/12/minster-baywatch-youve-been-gladstoned.html

    £243 is far more than the Law allows for this sort of claim. The solicitors know this, but, because they are solicitors, know that a lot of people will pay up.

    It is in fact double charging and non claimable debt collectors' add ons. Imo, this is fraud, or, at the very least, improper conduct.

    Were this to get to court and they won, the judge would be unlikely to award the claimant more than £175 - £200.

    I urge you to report this grubby law firm to their regulatory body, the SRA.

    https://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/handbook/code/content.page

    as I am sure they do not condone this conduct. Also, complain to your MP.

    On 18th March 2019 a Bill was enacted to curb the excesses of these private parking companies. Codes of Practice are being drawn up, an independent appeals service will be set up, and access to the DVLA's date base more rigorously policed, and persistent offenders denied access. Hopefully life will become impossible for the worst of these scammers.

    Until this is done you should still complain to your MP, citing the new legislation.

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2019/8/contents/enacted

    Just as the clampers were finally closed down, so hopefully will many of these Private Parking Companies.
    You never know how far you can go until you go too far.
  • UmkomaasUmkomaas Forumite
    38.1K Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    BRITANNIA or NCP / BW LEGAL CASES

    As you will see from the first few pages of the forum, there is an onslaught by BWL on behalf of Britannia or NCP (and a few other hitherto court-shy PPCs) which is being conducted on an industrial scale - roboclaims.

    You are caught in a one-way traffic flow where you must fight or pay - there is no longer a safe 'do nothing' option.

    1. Pay now, it costs you exactly what they are currently demanding.
    2. Ignore it, a 'judgment in default' will inevitably follow for at least what they want - maybe with even more costs added; continue to ignore that, you're getting a CCJ with credit crushing consequences for 6 years.
    3. Defend, yet lose in court, the cost award is likely to be noticeably less than their current demand ~£175.
    4. Defend, and win in court, you owe them nothing and you could claim up to £95 for half a day's pay/loss of annual leave, plus travel costs @45p per mile, plus your parking cost for the day.

    Your least costly option has to be 3, with hopefully a win as per 4.

    But BWL/Britannia or NCP cannot physically take everyone to court, and there is evidence to show that with a well constructed defence, BWL can come along with a reduced 'offer to settle', which if refused, becomes a discontinuation. We can't give you guarantees on that, but as you have little choice other than to defend (if you don't want to pay), you need to give this your very best shot.

    Whether you have a good defendable case to argue, you will need to read other similar cases at the defence (or beyond6) stage and learn from those.

    ROBOCLAIMS - HOW BWL OPERATE

    You might find it useful to understand how BWL operate - as I have surmised from the hundreds of different threads I've read involving BWL.

    Other than the auto acknowledgements and template letters, you will get nothing sensible from BWL - they are dealing with literally hundreds of thousands of unpaid parking charges and are spewing out various threatening letters, using a conveyor belt approach to go through a computer controlled process towards a LBC, and a MCOL Claim - and it is really only at the final stages, as a court hearing becomes a possibility, that there's any real human intervention.

    You need to understand that you're not dealing with an old fashioned firm of solicitors, just progressing from a quill and ink operation, BWL are industrial harvesters of debt, using the equivalent of massive combine harvesters to do their work. This is what their website tells you:
    A multi-award winning law firm specialising in volume collections, across both regulated and unregulated sectors, who are dual regulated through the FCA and SRA.

    We employ around 265 people at our Leeds based office which in turn makes us the largest privately owned debt collection law firm in the UK.
    Please note, we are not a legal advice forum. I personally don't get involved in critiquing court case Defences/Witness Statements, so unable to help on that front. Please don't ask. .
    I provide only my personal opinion, it is not a legal opinion, it is simply a personal one. I am not a lawyer.
    Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
  • MirasMiras Forumite
    5 Posts
    Hi guys and thanks for your interest. AoS has been filed in as stated on their website. Yesterday I went to the car park and gathered evidence including the video of the machine being able to accept cash payments this time. Now I must find time to sit down and start drafting my defence. I will post it soon in comments.
    Best regards and stay safe
  • edited 7 April 2019 at 1:36PM
    MirasMiras Forumite
    5 Posts
    edited 7 April 2019 at 1:36PM
    Hi there,
    Have not been able to do anything with the claim due to work pattern and only today managed to get little time for research and came up with this.
    Can you please advise on anything that should be mentioned or removed?
    Thank you in advance.
    Best regards

    IN THE COUNTY COURT

    CLAIM No: xxx

    BETWEEN:

    National Car Parks Limited

    -and-

    xxx
    DEFENCE

    Background

    1. The Defendant is the registered keeper of the vehicle in question. The Claim relates to an alleged debt in damages arising from a driver's alleged breach of contract, when parking at the private car park/land located at <l> on <>.

    1.1. Any breach is denied, and it is further denied that there was any agreement to pay the Claimant's £100 'Parking Charge Notice ('PCN')'.

    2. The facts are that the vehicle with registration ****** of which the Defendant was the Registered Keeper was captured on an ANPR camera on the 00/00/0000 entering and exiting a private car park/land located at *********, ******. The vehicle entered the carpark with intent to park for business meeting in the town centre. The Defendant has made attempts to pay the parking fee but was unable to do so due to the ticket machine being unresponsive to cash payment, which was the Defendants only mean of settling the parking’s charge fee.

    Premature claim - and sparse Particulars

    6. The Defendant requires a copy of the contract (the signage terms on the material date) and a full and detailed explanation of the cause of action and on what basis they purport to hold the Defendant liable. The Claimant failed to comply with Civil Procedure Rule 16.4, or with Civil Practice Direction 16, paras. 7.3 to 7.5. Further, the POC do not meet the requirements of Practice Direction 16 7.5 as there is nothing which specifies how the terms were breached.

    Denial of contract and denial of any breach, or liability

    8. Due to the sparseness of the POC it is unclear as to what legal basis the claim is brought, whether for breach of contract, contractual liability, or trespass. However, it is denied that the Defendant, or any driver of the vehicle breached any contractual agreement with the Claimant, whether express, implied, or by conduct.

    9. Further and in the alternative, it is denied that the claimant's signage sets out the terms in a sufficiently clear manner which would be capable of binding any reasonable person reading them.

    No standing or authority to form contracts and/or litigate

    10. The Claimant is put to strict proof that it has sufficient proprietary interest in the land, or that it has the necessary authorisation from the landowner to issue parking charge notices, and to pursue payment by means of litigation against visitors.

    No 'legitimate interest' or commercial justification - Beavis is distinguished

    11. With no 'legitimate interest' excuse for charging this unconscionable sum given the above facts, this Claimant is fully aware that their claim is reduced to an unrecoverable penalty and must fail. 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. This case is fully distinguished in all respects, from ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis [2015] UKSC 67, where the decision turned on a legitimate interest and clear notices.


    Artificially inflated claim

    13. In addition to the original parking charge, for which liability is denied, the Claimants legal representatives BW Legal, have artificially inflated the value of the Claim by adding costs of £60 which has not actually been incurred by the Claimant, hiking the Total amount of claim up to £xxx which are artificially invented figure in an attempt to circumvent the Small Claims costs rules using double recovery. The Defendant trusts that the presiding Judge will recognise this wholly unreasonable conduct as a gross abuse of process and may consider using the court's case management powers to strike the claim out of the court's own volition.

    13.1 According to Ladak v DRC Locums UKEAT/0488/13/LA the claimant can only recover the direct and provable costs of the time spent on preparing the claim in a legal capacity, not any administration costs allegedly incurred by already remunerated clerical staff working for BW Legal in issuing robo-claims.

    13.2 It was held in the Supreme Court in ParkingEye v Beavis [2015] UKSC 67 (where £85 was claimed, and no more) that a private parking charge already includes a very significant and high percentage in profit and more than covers the costs of running an automated regime of template letters.

    13.3 It is submitted that the conduct of the Claimant in pursuing this claim is wholly unreasonable and vexatious. As such, the Defendant is keeping careful note of all wasted time/costs in dealing with this matter and should the case continue to trial, the Defendant will seek further costs, pursuant to Civil Procedure Rule 27.14(2)(g).

    14. The Defendant invites the Court to dismiss the claim in its entirety, and to award the Defendant's witness costs of attendance at a hearing, if so advised.

    15. In summary, it is the Defendant's position that the claim discloses no cause of action, is without merit, and has no real prospect of success.

    I believe the facts contained in this Defence are true.
  • KeithPKeithP Forumite
    31.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    In para 2, I suggest that the second and third mentions of the word Defendant should actually be Driver.
  • Le_KirkLe_Kirk Forumite
    19.1K Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    Forumite
    Agree with KeithP regarding swapping defendant for driver but otherwise it seems to cover adequately all the usual points.
  • MirasMiras Forumite
    5 Posts
    Thank you both KeithP and Le_Kirk for your feedback. Will make the changes and send it over. Would there be anything else worth mentioning I am all ears.
    Cheers
  • MirasMiras Forumite
    5 Posts
    Hi there guys,
    Have received a notice of proposed allocation to the small claims track.
    What would be next step to take from here.
    Cheers
  • RedxRedx Forumite
    38.1K Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    so as expected

    in which case you are expected to read the newbies faq sticky thread post #2 , reading the BARGEPOLE advice

    its your first port of call with any questions that need answering about the court process, please read it and keep on doing so


    and KeithP also told you this above in post #2
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Is your local HSBC closing?

114 branches to shut in 2023

MSE News

Advent Competitions

The countdown is on

MSE Forum

Baileys £10 for 1L at Tesco

When you scan your Clubcard

MSE Deals