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UKCPM County Court Claim

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking
54 replies 1.4K views
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  • The_DeepThe_Deep Forumite
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    Nine times out of ten these tickets are scams so consider complaining to your MP.

    Parliament is well aware of the MO of these private parking companies, many of whom are former clampers, and on 15th March 2019 a Bill was enacted to curb the excesses of these shysters. 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, persistent offenders denied access to the DVLA database and unable to operate.

    Hopefully life will become impossible for the worst of these scammers, but 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.
  • spacegupspacegup Forumite
    23 posts
    Fifth Anniversary 10 Posts
    Thanks everyone for the advice. Does anyone have any comments on the defence?

    I'm not sure this is relevant to the claim, but is an interesting side story.
    This was in a college car park which I could see most of the time from the classrooms inside.
    One day I witnessed a UKCPM official (I assume) park his own vehicle (assumed as it is non-branded) in a disabled pay (without a blue badge or other permit) in order to patrol the car park located on the other side of the building. I have pictures to prove this happened.

    I'm not sure this helps my case, but morally, it shows UKCPM in a negative light.
  • Le_KirkLe_Kirk Forumite
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    Maybe the College would like to know about the UKCPM parking hitler as they clearly disadvantaged a disabled person (well, would have done if somebody had wanted use that spot!)

    Regarding your defence, I note you have nothing about signage and landowner authority. Check other defences by searching the forum.
  • 1505grandad1505grandad Forumite
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    Just wondering - how is the claimant's name stated in the claim form?.
  • spacegupspacegup Forumite
    23 posts
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    Just wondering - how is the claimant's name stated in the claim form?.

    UK Car Park Management Limited
    19 New Road
    Brighton
    BN1 1UF

    and then Gladstones as the address for sending payments (lol) and documents.
  • KeithPKeithP Forumite
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    spacegup wrote: »
    UK Car Park Management Limited
    But your Defence doesn't reflect that.
  • spacegupspacegup Forumite
    23 posts
    Fifth Anniversary 10 Posts
    Thanks all.
    I'm writing to the college principal and other board members to complain and will mention the disabled bay story. I've been asking for the college landowner details since the windscreen ticket but no answer yet, so have added the generic paragraph.

    re. signage, can anyone point me to where I might find the image of the sign from the Beavis case so I can do a comparison- is this the one:
    hxxp://2.bp.blogspot.com/-VtPnCdjMwbo/VqUiT7XmVMI/AAAAAAAAE-c/ThtZvqDzA2g/s1600/Parking%2Bsign_001.jpg

    Paragraphs 7 and 8 added, numbering corrected and UKCPM actual name corrected in the Claimant section, thanks 1505grandad/KeithP.

    New draft:

    In The County Court
    Claim No: XXXXX
    Between
    UK Car Park Management Limited (Claimant)

    -and-

    XXXX (Defendant)

    ____________
    DEFENCE
    ____________

    1. The Defendant was the registered keeper and driver of vehicle registration number XXXX on the material date. The Defendant denies that the Claimant is entitled to relief in the sum claimed, or at all.

    2. The facts of the matter are that the Defendant was a student at XXXX college XXXX Campus and held a valid parking permit. The ‘land’ which forms the basis of the current claim consists of an area of pebbled parking spaces in 4 rows plus marked bays on the remaining tarmac areas. The Claimant had recently been awarded responsibility for managing this car park and new markings had been drawn out but were quickly washed away (as images show). As the markings were no longer visible, the Defendant cannot be held responsible for parking “wholly within a marked bay”.

    3. Accordingly, it is denied that the Defendant breached any of the Claimant’s purported contractual terms, whether express, implied or by conduct.

    4. The Defendant has the reasonable belief that the Claimant has not incurred £60 costs to pursue an alleged £100 debt. The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, in Schedule 4, Para 4(5) states that the maximum sum that may be recovered from the keeper is the charge stated on the Notice to Keeper, in this case £100.

    4.1. The addition of costs onto a claim are disproportionate and disingenuous. Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (CPR) Rule 44.3 (2) states: ''Where the amount of costs is to be assessed on the standard basis, the court will –
    (a) only allow costs which are proportionate to the matters in issue. Costs which are disproportionate in amount may be disallowed or reduced even if they were reasonably or necessarily incurred; and
    (b) resolve any doubt which it may have as to whether costs were reasonably and proportionately incurred or were reasonable and proportionate in amount in favour of the paying party.

    4.2. Whilst quantified costs can be considered on a standard basis, this Claimant's purported costs are wholly disproportionate and do not stand up to scrutiny. In fact it is averred that the Claimant has not paid or incurred such damages/costs or 'legal fees' at all. Any debt collection letters were a standard feature of a low cost business model and are already counted within the parking charge itself.

    4.3 The Parking Eye Ltd v Beavis case is the authority for recovery of the parking charge itself and no more, since that sum (£85 in Beavis) was held to already incorporate the minor costs of an automated private parking business model. There are no losses or damages caused by this business model and the Supreme Court Judges held that a parking firm not in possession cannot plead any part of their case in damages. It is indisputable that the alleged 'parking charge' itself is a sum which the Supreme Court found is already inflated to more than comfortably cover the cost of all letters.

    4.4. Any purported 'legal costs' are also made up out of thin air. Given the fact that robo-claim solicitors and parking firms process tens of thousands of claims handled by an admin team or paralegals, the Defendant avers that no solicitor is likely to have supervised this current batch of cut & paste claims. The court is invited to note that no named Solicitor has signed the Particulars, in breach of Practice Direction 22, and rendering the statement of truth a nullity.

    4.5. According to Ladak v DRC Locums UKEAT/0488/13/LA a Claimant can only recover the direct and provable costs of the time spent preparing the claim in a legal capacity, not any administration costs allegedly incurred by already remunerated administrative staff.

    4.6. The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, Schedule 4 (POFA) makes it clear that the will of Parliament regarding parking on private land is that the only sum potentially able to be recovered is the sum in any compliant 'Notice to Keeper' (and the ceiling for a 'parking charge', as set by the Trade Bodies and the DVLA, is £100). This also depends upon the Claimant fully complying with the statute, including 'adequate notice' of the parking charge and prescribed documents served in time/with mandatory wording. It is submitted the claimant has failed on all counts and the Claimant is well aware their artificially inflated claim, as pleaded, constitutes double recovery.

    4.7. Judges have disallowed all added parking firm 'costs' in County courts up and down the Country. In Claim number F0DP201T on 10th June 2019, District Judge Taylor sitting at the County Court at Southampton, echoed an earlier General Judgment or Order of DJ Grand, who on 21st February 2019 sitting at the Newport (IOW) County Court, had struck out a parking firm claim. One was a BPA member serial Claimant (Britannia, using BW Legal's robo-claim model) and one an IPC member serial Claimant (UKCPM, using Gladstones' robo-claim model) yet the Order was identical in striking out both claims without a hearing:

    4.8. The Judge stated:-
    ''IT IS ORDERED THAT The claim is struck out as an abuse of process. The claim contains a substantial charge additional to the parking charge which it is alleged the Defendant contracted to pay. This additional charge is not recoverable under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, Schedule 4 nor with reference to the judgment in ParkingEye v Beavis. It is an abuse of process from the Claimant to issue a knowingly inflated claim for an additional sum which it is not entitled to recover. This order has been made by the court of its own initiative without a hearing pursuant to CPR Rule 3.3(4) of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998...''

    4.9. In summary, the Claimant's particulars disclose no legal basis for the sum claimed and it is the Defendant's position that the poorly pleaded claim discloses no cause of action and no liability in law for any sum at all. The Claimant's vexatious conduct from the outset has been intimidating, misleading and indeed mendacious in terms of the added costs alleged.

    4.10. There are several options available within the Courts' case management powers to prevent vexatious litigants pursuing a wide range of individuals for matters which are near-identical, with meritless claims and artificially inflated costs. The Defendant is of the view that private parking firms operate as vexatious litigants and that relief from sanctions should be refused.

    4.11. The Court is invited to make an Order of its own initiative, dismissing this claim in its entirety and to allow such Defendant's costs as are permissible under Civil Procedure Rule 27.14 on the indemnity basis, taking judicial note of the wholly unreasonable conduct of this Claimant, not least due to the abuse of process in repeatedly attempting to claim fanciful costs which they are not entitled to recover.

    4.12. Additionally to this matter, in the Notice to Keeper dated XXX, the Claimant states “the charge will be increased to £149 at the first instance of further action”. The first action received by the Defendant was a debt collection letter from Debt Recovery Plus (DRP) in which the charge had been increased to £160 without any explanation. This is not the professional conduct expected from a solicitor firm.

    5. The Defendant has the reasonable belief that the Claimant has not complied with the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. The Notice to Keeper issued by the Claimant dated 15th June 2018 was not sent within the timeframe permitted under Schedule 4, Para 8(5) of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.

    6. The BPA Code of Practice states that parking operators “should allow the driver a reasonable ‘grace period’ in which to decide whether they will stay or go. If the driver is on your land without permission, you should still allow them a grace period to read your signs and leave before you take enforcement action”. BPA suggests a grace period of 10 minutes. The Claimant suggests they are a member of BPA on letters received by the Defendant. In this case, the photos provided by the Claimant are timestamped between 11:09 and 11:18. They do not prove the car was present longer than this grace period.

    7. The Claimant is put to strict 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, unless specifically authorised by the principal. The Defendant has the reasonable belief that the Claimant does not have the authority to issue charges on this land in their own name, and that they have no right to bring any action regarding this claim.

    8. The signage which the Claimant refers to in their Notice to Keeper dated 15th June 2018 as being “clearly and prominently displayed”. The photo evidence provided by the Claimant to support this shows the sign is much higher than the eye level of a car user and contains extremely small print. The signage provided at eye level is titled “Pay and Display” and does not indicate whether the terms listed apply to permit holders such as the Defendant. Furthermore, this sign refers on several occasions to its “Terms and Conditions” but does not state where these Terms and Conditions can be found. Due to the one-way system of the car park, this sign would not be easily seen on entering the car park.

    9. In summary, the Claimant's particulars disclose no legal basis for the sum claimed, and the Court is invited to dismiss the claim in its entirety.

    Statement of Truth:

    I believe that the facts stated in this Defence are true.
  • KeithPKeithP Forumite
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    can anyone point me to where I might find the image of the sign from the Beavis case...
    Sticking beavis sign into google will find it.
  • spacegupspacegup Forumite
    23 posts
    Fifth Anniversary 10 Posts
    Thanks KeithP, I hadn't tried those exact words!

    Any comments on the defence? one week to go.
  • Le_KirkLe_Kirk Forumite
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    Even if you don't know who the landowner is, you "put the claimant to strict proof that they have the authority of the landowner ......" The rest of the wording you will find in any of the 17 pre-written defences in the NEWBIE sticky post # 2.
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