Civil Enforcement - DCB legal - claim form
I would appreciate your help again as I have received another claim form from county court - this is now my second (and technically 3rd as I'm helping my partner with one too, with the support of this forum) - all against DCB Legal
I have already completed the initial steps of:
- Letter of claim received and SAR requested - case was put on hold for 30 days by DCB
- Claim form received and AOS completed
My claim form has an issue date of 22 Nov, so if I'm counting correctly:
Issue date = 22 Nov
+ 2 weeks = 6 Dec
+ 5 days = 11 Dec
+ 2 weeks for defence = 25 Dec (guessing this defaults to 4pm on 28 Dec as the next working day?)
AOS was completed on 9 Dec
The claim is for parking without a permit but the evidence they hold are ANPR photos of the vehicle driving in to the car park at 9.30am and leaving at 10.05 and no actual photographs of the car parked with no permit or anything else. There are also no photos of their signage included in the SAR which I found unusual.
This particular car park is at the back of a high street and hasn't been operated by any parking firm for years so the PCN came as a bit of a surprise weeks later. The incident was on 24 Dec 2021 and looking at Google Maps images from Sept 2021 the signage wasn't yet in place then. The signage is very vague and frankly looks like something you could get off eBay.
I'm still trying to locate a 'landowner' to complain as it's attached to the back of multiple establishments and there's no clear ownership.
The facts as known to the Defendant:
2. The Defendant is the registered keeper of the vehicle in question. The Claim relates to an alleged debt arising from the driver's alleged breach of contract, which is denied. It is further denied that there was any agreement to pay the Claimant a punitive £100 'parking charge notice' (PCN) for the lawful conduct described below.
3. This allegation is based on images by their ANPR camera at the entrance and exit to the site. This is merely an image of the vehicle in transit.
3.1 As a local resident, the Defendant had knowledge that the site in question is not monitored with only some old, faded signage left up by the previous parking firm from years prior. Whilst only ever parking there briefly to pop into the local restaurant to collect food or to the post office, the Defendant had never encountered any issues and didn’t notice anything different.
3.2 Prior to the Defendant's visit on 24 December, Civil Enforcement had recently placed their signage within the car park creating new terms and conditions for motorists. Their signage has no mention of a £100 penalty nor ANPR cameras coming into operation recently, thus not making it clear that new rules are being enforced. The signage on entry includes no logo to signify that a new parking firm has taken over.
3.2 Their Trade Body Code of Practice states at 18.11: ''Where there is any change in the terms and conditions that materially affects the motorist then you should make these clear on your signage. Where such changes impose liability where none previously existed then you should consider a grace period to allow regular visitors to the site to adjust and familiarise themselves with the changes.''
5. In the Particulars of Claim ('POC') it is stated that the Defendant is liable as the driver or keeper but the Claimant has failed to provide any evidence that Defendant was also the driver.
Any advice on the above would be great. First question that pops to mind is should I amend to say I was the driver? Or keep it neutral as I don't actually remember the events of this particular day, I just know how I've treated parking at that site in general?
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