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Defence help needed please! - County Court Claim Form from Gladstones Solicitors

Hi - I'm new here, so please be gentle! - I've read the NEWBIES forum and surrounding posts, but still would really like some help . . . 

I received a PCN several weeks ago for an 18 minute overstay in a private car park. Paid my parking fee on a pay/display machine that sat 'Connecting to Server' for a full 8 minutes before issuing the ticket, which made me late for an appointment, which compounded with other hold-ups in town, which meant I returned to my car later than the ticket allowed.

I've so far ignored all correspondence from the car park owner, apart from requesting my personal information held via a Subject Access Request as suggested here. I have now (after some weeks and several Final Notice type letters) received a Claim Form from the County Court Business Centre, the claimant being Minster Baywatch Ltd. via Gladstones Solicitors.

I will go online today and complete the Acknowledgement of Service (I received the Claim Form last week), but need some advice please on the best way and timing to prepare a defence. Should I take it from the posts here (thanks to @Coupon-mad, @softwaremad, @KeithP and others for getting me to this point!) that I need to write my own specific case as an explanation of why I overstayed and then ALSO add the 27 paragraphs of 'template' defence posted by @Coupon-mad?

Does this need to be submitted at the same time as I register the Acknowledgement of Service ? (ie. do I need to prepare my defence NOW, before Acknowledging?)

I'm not clear on the sequence of events that is likely to follow or the timing of each of those steps . . AofS -> Defence -> Directions Questionnaires -> Hearing??

Is there any wisdom here on how likely it is that I might be successful with the reasons for overstaying mentioned above? - I have a pic of the ticket machine 'Connecting to Server' and my account of events, but not much else. Will that be enough?

I (I assume like many here) am incensed by the attitude and approach of these parking companies and their solicitors and will do everything I can to try and get this annulled.

Thanks in advance for anything you can do to help!
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Comments

  • KeithP
    KeithP Posts: 37,104
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    Hello and welcome.
    What is the Issue Date on your County Court Claim Form?
    I'll answer you other questions when I know that.
  • Fruitcake
    Fruitcake Posts: 57,993
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    edited 21 February 2023 at 12:42PM
    Plan A is always a complaint to the landowner and your MP, and it is never too late. When and where did the alleged event occur? It may have cropped up before.
    MB won't be the car park owner.
    The advice to ignore a PCN has not been given here since the law changed in 2012.

    Follow the guide to court written by bargepole you will find in the NEWBIES combined with the template defence sticky Announcement.

    The latter includes a twelve step guide to the process.

    AoS first on or shortly after day six of the claim form issue date.
    Defence next within 28 days of date of service (33 days from issue date). Use the whole of the template and amend paragraphs 2 and 3 to suit your case. If you need more then remember to renumber the rest.

    Include frustration of contract as a defence point when you mention the faulty PDT machine that failed to connect.

    Get photos of the site and signage. Use Google Streetview to see if there is anything useful there, but remember that no evidence goes with the defence. That comes much later, so no trying to add photos.

    Post your defence (ONLY the parts  have amended) and post them here for checking before you submit it BY EMAIL. Nothing does in the MCOL defence box. Absolutely nothing.


    I married my cousin. I had to...
    I don't have a sister. :D
    All my screwdrivers are cordless.
    "You're Safety Is My Primary Concern Dear" - Laks
  • Hi - thanks for replying!

    Issue Date is Feb 14th 2023, I've just now completed the Acknowledgement of Service online. Does not tell me there, when the defence is due.
  • Boat_to_Bolivia
    Boat_to_Bolivia Posts: 1,097
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    edited 21 February 2023 at 1:53PM
    Expert @KeithP will be along soon to supply you with those details, plus other useful information.

    Watch this space  ;)
  • Fruitcake
    Fruitcake Posts: 57,993
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    edited 21 February 2023 at 2:15PM
    I hope you haven't used your real name as your username. If you have then you need to get it changed.
    I married my cousin. I had to...
    I don't have a sister. :D
    All my screwdrivers are cordless.
    "You're Safety Is My Primary Concern Dear" - Laks
  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,343
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    Fruitcake said:
    I hope you haven't used your real name as your username. If you have then you need to get it changed.
    Shows my age but I doubt it!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Turvey


    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
    CLICK at the top of this/any page where it says:
    Forum Home»Motoring»Parking Tickets Fines & Parking - read the NEWBIES THREAD
  • Fruitcake said:
    I hope you haven't used your real name as your username. If you have then you need to get it changed.
    Shows my age but I doubt it!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Turvey


    You and me both CM!  :D
  • Fruitcake
    Fruitcake Posts: 57,993
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    I never watched it, so I wouldn't recognise the name.
    I married my cousin. I had to...
    I don't have a sister. :D
    All my screwdrivers are cordless.
    "You're Safety Is My Primary Concern Dear" - Laks
  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,343
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    It was comedy 'of it's time' but the name rang a bell with me.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
    CLICK at the top of this/any page where it says:
    Forum Home»Motoring»Parking Tickets Fines & Parking - read the NEWBIES THREAD
  • KeithP
    KeithP Posts: 37,104
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    Hi - thanks for replying!

    Issue Date is Feb 14th 2023, I've just now completed the Acknowledgement of Service online. Does not tell me there, when the defence is due.
    But I'll tell you here...     ;)


    With a Claim Issue Date of 14th February, and having filed an Acknowledgment of Service in a timely manner, you have until 4pm on Monday 20th March 2023 to file your Defence.

    That's nearly four weeks away. Plenty of time to produce a Defence, but please don't leave it to the last minute.
    To create a Defence, and then file a Defence by email, look at the second post in the NEWBIES thread.
    Don't miss the deadline for filing a Defence.

    Do not try and file a Defence via the MoneyClaimOnline website. Once an Acknowledgment of Service has been filed, the MCOL website should be treated as 'read only'.
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