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Court Claim for 15 minute duration in car park

Hi,
I have received a county court claim issued 11-Oct-23. I have filed AOS using MCOL on 22-Oct-23, which was received on 23-Oct-23.

The Parking firm is ParkingEye, they have filed a claim for £120 + £35 court fee + £50 legal costs = £205.
The original PCN amount was for £100, so it appears that they have abused the process by adding £20 on.

I am in the process of drafting my defence, I have used the template defence referenced the Newbies thread (I have pasted modified versions of paragraphs 1-3 and 7 below, all the others remain unchanged) in the I have also attached the POC. I would appreciate feedback to allow me the chance to put myself in the best possible position for submitting this.

A bit more context:
I am the Keeper, but not the driver and live 100 miles away from the location of the car park so haven't been able to personally travel there to to review signage. Have tried cancelling with the hotel, but they are now stating they are unable to cancel due to it now being in the legal process. The Parking company has leapt very quickly from sending a couple of letters to litigation stage, I'm not aware of any Letters Before Court Claim being sent.



Defence:

1.  The Defendant denies that the Claimant is entitled to relief in the sum claimed, or at all.  It is denied that any conduct by the driver was in breach of any term.  Further, it is denied that this Claimant (understood to have a bare licence as agents) has standing to sue or form contracts in their own name. Liability is denied, whether or not the Claimant is claiming 'keeper liability', which is unclear from the boilerplate text in the Particulars of Claim ('the POC').


The facts known to the Defendant:

2. The facts in this defence come from the Defendant's own knowledge and honest belief.  Conversely, the Claimant sets out a cut-and-paste incoherent and sparse statement of case. The POC appear to be in breach of CPR 16.4, 16PD3 and 16PD7, and fail to "state all facts necessary for the purpose of formulating a complete cause of action". The Defendant is unable, on the basis of the POC, to understand with certainty what case, allegation(s) and what heads of cost are being pursued, making it difficult to respond. However, the vehicle is recognised and it is admitted that the Defendant was the registered keeper, but it is denied that the Defendant was the driver.

3. The total recorded duration of the visit from entry to exit according to Parking Eye Ltd was 15 minutes. The driver of the vehicle was there as a genuine customer of the xxxxxx Hotel to collect pre-ordered food. The hotel guided her to use the parking, promising her that her visit would be brief enough that no parking charges would be incurred. Once at the hotel, the hotel staff kept her waiting for several minutes more than expected. The xxxxxx hotel has attempted to cancel the parking charge using their parking management portal application, with the Parking Eye Ltd, but Parking Eye Ltd has refused, citing that it is subject to legal action therefore cannot be cancelled.

7. This claim is unfair and inflated and it is denied that any sum is due in debt or damages. A new tactic, only seen from this Claimant in Summer 2023, the sum claimed under purported 'contract' is disproportionately exaggerated by £20 which was not on the signs.  The Defendant takes the point that enhancing their claim on either impermissible sums or on an incorrect basis, is reason enough to disallow the claim.


Paragraphs 4 - 6 and 8- 30 as per template defence.

Thanks.
«1

Comments

  • KeithP
    KeithP Posts: 37,120
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    edited 1 November 2023 at 1:45PM
    Hello and welcome.

    With a Claim Issue Date of 11th October, and having filed an Acknowledgment of Service in a timely manner, you have until 4pm on Monday 13th November 2023 to file a Defence.

    That's nearly two weeks away. Plenty of time to produce a Defence and it is good to see that you are not leaving 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'.
  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,451
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    Remove this from para 6:

    "with the Parking Eye Ltd".

    Do you have the PCN? Is it POFA compliant?
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
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  • KeithP
    KeithP Posts: 37,120
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    The Defendant takes the point that enhancing their claim on either impermissible sums or on an incorrect basis, is reason enough to disallow the claim.

    In the last sentence of your proposed paragraph 7, should that read "The Defendant makes the point..."?

  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,451
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    No, it was based on something written by @Johnersh and 'takes the point' is correct.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
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  • You must include mention of the Jopson v Homeguard appeal judgment which defines whether you were parked or not. Delivering or picking up an order is not parking.

    To quote from the judgment which is persuasive:

    20. Neither party was able to direct the court to any authority on the meaning of the word “park”. However, the Shorter Oxford Dictionary has the following: “To leave a vehicle in a carpark or other reserved space” and “To leave in a suitable place until required.” The concept of parking, as opposed to stopping, is that of leaving a car for some duration of time beyond that needed for getting in or out of it, loading or unloading it, and perhaps coping with some vicissitude of short duration, such as changing a wheel in the event of a puncture. Merely to stop a vehicle cannot be to park it; otherwise traffic jams would consist of lines of parked cars. Delivery vans, whether for post, newspapers, groceries, or anything else, would not be accommodated on an interpretation which included vehicles stopping for a few moment for these purposes. Discussion in this area left the respondent in obvious difficulties, from which theattractive advocacy of Miss Fenwick was unable to rescue it. 

    21. Whether a car is parked, or simply stopped, or left for a moment while unloading, or (to take an example discussed in argument) accompanying a frail person inside, must be a question of fact or degree. I think in the end this was agreed. A milkman leaving his float to carry bottles to the flat would not be “parked”. Nor would a postman delivering letters, a wine merchant delivering a case of wine, and nor, I am satisfied, a retailer’s van, or indeed the appellant, unloading an awkward piece of furniture. 

    Have a read of it yourself:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/9ezhkj6epu66l1r/JOPSON-V-HOMEGUARD-2906J-Approved.pdf?dl=0

  • Thanks all for your responses and support on this.  I have attached a copy of the PCN, which I have checked and believe it is POFA compliant, but if you spot something that means it is not compliant please let me know.

    I have also amended the paragraphs following the recommendations from Coupon-mad and UncleThomasCobley. Paragraph 3 amended, and new paragraph 4 inserted. As the duration of my vehicle's stay was 15 minutes, does the argument re: Jopson vs. Homeguard still apply? 


    Amended and added paragraphs to template defence:

    3.     The total recorded duration of the visit from entry to exit according to Parking Eye Ltd was 15 minutes. The driver of the vehicle was there as a genuine customer of the IBIS Hotel to collect pre-ordered food. The hotel guided her to use the parking, promising her that her visit would be brief enough that no parking charges would be incurred. Once at the hotel, the hotel staff kept her waiting for several minutes more than expected. The IBIS hotel has attempted to cancel the parking charge using their parking management portal application, but Parking Eye Ltd has refused, citing that it is subject to legal action therefore cannot be cancelled.

    4.      It is denied that the driver was parked, the sole purpose of the visit was to pick up an order from the hotel, which is not parking. Attention is drawn to the Jopson v Homeguard [2016] 9GF0A9E (“The Jopson Case”) paragraphs 20 and 21 makes distinction between a car which is parked, or simply stopped or left for a moment while unloading.


  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,451
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    Yes that's a POFA NTK. 

    Yes use Jopson if you were there loading pre-ordered food at a Hotel. Loading is not parking.  

    That defence looks fine but end para 3 at the word 'refused' and remove "citing that it is subject to legal action therefore cannot be cancelled."

    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
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  • Thanks for the help, I managed to submit my defence on Friday at about 15:15 via email to the ccbcaq email address and got an automatic response almost immediately. How long would I normally expect to wait until they update my status on the portal?
  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,451
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    Days/weeks...when they get round to it.

    Please take a moment to provide your court case evidence to this Justice Committee (we all are):
    https://committees.parliament.uk/work/7972/work-of-the-county-court/

    Please also state that private parking firms and their bulk litigators are the problem as far as small claims are concerned.

    Parking claim numbers are rising every year and will make up about a third of all small claims in 2023, based on the 2022 figures that the MoJ divulged in the DLUHC's recent Parking Code of Practice Call for Evidence:
    https://www.gov.uk/government/calls-for-evidence/private-parking-code-of-practice-call-for-evidence#:~:text=The%20call%20for%20evidence%20is,help%20the%20decision%2Dmaking%20process.

    About half a million parking claims are made every year and it MUST STOP.

    These generic roboclaims churn through the system, clogging up court time over meritless rip-off PCNs where the POC are boilerplate and lack even the most basic details of the alleged breach (please show your own Claim Form as evidence) and attach CEL v Chan and say parking claim bulk litigators should be banned from the county court system as vexatious litigants.

    They are inviting evidence not rants or opinion so we need people like you to respond, who are currently caught up in a PPC claim and can attach the above evidence.

    Closes in 4 weeks. Please do it to push for parking cases to be taken out of this system.
    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
  • Thanks, I will take some time to submit something into this process.
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