Court Claim for 15 minute duration in car park
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.
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.
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