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Civil National Business Center UKPC Fine

The driver received a PCN fine through the post and not on the windscreen for parking on private land controlled by UKPC; now further escalated to the Civil National Business Centre due to lack of payment of the fine. The car was parked for a brief moment whilst dealing with a personal issue - no longer than 10 minutes - only to later receive a postal PCN. I am not sure how to tackle the defence part of the process. I have seen numerous excellent templates on this website (thank you all) but still unsure of how to tailor the templates to my case. ANY tips on how to write up a defence, or even better yet, direct me towards a template that is pretty much plug and play would be highly appreciated.

 

I followed the newbies thread and submitted the AOS through MCOL 


ISSUE DATE on Claim Form 23/11/23

AOS done 01/12/2023



PoC


1. The Defendant(D) is indebted to the

Claimant(C) for Parking Charge(s) (PCN)

issued to the vehicle XXXX at Salisbury XXXX, XXXX. The PCN details are:

XXXXX (14/05/2023 09:36:12). 3. The PCN(s) had been issued on private land, which is managed by C. 4. The vehicle was parked in breach of terms and conditions provided by signage (the contract), resulting in the PCN(s). 5. The driver agreed to pay within 28 days but did not D

IS llable as the keeper. Despite requests,

the PCN (s are outstanding. 6. The C claims 170.00 being the total of the PCN(s) and damages. 7. C claim costs and court fees.

The claimant claims interest under section 69 of the County Courts Act 1984 at the rate of 8% a year from 13/05/2023 to 21/11/2023 on £170.00 and also interest at the same rate up to the date of judgment or earlier payment at a daily rate of £0.02.


Thank you all again in advance.

«1

Comments

  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,388
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    edited 4 December 2023 at 4:29PM
    Just use the hharry extra wording and CEL v Chan transcript,linked already in the Template Defence itself, plus the Template Defence plus your facts but NOTHING about the allegation because those POC don't allege anything specific.
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  • KeithP
    KeithP Posts: 37,112
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    ISSUE DATE on Claim Form 23/11/23

    AOS done 01/12/2023

    Hello and welcome.

    With a Claim Issue Date of 23rd November, and having filed an Acknowledgment of Service in a timely manner, you have until 4pm on Thursday 28th December 2023 to file your Defence.

    That's over three 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'.
  • @Coupon-mad thank you for your help so far. I have pretty much found a similar defence based on hharry's template and would appreciate your take on it.

    IN THE COUNTY COURT

    Claim No.:  xxxxxx

    Between

    Full name of parking firm Ltd, not the solicitor!

    (Claimant) 

    - and -  

    Defendant named on claim (can’t be changed to driver now)                        

     (Defendant)

    _________________

    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').

    Preliminary matter: The claim should be struck out

    2. The Defendant draws to the attention of the allocating Judge that there is now a persuasive Appeal judgment to support striking out the claim (in these exact circumstances of typically poorly pleaded private parking claims, and the extant PoC seen here are far worse than the one seen on Appeal).  The Defendant believes that dismissing this meritless claim is the correct course, with the Overriding Objective in mind.  Bulk litigators (legal firms) should know better than to make little or no attempt to comply with the Practice Direction.  By continuing to plead cases with generic auto-fill unspecific wording, private parking firms should not be surprised when courts strike out their claims based in the following persuasive authority.

    3. A recent persuasive appeal judgment in Civil Enforcement Limited v Chan (Ref. E7GM9W44) would indicate the POC fails to comply with Civil Procedure Rule 16.4(1)(e) and Practice Direction Part 16.7.5. On the 15th August 2023, in the cited case, HHJ Murch held that 'the particulars of the claim as filed and served did not set out the conduct which amounted to the breach in reliance upon which the claimant would be able to bring a claim for breach of contract'. The same is true in this case and in view of the Chan judgment (transcript below) the Court should strike out the claim, using its powers pursuant to CPR 3.4. 


    ~~~four-page Chan transcript inset here~~~


    The facts known to the Defendant:

    4. 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.

    5. The presence of the car at the specified location is in accordance with the Defendant's residential rights as either a resident or permitted visitor, if applicable. However, without clear details provided in the Particulars of Claim, the Defendant cannot respond to specific inquiries about the alleged breach. In the absence of letters or due to the passage of time, the Defendant is unable to recall if they were the driver on the relevant occasion.

    Exaggerated Claim and 'market failure' currently being addressed by UK Government

    6. The alleged 'core debt' from any parking charge cannot exceed £100 (the industry cap).  It is denied that any 'Debt Fees' or damages were actually paid or incurred.

    7. This claim is unfair and inflated and it is denied that any sum is due in debt or damages. This Claimant routinely pursues an unconscionable fixed sum added per PCN, despite knowing that the will of Parliament is to ban it.

    8. This is a classic example where adding exaggerated fees funds bulk litigation of weak and/or archive parking cases. No checks and balances are likely to have been made to ensure facts, merit or a cause of action (given away by the woefully inadequate POC).

    9. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities ('the DLUHC') published a statutory Parking Code of Practice in February 2022: INSERT LINK - CANNOT DO IT HERE DUE TO NEWBIE STATUS

    The Ministerial Foreword is damning: "Private firms issue roughly 22,000 parking tickets every day, often adopting a labyrinthine system of misleading and confusing signage, opaque appeals services, aggressive debt collection and unreasonable fees designed to extort money from motorists." 

    10. Despite legal challenges delaying the Code (temporarily withdrawn) it is now 'live' after a draft Impact Assessment (IA) was published on 30th July 2023. The Government's analysis is found here: INSERT LINK - CANNOT DO IT HERE DUE TO NEWBIE STATUS

    11. Paragraphs 4.31 and 5.19 state that the parking industry has shown the DLUHC that the true minor cost of pre-action stage totals a mere £8.42 per case (not per PCN).

    12. This claim has been enhanced by a disproportionate sum, believed to enrich the litigating legal team. It appears to be double recovery, duplicating the intended 'legal fees' cap set by small claims track rules.

    13. The draft IA shows that the intimidating letter-chains endured by Defendants cost 'eight times less' than the  fixed +£70 per PCN. This causes immense consumer harm in the form of some half a million wrongly-enhanced CCJs each year, that Judges are powerless to prevent.  MoJ statistics reveal several hundred thousand parking claims per annum, with c90% causing default CCJs totalling hundreds of millions of pounds. The false fee was enabled by the self-serving Codes of Practice of the rival parking Trade Bodies who aligned in 2021 to allow +£70, each led by a Board comprising the parking and debt firms who stood to gain from it. 

    14. It is denied that the added damages/fee sought was incurred or is recoverable. Attention is drawn to paras 98, 100, 193, 198 of Beavis.  Also ParkingEye Ltd v Somerfield Stores Ltd ChD [2011] EWHC 4023(QB) where the parking charge was £75, discounted to £37.50 for prompt payment.  Whilst £75 was reasonable, HHJ Hegarty (decision ratified by the CoA) held in paras 419-428 that 'admin costs' inflating a PCN to £135 exaggerated the cost of template letters and 'would appear to be penal'.

    15. This Claimant has not incurred costs. A PCN model already includes what the Supreme Court called an 'automated letter-chain' and it generates a healthy profit. In Beavis, there were 4 pre-action letters/reminders and £85 was held to more than cover the minor costs of the operation (NB: debt collectors charge nothing in failed collection cases).

    16. Whilst the new Code is not retrospective, all non-monetary clauses went unchallenged. It will replace the self-serving BPA & IPC Codes, which are not regulation and carry limited weight.  It is surely a clear steer for the Courts that the DLUHC said in 2023 that it is addressing 'market failure'.

    17. At last, the DLUHC's analysis overrides plainly wrong findings by Circuit Judges steered by Counsel in weak appeal cases that the parking industry steamrollered through. In Vehicle Control Services v Percy, HHJ Saffman took a diametrically opposed position to that taken by DJ Hickinbottom, DJ Jackson (as Her Honour Judge Jackson then was), and other District Judges on the North Eastern Circuit, including DJ Skalskyj-Reynolds and DJ Wright (Skipton) all of whom have consistently dismissed extortionate added 'fees/damages'. District Judges deal with private parking claims on a daily basis, whereas cases of this nature come before Circuit Judges infrequently. The Judgments of HHJ Parkes in Britannia v Semark-Jullien, and HHJ Simpkiss in One Parking Solution v Wilshaw were flawed. These supposedly persuasive judgments included a universal failure to consider the court's duty under s71 of the CRA 2015 and factual errors. In Wilshaw: a badly outdated reliance on 'ticket cases' which allowed poor signage to escape fair scrutiny and a wrong presumption that landowner authority 'is not required' (DVLA rules make it mandatory). In Percy, HHJ Saffman made an incorrect assumption about pre-action costs and even sought out the wrong Code of Practice of his own volition after the hearing, and used it to inform his judgment.

    18. In addition, pursuant to Schedule 4 paragraph 4(5) of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 ('the POFA') the sum claimed exceeds the maximum potentially recoverable from a registered keeper. The Claimant is put to strict proof of POFA compliance if seeking 'keeper liability'.

    19. The Defendant avers that there was no agreement to pay a parking charge or added 'damages' which were not even incurred, let alone quantified in bold, prominent text. This Claimant's lack of large, readable signs are nothing like the yellow & black warnings seen in Beavis, nor do they meet the signage requirements in the DLUHC Code which reflects the already statutory requirement for 'prominence' (Consumer Rights Act 2015 - the 'CRA').

    CRA breaches

    20. Section 71 CRA creates a statutory duty upon Courts to consider the test of fairness whether a party raises it or not. Further, claiming costs on an indemnity basis is unfair, per the Unfair Contract Terms Guidance (CMA37, para 5.14.3):INSERT LINK - CANNOT DO IT HERE DUE TO NEWBIE STATUS

    21. The CRA introduced new requirements for 'prominence' of both terms and 'consumer notices'.  In a parking context, this includes a test of fairness and clarity of 'signs & lines' and all communications (written or otherwise). Signs must be prominent (lit in hours of darkness/dusk) and all terms must be unambiguous and contractual obligations clear.

    22.  The Defendant avers that the CRA has been breached due to unfair/unclear terms and notices, pursuant to s62 and paying regard to examples 6, 10, 14 & 18 of Schedule 2 and the duties of fair/open dealing and good faith (NB: this does not necessarily mean there has to be a finding of bad faith).  

    ParkingEye v Beavis is distinguished

    23.  Unlike in Beavis, the penalty rule remains engaged. The CRA covers disproportionate sums, which are not exempt from being assessed for fairness because a 'fee' is not the core price term and neither was it prominently proclaimed on the signs.  

    24. The Supreme Court held that deterrence is likely to be penal if there is a lack of a 'legitimate interest' in performance extending beyond the prospect of compensation flowing directly from alleged breach.  The intention cannot be to punish a driver, nor to present them with hidden terms or cumbersome obligations ('concealed pitfalls or traps').  This Claimant has failed those tests, with small signs, hidden terms and minuscule small print that is incapable of binding a driver. Court of Appeal authorities about a lack of ‘adequate notice’ of a parking charge include:

    (i) Spurling v Bradshaw [1956] 1 WLR 461 (Lord Denning's ‘red hand rule’) and

    (ii) Thornton v Shoe Lane Parking Ltd [1970] EWCA Civ2,

    both leading authorities that a clause cannot be incorporated after a contract has been concluded; and

    (iii) Vine v London Borough of Waltham Forest: CA 5 Apr 2000, where Ms Vine won because it was held that she had not seen the terms by which she would later be bound, due to "the absence of any notice on the wall opposite the parking space''. 

    25.  Fairness and clarity of terms and notices are paramount in the DLUHC Code and these clauses are supported by the BPA & IPC. In Parking Review, solicitor Will Hurley, CEO of the IPC, observed: "Any regulation or instruction either has clarity or it doesn’t. If it’s clear to one person but not another, there is no clarity. The same is true for fairness. Something that is fair, by definition, has to be all-inclusive of all parties involved – it’s either fair or it isn’t." 

    Lack of standing or landowner authority, and lack of ADR

    26. DVLA data is only supplied if there is an agreement flowing from the landholder (ref: KADOE rules). It is not accepted that this Claimant (an agent of a principal) has authority to form contracts at this site in their name. The Claimant is put to strict proof of their standing to litigate.

    27. The Claimant failed to offer a genuinely independent Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). The DLUHC Code shows that genuine disputes such as this should see PCNs cancelled, had a fair ADR existed. The rival Trade Bodies' time-limited and opaque 'appeals' services fail to properly consider facts or rules of law and reject most disputes: e.g. the IAS upheld appeals in a woeful 4% of decided cases (ref: Annual Report).  This consumer blame culture and reliance upon their own 'appeals service' (described by MPs as a kangaroo court and about to be replaced by the Government) should satisfy Judges that a fair appeal was never on offer.

    Conclusion

    28. There is now evidence to support the view - long held by many District Judges - that these are knowingly exaggerated claims that are causing consumer harm.  The July 2023 DLUHC IA analysis shows that the usual letter-chain costs eight times less than the sum claimed for it.  The claim is entirely without merit and the POC embarrassing.  The Defendant believes that it is in the public interest that poorly pleaded claims like this should be struck out.

    29. In the matter of costs, the Defendant seeks:

    (a) standard witness costs for attendance at Court, pursuant to CPR 27.14, and

    (b) a finding of unreasonable conduct by this Claimant, and further costs pursuant to CPR 46.5. 

    30.  Attention is drawn to the (often-seen) distinct possibility of an unreasonably late Notice of Discontinuance. Whilst CPR r.38.6 states that the Claimant is liable for the Defendant's costs after discontinuance (r.38.6(1)) this does not 'normally' apply to claims allocated to the small claims track (r.38.6(3)). However, the White Book states (annotation 38.6.1): "Note that the normal rule as to costs does not apply if a claimant in a case allocated to the small claims track serves a notice of discontinuance although it might be contended that costs should be awarded if a party has behaved unreasonably (r.27.14(2)(dg))."   


    Statement of Truth

    I believe that the facts stated in this defence are true.  I understand that proceedings for contempt of court may be brought against anyone who makes, or causes to be made, a false statement in a document verified by a statement of truth without an honest belief in its truth.

    Signature:

    Date:


  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,388
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    residential rights as either a resident or permitted visitor, if applicable. 
    No. You were either a resident or you weren't. 
    Tell us more.
    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
  • residential rights as either a resident or permitted visitor, if applicable. 
    No. You were either a resident or you weren't. 
    Tell us more.
    Ah I see. I was a visitor and had to park briefly to deal with a personal issue. How would I frame that? Clearly not permitted as I didn’t have a permit. 
  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,388
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    edited 15 December 2023 at 2:08AM
    However, the vehicle is recognised and it is admitted that the Defendant was the registered keeper and driver.

    5. The Defendant was a visitor and had to stop briefly to deal with a personal issue (explain more? Visiting a resident? Dropping off a person or item)?

    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
    CLICK at the top of this/any page where it says:
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  • @Coupon-mad thank you for your super fast responses and apologies for my slow updates - work is killing me!

    I have made a small edit to my defence after taking onboard your comments. I have decided to omit any specific details only the driver would know out of my defence. Previously I wrote:

    5. The presence of the car at the specified location is in accordance with the Defendant's residential rights as either a resident or permitted visitor, if applicable. However, without clear details provided in the Particulars of Claim, the Defendant cannot respond to specific inquiries about the alleged breach. In the absence of letters or due to the passage of time, the Defendant is unable to recall if they were the driver on the relevant occasion.

    I have decided to change this to:

    5. The presence of the car at the specified location is admitted. However, without clear details provided in the Particulars of Claim, the Defendant cannot respond to specific inquiries about the alleged breach. In the absence of letters or due to the passage of time, the Defendant is unable to recall if they were the driver on the relevant occasion.

    Look forward to reading what you think.

    Updated full defence:

    IN THE COUNTY COURT

    Claim No.:  xxxxxx

    Between

    Full name of parking firm Ltd, not the solicitor!

    (Claimant) 

    - and -  

    Defendant named on claim (can’t be changed to driver now)                        

     (Defendant)

    _________________

    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').

    Preliminary matter: The claim should be struck out

    2. The Defendant draws to the attention of the allocating Judge that there is now a persuasive Appeal judgment to support striking out the claim (in these exact circumstances of typically poorly pleaded private parking claims, and the extant PoC seen here are far worse than the one seen on Appeal).  The Defendant believes that dismissing this meritless claim is the correct course, with the Overriding Objective in mind.  Bulk litigators (legal firms) should know better than to make little or no attempt to comply with the Practice Direction.  By continuing to plead cases with generic auto-fill unspecific wording, private parking firms should not be surprised when courts strike out their claims based in the following persuasive authority.

    3. A recent persuasive appeal judgment in Civil Enforcement Limited v Chan (Ref. E7GM9W44) would indicate the POC fails to comply with Civil Procedure Rule 16.4(1)(e) and Practice Direction Part 16.7.5. On the 15th August 2023, in the cited case, HHJ Murch held that 'the particulars of the claim as filed and served did not set out the conduct which amounted to the breach in reliance upon which the claimant would be able to bring a claim for breach of contract'. The same is true in this case and in view of the Chan judgment (transcript below) the Court should strike out the claim, using its powers pursuant to CPR 3.4. 


    ~~~four-page Chan transcript inset here~~~


    The facts known to the Defendant:

    4. 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.

    5. The presence of the car at the specified location is admitted. However, without clear details provided in the Particulars of Claim, the Defendant cannot respond to specific inquiries about the alleged breach. In the absence of letters or due to the passage of time, the Defendant is unable to recall if they were the driver on the relevant occasion.

    Exaggerated Claim and 'market failure' currently being addressed by UK Government

    6. The alleged 'core debt' from any parking charge cannot exceed £100 (the industry cap).  It is denied that any 'Debt Fees' or damages were actually paid or incurred.

    7. This claim is unfair and inflated and it is denied that any sum is due in debt or damages. This Claimant routinely pursues an unconscionable fixed sum added per PCN, despite knowing that the will of Parliament is to ban it.

    8. This is a classic example where adding exaggerated fees funds bulk litigation of weak and/or archive parking cases. No checks and balances are likely to have been made to ensure facts, merit or a cause of action (given away by the woefully inadequate POC).

    9. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities ('the DLUHC') published a statutory Parking Code of Practice in February 2022: INSERT LINK - CANNOT DO IT HERE DUE TO NEWBIE STATUS

    The Ministerial Foreword is damning: "Private firms issue roughly 22,000 parking tickets every day, often adopting a labyrinthine system of misleading and confusing signage, opaque appeals services, aggressive debt collection and unreasonable fees designed to extort money from motorists." 

    10. Despite legal challenges delaying the Code (temporarily withdrawn) it is now 'live' after a draft Impact Assessment (IA) was published on 30th July 2023. The Government's analysis is found here: INSERT LINK - CANNOT DO IT HERE DUE TO NEWBIE STATUS

    11. Paragraphs 4.31 and 5.19 state that the parking industry has shown the DLUHC that the true minor cost of pre-action stage totals a mere £8.42 per case (not per PCN).

    12. This claim has been enhanced by a disproportionate sum, believed to enrich the litigating legal team. It appears to be double recovery, duplicating the intended 'legal fees' cap set by small claims track rules.

    13. The draft IA shows that the intimidating letter-chains endured by Defendants cost 'eight times less' than the  fixed +£70 per PCN. This causes immense consumer harm in the form of some half a million wrongly-enhanced CCJs each year, that Judges are powerless to prevent.  MoJ statistics reveal several hundred thousand parking claims per annum, with c90% causing default CCJs totalling hundreds of millions of pounds. The false fee was enabled by the self-serving Codes of Practice of the rival parking Trade Bodies who aligned in 2021 to allow +£70, each led by a Board comprising the parking and debt firms who stood to gain from it. 

    14. It is denied that the added damages/fee sought was incurred or is recoverable. Attention is drawn to paras 98, 100, 193, 198 of Beavis.  Also ParkingEye Ltd v Somerfield Stores Ltd ChD [2011] EWHC 4023(QB) where the parking charge was £75, discounted to £37.50 for prompt payment.  Whilst £75 was reasonable, HHJ Hegarty (decision ratified by the CoA) held in paras 419-428 that 'admin costs' inflating a PCN to £135 exaggerated the cost of template letters and 'would appear to be penal'.

    15. This Claimant has not incurred costs. A PCN model already includes what the Supreme Court called an 'automated letter-chain' and it generates a healthy profit. In Beavis, there were 4 pre-action letters/reminders and £85 was held to more than cover the minor costs of the operation (NB: debt collectors charge nothing in failed collection cases).

    16. Whilst the new Code is not retrospective, all non-monetary clauses went unchallenged. It will replace the self-serving BPA & IPC Codes, which are not regulation and carry limited weight.  It is surely a clear steer for the Courts that the DLUHC said in 2023 that it is addressing 'market failure'.

    17. At last, the DLUHC's analysis overrides plainly wrong findings by Circuit Judges steered by Counsel in weak appeal cases that the parking industry steamrollered through. In Vehicle Control Services v Percy, HHJ Saffman took a diametrically opposed position to that taken by DJ Hickinbottom, DJ Jackson (as Her Honour Judge Jackson then was), and other District Judges on the North Eastern Circuit, including DJ Skalskyj-Reynolds and DJ Wright (Skipton) all of whom have consistently dismissed extortionate added 'fees/damages'. District Judges deal with private parking claims on a daily basis, whereas cases of this nature come before Circuit Judges infrequently. The Judgments of HHJ Parkes in Britannia v Semark-Jullien, and HHJ Simpkiss in One Parking Solution v Wilshaw were flawed. These supposedly persuasive judgments included a universal failure to consider the court's duty under s71 of the CRA 2015 and factual errors. In Wilshaw: a badly outdated reliance on 'ticket cases' which allowed poor signage to escape fair scrutiny and a wrong presumption that landowner authority 'is not required' (DVLA rules make it mandatory). In Percy, HHJ Saffman made an incorrect assumption about pre-action costs and even sought out the wrong Code of Practice of his own volition after the hearing, and used it to inform his judgment.

    18. In addition, pursuant to Schedule 4 paragraph 4(5) of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 ('the POFA') the sum claimed exceeds the maximum potentially recoverable from a registered keeper. The Claimant is put to strict proof of POFA compliance if seeking 'keeper liability'.

    19. The Defendant avers that there was no agreement to pay a parking charge or added 'damages' which were not even incurred, let alone quantified in bold, prominent text. This Claimant's lack of large, readable signs are nothing like the yellow & black warnings seen in Beavis, nor do they meet the signage requirements in the DLUHC Code which reflects the already statutory requirement for 'prominence' (Consumer Rights Act 2015 - the 'CRA').

    CRA breaches

    20. Section 71 CRA creates a statutory duty upon Courts to consider the test of fairness whether a party raises it or not. Further, claiming costs on an indemnity basis is unfair, per the Unfair Contract Terms Guidance (CMA37, para 5.14.3):INSERT LINK - CANNOT DO IT HERE DUE TO NEWBIE STATUS

    21. The CRA introduced new requirements for 'prominence' of both terms and 'consumer notices'.  In a parking context, this includes a test of fairness and clarity of 'signs & lines' and all communications (written or otherwise). Signs must be prominent (lit in hours of darkness/dusk) and all terms must be unambiguous and contractual obligations clear.

    22.  The Defendant avers that the CRA has been breached due to unfair/unclear terms and notices, pursuant to s62 and paying regard to examples 6, 10, 14 & 18 of Schedule 2 and the duties of fair/open dealing and good faith (NB: this does not necessarily mean there has to be a finding of bad faith).  

    ParkingEye v Beavis is distinguished

    23.  Unlike in Beavis, the penalty rule remains engaged. The CRA covers disproportionate sums, which are not exempt from being assessed for fairness because a 'fee' is not the core price term and neither was it prominently proclaimed on the signs.  

    24. The Supreme Court held that deterrence is likely to be penal if there is a lack of a 'legitimate interest' in performance extending beyond the prospect of compensation flowing directly from alleged breach.  The intention cannot be to punish a driver, nor to present them with hidden terms or cumbersome obligations ('concealed pitfalls or traps').  This Claimant has failed those tests, with small signs, hidden terms and minuscule small print that is incapable of binding a driver. Court of Appeal authorities about a lack of ‘adequate notice’ of a parking charge include:

    (i) Spurling v Bradshaw [1956] 1 WLR 461 (Lord Denning's ‘red hand rule’) and

    (ii) Thornton v Shoe Lane Parking Ltd [1970] EWCA Civ2,

    both leading authorities that a clause cannot be incorporated after a contract has been concluded; and

    (iii) Vine v London Borough of Waltham Forest: CA 5 Apr 2000, where Ms Vine won because it was held that she had not seen the terms by which she would later be bound, due to "the absence of any notice on the wall opposite the parking space''. 

    25.  Fairness and clarity of terms and notices are paramount in the DLUHC Code and these clauses are supported by the BPA & IPC. In Parking Review, solicitor Will Hurley, CEO of the IPC, observed: "Any regulation or instruction either has clarity or it doesn’t. If it’s clear to one person but not another, there is no clarity. The same is true for fairness. Something that is fair, by definition, has to be all-inclusive of all parties involved – it’s either fair or it isn’t." 

    Lack of standing or landowner authority, and lack of ADR

    26. DVLA data is only supplied if there is an agreement flowing from the landholder (ref: KADOE rules). It is not accepted that this Claimant (an agent of a principal) has authority to form contracts at this site in their name. The Claimant is put to strict proof of their standing to litigate.

    27. The Claimant failed to offer a genuinely independent Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). The DLUHC Code shows that genuine disputes such as this should see PCNs cancelled, had a fair ADR existed. The rival Trade Bodies' time-limited and opaque 'appeals' services fail to properly consider facts or rules of law and reject most disputes: e.g. the IAS upheld appeals in a woeful 4% of decided cases (ref: Annual Report).  This consumer blame culture and reliance upon their own 'appeals service' (described by MPs as a kangaroo court and about to be replaced by the Government) should satisfy Judges that a fair appeal was never on offer.

    Conclusion

    28. There is now evidence to support the view - long held by many District Judges - that these are knowingly exaggerated claims that are causing consumer harm.  The July 2023 DLUHC IA analysis shows that the usual letter-chain costs eight times less than the sum claimed for it.  The claim is entirely without merit and the POC embarrassing.  The Defendant believes that it is in the public interest that poorly pleaded claims like this should be struck out.

    29. In the matter of costs, the Defendant seeks:

    (a) standard witness costs for attendance at Court, pursuant to CPR 27.14, and

    (b) a finding of unreasonable conduct by this Claimant, and further costs pursuant to CPR 46.5. 

    30.  Attention is drawn to the (often-seen) distinct possibility of an unreasonably late Notice of Discontinuance. Whilst CPR r.38.6 states that the Claimant is liable for the Defendant's costs after discontinuance (r.38.6(1)) this does not 'normally' apply to claims allocated to the small claims track (r.38.6(3)). However, the White Book states (annotation 38.6.1): "Note that the normal rule as to costs does not apply if a claimant in a case allocated to the small claims track serves a notice of discontinuance although it might be contended that costs should be awarded if a party has behaved unreasonably (r.27.14(2)(dg))."   


    Statement of Truth

    I believe that the facts stated in this defence are true.  I understand that proceedings for contempt of court may be brought against anyone who makes, or causes to be made, a false statement in a document verified by a statement of truth without an honest belief in its truth.

    Signature:

    Date:

  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,388
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    I think you've now lost the rationale for why you were there. Basically, there are now no facts to support your dispute.

    Why not simply admit to driving and say what you were doing there, which is what the Template Defence tells everyone to do?
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
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  • I think you've now lost the rationale for why you were there. Basically, there are now no facts to support your dispute.

    Why not simply admit to driving and say what you were doing there, which is what the Template Defence tells everyone to do?
    @c@Coupon-mad understood! 
    Reverting to your initial suggestion, I would state the following:

    However, the vehicle is recognised and it is admitted that the Defendant was the registered keeper and driver.

    5. The Defendant was a visitor and had to stop briefly to deal with an urgent personal issue. The defendant had to drop their grandkids off to use the restroom. The defendant stopped briefly lasting no more than 10 minutes. However, without clear details provided in the Particulars of Claim, the Defendant cannot respond to specific inquiries about the alleged breach. 

    Let me know what you think.

    Have a great evening.

  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,388
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    Change

    stopped briefly lasting no more than 10 minutes

    to

    stopped briefly for mere minutes
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
    CLICK at the top of this/any page where it says:
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