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Ipserv / BW claim

roo0713
roo0713 Posts: 20
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edited 11 December 2023 at 12:39PM in Parking tickets, fines & parking
Hi all,

I received a claim from BW Legal in relation to two PCNs that happened in 2022 for parking without payment in Duke Street, Ipswich. The PPC in question is Ipserv, and the issue date is 04/12/23.

The circumstances behind both of these is that I parked with a University of Suffolk student permit in Duke Street, which is a public car park near the university (and also appears to be managed by Ipserv on behalf of them). Ipserv claim that university permits are not accepted in this particular car park, and I feel like this was not made clear at all on the signage and terms.

At the time, the University allowed free parking in various Ipserv car parks near the university as this was outside of term, so I did not enter my VRM on their system as this would require payment, and I genuinely believed that this was a car park where ANPR would detect my car as having a permit.

I appealed the PCNs through POPLA but both were rejected. Ipserv even claimed in their POPLA responses that they offered a discount for parking to university permit holders (after parking several times with payment in this same car park after receiving these PCNs I was never given this!)

I then had letters from Trace and BW Legal, all of which were ignored in line with the Newbies thread. They even got my email (assuming from the original appeal) and also tried calling me!

I've already done some digging on here into what I'll need to include in my defence, and I will file the AOS shortly. 

Thanks in advance
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Comments

  • KeithP
    KeithP Posts: 37,049
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    With a Claim Issue Date of 4th December, you have until Thursday 28th December to file an Acknowledgment of Service but there is nothing to be gained by delaying it. 
    To file an Acknowledgment of Service, follow the guidance in the Dropbox file linked from the second post in the NEWBIES thread.
    Having filed an Acknowledgment of Service in a timely manner, you have until 4pm on Monday 8th January 2024 to file your Defence.
    That's 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 again at the second post on the NEWBIES thread - immediately following where you found the Acknowledgment of Service guidance.
    Don't miss the deadline for filing an Acknowledgment of Service, nor that 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'.
  • roo0713
    roo0713 Posts: 20
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    Thanks for that KeithP - AOS has just been filed now.

    I've had another look at my claim form and am I right in thinking that CEL v Chan can be used, as the POC doesn't mention what I supposedly breached? Would this also mean that I don't need to mention anything in the defence about using a permit or the signage?
  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,167
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    Yes and yes. Use the hharry defence and your fairly vague facts go into paragraph 5.

    Looks like Yasmin has left BW Legal; Companies House shows she's no longer a Director.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
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  • JerryJ64
    JerryJ64 Posts: 114
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    Yasmin is at DCB Legal.
  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,167
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    JerryJ64 said:
    Yasmin is at DCB Legal.
    But according to Companies House, she's left!  Or at least stepped down as a Director.  They do have lots of solicitors though.  At the moment.

    But yep my bad - NOT BW Legal!
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  • roo0713
    roo0713 Posts: 20
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    Hi all,

    Here's the defence so far, any suggestions for changes would be appreciated:

    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 and Practice Direction Part 16. 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, the Court should strike out the claim, using its powers pursuant to CPR 3.4.

    (the four images of the Chan transcript inserted 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 and driver.

    5. The Defendant recalls that she was using the vehicle to visit a community event which was taking place near the car park in question, and therefore she parked there on both of the dates mentioned in the POC. Whilst the nature of the alleged breach of contract on either of these dates is not made clear in the POC, the Defendant believes that she acted in good faith and was using the car park in the manner that she believed it was intended to be used.

    6.  The claim has been issued via Money Claims Online and, as a result, is subject to a character limit for the Particulars of Claim section of the Claim Form.  The fact that generic wording appears to have been applied has obstructed any semblance of clarity.  The Defendant trusts that the court will agree that a claim pleaded in such generic terms lacks the required details and would have required proper particularisation in a detailed document within 14 days, per 16PD.3.  No such document has been served.

    (Paragraph 7 onwards is the rest of the template: "the claimant will concede...")

    Thanks in advance

  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,167
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    Do those POC not even state the car park location?
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  • 1505grandad
    1505grandad Posts: 2,843
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    I believe para 6 is not in the template defence  -  C-m commented on thread of hharry that it was to be removed.
  • Do those POC not even state the car park location?

    Looking at the POC again it doesn’t! But now that you mention this, in Paragraph 5 I did state “the car park in question”. Is it worth removing this and pointing out instead that the location was never specified on the POC? How would I go about doing this while stating why the car was there? 

    Also removed Paragraph 6 now - thanks 1505grandad

  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,167
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    Absolutely remove 'the car park in question' and replace all that by observing that in a claim alleging breach of contract, the lack of statement of what that conduct was, what the terms were, what the breach was, nor even where the alleged conduct took place (no car park location is given) must surely mean the claim must be struck out.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
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