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Please help! Advice for Met Parking Stansted court claim

Annoyedcol
Annoyedcol Posts: 15
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edited 19 December 2023 at 10:17AM in Parking tickets, fines & parking
 I am in the process of filing my defence for a court claim received from Met Parking at Stansted (Starbucks/Mcdonalds) dated 21st Nov 2023 and have filed an Acknowledgment of Service defending within the timescale given. 

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  • KeithP
    KeithP Posts: 37,073
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    I see that you have a Claim Form.
    Upon what date did you file an Acknowledgment of Service?
    Your MCOL Claim History will have the definitive answer to that.
  • I filed an acknowledgment of service on 30/11/23. It was received on 1/12/23
  • KeithP
    KeithP Posts: 37,073
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     I am in the process of filing my defence for a court claim received from Met Parking at Stansted (Starbucks/Mcdonalds) dated 21st Nov 2023 and have filed an Acknowledgment of Service defending within the timescale given. 
    I filed an acknowledgment of service on 30/11/23. It was received on 1/12/23

    With a Claim Issue Date of 21st 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 two 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'.
  • Fruitcake
    Fruitcake Posts: 57,967
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    edited 15 December 2023 at 9:50PM
    If the location is within the airport boundary where byelaws apply, the driver can be held liable, but not the keeper, and the PPC cannot assume they know the identity of the driver. For that reason, the defence should come from the registered keeper, and the driver's identity should not be revealed at any point. The Edwards case then comes into play and should be included in your defence.

    You should report your posts for containing personal data (where the driver's identity has been revealed) on the off chance that the PPC are monitoring this thread.
    It is unlikely, but we do know it happens.
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  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,237
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    Why not just read the other (dozen or so) MET recent Starbucks Stansted cases on this forum for inspiration?

    Easy to find them all with forum keyword searches.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
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  • Annoyedcol
    Annoyedcol Posts: 15
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    edited 19 December 2023 at 10:18AM
    Thank you for your advice and on where to seach @Fruitcake and @Coupon-mad.  I have been looking through the threads but have not yet been able to find the Edwards case to include in my defence. If you are able to enlighten me on what key words to seach I would be most grateful. I've seen other claim forms that have been shown on threads with slightly different POC wording. This is the claim form I received. To clarify, do I need to include in para 3 in my defence to argue that the driver left the site within the 60 minute free parking time without admitting who was the driver? Or do I ignore that part altogether? 

    I'll send a draft of my defence for you wonderfully knowledgeable people to check before I submit it, if that's ok?
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  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,237
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    edited 17 December 2023 at 12:55PM
    It's not the Edwards case, it's Edward.

    Search the forum for Edward Smith Gargan.

    That claim POC is the same as all the other MET Southgate claim threads since November. 
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
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  • Thank you @Coupon-mad. I've found the Edward case including it in my first draft below. I've then used the rest of the template defence from para 4 onwards (renumbered). How does this look?

    IN THE COUNTY COURT

    Claim No.:  xxxxxx

    Between

    DCB Legal LTD

    (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').

     

    The facts known to the Defendant:

    2. The facts in this defence come from the Defendant's own knowledge and honest belief.  Conversely. the Defendant observes after researching other parking claims with the same POC that this claim sets out a cut-and-paste incoherent statement of case.  The POC is sparse on facts and specific breach allegation, making it very difficult to respond. However, it is admitted that the Defendant was the registered keeper of the vehicle.

    3. The recollection from the Defendant, is that the car was at all material times properly parked and authorised and were genuine patrons of Starbucks and McDonalds. The site is notorious for spurious PCNs for 'parking on the wrong side'. The inadequacy of the signage on this site has been widely reported in the media and therefore cannot, reasonably, be construed as having created a contractual relationship between the Claimant and the Driver. The Claimant is put to strict proof that, at the time of the parking event the signage was evident, adequate, correct and clearly visible on the site in question.

    4. Airport land is not 'relevant land' as it is already covered by statutory bylaws and so is specifically excluded from 'keeper liability' under Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. As the registered keeper, the Defendant is not legally liable as this Act does not apply on this land. This Claimant cannot invoke 'keeper liability' and have simply aimed a speculative claim at a registered keeper which is wholly unreasonable conduct in a case where they know they cannot rely upon the provisions of the POFA. 

    5.  Outwith the POFA, parking firms cannot invoke 'keeper liability'. This legal point has already been tested on appeal (twice) in private parking cases and the transcripts will be adduced in evidence:

     

    (i). In the case of Excel Parking Services Ltd v Anthony Smith at Manchester Court, on appeal re claim number C0DP9C4E in June 2017, His Honour Judge Smith overturned an error by a District Judge and pointed out that, where the registered keeper was not shown to have been driving (or was not driving) such a Defendant cannot be held liable outwith the POFA.  Nor is there any merit in a twisted interpretation of the law of agency (if that was a remedy then the POFA Schedule 4 legislation would not have been needed at all).  HHJ Smith admonished Excel for attempting to rely on a bare assumption that the Defendant was driving or that the driver was acting 'on behalf of' the keeper, which was without merit. Excel could have used the POFA but did not. Mr Smith's appeal was allowed and Excel's claim was dismissed.

     

    (ii). In April 2023, His Honour Judge Mark Gargan sitting at Teesside Combined Court (on appeal re claim H0KF6C9C) held in Vehicle Control Services Ltd v Ian Edward that a registered keeper cannot be assumed to have been driving. Nor could any adverse inference be drawn if a keeper is unable or unwilling (or indeed too late, post litigation) to nominate the driver, because the POFA does not invoke any such obligation.  HHJ Gargan held:

    35.1. "The finding I make is consistent with the underlying purpose of Schedule 4 to the Protection of Freedoms Act, namely, that it was necessary to bring in keeper liability pursuant to that legislation, because liability could not be established.  If this were not the case car parking companies could simply have obtained the details of the registered keeper, launched proceedings and waited to see whether or not there was a positive defence put forward, and in the absence of a positive defence they would have succeeded. If the court took such an approach, it would have been imposing a duty on the registered keeper, to identify the driver or at least set out a positive case in order to avoid responsibility himself. In my judgment that was not the position before ... [the POFA] ... was in force; 

    35.2.  my decision preserves and respects the important general freedom from being required to give information, absent a legal duty upon you to do so; and 

    35.3.  it is consistent with the appropriate probability analysis whereby simply because somebody is a registered keeper, it does not mean on the balance of probability they were driving on this occasion..."

    6.  Mr Edward's appeal succeeded and the Claim was dismissed.  In the extant case, this Claimant has launched 'roboclaim' cut & paste proceedings saying vaguely that the Defendant was 'keeper and/or driver' and waited to see if the registered keeper has the nous to research the POFA and to meaningfully defend, or if they could gain a default CCJ (as happens in 90% of small claims).  It is a lucrative gamble with the odds of wrongful success heavily weighted in parking operators' favour, but this is plainly an abuse of the court process.  This baseless claim demonstrates precisely the behaviour that HHJ Gargan identified in 35.1. This claim has no basis in law and neither the court nor the Defendant should be troubled with a hearing.




  • 1505grandad
    1505grandad Posts: 2,846
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    Check the correct name of the claimant.
  • Check the correct name of the claimant.
    Thank you. Now changed to Met Parking Services Ltd
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