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Help needed regarding claim forms (N1SDT) from UKCPM/Gladstone solicitors

Hello, this is the first time I am going through this process and the resources available here have proved to be extremely helpful and informative (thank you everyone!).

Quick summary: I live as a tenant, with a marked (with flat number) parking spot in underground fob-accessed car park. Have been living here/parking car since mid-2021. Parking permit was given by letting agency, which I have kept on the dashboard of the car.

Received multiple PCNs earlier this year that permit was not visible (car was parked in correct bay). The permit is placed (not stuck) on the dashboard and sometimes (rarely) gets moved when the window is opened and there is a draught. I see it fallen on the sear and put it back in place. Not sure if this was one of those instances as the pictures in the PCN were poor quality. I ignored the PCNs and the following letters from Gladstone Solicitors, and have now received two claim forms for breaches on the same day.

Claim 1 issue date: 15/December/2023

Claim 2 issue date: 19/December/2023

Claimant: UKCPM

Solicitors: Gladstone Solicitors

What I have done so far.

-        Read the NEWBIES thread to understand the steps involved.

-        Completed AoS on MCOL for both claims on 31/December/2023 (AoS received on 2/January/2024 as per MCOL website for both claims). MCOL will be used a read-only from now.

-        I have started preparing my defence based on the Template Defence provided.

Questions.

1.     While the claim form issue dates are 15th and 19th of December, I did not receive the letters in my post till 30th December. Now this could be due to the holiday season, but also due to well-advertised delays at the local post office, which have been going on for past few months. Does this effect my timeline, and do I need to say something about this in my defence statement?

2.     I am pasting redacted versions of both claims. Could you please confirm that the POC does not state the actual breach, and I can use wording from relevant posts with in my defence?

3.     Where do I ask for both claims to be amalgamated, on the defence template or a separate cover letter? Could someone please direct me to relevant post/thread on this. I tried searching the forum for ‘two claims? abuse of process consolidated’, but only found other threads being asked to look for the same.

4.     I have checked my AST, and nowhere it mentions needing a parking permit or any mention of parking whatsoever. Is this something I can include in my defence, if it would help?

5.     I do not own the vehicle in question anymore. I was the registered keeper when the alleged breach happened. Does this change anything, or is this something I need to include in the defence?

Would appreciate any further help or advice, I know I have to modify paras 2 and 3 from the template, but if there is anything specific I should include based on the above, please let me know.


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Comments

  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,102
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    edited 8 January at 11:20PM
    Wow.

    1. No

    2. Yes you are correct. Use the Chan version

    3. Don't ask for them to be consolidated.  Do one defence this week (for the earlier claim), and leave a week or two's gap for the second defence (on or a day before the final deadline day).  The second defence includes reference to Henderson v Henderson (with the other claim number and cause of action estoppel being cited) and hopefully the second one gets struck out.

    4.  Yes.

    5.  No, not relevant.

    Were there two PCNs issued in one day? Are 2 different PCN numbers shown in those PoC?
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  • KeithP
    KeithP Posts: 37,048
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    Claim 1 issue date: 15/December/2023

    Claim 2 issue date: 19/December/2023

    Completed AoS on MCOL for both claims on 31/December/2023 (AoS received on 2/January/2024 as per MCOL website for both claims). MCOL will be used a read-only from now.


    With a Claim Issue Date of 15th December, and having filed an Acknowledgment of Service in a timely manner, you have until 4pm on Wednesday 17th January 2024 to file a Defence.

    With a Claim Issue Date of 19th December, and having filed an Acknowledgment of Service in a timely manner, you have until 4pm on Monday 22nd January 2024 to file a Defence.

    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(s) 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'.
  • Castle
    Castle Posts: 4,048
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    Were there two PCNs issued in one day? Are 2 different PCN numbers shown in those PoC?
    Although the claims differ by 11p, if the PCN(s) were issued the same day the figures should be the same.
  • Johnersh
    Johnersh Posts: 1,287
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    edited 9 January at 9:16AM
    Check the sign. As I recall the ukcpm terms charge for each 24 hrs. so there is potentially no contractual basis to charge twice on the same day. Interested to see if both claims rely on the same photo?

    Defence 2 will be that it is vexatious and duplicative of proceedings issued under claim no X and should be struck out under CPR 3.4 on the basis that it shows no cause of action, the claimant will not be permitted to recover twice for the same alleged loss.

    Henderson would require an adjudication as I understand it. There isn't one yet. Happy to take other views.

  • Thanks a lot everyone for your responses.


    Were there two PCNs issued in one day? Are 2 different PCN numbers shown in those PoC?

    The PoC do not state any PCN numbers, so not sure how to relate them to the PCNs. The POC just mention the same date.

    Will follow your advice and file the defences separately.

    Johnersh said:
    Check the sign. As I recall the ukcpm terms charge for each 24 hrs. so there is potentially no contractual basis to charge twice on the same day. Interested to see if both claims rely on the same photo?

    I checked the signage in the parking lot, and it does not mention charging once per 24 hours. I am not sure if they relied on the same photo, most probably they did, as the person would not probably be bothered to come around twice in the same day.


  • I have put together a draft of defence claim 1 based on the advice available. Could you please have a look and let me know if any changes are needed or anything else needs to be added. Many thanks.

    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. 

    (4 images of CEL v CHAN transcript)

     

    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.

     

    Frustration of Contract

     

    5.      Maintaining the residents' rights to peaceful enjoyment of the property does not include allowing everyone to be unfairly charged by a lurking ex-wheelclamper for attending to normal life necessities like parking to unload groceries or setting down passengers, etc.  Clearly there is no 'legitimate interest' supporting these enhanced parking charges in these circumstances and also no reason for the Claimant hoping to profit even further from exaggerated interest calculations.

    Authority to Park and Primacy of Contract

    6.      The underground car parking area contains allocated parking spaces demised to residents. Entry to the underground parking is by means of a key fob, of a type only issued to residents. Any vehicles parked therein are, therefore, de facto authorised to be there.

     

    7.      It is denied that the Defendant or lawful users of his/her vehicle were in breach of any parking conditions or were not permitted to park in circumstances where an express permission to park had been granted to the Defendant permitting the above mentioned vehicle to be parked by the current occupier and leaseholder of [address], whose leaseholder agreement permits the parking of vehicle(s) on land. The Defendant avers that there was an absolute entitlement to park deriving from the terms of the lease, which cannot be fettered by any alleged parking terms. The lease terms provide the right to park a vehicle in the relevant parking area, without limitation as to type of vehicle, ownership of vehicle, the user of the vehicle. A copy of the leasehold agreement will be provided to the Court, together with witness evidence that prior permission to park had been given.

    8.      The Defendant avers that the operator’s signs cannot (i) override the existing rights enjoyed by residents and their visitors and (ii) that parking easements cannot retrospectively and unilaterally be restricted where provided for within the lease. The Defendant will rely upon the judgments on appeal of HHJ Harris QC in Jopson v Homeguard Services Ltd (2016) and of Sir Christopher Slade in K-Sultana Saeed v Plustrade Ltd [2001] EWCA Civ 2011. The Court will be referred to further similar fact cases in the event that this matter proceeds to trial.

    9.      Accordingly, it is denied that:
    (i).  there was any agreement as between the Defendant or driver of the vehicle and the Claimant
    (ii). the Claimant has suffered loss or damage or that there is a lawful basis to pursue a claim for loss.
    (iii).  the Claimant has suffered or incurred any 'damages or indemnity costs if applicable' as vaguely stated in the original template POC.

    The rest of the template (paras 4-30 in the original template) have been re-numbered, and will be included.

    Questions:

    In para. 7, it is mentioned that leaseholder agreement will be provided. However, I am a tenant in this property. Shall I change it to say that the tenancy agreement (AST) will be provided? However, the AST does not mention anything about parking. Would appreciate guidance in this regard.

    In para. 9(i), should I change this keeper of the vehicle, so that it is consistent with para. 4?


  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,102
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    edited 14 January at 1:07AM
    Yes change it to AST and change the whole paragraph to state that the tenancy agreement does not require any parking permit to be displayed, but the Defendant has a grant to park a vehicle that flows from the rights enjoyed by the flat leaseholder (the landlord)

    ..if you rent from a private landlord?

    Remove this sub-heading as it's wrong:

    Frustration of Contract


    and maybe remove para 5 entirely as it's ranty.
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  • ..if you rent from a private landlord?


    Yes, I rent from a private landlord.

    Thanks for the comments. I have removed para.5 and the subheading, and changed (now para. 6) to reflect that the point regarding the tenancy agreement. Does it look ok now?

    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. 

    (4 images of CEL v CHAN transcript)

     

    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.

    Authority to Park and Primacy of Contract

    5.      The underground car parking area contains allocated parking spaces demised to residents. Entry to the underground parking is by means of a key fob, of a type only issued to residents. Any vehicles parked therein are, therefore, de facto authorised to be there.

     

    6.      It is denied that the Defendant or lawful users of his/her vehicle were in breach of any parking conditions or were not permitted to park in circumstances, as the tenancy agreement (signed between the Defendant and landlord/leaseholder of [address]) does not require any parking permit to be displayed, but the Defendant has a grant to park a vehicle that flows from the rights enjoyed by the flat leaseholder (the landlord). Hence the Defendant avers that there was an absolute entitlement to park deriving from the terms of the lease, which cannot be fettered by any alleged parking terms. The lease terms provide the right to park a vehicle in the relevant parking area, without limitation as to type of vehicle, ownership of vehicle, the user of the vehicle. A copy of the tenancy agreement will be provided to the Court.

     

    7.      The Defendant avers that the operator’s signs cannot (i) override the existing rights enjoyed by residents and their visitors and (ii) that parking easements cannot retrospectively and unilaterally be restricted where provided for within the lease. The Defendant will rely upon the judgments on appeal of HHJ Harris QC in Jopson v Homeguard Services Ltd (2016) and of Sir Christopher Slade in K-Sultana Saeed v Plustrade Ltd [2001] EWCA Civ 2011. The Court will be referred to further similar fact cases in the event that this matter proceeds to trial.

    8.      Accordingly, it is denied that:
    (i).  there was any agreement as between the Defendant or driver of the vehicle and the Claimant
    (ii). the Claimant has suffered loss or damage or that there is a lawful basis to pursue a claim for loss.
    (iii).  the Claimant has suffered or incurred any 'damages or indemnity costs if applicable' as vaguely stated in the original template POC.

    The rest of the template (paras 4-30 in the original template) have been re-numbered, and will be included.


  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,102
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    edited 14 January at 3:57PM
    Yes - nearly there - but you don't know this unless your landlord is happy to show you a copy of their lease section about parking:
    The lease terms provide the right to park a vehicle in the relevant parking area, without limitation as to type of vehicle, ownership of vehicle, the user of the vehicle. 
    Is it an allocated bay?  How do you know you can park on site? Did the advert for the flat say so? 
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
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  • Yes - nearly there - but you don't know this unless your landlord is happy to show you a copy of their lease section about parking:
    The lease terms provide the right to park a vehicle in the relevant parking area, without limitation as to type of vehicle, ownership of vehicle, the user of the vehicle. 
    Is it an allocated bay?  How do you know you can park on site? Did the advert for the flat say so? 
    Yes, this is an allocated bay, with flat number marked on the bay. I just checked the original advert and it does mention 'underground allocated marking' twice. Is that a valid way of showing I am allowed to park here? Apart from this the letting agent just gave me the parking permit to be displayed. How should I incorporate this in para.6?

    I am not very keen on involving the landlord at this stage if I can help it. So you are correct that I would not want to trouble them to show me their lease agreement. Their response has not been very quick before. Shall I remove the sentence referring to the lease terms?
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