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CCJ re Stansted Mcdonalds - Help Please

Hello everyone, I appreciate any help in advance. Similar to another thread I have seen on here, I'm trying to help someone out with a CCJ they’ve received from the infamous Stansted McDonalds car park. To summarise:

The keeper parked the car in the Starbucks section and, along with a friend, walked over to the McDonalds restaurant because the car parks were particularly busy. This “contravention” is dated 15 July 2018, the first PCN was issued 17 August 2018, but was not received until the end of September 2018, outside of the 28 days allowance for appealing. The keeper has since switched vehicles and moved house multiple times. He has received threatening letters from DCBL, over 5 years later, which were ignored. He moved address again around August 2023, following which a County Court Claim was raised in September 2023, the notification letter for which was never received at their previous address (where they were a tenant in a multi-tenant house). The first notification they received was in the form of an unpaid CCJ letter in December 2023 from DCBL to the correct address.

On the 7 December he contacted the County Court Business Centre and received the claim particulars and a copy of the N244 form to apply for the Judgement to be set aside, and sent a SAR to MET parking, which was received on the 3 January, proving that the first PCN notice was issued 33 days after the “contravention”. The keeper details were also imported from the DVLA on the 15 August.

Alongside the notoriously lacking signage, complicated parking layout, etc. the keeper was aware of the 14-day limitation for the ANPR notice to be issued, which was not fulfilled by MET Parking, making the PCN void, however due to missing the 28-day appeals period considered it worth waiting to see if it escalated further before preparing a response. The unexpected letter of an unpaid CCJ has now greatly complicated this and it is causing him no end of stress as the timing of it has coincided with him looking to buy his first home with his soon-to-be wife. He has now missed the period to submit the Acknowledgement of Service and is finding the alternative steps very confusing.

A witness statement is currently being drafted using examples found on these forums, however I’d appreciate any advice on how it could be best adapted for the specifics described above.


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  • Umkomaas
    Umkomaas Posts: 41,140
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    edited 12 January at 6:02PM
    the keeper was aware of the 14-day limitation for the ANPR notice to be issued, which was not fulfilled by MET Parking, making the PCN void
    Old wives' tale. Nothing 'voids' the invoice. Forget that.

    Have you read the set aside advice in the NEWBIES FAQ Announcement, second post? Getting the application in ASAP is now essential as the court expects urgent action on gaining knowledge of the CCJ. It's been more than a month since him contacting the CNBC (formerly CCBC).
    Please note, we are not a legal advice forum. I personally don't get involved in critiquing court case Defences/Witness Statements, so unable to help on that front. Please don't ask. .

    I provide only my personal opinion, it is not a legal opinion, it is simply a personal one. I am not a lawyer.

    Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

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  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,323
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    Get that N244 in next week without fail, attaching a WS and Draft Order as seen in every CCJ set aside thread.  Loads are here.
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  • Blueshift313
    Blueshift313 Posts: 21
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    Thanks folks, I do appreciate the help. I'll upload the witness statement as soon as.
    In the meantime, does anyone know the real-life implications of a CCJ for a PCN on a mortgage offer? Obviously it's never a positive thing to have, but is it less detrimental as it's made out to be, considering the (relatively) small amount? Would paying it to have it marked as "satisfied" be worth considering?
    Also is the late issuing of the PCN still a standing argument at this point in the process?
  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,323
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    edited 13 January at 4:23PM
    Would paying it to have it marked as "satisfied" be worth considering?
    No.

    The CCJ is ruining your chance of a lower mortgage interest rate right now.  Marking it as Satisfied won't help much at all.

    Just crack on.  A N244 application must be made promptly.  A Judge will look at that!

    Nothing about the PCN is put into the set aside WS, just evidence about the address and clear argument that CPR 13.2 or in the alternative, CPR 13.3 applies. Your defence will be separate, much later, after the set aside.
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  • Blueshift313
    Blueshift313 Posts: 21
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    To be inserted/attached into the N224 form.

    Section 3. An order that the judgement in Default be Set Aside pursuant to CPR 13.2, alternatively 13.3, and the defendant be allowed to file a defence in the case. The defendant only discovered the judgement on receipt of a Notice of Debt Recovery at a new address on 4th December 2023.


    Section 4. DRAFT ORDER

    IN THE XXXXXXXXX COUNTY COURT

    CLAIM NO. XXXXXXXXX

    BETWEEN:

    CLAIMANT XXX

    and

    DEFENDANT XXX

    Upon reading the defendant’s application dated XXX

    It is ordered that:

    1. The judgement dated 16th October 2023 be set aside.

    2. The Claimant do pay the Defendant’s costs of this application on an indemnity basis.

    3. Unless the Claimant serves a copy of the Claim Form on the Defendant by 4pm on XXXXXX the claim will be struck out without further order.

    4. If the Claimant serves the claim form as directed in paragraph 3 the Defendant shall file and serve a defence by 4pm XXXXXX.

    5. All enforcement be put on hold pending the outcome of the application.

    6. Should the court reserve costs in the case as an alternative to paragraph 2, such costs of this application will become payable if the claimant discontinues its claim.

     

    Section 10. WITNESS STATEMENT OF XXXXXX

    IN THE XXXXXXXXX COUNTY COURT

    CLAIM NO. XXXXXXXXX

    BETWEEN:

    CLAIMANT XXX

    and

    DEFENDANT XXX


    I, XXX of XXX, being the Defendant in this case will state as follows;

    1. I make this Witness Statement in support of the application for an order that the judgement in this case (Claim No. XXX Judgement dated XXX) be set aside.

    2. I learnt of the existence of this claim on 4th December 2023 when I received a letter from the Claimant requesting payment of the judgement detailed in paragraph 1. [EXHIBIT A]

    3. My address changed on 7th August 2023. [EXHIBIT B – bank/credit card statements]

    4. A County Court Claim form was never received at either address.

    5. SHOULD HE BE INSERTING A SECTION ON AWAITING THE SAR RESPONSE BEFORE PROCEDING WITH THE N244? (even though that wasn’t the correct action)

    6. I therefore respectfully request that the Court sets aside the judgement in this claim and allows 14 days for me to submit my defence.


    STATEMENT OF TRUTH:

    I, XXX, the Defendant, believe the facts stated within this Witness Statement to be true.

     


  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,323
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    That's far too short and the Draft Order is too long because what you really want is not to have to defend this crap but for the claim to be struck out at the same time as the CCJ is set aside, due to the persuasive authority of CEL v Chan.

    Read some recent threads from this past month or so which mention Chan in a CCJ set aside WS.

    Also that statement of truth is 4 years out of date.
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  • 1505grandad
    1505grandad Posts: 2,848
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    A heads-up  -  there is no middle "e" in Judgment in this context  -  Google "CCJ"
  • Blueshift313
    Blueshift313 Posts: 21
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    Sorry Coupon, how does CEL vs Chan apply in this case? Should the WS be including something as below.

    Preliminary matter: The claim should be struck out

    3.       The Defendant draws to the attention of the court that there is now a persuasive Appeal judgment to support striking out the claim.  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.

    4.       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. 

  • Blueshift313
    Blueshift313 Posts: 21
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    Please ignore the above

    Section 4. DRAFT ORDER

    Upon reading the defendant’s application dated XXX

    It is ordered that:

    a. The default judgment dated 16th October 2023 be set aside on the grounds that the defendant has not been validly served, as the claim form was not received.

    b. The claim is hereby struck out due to the claim form having not been served within 4 months of issue.

    OR???

    The claim is hereby struck out due to the Claimant's failure to particularise the contractual term relied upon or the alleged breach, this being the same Claimant and inadequate Particulars of Claim as seen in Civil Enforcement v Chan (a persuasive recent appeal relating to a mirror image CCJ set aside case).

    c. Order for the claimant to pay the defendant £275 as reimbursement for the set aside fee.


    Section 10. WITNESS STATEMENT

    1. I am XXX and I am the defendant in this matter. This is my supporting statement to my application dated XXX requesting to:

    a. Set aside the default judgment dated XX October 2023.

    b. Order for the original claim to be dismissed.

    c. Order for the claimant to pay the defendant £275 as reimbursement for the set aside fee.

    2. I was the registered keeper of the vehicle with registration XXXXXXX at the time of the alleged event.

    3. I understand that the Claimant obtained a Default Judgment against me as the Defendant on 16th October 2023. I am aware that the Claimant is MET Parking Ltd, and that the assumed claim is in respect of an unpaid Parking Charge Notice from 17th August 2018.

    4. I learnt of the existence of this claim on 4th December 2023 when I received a letter dated 27th November 2023 from the Claimant requesting payment of the judgment detailed in paragraph 3, at the current address at which I reside. [EXHIBIT A]

    3. I had previously changed address on 7th August 2023 and promptly updated personal details following. [EXHIBIT B – bank/credit card statements]

    4. A County Court Claim form was never received at either address, and if it had, I would have acted promptly to respond with the submission of an Acknowledgement of Service.

    5. I therefore respectfully request that the Court sets aside the judgment in this claim and allows 14 days for me to submit my defence.

    PRELIMINARY MATTER - THE CLAIM SHOULD BE STRUCK OUT 

    **DOES THIS APPLY IN DETAIL OR SHOULD IT JUST BE REFERENCED AS ABOVE "A RECENT PURSUASIVE APPEAL"?**

    6.       The Defendant draws to the attention of the court that there is now a persuasive Appeal judgment to support striking out the claim.  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.

    7.       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. 

    FACTS AND SEQUENCE OF EVENTS

    8. The vehicle with registration XXXXXXX, of which I, the Defendant, was the registered keeper, was sold on 28th January 2022.

    9. The system used by the Claimant is called 'KADOE' (Keeper On Date of Event) and provides a brief 'snapshot in time' address to enable a parking firm to send a Notice. Operators are only allowed to ask the DVLA once, hence the code of practice requires reasonable steps are taken to check address details are current before litigation. Even if a motorist later updated a VC5 logbook with a new address (or if the DVLA failed to note a change in a timely manner, which is reportedly common) a parking operator will not know, nor be able to find that out. This request was made on 15th August 2018.

    10. At no point prior to receiving the Notice of Debt Recovery did I make contact with the Claimant or DCBL.

    11. The fact that there was no response from myself to a series of letters sent to my previous address should have alerted the Claimant to the possibility that I was not residing there.  It is evident that the Claimant failed to carry out a soft trace prior to filing the claim. This action was necessary to align with the regulations outlined in the British Parking Association (BPA) Approved Operator Scheme Code of Practice - Clause 24.1c: Before serving a Letter Before Claim and prior to the issue of proceedings, Operators must, if no responses have been received to the NTD/NTK/reminder letters, take reasonable endeavours to ensure that the contact details for the person you are writing to are correct.”

    12. The absence of a proactive address search before the claim contradicts the ease with which DCBL promptly traced my current address immediately after the County Court Judgment was issued. This neglect raises concerns about the thoroughness of any address search performed before filing the claim.

    13. The claim form was not served at my current address, and as a result, I was unaware of the Default Judgment. This constitutes a breach of CPR 13.2(a), as the claim form was never served to my current address. Due to this, the judgment was wrongly entered as I was unable to submit an acknowledgement of service in the absence of notification of the case.

    14. Under CPR 13.2 the court must set aside a judgment entered under part 12 if judgment was wrongly entered. Given that CPR 6.9 (3) was not met, CPR 13.2 applies and the CCJ must be set aside. In the alternative, CPR 13.3 applies due to the circumstances, which represent good reasons to set the CCJ aside, and in view of the fact that the Defendant acted within a reasonable time period and has good prospects of defending the claim.

    15. According to publicly available information, my circumstances are far from unique. The industry’s persistent failure to use correct and current addresses of results is an unnecessary burden for individuals and the justice system across the country.

    16. In addition to the above, it should be highlighted that the integrity and law-abiding intention of the Defendant should be taken into consideration on the basis of the below.

    17. I learnt of the existence of this claim on 4th December 2023 when I received a letter from Direct Collection Bailiffs Ltd dated 27th November 2023 requesting payment of the judgment detailed in paragraph 3, at the current address at which I reside.

    18. On the 7th December 2023, I contacted the Civil National Business Centre to obtain relevant information relating to this default judgement.

    **WE’RE WORRIED THAT NOW BEING 5 WEEKS AFTER FINDING OUT ABOUT THE CCJ IT MAY BE DIFFICULT TO CONVINCE OF ACTING PROMPTLY**SHOULD WE BE TRYING TO?**

    19. On XX January 2024 I submitted my case in order to set-aside this judgment and fairly present my case.

    **SHOULD THERE BE A CONCLUSION SECTION?**

     

    STATEMENT OF TRUTH:

    I, XXX, the Defendant, 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.


  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,323
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    That's better.  Nearly there. Remove the question marks after OR in the Draft Order.

    Yes, you need the full paragraphs about Chan and in fact, you should add that this Appeal decision was also in a CCJ set aside application case, wrongly refused by the first Judge.

    AND you must append the transcript of Chan as another Exhibit.

    And given your Draft Order talks about striking the claim out as 4 months has passed without proper service, your WS must address that matter too.

    But I didn't see the usual Boxwood & other cases in your WS, as seen umpteen times in other CCJ threads linked in the NEWBIES thread.

    How do you know the date of DVLA request?

    "This request was made on 15th August 2018".
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