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CCJ discovered from CP PLUS LTD T/A GROUPNEXUS

Hi All,

First time poster so please forgive me in advance if I've put this in the wrong place etc.

A little while ago I found a CCJ on my credit file from CP PLUS LTD T/A GROUPNEXUS dated 15/09/2021. I emailed the court and asked for details of the claim which I have received today as below:

It seems that this was for a PCN dated 16/09/18 (near enough exactly 3 years later).

Particulars of claim:

1. THE DEFENDANT(D) IS INDEBTED TO THE       CLAIMANT (C) FOR A PARKING CHARGE(S) ISSUED  TO VEHICLE xxxxxxx AT ROADCHEF MAIDSTONE 2.  THE PCN DETAILS ARE 16/09/2018,xxxxxxxxxxxx 3.THE PCN(S) WAS ISSUED ON PRIVATE LAND OWNEDOR MANAGED BY C. THE VEHICLE WAS PARKED IN   BREACH OF THE TERMS ON CS SIGNS (THE         CONTRACT), THUS INCURRING THE PCN(S).4. THE  DRIVER AGREED TO PAY WITHIN 28 DAYS BUT DID  NOT. D IS LIABLE AS THE DRIVER OR KEEPER.    DESPITE REQUESTS, THE PCN(S) IS OUTSTANDING. THE CONTRACT ENTITLES C TO DAMAGES.          AND THE CLAIMANT CLAIMS                      1. £170 BEING THE TOTAL OF THE PCN(S) AND    DAMAGES. 2. INTEREST AT A RATE OF 8% PER     ANNUM PURSUANT TO S.69 OF THE COUNTY COURTS  ACT 1984 FROM THE DATE HEREOF AT A DAILY RATEOF £0.02 UNTIL JUDGMENT OR SOONER PAYMENT. 3.COSTS AND COURT FEES                                                                                                                                                                                        

This was sent to an address I have not lived in for well over 8 years and for a car I have not owned for over 5 years, I honestly cannot remember the last time the log book would have been updated for the car but it is possible that at the time of the PCN the registered address was my address of 8 years ago as whilst I had moved out following a divorce the car was used by my ex for a few years. I have no knowledge of the PCN at the time so it is a complete surprise to me but again I was not driving the car at the time so no reason why I would have been aware.

I would like to apply for this to be set aside and have read some posts that make it seem like it might be possible? As I only got the details today for this how long do I have to apply for a set aside (think I read somewhere it was 3 months?)

On the details the court sent me it said that an outfit DCB LEGAL LTD were acting as the claimants solicitors, do I need to contact them in the first instance to say I am applying for a set aside?

Many thanks for any help 

Tristesse 

 
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Comments

  • Fruitcake
    Fruitcake Posts: 57,999
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    You need to apply for a set aside as soon as reasonably possible after discovering the judgment. You could start by asking the claimant for a set aside with consent, stating why the claim was not properly served. I'm not sure, but I think that would cost you just over £100, whereas if you make an application without consent I think it costs over £250, but you might need to go down that route. 
    You must of course ask for the cost of the application to be refunded if successful.
    I married my cousin. I had to...
    I don't have a sister. :D
    All my screwdrivers are cordless.
    "You're Safety Is My Primary Concern Dear" - Laks
  • Thank you, I assume it would be best to find their email address as opposed to speaking with them over the phone? Other than the above I have absolutely no details about the PCN and was almost certainly not driving giving the situation at the time, I can't in all even imagine why the car would have been in a service station for over 2 hours (i think that's the time you get free will check) either
  • Fruitcake
    Fruitcake Posts: 57,999
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    edited 17 January at 12:05PM
    Never, ever 'phone a PPC or their agents.

    Hopefully some of the more court savvy regulars will be along to help you, but there is a section in the NEWBIES about applying for a set aside that you should look at.
    I married my cousin. I had to...
    I don't have a sister. :D
    All my screwdrivers are cordless.
    "You're Safety Is My Primary Concern Dear" - Laks
  • Great thanks I will take a look at the NEWBIEs section now and post back 
  • I have done some more digging on this and discovered that actually I left that address quite a while before the PCN was even issued however as access to the car was part of the separation proceedings the log book remained in my name at the old address until January 2020 (still way in advance of the CCJ being issued in September 2021!), I am going to apply for a set aside after looking through the NEWBIE thread I think that's the best course of action, i'll try and use other examples as a template witness statement but if anyone has any very recent examples that would really help please? 
  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,451
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    DCB Legal / Group Nexus will not consent, so crack on with a £275 CCJ set aside N244 application.

    Search the forum for this, which finds the most recent examples of WS and draft Orders:

    CCJ set aside Boxwood Chan
    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
  • Thanks will take a look now and post up a draft once done if that's ok? I assume I don't need to contact DCB or Group Nexus in advance of issuing the N244? Just issue to their registered addresses?
  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,451
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    No you issue it to the CNBC and pay a fee.
    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
  • Thanks, i've drafted a witness statement based on others please could you take a look:

    Case number

    xxxxxxxxxxx

    WITNESS STATEMENT

    I, xxxxxx of xxxxxxxxx, will say as follows:

    1.       I am the Defendant in this matter, and I make this witness statement in support of my application to set aside the County Court Judgment (CCJ) entered against me on 15th September 2021, in default due to a defective service of Claim.

    2.       I was first aware of the existence of this claim on the 4th July 2023 when I checked my Credit File. I immediately emailed CCBC ([email protected]) and received a reply on 17th January 2024 providing details of the judgement.

    3.       The Claimant served the claim to an old address. The Claimant had a duty to take reasonable steps to check for the correct address, in accordance with the IPC Code of Practice 22.1 and CPR 6.9, as more than 12 months have passed since the PCN on 16th September 2018 and the claim on 2nd September 2021.

    4.       I have not received any correspondence or notice regarding this matter until I became aware as per paragraph 2 above.

    5.       The claim was issued on 2nd September 2021 and more than four months have passed since then, during which time I have not been aware of the claim or the CCJ. As per CPR 7.5, the claim should now be dismissed.

    6.       I believe that I have a strong defence to the claim, and should it not be dismissed, I wish to have the opportunity to defend it properly as per CPR 13.3.

    7.       I have set out the grounds for my application in the attached draft order.

    THE CLAIMANT FAILED TO SERVE THE CLAIM

    8. I understand that the Claimant obtained a Default Judgment against me as the Defendant on 15th September 2021. I am aware that the Claimant is CP PLUS LTD T/A GROUPNEXUS and that the assumed claim is in respect of an unpaid Parking Charge Notice.

    9. CPR 6.9 stipulates that an "Individual" should be served at their "Usual or last known residence." The Claimant, having obtained a previous address from the DVLA on an unknown date assumably around the date of the PCN issue being 16th September 2018 and having received no response, did not perform the requisite "reasonable diligence" required to find my correct address to serve the claim form in September 2021.

    10. The claim form was not served at my current address, and I thus was not aware of the Default Judgment until I attempted to apply for some credit on 4th July 2023 and discovered a CCJ, I then contacted the court by email and received a response with the particulars of claim on 17th January 2024

    11. The address on the claim is xxxxxxx. I moved to my current address atxxxx in January 2018 and prior to that resided at xxxxxx from January 2017 to January 2018 In support of this, I can provide scanned copies of tenancy agreements. I have not lived at xxxxxx some 4 years and 8 months before the claim was issued.

    12. Following a breakup of my relationship in October 2016 which led to me moving address in January 2017 the vehicle detailed on the claim was in the sole use of my former partner who continued to reside atxxxxx until April 2017, it was my belief that the V5 log book had been updated accordingly.

    13. I understand that the vehicle was no longer in my ex-wife possession shortly after the PCN was issued on 16th September 2018 and a check online reveals a new log book was issued to a new owner in July 2020.

    14. The fact that there was no response from a series of letters sent to my previous address should have alerted the Claimant to the possibility that I was not residing there. Silence after sending a Notice to Keeper, a reminder and then a Letter before Claim is a clear indicator that the Registered Keeper may not live there.

    15. I believe the Claimant has not adhered to CPR 6.9 (3) where they had failed to show due diligence in using an address at which I no longer resided. The claimant did not take reasonable steps to ascertain the address of my current residence, despite having some 2 years and 11 months to establish a valid address. This has led to the claim being incorrectly served to an old address and an irregular judgment.

    14. 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.

    THE INTERNATIONAL PARKING COMMUNITY CODE  CODE WAS NOT FOLLOWED

    15. International Parking Community (IPC) Code of Practice which requires a soft trace to be undertaken was not followed. The IPC Code of Practice 2019 - Version 7, November 2019, clause 22.1 states;

    16. Operators must take reasonable steps to ensure that the motorist’s details are still correct if 12 months have passed from the Parking Event before issuing court proceedings”

     

    DVLA ADDRESS DATA MAY NOT BE RELIABLE

    17. DVLA data is provided for a single (very limited) reason, so a parking operator can invite the registered keeper to name the driver or pay the invoice or inform the registered keeper they will be liable if not, and notify of appeal rights.

    18. The system, called 'KADOE' (Keeper On Date of Event), is a brief 'snapshot in time' address to enable a parking firm to send a Notice to the registered keeper. 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 updates a VC5 logbook with a new address (or if the DVLA fails to process a change in a timely manner, which is reportedly common) a parking operator will not know, nor be able to find that out.

    19. There is no safe presumption that a DVLA vehicle address is a valid address where a Defendant can be served. The KADOE address is not provided as a 'court claim service address' and should not be relied upon, as it is only an address where the vehicle was kept at a historical point in time (which may not be where the keeper lives; it is where the car was 'kept').

    20. A claim sent to an old DVLA registered keeper address with no soft trace checks (costing as little as 29 pence and offered free by debt collectors connected to the parking industry) fails to meet the IPC Code of Practice, fails to satisfy the specific 'pre-action Protocol for debt claims', and is in breach of the CPRs about the obligation to take 'reasonable steps' to check a Defendant's address so that service is effective.

    21. Considering the above, I was unable to defend this claim. I believe that the Default Judgment against me was issued incorrectly and thus should be set aside, and I ask the Court to kindly consider the reimbursement of the fee of £275 from the claimant should this request be successful.

     

    CLAIM IS DEAD AS MORE THAN 4 MONTHS HAVE PASSED FROM THE ISSUE DATE OF PROCEEDINGS

    RELEVANT CASE LAW

    22. Case law precludes the court from resurrecting a dead claim more than 4 months after it was improperly served and does not give the courts any scope to do so.

    23. There are several authorities, including the judgment in Boxwood [2021] EWHC 947 (TCC), which are reminders of the strictness of the requirements of CPR 7.6 and how difficult it is to use other parts of the Civil Procedure Rules to rectify a failure to serve the claim form within the requisite period: “A claimant is not entitled to rely on the wide, general powers under CPR 3.10 or CPR 3.9 to circumvent the specific conditions set out in CPR 7.6 (3) for extending the period for service of a claim form.”

    24. In the judgment of Deputy Master Marsh in Croke & Anor v National Westminster Bank Plc & Ors [2022] EWHC 1367 (Ch), the claimant was one day late in properly serving the Particulars of Claim to the Defendant and the claimant’s application for relief from sanctions was refused. In section 65 of the transcript of the trial, Deputy Master Marsh stated, “The defendants were entitled to know within the four month period specified in the CPR whether a claim had been made against them and to be able to understand that claim. [...] Unless an extension of time is granted, the claim will cease to have any validity and will be struck out." 

    25. In Piepenbrock-v-Associated News Limited [2020] EWHC 1708 (QB), the High Court refused the Claimant’s application for a retrospective extension of time to serve a Claim Form after the Claimant failed to demonstrate they took all reasonable steps to serve the Claim form in the period of its validity.

    26. “Ultimately, the problem was that the Claimant had made no attempt to serve in accordance with the rules. [...] Although I sympathise with the Claimant that the consequences for him of the error of not validly serving the Claim Form will be serious, there is nothing that really separates his case from many others who have made similar mistakes when attempting to serve a Claim Form. [...] I am afraid, in this case, the responsibility for the failure validly to serve the Claim Form rests solely with the Claimant’s side [...]

    27. In light of my conclusions above, having refused the applications made under CPR 7.6, 6.15 and 6.16, there is not a residual self-standing power available under CPR 3.9 to relieve the claimant of the “sanction” that, as a result of his failure to validly to serve the Claim Form during its period of validity, it has now lapsed. The term “sanction” is inapt because it would, in theory, be possible for the Claimant to issue and validly serve a fresh Claim Form. The obstacle standing in the way of a claim is not any sanction imposed by the Court but the fact that the limitation period for defamation and malicious falsehood has expired. [...]

    28. Finally, the Claimant seeks an order under CPR 3.10 remedying his error in not validly serving the Claim Form. The Defendants submit that CPR 3.10 cannot rescue the Claimant. This general provision does not enable the Court to do what CPR 7.6(3) forbids: Vinos -v- Marks & Spencer plc [2001] 3 All ER 784; [2001] CP Rep 12 [20]. [...]

    29. The Claim Form was not served during its period of validity. In consequence, the Court has no jurisdiction over the Claimant’s claim. It follows that I should also formally dismiss the Claimant’s application for summary judgment.”

    30. In Vinos v Marks & Spencer plc [2001] 3 All ER 784, the Court of Appeal considered whether any extension of time should be granted under CPR 7.6 in circumstances where the defendant had been notified of the issue of a claim form but the claim form had not been served within four months as required by CPR 7.5 and the application was made after expiry of that period. The court refused to grant relief on the basis that it did not have the power to do so.

    31.  CPR 12.3(1) states that a claimant may obtain judgment in default of an acknowledgement of service only if at the date on which judgment is entered (a) the defendant has not filed an acknowledgement of service or a defence to the claim (or any part of the claim); and (b) the relevant time for doing so has expired. In this case, the claim form was not validly served in [month/year] due to failure to check for a current address (CPR 6.9 (3)), therefore the time limit for acknowledging service has not begun. As the time limit has not begun it cannot have expired. As the time limit has not expired the condition in CPR 12.3(1)(b) has not been satisfied. This results in a mandatory set aside (CPR 13.2). It follows that if a claim is set aside for failure to be served, then the claim cannot be resurrected and served again after 4 months has passed from the date of filing pursuant to CPR 7.5(1). This is on point with the court of appeal in Dubai Financial Group Llc v National Private Air Transport Services Company (National Air Services) Ltd [2016] EWCA Civ 71 (09 February 2016):

    32. “Moreover, I do not consider that the CPR presents an obstacle in the circumstances of this case to setting aside judgment. CPR 13.2 provides that the court must set aside a default judgment where any of the conditions in rule 12.3(1) and 12.3(3) was not satisfied. The latter provision does not apply, but the former is relevant. CPR 12.3(1) states that a claimant may obtain judgment in default of an acknowledgement of service only if (a) the defendant has not filed an acknowledgement of service or a defence and (b) the relevant time for doing so has expired (my italics). I accept Mr McLaren's argument that when an order for retrospective validation of an alternative method of service has been made pursuant to CPR 6.15(2) the relevant time for filing an acknowledgement of service is the period which the court must specify under CPR 6.15(4)(c). Where, as in this case, the court did not specify any such time there can be no relevant time which has expired for the purposes of CPR 12.3(1). If this analysis is correct the requirements of CPR 12.3(1)(b) have not been satisfied and so the court is obliged to set aside the default judgment pursuant to CPR 13.2(a).

    33. I do not see it as a draconian consequence that a judgment, obtained after deemed service has been effected without specifying a time for that service to be acknowledged, should be set aside as of right in such a case. I agree that CPR 13.2 specifies the circumstances in which a default judgment must be set aside and in my judgment one of those circumstances is when judgment is entered in default of an acknowledgement of service when "any of the conditions in rule 12.3(1) …was not satisfied". Here one such condition was not satisfied, namely the time for acknowledgement of service had not expired, because none had ever become applicable.

    34. This, to my mind, is not "playing technical games" (c.f. the passage from the Abela case, cited at paragraph 11 in the judgment of Longmore LJ). It is merely applying the principle that due process should be followed. If a defendant has never become under a valid obligation to acknowledge service, either as specified under the rules or by order of the court, I do not see how it can be that a judgment can be entered against him in default of such acknowledgement. He is simply not in default at all.”

     

    THE CLAIM IS DEAD

    35.. Continuing a dead claim more than 4 months after it was raised (but never properly served) is impossible under any rule of law or practice (CPR 7.5). 

    36. The Claimant is wholly responsible for failing to serve the claim correctly within the 4 months (as required by CPR 7.5) and as a result this claim is dead.

    37. The Claimant should not be given extra opportunities to waste the Court’s time after failing to follow pre-action protocols for debt claims, breaching the IPC code of practice and the CPRs about taking 'reasonable steps' (CPR 6.9) to check a Defendant's address.

    38. If the Claimant believes they still have a claim then filing afresh is the only way forward. The Claimant may send a ‘Letter Before Claim’ to the right address, this time following the pre-action protocol for debt claims. The court is reminded that this Defendant has received nothing to build any defence on. No claim form and no detailed particulars of the claim have ever been sent to the Defendant’s current address.

    39. This claim should be struck out as more than 4 months have passed (CPR 7.5 refers) from issue of proceedings [date] and service of the claim was defective (i.e. it was never served).

     

    Statement of truth:

    I believe that the facts stated in this Witness Statement 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.

    Signed: 

    Date:


  • 1505grandad
    1505grandad Posts: 2,849
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    "3.       The Claimant served the claim to an old address. The Claimant had a duty to take reasonable steps to check for the correct address, in accordance with the IPC Code of Practice 22.1 ........"

    CP Plus are BPA AoS members  -  should quote from BPA CoP
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