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Country court Claim - private parking fine for parking in a disabled bay by DCBL

Hi everyone! I recently got a county court claim for a parking I did in a disabled bay back in July 23. It is a private car park at Tesco and is operated by UKPCL, who have hired DCBL for sending the County court claim letter. I actually went to pick up a colleageue who had severe flare up of ongoing backpain and called me to come and pick him up. He had already applied for a disabled parking permit at that time, which he got later in Sept 23. The sole reason why I parked my car in the disabled bay was that, that was the only way, i could have help him sit in the car. Not to mention there is free parking at Tesco anyways. I forgot to appeal against that PCN as I was very busy with a few things going on at that time. I moved house shortly after this and did not get any more letters from UKPC. Last week, I was contacted by the people living at my previous address that there is a letter on my name which appears to be from the County court and I found out the claim letter. 

I wanted to ask, given the above background, do i stand any chance if I defend against this claim or is it not worth it ? My colleague who got his blue badge in Sep 23, is happy to go with me and witness in the court if required. 
My only worry is that, if I get a CCJ against me, it will affect my credit score and I am planning to buy a mortgage soon. 

The date of the claim letter is 19 Jan 24 and total amount I owe is £260 including £35 court fee and £50 solicitor fees. 

Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

Many thanks,
Ash
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  • KeithP
    KeithP Posts: 37,063
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    Ashhar said:
    I recently got a county court claim...
    The date of the claim letter is 19 Jan 24...
    Hello and welcome.

    Nobody who follows the guidance here ever gets a County Court Judgment against them.
    It is simply not possible if you follow the guidance.

    With a Claim Issue Date of 19th January, you have until Wednesday 7th February 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 Wednesday 21st February 2024 to file your Defence.
    That's almost three 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'.
  • Ashhar
    Ashhar Posts: 9
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    Thankyou very much for your reply. 
    Looking at my case, do you think I have any chance of winning this or is it not worth it.  
    I also want to avoid a CCJ against me by all means.

    Many thanks 
  • KeithP
    KeithP Posts: 37,063
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    edited 1 February at 7:28PM
    You have every chance of winning. In fact, since you are up against DCB Legal, you have every chance that this won't even get to a hearing.

    I have already explained the likelihood of you getting a CCJ.

    Please show us the Particulars of Claim from your Claim Form but take care not show your VRM or any other personal details, including your MCOL password, but leave all dates visible.
  • Ashhar
    Ashhar Posts: 9
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    edited 2 February at 10:19AM
    Thanks for your quick reply. I have attached images of my claim form.

    Thanks for your reassurance. I was just worried that since my colleague did not have his blue badge at the time of contravention (although it was in process of being issued) , the judge might reject my defence. 
    And also please, since I am new here and its the first time, I am using this forum, I did not get it when you explained my likelihood of getting a CCJ. Is that a link of a post you shared ?

    Many thanks 
    (Image removed by Forum Team)

  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,210
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    edited 1 February at 10:18PM
    No, @KeithP wrote in his reply to you, right at the start (my bold). A CCJ is impossible:

    "Hello and welcome.

    Nobody who follows the guidance here ever gets a County Court Judgment against them. 
    It is simply not possible if you follow the guidance."

    He then gave you a link to the second post of the NEWBIES thread which gives you the Template Defence that works.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
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  • Ashhar
    Ashhar Posts: 9
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    Thanks alot for your help. I will follow the guidance and will prepare for submitting the defence.

    Many thanks 
  • Le_Kirk
    Le_Kirk Posts: 21,925
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    What we need to see is the front page of the N1 claim form - not the notes, then we can decide whether you can use the @hharry100 defence or not.
  • KeithP
    KeithP Posts: 37,063
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    edited 2 February at 5:07PM
    Le_Kirk said:
    What we need to see is the front page of the N1 claim form - not the notes, then we can decide whether you can use the @hharry100 defence or not.
    We were shown the front of the Claim Form, but it has since been removed by the ForumTeam. Probably because the Claim Number was clearly visible.
  • Ashhar
    Ashhar Posts: 9
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    Hi !  Sorry I didnt relaize I  havent removed the claim number. I am posting the N1 again.

    Many thanks for your help.

     
  • Coupon-mad
    Coupon-mad Posts: 129,210
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    edited 2 February at 10:19PM
    Just use the template defence, admit to being keeper and driver at the end of para 2 and put as your facts points 3 and 4:

    3.  The Equality Act 2010 ('EA') prevails over purported contractual terms.  The Defendant recalls a brief stop at this location as close as possible to the Tesco building, to pick up a colleague on the material date, who was suffering from a severe flare-up of his serious and disabling back condition. The passenger had already been accepted by his GP as qualifying for a Blue Badge, which the Defendant believed the colleague already had.  It turned out the processing of these permits is not immediate and the Blue Badge in fact arrived weeks later.  However, the EA is about need, not permits. The sole reason why the Defendant stopped in the disabled bay was that this was the only way to assist the waiting passenger to board and sit in the car.  Anyone watching would have been in no doubt of the need - and EA right - to use an accessible bay.  The passenger's disability need was obvious but the ticketer either did not wait to see the passenger, or saw him struggling in severe pain to the vehicle and uploaded photos of the (briefly unattended) car to this Claimant, regardless.  The Claimant is put to strict proof of exactly what the ticketer noted and thought they had observed, and the Defendant wishes to cross-examine that operative or 'self-ticketer' at the hearing to discover if they were sufficiently EA and Code of Practice trained.

    4.  Breach of contract is denied.  The Defendant avers that picking up and setting down passengers is not part of a 'parking period' and the Government's incoming Code of Practice specifically confirms this, because both on-street and off-street, such activity is exempt. All of the circumstances relating to a driver picking up or setting down passengers (especially when needing to step outside of the car to physically assist disabled or frail persons) is often insufficiently clear to fairly conclude, at first glance, that a parking breach is occurring.  Immediate ticketing within a minute or two is undoubtedly unfair.  Even if the waiting passenger had been clutching his Blue Badge in the Tesco doorway, the Defendant could not have displayed it on the dashboard or shown it to anyone until after safely helping his colleague to board. Further, the Defendant believes that there were inadequate signs at these bays. The BPA Code of Practice 2020 requires that full t&cs signage is placed within areas of accessible bays, such that the terms can be read from the driver's seat.  This was not the case, therefore, if anyone was in breach, it was this Claimant.
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