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Default CCJ filed against me and Court Letters sent to wrong address

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  • Error1234Error1234 Forumite
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    Hey guys, so after reading all of your guys's comments I think I know what forms to send with my N244 form.
    So it will be: a Draft Order and a Witness statement (Condensed set of sentences to tell the court what to do).

    DRAFT ORDER

    Upon reading the Defendant's application dated xxxx of xxxxx and the annexed witness statement of xxx dated xxxxx

    It is ordered that:

    1. The default judgment dated xxxxx xxxxxx be set aside.

    2. Costs to be reserved.

    3. Unless the Claimant serves a copy of the Claim Form on the Defendant by 4 pm on [date] paragraph 2 shall cease to have effect and the Claimant shall pay the Defendant's costs summarily assessed at £255 and the claim shall be struck out.

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

    5. Should the Claimant discontinue the Claim after the CCJ is set aside, paragraph 2 shall cease to have effect and the Claimant shall pay the Defendant's costs summarily assessed at £255 plus the Defendant's costs for attending the hearing.

    6. That all enforcement be put on hold pending the outcome of the application.

    WITNESS STATEMENT

     I am XXXX and I am the defendant in this matter. This is my supporting statement to my application dated [date at which I'm submitting my N244 form?] requesting to:

    a. Set aside the default judgment dated XX/July/2020 as it was not properly served at my current address.

    b. Order for the original claim to be dismissed.

    c. Order for the claimant to pay the defendant £255 as reimbursement for the set aside fee.

    Also wanted to check with you guys if the I've filled the N244 boxes correctly:

    Box 3. What order are you asking the court to make and why?

    An order, see draft attached, that the judgment dated XX/July/2020 be set aside because pursuant to CPR 13.2 (a) in the case of a judgment in default of a defence, any of the conditions in rule 12.3(2) and 12.3(3) was not satisfied. Also, allow the defendant to file a defence in the case. The Defendant only discovered the Judgement after a postal letter from 'Equita' and has acted promptly in making this application.
    Box 10. What information will you be relying on, in support of your application? [ticked the attached witness statement and the evidence set out in the box below]
    Continued from part 3, as outlined above: Even if the court is not satisfied that my case meets the criteria relating to a mandatory set aside due to defective service (13.2), I will say that I also meet the criteria for the CCJ to be set aside on the grounds of 13.3: (1) In any other case, the court may set aside or vary a judgment entered under Part 12 if – (a) the defendant has a real prospect of successfully defending the claim; or (b) it appears to the court that there is some other good reason why - (i) the judgment should be set aside or varied; or (ii) the defendant should be allowed to defend the claim. (2) In considering whether to set aside or vary a judgment entered under Part 12, the matters to which the court must have regard include whether the person seeking to set aside the judgment made an application to do so promptly.

    Since all of the court documentation was sent to an old address, can I claim the things in the Box 3?
  • henrik777henrik777 Forumite
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    It really bugs me when folk ask for costs to be reserved particularly those who are saying "set aside because the claimant messed up please"

    It's also hard to get a timeline of events when you ask because most poster prefer Mills and Boon.
  • edited 25 October 2020 at 11:43AM
    JohnershJohnersh Forumite
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    edited 25 October 2020 at 11:43AM
    Mills and Boon? I'd love to see those pleadings and statenents....

    She entered the car park silently, he gasped at the thought of issuing a PCN and took in the sight of her car, slowly..
    She made her way across the car park, without noticing the sign, faintly lit by the moonlight. He caressed the wing of the car, reaching to his belt for hard, plastic handheld terminal. He began to press the buttons... 
  • UmkomaasUmkomaas Forumite
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    Johnersh said:
    Mills and Boon? I'd love to see those pleadings and statenents....

    She entered the car park silently, he gasped at the thought of issuing a PCN and took in the sight of her car, slowly..
    She made her way across the car park, without noticing the sign, faintly lit by the moonlight. He caressed the wing of the car, reaching to his belt for hard, plastic handheld terminal. He began to press the buttons... 
    Sounds like a bit of a car park dogging site!
    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.
  • JohnershJohnersh Forumite
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    If you say so :) I think it's clear why I'm not an author for M&B too... 
  • edited 25 October 2020 at 12:58PM
    Le_KirkLe_Kirk Forumite
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    edited 25 October 2020 at 12:58PM
    Johnersh said:
    Mills and Boon? I'd love to see those pleadings and statements ....

    She entered the car park silently, he gasped at the thought of issuing a PCN and took in the sight of her car, slowly..
    She made her way across the car park, without noticing the sign, faintly lit by the moonlight. He caressed the wing of the car, reaching to his belt for hard, plastic handheld terminal. He began to press the buttons... 
    You are wasted in the lawyering business!  When is your first book due out?
  • Coupon-madCoupon-mad
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    Johnersh said:
    Mills and Boon? I'd love to see those pleadings and statenents....

    She entered the car park silently, he gasped at the thought of issuing a PCN and took in the sight of her car, slowly..
    She made her way across the car park, without noticing the sign, faintly lit by the moonlight. He caressed the wing of the car, reaching to his belt for hard, plastic handheld terminal. He began to press the buttons... 
    That's got to be the post of the week, my daughter and I fell about laughing reading this, Johnersh!
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
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  • edited 25 October 2020 at 7:03PM
    Error1234Error1234 Forumite
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    10 Posts
    edited 25 October 2020 at 7:03PM
    Hi Guys! Once again thank you all for taking the time to guide me. I have read everyone's comments and have re-adjusted my Draft Order and Witness Statement. Please could you check and see if it needs improving? 

    DRAFT ORDER

    UPON reading the Defendant's application dated xxxx of xxxxx and the annexed witness statement of xxxxxx dated xxxxxxxx

    IT IS ORDERED that:

    1. The default judgment dated xxxxx xxxxxx be set aside.

    2. The Claimant to pay the Defendant’s costs of this application to the sum of £255

    3. Unless the Claimant serves a copy of the Claim Form on the Defendant by 4 pm on [date] paragraph 2 shall cease to have effect and the Claimant shall pay the Defendant's costs summarily assessed at £255 and the claim shall be struck out.

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

    5. Should the Claimant discontinue the Claim after the CCJ is set aside, paragraph 2 shall cease to have effect and the Claimant shall pay the Defendant's costs summarily assessed at £255 plus the Defendant's costs for attending the hearing in any event.

    6. That all enforcement be put on hold pending the outcome of the application.

    WITNESS STATEMENT 

    [Have tried to cut down as much as possible and tried to keep it short as well as straight to the point]

    I am XXXXX of XXXXXXXX and I am the defendant against whom this claim is made. The facts stated below are true to the best of my belief and my account has been prepared based upon my own knowledge. The Defendant denies that the Claimant is entitled to relief in the sum claimed, or at all.  It is denied that a contract was entered into - by conduct or otherwise - whereby it was ‘agreed’ to pay a ‘parking charge’ and it is denied that this Claimant (understood to have a bare licence as managers) has standing to sue, nor to form contracts in their own name at the location.

    I make this Witness Statement in support of the application for an order that the judgment in this case to:

    1. Be set aside the default judgment dated XX/July/2020  as it was defectively served using an old address for which the defendant hasn’t lived in said address since 2018. 

    2. Order for the claimant to pay the defendant £255 as reimbursement for the set aside fee.

    3. Order for the original claim to be dismissed

     

    1. SET ASIDE THE DEFAULT JUDGMENT

    1.1. I was the registered keeper of the vehicle at the time of the alleged offence.

    1.2. I understand that the Claimant obtained a Default Judgement against me as the Defendant on XX/July/2020. I am aware that the Claimant is XXXX, and that the assumed claim is in respect of unpaid Parking Charge Notices from XX/XX/XXXX, XX/XX/XXXX, XX/XX/XXXX at my then residence XXXX. I contest this charge for the reasons outlined in Part 2 of this defence. I also understand that this Claim was served at My Old Address (XXXXX) where the Defendant had moved out since August 2018 and the Claim was not served at my then current address (XXXX). Confirmation of this has been in the form of old driving licence, insurance forms, bank statements, emails to Trace Recovery Ltd, mortgage documents to which they were posted and pay slips. See Exhibit XX.

    1.3. Since the claim form was not served at the correct address, I thus was not aware of the Default Judgement until XXXX/October/2020 

    1.3.1 I discovered a CCJ was lodged onto my name on the 15-Oct-2020 following a letter through the post by the debt collection agency ‘Equita’; as shown in Exhibit XX.

    1.3.2 Following this on the same day,15-October-2020, I immediately emailed ‘Equita’ and ‘Gladstone Solicitors’ to get a grasp of the situation and to find out why this CCJ has happened without me knowing about it. I also phoned ‘Equita’ to explain that I have not received any LBC or any court papers and that any letters must have been sent to a wrong address to which the operator said she couldn't help. I also requested how many days I had left so that they didn't call any bailiffs to my current address. The operator then said I would have up to 21 days to sort this matter out. Following this, I immediately contacted ‘Gladstones Solicitors’ and once again explained the situation, they said that any matter with  ‘Equita’ and the 4 PCNs was to be taken up with them. They also said the remaining 5 PCNs haven't gone to the court stage yet. 

    1.3.3 Also on 15-October-2020, the defendant contacted the Magistrates Court to confirm the validity of  ‘Equita’s’ letter. This was the first point of call since the allegation happened in Hatfield and the Magistrates Court covers this area. However they couldn't provide me any details of the claim or any court details. They however told me to call ‘Southend County Court and Family Court’ and provided a contact number. 

    1.3.4 On 16-October-2020, the defendant received replies from ‘Equita’ and ‘Gladstone’. Equita’s email provided the claim reference number, the date at which the claim was issued and then listed the four PCNs which I was liable to but they didnt state at which court the case was sent to. Please see Exhibit XXX for proof of these emails. Gladstone's email provided copies of the PCNs as well as the Letter Before Claim (LBC).They also said that if I were to dispute this matter, I would need to seek out my own legal advice. Reading this, I started to conduct my own research to the best of my ability. I would like to bring to the court’s attention that the defendant isn’t a lawyer or solicitor and any research or work completed is done to the best of the defendant’s ability.

    1.3.5 On the 19-Oct-2020, the defendant contacted the ‘Southend County Court and Family Court’ to obtain any relevant information regarding this default judgement. From here I managed to confirm the validity of the ‘Equita’s’ debt claim. They also confirmed that this was a real CCJ and not a scam or a false one.  They then advised to call or email the County Court Business Center to get a copy of the CCJ.

    1.3.6 On 21-Oct-2020, I emailed the County Court Business Center to request for a copy of the CCJ as I wasn't able to reach an operator due the reduced operator capacity due to Covid-19.

    1.3.7 After not receiving any emails from the County Court Business Center due to the effects of Covid-19 on 22-Oct-2020, I decided to call the County Court Business Center again on 23-Oct-2020.I then paid a sum of £10 to get an email copy of the CCJ. I received an email from CCBC on the same day (23-oct-2020) with the copy of the claim.

    1.3.8 On 24-Oct-2020, the defendant started to fill out the N244 form and started to write up his Witness statement.

    1.4. Above entails, as per CPR 6.9 (4), that proceedings were not validly served because claimant was incorrect in assuming that this was Defendant’s last known address and did not take reasonable steps to ascertain the Defendant’s current address. This leads to no service, they were not entitled to judgment and the court must set aside the claim.

    1.5 The Defendant submits that by the virtue of the Claimant sending the letters to his old address, he was not afforded any method by which to appeal, nor any information about complaints procedures to the landowner. This omission prevented the Defendant from being able to get this charge cancelled by the landowner or renting agency. If the Defendant could have appealed to POPLA or had been informed that the renting agent/landowner could deal with such complaints and cancel charges, he would have done so.

    1.6. On the basis provided above the Defendant would suggest that the Claimant did not fulfil their duty to use the Defendant’s current address when bringing the claim.

    1.7. Considering all of the above the Defendant was unable to defend this claim properly. Defendant believes that the Default Judgement against him was issued incorrectly and thus should be set aside.

    The Defendant have a real prospect of defending this claim because:-

    2. ORDER DISMISSING THE CLAIM

    2.1 On discovering this CCJ and after promptly contacting the County Court Business Centre on the 23-Oct-2020 to find out details of the Default Judgement, it was found out that the court papers contained no details of the alleged incident nor the vehicle this related to. See exhibit XXXX.

     2.2. The address on the LBC, as provided to me by Gladstone Solicitors, is XXXX. I have moved out of that address from August/2018. From August/ 2018 to June 2020, I have resided at XXX. I moved to my now current address at XXXX on the XX/June/2020. In support of me living at address XXX and XXXX, I can provide a scanned copy of my old driving licence, insurance forms, bank statements, emails to Trace Recovery Ltd, mortgage documents to which they were posted and pay slips. See Exhibit XX.

    2.3 The Defendant understands that the Claimant is a Parking Company which seeks to claim for ‘Parking Charge Notices’ which the Claimant believes are due as a result of an alleged breach of contract for parking by a motorist.

    2.4 If the Claimant has obtained details of the vehicle for which the Defendant is the Registered Keeper, and used those details to make a claim for a ‘Parking Charge Notice’, the Defendant thus dispute the claim in its entirety as he does not know the wording of the contract nor does he know the means by which the contract was alleged to come into force.

    2.5 The Defendant has at no time tried to avoid paying for any known debt, and was at all times there to be found by a simple trace, a phone call or email. It is submitted that the Claimant should have taken those reasonable steps, and would have known or should have surmised that it was likely that the Defendant was not at the old address, given the length of time from the alleged parking charge and the fact that the Claimant was receiving no reply from the Defendant.

    2.6  The Defendant understands Parking Control Management Ltd to be a Private Parking Company that uses ‘Parking Attendants’ in order to issue ‘Parking Charge Notices’. Any Notice to Keeper served by the Claimant would have needed to comply with the requirements of Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. This includes the requirement to issue the Notice to Keeper within 14 days of the alleged incident. If the Claimant has not complied with the requirements of the Act they cannot claim this charge against the Defendant as the Registered Keeper in any case and where said keeper is unable to identify the driver.

    2.8 Due to the length of time, the Defendant has little to no recollection of the day in question. It would not be reasonable to expect a registered keeper to be able to recall the potential driver(s) of the car after over 12 months later. In any case, there is no such obligation in law and this was confirmed in the POPLA Annual Report 2015 by parking expert barrister and Lead Adjudicator, Henry Greenslade, who also clarified the fact that registered keeper can only be held liable under the POFA Schedule 4 and not by presumption or any other legal argument.

    2.9 For the Claimant to have obliged the Defendant to provide the drivers details at the time of said breach the Claimant would be required to apply for a ‘Norwich Pharmacal Order’, the Defendant is not aware of any such order being made upon him.

    2.10 Furthermore, given the time delay of approximately more than 12 months from the alleged breach of contract, it is unreasonable to expect the Defendant to have a record of who was driving the vehicle at the time of the offence.

    2.11 The Defendant further submits that the Claimant’s claim is without merit due to substantial issues in law. This is for the following main reasons:

    2.11.1. Lack of Standing by Claimant: The Claimant is unlikely to be the landowner of the car parking street in question and will have no proprietary interest in it. This means that the Claimant, as a matter of law, will have no locus standi to litigate in their own name. Any consideration will have been provided by the landholder, and only they would have been able sue for any damages or trespass.

    2.11.2. No contract with the Claimant: Any contract must have offer, acceptance and consideration both ways. There would not have been consideration from the Claimant to the motorist; the fee for parking benefits the landowners, not the Claimant. Therefore, there is no consideration from the motorist to Civil Enforcement Ltd.

    2.12 On this basis the Defendant believes that the Claimant has not provided any reasonable cause of action and thus the claim should be dismissed in its entirety.

    2.13 Alternatively, if the Claimant disagrees with the above, the Defendant asks that the Claimant is required to file Particulars which comply with Practice Directions and include at least all of the following information:

    2.13.1. Whether the matter is being brought for trespass, breach of contract or a contractual charge, and an explanation as to the exact nature of the charge

    2.13.2. A copy of any contract it is alleged was in place (e.g. copies of signage)

    2.13.3. How any contract was concluded (if by performance, then copies of signage maps in place at the time)

    2.13.4. Whether keeper liability is being claimed, and if so copies of any Notice to Driver / Notice to Keeper

    2.13.5. Whether the Claimant is acting as Agent or Principal, together with a list of documents they will rely on in this matter

    2.13.6. If charges over and above the initial charge are being claimed, the basis on which this is being claimed

    2.13.7. If Interest charges are being claimed, the basis on which this is being claimed.

    2.13.8. Evidence how a parking charge which the BPA Code of Practice sets a ceiling for, of not more than £100, has escalated to a brazen attempt at triple 'recovery' reaching over £600 despite the POFA also stating that a keeper can only be pursued for the sum on the Notice to Keeper (double recovery not being allowed).

    2.13.9. Show evidence that they have complied with the POFA or alternatively, show evidence of the driver's identity, to prove that this is the right defendant

    2.14. Once these Particulars have been filed, the Defendant asks for reasonable time to file another defence.

    2.15. In order to make informed decisions and statements in my defence as keeper of a vehicle, I will require copies of all paperwork and pictures of all signs from the Claimant.

    2.16 The Defendant has never received any previous court documentation from the Claimant in this matter and was never able to properly challenge the Claimant’s claim. Furthermore,the Defendant puts the Claimant to strict proof that they did post such communications to the Defendant’s old address, which was XXX XXXXX, without ever checking if it was the right address.

    2.17 The Defendant believes the Claimant has behaved unreasonably in pursuing the claim against him without ensuring they held the Defendants current and correct contact details. According to publicly available information my circumstances are far from being unique. The Claimant’s persistent failure to use correct and current addresses results is an unnecessary burden for individuals and the justice system across the country.

    2.18. On this basis I believe that the Claimant has not provided any reasonable cause of action and absent the above being produced in short order, the Defendant asks the court of its own volition to strike out this claim and to order the Claimant to refund the Defendant's costs for attending, namely the £255 Court fee in bringing this set aside case , despite not being shown to be liable for any parking charge at all.

    The court is invited to strike out the claim of its own volition as having no merit and no reasonable prospects of success.

    Statement of Truth:

    I believe that the facts stated in this Witness Statement are true.

    Full Name: xxxxx

    (Defendant)

    Dated xx Oct 2020

  • Coupon-madCoupon-mad
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    Old statement of truth (see NEWBIES thread):
    I believe that the facts stated in this Witness Statement are true.


    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT (except N.Ireland).
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