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  • FIRST POST
    • Rollingdice
    • By Rollingdice 18th Oct 19, 6:32 PM
    • 14Posts
    • 4Thanks
    Rollingdice
    County court claim letter recieved
    • #1
    • 18th Oct 19, 6:32 PM
    County court claim letter recieved 18th Oct 19 at 6:32 PM
    Hi all,

    I have received a claim form from the county by Gladstone solicitors on behalf of horizon parking for overstaying a 3hr limit at the time (now 2hrs) at Sainsburys parking 4 times by ANPR cameras on the entrance and exit of the site, they are claiming for over £700( 600+ claimed from 4 PCN each at £70 with interest, with a £60 court fee and £70 in legal fees). The 4 times are strange to me as the particulars of claim mentions the dates of the breaches of the signage which they call the 'contract' as one is in march of 2018 and 3 are all on the same day of may 2018 which I don't know how i could've received three in one day.

    I received letters asking for payment from debt collectors and solicitors alike requesting payment of these fines but always ignored them thinking they would go away and wouldn't take me to court

    I'm looking for advice on what i should do, I've been reading through some cases but didn't see anything very similar. I was issued on the 7th but just found the letter today. Should I file for a SAR? How should i structure my defence in this case as I have 4 PCNs being claimed against me?

    Any advice is welcomed, thank you
    Last edited by Rollingdice; 19-10-2019 at 10:42 AM. Reason: Added claim breakdown
Page 2
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 7th Nov 19, 11:29 PM
    • 78,236 Posts
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    Coupon-mad
    could I upload a redacted version of the particulars to show you guys and see if you agree?
    Yes, and if you cannot post a working URL image, post a broken/altered one!
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT UNLESS IN SCOTLAND OR NI
    TWO Clicks needed Look up, top of the page:
    Main site>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets Fines & Parking - read the NEWBIES THREAD
    • Le_Kirk
    • By Le_Kirk 8th Nov 19, 10:23 AM
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    Le_Kirk
    Signage and results of your SAR will be more useful at witness statement (WS) stage. Your abuse of process points are short, missing the latest judgment from Caernarfon but that can also be added at WS stage. The abuse of process is not a winning legal point (although it is nice then a judge throws out the whole claim) but more damage limitation on costs IF you were to lose.
    • Rollingdice
    • By Rollingdice 8th Nov 19, 6:31 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Rollingdice
    imgur com/a/SHUrfnh

    Here you go, let me know what you think, there's 4 dates 3 of which are on the same day which is impossible
    • Le_Kirk
    • By Le_Kirk 9th Nov 19, 10:28 AM
    • 7,158 Posts
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    Le_Kirk
    Your link made live: -
    https://imgur.com/a/SHUrfnh
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 10th Nov 19, 2:43 AM
    • 78,236 Posts
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    Coupon-mad
    The POC do not state what the actual terms were, or how they were breached. And it tried to double £70 into £140 which is not allowed under:

    - the Beavis case
    - the POFA
    - the CPRs
    - the Consumer Rights Act 2015 as it is an unfair consumer notice (the core exemption does not apply to consumer notices):

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/450440/Unfair_Terms_Main_Guidance.pdf


    5.14.3 Other kinds of penal provisions which may be unfair are clauses saying that the business can:
    - claim all its costs and expenses, not just its net costs resulting directly from the breach;
    - claim both its costs and its loss of profit where this would lead to being compensated twice over for the same loss; and
    - claim its legal costs on an 'indemnity' basis, that is all costs, not just costs reasonably incurred. The words 'indemnity' and 'indemnify' are also objectionable as legal jargon – see the section on transparency in part 2 of the guidance.

    The fairness of any term is assessed having regard to the other terms of the contract, and even if not excessive when considered separately, may be unfair if it could operate together with another term or terms so as to lead to the trader being compensated twice for the same loss.

    5.14.4 Potentially penal terms.
    A disproportionate financial sanction involving requirement to pay a fixed or minimum sum, in all circumstances, will be open to challenge if the sum could be too high in some cases.

    5.14.5 Assessment of unfairness focuses on the effect terms could have, not just the purposes they are intended to serve. Thus a clause may be unfair if it allows the trader excessive discretion to decide the level of a financial sanction, or if it could have that effect through being vague, or unclear, or misleading about what consumers will be required to pay in the event of default. Consumers [...] can easily be misled into thinking that the trader can claim more than is really the case.

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/schedule/2/enacted
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT UNLESS IN SCOTLAND OR NI
    TWO Clicks needed Look up, top of the page:
    Main site>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets Fines & Parking - read the NEWBIES THREAD
    • Rollingdice
    • By Rollingdice 10th Nov 19, 3:49 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Rollingdice
    IN THE COUNTY COURT

    CLAIM No: xxxxxxxxxx

    BETWEEN:

    Horizon Parking (Claimant)

    -and-

    xxxxxxxxxxxx (Defendant)

    ________________________________________
    DEFENCE
    ________________________________________

    1. The Defendant denies that the Claimant is entitled to relief in the sum claimed, or at all.

    2. The facts are that the vehicle, registration XXXX, of which the Defendant is the registered keeper, was parked on the material date in a marked bay allocated to Company XXXX at XXXX Business Park.

    3. The Particulars of Claim state that the Defendant was the registered keeper and/or the driver of the vehicle(s);. These assertions indicate that the Claimant has failed to identify a Cause of Action, and is simply offering a menu of choices. As such, the Claim fails to comply with Civil Procedure Rule 16.4, or with Civil Practice Direction 16, paras. 7.3 to 7.5. Further, the particulars of the claim do not meet the requirements of Practice Direction 16 7.5 as there is nothing which specifies how the terms were breached.

    4. Due to the sparseness of the particulars, it is unclear as to what legal basis the claim is brought, whether for breach of contract, contractual liability, or trespass. However, it is denied that the Defendant, or any driver of the vehicle, entered into any contractual agreement with the Claimant, whether express, implied, or by conduct.
    5. The Particulars of Claim also state three of the PCN’s were received on the same date when the defendant only accessed the carpark once.

    6. Further and in the alternative, it is denied that the claimant's signage sets out the terms in a sufficiently clear manner which would be capable of binding any reasonable person reading them.

    7. The terms on the Claimant's signage are also displayed in a font which is too small to be read from a passing vehicle, and is in such a position that anyone attempting to read the tiny font would be unable to do so easily. It is, therefore, denied that the Claimant's signage is capable of creating a legally binding contract.

    8. The Claimant is put to strict proof that it has sufficient prorpietary interest in the land, or that it has the necessary authorisation from the landowner to issue parking charge notices, and to pursue payment by means of litigation.

    9. The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, Schedule 4, at Section 4(5) states that the maximum sum that may be recovered from the keeper is the charge stated on the Notice to Keeper, in this case £100. The claim includes an additional £70, for which no calculation or explanation is given, and which appears to be an attempt at double recovery.

    10. CPR 44.3 (2) states: ''Where the amount of costs is to be assessed on the standard basis, the court will –
    (a) only allow costs which are proportionate to the matters in issue. Costs which are disproportionate in amount may be disallowed or reduced even if they were reasonably or necessarily incurred; and
    (b) resolve any doubt which it may have as to whether costs were reasonably and proportionately incurred or were reasonable and proportionate in amount in favour of the paying party.

    11. Whilst quantified costs can be considered on a standard basis, this Claimant's purported costs are wholly disproportionate and do not stand up to scrutiny. In fact it is averred that the Claimant has not paid or incurred such damages/costs or 'legal fees' at all. Any debt collection letters were a standard feature of a low cost business model and are already counted within the parking charge itself.

    12. The Parking Eye Ltd v Beavis case is the authority for recovery of the parking charge itself and no more, since that sum (£85 in Beavis) was held to already incorporate the minor costs of an automated private parking business model. There are no losses or damages caused by this business model and the Supreme Court Judges held that a parking firm not in possession cannot plead any part of their case in damages. It is indisputable that the alleged 'parking charge' itself is a sum which the Supreme Court found is already inflated to more than comfortably cover the cost of all letters.

    13. It is trite law that non-existent and untrue 'legal costs' are also unrecoverable. Given the fact that robo-claim solicitors and parking firms process tens of thousands of claims handled by an admin team or paralegals, the Defendant avers that no solicitor is likely to have supervised this current batch of cut & paste claims.

    14. According to Ladak v DRC Locums UKEAT/0488/13/LA a Claimant can only recover the direct and provable costs of the time spent preparing the claim in a legal capacity, not any administration costs allegedly incurred by already remunerated administrative staff.

    14. The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, Schedule 4 (POFA) makes it clear that the will of Parliament regarding parking on private land is that the only sum potentially able to be recovered is the sum in any compliant 'Notice to Keeper' (and the ceiling for a 'parking charge', as set by the Trade Bodies and the DVLA, is £100). This also depends upon the Claimant fully complying with the statute, including 'adequate notice' of the parking charge and prescribed documents served in time/with mandatory wording. It is submitted the claimant has failed on all counts and the Claimant is well aware their artificially inflated claim, as pleaded, constitutes double recovery.

    15. Many informed Court Judges have disallowed all added parking firm 'costs' in County courts, such as these cases, struck out in recent months without a hearing, due solely to the pretence of adding 'damages' blatantly made up out of thin air.

    (a) In Claim number F0DP163T on 11th July 2019, District Judge Grand sitting at the County Court at Southampton, struck out a overly inflated (over the £100 maximum Trade Body and POFA 2012 ceiling) parking firm claim without a hearing for that reason.

    (b) In Claim number F0DP201T on 10th June 2019, District Judge Taylor echoed an earlier General Judgment or Order of DJ Grand, who on 21st February 2019 sitting at the Newport (IOW) County Court, had struck out a parking firm claim. These include a BPA member serial Claimant (Britannia, using BW Legal's robo-claim model) and an IPC member serial Claimant (UKCPM, using Gladstones' robo-claim model) where the abuse is inherent in the business model.

    17. The Order was identical in striking out all such claims without a hearing. - The judgment for these three example cases stated:
    ''IT IS ORDERED THAT The claim is struck out as an abuse of process. The claim contains a substantial charge additional to the parking charge which it is alleged the Defendant contracted to pay. This additional charge is not recoverable under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, Schedule 4 nor with reference to the judgment in ParkingEye v Beavis. It is an abuse of process from the Claimant to issue a knowingly inflated claim for an additional sum which it is not entitled to recover. This order has been made by the court of its own initiative without a hearing pursuant to CPR Rule 3.3(4) of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998...''

    18. In summary, the Claimant's particulars disclose no legal basis for the sum claimed and it is the Defendant's position that the poorly pleaded claim discloses no cause of action and no liability in law for any sum at all. The Claimant's vexatious conduct from the outset has been intimidating, misleading and indeed mendacious in terms of the added costs alleged.

    19. There are several options available within the Courts' case management powers to prevent vexatious litigants pursuing a wide range of individuals for matters which are near-identical, with meritless claims and artificially inflated costs. The Defendant is of the view that private parking firms operate as vexatious litigants and that relief from sanctions should be refused.

    20. The Court is invited to make an Order of its own initiative, dismissing this claim in its entirety and to allow such Defendant's costs as are permissible under Civil Procedure Rule 27.14 on the indemnity basis, taking judicial note of the wholly unreasonable conduct of this Claimant, not least due to the abuse of process in repeatedly attempting to claim fanciful costs which they are not entitled to recover.


    Statement of Truth:

    I believe that the facts stated in this Defence are true.


    Name

    Signature


    Date
    I have added some more and removed some parts about this, where would I find the new judgement on abuse of process to add it?

    Also I'd like to add about how the signage was sparse throughout the site, should I add this to a current point or make another?
    • Le_Kirk
    • By Le_Kirk 10th Nov 19, 3:54 PM
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    Le_Kirk
    Add your points about signage between your points 7 & 8. Search the forum using Advanced Search with user name beamerguy and abuse of process as your keyword(s) and change the radio button from threads to posts. It is post # 14 of that thread that you want.
    • Rollingdice
    • By Rollingdice 11th Nov 19, 1:08 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Rollingdice
    6. Further and in the alternative, it is denied that the claimant's signage sets out the terms in a sufficiently clear manner which would be capable of binding any reasonable person reading them.

    7. The terms on the Claimant's signage are also displayed in a font which is too small to be read from a passing vehicle and is in such a position that anyone attempting to read the tiny font would be unable to do so easily. It is, therefore, denied that the Claimant's signage is capable of creating a legally binding contract.
    8. The signage available in the site is sparsely distributed and you could park in the carpark without passing the sign with the contract available on.
    Would these points be sufficient for the argument about signage being poor in the carpark?

    Any purported 'legal costs' are also made up out of thin air. Given the fact that robo-claim solicitors and parking firms process tens of thousands of claims handled by an admin team or paralegals, the Defendant avers that no solicitor is likely to have supervised this current batch of cut & paste claims. The court is invited to note that no named Solicitor has signed the Particulars, in breach of Practice Direction 22, and rendering the statement of truth a nullity.
    Could I add this bit about the no named solicitor as on the particulars there is a name on their however I am unsure if it is a solicitor or not?

    Thank you
    • Le_Kirk
    • By Le_Kirk 11th Nov 19, 4:21 PM
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    Le_Kirk
    8. The signage available in the site is sparsely distributed and you could park in the carpark without passing the sign with the contract available on.
    Maybe better as: -
    8. The signs on the site are sparsely distributed and you could it is possible to park in the car park without passing the sign with which displays the contract available on.
    Cannot answer your other point but I have seen it answered on the forum, maybe search for it.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 13th Nov 19, 1:34 AM
    • 78,236 Posts
    • 91,794 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Could I add this bit about the no named solicitor as on the particulars there is a name on their however I am unsure if it is a solicitor or not?
    Originally posted by Rollingdice
    No, remove it as it won't be a winning point anyway.

    where would I find the new judgement on abuse of process to add it?
    I just updated para 14 of the Abuse of Process thread yesterday, to add the stuff about the Southampton case that was won on 11th Nov (see CEC16's thread). You need that new wording to REPLACE your point #9 onwards, completely.

    You need to know and use it all because Horizon/Gladstones claims try to add £60 to the parking charge, and I believe - like in the Soton case - their signs don't specify the purported 'debt recovery costs' anyway.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT UNLESS IN SCOTLAND OR NI
    TWO Clicks needed Look up, top of the page:
    Main site>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets Fines & Parking - read the NEWBIES THREAD
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