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  • FIRST POST
    • glosandy
    • By glosandy 5th Jul 18, 10:24 PM
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    glosandy
    Court Claim - has the Defendant blundered?
    • #1
    • 5th Jul 18, 10:24 PM
    Court Claim - has the Defendant blundered? 5th Jul 18 at 10:24 PM
    Appreciate any advice on this one - I am assisting with a Gladstones/PCM claim (thread "Court Claim - PCM (UK)/Gladstones") at Whittle Way, Gloucester. I have been approached by a friend who is in an identical situation.

    They ignored all previous correspondence until they received the court papers. Without advice, they have engaged with Gladstones to try and settle, offering to pay 60 instead of the claimed 240. Gladstones came back and said they'd accept 180 to halt proceedings. After looking at the arguments I've put forward, the friend now wants to go to court and argue!

    So, are their bridges burnt by the fact that they have engaged with Gladstones, or is it possible to say "thanks, but no thanks - now take me to court!"

    Many Thanks

    Glosandy
Page 3
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 18th Sep 18, 11:07 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    The court version should be taken in person in a folder/binder, clearly marked with the date of hearing, claim number and what the contents are and the Order they relate to.

    No emailing to your local court.
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 24-09-2018 at 2:57 AM.
    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
    • glosandy
    • By glosandy 23rd Sep 18, 10:20 PM
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    glosandy
    Sorry just want to be clear now. The requirement to send the "documents intended to rely upon" are the Exhibit documents referenced in the Witness Statement? So, based on the draft above, a copy of:
    MH1 - Copy of Doctor's Letter confirming illness
    MH2 - Photos showing various hard landscaping surface materials
    MH3 - Photo showing no raised kerb
    MH4 - Photo showing same surface treatment in parking area
    MH5 - Photo showing no road markings present
    MH6 - Photo gallery showing 12 x different cars parked in this bay of a number of weeks
    MH7 - Photos showing location of nearest signage
    MH8 - Signage on site vs Beavis sign
    MH9 - Photo's showing bay markings elsewhere in Whittle Square

    All of this printed off, cover page with relevant ID, collated and bound, hand-delivered to the Court. Additional copy emailed to Gladstones. Worth posting a copy too?
    Thanks.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 24th Sep 18, 2:58 AM
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    Coupon-mad
    Yes to the above - but no need to post to Gladstones. Print off a copy of the 'sent email' for taking on the day with your own hearing bundle copies of everything, in case they pretend they never had your evidence.

    You can then prove they did, and move swiftly on, rather than struggle & have the case adjourned.
    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
    • glosandy
    • By glosandy 26th Sep 18, 9:42 PM
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    glosandy
    So:

    1 x set of documents sent to Gladstones today via post, proof of sending kept

    1 x email sent to Gladstones now - got bounce back from the "litigation" and "administration" email addresses, but it looks like "enquiries@gladstonessolicitors.co.uk" worked OK. "Sent" email printed off as evidence.

    1 x set of documents assembled in labelled ring binder ready to hand deliver to Court at 9am tomorrow.
    • glosandy
    • By glosandy 27th Sep 18, 5:37 PM
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    glosandy
    Arrived at the Court at 09:15 to be told I'd missed "the internal post", and was told to post it into the Court letterbox. This freaked me a bit, so I followed up with emailing the document to the Court, for which I received and email acknowledgement.

    So, the first deadline has passed and hopefully I have met our obligations.

    And guess what?

    Nothing received from Gladstones yet....
    • glosandy
    • By glosandy 3rd Oct 18, 9:04 PM
    • 63 Posts
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    glosandy
    Update:
    Gladstones WS received today, 3rd October. No evidence pack was received before the first deadline of 27th Sept, the WS has been received prior to the 11th October deadline.

    QUESTION - is there any mileage in complaining about the missing evidence pack, either directly to the Court or in our WS still to be submitted?

    Otherwise, their WS got a bit like this:
    Usual legal stuff
    Their Defence:
    Photo evidence shows parked outside a marked bay. Mentions Defendant's declaration of illness, says this does not avoid the liability. Basically won't waive the fee on this occasion, open floodgates etc. They ask for strict proof regarding medical condition

    QUESTION - we have a signed Doctor's letter confirming the illness etc. from March 2016, does this do the job?

    Parking charge is clearly advertised, Def chose to park, contract made etc. Says "evidence shows there were bays available, Def should have parked in those"
    Def admitted the charge and agreed to pay 60, Claimant rejected this. Lots of stuff about notifications, increased charges, expiring deadlines etc. Why didn't Def appeal etc.
    Signs are clear and unambiguous (LOL!). Not parked in "marked bay" etc.

    The Current Debt
    28 day breach of contract, damages etc
    Company is an accredited Operator of IPC = max charge 100
    Reasonable sum added of 60
    Whilst sign says "100", failure to pay may incur extra costs
    Debt risen due to staff time spent, award as damages

    Exhibits:
    Copy of Parking Contract: 1 x A4 side, on behalf of Rapleys LLP, Huntingdon as Managing Agent. Restrictions have a minor hand amendment.
    Copy of standard PCM sign
    Site plan of Whittle Square, showing enforcement signage
    Street View image of "entrance" to private land, and signage - pretty much demonstrates it's impossible to see/read, also shows various cars parked all over the shop (pavements etc.
    Street View picture of adjacent "lay-by" for designated parking - not related to area in question
    Street View picture of "access road" i.e. not marked bays, but bears no relation to area in question. Also shows inaccurate signage and various parking "contraventions"!!
    Most specific image to parking bay in question, indicated as "marked with different block paving". Deliberate use of image in the wet which shows the edging more clearly than if dry (in the condition in question)
    Another image showing white-lined marked bays in other areas, but still not related to area in question.
    Final image of "no parking" banners at rear of site - in no way related to the area in question!!
    DVLA response
    Copy of PCN from 22/08/2017
    Copy of PCN follow up from 27/09/2017
    Copy of online photo evidence, looks to be one image, digitally zoomed
    Copy of signage, then some blank pages
    Copy of Letter Before Claim

    That's it...

    Defendants WS to be submitted next week.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 4th Oct 18, 12:27 AM
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    Coupon-mad
    QUESTION - is there any mileage in complaining about the missing evidence pack, either directly to the Court or in our WS still to be submitted?
    Yes I would do both when you add a photocopy of the GP's note to the evidence, as a supplementary 'notice of intention to use photo (in this case, photocopy) evidence' under CPR 33.6 (thanks to the clued-up contact of mine, who pointed this out to me after they recently used it in another case):

    https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part33#33.6

    Use of plans, photographs and models as evidence
    (3) Unless the court orders otherwise the evidence shall not be receivable at a trial unless the party intending to put it in evidence has given notice to the other parties in accordance with this rule.

    (4) Where the party intends to use the evidence as evidence of any fact then, except where paragraph (6) applies, he must give notice not later than the latest date for serving witness statements.

    (5) He must give notice at least 21 days before the hearing at which he proposes to put in the evidence, if –

    (a) there are not to be witness statements; or

    (b) he intends to put in the evidence solely in order to disprove an allegation made in a witness statement.

    They ask for strict proof regarding medical condition
    So give a photocopy of it to the court and the C, under that CPR rule 'solely to disprove an allegation made in a WS'; then my understanding is, it can be produced at trial.

    QUESTION - we have a signed Doctor's letter confirming the illness etc. from March 2016, does this do the job?
    Yes as above, file a notice of intention to use it at trial, and put a covering letter pointing out that the C did not serve their 'evidence' until 3.10.18 which was AFTER they had the advantage of seeing yours first, and contrary to the deadline in the Order of the court.

    You managed it so why should a Solicitor be allowed to break the rules/deadlines and gain an advantage on a Litigant in Person?

    Search the forum for DENTON to find some good wording written, to crib from, talking about how this is not a trifling matter and the solicitor/Claimant made no application for relief from sanctions.
    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
    • glosandy
    • By glosandy 10th Oct 18, 7:07 PM
    • 63 Posts
    • 38 Thanks
    glosandy
    UPDATE: WS delivered to Court, copy posted to Gladstones. Email copy sent to Court and to Gladstones as back-up.


    Roll on the 13th November...
    • glosandy
    • By glosandy 8th Nov 18, 5:12 PM
    • 63 Posts
    • 38 Thanks
    glosandy
    UPDATE:
    So, Court date is next Tuesday... And letter arrives today from Gladstones: "our Client is not able to attend the hearing... request that their attendance be excused... hearing conducted in their absence... Court informed... asked Court to decide based on evidence"

    I take it this still means we're going ahead?

    I had planned to get a skeleton argument and summary of costs drafted tonight.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 8th Nov 18, 5:14 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    Yes it's still going ahead but they won't be there, so the stage will be yours...which doesn't mean the Judge won't consider their evidence.

    It is your job to shoot it down!
    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
    • glosandy
    • By glosandy 8th Nov 18, 5:33 PM
    • 63 Posts
    • 38 Thanks
    glosandy
    Thanks. Assume they will still have representation - some rent-a-lawyer type?

    In terms of the skeleton & costs, I take it these need to be sent to the Court and Gladstones at least 24hrs before the Court date?
    • Redx
    • By Redx 8th Nov 18, 5:58 PM
    • 22,600 Posts
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    Redx
    I would think you are correct, assume yes so you dont get ambushed
    Newbies !!
    Private Parking ticket? check the 2 sticky threads by coupon-mad and crabman in the Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking Board forum for the latest advice or maybe try pepipoo or C.A.G. or legal beagles forums if you need legal advice as well because this parking forum is not about debt collectors or legal matters per se
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 8th Nov 18, 7:09 PM
    • 73,330 Posts
    • 85,454 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Thanks. Assume they will still have representation - some rent-a-lawyer type?
    Originally posted by glosandy
    I say no, that letter means they are not going to be represented at all on the day, and as I said, the floor is yours.

    The judge will consider their paperwork only, and will listen to you in person plus look at your evidence.
    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
    • Inkasso
    • By Inkasso 13th Nov 18, 2:59 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Inkasso
    Any news on this one, wasn't court today? Soon to be in the same boat.
    • glosandy
    • By glosandy 13th Nov 18, 7:44 PM
    • 63 Posts
    • 38 Thanks
    glosandy
    Verdict
    Case Dismissed by District Judge Ellery - we won.

    You'll notice no exclamation marks at the end of this statement - we won, but. it sure doesn't feel like it. A very strange experience...

    So, to give you all a full run down of the days events. We arrive nice and early, no sign of any representation from Gladstones, I get signed in as a McKenzie Friend. Running 30 mins late, get called in...

    Taken into he courtroom. Judge sits behind desk at head of room, quite imposing and certainly designed to put us in our place.

    Judge starts with a preamble, seems to totally distrust me as a McKenzie Friend and is pretty condescending, then moves on to reviewing the Witness Statements. Her first comment was "where did you get your information from?", relating to our WS. This was a direct dig at "the internet" and forums like these. She was very dismissive, and expanded her opinion on this - apparently you lot know nothing, and make stuff up, and I'm foolish to follow the guidance. I'm sorry we didn't get chance to respond, as we were totally taken aback by this.

    We mentioned that the Claimant's documents weren't served on time, but the WS was - she gave short shrift to this and I began to get an ominous feeling. To be fair, I thought we were well prepared - but as soon as she started querying things I started to get lost in my own notes.

    She went through Claimant WS - her tone and use of phrase seemed to me to be supporting their side of the story - their rights to pursue the claim, contract law, reasonable charges etc. All the time I noticed there were little digs aimed towards our Defence.

    She said she had reviewed both sets of WS, but I got the distinct impression she hadn't. GS had only supplied her B&W WS, so she couldn't make out the detail - luckily we had a colour one, so Defendant was able to show her this, and spend time going through it with her at her desk. She kept coming back to the position of the signage, again seeming to make excuses for the Claimant. She did not comprehend the position of the bay in relation to the site. GS's WS seems to torpedo their own argument - images used (Google Street View) show a car in the exact position, no bay markings, and no signage. But we had to push 3 or 4 times to get this across to her. Even then she seemed reluctant. GS definitely cherry picked photos to highlight the contrast in the block paving (reckon someone is handy with Photoshop).

    She did go to town on the fact that the Defendant had not responded to the initial claims, and that we had not gone down the appeal route. I believe she mixed up POPLA with IPC, so maybe not too savvy on this racket. Luckily, the illness card was played and the Defendant did a good job in pushing back on this. She definitely tried to be sneaky - even though she had stated that the illness bore no consequence in terms of the claim, she pursued the Defendant on detail relating to who he had in the car, and why they went into the building with him - in retrospect, I believe the images used in the WS show an empty car, and I do feel she was out to trap the Defendant in a lie. He did a good job in preventing this.

    At this point, it appears to me that she is drawing things to a close - anything left to say etc. And we'd not even gone through the Defendant's WS! I had to push the Defendant to push her to review our WS, which she seemed reluctant to do. Maybe she had reviewed it prior...?

    Anyway, we do get the opportunity to go through it with her. Again, pretty dismissive of any mitigation or extraneous information i.e. the fact that the car was parked responsible off the highway = not relevant, and so on.

    Trump card for us, and anyone else in this situation, is the library of cars using this space - common usage seemed be the killer. That with the lack of bay markings, and no relevant signage (i.e. they know there's a problem, and they're not doing anything about it - why, for money of course).

    So, we finally feel we've got the points across, to the best of our ability (C minus in my book). She starts to sum up. She reels off a list of points that all sound like we've lost - heart starts to sink, resigned to losing... Then she says "court therefore dismisses this case". What the...?

    We had no inclination that was coming. She asks if we have incurred costs... She doesn't have the costs previously submitted, so I send a spare copy over to her - let the kicking recommence!!

    Straightaway, "where did you get these from?" "show me where it says 19/hr for LIP rate, and I'll award it" - we couldn't. "Why did you take the whole day off?" Defendant gave a very good explanation of this - "No, we only allow a half day". "Whose hourly rate is this?" looking directly at me! "We don't accept stationery costs - show me where it says we have to". She made short work of getting the costs down from 306 to 48!!

    Explained that the order of the court would be sent to both parties, and GS have 21 days to pay. Explained the Court was busy and there may be a delay in getting these sent out, so go easy on GS and give them time before pursuing them - she heard me mutter that we would be sending their own debt collectors to get the payment, and for the first time a quarter smile crept into the corner of her mouth...

    At that point, we'd had enough and got out of there, feeling pretty punch drunk... Left the building 40 mins after going in.

    So, reality is we won, we got costs and it feels good to put the proverbial middle finger up to GS. So why the downer?

    This was my first experience of Law Courts in any form. The abiding feeling I come away with is that the Law, and Courts are designed for a certain breed, or for those that can afford a certain breed.
    DIY law?
    Represent yourself?
    Dare to use a Forum?
    "Leave it to the professionals, dear"
    • Castle
    • By Castle 13th Nov 18, 8:14 PM
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    • 3,120 Thanks
    Castle
    Dare to use a Forum?
    "Leave it to the professionals, dear"
    Originally posted by glosandy
    Yes... like Gladstones and BW Legal
    • glosandy
    • By glosandy 13th Nov 18, 8:22 PM
    • 63 Posts
    • 38 Thanks
    glosandy
    Castle - indeed! She really didn't seem to see the irony of us having followed the rules, and made the effort to be there, when compared to the empty seats next to us where GS should have been.
    • maserati89
    • By maserati89 14th Nov 18, 1:21 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    maserati89
    Maybe the tide is turning in favour of these firms. Read a lot of threads recently where the judges have been quite belligerent to the defendants.
    • glosandy
    • By glosandy 24th Nov 18, 1:58 PM
    • 63 Posts
    • 38 Thanks
    glosandy
    Judgement Received
    Court Judgement received today., Court findings were:
    the signage on entering Whittle Square was not easily legible for Drivers (Claimant's own evidence!)
    the white lined areas put in evidence by the Claimant is not in the vicinity and therefore did not represent parking available and relevant to this case
    the parking spaces were not correctly delineated between permissible and not permissible parking, and the Court finds that numerous people were parking in the same spot due to it not being clear.

    Claimant failed to prove case, so the Claim dismissed (that feels better now!)

    Expenses to be paid "to the Judgement Creditor or their Representative" - is this directly to the Defendant or who? To be paid by the 4th December.
    • Castle
    • By Castle 24th Nov 18, 2:13 PM
    • 2,289 Posts
    • 3,120 Thanks
    Castle
    Expenses to be paid "to the Judgement Creditor or their Representative" - is this directly to the Defendant or who? To be paid by the 4th December.
    Originally posted by glosandy
    To the defendant unless you have nominated somebody else.
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