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  • FIRST POST
    • Fingerbobs
    • By Fingerbobs 21st Oct 18, 9:37 AM
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    Fingerbobs
    NCP / BW Legal - Claim Form received
    • #1
    • 21st Oct 18, 9:37 AM
    NCP / BW Legal - Claim Form received 21st Oct 18 at 9:37 AM
    Hi all.

    Received my first ever Parking Charge Notice from NCP a few months ago, as the registered keeper of a vehicle which, according to the notice, over-stayed in an NCP car park in April 2018.

    Being rather naive and inexperienced at this sort of thing, I didn't worry, and simply ignored all the letters from various entities including NCP themselves, Trace Debt Recovery (which I understand are part of NCP?) and BW Legal.

    I didn't realise that the "Letter Of Claim" meant that things were getting serious, and just added it to my pile of correspondence without thinking about it.

    Yesterday, I received a "Claim Form" which I initially dismissed as well because it looked so amateurish, and didn't include a hearing date. Only the presence of an an official .gov.uk web address on the form got me thinking, and led me to this forum, which suggests I need to take action.

    The original demand letter showed photographs of my car entering and exiting the car park, with timings suggesting that the vehicle had stayed for just over 3 hours in the car park. The length of time that was actually paid for is not stated anywhere on any of the letters or documentation I have been sent. All of the documentation only includes entry and exit timings, and the event in question occurred more than six months ago so I don't actually know how long was paid for.

    The only real defence I can think of is that the amount being asked for is disproportionate to the length of the stay in the car park (they're asking for 160 for a stay of 3 hours, when the normal rate for that car park is around 4 per hour) - and after reading the FAQ in this forum it sounds like this is a weak defence.

    Is it worth defending it, or should I just cough up?
Page 1
    • beamerguy
    • By beamerguy 21st Oct 18, 10:05 AM
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    beamerguy
    • #2
    • 21st Oct 18, 10:05 AM
    • #2
    • 21st Oct 18, 10:05 AM
    You do not owe 160 .... 60 of that is a scam fake add on
    from the debt collector and BWLegal dress this up in
    different ways such as admin, contractual charge etc etc

    So, how long did you overstay ??? what were the times
    given ??

    "The only real defence I can think of is that the amount being asked for is disproportionate to the length of the stay in the car park (they're asking for 160 for a stay of 3 hours, when the normal rate for that car park is around 4 per hour) - and after reading the FAQ in this forum it sounds like this is a weak defence."

    You are not being charged for 3 hrs parking, you are being charged
    for an overstay
    Last edited by beamerguy; 21-10-2018 at 10:15 AM.
    RBS - MNBA - CAPITAL ONE - LLOYDS

    DISGUSTING BEHAVIOUR
    • Fingerbobs
    • By Fingerbobs 21st Oct 18, 10:25 AM
    • 494 Posts
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    Fingerbobs
    • #3
    • 21st Oct 18, 10:25 AM
    • #3
    • 21st Oct 18, 10:25 AM
    I genuinely do not know how long was paid for, so I don't know how long the overstay was, or indeed if an overstay occurred at all.

    I know I am not being charged for parking but for an overstay, but the charge for the overstay is completely disproportionate to the standard rate for the car park in question. Reading the FAQs, I thought this was a potential defence, albeit a weak one.
    Last edited by Fingerbobs; 21-10-2018 at 10:54 AM.
    • beamerguy
    • By beamerguy 21st Oct 18, 10:47 AM
    • 9,313 Posts
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    beamerguy
    • #4
    • 21st Oct 18, 10:47 AM
    • #4
    • 21st Oct 18, 10:47 AM
    The original demand letter showed photographs of my car entering and exiting the car park, with timings suggesting that the vehicle had stayed for just over 3 hours in the car park. The length of time that was actually paid for is not stated anywhere on any of the letters or documentation

    And that's what I asked ...... what are the timings shown

    Assume this was a pay at machine car park so if they
    are claiming you stayed over the 3 hrs, can we assume
    you paid for 3 hours
    Think of this logically
    RBS - MNBA - CAPITAL ONE - LLOYDS

    DISGUSTING BEHAVIOUR
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 21st Oct 18, 10:53 AM
    • 10,665 Posts
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    KeithP
    • #5
    • 21st Oct 18, 10:53 AM
    • #5
    • 21st Oct 18, 10:53 AM
    What is the Date of Issue on your Claim Form?
    .
    • Fingerbobs
    • By Fingerbobs 21st Oct 18, 11:03 AM
    • 494 Posts
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    Fingerbobs
    • #6
    • 21st Oct 18, 11:03 AM
    • #6
    • 21st Oct 18, 11:03 AM
    And that's what I asked ...... what are the timings shown

    Assume this was a pay at machine car park so if they
    are claiming you stayed over the 3 hrs, can we assume
    you paid for 3 hours
    Think of this logically
    Originally posted by beamerguy
    I appreciate you are trying to help, thank you, but I don't want to post the exact timings as this would then form a clear link between this thread and the case, which, as this is a public forum, I do not want to happen.

    The length of time paid for cannot be inferred from the entry and exit timings, and I have no record of the length of time paid for.

    What is the Date of Issue on your Claim Form?
    Originally posted by KeithP
    18th October 2018.
    • beamerguy
    • By beamerguy 21st Oct 18, 11:08 AM
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    beamerguy
    • #7
    • 21st Oct 18, 11:08 AM
    • #7
    • 21st Oct 18, 11:08 AM
    I appreciate you are trying to help, thank you, but I don't want to post the exact timings as this would then form a clear link between this thread and the case, which, as this is a public forum, I do not want to happen.

    The length of time paid for cannot be inferred from the entry and exit timings, and I have no record of the length of time paid for.



    18th October 2018.
    Originally posted by Fingerbobs
    How do you expect help when you don't help us.

    As long as you don't show your name, reg no and driver
    what's the problem ?
    NCP are dealing with many more cases than yours.

    We cannot force you for the info ... up to you
    RBS - MNBA - CAPITAL ONE - LLOYDS

    DISGUSTING BEHAVIOUR
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 21st Oct 18, 11:49 AM
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    KeithP
    • #8
    • 21st Oct 18, 11:49 AM
    • #8
    • 21st Oct 18, 11:49 AM
    18th October 2018.
    Originally posted by Fingerbobs
    With a Claim Issue Date of 18th October, you have until Tuesday 6th November to do the Acknowledgement of Service, but there is nothing to be gained by delaying it. To do the AoS, follow the guidance offered in a Dropbox link from post #2 of the NEWBIES FAQ sticky thread.

    Having done the AoS, you then have until 4pm on Tuesday 20th November 2018 to file your Defence.

    A whole month. Loads of time to produce a perfect Defence, but don't leave it to the very last minute.


    When you are happy with the content, your Defence should be filed via email as described here:

    1) Print your Defence.
    2) Sign it and date it.
    3) Scan the signed document back in and save it as a pdf.
    4) Send that pdf as an email attachment to CCBCAQ@Justice.gov.uk
    5) Just put the claim number and the word Defence in the email title, and in the body of the email something like 'Please find my Defence attached'.
    6) Log into MCOL after a few days to see if the Claim is marked "defended". If not chase the CCBC until it is.
    7) Wait for your Directions Questionnaire and then re-read post #2 of the NEWBIES thread to find out exactly what to do with it.
    .
    • Fingerbobs
    • By Fingerbobs 21st Oct 18, 9:56 PM
    • 494 Posts
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    Fingerbobs
    • #9
    • 21st Oct 18, 9:56 PM
    • #9
    • 21st Oct 18, 9:56 PM
    Thanks very much for the assistance.

    As per the FAQ, I will prepare a draft Defence and post it here for critique, but at the moment I am still not sure whether to even bother to defend the claim, so will hold off submitting the AoS until I've got some feedback on my Defence.

    I can afford to pay them, so I would only be fighting "on principle" anyway, and it a stress in my life I could do without if I don't have a realistic chance of winning.
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 21st Oct 18, 10:01 PM
    • 10,665 Posts
    • 11,053 Thanks
    KeithP
    Thanks very much for the assistance.

    As per the FAQ, I will prepare a draft Defence and post it here for critique, but at the moment I am still not sure whether to even bother to defend the claim, so will hold off submitting the AoS until I've got some feedback on my Defence.

    I can afford to pay them, so I would only be fighting "on principle" anyway, and it a stress in my life I could do without if I don't have a realistic chance of winning.
    Originally posted by Fingerbobs
    You may as well do the AoS - it gives you twice as long to 'think about it', or twice as long to write a Defence that may well be good enough.

    I cannot think of any reason not to do the AoS. It's ten minutes work.
    .
    • Fingerbobs
    • By Fingerbobs 21st Oct 18, 10:06 PM
    • 494 Posts
    • 139 Thanks
    Fingerbobs
    You may as well do the AoS - it gives you twice as long to 'think about it', or twice as long to write a Defence that may well be good enough.

    I cannot think of any reason not to do the AoS. It's ten minutes work.
    Originally posted by KeithP
    My reason for holding off submitting the AoS is that I have to state my intention to "defend all of the claim" - which I am not sure I will do yet.

    Does it matter if I do this, but then subsequently decide not to submit a defence?
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 21st Oct 18, 10:14 PM
    • 10,665 Posts
    • 11,053 Thanks
    KeithP
    My reason for holding off submitting the AoS is that I have to state my intention to "defend all of the claim" - which I am not sure I will do yet.

    Does it matter if I do this, but then subsequently decide not to submit a defence?
    Originally posted by Fingerbobs
    So state that you do intend to defend all of the claim - just follow that Dropbox guide in it's entirety.

    If you don't do the Aos, the Claimant can ask for a Judgment by default after 14 days.

    If you do do the Aos, the Claimant has to wait another 14 days before asking for a Judgment by default.

    So an extra 14 days to cogitate.

    If subsequently you don't bother to defend anything the Claimant will get a Judgment by default after the 28 days.

    Do the Aos now.
    .
    • Fingerbobs
    • By Fingerbobs 21st Oct 18, 10:31 PM
    • 494 Posts
    • 139 Thanks
    Fingerbobs
    So state that you do intend to defend all of the claim - just follow that Dropbox guide in it's entirety.

    If you don't do the Aos, the Claimant can ask for a Judgment by default after 14 days.

    If you do do the Aos, the Claimant has to wait another 14 days before asking for a Judgment by default.

    So an extra 14 days to cogitate.

    If subsequently you don't bother to defend anything the Claimant will get a Judgment by default after the 28 days.

    Do the Aos now.
    Originally posted by KeithP
    Will do. Thanks for your help :-)
    • Fingerbobs
    • By Fingerbobs 22nd Oct 18, 9:50 PM
    • 494 Posts
    • 139 Thanks
    Fingerbobs
    Do the Aos now.
    Originally posted by KeithP
    I've done the AOS, and still working on my draft Defence.

    Just to add that today I've received another letter from BW Legal to tell me that I will be receiving the Claim Form soon - 2 days after I've received it :-)
    They're nothing if not efficient.
    • Fingerbobs
    • By Fingerbobs 8th Nov 18, 4:18 PM
    • 494 Posts
    • 139 Thanks
    Fingerbobs
    Here's my first attempt, admittedly shamelessly plagiarised from another thread on here.
    DEFENCE

    1. I am [full name], Defendant in this matter. It is admitted that the Defendant was the registered keeper of vehicle [number plate] which is the subject of these proceedings, on the date of the alleged contravention.

    2. The Defendant denies liability for the entirety of the claim for the following reasons:

    3. In breach of Practice Direction 16 7.5 and CPR 16.1 1(a) the Particulars of Claim printed on the Claim Form lack any specific information and do not give any details about what contravention allegedly occurred, what PCN the claim relates to, how the charge arose, how the charge has been constructed or what contract was allegedly entered into. This makes it very difficult for the defendant to accurately defend the claim.

    4. The Defendant believes that the claim has been artificially inflated and that the claimant has added unrecoverable sums to the original charge, including 50 for Legal Representatives costs which is not permitted for the small claims track under CPR 27.14. In any case the Defendant disputes the the Claimant has incurred 50 Legal Representatives Costs pursuing the alleged debt.

    5. The charge is clearly an unenforceable penalty with no basis in costs incurred by the alleged contravention. If the court believes there was a contract (which is denied) this is just the sort of 'simple financial contract' identified at the Supreme Court as one with an easily quantifiable loss (i.e. the tariff), identified as completely different from the complex 'free parking licence' arrangement in Beavis.

    6. Where loss can be quantified, the 'complex' and 'completely different' Beavis decision is inapplicable, as was found in ParkingEye Ltd v Cargius, A0JD1405 at Wrexham County Court.

    7. At the Court of Appeal stage in Beavis, pay-per-hour car parks were specifically held by those Judges (in findings not contradicted in the Supreme Court later) as still being subject to the "penalty" rule, with the potential for the charge to be held to be wholly disproportionate to the tariff, and thus unrecoverable. In other words, charging 100 for a period of time for which the 'agreed and published' tariff rate is 1/hour, would be perverse, contrary to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and not a matter that the courts should uphold.

    8. As detailed in the Particulars of Claim, the Claimant is claiming 60 costs as set out in the Terms and Conditions with no reference to which Terms and Conditions the costs are associated with or how the Defendant entered into a contract with which these Terms and Conditions were a part.

    9. The Claim Form issued by BW Legal on the 18th October 2018 has not been correctly filed as it was not signed by a legal entity. It does not have a valid signature. Practice Direction 22 requires that a statement of case on behalf of a company must be signed by a person holding a senior position and state the position. If the party is legally represented, the legal representative may sign the statement of truth but in his own name and not that of his firm or employer. In the space where such a signature should appear on the form, there is merely printed text reading "BW Legal Services Limited (Claimant's Legal Representative)". There is no signature.

    10. The Claimant is believed to be a serial litigant, with over 1,000 similar claims identified by HM Courts Service, which is clearly against the public interest. It is the Defendants belief that this claim is yet another of the Claimants template claims and will proceed with no specific evidence or facts with which to substantiate it which demonstrates a disregard for the dignity of the court and is unfair on unrepresented consumers.

    11. It is submitted that the conduct of the Claimant in pursuing this claim is wholly unreasonable and vexatious. As such, the Defendant is keeping careful note of all wasted time/costs in dealing with this matter and should the case continue to trial (or in the event of the Claimant filing a Notice of Discontinuance) the Defendant will seek further costs, pursuant to Civil Procedure Rule 27.14(2)(g).

    The Defendant denies any liability whatsoever to the Claimant in any matter and 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

    The Defendant believes the facts stated in this defence are true.
    I don't like No. 11 really - it seems like it disincentivises them to drop the case, which is really what I want.

    Comments appreciated.
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 8th Nov 18, 4:59 PM
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    KeithP
    I didn't see it, but is there anything in your Defence that says what you might have been accused of doing wrong?

    Nothing about the signs not being clear enough?

    Nothing about whether as the vehicle's keeper you are liable or not?

    Nothing about whether the keeper was the driver or not?

    No mention of POFA?


    Just thoughts. You may have good reasons.
    Last edited by KeithP; 08-11-2018 at 5:04 PM.
    .
    • IamEmanresu
    • By IamEmanresu 8th Nov 18, 5:06 PM
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    IamEmanresu
    @FB.

    How much of it is true e.g have you read the Practice Direction and understand if it applies?
    If you want to win - avoid losing first. Here are a few examples
    1. Failing to Acknowledge or Defend https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5760415
    2. Template defences that say nothing https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5818671&page=5#86
    3. Forgetting about the Witness Statement
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 8th Nov 18, 5:13 PM
    • 63,887 Posts
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    Coupon-mad
    I agree with KeithP, in that you have said this:

    5. The charge is clearly an unenforceable penalty with no basis in costs incurred by the alleged contravention. If the court believes there was a contract (which is denied) this is just the sort of 'simple financial contract' identified at the Supreme Court as one with an easily quantifiable loss (i.e. the tariff), identified as completely different from the complex 'free parking licence' arrangement in Beavis.
    ...and you talk about pay-per-hour car parks but that's not enough to be clear what your defence is. Higher up, as point #2, you need to state the facts about what the alleged contravention is, whether you are the admitted driver (or not, or you cannot recall) and what you know or do not know.

    If you do not know, say this:

    The original demand letter showed photographs of the Defendant's car entering and exiting the car park, with timings suggesting that the vehicle had stayed for just over 3 hours in the car park. The length of time that was actually paid for is not stated anywhere on any of the letters or documentation, or in the Particulars of Claim. All of the documentation only includes entry and exit timings, and the event in question occurred more than six months ago so the Defendant does not actually know how long was paid for, but avers that the Claimant has not allowed a reasonable observation period and grace period (either side of paid-for time) in flagrant disregard for the BPA Code of Practice.
    Remove #10 and replace it with the usual point (as succinctly written in defences by bargepole that I've linked in the NEWBIES thread) about no standing to sue because they do not own the car park.

    And add a section on BPA grace periods.

    And add a section on no keeper liability as you believe NCP did not comply with the POFA Schedule 4 as the signs are sparse and wordy, and there was no relevant obligation on the driver.

    Is it a station or London Underground car park; a railway bylaws site?

    And - first - as you have a few weeks to defend this, once you've done the AOS on MCOL, urgently send NCP an online/email SAR to their Data Protection Officer* asking for all photos, all letters, PCN and all data held, including the times of arrival and time of payment and how long they are alleging the car ''overstayed'' as that data does not appear anywhere.


    * see their Privacy page for contact email. Do the SAR urgently, to see the facts.
    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
    • Fingerbobs
    • By Fingerbobs 8th Nov 18, 9:24 PM
    • 494 Posts
    • 139 Thanks
    Fingerbobs
    Thanks for all the comments, which I have taken on board and am working on Draft 2.

    Just one question - if I indicate that I know what the alleged contravention is (i.e. the PCN to Keeper I received claiming an overstay) does that not undermine Point 3 where I say I can't make a good defence because they haven't provided enough information on the Claim Form?

    Would I be better off ditching point 3 and just stating my defence?
    • The Deep
    • By The Deep 9th Nov 18, 10:29 AM
    • 10,598 Posts
    • 10,436 Thanks
    The Deep
    I can afford to pay them, so I would only be fighting "on principle"

    No, you would ks be fighting them because it is a scam which, , I am sure, has driven at least one victim to kill themselves. Read/watch what MPs think about it.

    This is an entirely unregulated industry which is scamming the public with inflated claims for minor breaches of alleged contracts for alleged parking offences, aided and abetted by a handful of low-rent solicitors.

    Parking Eye, CPM, Smart, and others have already been named and shamed in the House of Commons as have Gladstones Solicitors, and BW Legal, (these two law firms take hundreds of these cases to court each week, hospital car parks and residential complex tickets have been especially mentioned. They lose most of them, and have been reported to the regulatory authority by an M.P. for unprofessional conduct

    The problem has become so widespread that MPs have agreed to enact a Bill to regulate these scammers. It has even been suggested that some of these companies have links with organised crime.

    Watch the video of the Second Reading and committee stage in the House of Commons recently. MPs have a very low opinion of this industry.

    http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/2f0384f2-eba5-4fff-ab07-cf24b6a22918?in=12:49:41

    https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2018-07-19/debates/2b90805c-bff8-4707-8bdc-b0bfae5a7ad5/Parking(CodeOfPractice)Bill(FirstSitting)

    and complain in the most robust terms to your MP. With a fair wind they will be out of business by in the not too distant future..

    You would also be fighting it because it is believed that some of these companies have links to organised crime. "First they came for the socialists …"
    You never know how far you can go until you go too far.
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