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  • FIRST POST
    mgxrmw
    ParkingEye Letter Before Action - what to do next
    • #1
    • 5th Aug 13, 2:54 PM
    ParkingEye Letter Before Action - what to do next 5th Aug 13 at 2:54 PM
    Hello,

    I have today received a 'letter before action' from parking eye. I have ignored the previous correspondence from them (2 letters asking for payment).

    I stayed in a retail park car park an hour too long on the 10th June 2013. I had a few things to buy, and a 6 month old baby - things always seem to take a really long time with her in tow! With breastfeeding, nappy changes etc.!!


    I have proof of a few transactions, for money I spent at the retail park on my debit card, but unfortunately they are one about £5 each - probably not enough to justify the overstay. I did but some clothes, but used cash (birthday money) and no longer have the receipts. I also have proof of £14.99 going back onto my card for a refund in one of the stores! I am not sure if this is any help in proving I was a genuine customer and not just using the car park for free parking...

    Anyway, I plan to now stop ignoring them, and send a quick letter, stating that I have received their LBA and will write again soon once I have sought legal advise. Is this the right thing to do/say?

    If so, what is the next step please?

    Any help will be greatly appreciated!!

    Thanks in advance.
Page 1
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 5th Aug 13, 3:01 PM
    • 25,121 Posts
    • 40,526 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    • #2
    • 5th Aug 13, 3:01 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Aug 13, 3:01 PM
    Do some reading on the following thread as it will give you some advice on how to proceed with this in the correct (legal) manner.

    Come back if there are some things you want further advice on.

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showpost.php?p=62445019&postcount=1
  • mgxrmw
    • #3
    • 5th Aug 13, 6:31 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Aug 13, 6:31 PM
    Thank you very much, I have read it all, and from what I understand I have written a letter (Posted below), so I will send this, and wait to see if they bother to reply, is that correct? Thanks



    I, the defendant, would like to confirm that I have received the claimants ‘Letter Before Action’.

    The defendant would also like to bring to your attention the Practice Direction on Pre-action Conduct, in particular Section 7 of the aforementioned document, relating to Letters Before Claims.

    With regards to the claimants ‘Letter Before Action’, it is apparent that it fails to comply with the Practice Direction on numerous counts, in particular, the failure to notify the defendant of the document itself. The letter also fails to state the facts which the claim is based on, which documents the claimant intends to rely upon as evidence, and precisely how the claimants loss has been calculated.

    Section 8 of the Practice Direction sets out details on Alternative Dispute Resolution, which the claimants ‘Letter Before Action’ has failed to mention. Fortunately as a member of the British Parking Association (BPA), an independent resolution solution is open to the claimant, namely the Parking On Private Land Appeals Service (‘POPLA’). The defendant therefore invites you to issue a POPLA code, which will allow this dispute to be settled outside of the courts.

    Alternatively, the claimant may wish to cancel the parking charge.


    Yours Faithfully
    • Guys Dad
    • By Guys Dad 5th Aug 13, 6:48 PM
    • 10,891 Posts
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    Guys Dad
    • #4
    • 5th Aug 13, 6:48 PM
    • #4
    • 5th Aug 13, 6:48 PM
    I would go further.

    I would add somewhere in your letter

    I refer you to two web sites that clearly explain what procedures and information you need to follow prior to court action.

    The first is the Citizen's Advice web site here http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/wales/consumer_w/consumer_taking_action_e/consumer_legal_actions_e/consumer_going_to_court_e/before_you_take_someone_to_court/step_one_write_a_letter_before_action.htm

    The second are the Ministry of Justice's Practice Direction web pages here http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/pd_pre-action_conduct

    The procedures in these pages are not optional - they are compulsory and you will see that your letter before action fails in many respects to follow these instructions.

    Be assured that each and every failure to comply will be included in my robust defence and may even result in any action being struck out.


    This is not much different from zzzlazydaisy's advice, but it shown that you are not just copying something parrot fashion and have done your own research,

    If they really want to take this to court, then it will cost them a significant amount and the benefit for you if they do is gaining a relatively cheap legal education course through a workshop!
    • zzzLazyDaisy
    • By zzzLazyDaisy 5th Aug 13, 8:27 PM
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    zzzLazyDaisy
    • #5
    • 5th Aug 13, 8:27 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Aug 13, 8:27 PM
    Some small changes to your letter (see below). I also like Guy's Dad's suggestion re websites.

    Daisy






    I, the defendant, would like to confirm that I have received the claimants ‘Letter Before Action’ dated xxxx

    The defendant would also like to bring to your attention the Practice Direction on Pre-action Conduct, in particular Section 7 of the aforementioned document, relating to Letters Before Claims, and Annex A explaining the information that must be provided in the Letter Before Action.

    With regards to the claimants ‘Letter Before Action’, it is apparent that it fails to comply with the Practice Direction on numerous counts, in particular, the failure to notify the defendant of the document itself.

    The letter also fails to state the facts which the claim is based on, which the defendant needs to know to prepare the Response, so please provide the basis for your claim (Breach of contract? Trespass? Unpaid invoice?)

    The letter also does not state which documents the claimant intends to rely upon as evidence, and precisely how the claimants loss has been calculated, so please also provide this missing information as soon as possible.

    Section 8 of the Practice Direction sets out details on Alternative Dispute Resolution, which the claimants ‘Letter Before Action’ has failed to mention. Fortunately as a member of the British Parking Association (BPA), an independent resolution solution is open to the claimant, namely the Parking On Private Land Appeals Service (‘POPLA’). The defendant therefore invites you to issue a POPLA code, which will allow this dispute to be settled outside of the courts.

    Alternatively, the claimant may wish to cancel the parking charge.


    Yours Faithfully
    Originally posted by mgxrmw
    I'm a retired employment solicitor. Hopefully some of my comments might be useful, but they are only my opinion and not intended as legal advice.
  • mgxrmw
    • #6
    • 6th Aug 13, 11:24 AM
    • #6
    • 6th Aug 13, 11:24 AM
    Thank you both that is really helpful. I have done a bit of reading, and as I mentioned, I had my baby with me at the time and was breastfeeding her, it seems that asking me to leave the car park before feeding her would be a breach of The Equality Act 2010 - which I understand to mean, makes it illegal to ask a breastfeeding mother to leave a premises. I do remember on this particular day my baby was very unsettled and I spent quite some time nursing her.
    I just wondered if it is worth mentioning this? or just sticking to the original?

    Thanks again
    • zzzLazyDaisy
    • By zzzLazyDaisy 6th Aug 13, 12:13 PM
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    zzzLazyDaisy
    • #7
    • 6th Aug 13, 12:13 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Aug 13, 12:13 PM
    Hi yes it is worth mentioning this - I suggest that you add an additional para

    ' I would also ask you to note that the reason for the overstay was that the defendant was breastfeeding her young baby. The baby was unsettled and took longer than usual to take the feed, and then of course the defendant had to change the baby's nappy and get her settled before resuming the journey, which also took some time as the baby was quite fractious. The defendant has been advised that, in these circumstances, she is has protection under the Equality Act 2010, would ask you to note that, should you pursue this claim to court, the defendant will make a counter claim for harassment against both your company and your principal.

    In the circumstances, I invite you to cancel this charge, but if you refuse to do so, please provide the name and address of the principal company that has authorised you to bring these proceedings on its behalf, as I wish to join them into the proceedings as a defendant to my counterclaim.

    I trust this will not be necessary and look forward to hearing from you with confirmation that this charge has been cancelled."
    I'm a retired employment solicitor. Hopefully some of my comments might be useful, but they are only my opinion and not intended as legal advice.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 14th Aug 13, 8:03 PM
    • 76,597 Posts
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    Coupon-mad
    • #8
    • 14th Aug 13, 8:03 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Aug 13, 8:03 PM
    Thank you both that is really helpful. I have done a bit of reading, and as I mentioned, I had my baby with me at the time and was breastfeeding her, it seems that asking me to leave the car park before feeding her would be a breach of The Equality Act 2010 - which I understand to mean, makes it illegal to ask a breastfeeding mother to leave a premises. I do remember on this particular day my baby was very unsettled and I spent quite some time nursing her.
    I just wondered if it is worth mentioning this? or just sticking to the original?

    Thanks again
    Originally posted by mgxrmw

    Hope these links help:

    http://www.babyfeedinglawgroup.org.uk/thelaw/feedinginpublic

    http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=74849&start=0&p=765131&#entry7 65131

    I post as SchoolRunMum on pepipoo and these links are the ones I always provide to show people that it is indeed unlawful to harass a breastfeeding mother (strictly speaking re Mums of babies up to six months but don't mention it either way on this thread). And the equality law protection doesn't cover nappy changing - so stick to the breastfeeding argument as regards the Equality Act!

    So, as soon as you have sent that response to PE, your next task will be an urgent letter or email or assertive phone call COMPLAINT ABOUT ILLEGAL HARASSMENT OF A BREASTFEEDING MOTHER, to PE's client in the car park (whoever contracted them there). That party is jointly and severally liable for the illegal actions of their agent.

    As PE are posturing in their pre-Court stance, it is IMPERATIVE you stop them in their tracks right now as you don't want the next thing - which would be actual small claims papers in many cases. Much more stressful for you than this current pre-Court situation - which I think you can knock on the head by next week if you are assertive.

    If this was a retail park and you don't know who runs it, then Google does! Just search the name of the retail park and click on any local newspaper article result or retail advertising website or leaflet PDF about the place. All such results have the phone number/email of the people who run these places, look for anything where they are trying to sell shop units or advertise the place, or positive or negative newspaper reports. You will soon have a contact. Contact them immediately!

    Get this cancelled OUT of court by the client. Make it crystal clear to the people that run the park that you are ready to counter sue all parties unless they 'call their dogs off' immediately.
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 14-08-2013 at 8:06 PM.
    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
  • mgxrmw
    • #9
    • 6th Sep 13, 9:03 AM
    • #9
    • 6th Sep 13, 9:03 AM
    Hello,
    An update:

    I replied to the LBA that PE sent me, and mentioned that I was breastfeeding my unwell baby (she was actually admitted to hospital the following day). I asked them to give me details of their principle company, so I could put in a claim for harassment under the Equality Act 2010 (I worded it better than that). They replied with, what seemed to be, a template letter. Not really acknowledging any of my points. So I replied, asking them again about the POPLA code etc (they are still maintaining that this must be done within 28 days). I also asked again for the contact info for their principle company, mentioning the Equality Act 2010.

    Yesterday a 'Letter Before County Court Claim' arrived. They said I have 14 days to pay, before they take me to court. Again, the ignore all my comments about my ill baby and breastfeeding.


    I can't find out the outcome of anyone else who has been in a similar situation, and I was just wondering what you might advise my next step to be?



    Best wishes
  • mgxrmw
    Also it may be worth adding that I can't seem to get an address for the car park owners anywhere, and PE don't seem keen to give me one!
    • zzzLazyDaisy
    • By zzzLazyDaisy 6th Sep 13, 9:08 AM
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    zzzLazyDaisy
    Yesterday a 'Letter Before County Court Claim' arrived. They said I have 14 days to pay, before they take me to court. Again, the ignore all my comments about my ill baby and breastfeeding.


    I can't find out the outcome of anyone else who has been in a similar situation, and I was just wondering what you might advise my next step to be?



    Best wishes
    Originally posted by mgxrmw
    Hi, this is PE's new approach. As you have gathered, it doesn't take the matter any further, and is frankly taking the proverbial! I know it is a PITTA but you just have to keep the correspondence going.

    I will draft a letter for you and post it shortly.

    Daisy
    Last edited by zzzLazyDaisy; 06-09-2013 at 9:21 AM.
    I'm a retired employment solicitor. Hopefully some of my comments might be useful, but they are only my opinion and not intended as legal advice.
    • zzzLazyDaisy
    • By zzzLazyDaisy 6th Sep 13, 9:13 AM
    • 12,134 Posts
    • 18,762 Thanks
    zzzLazyDaisy
    Also it may be worth adding that I can't seem to get an address for the car park owners anywhere, and PE don't seem keen to give me one!
    Originally posted by mgxrmw
    If it is a retail park, you should do a google search for the managing agents. They are contracted to manage the retail park, and they have the power to order the PPC to cancel the charge. Start with the website for the retail park - it may give details of the managing agents, or there may be a telephone number for customer information.

    Also, have you sent copies of the receipts/proofs of purchase to PE? If not, that is definitely worth doing as we have had some success with this. I will include something about this in my draft letter for you.

    Daisy
    Last edited by zzzLazyDaisy; 06-09-2013 at 9:22 AM.
    I'm a retired employment solicitor. Hopefully some of my comments might be useful, but they are only my opinion and not intended as legal advice.
  • mgxrmw
    I have managed to find a telephone number for the car park security office, I will give this a try today. I have proof of purchases on my bank statement, I could send that, though I didn't spend a vast amount of money - due to miserable baby!!

    Thanks very much for your help, look forward to hearing from you x
    • zzzLazyDaisy
    • By zzzLazyDaisy 6th Sep 13, 12:12 PM
    • 12,134 Posts
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    zzzLazyDaisy
    Hi, here is a letter to PE. Please leave it up for a while, so the regular posters have chance to suggest any additions / amendments. Daisy

    Edit - when you send in copies of proofs of purchase, make sure you delete any personal information that is not relevant to this matter.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Letter to Parking Eye:

    ParkingEye Ltd
    Legal Dept
    ADDRESS

    DATE

    QUOTE THE REFERENCE ON THEIR LETTER

    Dear Sirs

    Re: threat of county court action: Vehicle reg xxxxxxxx


    This is my third letter to you about this matter. You responded to my first two letters with template letters which completely failed to address the issues that I had raised. I would therefore appreciate it if you would actually read and respond to this letter. PLEASE DO NOT reply with yet another template letter.


    For your information my main points are:

    1) On the day in question the Driver was shopping at [x] retail park. Some of the stores visited were [insert names of stores]. The shopping trip was hampered by a sick and crying baby which (as I am sure you can imagine) meant that it took a lot longer to do the shopping than might otherwise have been the case. I enclose copies of the proofs of purchase to prove that the Driver was a genuine customer of the stores in the retail park on the day in question.

    In the circumstances outlined in the paragraph above, I invite you to reconsider your position and cancel this charge.

    2) In my earlier letter I also advised you that part of the reason for the Driver taking such a long time on the day in question was that I was breastfeeding and attending to my sick baby. In fact the following day my baby was admitted to hospital. Despite this you have continued to harass me with letters demanding payment and threatening court action. I consider your conduct to amount to unlawful harassment under the Equality Act 2010.

    In the circumstances outlined in the paragraph above, I invite you to reconsider your position and cancel this charge.

    Please note: if, notwithstanding the information provided above, you refuse to cancel this charge, I shall seek advice with a view to commencing county court proceedings against your company and also against your Principal (which you appear to be claiming has approved of and authorised your actions). Should you you continue to refuse to reveal the identity of your Principal I shall commence the action against your company as sole defendant and shall immediately ask the court to order you to provide a copy of your contract with your Principal authorising you to pursue me in this way, so that your Principal may be joined in as a second defendant to the action. Therefore, immediately upon receipt of this letter, you should forward a copy of this letter to your Principal to notify it of the impending court action against it under the Equality Act 2010.

    3) I would also like to take this opportunity to comment on your most recent letter, entitled 'Letter Before County Court Action'. Not only does your letter completely fail to address any of the issues raised in my earlier letters, but it states that it is 'fully compliant' with the Practice Direction on Pre-action Conduct. If you had taken the time to read my earlier letters (or indeed if you had taken the time to read the Practice Direction itself) you should be aware that your letter is very far from being 'fully compliant' with the Practice Direction'.

    Since your letter originates from a Legal Department which is presumably staffed by qualified legal professionals, I can only conclude that this statement is a deliberate attempt to mislead, and as such is a clear breach of the principles set down by your regulatory authority. Should you insist on pursuing this claim against me, I shall make a formal complaint about your conduct of this matter to the SRA, together with a full set of the correspondence that has passed between us and a detailed breakdown of each and every way in which I consider your Legal Department to have flaunted and manipulated the Practice Direction to your own ends.

    I will also copy this set of correspondence to the Northampton County Court, as I feel strongly that the legal authorities should be made aware of your refusal to respond to reasonable requests for information and/or to comply with court procedures.

    I sincerely hope that this will not be necessary and I look forward to hearing from you within 14 days with confirmation that this charge has now been cancelled.

    Yours faithfully
    PRINT NAME
    Last edited by zzzLazyDaisy; 06-09-2013 at 12:45 PM.
    I'm a retired employment solicitor. Hopefully some of my comments might be useful, but they are only my opinion and not intended as legal advice.
    • nigelbb
    • By nigelbb 6th Sep 13, 12:28 PM
    • 2,625 Posts
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    nigelbb
    Should you you continue to reveal the identity of your Principal I shall commence the action against your company as sole defendant
    I think that should be conceal
    • zzzLazyDaisy
    • By zzzLazyDaisy 6th Sep 13, 12:46 PM
    • 12,134 Posts
    • 18,762 Thanks
    zzzLazyDaisy
    Thanks Nigel! It should say 'continue to refuse to reveal' - letter now corrected!

    Daisy
    I'm a retired employment solicitor. Hopefully some of my comments might be useful, but they are only my opinion and not intended as legal advice.
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 6th Sep 13, 1:00 PM
    • 25,121 Posts
    • 40,526 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    Awesome Daisy, and I do mean that literally, not in the sense that seems to have gripped the USA as in 'my gawd, this pizza is orsome'
    Please note, we are not a legal advice forum. I personally don't get involved in the critiquing of court case papers, so unable to help on that front. Please don't ask.
    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.
  • mgxrmw
    Thank you very much :-)

    One more thing, does anyone know for sure if the POPLA process must be done by 28 days? As they are still claiming that it must ...

    Thanks
    • zzzLazyDaisy
    • By zzzLazyDaisy 6th Sep 13, 1:59 PM
    • 12,134 Posts
    • 18,762 Thanks
    zzzLazyDaisy
    Thank you very much :-)

    One more thing, does anyone know for sure if the POPLA process must be done by 28 days? As they are still claiming that it must ...

    Thanks
    Originally posted by mgxrmw
    The 28 days is a self imposed time limit, which it suits the PPCs to enforce.

    See my comments about this and the rest of the claims made in the LBCCC at post 4 of this thread

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4754020&highlight=lbccc

    But in my view, as this is their third attempt to fob you off with non-compliant rubbish, the matter has gone beyond a simple 'oversight' or 'misunderstanding'.

    In my view this is a deliberate course of conduct intended to deceive and clearly falls foul of the Principles set out at Version 7 of the SRA Handbook published in April of this year. PE's Legal Department's supervising solicitor Rachel Ledson is responsible for monitoring correspondence in and out of the Legal Department and ensuring that the conduct of the paralegals under her supervision complies with the SRA requirements.

    There comes a point when a formal complaint should be made to the Regulatory Authority, and I suggest that if they do not cancel the charge, you do just that (I am happy to help you, and anyone else, to do just that).

    Are you reading [text removed by MSE Forum Team]? Do you REALLY want to put your practising certificate on the line for the sake of these scammers? If not, I suggest you grow a backbone and get this charge cancelled!

    Daisy
    Last edited by MSE ForumTeam3; 05-05-2014 at 10:44 AM. Reason: Personal details
    I'm a retired employment solicitor. Hopefully some of my comments might be useful, but they are only my opinion and not intended as legal advice.
  • spacey2012
    To Be honest daisy, she should have thought about that when she got in to bed with helping a company making illicit penalty demands.
    She should be reported to the SRA each and every time her office abuses the legal process and so should anyone else working for this company.

    They do not deserve any chances, they know what they sign up for.
    If solicitors putting their name to PPC lose their practising certificates, they may think twice about working with companies that are basically scamming people.
    Be happy...
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