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  • FIRST POST
    • billinghamn
    • By billinghamn 25th Jun 16, 6:11 AM
    • 58Posts
    • 26Thanks
    billinghamn
    ES Parking Enforcement
    • #1
    • 25th Jun 16, 6:11 AM
    ES Parking Enforcement 25th Jun 16 at 6:11 AM
    I have just received a letter from Wright Hassall on behalf of ZZPS acting on behalf of their client ES Parking Enforcement for a pay and display "parking event". The ticket blew upside down when the car door was shut!

    I have had a few letters previously - some I have responded to acting as Registered Owner and have never declared who the driver was at the time of the parking infraction.

    This letter includes the phrase "...may result in us recommending to our client that we pass this matter over to our Litigation Department", followed by threats as to what a CCJ might impact.

    Am I correct in thinking this is another debt collection letter and therefore I should ignore at this point? The only letter I should formally respond to now is a letter before action?
Page 6
    • claxtome
    • By claxtome 10th Jul 18, 7:25 AM
    • 597 Posts
    • 706 Thanks
    claxtome
    Not sure when you go to court but expect it is very soon.
    We are all routing for you.
    Good luck and you know where we are if you have any last minute questions.
    Stay calm, arrive early, let's hope they discontinue which will help your counterclaim.

    My personal thoughts->
    I hope you manage to stick two fingers up at ES.
    Nothing would give me greater after my 2 run-ins with them.
    1-0 would be a good scoreline tomorrow night(Wed) and for you
    • billinghamn
    • By billinghamn 10th Jul 18, 8:10 AM
    • 58 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    billinghamn
    Not sure when you go to court but expect it is very soon.
    We are all routing for you.
    Good luck and you know where we are if you have any last minute questions.
    Stay calm, arrive early, let's hope they discontinue which will help your counterclaim.

    My personal thoughts->
    I hope you manage to stick two fingers up at ES.
    Nothing would give me greater after my 2 run-ins with them.
    1-0 would be a good scoreline tomorrow night(Wed) and for you
    Originally posted by claxtome
    I like your thinking! I appreciate your support and of course everyone else's come to that!

    I dropped off the Defendant's Bundle at the court yesterday morning, and ended up driving to Gladstone's as well, to hand deliver a copy to them. They have been having email issues, so couldn't get a soft copy to them. No one can say we haven't done everything we can to ensure a fair game is played out in court.

    We are in court on Wed (tomorrow) afternoon. We are all prep'd and ready to go. Just need to gen up on some of the arguments just in case we get any questions from the Judge or Claimant.

    I'm hoping tomorrow will be a double celebration too. A 1-0 scoreline is fine by me, as long as we are on the right side! That applies for both challenges; us vrs ESPE and England vrs Croatia.


    It's coming home...
    • IamEmanresu
    • By IamEmanresu 10th Jul 18, 8:43 AM
    • 2,764 Posts
    • 4,773 Thanks
    IamEmanresu
    Should have raised this earlier but "costs" include the defendant's costs and the Lay Rep's costs too. Don't forget to ask for them as well. Everyone is entitled to representation and not necessarily a solicitor so add those in and ask for them on the day. Shy bairns and all that.

    https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/shy_bairns_get_nowt
    About me: Capricorn. Likes: Tight defences, the tighter the better. Lucidity. Dislikes: Loquaciousness and magic words. WLTM: Someone with the facts, a private income and their own copy of the White Book.
    • billinghamn
    • By billinghamn 10th Jul 18, 8:46 AM
    • 58 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    billinghamn
    Should have raised this earlier but "costs" include the defendant's costs and the Lay Rep's costs too. Don't forget to ask for them as well. Everyone is entitled to representation and not necessarily a solicitor so add those in and ask for them on the day. Shy bairns and all that.

    https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/shy_bairns_get_nowt
    Originally posted by IamEmanresu

    I'll have to ask for Lay Rep's costs on the day - not included in the Schedule of Costs. As you say, if you don't ask, you don't get! What's the worst that can happen? The Judge says no and we haven't lost anything.
    • billinghamn
    • By billinghamn 10th Jul 18, 10:57 AM
    • 58 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    billinghamn
    Gladstones are trying to ring my wife - I assume to talk about the case and an opportunity to settle perhaps? Unfortunately, she isn't available until tonight, so we will have to wait and see what happens!
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 11th Jul 18, 12:41 AM
    • 59,475 Posts
    • 72,646 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Oh - that sounds like they plan to discontinue! They were trying to talk her into a last gasp settlement, I bet. When people tell them to do one, they then fold.
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • meagainin
    • By meagainin 11th Jul 18, 10:13 AM
    • 50 Posts
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    meagainin
    Good luck!
    • IamEmanresu
    • By IamEmanresu 11th Jul 18, 10:24 AM
    • 2,764 Posts
    • 4,773 Thanks
    IamEmanresu
    Gladstones are trying to ring my wife - I assume to talk about the case and an opportunity to settle perhaps?
    If they are calling to settle, you should have a copy of CPR 46.5 with you by the phone so you can discuss with them which LiP costs they will accept and which they will reject. Clearly if they can make you a reasonable offer (no more than 2/3rd of a solicitor's uncapped costs) then there is no need for either party to attend.

    The list is extensive so they may be on for some time.

    46.5

    (1) This rule applies where the court orders (whether by summary assessment or detailed assessment) that the costs of a litigant in person are to be paid by any other person.

    (2) The costs allowed under this rule will not exceed, except in the case of a disbursement, two-thirds of the amount which would have been allowed if the litigant in person had been represented by a legal representative.

    (3) The litigant in person shall be allowed !!!8211;

    (a) costs for the same categories of !!!8211;

    (i) work; and

    (ii) disbursements,

    which would have been allowed if the work had been done or the disbursements had been made by a legal representative on the litigant in person!!!8217;s behalf;

    (b) the payments reasonably made by the litigant in person for legal services relating to the conduct of the proceedings; and

    (c) the costs of obtaining expert assistance in assessing the costs claim.

    (4) The amount of costs to be allowed to the litigant in person for any item of work claimed will be !!!8211;

    (a) where the litigant can prove financial loss, the amount that the litigant can prove to have been lost for time reasonably spent on doing the work; or

    (b) where the litigant cannot prove financial loss, an amount for the time reasonably spent on doing the work at the rate set out in Practice Direction 46.

    (5) A litigant who is allowed costs for attending at court to conduct the case is not entitled to a witness allowance in respect of such attendance in addition to those costs.

    (6) For the purposes of this rule, a litigant in person includes !!!8211;

    (a) a company or other corporation which is acting without a legal representative; and

    (b) any of the following who acts in person (except where any such person is represented by a firm in which that person is a partner) !!!8211;

    (i) a barrister;

    (ii) a solicitor;

    (iii) a solicitor!!!8217;s employee;

    (iv) a manager of a body recognised under section 9 of the Administration of Justice Act 19851; or

    (v) a person who, for the purposes of the 2007 Act2, is an authorised person in relation to an activity which constitutes the conduct of litigation (within the meaning of that Act).
    About me: Capricorn. Likes: Tight defences, the tighter the better. Lucidity. Dislikes: Loquaciousness and magic words. WLTM: Someone with the facts, a private income and their own copy of the White Book.
    • billinghamn
    • By billinghamn 11th Jul 18, 10:43 AM
    • 58 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    billinghamn
    Thanks for your advice guys. Due to Gladstones having email problems, we haven't seen anything from Gladstones as of yet. They didn't manage to speak to my wife yesterday, and they haven't attempted to ring so far today.


    My wife plans to ring the court just before we set off, to see whether anything has changed. Will let you know what happens later today.
    • billinghamn
    • By billinghamn 11th Jul 18, 3:39 PM
    • 58 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    billinghamn
    Quick update: Gladstones pulled out at the (very) last minute. Will provide a more detailed update later including exactly what happened re claiming costs.


    Glad it's over...
    • claxtome
    • By claxtome 11th Jul 18, 3:42 PM
    • 597 Posts
    • 706 Thanks
    claxtome
    Fantastic
    So 1-0 for you let's hope for the same result tonight...
    Time to
    • meagainin
    • By meagainin 11th Jul 18, 3:43 PM
    • 50 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    meagainin
    Brilliant news!
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 12th Jul 18, 1:04 AM
    • 59,475 Posts
    • 72,646 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Quick update: Gladstones pulled out at the (very) last minute. Will provide a more detailed update later including exactly what happened re claiming costs.


    Glad it's over...
    Originally posted by billinghamn
    Great stuff, another one bites the dust!

    Please give us a full report, and about the costs!
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • claxtome
    • By claxtome 12th Jul 18, 4:21 AM
    • 597 Posts
    • 706 Thanks
    claxtome
    Also interested to know what happened about your counterclaim?
    • billinghamn
    • By billinghamn 12th Jul 18, 7:59 AM
    • 58 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    billinghamn
    Here's my quick write up of prep and the hearing itself yesterday. I may end up editing this later on once my wife has chance to review it.

    Final Arrangements for the Hearing
    I personally hand delivered a copy of the Defendant's Bundle to St Helen's County Court (SHCC) on Monday at lunchtime. The court official said it would be included in the drop box, but evidently the Judge did not receive, nor review it, ahead of the court hearing.

    We had attempted to email a copy of the Defendant's Bundle to Gladstones for a week prior to the hearing. We couldn't get any emails through (even dummy emails) – Gladstones had an email server problem that they were aware of. So, I decided, for the sake of being fair, to hand deliver a copy of the Defendant's Bundle to Gladstones office in High Legh on Monday afternoon.

    I also took three copies of the Defendant's Bundle to the hearing: one for us and two spare copies. That meant that I had prepared 5 copies of the Defendant's Bundle – each pack containing over 75 pages. Three copies were nicely indexed with document separators, and the final two spare copies had no document separators.

    Attending Court
    We arrived at court about 45 mins before the hearing and after a basic security check, we were directed upstairs to a reception area. Upstairs there are 5 courts with 2 different receptions areas: Reception 1 looks after Courts 1 and 2. Reception 2 looks after Courts 3, 4 and 5. The two reception areas are separated by a door and there are a number of small interview rooms which parties use to negotiate before attending their hearing. We arrived at around 1:15pm and the place was empty – no one manning the reception desks. We sat down in Reception Area 1 – it felt a bit like a Doctor's waiting room. It was very warm and they had a large fan blowing to keep people cool – although it wasn't that effective.

    The list of hearings/timings were available on a notice board in both reception areas. There were 10 cases listed in Court 4 at 2pm (including ours), so there was a clear expectation that some of them would be settled out of court. Otherwise the court session would be a long one!

    A few mins after we arrived, a young lady introduced herself as the Gladstones representative – Ms S. She invited us in to a small interview room in Reception Area 2 to have a quick chat, where she explained the process and asked if we had any questions. This seemed a little unusual since she was our opponent for the day. We wondered whether this was a tactic to see how well prepared we were.

    It also became clear that although she had a copy of our Defence and Witness Statements, she had not been provided with a copy of the Defendant's Bundle that I dropped off with Gladstones on Monday. Perhaps naively, I offered her one of our spare copies. We were in the room only a few mins but agreed both parties would look out for the usher. We walked through to Reception Area 1, whilst she remained in Reception Area 2.

    Pre-Hearing Negotiations
    We waited for around 15 mins, and we both wandered through into Reception Area 2 a few times to see whether there was any movement. During this time other parties arrived (involved in their own cases). It was at this point that we noticed that Ms S was back in the interview room on the phone. She had been reviewing our Defendant's Bundle and was talking to someone about it. We deduced that she was talking to Gladstones and taking advice.

    Eventually the court usher arrived and we made her aware of our presence. We also noted that Ms S had arrived to represent the Claimant. We hoped this would get us to the top of the list, highlighting that we were both ready for court.

    Close to 2pm, Ms S invited us back in to the Interview room again. This time to advise us that Gladstones intended on discontinuing the case. Apparently that decision had been taken the previous day, but they had not made her aware. She advised that she would only be attending the hearing if we planned to continue with the counter-claim. We confirmed that we had no desire to follow up on the counter-claim if the Claimant was dropping the original claim. Ms S was hoping that we could all walk away, but we raised the point about costs. Ms S agreed to ring Gladstones to discuss the matter.

    About 5 mins later, we had a follow-on conversation and she confirmed that Gladstones were prepared to cover the counter-claim court fee (£35) and the time for attending court (£48). We insisted on the full amount which also included return mileage and parking (extra £14), and then also further costs for unreasonable behaviour (£129). We agreed we needed to see the judge to review the level of costs to be awarded.

    The Hearing
    About 15 mins later at around 2:15pm, we were called in to Court 5 which looked a little more like a proper court than we were expecting. It certainly wasn't an office desk around which all parties sat and discussed the case! The Judge was already there but didn't specifically introduce himself.

    The Judge wasn't desperately friendly and certainly didn't explain court proceedings or support us as lay people. We were quite surprised by this based on the info we had ascertained before attending court. It was supposed to be friendly, and very informal. Not so.

    The Judge invited Ms S (as the one legal rep in court) to appraise him of the current position. We agreed that the only point of contention was that of costs.

    The Judge started with the Ordinary Costs and put the onus on the Claimant to explain why the return mileage and parking costs should not be paid by the Claimant. He fairly quickly concluded that these should be paid. So, we had earned an extra £14.

    The Judge then went on to talk about the further costs for unreasonable behaviour, and I realised it was on us to justify why we considered the Claimant to have acted unreasonably. I didn't expect this – I assumed the costs were a done deal. I had prepared my arguments in the context of our Skeleton Argument and the main case, but to be honest I hadn't done anything in respect to preparing to justify our costs. Big lesson for next time!

    At this point my wife raised a request for me to speak on behalf of her, and the Judge referred to his notes, but accepted that the Defendant chose to be represented by her husband. He didn't seem entirely chuffed at this prospect and did ask whether the Defendant couldn't speak for herself. My wife explained that I had prepared her defence and it made sense for me to speak on her behalf. He agreed this was her right, and that was the approach we would take. Note that she couldn't speak at all beyond that point – the Judge only wanted to hear from one person from the Defence team.

    I started off by highlighting that the Claimant had no cause for action. Initial focus was on the photographic evidence provided by the Claimant. The clearest photo recommended by Ms S wasn't clear at all and had no evidence that it was even of the Defendant's vehicle. Although the Judge agreed the photo wasn't desperately clear, he failed to accept the point about the lack of the vehicle registration plate, just noting that it would be difficult to include the registration plate when the photo was of the dashboard.

    The next point I raised, in respect to the Claimant not having any cause for action, was in respect to whether the Claimant had a right under the parking contract. I suggested that there was no direct link from the landowner to the company with which the parking contract was held. I highlighted that the parking contract was in the company name of Total CarPark Solutions, and that there was no evidence that this company existed. I referred the judge to a search of Companies House and this confirmed it did not exist. I went on to talk about the 4 parcels of land, and the land searches. Unfortunately, the Judge questioned how he would understand how these parcels of land related to Winwick Road and the car park in question. He asked whether I had a map and although I had included a simple map of the car park, I had to accept that I didn't have a map that clearly showed the parcels of land, and how they related to the car park and the roads that are referred to in the land searches.

    I got a feeling this wasn't going our way, so I questioned whether the Claimant could provide evidence that the Claimant had the right to charge for parking. The judge asked Ms S whether the Claimant had the right, and she answered yes. The Judge seemed to accept this without challenge. That seemed to end that line of discussion.

    I then attempted to raise the question of whether the Claimant used the DVLA Registered Keeper data in line with KADOE rules, but he wasn't interested in hearing that argument. He closed me down very quickly – I don't know whether he thought I was chancing my arm or something.

    In concluding the evidence provided in support of the unreasonable behaviour costs, the Judge referred to a previous case, which emphasized that the fact that a claim was not successful did not mean that the Claimant had acted unreasonably, and costs awarded against the Claimant should not deter future valid claims. Out went our claim for the extra £129.

    At times the Judge became frustrated at the lack of knowledge of the case by Ms S, and lack of easily accessible evidence that he could refer to. That was when it became apparent that he had not received a copy of the Defendant's Bundle and I needed to provide him with another copy. Unfortunately, this one didn't include all the separators, so even that was a bone of contention for him.

    The Judge summed up his decision at the end, and suggested the costs of £97 needed to be paid within 2 weeks.

    Considering the effort that we had invested in preparing our defence and the hand delivering of the material to the various parties, it felt like it wasn't appreciated in the slightest. The Judge paid very little attention to the information that was available to him, and he was keen to conclude proceedings as quickly as possible. I can't say we were desperately impressed to be honest.

    Summary
    So, in the end we spent 60 mins in the hearing to earn ourselves an additional £14! Ms S was very articulate, very friendly and seemed to be pretty well prepared. Her parting words to us were to summarise the outcome of the hearing, and that if we didn't receive payment after 2 weeks, that we should follow this up. That was a clear indication that she didn't expect the Claimant to pay our costs.

    Overall, it was a great life experience. However, not one that either of us would want to go through again.
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 12th Jul 18, 8:18 AM
    • 18,373 Posts
    • 29,073 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    Superb report @billinghamn. A win is a win, you've stopped them from raiding your wallet (or your wife's purse) and had a little dip into theirs in the process - and Gladstones will now be taking their cut from them too - for losing the case!

    Gladstones never lose, no matter what the outcome!
    We cannot provide you with a silver bullet to get you out of this. You have to be in for the long run, and need to involve yourself in research and work for you to get rid of this. It is not simple. We will help, but can't do it for you.

    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.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 12th Jul 18, 3:27 PM
    • 59,475 Posts
    • 72,646 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Well done, a win is win!
    PRIVATE PCN? DON'T PAY BUT DO NOT IGNORE IT TWO Clicks needed for advice:
    Top of the page: Home>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking - read the 'NEWBIES' FAQS thread!
    Advice to ignore is WRONG, unless in Scotland/NI.

    • IamEmanresu
    • By IamEmanresu 12th Jul 18, 3:31 PM
    • 2,764 Posts
    • 4,773 Thanks
    IamEmanresu
    It's a win in the casino known as the Small Claims Court.

    Compare it with this one

    £659 costs awarded against Gemini Parking
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5867387
    About me: Capricorn. Likes: Tight defences, the tighter the better. Lucidity. Dislikes: Loquaciousness and magic words. WLTM: Someone with the facts, a private income and their own copy of the White Book.
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