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    • simonsam1964
    • By simonsam1964 19th Apr 17, 2:03 PM
    • 20Posts
    • 7Thanks
    Gladstones - Court Claim Form & defence
    • #1
    • 19th Apr 17, 2:03 PM
    Gladstones - Court Claim Form & defence 19th Apr 17 at 2:03 PM
    Firstly, I have read the sticky and I hope that by posting this thread I’m not contravening the rules or spirit of the board – if I am, huge apologies and I’ll stop straight away!

    I have been served with a Court Claim Form relating to Gladstones Solicitors and compiled, with the help of lots of templates and the contents of this board, a defence. I’d just be enormously grateful if somebody who knows what they’re looking at could take a quick look and advise.
    In essence, I was lost early evening, turned into a car park (office site) to find my way on a phone based map, and then returned to the road around 2-3 minutes later. Seems it was caught on camera I received no initial letter from the company re this or anything about contravening their parking policy (I wasn't parked, in my view) I did receive a Letter before Claim from Gladstones about somebody elses vehicle, unknown to me - I wrote to them and said was nothing to do with me (not my car). Then I received another re my car, I wrote and asked for more info, explained that I’d not had any original letter & could they provide the detail. They sent pics of my car, indistinguishable driver, over a 3 minute period. I wrote again, said I accepted no responsibility, asked for detail and received nothing, then the Court Doc arrived. My defence is the letter below, plus my correspondence with them and a photo of the largely illegible sign at the site. I have 8 days left of the 28 day period having acknowledged on moneycaim but provided no defence as yet.
    Any advice gratefully received. Thank you

    I am XXXXXXXXXXX, the defendant in this matter and registered keeper of vehicle XXXXX. I currently reside at XXXXXXXXXXXXX.

    I deny I am liable for the entirety of the claim for each and every one of the following reasons:

    1/ This Claimant has not complied with pre-court protocol:

    (a) There was no compliant ‘Letter before County Court Claim’, under the Practice Direction, despite the Defendant's requests for this and further information.

    (b) The defendant did not receive any letter requesting payment from the claimant. No letter was received, either, from the claimant’s legal representative, despite informing them (claimant’s legal representative) that no letter had been received.

    (c) This is a speculative serial litigant, issuing a large number of identical 'draft particulars'. The badly mail-merged documents contain very little information. The covering letter merely contains a supposed PCN number with no contravention nor photographs.

    (d) The claimant’s legal representative sent an erroneous Letter Before Claim, demanding payment relating to another vehicle, not known to the defendant, prior to the defendant subsequently receiving a Letter Before Claim regarding their vehicle. This was not acknowledged despite the defendant seeking further information.

    2/ The Claim form Particulars were extremely sparse and divulged no cause of action nor sufficient detail. The Defendant has little idea what the claim is about - why the charge arose, what the alleged contract was; nothing that could be considered a fair exchange of information.

    3/ The Defendant put the Claimant to strict proof that it issued a compliant notice under Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. Absent such a notice served within 14 days of the parking event and with fully compliant statutory wording, this Claimant is unable to hold me liable under the strict ‘keeper liability’ provisions.

    4/ Inadequate signs incapable of binding the driver - this distinguishes this case from the Beavis case:
    (a) Lack of site/entrance signage - breach of the POFA 2012 Schedule 4 and the BPA Code of Practice and no contract formed to pay any clearly stated sum.
    (b) The signage was not lit and any terms were not transparent or legible; this is an unfair contract, not agreed by the driver and contrary to the UTCCRs (as applicable at the time).
    (c) No promise was made by the driver that could constitute consideration because there was no offer known nor accepted. No consideration flowed from the Claimant.
    (d) Absent the elements of a contract, there can be no breach of contract.

    5/ BPA CoP breaches - this distinguishes this case from the Beavis case:
    (a) the signs were not compliant in terms of the font size, lighting or positioning.
    (b) sum pursued exceeds £100.

    6/ No standing - this distinguishes this case from the Beavis case:
    It is unclear whether UK Parking Management & Enforcement hold a legitimate contract at this car park. As an agent, the Claimant has no legal right to bring such a claim in their name which should be in the name of the landowner.

    7/ The Beavis case confirmed the fact that, if it is a matter of trespass (not breach of any contract), a parking firm has no standing as a non-landowner to pursue even nominal damages.

    8/ The charge is an unenforceable penalty based upon a lack of commercial justification. The Beavis case confirmed that the penalty rule is certainly engaged in any case of a private parking charge and was only disengaged due to the unique circumstances of that case, which do not resemble this claim.

    9/ The claimant has added unrecoverable sums to the original parking charge. If Mr XXXXXXX (claimants legal representative who signed the form) is an employee then the Defendant suggests he is remunerated and the particulars of claim are templates, so it is not credible that £50 legal costs were incurred. The defendant denies the Claimant is entitled to any interest whatsoever.

    The Defendant denies any liability whatsoever to the Claimant in any matter and asks the Court to note that the Claimant has:
    (a)Issued an erroneous claim to the defendant regarding an unknown vehicle, rendering their administration questionable
    (b) Failed to disclose any cause of action in the Claim Form issued on xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    (c) failed to respond to a letter from the Defendant dated xxxxxxx requesting further information and details of the claim and subsequently a second letter dated xxxxxxxxxxxx

    The vague Particulars of Claim disclose no clear cause of action. The court is invited to strike out the claim of its own volition as having no merit and no reasonable prospects of success.

    I believe the facts contained in this Defence Statement are true.


Page 3
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 6th Jul 17, 2:11 PM
    • 17,627 Posts
    • 27,849 Thanks
    Tried ringing, cant get any sense out of them - seems they haven't seen or filed this yet. Think I'll go down there and ask in person - just to be sure!
    Originally posted by simonsam1964
    Many courts are well behind with paperwork (some 2-3 weeks adrift), so if G's notified the court by letter, it may still be in its envelope unopened in a large heap!

    If you've got it in writing from G's (letter or email?) then I wouldn't be making what could be an abortive journey to the court, especially if they are experiencing backlog.

    If you're determined to make a visit, take the G's communique with you and ask the court clerk if it appears genuine to them.

    While we've seen lowlife operators/debt crawlers try the 'case discontinued (but not really, as you'll soon realise if you don't turn up on the day)' nasty tactic, I can't see a firm of solicitors, notwithstanding some of G's other incompetencies, deliberately misleading you on this.
    Last edited by Umkomaas; 06-07-2017 at 2:13 PM.
    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.
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 6th Jul 17, 2:16 PM
    • 17,627 Posts
    • 27,849 Thanks
    Send a copy of the letter to Gladstones and tell the court you've done this and say that this is an issue which the court should and can deal with on paper rather than by way of a hearing. Gladstones can make their own written submissions if they are instructed to do so by their client.
    i like a bit of Karma being delivered!
    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.
    • simonsam1964
    • By simonsam1964 6th Jul 17, 4:15 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    I think I'll try a phonecall early next week to check and if I get no clear directive I'll put in a visit to the Court (it's not far from my workplace). The paperwork they attached appears to be a 'proper' N279 - w3 but I just want to be certain before I go any further, costs etc.
    I would like to say again how fantastic the help from this forum has been - LoadsOfChildren, amongst many, has been a tower of strength and wisdom - I'm ready to be utterly elated if it really is the end, unbelievably thankful and very humble at the selflessness shown by so many; 'thank you' seem wholly inadequate, but I'll say it anyway.
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 6th Jul 17, 9:08 PM
    • 2,058 Posts
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    I agree it is very unlikely solicitors would pretend to file a notice of discontinuance. That would be massive professional misconduct.
    • beamerguy
    • By beamerguy 6th Jul 17, 10:05 PM
    • 7,355 Posts
    • 9,791 Thanks
    I agree it is very unlikely solicitors would pretend to file a notice of discontinuance. That would be massive professional misconduct.
    Originally posted by Loadsofchildren123
    But we are talking about Gladstones here

    It's not over until the fat lady at the court says so
    Last edited by beamerguy; 06-07-2017 at 10:10 PM.

    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 7th Jul 17, 9:26 AM
    • 2,058 Posts
    • 3,447 Thanks
    When you write in, include in your letter the court's power to treat your letter as an application and to deal with the matter on paper rather than at a hearing. It's always better to spell out the judge's powers so he doesn't have to look them up, or assume he can't do what you are asking:

    The power to treat your letter as an application is contained in CPR Rule 23.3(2)(b) which provides specifically that the court may dispense with the requirement for an application notice.

    The power to deal with an application without a hearing is in Rule 23.8.
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