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  • FIRST POST
    • username_taken
    • By username_taken 2nd May 17, 10:16 PM
    • 14Posts
    • 5Thanks
    username_taken
    Horizon/Gladstone court claim
    • #1
    • 2nd May 17, 10:16 PM
    Horizon/Gladstone court claim 2nd May 17 at 10:16 PM
    Evening all,

    The Newbie pinned thread suggested I start a new thread, so here it is...

    I have received a County Court Business Centre claim from Horizon Parking/Gladstones Solicitors for 2no PCNs incurred in a supermarket car park in 2015.

    I have (incorrectly, it seems) ignored all correspondence up until receiving the claim form. All correspondence has been binned, apart from Gladstone's "Letter before claim" and the county court claim form.

    I have acknowledged the service online (about 1 week ago) although I accidentally selected the box to dispute part of the claim only.

    Any pointers/tips would be much appreciated before I compile and issue my defence.

    Kind regards,

    C
Page 2
    • Lamilad
    • By Lamilad 11th Aug 17, 10:04 AM
    • 1,353 Posts
    • 2,712 Thanks
    Lamilad
    OP - your opening post seems to discuss an issued court claim whereas you are now discussing an LBC..... Has the first matter been settled?

    Which supermarket carpark was this?
    • username_taken
    • By username_taken 11th Aug 17, 2:11 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    username_taken
    Thanks Half_way, Lamilad

    I had 2 threads about the same supermarket, PPC and solicitors, so the threads have been merged.

    The County Court Claim in my opening post has been settled. I misunderstood the timings and failed to get a defence posted so ended up paying the full amount just to avoid anything going on my credit file (I'm preparing to get on the property ladder).

    I think as they had success previously they see potential value in trying again so I'm keen to mount a robust defence.

    I did consider contacting Sainsburys but had considered it too late. No harm in trying though so will fire a letter off to them this evening. I do all my grocery shopping with Sainsburys so hopefully they'll value my custom.
    Last edited by username_taken; 11-08-2017 at 3:51 PM. Reason: Grammar
    • username_taken
    • By username_taken 22nd Aug 17, 8:47 AM
    • 14 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    username_taken
    Claim form received
    So, 2 weeks ago I received a Claim Form from Horizon.

    Quick summary:
    I have acknowledged service online, disputing the entire claim and left the defence box blank.

    I have been to the car park in question and have photos of the signs currently there and I can post these on the thread if these will be helpful (PCNs were issue in 2014 so no idea what signage was there at the time).

    I don't have any of the original PCNs, NTKs, threat letters. I do still have the LBC.

    I have not yet issued a Part 18 request to Horizon.

    I will post the redacted claim form for reference. Should I redact the monetary amounts in box on the bottom right (as well as defendant name, dates of PCNs, vehicle reg, claim no)?

    Here's my draft defence covering the usual points, all feedback appreciated.

    BETWEEN:

    HORIZON PARKING LIMITED

    -and-

    XXX
    ________________________

    DEFENCE STATEMENT
    ________________________

    Preliminary matters.

    1. The claimant failed to include a copy of their written contract as per Practice Direction 16 7.3(1) and Practice Direction 7C 1.4(3A). No indication is given as to the Claimants contractual authority to operate there as required by the Claimants Trade Association's Code of Practice B1.1 which says

    1.1 If you operate parking management activities on land which is not owned by you, you must supply us with written authority from the land owner sufficient to establish you as the ‘Creditor’ within the meaning of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (where applicable) and in any event to establish you as a person who is able to recover parking charges. There is no prescribed form for such agreement and it need not necessarily be as part of a contract but it must include the express ability for an operator to recover parking charges on the landowner’s behalf or provide sufficient right to occupy the land in question so that charges can be recovered by the operator directly. This applies whether or not you intend to use the keeper liability provisions.

    2. The particulars of claim do not meet the requirements of Practice Direction 16 7.5 as there is nothing which specifies how the terms were breached. Indeed the particulars of claim are not clear and concise as is required by CPR 16.4 1(a). The Claimant are known to be a serial issuer of generic claims similar to this one. HM Courts Service have identified over 1000 similar sparse claims. I believe the term for such behaviour is roboclaims and as such is against the public interest.

    Practice Direction 3A which references Civil Procedure Rule 3.4 illustrates this point:!

    1.4 The following are examples of cases where the court may conclude that particulars of claim (whether contained in a claim form or filed separately) fall within rule 3.4(2)(a):
    (1) those which set out no facts indicating what the claim is about, for example ‘Money owed £5000’,
    (2) those which are incoherent and make no sense,
    (3) those which contain a coherent set of facts but those facts, even if true, do not disclose any legally recognisable claim against the defendant


    3. The Claimant has not complied with the pre-court protocol.
    (1) No initial information was sent to the Defendant.
    (2) I'd refer the court to Para 4 on non-compliance and sanction, and I'd also point out that there can be no reasonable excuse for the Claimant's failure to follow the Pre-action Conduct process, especially bearing in mind that the Claim was issued by their own Solicitors so they clearly had legal advice before issuing proceedings.

    On the basis of the above, I request the court strike out the claim for want of a cause of action.
    Statement of Defence

    I am XXXXX, defendant in this matter and deny liability for the entirety of the claim for the following reasons:
    1) It is admitted that the Defendant was the registered keeper of the vehicle in question at the time of the alleged incident.

    2) The Particulars of the Claim submitted to the Defendant provide no statement to the nature of the claim and the Defendant does not believe these particulars to be compliant with Civil Procedure Rules 16.4 nor Practice Direction 16 7.3-7.5 inhibiting the ability of the Defendant to provide a comprehensive and conclusive defence.

    3) It is denied that the Claimant has authority to bring this claim.
    a) The Claimant is not the landowner and is merely an agent acting on behalf of the landowner and has failed to demonstrate their legal standing to form a contract.
    b) The claimant is not the landowner and suffers no loss whatsoever as a result of a vehicle parking at the location in question
    c) The Claimant is put to proof that it has sufficient interest in the land or that there are specific terms in its contract to bring an action on its own behalf. As a third party agent, the Claimant may not pursue any charge. I have the reasonable belief that they do not have the authority to issue charges on this land in their own name and that they have no right to bring action regarding this claim.

    4) The identity of the driver of the vehicle on the date in question has not been ascertained.
    a) The claimant did not identify the driver
    b) The driver has not been evidenced on any occasion.
    c) The Defendant has no liability as they are the keeper of the vehicle and the Claimant has failed to comply with the strict provisions of POFA 2012 to hold anyone other than the driver liable for the charges.
    d) There is no presumption in law that the keeper was the driver and nor is the keeper obliged to name the driver to a private parking firm. This was confirmed in the POPLA Annual Report 2015 by the POPLA Lead Adjudicator and the barrister, Henry Gleenslade, when explaining the POFA 2012 principles of ‘keeper liability’ as set out in Schedule 4.
    e) The Claimant's increasingly demanding letters failed to evidence any contravention or clear/prominent signage. Further, the Notice to Keeper (postal 'PCN') failed to give the statutory warning to the registered keeper about the '28 day period' which is mandatory wording as prescribed in paragraph 9(2)(f) of Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. Consequently, the Claimant is unable to rely on the 'keeper liability' provisions of the POFA.

    5) The claimant has not provided enough details in the particulars of claim to file a full defence. In particular, the full details of the contract which it is alleged was broken have not been provided.
    a) The Claimant has disclosed no cause of action to give rise to any debt.
    b) The Claimant has stated that parking charges were incurred.
    c) The Claimant has given no indication of the nature of the alleged charges in the Particulars of Claim.
    The Claimant has therefore disclosed no cause of action.
    d) The Particulars of Claim contain no details and fails to establish a cause of action which would enable the Defendant to prepare a specific defence. It just states “incurred the parking charge(s)” which does not give any indication of on what basis the claim is brought. There is no information regarding why the charge arose, what the original charge was, what the alleged contract was nor anything which could be considered a fair exchange of information. The Particulars of Claim are incompetent in disclosing no cause of action.
    e) On the 20th September 2016 another relevant poorly pleaded private parking charge claim by Gladstones was struck out by District Judge Cross of St Albans County Court without a hearing due to their ‘roboclaim’ particulars being incoherent, failing to comply with CPR. 16.4 and ‘providing no facts that could give rise to any apparent claim in law’
    f) On the 19th August 2016 DJ Anson sitting at Preston County Court ruled that the very similar parking charge particulars of claim were deficient and failing to meet CPR 16.4 and PD 16 paragraphs 7.3 - 7.5. He ordered the Claimant in that case to file new particulars which they failed to do, and the court confirmed the claim will now be struck out.

    6) The Claimant has not complied with the pre-court protocol.
    a) No initial information was sent to the Defendant.
    b) I'd refer the court to Para 4 on non-compliance and sanction, and I'd also point out that there can be no reasonable excuse for the Claimant's failure to follow the Pre-action Conduct process, especially bearing in mind that the Claim was issued by their own Solicitors so they clearly had legal advice before issuing proceedings.

    7). The Defendant would like to point out that this car park can be fully distinguished from the details, facts, and location in the Beavis case. This site does not offer a free parking licence, nor is there any comparable 'legitimate interest' nor complex contractual arrangement to disengage the penalty rule, as ParkingEye did in the unique case heard by the Supreme Court in 2015. Whilst the Claimant withheld any photos of the signs on site, the Defendant contends these are illegible with terms hidden in small print, unlike the 'clear and prominent' signs which created a contract Mr Beavis was 'bound to have seen'.
    a) This case can be distinguished from ParkingEye v Beavis [2015] UKSC 67 (the Beavis case) which was dependent upon an undenied contract, formed by unusually prominent signage forming a clear offer and which turned on unique facts regarding the location and interests of the landowner. Strict compliance with the BPA(CoP) was paramount and Mr Beavis was the driver who saw the signs and entered into a contract to pay £85 after exceeding a licence to park free. None of this applies in this material case.
    b) In Beavis it was held that the purpose of a parking charge must not be to penalise drivers. Justification must depend on some other ‘legitimate interest in performance extending beyond the prospect of pecuniary compensation flowing directly from the breach in question’. The true test was held to be ‘whether the impugned provision is a secondary obligation which imposes detriment on the contract-breaker out of all proportion to any legitimate interest […..] in enforcement of the primary obligation’

    8)
    (a) The Claimant has sent threatening and misleading demands which stated that further debt recovery action would be taken to recover what is owed by passing the debt to a ‘local’ recovery agent (which suggested to the Defendant they would be calling round like bailiffs) adding further unexplained charges to the original £60 with no evidence of how this extra charge has been calculated. No figure for additional charges was 'agreed' nor could it have formed part of the alleged 'contract' because no such indemnity costs were quantified on the signs.
    Terms cannot be bolted on later with figures plucked out of thin air, as if they were
    incorporated into the small print when they were not.
    b) The Defendant also disputes that the Claimant has incurred £70 solicitor costs.
    c) Not withstanding the Defendant's belief, the costs are in any case not recoverable.
    d) The Claimant described the charge of £70.00 "legal representative’s costs" not "contractual costs". CPR 27.14 does not permit these to be recovered in the Small Claims Court.

    9) The Claimant’s solicitors are known to be a serial issuer of generic claims similar to this one, with no due diligence, no scrutiny of details nor even checking for a true cause of action. HMCS have identified over 1000 similar poorly produced claims and the solicitor's conduct in many of these cases is believed to be currently the subject of an active investigation by the SRA.

    10) I believe the term for such conduct is ‘robo-claims’ which is against the public interest, demonstrates a disregard for the dignity of the court and is unfair on unrepresented consumers. I have reason to believe that this is a claim that will proceed without any facts or evidence supplied until the last possible minute, to my significant detriment as an unrepresented Defendant.

    11) I suggest that parking companies using the small claims track as a form of aggressive, automated debt collection is not something the courts should be seen to support.

    12)
    a) The Claimant has at no time provided an explanation how the sum has been calculated, the conduct that gave rise to it or how the amount has climbed from £60 to £120. This appears to be an added cost with no apparently no qualification and an attempt at double recovery, which the POFA Schedule 4 specifically disallows.
    b) The Protection of Freedom Act Para 4(5) states that the maximum sum that may be recovered from the keeper is the charge stated on the Notice to Keeper.

    13)
    a) The signage on this site is inadequate to form a contract. It is barely legible, making it difficult to read.
    b) The sign does not contain an obligation as to how to ‘clearly display a valid ticket within your vehicle’, therefore there was no breach of any ‘relevant obligation’ or ‘relevant contract’ as required under Schedule 4 of POFA.
    c) In the absence of ‘adequate notice’ of the terms and the charge (which must be in large prominent letters such as the brief, clear and multiple signs in the Beavis case) this fails to meet the requirements of Schedule 4 of the POFA.

    14)
    The driver did not enter into any 'agreement on the charge', no consideration flowed between the parties and no contract was established.
    (a) The Defendant denies that the driver would have agreed to pay the original demand of £60 to agree to the alleged contract had the terms and conditions of the contract been properly displayed and accessible.

    I believe the facts stated in this defence are true.

    (Name) (Signature) (Date)!
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 22nd Aug 17, 3:56 PM
    • 58,492 Posts
    • 71,991 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    I have been to the car park in question and have photos of the signs currently there and I can post these on the thread if these will be helpful
    Yes please. Horizon notices often bury the 'charge' in small print.

    Was it an overstay in a retail park, uncomfortably similar to the Beavis case?
    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.

    • username_taken
    • By username_taken 22nd Aug 17, 6:46 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    username_taken
    As it was so long ago I can't remember the exact details of the PCNs. Makes it rather tricky to build a decent defence. However, I suspect it was no displayed ticket, not overstaying.

    I've uploaded pics and redacted CCCF to dropbox (had to remove the www. as the system doesn't let new users post links)

    dropbox.com/sh/if1vejlmba4vbb4/AABrE3XvBE37NkTLFBZlMYx5a?dl=0

    Thanks
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 22nd Aug 17, 11:35 PM
    • 58,492 Posts
    • 71,991 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Bumping this for comments as I need some sleep!

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/if1vejlmba4vbb4/AABrE3XvBE37NkTLFBZlMYx5a?dl=0

    Horizon have - true to form - buried the £60 in small print. Literally hidden it. Compare it to the size of the £1.50 tariff (really large and bold, so why not the £60?!) and compare it Beavis case sign and the difference is obvious.
    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.

    • username_taken
    • By username_taken 23rd Aug 17, 6:31 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    username_taken
    Thanks Coupon-mad.

    I was thinking there was a good case to be made on the signage. I was considering getting more 'signs' into the defence statement

    Or can the defence be fleshed out more prior to the court date?
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 24th Aug 17, 2:28 AM
    • 2,764 Posts
    • 3,431 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    No, you do not alter your defence. You use WS and adduce evidence into it, but notevyour wS must not argue - it states facts known to you, the wtness. You creat a Skeketon Argument to summarise defence and relevant holes you pick in the claimants bundle, a couple days before the hearing.
    • username_taken
    • By username_taken 27th Aug 17, 10:08 AM
    • 14 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    username_taken
    OK, so I need to make sure all the main points are in there from the start.

    With that in mind, does the draft defence above look robust enough? Is there anything obvious I have left out?

    Hoping to get it sent off Tuesday morning.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 27th Aug 17, 7:58 PM
    • 58,492 Posts
    • 71,991 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    12) a) The Claimant has at no time provided an explanation how the sum has been calculated, the conduct that gave rise to it or how the amount has climbed from £60 to £120, per parking charge. In the Beavis case, the parking charge alone was claimed and the parking operator Claimant themselves confidently admitted at the Supreme Court, that the £85 sum was already heavily escalated to include a significant amount for profit. Therefore, in this case it is averred that the added 'indemnity charge' of £60 is in itself, an unrecoverable penalty which was not a sum specified in the alleged contract, nor was the original £60 nor the added £60 listed as a tariff which would have been the fairest and clearest way to draw a 'contractual sum' to the attention of drivers.
    Just a suggestion to add this to the above.

    And I would make it clear in a point in the defence, that the only sums that are in bold on the signs are the small tariffs (e.g. £1.50 is in large lettering), so why has the operator not used the same bold font/size for the £60, so that drivers can be in no doubt as the the hike in the penalty for staying longer than 2 hours. To bury a sum in small print is a breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and a key part of the contract that has failed to be communicated prominently, and as such, can be considered unrecoverable.
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 27-08-2017 at 8:02 PM.
    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.

    • username_taken
    • By username_taken 30th Aug 17, 8:38 AM
    • 14 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    username_taken
    Thanks Coupon-mad, much appreciated.

    Have included both suggestions (added 12,a and 14,a).

    I have also moved the point regarding double recovery from 12,a to 12,c. Should this have been left out altogether (replaced by the addition to 12,a)?

    Defence now reads

    BETWEEN:

    HORIZON PARKING LIMITED

    -and-

    XXX
    ________________________

    DEFENCE STATEMENT
    ________________________

    Preliminary matters.

    1. The claimant failed to include a copy of their written contract as per Practice Direction 16 7.3(1) and Practice Direction 7C 1.4(3A). No indication is given as to the Claimants contractual authority to operate there as required by the Claimants Trade Association's Code of Practice B1.1 which says

    1.1 If you operate parking management activities on land which is not owned by you, you must supply us with written authority from the land owner sufficient to establish you as the ‘Creditor’ within the meaning of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (where applicable) and in any event to establish you as a person who is able to recover parking charges. There is no prescribed form for such agreement and it need not necessarily be as part of a contract but it must include the express ability for an operator to recover parking charges on the landowner’s behalf or provide sufficient right to occupy the land in question so that charges can be recovered by the operator directly. This applies whether or not you intend to use the keeper liability provisions.

    2. The particulars of claim do not meet the requirements of Practice Direction 16 7.5 as there is nothing which specifies how the terms were breached. Indeed the particulars of claim are not clear and concise as is required by CPR 16.4 1(a). The Claimant are known to be a serial issuer of generic claims similar to this one. HM Courts Service have identified over 1000 similar sparse claims. I believe the term for such behaviour is roboclaims and as such is against the public interest.

    Practice Direction 3A which references Civil Procedure Rule 3.4 illustrates this point:!

    1.4 The following are examples of cases where the court may conclude that particulars of claim (whether contained in a claim form or filed separately) fall within rule 3.4(2)(a):
    (1) those which set out no facts indicating what the claim is about, for example ‘Money owed £5000’,
    (2) those which are incoherent and make no sense,
    (3) those which contain a coherent set of facts but those facts, even if true, do not disclose any legally recognisable claim against the defendant


    3. The Claimant has not complied with the pre-court protocol.
    (1) No initial information was sent to the Defendant.
    (2) I'd refer the court to Para 4 on non-compliance and sanction, and I'd also point out that there can be no reasonable excuse for the Claimant's failure to follow the Pre-action Conduct process, especially bearing in mind that the Claim was issued by their own Solicitors so they clearly had legal advice before issuing proceedings.

    On the basis of the above, I request the court strike out the claim for want of a cause of action.

    Statement of Defence

    I am XXXXX, defendant in this matter and deny liability for the entirety of the claim for the following reasons:
    1) It is admitted that the Defendant was the registered keeper of the vehicle in question at the time of the alleged incident.

    2) The Particulars of the Claim submitted to the Defendant provide no statement to the nature of the claim and the Defendant does not believe these particulars to be compliant with Civil Procedure Rules 16.4 nor Practice Direction 16 7.3-7.5 inhibiting the ability of the Defendant to provide a comprehensive and conclusive defence.

    3) It is denied that the Claimant has authority to bring this claim.
    a) The Claimant is not the landowner and is merely an agent acting on behalf of the landowner and has failed to demonstrate their legal standing to form a contract.
    b) The claimant is not the landowner and suffers no loss whatsoever as a result of a vehicle parking at the location in question
    c) The Claimant is put to proof that it has sufficient interest in the land or that there are specific terms in its contract to bring an action on its own behalf. As a third party agent, the Claimant may not pursue any charge. I have the reasonable belief that they do not have the authority to issue charges on this land in their own name and that they have no right to bring action regarding this claim.

    4) The identity of the driver of the vehicle on the date in question has not been ascertained.
    a) The claimant did not identify the driver
    b) The driver has not been evidenced on any occasion.
    c) The Defendant has no liability as they are the keeper of the vehicle and the Claimant has failed to comply with the strict provisions of POFA 2012 to hold anyone other than the driver liable for the charges.
    d) There is no presumption in law that the keeper was the driver and nor is the keeper obliged to name the driver to a private parking firm. This was confirmed in the POPLA Annual Report 2015 by the POPLA Lead Adjudicator and the barrister, Henry Gleenslade, when explaining the POFA 2012 principles of ‘keeper liability’ as set out in Schedule 4.
    e) The Claimant's increasingly demanding letters failed to evidence any contravention or clear/prominent signage. Further, the Notice to Keeper (postal 'PCN') failed to give the statutory warning to the registered keeper about the '28 day period' which is mandatory wording as prescribed in paragraph 9(2)(f) of Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. Consequently, the Claimant is unable to rely on the 'keeper liability' provisions of the POFA.

    5) The claimant has not provided enough details in the particulars of claim to file a full defence. In particular, the full details of the contract which it is alleged was broken have not been provided.
    a) The Claimant has disclosed no cause of action to give rise to any debt.
    b) The Claimant has stated that parking charges were incurred.
    c) The Claimant has given no indication of the nature of the alleged charges in the Particulars of Claim.
    The Claimant has therefore disclosed no cause of action.
    d) The Particulars of Claim contain no details and fails to establish a cause of action which would enable the Defendant to prepare a specific defence. It just states “incurred the parking charge(s)” which does not give any indication of on what basis the claim is brought. There is no information regarding why the charge arose, what the original charge was, what the alleged contract was nor anything which could be considered a fair exchange of information. The Particulars of Claim are incompetent in disclosing no cause of action.
    e) On the 20th September 2016 another relevant poorly pleaded private parking charge claim by Gladstones was struck out by District Judge Cross of St Albans County Court without a hearing due to their ‘roboclaim’ particulars being incoherent, failing to comply with CPR. 16.4 and ‘providing no facts that could give rise to any apparent claim in law’
    f) On the 19th August 2016 DJ Anson sitting at Preston County Court ruled that the very similar parking charge particulars of claim were deficient and failing to meet CPR 16.4 and PD 16 paragraphs 7.3 - 7.5. He ordered the Claimant in that case to file new particulars which they failed to do, and the court confirmed the claim will now be struck out.

    6) The Claimant has not complied with the pre-court protocol.
    a) No initial information was sent to the Defendant.
    b) I'd refer the court to Para 4 on non-compliance and sanction, and I'd also point out that there can be no reasonable excuse for the Claimant's failure to follow the Pre-action Conduct process, especially bearing in mind that the Claim was issued by their own Solicitors so they clearly had legal advice before issuing proceedings.

    7). The Defendant would like to point out that this car park can be fully distinguished from the details, facts, and location in the Beavis case. This site does not offer a free parking licence, nor is there any comparable 'legitimate interest' nor complex contractual arrangement to disengage the penalty rule, as ParkingEye did in the unique case heard by the Supreme Court in 2015. Whilst the Claimant withheld any photos of the signs on site, the Defendant contends these are illegible with terms hidden in small print, unlike the 'clear and prominent' signs which created a contract Mr Beavis was 'bound to have seen'.
    a) This case can be distinguished from ParkingEye v Beavis [2015] UKSC 67 (the Beavis case) which was dependent upon an undenied contract, formed by unusually prominent signage forming a clear offer and which turned on unique facts regarding the location and interests of the landowner. Strict compliance with the BPA(CoP) was paramount and Mr Beavis was the driver who saw the signs and entered into a contract to pay £85 after exceeding a licence to park free. None of this applies in this material case.
    b) In Beavis it was held that the purpose of a parking charge must not be to penalise drivers. Justification must depend on some other ‘legitimate interest in performance extending beyond the prospect of pecuniary compensation flowing directly from the breach in question’. The true test was held to be ‘whether the impugned provision is a secondary obligation which imposes detriment on the contract-breaker out of all proportion to any legitimate interest […..] in enforcement of the primary obligation’

    8)
    (a) The Claimant has sent threatening and misleading demands which stated that further debt recovery action would be taken to recover what is owed by passing the debt to a ‘local’ recovery agent (which suggested to the Defendant they would be calling round like bailiffs) adding further unexplained charges to the original £60 with no evidence of how this extra charge has been calculated. No figure for additional charges was 'agreed' nor could it have formed part of the alleged 'contract' because no such indemnity costs were quantified on the signs.
    Terms cannot be bolted on later with figures plucked out of thin air, as if they were
    incorporated into the small print when they were not.
    b) The Defendant also disputes that the Claimant has incurred £70 solicitor costs.
    c) Not withstanding the Defendant's belief, the costs are in any case not recoverable.
    d) The Claimant described the charge of £70.00 "legal representative’s costs" not "contractual costs". CPR 27.14 does not permit these to be recovered in the Small Claims Court.

    9) The Claimant’s solicitors are known to be a serial issuer of generic claims similar to this one, with no due diligence, no scrutiny of details nor even checking for a true cause of action. HMCS have identified over 1000 similar poorly produced claims and the solicitor's conduct in many of these cases is believed to be currently the subject of an active investigation by the SRA.

    10) I believe the term for such conduct is ‘robo-claims’ which is against the public interest, demonstrates a disregard for the dignity of the court and is unfair on unrepresented consumers. I have reason to believe that this is a claim that will proceed without any facts or evidence supplied until the last possible minute, to my significant detriment as an unrepresented Defendant.

    11) I suggest that parking companies using the small claims track as a form of aggressive, automated debt collection is not something the courts should be seen to support.

    12)
    a) The Claimant has at no time provided an explanation how the sum has been calculated, the conduct that gave rise to it or how the amount has climbed from £60 to £120, per parking charge. In the Beavis case, the parking charge alone was claimed and the parking operator Claimant themselves confidently admitted at the Supreme Court, that the £85 sum was already heavily escalated to include a significant amount for profit. Therefore, in this case it is averred that the added 'indemnity charge' of £60 is in itself, an unrecoverable penalty which was not a sum specified in the alleged contract, nor was the original £60 nor the added £60 listed as a tariff which would have been the fairest and clearest way to draw a 'contractual sum' to the attention of drivers.
    b) The Protection of Freedom Act Para 4(5) states that the maximum sum that may be recovered from the keeper is the charge stated on the Notice to Keeper.
    c) The increase from the original £60 charge to £120 appears appears to be an added cost with no apparent qualification and an attempt at double recovery, which the POFA Schedule 4 specifically disallows.

    13)
    a) The signage on this site is inadequate to form a contract. It is barely legible, making it difficult to read.
    b) The sign does not contain an obligation as to how to ‘clearly display a valid ticket within your vehicle’, therefore there was no breach of any ‘relevant obligation’ or ‘relevant contract’ as required under Schedule 4 of POFA.
    c) In the absence of ‘adequate notice’ of the terms and the charge (which must be in large prominent letters such as the brief, clear and multiple signs in the Beavis case) this fails to meet the requirements of Schedule 4 of the POFA.

    14)
    The driver did not enter into any 'agreement on the charge', no consideration flowed between the parties and no contract was established.
    a) The signs display clearly the small tariffs applicable (large and bolded font) but the £60 charge is hidden in the small print in plain (non-bolded) text and therefore is not given the same prominence. To bury a sum in small print is a breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and a key part of the contract has failed to be communicated prominently, and as such, can be considered unrecoverable.
    b) The Defendant denies that the driver would have agreed to pay the original demand of £60 to agree to the alleged contract had the terms and conditions of the contract been properly displayed and accessible.

    I believe the facts stated in this defence are true.

    (Name) (Signature) (Date)!
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 30th Aug 17, 8:32 PM
    • 58,492 Posts
    • 71,991 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Looking far better.

    Might be improved and made clearer, by finally adding some headings, like this one:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=73052391#post73052391

    And grab your points #2, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 and put them up into the prelimary matters section.

    #8 and #12 appear to be repeating almost the same thing, so amalgamate/reduce the waffle down to one point on added costs, which can certainly be divided into parts but just one numbered point, I suggest.

    Finally, look at the example I've just linked, in terms of the fact it has a much stronger ending, from the extra heading: ''Wholly unreasonable and vexatious claim'' down to the signature. You are very welcome to plagiarise it because I did(!).
    I wrote that section - more or less - on pepipoo forum last week, copying from great wording by Johnersh, bargepole and LoadsofChildredn123 and putting it all together.

    Then (finally - nearly done apart from printing it out and signing, dating and scanning it ready to email to the CCBC!) renumber the whole lot. At the moment, you have 1, 2, 3 repeated, whereas from the start of the prelim section, the numbers should flow on throughout.
    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.

    • username_taken
    • By username_taken 11th Jan 18, 9:48 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    username_taken
    Evening all.

    So I have my court date beginning of March and have received Gladstone's Witness Statement. I will be re-visiting the Newbies thread and compiling my own witness statement in the next week or so.

    Looking through their evidence items I have noticed a couple of things

    1. Whilst they have included a load of photos of the number of and positioning of signs within the carpark, they have not provided any close up photo of the text on the signs which display the T&Cs. Is this a tell that they know the signage is/was weak and so should I focus on the signage as much as possible?

    2. None of their photos of signage are time-stamped. Is it reasonable for me to question whether they accurately represent the signage at the time of the alleged infringement? The photos could well have been taken yesterday, so surely they cannot be relied upon as evidence?

    One further query... am I able to introduce additional arguments which weren't covered in my defence, or do I have to stick strictly to points I have already stated? Their evidence pack is the first sight I have had of many of the documents (charge tickets and follow up letters etc...), so I may spot things now which wasn't included within my defence statement
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 12th Jan 18, 12:46 AM
    • 58,492 Posts
    • 71,991 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    1. Whilst they have included a load of photos of the number of and positioning of signs within the carpark, they have not provided any close up photo of the text on the signs which display the T&Cs. Is this a tell that they know the signage is/was weak and so should I focus on the signage as much as possible?
    Yes, signage can be key to a defence because the case turns on the alleged 'contractual terms' being prominently and clearly displayed (read the Beavis judgment that goes on about the signs being clear, the Judges lapped it up).

    2. None of their photos of signage are time-stamped. Is it reasonable for me to question whether they accurately represent the signage at the time of the alleged infringement? The photos could well have been taken yesterday, so surely they cannot be relied upon as evidence?
    Yes, agreed.

    One further query... am I able to introduce additional arguments which weren't covered in my defence, or do I have to stick strictly to points I have already stated? Their evidence pack is the first sight I have had of many of the documents (charge tickets and follow up letters etc...), so I may spot things now which wasn't included within my defence statement
    Well you don't put arguments into your WS, but you can use it to rip into their evidence.
    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.

    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 12th Jan 18, 8:47 AM
    • 2,764 Posts
    • 3,431 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    Just to be clear - exactly WHAT DATE were you told to exchange documents?

    Have yoy assumed 14 days, or does the letter state this?

    I ask because GS are woeful at getting WS sent in on time, so I am concerned the court has set a much loinger exchange deadline and youve missed it.
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