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  • FIRST POST
    • Kamran
    • By Kamran 13th Jun 17, 3:54 PM
    • 426Posts
    • 61Thanks
    Kamran
    Urgent advice kindly requested - County Claim (Gladstone Solicitors)
    • #1
    • 13th Jun 17, 3:54 PM
    Urgent advice kindly requested - County Claim (Gladstone Solicitors) 13th Jun 17 at 3:54 PM
    Dear all, I hope you're well, thanks in advance for any help you could provide,
    I have read the stickies and articles in the parking forum and would be grateful for your advice on the following:

    Summary
    I have received a Claim Form from the County Court. The solicitors are Gladstones and the client is "Parking & Property Management LTD". I've followed the advice on the sticky and have acknowledged - I now have 30 ish days to draft a defence. Your guidance would be much appreciated.

    Incident
    Back in December 2015 the driver parked on private property, thinking it was public land. It was a private car park for a block of flats, but it looked much like any side road. The driver must have parked for about 45mins I think, and when returning to the vehicle, saw a parking ticket on the windshield and upon looking around the area (at that point) notice signage that wasn't immediately apparent before.

    Correspondence 2015
    After receiving notice to the keeper, I wrote to the company (Parking & Property Management LTD) with one of the standard, professional looking template letters - and the main point was that "there was insufficient signage" - I did not hear back from them, so assumed they had backed off. (I have a copy of my letter, but I'm not certain if I have a copy of their letter).

    Update 2017
    Now, in 2017 I received 2 letters from Gladstone Solicitors saying that I owed money. I (incorrectly) ignored these 2 letters as I thought it was scaremongering on the part of Parking & Property Management LTD, even though I had responded to their original letter in 2015. Last week I received the County Claim Form and as mentioned, have followed the advice above to acknowledge this on the online portal, but it sounds like I now need to draft a defence.

    I'd be most grateful for any advice on the above, and in addition:
    • Does the fact that I wrote back to them in Feb 2016 (and I received no reply) count for anything?
    • Does the driver have a leg to stand on if they simply "missed" the signage in the car park?
    • I don't have any pictures of the incident / signage, so I have no idea if I go to the site to take pics, whether the signage has been updated or not.
    • I note from the sticky that there are some example defences posted there, but is there any specific defence examples I should cite for my case?

    Many thanks once again!

    EDIT: I've gone onto google maps and can see for myself that it seems like there's inadequate signage, FYI
    Last edited by Kamran; 13-06-2017 at 6:22 PM.
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Page 2
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 4th Jan 18, 2:06 PM
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    nosferatu1001
    Pofa - only if you are relying on the no keeper liability argument in your defence?
    • Kamran
    • By Kamran 4th Jan 18, 2:19 PM
    • 426 Posts
    • 61 Thanks
    Kamran
    Pofa - only if you are relying on the no keeper liability argument in your defence?
    Originally posted by nosferatu1001
    No, I don't think I am. I am relying on inadequate signage. I'll get rid of that then
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    • Kamran
    • By Kamran 4th Jan 18, 2:21 PM
    • 426 Posts
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    Kamran
    Here's a first draft of my witness statement, would be most grateful for any comments. i'm hoping it should be fairly simple:

    XXX County Court
    Case Number: XXX
    Hearing date: 2nd Feb 2018

    Defendant: Mr XXX
    Vs
    Claimant: Parking & Property Management LTD / Gladstones Solicitors LTD

    Witness Statement: Mr XXX

    I am the Defendant in this matter, I am unrepresented, with no experience of Court procedures. If I do not set out documents in the way that the Claimant may do, I trust the Court will excuse my inexperience.
    In this Witness statement, the facts and matters stated are true and within my own knowledge, except where indicated otherwise.

    I as the defendant deny I am liable for the entirety of this claim for the following reasons:

    !!!8226; On the date and time in question, the driver entered and parked at XXX Meadows residential parking area. The driver left the vehicle by foot and as per the photographic and video evidence supplied, there was insufficient signage or barriers that would inform any motorist that there were parking restrictions in place
    !!!8226; I believe that the signage on site does not comply with the BPA Approved Code of practice. There are no apparent entrance signs that can be seen clearly from a driver view as you can see the photos and video. The BPA code of practice point B4.2 states that signs must be placed at the entrance to the site and inform a driver that the location is private land and managed by a BPA member
    !!!8226; Furthermore, on later inspection, the signs that are indeed present use an unusually small font size and are located high on walls, making them inconspicuous and difficult to read

    I believe that the facts stated in this Witness Statement are true.
    Last edited by Kamran; 08-01-2018 at 11:44 AM.
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    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 4th Jan 18, 10:20 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    That is far too short and I can't say it is close to any WS you would have found in the NEWBIES thread, so take another look and let's see more than that, please.
    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.

    • Kamran
    • By Kamran 5th Jan 18, 4:11 PM
    • 426 Posts
    • 61 Thanks
    Kamran
    That is far too short and I can't say it is close to any WS you would have found in the NEWBIES thread, so take another look and let's see more than that, please.
    Originally posted by Coupon-mad
    Thanks, I think that was a strangely short example that I had come across. I've done more digging and come up with the following. Would be grateful for your review before I print and post next week.

    To summarise / remind - I feel there is definitely inadequate signage on the private residential land where the vehicle was parked.

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

    XXX County Court
    Case Number: XXX
    Hearing date: XXX Feb 2018

    Defendant: XXX
    Vs
    Claimant: Parking & Property Management LTD / Gladstones Solicitors LTD

    Witness Statement: XXX

    I am the Defendant in this matter, I am unrepresented, with no experience of Court procedures. If I do not set out documents in the way that the Claimant may do, I trust the Court will excuse my inexperience.
    In this Witness statement, the facts and matters stated are true and within my own knowledge, except where indicated otherwise.

    I as the defendant deny I am liable for the entirety of this claim for the following reasons:

    1. As an unrepresented litigant-in-person I respectfully ask that I be permitted to amend and or supplement this interim defence as may be required following a fuller disclosure of the Claimant!!!8217;s case.
    2. I deny any liability in respect of the claim.
    3. On the date and time in question, the driver entered and parked at XXX Meadows residential area, under the impression that there was no charge for parking
    4. The Claimant is a well-funded company with a dedicated legal staff and is a serial litigator. I submit that his issuing Particulars of Claim lacking in usable detail or that do not disclose a clear cause of action is not only remiss but smacks of a !!!8220;Cut and Paste!!!8221; approach to the issuing of proceedings. I further submit that this demonstrates a disregard for the dignity of the court and little concern for the Claimant!!!8217;s duties in supporting the court to achieve the overriding objectives.
    5. Additionally such scant Particulars leave Defendants to respond to what are at best vague details.
    6. It is denied that the Claimant is the landowner of the property in question or that they have any other right or proprietary interest in the land or any demonstrable intention to occupy it sufficient to support this claim.
    7. The Claimant is therefore put to strict proof that they were at the time of the alleged event in possession of sufficient authority to issue parking charges and institute proceedings in their own name and can demonstrate a clear chain of authority from the landowner.
    8. If the court is minded to accept that the Claimant has standing then I submit that the signs on site at the time of the alleged event were insufficient in terms of their numbers, distribution and wording to reasonably convey a contractual obligation and did not in any event at the time comply with the requirements of the Code of Practice of the Independent Parking Committee!!!8217;s Accredited Operators Scheme a signatory to which the Claimant was at the relevant time.
    9. There are no apparent entrance signs that can be seen clearly from a driver view as you can see the photos and video. The BPA code of practice point B4.2 states that signs must be placed at the entrance to the site and inform a driver that the location is private land and managed by a BPA member
    10. In due course I will ask the court to consider the frequently overlooked test established by Roskill LJ in the matter of Vine -v- London Borough of Waltham Forest ('Vine') insofar as it relates to the display of signage in conveying an obligation.
    11. I further submit that such is the complexity and density of the text on the Claimant!!!8217;s signs that the most onerous term !!!8211; the £100 parking charge !!!8211; is buried amongst a mass of small print and does not even begin to comply with Denning MR!!!8217;s !!!8220;Red Hand Rule!!!8221;.
    12. In the absence of any signage that contractually bound the Defendant then there can have been no contract and the Claimant has no case.
    13. In the above circumstances I respectfully ask that the court dismiss the claim.

    I believe that the facts stated in this Witness Statement are true.
    Last edited by Kamran; 08-01-2018 at 11:44 AM.
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    • muleskinner
    • By muleskinner 5th Jan 18, 5:01 PM
    • 109 Posts
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    muleskinner
    PPM are IPC members, not BPA.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 6th Jan 18, 1:10 AM
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    Coupon-mad
    3. On the date and time in question, I entered and parked at XXX Meadows residential area, under the impression that there was no charge for parking
    Explain this more, as it doesn't sound convincing. What gave you that impression and what did you do to check for any terms?
    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.

    • Kamran
    • By Kamran 8th Jan 18, 10:26 AM
    • 426 Posts
    • 61 Thanks
    Kamran
    Explain this more, as it doesn't sound convincing. What gave you that impression and what did you do to check for any terms?
    Originally posted by Coupon-mad
    Thanks, here's my edit

    3. On the date and time in question, the driver entered and parked at XXX Meadows residential area. Upon entering the area, the driver came across no obvious signage, barriers, pay-and-display machines or any other suggestion that there were parking restrictions in place. The driver left the area by foot and still did not come across the aforementioned. I refer to the video evidence submitted that shows a driver's perspective upon entering the residential area.
    Last edited by Kamran; 08-01-2018 at 11:45 AM.
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    • Kamran
    • By Kamran 8th Jan 18, 10:39 AM
    • 426 Posts
    • 61 Thanks
    Kamran
    PPM are IPC members, not BPA.
    Originally posted by muleskinner
    is there an equivalent phrase i can replace the following with, to be IPC specific instead of BPA?

    9. The BPA code of practice point B4.2 states that signs must be placed at the entrance to the site and inform a driver that the location is private land and managed by a BPA member
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    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 8th Jan 18, 10:42 AM
    • 17,996 Posts
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    Umkomaas
    Why have you suddenly started saying !!!8216;I did this!!!8217;, !!!8216;I did that!!!8217; when your defence clearly denies Keeper Liability

    [5]
    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 Defendant has no liability, as they are the Keeper of the vehicle and the Claimant must rely upon the strict provisions of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 in order to hold the defendant responsible for the driver!!!8217;s alleged breach.
    (c) the Claimant's increasingly demanding letters failed to evidence any clear/prominent signage
    The Claimant will be all over that contradiction.
    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.
    • IamEmanresu
    • By IamEmanresu 8th Jan 18, 10:44 AM
    • 2,412 Posts
    • 4,292 Thanks
    IamEmanresu
    2.1 Where the basis of your parking charges is based in the law of contract it will usually be by way of the driver of a vehicle agreeing to contractual terms identified by signage in and around a controlled zone. It is therefore of fundamental importance that the signage meets the minimum standards under The Code as this underpins the validity of any such charge. Similarly, where charges are founded in the law of trespass and form liquidated damages, these too must be communicated to drivers in the same way.

    2.2 Signs must conform to the requirements as set out in a schedule 1 to the Code
    The IPC version in in sectionb.
    Idiots please note: If you intend NOT to read the information on the Notice of Allocation and hand a simple win to the knuckle dragging ex-clampers, then don't waste people's time with questions on a claim you'll not defend.
    • muleskinner
    • By muleskinner 8th Jan 18, 10:56 AM
    • 109 Posts
    • 104 Thanks
    muleskinner
    is there an equivalent phrase i can replace the following with, to be IPC specific instead of BPA?

    9. The BPA code of practice point B4.2 states that signs must be placed at the entrance to the site and inform a driver that the location is private land and managed by a BPA member
    Originally posted by Kamran
    It's very similar wording - the IPC code of practice is here. Part E talks about signage.
    • Kamran
    • By Kamran 8th Jan 18, 11:46 AM
    • 426 Posts
    • 61 Thanks
    Kamran
    Why have you suddenly started saying ‘I did this’, ‘I did that’ when your defence clearly denies Keeper Liability


    The Claimant will be all over that contradiction.
    Originally posted by Umkomaas
    Thanks, great point. I've amended my posts. What's the perspective on that whilst in court? Do I continue to speak to the judge and refer to "the driver"?
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    • Kamran
    • By Kamran 8th Jan 18, 12:01 PM
    • 426 Posts
    • 61 Thanks
    Kamran
    thanks for your comments this morning. Here's the latest version of the witness statement:

    XXX County Court
    Case Number: XXX
    Hearing date: XXX Feb 2018

    Defendant: XXX
    Vs
    Claimant: Parking & Property Management LTD / Gladstones Solicitors LTD

    Witness Statement: XXX

    I am the Defendant in this matter, I am unrepresented, with no experience of Court procedures. If I do not set out documents in the way that the Claimant may do, I trust the Court will excuse my inexperience.
    In this Witness statement, the facts and matters stated are true and within my own knowledge, except where indicated otherwise.

    I as the defendant deny I am liable for the entirety of this claim for the following reasons:

    1. As an unrepresented litigant-in-person I respectfully ask that I be permitted to amend and or supplement this interim defence as may be required following a fuller disclosure of the Claimant’s case.
    2. I deny any liability in respect of the claim.
    3. On the date and time in question, the driver entered and parked at XXX Meadows residential area. Upon entering the area, the driver came across no obvious signage, barriers, pay-and-display machines or any other suggestion that there were parking restrictions in place. I refer to the video evidence submitted that shows a driver's perspective upon entering the residential area.
    4. The Claimant is a well-funded company with a dedicated legal staff and is a serial litigator. I submit that his issuing Particulars of Claim lacking in usable detail or that do not disclose a clear cause of action is not only remiss but smacks of a “Cut and Paste” approach to the issuing of proceedings. I further submit that this demonstrates a disregard for the dignity of the court and little concern for the Claimant’s duties in supporting the court to achieve the overriding objectives.
    5. Additionally such scant Particulars leave Defendants to respond to what are at best vague details.
    6. It is denied that the Claimant is the landowner of the property in question or that they have any other right or proprietary interest in the land or any demonstrable intention to occupy it sufficient to support this claim.
    7. The Claimant is therefore put to strict proof that they were at the time of the alleged event in possession of sufficient authority to issue parking charges and institute proceedings in their own name and can demonstrate a clear chain of authority from the landowner.
    8. If the court is minded to accept that the Claimant has standing then I submit that the signs on site at the time of the alleged event were insufficient in terms of their numbers, distribution and wording to reasonably convey a contractual obligation and did not in any event at the time comply with the requirements of the Code of Practice of the Independent Parking Committee’s Accredited Operators Scheme a signatory to which the Claimant was at the relevant time.
    9. With regards to the placement of signage, the International Parking Community (IPC) code of practice states that
    - “Signs should, where practicable, be placed at the entrance to a site. Otherwise the signage within the site must be such as to be obvious to the motorist”
    10. With regards to the content of signage, the International Parking Community (IPC) code of practice states that signs should:
    o Make it clear that the motorist is entering onto private land
    o Refer the motorist to the signs within the car park which display the full terms and conditions
    o Identify yourself (where you are a limited company. This should be by reference to your full company name, your company number and the jurisdiction within which your company is registered)

    11. With regards to the text size / font of signage, the International Parking Community (IPC) code of practice states:
    - “Text should be of such a size and in a font that can be easily read by a motorist having regard to the likely position of the motorist in relation to the sign.”
    12. I further submit that such is the complexity and density of the text on the Claimant’s signs that the most onerous term – the £100 parking charge – is buried amongst a mass of small print and does not even begin to comply with Denning MR’s “Red Hand Rule”.
    13. I would ask the court to consider the frequently overlooked test established by Roskill LJ in the matter of Vine -v- London Borough of Waltham Forest ('Vine') insofar as it relates to the display of signage in conveying an obligation.
    14. In the absence of any signage that contractually bound the Defendant then there can have been no contract and the Claimant has no case. The IPC code of conduct states the following:
    - "Where the basis of your parking charges is based in the law of contract it will usually be by way of the driver of a vehicle agreeing to contractual terms identified by signage in and around a controlled zone. It is therefore of fundamental importance that the signage meets the minimum standards under The Code as this underpins the validity of any such charge. Similarly, where charges are founded in the law of trespass and form liquidated damages, these too must be communicated to drivers in the same way."
    15. In the above circumstances I respectfully ask that the court dismiss the claim.

    I believe that the facts stated in this Witness Statement are true.
    Last edited by Kamran; 08-01-2018 at 12:06 PM.
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    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 9th Jan 18, 12:37 AM
    • 58,460 Posts
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    Coupon-mad
    Thanks, great point. I've amended my posts. What's the perspective on that whilst in court? Do I continue to speak to the judge and refer to "the driver"?
    Originally posted by Kamran
    Decide now which perspective you can honestly appear at a hearing with. Sounds like you want to major on the signage, which might be better and easier to speak about, with honesty, if you decide to defend as driver (assuming you were).
    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.

    • Kamran
    • By Kamran 9th Jan 18, 9:08 AM
    • 426 Posts
    • 61 Thanks
    Kamran
    Decide now which perspective you can honestly appear at a hearing with. Sounds like you want to major on the signage, which might be better and easier to speak about, with honesty, if you decide to defend as driver (assuming you were).
    Originally posted by Coupon-mad
    Does it literally come down to language used? Would the judge ever ask me straight to my face who the driver was?
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    • muleskinner
    • By muleskinner 9th Jan 18, 9:35 AM
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    muleskinner
    In your WS you refer to both the 'Independent Parking Committee!!!8217; and 'International Parking Community'. You should change any references to the former to the latter.

    Also, from what I know of PPM signage and the IPC Code Of Practice, the IPC example sign has a whopping great 'P' for parking on it (obviously to communicate at a distance that this is a notice about parking, not a jumble sale / council planning application or whatever). All the PPM notices I've seen omit this entirely (not even a small 'P' symbol). It might be worth mentioning this in your list of COP signage violations.
    • Kamran
    • By Kamran 9th Jan 18, 9:37 AM
    • 426 Posts
    • 61 Thanks
    Kamran
    In your WS you refer to both the 'Independent Parking Committee’ and 'International Parking Community'. You should change any references to the former to the latter.

    Also, from what I know of PPM signage and the IPC Code Of Practice, the IPC example sign has a whopping great 'P' for parking on it (obviously to communicate at a distance that this is a notice about parking, not a jumble sale / council planning application or whatever). All the PPM notices I've seen omit this entirely (not even a small 'P' symbol). It might be worth mentioning this in your list of COP signage violations.
    Originally posted by muleskinner
    Thanks - I also noticed the great whopping P on their guidance!
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    • Kamran
    • By Kamran 9th Jan 18, 9:39 AM
    • 426 Posts
    • 61 Thanks
    Kamran
    Does it literally come down to language used? Would the judge ever ask me straight to my face who the driver was?
    Originally posted by Kamran
    Can I, in theory, leave the WS (which needs to be sent to the court and claimant in advance) as is - referring to "the driver" - and once in court I identify the driver and refer to them appropriately?
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    • Kamran
    • By Kamran 9th Jan 18, 9:55 AM
    • 426 Posts
    • 61 Thanks
    Kamran
    12. I further submit that such is the complexity and density of the text on the Claimant’s signs that the most onerous term – the £100 parking charge – is buried amongst a mass of small print and does not even begin to comply with Denning MR’s “Red Hand Rule”.
    13. I would ask the court to consider the frequently overlooked test established by Roskill LJ in the matter of Vine -v- London Borough of Waltham Forest ('Vine') insofar as it relates to the display of signage in conveying an obligation.
    Originally posted by Kamran
    Is there any supporting documentation for Denning MR’s “Red Hand Rule”?
    And is my point 13. even necessary?
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