Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • 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.
    Hi, we’ve had to remove your signature. If you’re not sure why please read the forum rules or email the forum team if you’re still unsure
Page 3
    • muleskinner
    • By muleskinner 9th Jan 18, 10:13 AM
    • 109 Posts
    • 104 Thanks
    muleskinner
    I am not legally trained but I would definitely leave in the reference to 'Vine vs Waltham'.

    That case is Court of Appeal - so it's binding on the County Court, and it basically establishes the principle that you cannot be bound by terms and conditions on a notice that you didn't see.

    Also, PPCs frequently reference this case out of context to justify their tenuous 'if the signs were there it's your job to go looking for them argument' so it's worth putting in so the Judge gets the whole picture - that case was won by the motorist on the basis that they didn't see the signs.

    The judgement itself is quite short so I included the whole thing (with relevant parts highlighted) in my evidence bundle.
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 9th Jan 18, 10:18 AM
    • 2,748 Posts
    • 3,412 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    Yes 13 is necessary. Its if signs ARENT adequate, a driver isn't bound by them. It is a necessary consequence of the conclusion that adequate signs mean a driver cant say they arent bound by them.

    Dennings red hand rule is a very old legal test.
    • Kamran
    • By Kamran 9th Jan 18, 10:28 AM
    • 426 Posts
    • 61 Thanks
    Kamran
    thanks guys, understood. So I plan to keep both points in, include a pdf of Vine vs Waltham, but there's no need to include any supporting evidence for Dennings red hand rule.

    I'll make some tweaks and share the latest WS shortly. thanks again, much appreciated!
    Hi, we’ve had to remove your signature. If you’re not sure why please read the forum rules or email the forum team if you’re still unsure
    • Kamran
    • By Kamran 9th Jan 18, 10:30 AM
    • 426 Posts
    • 61 Thanks
    Kamran
    Latest Witness Statement:

    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. 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 !!!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 International Parking Community!!!8217;s (IPC) 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:
    o !!!8220;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!!!8221;

    10. With regards to the content of signage, the International Parking Community (IPC) code of practice states that signs should:
    o !!!8220;Make it clear that the motorist is entering onto private land!!!8221;
    o !!!8220;Refer the motorist to the signs within the car park which display the full terms and conditions!!!8221;
    o !!!8220;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)!!!8221;


    11. With regards to the text size / font of signage, the International Parking Community (IPC) code of practice states that:
    o !!!8220;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.!!!8221;

    12. I also include a photograph that indicates an example parking sign, as designed by the International Parking Community (IPC) code of practice. I note that this sign, by design, makes it clear that the notice refers to parking (as indicated by the large font letter !!!8220;P!!!8221;) so it is clear to any motorist what the notice is referring to. I submit that the signs used by the claimant do not make it clear what the notice is referring to, due to the complicated design and small font type.

    13. 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;

    14. 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.

    15. 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:
    o "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."

    16. 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.

    Hi, we’ve had to remove your signature. If you’re not sure why please read the forum rules or email the forum team if you’re still unsure
    • muleskinner
    • By muleskinner 9th Jan 18, 11:48 AM
    • 109 Posts
    • 104 Thanks
    muleskinner
    Have you got a photo of the sign?

    You probably also have a 'forbidding contract' argument as, if non-residents weren't allowed to park there then there is no meaningful 'offer' or 'benefit' to non-residents so a 'contract' as per Beavis can't really exist. Look up PCM vs Bull and Horizon vs Guildford for support. Terms of parking only apply to those 'authorised to park'.

    What does it say of the Particulars of Claim?
    • Kamran
    • By Kamran 9th Jan 18, 1:17 PM
    • 426 Posts
    • 61 Thanks
    Kamran
    Have you got a photo of the sign?

    You probably also have a 'forbidding contract' argument as, if non-residents weren't allowed to park there then there is no meaningful 'offer' or 'benefit' to non-residents so a 'contract' as per Beavis can't really exist. Look up PCM vs Bull and Horizon vs Guildford for support. Terms of parking only apply to those 'authorised to park'.

    What does it say of the Particulars of Claim?
    Originally posted by muleskinner
    High up on a wall with small font:


    Hi, we’ve had to remove your signature. If you’re not sure why please read the forum rules or email the forum team if you’re still unsure
    • muleskinner
    • By muleskinner 9th Jan 18, 2:08 PM
    • 109 Posts
    • 104 Thanks
    muleskinner
    Thought so.

    This is more-or-less exactly the same as the signage in my case (hearing 12th Feb).

    This is a forbidding notice - it offers no meaningful contract to park to non-residents. If they are suing you for breach of contract then the very act of entering into the contract (parking) would also be the breach, making it impossible to perform.

    These are technical points but have won it for some - PCM vs Bull uses very similar wording to this.

    What do the NTK and PCN say as the reason for the charge?

    In my case PPM have changed stance at the WS stage and are now saying the charge is for 'parking services', ie this is a contractual offer to park, you just pay £100 for the privilege. This is BS for a number of reasons including...

    - The contract with the landowner almost definitely won't allow for them offering 'parking services' on the land.
    - The invoice probably almost definitely didn't contain VAT which it should do if it was a service.
    - All the documentation you've received (NTK, PCN) probably refer to a charge for 'unauthorised parking' or similar
    - In my case the driver was actually told by the 'warden' to remove the vehicle as parking wasn't allowed!

    It's worth making these arguments as there's a good chance the Judge will look at that notice, call a spade a spade and conclude it's a prohibitory notice masquerading as a contract - therefore the only issue is one of trespass for which no damages are due.
    • Castle
    • By Castle 9th Jan 18, 2:14 PM
    • 1,767 Posts
    • 2,390 Thanks
    Castle
    See also CS047-PACE v Lengyel (ref impossibility of performance):-
    lhttp://www.parking-prankster.com/more-case-law.html
    • Kamran
    • By Kamran 9th Jan 18, 7:03 PM
    • 426 Posts
    • 61 Thanks
    Kamran
    Thought so.

    This is more-or-less exactly the same as the signage in my case (hearing 12th Feb).

    This is a forbidding notice - it offers no meaningful contract to park to non-residents. If they are suing you for breach of contract then the very act of entering into the contract (parking) would also be the breach, making it impossible to perform.

    These are technical points but have won it for some - PCM vs Bull uses very similar wording to this.

    What do the NTK and PCN say as the reason for the charge?

    In my case PPM have changed stance at the WS stage and are now saying the charge is for 'parking services', ie this is a contractual offer to park, you just pay £100 for the privilege. This is BS for a number of reasons including...

    - The contract with the landowner almost definitely won't allow for them offering 'parking services' on the land.
    - The invoice probably almost definitely didn't contain VAT which it should do if it was a service.
    - All the documentation you've received (NTK, PCN) probably refer to a charge for 'unauthorised parking' or similar
    - In my case the driver was actually told by the 'warden' to remove the vehicle as parking wasn't allowed!

    It's worth making these arguments as there's a good chance the Judge will look at that notice, call a spade a spade and conclude it's a prohibitory notice masquerading as a contract - therefore the only issue is one of trespass for which no damages are due.
    Originally posted by muleskinner
    "Our client has previously written to you requesting payment of a parking charge."

    and

    "We recently issued Parking Charge Notice XXX to your vehicle because it was parked in a manner whereby the driver became liable for a parking charge at XXX that we are authorised to manage by our client. This PCN was issued on the XX December 2015 at XX:XX and has not been paid. The reason we issued a PCN to the vehicle is as follows: Not Displaying a Valid Permit."
    Hi, we’ve had to remove your signature. If you’re not sure why please read the forum rules or email the forum team if you’re still unsure
    • muleskinner
    • By muleskinner 9th Jan 18, 7:18 PM
    • 109 Posts
    • 104 Thanks
    muleskinner
    That's typically vague.

    The way the sign is presented clearly implies parking is permitted for permit holders only. If the driver, as a non-resident, is not permitted to park then they cannot be seen to have entered into a 'parking contract'.

    The 'PCM vs Bull' transcript has the judge pulling apart precisely this type of 'you can't park here but if you do...' nonsense.
    • Kamran
    • By Kamran 10th Jan 18, 11:49 AM
    • 426 Posts
    • 61 Thanks
    Kamran
    Thanks all, have made some more edits:

    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 XX 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 International Parking Community’s (IPC) 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:
    o “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 that:
    o “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 also include a photograph that indicates an example parking sign, as designed by the International Parking Community (IPC) code of practice. I note that this sign, by design, makes it clear that the notice refers to parking, as indicated by the large font letter “P”, so it is clear to any motorist what the notice is referring to. I submit that the signs used by the claimant do not make it clear what the notice is referring to, due to the complicated design and small font type.

    13. 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”

    14. 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.

    15. 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:
    o "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."

    16. I have submitted a photograph of the signage on site, which explicitly states that parking is for permit holders only. Therefore if the driver, a non-permit-holder, is not permitted to park, they cannot be seen to have entered into a parking contract. I would ask the court to consider the case of “PCM vs Bull”, attached, which relates to the permission to park and subsequent non-contract.

    17. 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.
    Hi, we’ve had to remove your signature. If you’re not sure why please read the forum rules or email the forum team if you’re still unsure
    • muleskinner
    • By muleskinner 10th Jan 18, 12:16 PM
    • 109 Posts
    • 104 Thanks
    muleskinner
    Re Points 9, 10, 11 - I would state explicitly that the signage doesn't meet the guidelines you quote.

    Does the area in which you parked appear to be public highway? Is there anything at the entrance to indicate you are entering private land? If there is not it is probably worth stating explicitly. One of the facts that went in the favour of the motorist in 'Vine vs Waltham' was that the site in question appeared to be public highway.
    • Kamran
    • By Kamran 10th Jan 18, 12:57 PM
    • 426 Posts
    • 61 Thanks
    Kamran
    Re Points 9, 10, 11 - I would state explicitly that the signage doesn't meet the guidelines you quote.

    Does the area in which you parked appear to be public highway? Is there anything at the entrance to indicate you are entering private land? If there is not it is probably worth stating explicitly. One of the facts that went in the favour of the motorist in 'Vine vs Waltham' was that the site in question appeared to be public highway.
    Originally posted by muleskinner
    By public highway, do you mean does it look like a regular public road? If so then no, this was a residential parking area
    Hi, we’ve had to remove your signature. If you’re not sure why please read the forum rules or email the forum team if you’re still unsure
    • muleskinner
    • By muleskinner 10th Jan 18, 1:14 PM
    • 109 Posts
    • 104 Thanks
    muleskinner
    Yeah, that's what I meant.
    • Kamran
    • By Kamran 11th Jan 18, 12:58 PM
    • 426 Posts
    • 61 Thanks
    Kamran
    So it sounds as if my witness statement is ready to be sent, just wanted to double check the other supporting documents I plan to send:

    - beavis case sign
    - photos of site / signage
    - driver's perspective video to be emailed
    - copy of my defence that was sent before
    - IPC code of practice
    - IPC example sign picture
    - PCM vs Bull transcript
    - POPLA schedule 4
    - Vine vs Waltham Forest transcript

    Is that all?
    Thanks!
    Hi, we’ve had to remove your signature. If you’re not sure why please read the forum rules or email the forum team if you’re still unsure
    • claxtome
    • By claxtome 11th Jan 18, 1:28 PM
    • 575 Posts
    • 678 Thanks
    claxtome
    I assume you are putting a paginated bundle together for court.
    (Each page in this bundle having a unique page number).
    You would put your witness statement and evidence in there.
    Contents page of what is included.
    Suggest hand delivering to court and email Claimant.

    I was told by a legally trained person on here that you don't need to include the transcripts of cases in your bundle.
    They can wait until the day if the judge wants to see them. (i.e. a legal pack with 3 copies of each for the day)

    Were you asked to produce a paginated bundle in the court letter you were sent when your case was assigned to your local court?
    Last edited by claxtome; 11-01-2018 at 1:32 PM.
    • Kamran
    • By Kamran 11th Jan 18, 2:15 PM
    • 426 Posts
    • 61 Thanks
    Kamran
    I assume you are putting a paginated bundle together for court.
    (Each page in this bundle having a unique page number).
    You would put your witness statement and evidence in there.
    Contents page of what is included.
    Suggest hand delivering to court and email Claimant.

    I was told by a legally trained person on here that you don't need to include the transcripts of cases in your bundle.
    They can wait until the day if the judge wants to see them. (i.e. a legal pack with 3 copies of each for the day)

    Were you asked to produce a paginated bundle in the court letter you were sent when your case was assigned to your local court?
    Originally posted by claxtome
    Thanks, I wasn't asked to send a paginated bundle, just the supporting evidence. It might be a bit time consuming to paginate and collate everything so I was thinking of simply making each of the above into a separate group, and then referencing them as needed
    Hi, we’ve had to remove your signature. If you’re not sure why please read the forum rules or email the forum team if you’re still unsure
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 11th Jan 18, 2:57 PM
    • 2,748 Posts
    • 3,412 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    Time consuming for you could mean time saving for the judge. Who you want on your side.

    Make yours look impressive, next to the shoddy attempts from the "professional" (in status if not conduct) firm and you are ahead....
    • Kamran
    • By Kamran 15th Jan 18, 10:11 AM
    • 426 Posts
    • 61 Thanks
    Kamran
    Thank you all for your helpful suggestions. I've printed, collated, appendixed, made clear all my documents with a contents etc.

    Posted a copy to the court and to the claimant. Emailed a zipped copy to court and claimant also just in case.

    I think we're all set for now - just waiting for the end of this week (cut-off for 14 days before court date) to see whether the claimant even sends anything over.

    Can I assume that if I don't receive anything from the claimant by the cut-off, that they won't be going ahead? Or does it still go ahead but I have to be firm on the day and say that I don't accept that any new evidence is included?
    Hi, we’ve had to remove your signature. If you’re not sure why please read the forum rules or email the forum team if you’re still unsure
    • claxtome
    • By claxtome 15th Jan 18, 11:10 AM
    • 575 Posts
    • 678 Thanks
    claxtome
    Can I assume that if I don't receive anything from the claimant by the cut-off, that they won't be going ahead? Or does it still go ahead but I have to be firm on the day and say that I don't accept that any new evidence is included?
    I wouldn't assume if they are late that it is not going ahead if you don't receive documents.
    I would give them a couple of days and call the court and confirm if they have received anything.
    Then come back to the forum if/when you do receive it for further advice.

    At this late stage I would keep preparing your case and turn up on the day.
    If they try to hand you anything on the day then politely refuse it.
    HTH
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

3,927Posts Today

9,135Users online

Martin's Twitter