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  • FIRST POST
    • Ttsqre
    • By Ttsqre 3rd Jul 17, 10:29 AM
    • 15Posts
    • 10Thanks
    Ttsqre
    Getting taken to court by Civil Enforcement
    • #1
    • 3rd Jul 17, 10:29 AM
    Getting taken to court by Civil Enforcement 3rd Jul 17 at 10:29 AM
    Hi All
    I am being taken to court by CE ltd for what (they claim) was a 16 minute stay.
    What happened:
    I went to a car park which was 20p per hour to take the kids for a bike ride. Instead of using a parking space, I pulled up by the park to unload the bikes and the children (with a view to parking once disembarkation was complete). One of the bikes had a fault and it took me a few minutes to work out if was not resolvable one. So I reloaded the kids and the bikes and drove off. An additional factor is that just after I exited the car park I realised I had left something on the grass so popped back for it.
    Chain of Events:
    CE sent me loads of threatening letters. What I objected to was the tone of intimidation, saying things about it affecting my credit rating etc which I know to be stretching the truth, and is clearly deliberately misleading.
    I responded once explaining the above and that I was not going to pay. I also asked for evidence that they had not 'double dipped' me.
    They rejected this and passed me onto the their debt collectors and solicitors. And here we are, they are claiming 323 including court fees for a 16 minute (max) stay in a car park that is 20p an hour.
    In their particulars of claim they cite Vine vs Waltham for accepting the terms on the signs, and of course Beavis for implementing a disincentive.
    i have acknowledged the claim and have just over 2 weeks to formulate my defense. Quite simply I would rather go to court and lose than roll over for these people. Their intimidation tactics are a disgrace, let alone the amount of money that are trying to extract from me!
    My plan:
    I will post a draft of my defense here, but please let me know what other information you need to help me! At the moment I'm thinking I will build my defense around 3 points:
    1. The beavis case not relevent here as that was a free carpark so the company had to get revenue from somewhere. My case involves a paid car park.+ in my case the car park is in very low demand and was empty at the time. PLUS If asking for 300+ for a 16 minute stay in a 20p-per-hour carpark is not extravagant and unconscionable then what is!
    2. In Jopson vs Home the judge draws a distinction between stopped to unload etc and parking. 100% relevant in my case, esp the bit about "unloading awkward or heavy items"
    3. in the BPA Code of conduct, the charge must be "proportionate and commercially justifiable". As explained above, no reasonable person would consider the 100 or 60 or the whole 323 as either proportionate or commercially justifiable.

    I will also complain that they still haven't provided any evidence that they haven't double dipped me. Surely they have to provide photos of 2 entrances and 2 exits of my vehicle? (currently they have provided just one entrance and one exit photo)

    many thanks for any time you spend reading / replying; truly appreciated!
Page 2
    • Ttsqre
    • By Ttsqre 14th Jul 17, 3:31 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    Ttsqre
    Yes it was 12th June, but the I emailed the court asking when I needed to file my defense by after I did my AOS and they said I have till the 21st! Anyway I have filed it now and I can see in the portal that it has been received.(they also replied by email answering my question if I needed to do anything else, confirming that I didn't!) It's a very good service actually.
    I will let you know how I i get on.
    Thank you again so much for your help, your advice really does help to level the playing field so that these companies can't bully people into paying up!
    • Ttsqre
    • By Ttsqre 1st Sep 17, 9:53 AM
    • 15 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    Ttsqre
    Hi All - an update:
    CE have completed their Directions Questionnaire, and I have been sent one to complete.
    I have not been sent a copy of their DQ so I don't know how they have completed it, what court they want to proceed in etc - but by the sounds of it I get to choose that anyway.
    I have some questions that would be great to get an answer to:
    1. When will I get to see the evidence they intend to bring to bear? Such as evidence they didn't double dip me.
    2. Do I need to print off the case precedents I used in my defense? Where should I source them - is there an official source I should use? And how do I know they are 'valid' precedents?
    3. Should I refuse mediation? I would be happy to settle for 10 or less.. but on principle nothing more.. so I'm guessing this would be a waste of everyone's time?
    4.Should I prepare my own costs in the event I win? (i know there is advice on what can be claimed for so don't need details of that)
    5. What are my chances do you think based on my defense? And if I lose, do I have to pay the full 323 which includes all the court fees and the spurious addition fees they added on?Are my losses limited to the 323 that have specified?
    I can't believe any judge could think charging someone 100 for 16 minutes in a carpark that is 20p an hour when the person didn't even use up a space is reasonable.. but I know it comes down to legalities.
    thanks all
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 1st Sep 17, 10:09 AM
    • 17,621 Posts
    • 27,847 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    Most of the above Qs are covered by the NEWBIES FAQ sticky, post #2, where small claims court expert 'bargepole' has provided by a very detailed run-down of the procedures and steps.

    If after having gone through that advice there's still anything 'missing' please come back.
    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.
    • Ttsqre
    • By Ttsqre 1st Sep 17, 10:32 AM
    • 15 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    Ttsqre
    Thanks, yes have read that, so my remaining questions are
    1. shouldn't I have received a copy of their DQ?
    2. by the looks things then I won't get to see their 'evidence' before I finalise my defense? This seems a little unfair?
    3. Would still like some opinion on what my chances are!
    • bluetoffee1878
    • By bluetoffee1878 1st Sep 17, 12:27 PM
    • 278 Posts
    • 501 Thanks
    bluetoffee1878
    1. Yes but you probably won't

    2. It is unlikely they will send you anything

    3. They will either discontinue or not turn up

    This is my thread how I saw them off back in 2015. Use anything you think is helpful, but bear in mind things may have changed since then (such as Beavis etc) so make sure you check things are still relevant.

    Good luck

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5120476#1
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 1st Sep 17, 7:18 PM
    • 57,498 Posts
    • 71,087 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    In the other cases at the moment, CEL are discontinuing and then people can claim costs.

    I have suggested that people put a covering letter with their DQ to CEL, but you will have seen this if you have been reading other CEL threads (which you really would benefit from to see what is likely to happen; NEVER stay on your own thread only):

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=73059674#post73059674
    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 2nd Sep 17, 1:56 AM
    • 2,516 Posts
    • 3,062 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    Your defenCe has already been submitted. Your final steps will be a witness statement , evidence you wish to adduce and potentially a skeleton argument.
    • Ttsqre
    • By Ttsqre 20th Sep 17, 4:38 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    Ttsqre
    Update:I completed the DQ and unfortunately so did CE Ltd. the case has now been assigned to my local court.
    One thing I'm still a little confused about is that CE never produced the contract with the land owner and never produced evidence that they didn't 'double-dip' me. I will now have to prepare my defense without really knowing all the details of the case against me. If, for example, they have 'double-dipped' me(or can't produce evidence that they didn't) my defense would concentrate more on the "reasonable grace period" argument, whereas if they haven't I will concentrate on other arguments. This seems a little unfair. Is this just the way it works?
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 21st Sep 17, 1:12 AM
    • 57,498 Posts
    • 71,087 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Yes, it's the way it works - and you are preparing a Witness Statement & evidence, not a defence now. That bit is already in.
    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.

    • Lamilad
    • By Lamilad 21st Sep 17, 8:31 AM
    • 1,349 Posts
    • 2,698 Thanks
    Lamilad
    I will now have to prepare my defense without really knowing all the details of the case against me.....
    ....This seems a little unfair.
    It's also highly unreasonable and unacceptable in terms of how they should conduct the case, and you will make a point of this in your WS/ SA - if the case isn't stayed or discontinued by then.
    • Ttsqre
    • By Ttsqre 12th Dec 17, 8:58 AM
    • 15 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    Ttsqre
    Hi All
    Just to update this thread.
    I received a letter from the nice people at Civil Enforcement telling me they are dropping the case.
    Thank you so much for all of your contributions. This caused me a great deal of stress and research time, but every second was worth it to stand up to what is essentially a bully.
    I have also written to my MP about this, as the way these companies operate is disgraceful - always trying to portray an image of authority and exaggerating or plain misleading members of the public about the consequences. Thanks to you guys and other contributors on this site I was able to get informed and stand up to them.
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 12th Dec 17, 9:43 AM
    • 2,058 Posts
    • 3,447 Thanks
    Loadsofchildren123
    At least CEL discontinue when they see a valid defence being argued. Other PPCs just carry on regardless and treat the cases that go to court as loss leaders (even the ones they win cost them more to pursue than the amount they win).


    When a Claimant discontinues, the issue of costs remains live. So you could write to the court and seek costs for their unreasonable conduct pursuant to rule 27.14(2)(g), and provide a schedule of those costs (see newbies thread and Sassii's thread for precedents). If you do this make sure you send a copy to CEL and tell the court you've done that. Ask the court to make an order on the papers rather than requiring a hearing.


    You may of course decide that life is too short and you just want to leave it all behind.
    Although a practising Solicitor, my posts here are NOT legal advice, but are personal opinion based on limited facts provided anonymously by forum users. I accept no liability for the accuracy of any such posts and users are advised that, if they wish to obtain formal legal advice specific to their case, they must seek instruct and pay a solicitor.
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 12th Dec 17, 9:46 AM
    • 2,058 Posts
    • 3,447 Thanks
    Loadsofchildren123
    The arguments showing unreasonable conduct are the failure to comply with the pre-action obligations (by which they should have explained the claim in full and provided documents upon which they would rely), which robbed you of the chance to provide a full response. You would argue that the fact that they have withdrawn having seen your defence clearly illustrates that, had these procedures been followed, they would have discontinued much earlier (ie they'd never have actually got as far as issuing a claim). The failure to comply with the pre-action obligations meant that they issued a claim to which there was a clear defence, and they should be punished on costs for their conduct.
    Last edited by Loadsofchildren123; 12-12-2017 at 11:19 AM.
    Although a practising Solicitor, my posts here are NOT legal advice, but are personal opinion based on limited facts provided anonymously by forum users. I accept no liability for the accuracy of any such posts and users are advised that, if they wish to obtain formal legal advice specific to their case, they must seek instruct and pay a solicitor.
    • Ttsqre
    • By Ttsqre 12th Dec 17, 10:48 AM
    • 15 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    Ttsqre
    I might just do that. Will research on here and see if it is likely to be worth my while (in and satisfaction)
    • bluetoffee1878
    • By bluetoffee1878 12th Dec 17, 11:41 AM
    • 278 Posts
    • 501 Thanks
    bluetoffee1878
    I might just do that. Will research on here and see if it is likely to be worth my while (in and satisfaction)
    Originally posted by Ttsqre
    Its definitely worth the little extra time and a stamp to write to the court citing their unreasonable behaviour.

    I did a couple of years ago with this PPC after a very late discontinuance and got a little over 200

    There is some info in the newbie thread post #2 about half way down which should help you.

    Oh and well done too
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 12th Dec 17, 11:22 PM
    • 57,498 Posts
    • 71,087 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Well done, and thanks for the update after all these months, to show other CEL victims that it really is true that CEL will likely discontinue, when they see a well-defended case.

    Claiming your costs is simply a letter, and the worst that can happen is the Judge says no, or requires you to spend money filing a formal application. Try the letter first.

    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.

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