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  • FIRST POST
    • superstitiious
    • By superstitiious 30th Oct 17, 11:18 PM
    • 12Posts
    • 4Thanks
    superstitiious
    CEL Claim Defence
    • #1
    • 30th Oct 17, 11:18 PM
    CEL Claim Defence 30th Oct 17 at 11:18 PM
    Hi all,

    I've been ignoring letters etc from CEL since Jan 2017 regarding an overstay at a carpark which is a retail/GP surgery car park. The driver was not me, and the overstay was by a few minutes. Neither the driver nor myself were aware that the car park had a time limit and having since returned to see signs etc, they are there but hard to see etc.

    I have acknowledged with the court, and will now start writing my defence having read the newbies thread and started this one as suggested. I'd be more than grateful of any support, and editing of the defence as and when I post it.

    Thanks in advance, an apprehensive but hopeful individual,
    Alan.
Page 2
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 12th Nov 17, 11:54 PM
    • 57,473 Posts
    • 71,075 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    If the POC were backdated and you kept the envelope that proved they were not posted when dated, PLEASE NOW forward the complaint you made to the CCBC, to another email address.

    We need LOTS of these to fly into a specific inbox now:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=73400735#post73400735

    Once that has been done, please confirm. We need to bombard the CCBC (specifically to Amanda Beck who is aware of this scam) with evidence about CEL.

    Do this - even if you've already emailed a complaint - PLEASE forward it now!
    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.

    • superstitiious
    • By superstitiious 10th Dec 17, 1:19 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    superstitiious
    Hi all,

    I have had my DQ sent to me and will send it back to the court and CEL tomorrow, court recorded delivery and CEL by first class with proof of posting.

    One question though, and a pretty noobish one but cannot find the answer to it on the site or on any other sites:

    On the DQ, the first box to complete where it says the following:
    "To be completed by, or on behalf of,"
    Then an EMPTY BOX
    And underneath, is this:
    "who is 1st 2nd 3rd Claimant Defendant Part 20 Claimant in this claim"

    The court have put a line through claimant and part 20 claimant, leaving defendant blank which is obviously me, but do I write my name in the empty box?

    Thanks for any help.

    Next, I am under the impression I'll be waiting roughly 20 weeks for a court date, and a chance to write my witness statement, is that right? Or can this stop going further at this point?

    Thanks again,


    PS - I have emailed Amanda Beck, not got a reply as it was recently that I sent it.
    • logician
    • By logician 10th Dec 17, 2:01 PM
    • 194 Posts
    • 76 Thanks
    logician
    leaving defendant blank which is obviously me, but do I write my name in the empty box?
    Thanks for any help.
    Originally posted by superstitiious
    YES put your name in that box.


    When is the deadline for submitting the DQ - The court copy can be emailed to the court using the same email address for defence:

    ccbcaq@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk

    Put in the subject field the claim number and " completed DQ by Defendant (insert your name).

    Confirm in the body of the email that a completed copy has also been served to the Claimant.


    Have you received the Claimant's copy yet? They need to serve theirs to you before the deadline.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 10th Dec 17, 2:40 PM
    • 57,473 Posts
    • 71,075 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    I am under the impression I'll be waiting roughly 20 weeks for a court date, and a chance to write my witness statement, is that right? Or can this stop going further at this point?
    Maybe less than 20 weeks; you will hear a court date in a letter that tells you when to file your WS/evidence.

    CEL are likely to discontinue at some point before any hearing, but might push you past WS and evidence stage before they throw in the towel.
    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.

    • superstitiious
    • By superstitiious 10th Dec 17, 8:17 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    superstitiious
    Thanks for the replies.

    Deadline is the 18th, so haven't sent them yet. Didn't realise I could email this to the court, that's what I have been doing so far which has been helpful, so thanks for the reminder!

    Of course, I have heard nothing from CEL!!!
    • superstitiious
    • By superstitiious 3rd Feb 18, 9:25 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    superstitiious
    Got my Notice of Allocation to the Small Claims Track letter through the post this week.

    Court Fee needs paying by CEL by 4pm Feb 12th, do I contact the court the next day to see if they've paid or not?

    Court date is set for March 5th. I haven't started writing my witness statement yet, however I have been reading up through previous threads on here to find similar cases etc. I'm hopefully, assuming correctly that I need to file my documents with the court by the 19th February (14 days prior to court date)?

    A skeletal witness statement from me would be the following:

    I haven't declared who the driver was, therefore if CEL say it was me, I will have written statements/evidence from work to state I was at work on said day.

    Is that the right way to go about it or am I barking up the wrong tree here. I'm in a bit of a tizz.

    The PCN came about because my wife had visited the doctor's (the car park is for a doctor's surgery with 3 retail outlets next door) with my poorly son, she's then taken prescription to pharmacy, and visited 2 of the retailers before trying to breastfeed my son in the car prior to leaving, she had also spent some time with a Health Visitor at a children's centre across the road. She did overstay, however the signage was poor, stating in large font "FREE PARKING" and in the tiniest, unreadable font unless you climb a ladder to look at it stated the T&C's. Our first knowledge of the 3 hour maximum stay was this PCN.

    Thoughts for which angle to tackle my witness statement please?

    Thanks in advance for any assistance
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 3rd Feb 18, 9:42 PM
    • 7,214 Posts
    • 6,719 Thanks
    KeithP
    I'm hopefully, assuming correctly that I need to file my documents with the court by the 19th February (14 days prior to court date)?
    Originally posted by superstitiious
    Fourteen days is often the time, but please don't assume it.

    Your Notice of Allocation will specify when you must submit a Witness Statement, and any other documents you intend to rely on.
    .
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 4th Feb 18, 12:54 AM
    • 57,473 Posts
    • 71,075 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    A skeletal witness statement from me would be the following:

    I haven't declared who the driver was, therefore if CEL say it was me, I will have written statements/evidence from work to state I was at work on said day.

    Is that the right way to go about it or am I barking up the wrong tree here. I'm in a bit of a tizz.
    That's fine.

    Don't be in a tizz. CEL will likely discontinue and not pay the hearing fee, as has happened in every other case here. None have gone to hearings here, CEL fold early.

    Relax, you're on the right lines and can throw together a WS if needed in a couple of weeks' time.
    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.

    • superstitiious
    • By superstitiious 11th Feb 18, 9:24 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    superstitiious
    Right, tomorrow's the deadline for CEL to pay the hearing fee. I shall then ring the court on Tuesday to see what's going on.

    In the meantime, I have been in touch with my local MP, got nowhere with it though but at least raised the awareness locally.

    Dear Mr XXXXXX

    Thank you for your email below. I am sorry to hear about the problems you have been experiencing.

    Civil Enforcement Ltd is one of the private parking companies that operate throughout the UK. They manage parking on private/council owned car parks using the automatic vehicle registration system.

    As you say many others have challenged this company regarding a Parking Charge Notice and sometimes have had successful appeals.

    You maybe interested to hear that Greg Knight MP has a Private Member's Bill currently with the House. It is a code of practice for parking - guidance about the operation and management of private parking facilities. The Bill's Second Reading passed on 2nd February 2018 and is now at the committee stage.

    Unfortunately, there is very little that I can do as the company has a legitimate contract with the owners of the land.

    Good luck with your appeal, I hope you have a positive outcome.


    Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention.


    Yours Sincerely

    Ruth Smeeth MP
    Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent North and Kidsgrove
    Thanks for the help so far, hopefully I can say a further thanks on Tuesday. Otherwise I'll be on the scrounge for witness statement help!
    • superstitiious
    • By superstitiious 23rd Feb 18, 3:54 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    superstitiious
    Hi folks,

    Just an update, this was struck out the day after CEL failed to pay the court fees! SO a huge thank you from me!

    Sadly though, I had not followed up on another parking notice from these beggars, so have another claim form to contend with now. I am though, very confident in dealing with it having had your guidance and support in recent months. I'll update as it progresses. I've done the AOS, and have drafted my defence based on the one previously. The only difference this time, is that CEL have added details to the particulars on the claim form, although they are still lacking in detail. I've amended the defence to reflect this.

    I know, you must be mad at me for allowing the second one to get to this point. I am also dealing with a third but will ensure this one is dealt with swiftly to stop it going further!!!!!!
    • superstitiious
    • By superstitiious 23rd Feb 18, 3:56 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    superstitiious
    In the County Court Business Centre
    Between:
    Civil Enforcement Limited
    V
    XXXXXXXXXXXX

    Claim Number: XXXXX

    I, XXXXXXXXXX, deny I am liable to the Claimant for the entirety of the claim for each of the following reasons:

    1. The Claim Form issued on 25/01/18 by Civil Enforcement Limited was not correctly filed under The Practice Direction as it was not signed by a legal person but signed by !!!8220;Civil Enforcement Limited!!!8221;. Practice Direction 22 requires that a statement of case on behalf of a company must be signed by a person holding a senior position and state the position. If the party is legally represented, the legal representative may sign the statement of truth but in his own name and not that of his firm or employer.
    2. This Claimant has not complied with pre-court protocol (as outlined in the new Pre Action Protocol for Debt Claims, 1 October 2017). An example as to why this prevents a full defence being filed at this time, a parking charge can be for trespass, breach of contract or a contractual charge. All these are treated differently in law and require a different defence. The wording of any contract will naturally be a key element in this matter, and a copy of the alleged contract has never been provided to the Defendant.

    a. There was no compliant !!!8216;Letter before County Court Claim!!!8217;, under the Practice Direction.
    b. This is a speculative serial litigant, issuing a large number of identical 'draft particulars'. The badly mail-merged documents contain very little information.
    c. The Schedule of information is sparse of detailed information.
    d. The Claim Form Particulars were extremely sparse and divulged no cause of action nor sufficient detail. The Defendant has no idea what the claim is about - why the charge arose, what the alleged contract was; nothing that could be considered a fair exchange of information.
    The Claim Form Particulars did not contain any evidence of contravention or photographs. These documents, and the !!!8216;Letter before County Court Claim!!!8217; should have been produced, pursuant to paragraph 6 of the Practice Direction !!!8211; Pre Action Conduct. This constitutes a deliberate attempt to thwart any efforts to defend the claim or to !!!8220;take stock!!!8221;, pursuant to paragraph 12 of the Practice Direction. Again, this totally contradicts the guidance outlined in the new Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims (2017), the aims of which are:

    i. !!!8216;early engagement and communication between the parties, including early exchange of sufficient information about the matter to help clarify whether there are any issues in dispute
    ii. enable the parties to resolve the matter without the need to start court proceedings, including agreeing a reasonable repayment plan or considering using an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedure
    iii. encourage the parties to act in a reasonable and proportionate manner in all dealings with one another (for example, avoiding running up costs which do not bear a reasonable relationship to the sums in issue) and
    iv. support the efficient management of proceedings that cannot be avoided.!!!8217;
    e. The Defence therefore asks the Court to strike out the claim as disclosing no cause of action and having no reasonable prospect of success as currently drafted.
    f. Alternatively, the Defendant asks that the Claimant is required to file Particulars which comply with Practice Directions and include at least the following information;

    i. Whether the matter is being brought for trespass, breach of contract or a contractual charge, and an explanation as to the exact nature of the charge
    ii. A copy of any contract it is alleged was in place (e.g. copies of signage)
    iii. How any contract was concluded (if by performance, then copies of signage maps in place at the time)
    iv. Whether keeper liability is being claimed, and if so copies of any Notice to Driver / Notice to Keeper
    v. Whether the Claimant is acting as Agent or Principal, together with a list of documents they will rely on in this matter
    vi. If charges over and above the initial charge are being claimed, the basis on which this is being claimed
    vii. If Interest charges are being claimed, the basis on which this is being claimed.
    g. Once these Particulars have been filed, the Defendant asks for reasonable time to file another defence.
    3. The Claimant failed to meet the Notice to Keeper obligations of Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. Absent such a notice served within 14 days of the parking event and with fully compliant statutory wording, this Claimant is unable to hold me liable under the strict !!!8216;keeper liability!!!8217; provisions.

    Schedule 4 also states that the only sum a keeper can be pursued for (if Schedule 4 is fully complied with, which it was not, and if there was a 'relevant obligation' and relevant contract' fairly and adequately communicated, which there was not) is the sum on the Notice to Keeper. They cannot pluck another sum from thin air and bolt that on as well when it is believed that neither the signs, nor any NTK mentioned a possible additional 252.29 for outstanding debt and damages.
    4. The Claimant has added unrecoverable sums to the original parking charge. It is believed that the employee who drew up the paperwork is remunerated, and the particulars of claim are templates, so it is simply not credible that 50 'legal representative!!!8217;s (or even admin) costs!!!8217; were incurred.
    5. 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 the interests of the landowner. Strict compliance with the BPA Code of Practice (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. As far as I can ascertain, based upon the very vague particulars of claim and complete lack of evidence and photographs, and without having been furnished with the alleged signage 'contract', none of this applies in this material case.
    6. In the absence of any proof of adequate signage that contractually bound the Defendant then there can have been no contract and the Claimant has no case.

    a. The Claimant is put to strict proof that at the time of the alleged event they had both advertisement consent and the permission from the site owner to display the signs.
    b. In the absence of strict proof I submit that the Claimant was committing an offence by displaying their signs and therefore no contract could have been entered into between the driver and the Claimant.
    c. Inadequate signs incapable of binding the driver - this distinguishes this case from the Beavis case:

    i. Sporadic and illegible (charge not prominent nor large lettering) of site/entrance signage - breach of the POFA 2012 Schedule 4 and the BPA Code of Practice and no contract formed to pay any clearly stated sum.
    ii. It is believed the signage was not lit and any terms were not transparent or legible; this is an unfair contract, not agreed by the driver and contrary to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 in requiring a huge inflated sum as 'compensation' from by an authorised party using the premises as intended.
    iii. No promise was made by the driver that could constitute consideration because there was no offer known nor accepted. No consideration flowed from the Claimant.
    iv. The signs are believed to have no mention of any debt collection additional charge, which cannot form part of any alleged contract.
    d. BPA CoP breaches - this distinguishes this case from the Beavis case:

    i. the signs were not compliant in terms of the font size, lighting or positioning.
    ii. the sum pursued exceeds 100.
    iii. there is / was no compliant landowner contract.
    7. No standing - this distinguishes this case from the Beavis case:
    It is believed Civil Enforcement do not hold a legitimate contract at this car park. As an agent, the Claimant has no legal right to bring such a claim in their name which should be in the name of the landowner.
    8. The Beavis case confirmed the fact that, if it is a matter of trespass (not breach of any contract), a parking firm has no standing as a non-landowner to pursue even nominal damages.
    9. The charge is an unenforceable penalty based upon a lack of commercial justification. The Beavis case confirmed that the penalty rule is certainly engaged in any case of a private parking charge and was only disengaged due to the unique circumstances of that case, which do not resemble this claim.
    10. Due to the length of time, the Defendant has little to no recollection of the day in question. It would not be reasonable to expect a registered keeper to be able to recall the potential driver(s) of the car over 11 months later. In any case, there is no such obligation in law and this was confirmed in the POPLA Annual Report 2015 by parking expert barrister and Lead Adjudicator, Henry Greenslade, who also clarified the fact that registered keeper can only be held liable under the POFA Schedule 4 and not by presumption or any other legal argument.


    The Defendant denies any liability whatsoever to the Claimant in any matter and asks the Court to note that the Claimant has:

    !!!8226; Failed to disclose any cause of action in the incorrectly filed Claim Form issued on 25th January 2018.
    !!!8226; Sent a template, well-known to be generic cut and paste 'Particulars' of claim relying on irrelevant case law (Beavis) which ignores the fact that this Claimant cannot hold registered keepers liable in law, due to their own choice of non-POFA documentation.

    The court is invited to strike out the claim of its own volition as having no merit and no reasonable prospects of success.

    I confirm that the above facts and statements are true to the best of my knowledge and recollection.

    Signed: ___________________________ Date: ________________
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