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  • FIRST POST
    • Shimzoo
    • By Shimzoo 1st Nov 17, 4:49 PM
    • 10Posts
    • 8Thanks
    Shimzoo
    Civil Enforcement Ltd - parking in hotel car park
    • #1
    • 1st Nov 17, 4:49 PM
    Civil Enforcement Ltd - parking in hotel car park 1st Nov 17 at 4:49 PM
    Hi. Thank you for the great information on here. I have read through the newbies stuff and returned the Acknowledgement of Service with no comments via the moneyclaim.gov.uk web site.

    I have ignored innumerable letters from CEL which I stupidly disposed of. I was not expecting to receive a county court claim. The did not send details of the claim with the first claim form received but I have now received details after returning the acknowledgement online.

    I parked in a Holiday Inn car park and went into the hotel for a meeting two years ago. I was there for a couple of hours and bought drinks etc for the meeting and then left. Neither on the way in or on the way out did I see signs telling me I had to do something. Apparently I should have advised reception I was there and got a permit from them which I did not do. I do not live nearby to this hotel. When I got the first letter I called the hotel for support and they said there was nothing they could do. I chose to ignore all the letters hoping they would give up. Which I have successfully done before.

    I've copied other standard responses as below. I'm not sure if I've done this correctly given my situation. I would appreciate guidance before returning the response which I will do recorded delivery back to the County Court Business Centre.

    I have only amended dates in the wording below. I look forward to your advice!!

    Thank you.



    In the County Court Business Centre
    Between:
    Civil Enforcement Limited
    V
    XXXXXXXXXXX




    Claim Number: XXXXXXXX




    I, XXXXXXXXXXXXX, deny I am liable to the Claimant for the entirety of the claim for each of the following reasons:
    The Claim Form issued on 9/10/2017 by Civil Enforcement Limited was not correctly filed under The Practice Direction as it was not signed by a legal person but signed by “Civil Enforcement Limited”.

    This Claimant has not complied with pre-court protocol (as outlined in the new Pre Action Protocol for Debt Claims, 1 October 2017). As 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.


    There was no compliant ‘Letter before County Court Claim’, under the Practice Direction.

    This is a speculative serial litigant, issuing a large number of identical 'draft particulars'. The badly mail-merged documents contain very little information.

    The Schedule of information is sparse of detailed information.

    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 ‘Letter before County Court Claim’ should have been produced, pursuant to paragraph 6 of the Practice Direction – Pre Action Conduct. This constitutes a deliberate attempt to thwart any efforts to defend the claim or to “take stock”, 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:
    ‘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
    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
    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
    support the efficient management of proceedings that cannot be avoided.’

    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.

    Alternatively, the Defendant asks that the Claimant is required to file Particulars which comply with Practice Directions and include at least the following information;
    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
    A copy of any contract it is alleged was in place (e.g. copies of signage)
    How any contract was concluded (if by performance, then copies of signage maps in place at the time)
    Whether keeper liability is being claimed, and if so copies of any Notice to Driver / Notice to Keeper
    Whether the Claimant is acting as Agent or Principal, together with a list of documents they will rely on in this matter
    If charges over and above the initial charge are being claimed, the basis on which this is being claimed
    If Interest charges are being claimed, the basis on which this is being claimed.

    Once these Particulars have been filed, the Defendant asks for reasonable time to file another defence.

    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 ‘keeper liability’ 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 £149.66 for outstanding debt and damages.

    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’s (or even admin) costs’ were incurred.
    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.

    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.
    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.
    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.
    Inadequate signs incapable of binding the driver - this distinguishes this case from the Beavis case:
    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.
    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.
    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.
    The signs are believed to have no mention of any debt collection additional charge, which cannot form part of any alleged contract.
    BPA CoP breaches - this distinguishes this case from the Beavis case:
    the signs were not compliant in terms of the font size, lighting or positioning.
    the sum pursued exceeds £100.
    there is / was no compliant landowner contract.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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 10 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:
    Failed to disclose any cause of action in the incorrectly filed Claim Form issued on 9th October 2017.
    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 vague Particulars of Claim disclose no clear cause of action. 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.
Page 2
    • Shimzoo
    • By Shimzoo 3rd Nov 17, 8:36 AM
    • 10 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    Shimzoo
    Thanks beamerguy, Coupon-mad and The Deep.

    I've learned a lot during this process. I disposed of the envelope before I knew it was important. Another frustrating mistake on my part.

    I will send a letter to CEL and the court as advised above by Coupon-mad...although I cannot include the copy of the envelope. I will state that it was late anyway.

    Shall I also send the defense in to the court as I presented at the start of this thread? Do I need to amend it in light of the cooperation from the hotel?
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 3rd Nov 17, 9:45 AM
    • 17,337 Posts
    • 27,314 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    I will state that it was late anyway.
    Can you remember (or even have a good guess at) when the letter was received? If so, I!!!8217;d work on the basis that the date stamp on the envelope would be 2 working days prior. State that was the date.

    It!!!8217;s not for you to prove when they actually sent it, it is for them. If they argue the date, they!!!8217;ll likely dig themselves more of a hole.
    Last edited by Umkomaas; 03-11-2017 at 9:49 AM.
    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.
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 3rd Nov 17, 1:17 PM
    • 2,308 Posts
    • 2,751 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    You dont send the defenCe just yet (check spelling, this is an important detail) unless you are outside of tyhe 14 days from the service of the PoC.
    • Shimzoo
    • By Shimzoo 8th Nov 17, 8:14 AM
    • 10 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    Shimzoo
    I received a copy of the letter in the post from the hotel manager. I have sent that to the County Court and to CEL recorded delivery along with a covering letter requesting the claim be withdrawn. That was on the 6/11/17.

    The issue date of the Claim (on the county court claim form) is 9/10/17 which was received a couple of days later. The date on the POC sent later by CEL wqas 11/10/17 but was not received until circa 28/10/17 (while I was on holiday). I have discarded the envelope it came in stupidly.

    I would appreciate guidance on if/when I should submit my defence. How long do I wait for a response from the court or CEL from the letter?

    Thank you for your continued support.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 9th Nov 17, 12:32 AM
    • 56,325 Posts
    • 69,938 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    I received a copy of the letter in the post from the hotel manager. I have sent that to the County Court and to CEL recorded delivery along with a covering letter requesting the claim be withdrawn. That was on the 6/11/17.
    Why? Waste of postage money, this is not time to send evidence/letters from third parties.

    How long do I wait for a response from the court or CEL from the letter?
    You don't wait, this was not a step to take.

    Why didn't you ask when such evidence is submitted? It's not yet, and to be fair the 'know what to do when' section of the NEWBIES FAQS thread tells you this already.

    Please read all the other CEL cases, it's easier than us repeating ourselves a dozen times every day.
    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 9th Nov 17, 11:25 AM
    • 2,308 Posts
    • 2,751 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    The period for filing a defence
    15.4
    (1) The general rule is that the period for filing a defence is !!!8211;
    (a) 14 days after service of the particulars of claim; or
    (b) if the defendant files an acknowledgment of service under Part 10, 28 days after service of the particulars of claim.
    (Rule 7.4 provides for the particulars of claim to be contained in or served with the claim form or served within 14 days of service of the claim form)

    They werent served until the 28th. Guess when your defence is due?
    But only if you tell the court
    And send the CEL letters youve been told to, which ask them to explain their backdating, late service (if applicable), and to send their cert of service.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 13th Nov 17, 12:16 AM
    • 56,325 Posts
    • 69,938 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    If the POC were backdated, 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!

    And if you didn't send the CCBC a complaint please send one by email quickly now to Amanda Beck, even if you haven't got the envelope you can state as fact the backdating issue and when the POC actually arrived.
    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.

    • Shimzoo
    • By Shimzoo 8th Jan 18, 3:32 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    Shimzoo
    I wanted to send a quick message to say thank you very much for your guidance everyone. I have just received a letter from Civil Enforcement Ltd where they advise they are no longer pursuing this. What a load of hassle!! You guys were brilliant. Thank you! Thank you!!
    • claxtome
    • By claxtome 8th Jan 18, 3:43 PM
    • 559 Posts
    • 651 Thanks
    claxtome
    Great news
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 9th Jan 18, 1:24 AM
    • 56,325 Posts
    • 69,938 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    I wanted to send a quick message to say thank you very much for your guidance everyone. I have just received a letter from Civil Enforcement Ltd where they advise they are no longer pursuing this. What a load of hassle!! You guys were brilliant. Thank you! Thank you!!
    Originally posted by Shimzoo
    Yay, hooray and well done!

    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.

    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 9th Jan 18, 3:14 PM
    • 2,005 Posts
    • 3,332 Thanks
    Loadsofchildren123
    Shimzoo, if you want to help the hotel, refer the manager to this thread:


    http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=117947


    If the contract was not properly signed under S.44 of the Companies Act then it's invalid and he can get rid of CEL, which would be rather satisfying revenge for you. If the contract isn't valid, they are trespassing.
    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 9th Jan 18, 3:17 PM
    • 2,005 Posts
    • 3,332 Thanks
    Loadsofchildren123
    Also, even though they've discontinued, you could still ask for a costs order.


    have a look at the last few posts on this thread (another CEL case):
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5670502


    You could do a letter based on peperlini's and see if it gets you anything? Nothing ventured, nothing gained. You'll need to adapt it to your particular circumstances of course.
    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.
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