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  • FIRST POST
    • Beehj84
    • By Beehj84 23rd Mar 18, 3:07 PM
    • 28Posts
    • 9Thanks
    Beehj84
    Should I just give in and pay (details in post)
    • #1
    • 23rd Mar 18, 3:07 PM
    Should I just give in and pay (details in post) 23rd Mar 18 at 3:07 PM
    I have in my hands a letter from Civil Enforcement LTD stating "despite various communications your debt remains outstanding" ... and notifying that they're instructing 3rd party collection agents etc. Back story:

    So stupidly I appealed to the company when I received the original charge, then went onto the POPLA appeal. I had already admitted to driving the car - I provided evidence of what happened (couldn't reach their phone service to pay despite multiple call attempts, called and got through later and paid full daily amount of £2.50 ... apparently it was my responsibility to leave and use other location due to not being able to pay) ... denied on multiple grounds, they cited that popular Beavis court case and a wealth of evidence really just showing that I was in the car park and that other people were able to pay at the same time so it's supposedly my fault yada yada yada.

    Anyway, I just ignored them after that. Figured I would go to court and have my say at the very least. I'm indignant at their actions. They're absolute thieving crooks, scum of the earth. I can't believe they manage to sleep at night.

    They lost nothing, received full payment from me each time I've used the carpark (I've even paid one of their £60 fines in the past before learning of this resource simply because I made the payment 25 mins late after arriving - forgetting due to an incoming phone call).

    So I'm at the end of my tether ... I wish I could just go to court with them tomorrow and duke it out. I don't think Beavis applies at all to the situation - the car park is always half empty, by a railway line, and has a flat daily rate of £2.50 which I always paid. They're fundamentally different scenarios. Additionally, the company lost nothing, in any capacity. It's purely predatory.

    Unfortunately I'm also about to move house with a new mortgage and I don't want any of this to come back and bite me. So I'm thinking of just paying the fine on a monthly payment basis and being done with it. Lesson learned. I'll never, ever, ever use them again and should really send them a nice package full of doggy excrement through the mail to say thanks.

    I will be writing complaints in every place I can find, and will be appealing to all political sources to reign in these malicious gutter scum.

    But have I screwed up my potential to win the case, and should I just pay it now? It's gone up to £140 ...

    If I'm going to pay, I need to pay today. £11 per month for 12 months? It sucks but it'll be over with eventually. My guts just turn and wrench in response to the idea of giving these trashy morally bankrupt sharks even a cent.

    Help! What should I do?
Page 2
    • The Deep
    • By The Deep 6th Nov 18, 2:38 PM
    • 10,951 Posts
    • 10,912 Thanks
    The Deep
    So the claim is for 260 odd pounds,

    This is tantamount to fraud imo, a lot more than the law allows. The solicitors know this but hope to sucker you into paying.

    Even if they won their claim in court, which is unlikely as it looks as though no contract was ever entered into, the most a judge is likely to award would be £175 - £200, the rest is think of a number money.

    I suggest that you complain to the regulatory body, the SRA about this demand for unlawful costs.

    http://www.sra.org.uk/home/home.page
    You never know how far you can go until you go too far.
    • Beehj84
    • By Beehj84 6th Nov 18, 3:05 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Beehj84
    You've had the Claim Form for over three weeks now.
    You can post up your draft Defence for critique if you wish.
    Did you do the AoS before last Tuesday?
    You now have just one week to finalise your Defence - still plenty of time.
    Originally posted by KeithP
    Thanks for the on going replies KeithP. Appreciated.

    I have had the form for 3 weeks now. I posted the AoS within the first week started reading for my defence, and then had a long overdue weeks holiday to visit family, and have continued reading over the weekend.

    I was using the pre-constructed defense in the thread I linked in my last comment above (as much as I could link with my account restrictions anyway). I'll not post it in its entirety due to privacy, so I'm currently using it as a template and removing things which don't seem to apply.

    I'm just looking for some guidance that this is the correct pathway before I invest hours more into the wrong thing, which will kill my inspiration for the task. I struggle with some mental health idiosyncrasies (as previously mentioned) and I'm finding this whole thing a little tough.
    • Beehj84
    • By Beehj84 6th Nov 18, 3:16 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Beehj84
    So the claim is for 260 odd pounds,

    This is tantamount to fraud imo, a lot more than the law allows. The solicitors know this but hope to sucker you into paying.

    Even if they won their claim in court, which is unlikely as it looks as though no contract was ever entered into, the most a judge is likely to award would be £175 - £200, the rest is think of a number money.

    I suggest that you complain to the regulatory body, the SRA about this demand for unlawful costs.

    http://www.sra.org.uk/home/home.page
    Originally posted by The Deep
    I'm hoping it will be a lot less than even 175-200 quid frankly. But yes, it's definitely tantamount to fraud IMO. The total amount claimed from the court document is 334 pounds! Outrageous.

    I will definitely make a complaint to the SRA, perhaps as soon as I've finished my defence.
    • tboo
    • By tboo 6th Nov 18, 7:48 PM
    • 784 Posts
    • 4,224 Thanks
    tboo
    what this one


    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5659621


    that is dated 04/06/2017


    you need to put the defence you will be sending up on the thread so it can be critiqued upon
    Started on the No Clutter thread - 25/01/2018
    “You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don't worry and be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” —Walter Hagen
    Mortgage free 2/07/18. 9 years early

    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 6th Nov 18, 7:53 PM
    • 64,896 Posts
    • 77,451 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    You could either adapt that older one (it's not bad at all) or use bargepole's concise templates in the NEWBIES thread that he wrote in 2018, which can be adapted to show your facts. Nice and short and to the point.
    • IamEmanresu
    • By IamEmanresu 7th Nov 18, 6:00 AM
    • 3,783 Posts
    • 6,224 Thanks
    IamEmanresu
    To keep it simple, the defence was that you paid but your attempts to pay were frustrated by the Claimant's payment system. You simply show the call records from the day to show your attempts.

    Anything else is just waffle and against the court's overriding objectives to narrow the issues.
    If you want to win - avoid losing first. Here are a few examples
    1. Failing to RTFM - the Civil Procedure Rules
    2. Failing to Acknowledge or Defend- See #1
    3. Failing to RTFCL - the Court letters
    4. Template defences that say nothing - See #1
    5. Forgetting about the Witness Statement - See #3
    • Beehj84
    • By Beehj84 9th Nov 18, 5:18 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Beehj84
    Thank you all for your ongoing help.

    what this one
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5659621
    that is dated 04/06/2017
    you need to put the defence you will be sending up on the thread so it can be critiqued upon
    Originally posted by tboo
    That's the one I had started adapting, yes. I will be posting the defense here today, and hoping to send it off tomorrow.

    You could either adapt that older one (it's not bad at all) or use bargepole's concise templates in the NEWBIES thread that he wrote in 2018, which can be adapted to show your facts. Nice and short and to the point.
    Originally posted by Coupon-mad
    Do you mean this one? https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showpost.php?p=74674865&postcount=24

    To keep it simple, the defence was that you paid but your attempts to pay were frustrated by the Claimant's payment system. You simply show the call records from the day to show your attempts.

    Anything else is just waffle and against the court's overriding objectives to narrow the issues.
    Originally posted by IamEmanresu
    Okay, I'm redoing the concise one linked above with this point at the centre.

    Are you sure that is the argument to use? The Claimants have evidence of other people paying using the phone system to pay at around the same time period, and I only have a screen shot of my call log showing failed calls and then the successful call and payment made a few hours later. The claimants "refute my claim" that I tried to call in their POPLA documents. I would think that at a certain point they should have to explain why I would construct this elaborate conspiracy to not-pay £2.50 for a few hours before eventually paying the full daily rate anyway.

    I'm still finding this whole process incredibly difficult - and has driven my depression and anxiety off the charts
    • Beehj84
    • By Beehj84 9th Nov 18, 5:31 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Beehj84
    Okay, so trying to keep things as concise as possible, and using the concise template (adding in my defense at point 7 and 9 for the costs - should I include court and solicitor fees, as the total is 334.28?):

    IN THE COUNTY COURT

    CLAIM No: xxxxxxxxxx

    BETWEEN:

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX LTD (Claimant)

    -and-

    xxxxxxxxxxxx (Defendant)

    ________________________________________
    DEFENCE
    ________________________________________

    1. The Defendant denies that the Claimant is entitled to relief in the sum claimed, or at all.

    2. The facts are that the vehicle, registration XXXX, of which the Defendant was the registered keeper, was parked on the material date in a marked bay at XXXX, and had a valid permit to be parked in that bay.

    3. The Particulars of Claim state that the Defendant XXXXXXX was the registered keeper and/or the driver of the vehicle XXXXXXX;. These assertions indicate that the Claimant has failed to identify a Cause of Action, and is simply offering a menu of choices. As such, the Claim fails to comply with Civil Procedure Rule 16.4, or with Civil Practice Direction 16, paras. 7.3 to 7.5. Further, the particulars of the claim do not meet the requirements of Practice Direction 16 7.5 as there is nothing which specifies how the terms were breached.

    4. Due to the sparseness of the particulars, it is unclear as to what legal basis the claim is brought, whether for breach of contract, contractual liability, or trespass. However, it is denied that the Defendant, or any driver of the vehicle, entered into any contractual agreement with the Claimant, whether express, implied, or by conduct.

    5. Further and in the alternative, it is denied that the claimant's signage sets out the terms in a sufficiently clear manner which would be capable of binding any reasonable person reading them. They merely state that vehicles must be parked correctly within their allocated parking bay, giving no definition of the term 'correctly parked', nor indicating which bays are allocated to whom.

    6. The terms on the Claimant's signage are also displayed in a font which is too small to be read from a passing vehicle, and is in such a position that anyone attempting to read the tiny font would be unable to do so easily. It is, therefore, denied that the Claimant's signage is capable of creating a legally binding contract.

    7. The Defendant attempted to pay but was frustrated by the Claimant’s payment system, which was unreachable by the Defendant at the time of entry. Further, no alternative payment methods like the obvious cash-based pay and display system were available for use. The full daily rate was paid a matter of hours after entry regardless – no attempt to avoid responsibility of payment was made.

    8. The Claimant is put to strict proof that it has sufficient proprietary interest in the land, or that it has the necessary authorisation from the landowner to issue parking charge notices, and to pursue payment by means of litigation.

    9. The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, Schedule 4, at Section 4(5) states that the maximum sum that may be recovered from the keeper is the charge stated on the Notice to Keeper, in this case £100. The claim includes an additional £159.28, for which no calculation or explanation is given, and which appears to be an attempt at double recovery.

    10. In summary, it is the Defendant's position that the claim discloses no cause of action, is without merit, and has no real prospect of success. Accordingly, the Court is invited to strike out the claim of its own initiative, using its case management powers pursuant to CPR 3.4.

    I believe the facts contained in this Defence are true.

    Name
    Signature
    Date
    • Beehj84
    • By Beehj84 11th Nov 18, 10:58 AM
    • 28 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Beehj84
    So does anyone have some suggestions regarding the above defence? I don't feel like that's sufficient at all - am I way off base here?

    Cheers
    • Beehj84
    • By Beehj84 12th Nov 18, 10:02 AM
    • 28 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Beehj84
    So I pretty much have to send whatever I have today. Any suggestions at all will be deeply appreciated at this point. Feeling pretty concerned with it all at this point frankly ...
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 12th Nov 18, 10:30 AM
    • 4,114 Posts
    • 4,983 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    Yeah, it was a weekend.
    Not eveyrone is around on a weekend

    Why are you feeling concerned? Given this is YOUR defence, you need to be comfortable with it. I doubt if you are concerned it i sabout every element, so be specific. Noones going to go through a whole defence to work out what we think you might have an issue with. Waste of time.
    • Beehj84
    • By Beehj84 12th Nov 18, 12:25 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Beehj84
    Yeah, it was a weekend.
    Not eveyrone is around on a weekend

    Why are you feeling concerned? Given this is YOUR defence, you need to be comfortable with it. I doubt if you are concerned it i sabout every element, so be specific. Noones going to go through a whole defence to work out what we think you might have an issue with. Waste of time.
    Originally posted by nosferatu1001
    Thanks for the reply - I realised that people might not be around, but I thought I would add comments across a timeline anyway, just in case. I didn't expect people to reply immediately of course, and I appreciate any response and help.

    I'm concerned because it feels thin, and small, and I'm not confident that merely changing some details on the template and adding in point 7 is sufficient.

    I'm also concerned that the template includes arguments which the claimant has already rebutted in their POPLA package, and whether I should be adding more detail to respond to all of those points, or whether to simplify the argument down to a specific point (considering the rest all "waffle" as IamEmanresu said).

    I'm not confident with "legal-ese" and I'm worried that I'm not covering things conclusively enough, leaving gaps for these litigious sharks to attack. And I'm thus really concerned that I'm going to lose based on legal technicalities, even though any reasonable and justice-minded analysis would dismiss this off-hand. The sheer amount of legal arguments they used against me in the POPLA appeal were overwhelming, and gave the impression of "brute-forcing" the issue, covering every conceivable angle to paint me as culpable ...

    ... which all helps to make me, the defendant, forget that they're actually arguing for their right to fine me over and above and despite me paying their entire daily charge for parking on the day.
    Last edited by Beehj84; 12-11-2018 at 12:29 PM.
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 12th Nov 18, 12:33 PM
    • 4,114 Posts
    • 4,983 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    As you have identified the driver, point 9 *cannot* apply. It provides protection only to a Keeper-defendant, not a driver defendant

    It covers standing, signage and that the full amount was paid as soon as was reasonably practicable, and before a charge notice was discovered on the vehcile / sent through the post. As such no ill intent can be construed, and any breach is de minimis and should not have been brought to court.
    • Beehj84
    • By Beehj84 12th Nov 18, 1:15 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Beehj84
    As you have identified the driver, point 9 *cannot* apply. It provides protection only to a Keeper-defendant, not a driver defendant

    It covers standing, signage and that the full amount was paid as soon as was reasonably practicable, and before a charge notice was discovered on the vehcile / sent through the post. As such no ill intent can be construed, and any breach is de minimis and should not have been brought to court.
    Originally posted by nosferatu1001
    Thank you very much. I've made some amendments - does that look sufficient? Is it a mistake to add the bit about MPs in point 9?

    ________________________________________
    DEFENCE
    ________________________________________

    1. The Defendant denies that the Claimant is entitled to relief in the sum claimed, or at all.

    2. The facts are that the vehicle, registration XXXX, of which the Defendant was the registered keeper, was parked on the material date in a marked bay at XXXX, and had a valid permit to be parked in that bay.

    3. The Particulars of Claim state that the Defendant XXXXXXX was the registered keeper and/or the driver of the vehicle XXXXXXX;. These assertions indicate that the Claimant has failed to identify a Cause of Action, and is simply offering a menu of choices. As such, the Claim fails to comply with Civil Procedure Rule 16.4, or with Civil Practice Direction 16, paras. 7.3 to 7.5. Further, the particulars of the claim do not meet the requirements of Practice Direction 16 7.5 as there is nothing which specifies how the terms were breached.

    4. Due to the sparseness of the particulars, it is unclear as to what legal basis the claim is brought, whether for breach of contract, contractual liability, or trespass. However, it is denied that the Defendant, or any driver of the vehicle, entered into any contractual agreement with the Claimant, whether express, implied, or by conduct.

    5. Further and in the alternative, it is denied that the claimant's signage sets out the terms in a sufficiently clear manner which would be capable of binding any reasonable person reading them. They merely state that vehicles must be parked correctly within their allocated parking bay, giving no definition of the term 'correctly parked', nor indicating which bays are allocated to whom.

    6. The terms on the Claimant's signage are also displayed in a font which is too small to be read from a passing vehicle, and is in such a position that anyone attempting to read the tiny font would be unable to do so easily. It is, therefore, denied that the Claimant's signage is capable of creating a legally binding contract.

    7. The Defendant attempted to pay but was frustrated by the Claimant’s payment system, which was unreachable by the Defendant at the time of entry. Further, no alternative payment methods like the obvious cash-based pay and display system were available for use within the facility. The full daily rate for the vehicle in question was paid a matter of hours after entry regardless – no attempt to avoid responsibility of payment occurred.

    8. Given the full daily rate was paid as soon as was reasonably practical by the defendant, and before any charge notice was sent through the post, no such ill intent can be construed and any breach is therefore de minimis and should not have been brought to court at all.

    9. That this case has been brought to the court at all is evidence of what MPs in Parliament concerning the unregulated parking industry in February 2018 referred to as “rip-offs from car park cowboys” which “must stop”, including “unfair treatment, signage deliberately confusing to ensure a PCN is issued” and “years of abuse by rogue parking companies” which resulted in a unanimous conclusion; “we need to crack down on these rogue companies. They are an absolute disgrace to this country. Ordinary motorists and ordinary residents should not have to put up with this”.

    10.The Claimant is put to strict proof that it has sufficient proprietary interest in the land, or that it has the necessary authorisation from the landowner to issue parking charge notices, and to pursue payment by means of litigation.

    11. In summary, it is the Defendant's position that the claim discloses no cause of action, is without merit, and has no real prospect of success. Accordingly, the Court is invited to strike out the claim of its own initiative, using its case management powers pursuant to CPR 3.4.

    I believe the facts contained in this Defence are true.

    Name
    Signature
    Date
    • Beehj84
    • By Beehj84 12th Nov 18, 1:57 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Beehj84
    Also, when I put through the defence through MCOL, will I need to include my evidence then, or am I correct in thinking (as per the Newbies thread) that I need to wait for the court response to enter my evidence and witness statement and the like?

    Will a locked .pdf copy of the above defence note (once finalised) be sufficient at this time to lodge my defence?
    • Weasel_Watcher
    • By Weasel_Watcher 12th Nov 18, 2:27 PM
    • 56 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    Weasel_Watcher
    Have you investigated the matter of Landowner Authority at all? Doesn't seem to be anything about that in your defence. You should put the operator to strict proof of full compliance with the BPA code of practice.



    You said in one of your earlier posts that the car park was near to a railway. Is it possible that the land is owned by a ToC?
    • Beehj84
    • By Beehj84 12th Nov 18, 2:36 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Beehj84
    Have you investigated the matter of Landowner Authority at all? Doesn't seem to be anything about that in your defence. You should put the operator to strict proof of full compliance with the BPA code of practice.

    You said in one of your earlier posts that the car park was near to a railway. Is it possible that the land is owned by a ToC?
    Originally posted by Weasel_Watcher
    Hi Weasel_Watcher - great name! Thanks for the reply too.

    I'm not sure of the Landowner Authority, but doesn't point 10 in the defence cover that? I'm not sure who owns the land or how to find out. I see here: (https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-property-and-land/search-the-index-map) that you can chase this down, though it takes a week and I really need to submit the defence before EoD today.

    The car park in question is next to Crawley station, but separate from the parking actually "attached" to the Station (it's hard to explain, because there are 3 separate ones around the station - this one is the furthest away, and cheapest ... at least until they start pulling all of this behaviour).

    Re: "You should put the operator to strict proof of full compliance with the BPA code of practice" - I'm not sure what you mean exactly. Is that another point I should be adding to the defence list?

    Is it even worth it? Seems to me that POPLA and BPA and all of these systems in place allegedly to support the consumer are simply tools for abuse by these cowboys. I couldn't possibly believe that POPLA are operating under anything BUT a conflict of interest given they're paid for by the parking companies they're supposedly helping regulate/oversee.
    Last edited by Beehj84; 12-11-2018 at 2:40 PM.
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 12th Nov 18, 3:27 PM
    • 11,195 Posts
    • 11,760 Thanks
    KeithP
    Also, when I put through the defence through MCOL...
    Originally posted by Beehj84
    Defence through MCOL?
    Please re-read post #18 above.


    ...will I need to include my evidence then, or am I correct in thinking (as per the Newbies thread) that I need to wait for the court response to enter my evidence and witness statement and the like?
    Originally posted by Beehj84
    As per the NEWBIES thread, Witness Statement and evidence comes later.


    Will a locked .pdf copy of the above defence note (once finalised) be sufficient at this time to lodge my defence?
    Originally posted by Beehj84
    Yes - as per post #18 above.
    .
    • Beehj84
    • By Beehj84 12th Nov 18, 3:37 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Beehj84
    Defence through MCOL?
    Please re-read post #18 above.

    As per the NEWBIES thread, Witness Statement and evidence comes later.

    Yes - as per post #18 above.
    Originally posted by KeithP
    Thank you for the clarifications - I will be sure to send through the defence as per your instructions in Post #18.

    Given the submission date is tomorrow at 4pm, I will be attempting to email the defence ASAP now. I will email it through and then be checking to ensure it was received throughout the day, and will call after lunch if necessary.
    Last edited by Beehj84; 12-11-2018 at 3:41 PM.
    • Beehj84
    • By Beehj84 12th Nov 18, 3:39 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Beehj84
    Since we're now focusing on the method of submission, am I correct in inferring that the defence as outlined above in Post #34 is now ready?
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