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  • FIRST POST
    • jaran92
    • By jaran92 28th Mar 18, 9:14 PM
    • 22Posts
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    jaran92
    LINK PARKING - 'County Court Claim Form' Received
    • #1
    • 28th Mar 18, 9:14 PM
    LINK PARKING - 'County Court Claim Form' Received 28th Mar 18 at 9:14 PM
    Hello,

    A driver of my car was issued a PCN in later November of last year. It was for 'Link Parking' and was a private residential area. Ultimately, it was completely undeserved - the driver parked in an area in front of a property they were staying in for work which showed no signage or lines on the road. There was a sign the other side of the road some way down but that showed no indication of the area the vehicle was parked in being subject to those terms (I have plenty of photos that were taken at the time).

    From that point, slightly stupidly, the ticket was ignored as it was so ridiculous and un-enforcable and subsequently was totally forgotten about.
    I received a NTK from them dated the 26th December (Apparently parking charges don't rest for Christmas!) which I ignored (Please don't tell me off, I was incredibly busy!)
    I then heard nothing further until now. I have actually been away with work and returned to find a 'Letter Before Claim' from the infamous Gladstones Solicitors now demanding 160. This was dated the 20th February - I just returned home a couple of days ago to find this and today I received a 'County Court Claim Form' for the charge dated yesterday...

    I have read the Newbie sticky about forming a defence to a Claim Form but I wanted to just check what everyones current opinion is on how to tackle this - as there seems to be some conflicting thoughts on the posts I am reading.
    Just also to note, the Claim Form shows the 'Claimant' as Link Parking Limited, but the 'Address for sending documents and payments' as Gladstones Solicitors.

    What is everyones thoughts?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by jaran92; 30-03-2018 at 9:55 PM. Reason: Accuracy
Page 1
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 28th Mar 18, 9:21 PM
    • 9,224 Posts
    • 9,416 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #2
    • 28th Mar 18, 9:21 PM
    • #2
    • 28th Mar 18, 9:21 PM
    My thoughts are:

    You need to defend this. That's all there is to it really.
    Start by doing the Acknowledgement of Service as described, in pictures, in the NEWBIES thread.


    If you want any help with that then you'll need to read post #2 of the NEWBIES FAQ sticky thread.
    What 'conflicting thoughts' have you seen there?
    .
    • Redx
    • By Redx 28th Mar 18, 9:24 PM
    • 19,239 Posts
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    Redx
    • #3
    • 28th Mar 18, 9:24 PM
    • #3
    • 28th Mar 18, 9:24 PM
    the only conflict I can think of is defending as a driver and not as a keeper

    as you have ignored all correspondence until now then that is your first decision to make , and the permission to park (or not) could be the deciding factor

    either way, you should draft the defence for now based on the nearest examples linked in that NEWBIES sticky thread and post the draft on here for critique

    signage may play a key part in this (or lack of) and that adds weight to a driver defence argument

    POFA2012 is the only real argument for a keeper defence

    LINK PARKING comes up regularly for court claims so read a few of those too
    Newbies !!
    Private Parking ticket? check the 2 sticky threads by coupon-mad and crabman in the Parking Tickets, Fines & Parking Board forum for the latest advice or maybe try pepipoo or C.A.G. or legal beagles forums if you need legal advice as well because this parking forum is not about debt collectors or legal matters per se
    • jaran92
    • By jaran92 28th Mar 18, 9:25 PM
    • 22 Posts
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    jaran92
    • #4
    • 28th Mar 18, 9:25 PM
    • #4
    • 28th Mar 18, 9:25 PM
    Hi Keith,

    Thank you - I'll go through the acknowledgment of service now. And then will start a draft defence and post back here for thoughts.

    When I say conflicting thoughts - bad wording - just more my confusion on the route to go down with a defence when reading linked threads - not the sticky itself.

    Thanks again!
    • The Deep
    • By The Deep 28th Mar 18, 10:10 PM
    • 9,997 Posts
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    The Deep
    • #5
    • 28th Mar 18, 10:10 PM
    • #5
    • 28th Mar 18, 10:10 PM
    This is an entirely unregulated industry which is scamming the public with inflated claims for minor breaches of contracts for alleged parking offences, aided and abetted by a handful of low-rent solicitors.

    Parking Eye, CPM, Smart, and another company have already been named and shamed, as has Gladstones Solicitors, and BW Legal, (these two law firms take hundreds of these cases to court each year). They lose most of them, and have been reported to the regulatory authority by an M.P. for unprofessional conduct

    Hospital car parks and residential complex tickets have been especially mentioned.

    The problem has become so rampant that MPs have agreed to enact a Bill to regulate these scammers. Watch the video of the Second Reading in the HofC recently.

    http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/2f0384f2-eba5-4fff-ab07-cf24b6a22918?in=12:49:41

    and complain in the most robust terms to your MP. With a fair wind they will be out of business by Christmas.
    You never know how far you can go until you go too far.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 28th Mar 18, 10:15 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    • #6
    • 28th Mar 18, 10:15 PM
    • #6
    • 28th Mar 18, 10:15 PM
    I parked in an area in front of a property I was staying in for work which showed no signage or lines on the road. There was a sign the other side of the road some way down but that showed no indication of the area I was parked in being subject to those terms (I have plenty of photos I took at the time).
    Sounds well worth defending at your local court, and we do see posters beat Gladstones 99% of the time, when they stick around and realise it's more than just sending a defence in by email to the court.

    There's a bit more paperwork than that, and your evidence/photos will go with your WS, later.

    No risk in defending a case, no-one should pay these. Show us your draft defence once you've done the AOS, assuming the Defendant is you, not a family member, etc.
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 30-03-2018 at 9:12 PM.
    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.

    • jaran92
    • By jaran92 30th Mar 18, 8:35 PM
    • 22 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    jaran92
    • #7
    • 30th Mar 18, 8:35 PM
    • #7
    • 30th Mar 18, 8:35 PM
    Hi All,

    Thanks for your help so far. I've done my acknowledgment of service and have drafted a response. It is very much based on those already seen on the forum and in the sticky. Should I be looking at changing this more? It is all very relevant to my case and seems so well written that it seems silly to start from scratch! See below:

    Emitted
    Last edited by jaran92; 30-03-2018 at 11:13 PM. Reason: Clarity
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 30th Mar 18, 8:54 PM
    • 9,224 Posts
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    KeithP
    • #8
    • 30th Mar 18, 8:54 PM
    • #8
    • 30th Mar 18, 8:54 PM
    Link Parking Ltd and First Parking Limited are both mentioned in there.

    There is no mention of the October 2017 Pre-Action Protocols for Debt Claims. Did your LBC comply with that?

    I think you might be able to find a more up to date, and therefore more suitable, Defence. Look at a few from the NEWBIES thread.
    .
    • jaran92
    • By jaran92 30th Mar 18, 9:06 PM
    • 22 Posts
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    jaran92
    • #9
    • 30th Mar 18, 9:06 PM
    • #9
    • 30th Mar 18, 9:06 PM
    Oops sorry - First Parking are the firm at where I used to work! Link Parking is the company in question.

    Okay thanks, I'll add something on that and i'll look through some others in the sticky and make some adjustments.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 30th Mar 18, 9:34 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    Statement of Defence
    should just be Defence
    Independent Parking Committee
    should be International Parking Community.

    And if Gladstones sent a LBC in 2018, then it was probably compliant with the PAP, so not worth mentioning in a defence, IMHO.

    5. It is not admitted that on ******* the Defendant's vehicle was parked at ********.
    Is this what you really want to say, deny it was there at all? There will be evidence in the form of photos, so usually - unless your car really was not there - this will not help your defence. Do not say such things!

    5.1. The Claimant has provided no evidence, photographic or otherwise that the vehicle is indeed parked and not waiting / giving way to pedestrians or vehicles.
    Again, is this what you really want to say? If you are at all aware of the event, is it likely the car would look like it was 'giving way' i.e. in the middle of the road with a driver sitting in it? If not, don't say this.

    6. It is denied that the Defendant was the driver of the vehicle. The Claimant is put to strict proof.
    Oooh, be careful, this is court. Really? DENIED? Yet the Defendant who denies being the driver, goes on to say:

    9.1.1. At the time of the material events the signage was deficient in number, distribution, wording and lighting to reasonably convey a contractual obligation;

    9.2. The Defendant avers that the signage was so woefully inadequate that even upon receiving the 'Parking Charge Notice' from the Claimant, the Defendant was still unable to find any relevant signage anywhere within the vicinity of the vehicle and had to spend some time looking for it.

    9.3 At the time of the material events, there were also no signs at the entrance to the parking area.
    And I read through that defence fairly closely and could find nothing at all to tell me what the event was about, or what your defence position really is. You should be saying what actually happened and what right the driver had to park there, if they did.

    Talk about the fact the driver was staying there, was fully authorised to park and there was no obligation to display a permit. And that there were no signs/lines at all on that part of the road. It was not a car park, looked like an unrestricted road and any circumspect driver knows that signs on the opposite sign of the carriageway NEVER relate to the side where you are parked.

    You don't deny being the driver if you were!

    Either defend it honestly as the driver, so you can talk about the event and signs openly in court, or defend it as keeper (edit your opening post above so the info you gave us isn't spotted by the PPC and used against you in court) and talk about the driver in the third person and put the Claimant to strict proof of the driver's identity and that they fully complied with the POFA 2012 Schedule 4, in order to transfer liability to the keeper.

    For this reason:
    received a NTK from them dated the 26th December
    I would be VERY tempted to defend this as registered keeper, and point out that the NTK cannot POSSIBLY, not even in PPC World la-la land, have been posted on Boxing Day. There is no way the PPC's office was open that day, and even if it was and some sad PPC git was churning out PCNs because they have nothing better to do in life, they cannot POSSIBLY have put those in the Royal Mail system on Boxing Day. The POFA schedule 4 even clarifies working days only, count, when talking about the date sent or served.

    Therefore apart from any other failings (e.g. inadequate notice of the parking charge on sparse signage, no relevant obligation or relevant contract) the NTK is not compliant with paragraph 8 of Schedule 4 because it fails to communicate the date of sending.

    When did you receive the NTK, before or after the New Year?

    What date was the parking event, first week in November, or later?
    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.

    • jaran92
    • By jaran92 30th Mar 18, 9:51 PM
    • 22 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    jaran92
    Thanks for all that - I totally agree with you looking at it more closely that I'm not being concise. I think I'm overcomplicating what I need to be saying in my head when as you say I just need to state the facts.

    I agree that this may be the better course of defending it.
    I can't remember when the NTK arrived as I was away working still around Christmas. I believe it arrived while I was away and I came back on the 2nd Jan so I suspect it was before new year.

    The parking event as listed on the NTK was the 21st November - so later!
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 30th Mar 18, 10:07 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    OK so the NTK was posted in time, BUT despite meeting the deadline (big deal), it still has no statutory 'date sent' on it, as a fact. So if it were me I would not imply who was driving, and would use the POFA as well as the sparse signage/opposite side of the carriageway argument.

    You might be able to find something (Highway Code?) that supports the assertion that signs over the other side of the road NEVER apply, because in real life/on public highway, they never do. So any ordinary driver would know that, and the road was unmarked so the driver was correct to park there.

    Hope you have photos for the WS stage (photos do not go with the defence, nothing does).
    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.

    • jaran92
    • By jaran92 30th Mar 18, 10:43 PM
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    jaran92
    Yes I do have plenty of photos. They clearly show that there is no signs at all where the car is parked and you can see the tiny signs on the opposite side of the road attached to a lamppost but totally unreadable.

    I'm drafting a new version now. Just going back to the Pre-Action Protocols angle - having looked at the guidelines it does state that they should:

    (b) do one of the following !!!8211;
    (i) enclose an up-to-date statement of account for the debt, which should include details of any interest and administrative or other charges added;
    (ii) enclose the most recent statement of account for the debt and state in the Letter of Claim the amount of interest incurred and any administrative or other charges imposed since that statement of account was issued, sufficient to bring it up to date; or
    (iii) where no statements have been provided for the debt, state in the Letter of Claim the amount of interest incurred and any administrative or other charges imposed since the debt was incurred;
    enclose a copy of the Information Sheet and the Reply Form at Annex 1 to this Protocol; and
    enclose a Financial Statement form (an example Financial Statement is provided in Annex 2 to this protocol).
    (c) enclose a copy of the Information Sheet and the Reply Form at Annex 1 to this Protocol; and
    (d) enclose a Financial Statement form (an example Financial Statement is provided in Annex 2 to this protocol).
    Of which they did none... Also, the Claim Form is asking for 238.09 of which they've added interest, the court fee and Legal representatives costs on top of the original 160 which is what they have set out in the letter before claim.
    • jaran92
    • By jaran92 30th Mar 18, 11:13 PM
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    jaran92
    With the above in mind for now - I've started on that route of a defence. Think theres still potential to put in some more clarification and evidence that can help me. Also need to look into the Highway Code a bit further to see if anything else there can help me.

    See below:

    Defence

    In the County Court Business Centre
    Claim Number: ___

    Between:

    Link Parking Limited v ___

    Preliminary
    1. The particulars of claim are frankly embarrassing, do not provide enough details to file a full defence and are not clear and concise as required by CPR 16.4 1(a). Furthermore, they do not meet the requirements of Practice Direction 16 7.5 as there is nothing which specifies how the terms were breached.
    1.1. The Claimants are known to be serial issuers of generic so-called !!!8216;robo-claims!!!8217; similar to this one. HM Courts Service have identified over 1000 similar sparse claims.
    1.2. The Defendant reserves the right to seek from the Court permission to serve an Amended Defence should the Claimant add to or expand his Particulars at a later stage of these proceedings and/or to limit the Claimant only to the un-evidenced allegations in the Particulars.

    2. The Particulars of Claim fail to refer to the material terms of any contract and neither comply with the CPR 16 in respect of statements of case, nor the relevant practice direction in respect of claims formed by contract or conduct. The Defendant further notes the Claimant's failure to engage in pre-action correspondence in accordance with the latest pre-action protocol and with the express aim of avoiding contested litigation.

    3. The claimant failed to include a copy of their written contract as per Practice Direction 16 7.3(1) and Practice Direction 7C 1.4(3A). No indication is given as to the Claimants contractual authority to operate there as required by the Claimants Trade Association's Code of Practice B1.1.

    Background
    4. It is admitted that at the time of the alleged infringement the Defendant was the registered keeper of vehicle registration mark ****** which is the subject of these proceedings. The vehicle was insured with two named drivers permitted to use it.
    4.1. It is denied that the Defendant was the driver of the vehicle. The Claimant is put to strict proof.
    4.2. The Claimant has provided no evidence (in pre-action correspondence or otherwise) that the Defendant was the driver. The Defendant avers that the Claimant is therefore limited to pursuing the keeper in these proceedings under the provisions set out by statute in the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 ("POFA")

    5. The Claimant has at no time provided an explanation how the !!!8216;parking charge!!!8217; has been calculated, the conduct that gave rise to it or how the amount has escalated from 100 to 160. This appears to be an added cost with apparently no qualification and an attempt at double recovery, which the POFA Schedule 4 specifically disallows.
    5.1. The Protection of Freedom Act Para 4(5) states that the maximum sum that may be recovered from the keeper is the charge stated on the Notice to Keeper.
    5.2. The driver did not enter into any 'agreement on the charge', no consideration flowed between the parties and no contract was established.

    Failure to set out clear parking terms
    6. To outline, as can be shown in photo evidence, the driver in question parked on an unmarked section of road outside a place of residence while in the area with work. The side of the road the vehicle was parked on has no signage and as such, not being from the area and with no information to the contrary, the driver parked in this area.

    7. Therefore, through photo evidence it can be proved that the parking signage in this matter was woefully inadequate. Signage was deficient in number, distribution, wording and lighting to reasonably convey a contractual obligation. As such, this parking charge is not enforceable as per the POFA guidelines.

    8. The only signage that can be seen is on the opposite side of the road to where the vehicle was parked. The claimant cannot reasonably expect a driver to believe that signs on the other side of the road in a residential area, with no lines or other indications on the road where the vehicle was parked, is enforceable.
    8.1. The Highway Code, Section 2 (239) states that motorists should !!!8220;Use off-street parking areas, or bays marked out with white lines on the road as parking places, wherever possible.!!!8221; Without adequate signage otherwise, how can a driver reasonably be expected to pay a charge from a Private Company?

    Non-compliant correspondence
    9. The Defendant received a !!!8216;Notice to Keeper!!!8217; in relation to this charge dated the 26th December 2017. There is no way that the Claimant can reasonably expect it to be believed that this letter was sent on Boxing Day. Therefore, the NTK is not compliant with POFA Paragraph 8 of Schedule 4 because it fails to communicate the date of sending.

    10. The letter before claim is not compliant with the latest Pre-Action Protocol Clause 3.1 which states the creditor should:
    !!!8220;(b) do one of the following -
    (i) enclose an up-to-date statement of account for the debt, which should include details of any interest and administrative or other charges added;
    (ii) enclose the most recent statement of account for the debt and state in the Letter of Claim the amount of interest incurred and any administrative or other charges imposed since that statement of account was issued, sufficient to bring it up to date; or
    (iii) where no statements have been provided for the debt, state in the Letter of Claim the amount of interest incurred and any administrative or other charges imposed since the debt was incurred;
    enclose a copy of the Information Sheet and the Reply Form at Annex 1 to this Protocol; and
    enclose a Financial Statement form (an example Financial Statement is provided in Annex 2 to this protocol).
    (c) enclose a copy of the Information Sheet and the Reply Form at Annex 1 to this Protocol; and
    (d) enclose a Financial Statement form (an example Financial Statement is provided in Annex 2 to this protocol).!!!8221;
    None of the above were included with the letter before claim received and as such the Defendant cannot be expected to see it as a legitimate reason for a response.

    11. The Claimant has sent threatening and misleading demands which stated that further debt recovery action would be taken to recover what is owed by passing the debt to a recovery agent adding a further 60 of unexplained charges with no evidence of how they have been calculated.
    No figure for additional charges was 'agreed' nor could it have formed part of the alleged 'contract' because no such indemnity costs were quantified by clear signage. Terms cannot be added with figures plucked out of thin air, as if they were incorporated into the small print when they were not.
    11.1. The Defendant also disputes that the Claimant has incurred 50 !!!8220;legal representative costs!!!8221; to pursue an alleged 100 debt.
    11.2. The Claimant described the charge of 50.00 "legal representative!!!8217;s costs" not "contractual costs". CPR 27.14 does not permit these to be recovered in the Small Claims Court.
    11.3. The above, as well as the 3.09 interest outlined in the claim was not included in the Letter Before Claim document and therefore should not have been added.

    Wholly unreasonable and vexatious claim
    12. It is submitted that the conduct of the Claimant in pursuing this claim is wholly unreasonable and vexatious. As such, the Defendant is keeping careful note of all wasted time/costs in dealing with this matter and should the case continue to trial (or in the event of the Claimant filing a Notice of Discontinuance) the Defendant will seek further costs, pursuant to Civil Procedure Rule 27.14(2)(g).

    13. The Defendant respectfully suggests that parking companies using the small claims track as a form of aggressive monetary demand against motorists, alleging 'debts' for parking on unmarked areas of residential land is not something the Courts should be seen to support.

    14. The Court is invited to take Judicial Notice of the fact that the Claimant's solicitors Gladstones is engaged in a course of conduct which involves issuing tens of thousands of totally meritless Claims, which are routinely dismissed by District Judges sitting in this Court, and other County Court hearing centres in all parts of England & Wales. The Court is therefore invited to refer the matter to the Designated Civil Judge, for consideration of the issuing an Extended Civil Restraint Order against the Claimant, pursuant to CPR Practice Direction 3.1(3).

    15. The Defendant denies the claim in its entirety, voiding any liability to the Claimant for all amounts due to the aforementioned reasons. The Defendant asks that the court gives consideration to exercise its discretion to order the case to be struck out under CPR Rule 3.4, for want of a detailed cause of action and/or for the claim having no realistic prospects of success.

    16. If the court is not minded to make such an order, then when Directions are given, the Defendant asks that there is an order for sequential service of witness evidence (rather than exchange) because it is expected that the Claimant will use its witness statement to provide the sort of detail which should have been disclosed much earlier, and the Defendant should have the opportunity to consider it, prior to serving evidence and witness statements in support of this defence.


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

    Name:

    Signed:

    Date:
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 31st Mar 18, 12:03 AM
    • 3,429 Posts
    • 4,260 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    The Highway Code will not gave anything about signs for Parking , stopping etc. Look in the TMA2004 which should tell,you eg parking signs only apply on one side of the road.
    • IamEmanresu
    • By IamEmanresu 31st Mar 18, 6:43 AM
    • 3,268 Posts
    • 5,476 Thanks
    IamEmanresu
    Oops sorry - First Parking are the firm at where I used to work! Link Parking is the company in question.
    I think you should use that in support of your evidence. You are not an average Joe but someone that would have been aware of the requirements to convey the restrictions. You can talk authoritatively about Codes of Practice and the need to have clear signs and coherent rules communicated effectively.

    Your own words will be far more effective than a template.
    If you want to win - avoid losing first. Here are a few examples
    1. Failing to Acknowledge or Defend https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5760415
    2. Template defences that say nothing https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5818671&page=5#86
    3. Forgetting about the Witness Statement
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 31st Mar 18, 7:33 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    Doesn't the OP mean that F1rst were the PPC at the car park where they used to work, not that they worked for them?
    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.

    • jaran92
    • By jaran92 9th Apr 18, 9:40 PM
    • 22 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    jaran92
    Reply
    Yes - they were the PPC at where I used to work. I did not work for them personally.

    Sorry - I've gone quiet, been mega busy! Working more on my response now. Does anyone have any more thoughts on what I posted above?
    • jaran92
    • By jaran92 15th Apr 18, 5:42 PM
    • 22 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    jaran92
    Okay so: I'm not seeing any real guidance on signage legislation - but my latest version can be seen below. Do you all think I'm covering the right points enough there or is there anything more I should be saying at this stage?
    Thanks!

    Defence

    In the County Court Business Centre
    Claim Number: ___

    Between:

    Link Parking Limited v ___

    Preliminary
    1. The particulars of claim are frankly embarrassing, do not provide enough details to file a full defence and are not clear and concise as required by CPR 16.4 1(a). Furthermore, they do not meet the requirements of Practice Direction 16 7.5 as there is nothing which specifies how the terms were breached.
    1.1. The Claimants are known to be serial issuers of generic so-called !!!8216;robo-claims!!!8217; similar to this one. HM Courts Service have identified over 1000 similar sparse claims.
    1.2. The Defendant reserves the right to seek from the Court permission to serve an Amended Defence should the Claimant add to or expand his Particulars at a later stage of these proceedings and/or to limit the Claimant only to the un-evidenced allegations in the Particulars.

    2. The Particulars of Claim fail to refer to the material terms of any contract and neither comply with the CPR 16 in respect of statements of case, nor the relevant practice direction in respect of claims formed by contract or conduct. The Defendant further notes the Claimant's failure to engage in pre-action correspondence in accordance with the latest pre-action protocol and with the express aim of avoiding contested litigation.

    3. The claimant failed to include a copy of their written contract as per Practice Direction 16 7.3(1) and Practice Direction 7C 1.4(3A). No indication is given as to the Claimants contractual authority to operate there as required by the Claimants Trade Association's Code of Practice B1.1.

    Background
    4. It is admitted that at the time of the alleged infringement the Defendant was the registered keeper of vehicle registration mark ****** which is the subject of these proceedings. The vehicle was insured with two named drivers permitted to use it.
    4.1. It is denied that the Defendant was the driver of the vehicle. The Claimant is put to strict proof.
    4.2. The Claimant has provided no evidence (in pre-action correspondence or otherwise) that the Defendant was the driver. The Defendant avers that the Claimant is therefore limited to pursuing the keeper in these proceedings under the provisions set out by statute in the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 ("POFA")

    5. The Claimant has at no time provided an explanation how the !!!8216;parking charge!!!8217; has been calculated, the conduct that gave rise to it or how the amount has escalated from 100 to 160. This appears to be an added cost with apparently no qualification and an attempt at double recovery, which the POFA Schedule 4 specifically disallows.
    5.1. The Protection of Freedom Act Para 4(5) states that the maximum sum that may be recovered from the keeper is the charge stated on the Notice to Keeper.
    5.2. The driver did not enter into any 'agreement on the charge', no consideration flowed between the parties and no contract was established.

    Failure to set out clear parking terms
    6. To outline, as can be shown in photo evidence, the driver in question parked on an unmarked section of road outside a place of residence while in the area with work. The side of the road the vehicle was parked on has no signage and as such, not being from the area and with no information to the contrary, the driver parked in this area.

    7. Therefore, through photo evidence it can be proved that the parking signage in this matter was woefully inadequate. Signage was deficient in number, distribution, wording and lighting to reasonably convey a contractual obligation. As such, this parking charge is not enforceable as per the POFA guidelines.

    8. The only signage that can be seen is on the opposite side of the road to where the vehicle was parked. The claimant cannot reasonably expect a driver to believe that signs on the other side of the road in a residential area, with no lines or other indications on the road where the vehicle was parked, is enforceable.
    8.1. The Highway Code, Section 2 (239) states that motorists should !!!8220;Use off-street parking areas, or bays marked out with white lines on the road as parking places, wherever possible.!!!8221; Without adequate signage otherwise, how can a driver reasonably be expected to pay a charge from a Private Company?
    9. There were no visible markings on the road which would suggest a restriction to parking there. This combined with the lack of signage cannot surely mean that this charge can be seen as enforceable.

    Non-compliant correspondence
    10. The Defendant received a !!!8216;Notice to Keeper!!!8217; in relation to this charge dated the 26th December 2017. There is no way that the Claimant can reasonably expect it to be believed that this letter was sent on Boxing Day. Therefore, the NTK is not compliant with POFA Paragraph 8 of Schedule 4 because it fails to communicate the date of sending.

    11. The letter before claim is not compliant with the latest Pre-Action Protocol Clause 3.1 which states the creditor should:
    !!!8220;(b) do one of the following -
    (i) enclose an up-to-date statement of account for the debt, which should include details of any interest and administrative or other charges added;
    (ii) enclose the most recent statement of account for the debt and state in the Letter of Claim the amount of interest incurred and any administrative or other charges imposed since that statement of account was issued, sufficient to bring it up to date; or
    (iii) where no statements have been provided for the debt, state in the Letter of Claim the amount of interest incurred and any administrative or other charges imposed since the debt was incurred;
    enclose a copy of the Information Sheet and the Reply Form at Annex 1 to this Protocol; and
    enclose a Financial Statement form (an example Financial Statement is provided in Annex 2 to this protocol).
    (c) enclose a copy of the Information Sheet and the Reply Form at Annex 1 to this Protocol; and
    (d) enclose a Financial Statement form (an example Financial Statement is provided in Annex 2 to this protocol).!!!8221;
    None of the above were included with the letter before claim received and as such the Defendant cannot be expected to see it as a legitimate reason for a response.

    12. The Claimant has sent threatening and misleading demands which stated that further debt recovery action would be taken to recover what is owed by passing the debt to a recovery agent adding a further 60 of unexplained charges with no evidence of how they have been calculated.
    No figure for additional charges was 'agreed' nor could it have formed part of the alleged 'contract' because no such indemnity costs were quantified by clear signage. Terms cannot be added with figures plucked out of thin air, as if they were incorporated into the small print when they were not.
    12.1. The Defendant also disputes that the Claimant has incurred 50 !!!8220;legal representative costs!!!8221; to pursue an alleged 100 debt.
    12.2. The Claimant described the charge of 50.00 "legal representative!!!8217;s costs" not "contractual costs". CPR 27.14 does not permit these to be recovered in the Small Claims Court.
    12.3. The above, as well as the 3.09 interest outlined in the claim was not included in the Letter Before Claim document and therefore should not have been added.

    Wholly unreasonable and vexatious claim
    13. It is submitted that the conduct of the Claimant in pursuing this claim is wholly unreasonable and vexatious. As such, the Defendant is keeping careful note of all wasted time/costs in dealing with this matter and should the case continue to trial (or in the event of the Claimant filing a Notice of Discontinuance) the Defendant will seek further costs, pursuant to Civil Procedure Rule 27.14(2)(g).

    14. The Defendant respectfully suggests that parking companies using the small claims track as a form of aggressive monetary demand against motorists, alleging 'debts' for parking on unmarked areas of residential land is not something the Courts should be seen to support.

    15. The Court is invited to take Judicial Notice of the fact that the Claimant's solicitors Gladstones is engaged in a course of conduct which involves issuing tens of thousands of totally meritless Claims, which are routinely dismissed by District Judges sitting in this Court, and other County Court hearing centres in all parts of England & Wales. The Court is therefore invited to refer the matter to the Designated Civil Judge, for consideration of the issuing an Extended Civil Restraint Order against the Claimant, pursuant to CPR Practice Direction 3.1(3).

    16. The Defendant denies the claim in its entirety, voiding any liability to the Claimant for all amounts due to the aforementioned reasons. The Defendant asks that the court gives consideration to exercise its discretion to order the case to be struck out under CPR Rule 3.4, for want of a detailed cause of action and/or for the claim having no realistic prospects of success.

    17. If the court is not minded to make such an order, then when Directions are given, the Defendant asks that there is an order for sequential service of witness evidence (rather than exchange) because it is expected that the Claimant will use its witness statement to provide the sort of detail which should have been disclosed much earlier, and the Defendant should have the opportunity to consider it, prior to serving evidence and witness statements in support of this defence.

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

    Name:

    Signed:

    Date:
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 15th Apr 18, 5:56 PM
    • 3,429 Posts
    • 4,260 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    Private parking has no legislation regarding signage, just a potential require,ent for advertising consent.

    I pointed you to the tma2004, which sets out the signage which must be in place. Tsgrd2016 is your other resource.
    Instead of saying you got no help, tell us what happened when you looked in those locations?
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