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  • FIRST POST
    • WhoDunnitDevil
    • By WhoDunnitDevil 28th Mar 18, 9:37 PM
    • 33Posts
    • 16Thanks
    WhoDunnitDevil
    3 years between PCN and Court presence demanded
    • #1
    • 28th Mar 18, 9:37 PM
    3 years between PCN and Court presence demanded 28th Mar 18 at 9:37 PM
    Hi all,

    Firstly apologies if this is already covered. I did read the Newby articles and searched for the parking firm (cowboy ranch) as well as the lawyers. If I missed something relevant to my situation, please point me in that direction and I will be gone!

    My problem:

    I apparently got a ticket on 06/03/2015 which remains unpaid. I don't remember even receiving this, never mind being chased for it but I certainly dispute it now. I don't even have the car anymore but I was the registered keeper of the car at the time. I now have a letter dated 27/03/18, directing me to Court if I don't pay £251.34. (Details below) The letter says "In the County Court Business Centre" in the top right, with a Claim number and Issue date. I am far from an expert but it looks official, and not just BW Legal pretending things have gone further than they really have.

    The parking firm is "Vehicle Control Services Limited" (IPC Member) and the lawyers are BW Legal. I have had a lot of calls from BW recently and I even blocked their phone number, as when I googled them they appear to be a terrible firm of lawyers concerned only with scams.

    I don't know what is best to do now. As far as I can tell, I can't really follow the "normal" procedure recommended on this site as the forums always seem to kick off at the point of first letter. I don't have a case to argue in terms of poor signs, driver wasn't me etc as it was so long ago I don't even know. Surely that is enough of a defence unless they have undeniable proof, like a picture of me in the car with a timestamp in front of a well displayed parking sign!

    So, currently as far as I can tell I have the date on the letter which is 27/03/18 + 5 days + 14 days to respond in one way or another. If I go online and say I disagree and admit to none of the claim I must do so before Sunday 15/04/18. In doing this I then extend the window by another 14 days to submit my defence.
    The fine was £100, to which they have added £22.34 interest, £54 contractual costs, £25 Court fee and £50 legal fees to total £251.34.

    I don't know what to do now, assuming this is fully legitimate, I guess (other than paying) I need to go online and declare my innocence within the given timeframes.

    My questions:
    1) Will I preclude myself from any better future options by going online per the above remark and declaring my innocence? If so, I will wait as long as possible, if not I may as well get that done immediately. (Right?)
    2) What else should/can I do?
    3) At what point can I demand evidence etc?
    4) If I offered them £100 would they take it (and if they didn't could offering harm my defence)? I know this is defeatist, and weak, but rather than a long battle to pull information together as well as time off work and hassle of a drive to Northampton I would be tempted to pay £x just to avoid the terrible experience.
    5) What is the worst case if I go to court and lose. Will I have to pay more than the £251.34? (Assuming I don't miss any deadlines in terms of payments and/or filing)

    Thanks in advance for any advice, I am struggling with this, I don't know my next move, never mind have a strategy to put me in with a chance of beating these cowboys.
Page 1
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 28th Mar 18, 9:47 PM
    • 9,280 Posts
    • 9,544 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #2
    • 28th Mar 18, 9:47 PM
    • #2
    • 28th Mar 18, 9:47 PM
    For a start, you'll never need to drive to Northampton for a court hearing.
    Later in the process the case will get transferred to a court local to you.

    An offer of £100 will just signal to them that you are hooked.
    They will refuse the offer and press on towards court in the hope that you won't bother to defend and they'll be awarded a default judgment for all the money they are asking for.

    Do not go online declaring anything until you have read thoroughly post #2 of the NEWBIES FAQ sticky thread.
    .
    • Redx
    • By Redx 28th Mar 18, 9:49 PM
    • 19,269 Posts
    • 24,498 Thanks
    Redx
    • #3
    • 28th Mar 18, 9:49 PM
    • #3
    • 28th Mar 18, 9:49 PM
    post #2 of the NEWBIES FAQ sticky thread deals with court claims like yours where an MCOL has been received from Northampton CCBC, which is the government centre for civil court claims like this one

    you can login online and do the aos, READ THE WALKTHROUGH WITH PICTURES AND READ THE bargepole POSTS BEFOREHAND SO YOU KNOW HOW TO DO THE AOS

    LEAVE THE DEFENCE BOX BLANK AS YOU ARE NOT SUBMITTING IT YET

    1) you are not declaring your innocence at this stage , you are going to prepare a legal defence to the charge , based on similar examples in that newbies thread in post #2

    2) prepare your defence once the AOS is done , this will be emailed in a couple of weeks time , once you have printed it , signed and dated it , scanned it back to your pc and saved as a pdf file

    3) at the DQ stage (a few weeks before the court date) , its all explained in those walkthroughs you havent read properly yet

    4) doubtful , and is really an admission of guilt

    you wont be driving to Northampton as this is a business centre , like the DVLA in Swansea, its not a court (google it , Northampton court is a different address entirely)

    this will be transferred to your local county court , the nearest one to YOU

    so if you live in Durham , its going to be Durham or Newcastle or similar

    5) a typical loss in court is maybe £175 or less, so say £100 plus about £75 in court fees etc

    you say you have read that NEWBIES thread, but its clear from your post none of the info went in , so read it again , post #2 , slowly , and also check the links too, use a laptop for this, not a phone
    Last edited by Redx; 28-03-2018 at 9:52 PM.
    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
    • The Deep
    • By The Deep 28th Mar 18, 10:08 PM
    • 10,012 Posts
    • 9,842 Thanks
    The Deep
    • #4
    • 28th Mar 18, 10:08 PM
    • #4
    • 28th Mar 18, 10:08 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, 10:12 PM
    • 61,685 Posts
    • 74,582 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #5
    • 28th Mar 18, 10:12 PM
    • #5
    • 28th Mar 18, 10:12 PM
    Relax, we still see 99% of posters beat PPCs who issue claims. BW Legal cases are particularly woeful.

    You risk nothing at all by defending a claim at your local court; no CCJ, nothing bad.

    You either win (and claim your costs) or - we can count on one hand the numbers lost in the past year - the worst case scenario is you might lose and then pay, probably less/the same as the sum currently being demanded.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT UNLESS IN SCOTLAND OR NI
    TWO Clicks needed Look up, top of the page:
    Main site>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets Fines & Parking - read the NEWBIES THREAD
    • WhoDunnitDevil
    • By WhoDunnitDevil 29th Mar 18, 10:12 AM
    • 33 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    WhoDunnitDevil
    • #6
    • 29th Mar 18, 10:12 AM
    • #6
    • 29th Mar 18, 10:12 AM
    Thanks for the very swift response.
    I will get my reading hat back on and make sure I fully comprehend the parts I need to before I ask any more queations.
    Much appreciated.
    • WhoDunnitDevil
    • By WhoDunnitDevil 9th Apr 18, 10:34 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    WhoDunnitDevil
    • #7
    • 9th Apr 18, 10:34 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Apr 18, 10:34 PM
    Thanks for the answers everyone, I have now filed my AOS so I have until the 29/04/18 to file my defence, which I understand is to be completed in Word (or similar) using the prescribed formatting, saved to a PDF and posted via a signed for delivery. Thanks for getting me this far! :-)

    I have been back through the links in post 2 and I can't see anywhere a case where the MCOL was received almost three years after the alleged event. I am sure there is something there but I am missing it, can anybody please point me in the right direction?

    Below is my first stab at a Defence. It is clearly a lot of C&P but I have left in what I think is relevant and included all that I can tell is pretty much pre-requisite and I have made it relevant to me by removing specific references to letters I have no recollection of getting. Should I be asking for evidence in this Defence too, or should I write directly to BW to request evidence?

    09/04/18 DRAFT:

    I am xxx, the defendant in this matter and the registered keeper of vehicle xxx.

    I deny I am liable for the entirety of the claim on the following grounds:

    1. The Claim Form issued on the 27 March 2018 by BW Legal Services Ltd was not correctly filed under The Practice Direction as it was not signed by a legal person. The claim does not have a valid signature and is not a statement of truth. It states that it has been issued by BW Legal Services Ltd as the Claimants Legal Representative. 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) and 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.

    a. There was no compliant Letter before County Court Claim under the Practice Direction.

    b. This is a speculative serial litigant, issuing a large number of 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. Furthermore, 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:

    i. 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.

    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

    3. The Claimant failed to meet the Notice to Keeper obligations of Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (POFA 2012). Such a notice was not served within 14 days of the parking event and when the notice was served, did not fully comply with statutory wording. The Claimant is therefore unable to hold the defendant liable under the strict keeper liability provisions:

    The Claimant did not comply with POFA 2012 and give the registered keeper opportunity, at any point, to identify the driver. A Notice to Keeper can be served by ordinary post and the Protection of Freedoms Act requires that the Notice, to be valid, must be delivered no later than 14 days after the vehicle was parked. No ticket was left on the windscreen and no notice to keeper was sent within the 14 days required to comply with POFA 2012. This would exclude the registered keeper being liable for any charges.

    Henry Greenslade, lead adjudicator of POPLA in 2015 and an eminent barrister and parking law expert, stated that however keeper information is obtained, there is no reasonable presumption in law that the registered keeper of a vehicle is the driver. Operators should never suggest anything of the sort. 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 neither the signs, nor the NTK, nor the permit information mentioned a possible £333.81 for outstanding debt and damages. The additional costs, which the defendant contests have not been incurred, are none of its concern.

    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 costs were incurred. The Defendant believes that BW Legal Services Ltd has artificially inflated this claim. They are claiming legal costs when not only is this not permitted (CPR 27.14) but the Defendant believes that they have not incurred legal costs. According to Ladak v DRC Locums UKEAT/0488/13/LA the claimant can only recover the direct and provable costs of the time spent on preparing the claim in a legal capacity, not any administration cost. The Defendant denies that the Claimant is entitled to any interest whatsoever. The claimant has not explained how the claim has increased from the original parking notice to £251.34 If the Claimant alleges that they claim the cost of its in-house administration, these cannot be recovered - they are staff performing the task that they have been employed for and essential to the Claimant's business plan.

    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, none of this applies in this material case.

    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 as far as the Defendant is able to tell from the limited information provided by the Claimant.

    11. Due to the length of time, the Defendant has little to no recollection of the day in question. It is not reasonable to expect a registered keeper to be able to recall the potential driver(s) of the car 36 months after the alleged incident. The burden rests with the Claimant to identify the driver, who is the only party potentially liable in cases where a parking firm is unable to rely upon the POFA.

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

    (a) Failed to disclose any cause of action in the incorrectly filed Claim Form issued on 27 March 2018.

    (b) 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.


    STATEMENT OF TRUTH

    I confirm that the contents of this Defence are true to the best of my knowledge and recollection.



    xxx
    XX April 2018
    • Redx
    • By Redx 9th Apr 18, 10:43 PM
    • 19,269 Posts
    • 24,498 Thanks
    Redx
    • #8
    • 9th Apr 18, 10:43 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Apr 18, 10:43 PM
    a claimant has 6 years to file a court claim and its been like that since 1973 , so the time factor is irrelevant unless it predates oct 2012 when POFA2012 came in

    anything dated from oct 2012 onwards means that almost any court case and defence can be looked at favourably

    so I think that the fact that this is 3 years old is clouding your judgment and is irrelevant
    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
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 9th Apr 18, 10:46 PM
    • 9,280 Posts
    • 9,544 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #9
    • 9th Apr 18, 10:46 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Apr 18, 10:46 PM
    Thanks for the answers everyone, I have now filed my AOS so I have until the 29/04/18 to file my defence, which I understand is to be completed in Word (or similar) using the prescribed formatting, saved to a PDF and posted via a signed for delivery.
    Not quite right, but close.

    It is generally suggested that a Defence be sent the the CCBCAQ email address.

    So the process is:
    1) print the Defence
    2) sign the paper copy
    3) scan it back to the computer saving as a pdf
    4) send as an email attachment to the address mentioned above.

    As 29 April is a Sunday then you actually have until 4pm on Monday 30 April to file your Defence, but best not to go right up to the wire.
    .
    • WhoDunnitDevil
    • By WhoDunnitDevil 9th Apr 18, 11:23 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    WhoDunnitDevil
    a claimant has 6 years to file a court claim and its been like that since 1973 , so the time factor is irrelevant unless it predates oct 2012 when POFA2012 came in

    anything dated from oct 2012 onwards means that almost any court case and defence can be looked at favourably

    so I think that the fact that this is 3 years old is clouding your judgment and is irrelevant
    Originally posted by Redx
    The reason I am bringing it up is because in other cases I see many letters from Legal firms and debt collectors being referred to, dates mentioned, failures to comply cited etc etc. Other cases are chronologically recounting the story and highlighting all the points in their favour.I cannot say any of these things as I didn't receive any letters so my story is a 36 month blank.
    Seems relevant to me because I can't mimic the methodology of these cases?
    • WhoDunnitDevil
    • By WhoDunnitDevil 9th Apr 18, 11:24 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    WhoDunnitDevil
    Not quite right, but close.

    It is generally suggested that a Defence be sent the the CCBCAQ email address.

    So the process is:
    1) print the Defence
    2) sign the paper copy
    3) scan it back to the computer saving as a pdf
    4) send as an email attachment to the address mentioned above.

    As 29 April is a Sunday then you actually have until 4pm on Monday 30 April to file your Defence, but best not to go right up to the wire.
    Originally posted by KeithP
    Thanks - I did misunderstand it then!
    • Redx
    • By Redx 10th Apr 18, 12:15 AM
    • 19,269 Posts
    • 24,498 Thanks
    Redx
    The reason I am bringing it up is because in other cases I see many letters from Legal firms and debt collectors being referred to, dates mentioned, failures to comply cited etc etc. Other cases are chronologically recounting the story and highlighting all the points in their favour.I cannot say any of these things as I didn't receive any letters so my story is a 36 month blank.
    Seems relevant to me because I can't mimic the methodology of these cases?
    Originally posted by WhoDunnitDevil
    in that case if there was no previous paperwork then that becomes part of your defence , as would no compliant LBC under the new oct 2017 protocols (PaP)

    it is unlikely that they complied with POFA2012 anyway, so a lack of an NTK and a lack of any POFA2012 compliance means the keeper cannot be liable , but these issues are nothing to do with it being 3 months , 3 years or 5.9 years old for that matter

    but there will be other defence points included in your draft, so start with a basic draft and add extra points in as you hone the defence, but do not concentrate on the time differential , 3 years can be typical
    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
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 10th Apr 18, 4:20 PM
    • 61,685 Posts
    • 74,582 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    The reason I am bringing it up is because in other cases I see many letters from Legal firms and debt collectors being referred to, dates mentioned, failures to comply cited etc etc. Other cases are chronologically recounting the story and highlighting all the points in their favour.I cannot say any of these things as I didn't receive any letters so my story is a 36 month blank.
    Seems relevant to me because I can't mimic the methodology of these cases?
    Originally posted by WhoDunnitDevil
    Yes you can, search the forum for BW Legal claim 6 years or BW Legal claim 2012 and you will find the oldest ones. Your 3 year wait is small by comparison!

    The Claimant did not comply with POFA 2012. and give the registered keeper opportunity, at any point, to identify the driver.
    I suggest removing the words struck out above, because they probably did ask who was driving in the paperwork (that they WILL produce, even if you do not recall receiving - or did not receive - a NTK) but we know they didn't comply with the POFA (never have, IMHO). The point is not that you didn't have the 'opportunity' to name the driver, more that you as keeper, can't be held liable.

    Where is the location, not good old Albert St Birmingham, is it? If so then you need to search the forum for the location and add the stuff about the Excel (not VCS) signage!
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 10-04-2018 at 4:27 PM.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT UNLESS IN SCOTLAND OR NI
    TWO Clicks needed Look up, top of the page:
    Main site>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets Fines & Parking - read the NEWBIES THREAD
    • The Deep
    • By The Deep 10th Apr 18, 5:49 PM
    • 10,012 Posts
    • 9,842 Thanks
    The Deep
    so I think that the fact that this is 3 years old is clouding your judgment and is irrelevant


    It certainly would not be irrelevant if they did take you to court and lost. You might then be able to claim costs for unreasonable behaviour, CPR27.14(2)(g).

    BW Legal issue hundreds, nay thousands, of these poorly prepared claims each year, an abuse of the process, and a waste of the court's time. They have been named and shamed by MPs, one of whom has complained to their regulatory body, the S.R.A. Read some of these:

    https://www.bing.com/search?q=BW+Legal+lose+in+court&form=EDNTHT&mkt=en-gb&httpsmsn=1&refig=9e20e4abac5b496c823d9052662488 4c&PC=ACTS&sp=-1&ghc=1&pq=undefined&sc=0-13&qs=n&sk=&cvid=9e20e4abac5b496c823d90526624884c

    hltf
    You never know how far you can go until you go too far.
    • WhoDunnitDevil
    • By WhoDunnitDevil 11th Apr 18, 3:46 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    WhoDunnitDevil
    Yes you can, search the forum for BW Legal claim 6 years or BW Legal claim 2012 and you will find the oldest ones. Your 3 year wait is small by comparison!

    I suggest removing the words struck out above, because they probably did ask who was driving in the paperwork (that they WILL produce, even if you do not recall receiving - or did not receive - a NTK) but we know they didn't comply with the POFA (never have, IMHO). The point is not that you didn't have the 'opportunity' to name the driver, more that you as keeper, can't be held liable.

    Where is the location, not good old Albert St Birmingham, is it? If so then you need to search the forum for the location and add the stuff about the Excel (not VCS) signage!
    Originally posted by Coupon-mad
    Thanks - I will take those suggestions on board and amend accordingly.

    The location was in Nottingham, not Birmingham. I will also search for the location on the forum and see if there is anything of any use for me.
    • WhoDunnitDevil
    • By WhoDunnitDevil 25th Apr 18, 10:49 AM
    • 33 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    WhoDunnitDevil
    Hi guys,

    I need to submit my defence by Monday 30th at 4pm but I was aiming to get it submitted this week.
    Below is the latest draft.
    I have tidied it up since the last iteration. Could you please suggest anything I can do to improve my case? (My headings are in bold)


    I am xxx, the defendant in this matter and the registered keeper of vehicle xxx.

    I deny I am liable for the entirety of the claim on the following grounds:

    1. No signature of an individual on the Claim Form
    The Claim Form issued on the 27 March 2018 by BW Legal Services Ltd was not correctly filed under The Practice Direction as it was not signed by a legal person. The claim does not have a valid signature and is not a statement of truth. It states that it has been issued by BW Legal Services Ltd as the Claimants Legal Representative. 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. Preliminary matter - failure to comply with pre-action protocol
    This Claimant has not complied with pre-court protocol (as outlined in the new Pre Action Protocol for Debt Claims, 1 October 2017) and 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.

    a. There was no compliant Letter before County Court Claim under the Practice Direction.

    b. This is a speculative serial litigant, issuing a large number of 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. Furthermore, 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:

    i. 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.

    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

    3. Failure to comply with POFA 2012
    The Claimant failed to meet the Notice to Keeper obligations of Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (POFA 2012). Such a notice was not served within 14 days of the parking event and when the notice was served, did not fully comply with statutory wording. The Claimant is therefore unable to hold the defendant liable under the strict keeper liability provisions:

    The Claimant did not comply with POFA 2012. A Notice to Keeper can be served by ordinary post and the Protection of Freedoms Act requires that the Notice, to be valid, must be delivered no later than 14 days after the vehicle was parked. No ticket was left on the windscreen and no notice to keeper was sent within the 14 days required to comply with POFA 2012. This would exclude the registered keeper being liable for any charges.

    Henry Greenslade, lead adjudicator of POPLA in 2015 and an eminent barrister and parking law expert, stated that however keeper information is obtained, there is no reasonable presumption in law that the registered keeper of a vehicle is the driver. Operators should never suggest anything of the sort. 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 neither the signs, nor the NTK, nor the permit information mentioned a possible £333.81 for outstanding debt and damages. The additional costs, which the defendant contests have not been incurred, are none of its concern.

    4. Unjustified inflation to the claim value
    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 representativeís costs were incurred. The Defendant believes that BW Legal Services Ltd has artificially inflated this claim. They are claiming legal costs when not only is this not permitted (CPR 27.14) but the Defendant believes that they have not incurred legal costs. According to Ladak v DRC Locums UKEAT/0488/13/LA the claimant can only recover the direct and provable costs of the time spent on preparing the claim in a legal capacity, not any administration cost. The Defendant denies that the Claimant is entitled to any interest whatsoever. The claimant has not explained how the claim has increased from the original parking notice to £251.34 If the Claimant alleges that they claim the cost of its in-house administration, these cannot be recovered - they are staff performing the task that they have been employed for and essential to the Claimant's business plan.

    5. This case is fully distinguished from ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis

    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, none of this applies in this material case.
    a. 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.

    b. 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 as far as the Defendant is able to tell from the limited information provided by the Claimant.

    6. Unreasonable length of time between alleged incident and claim form

    Due to the length of time, the Defendant has little to no recollection of the day in question. It is not reasonable to expect a registered keeper to be able to recall the potential driver(s) of the car 36 months after the alleged incident. The burden rests with the Claimant to identify the driver, who is the only party potentially liable in cases where a parking firm is unable to rely upon the POFA.



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

    (a) Failed to disclose any cause of action in the incorrectly filed Claim Form issued on 27 March 2018.

    (b) 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.


    STATEMENT OF TRUTH

    I confirm that the contents of this Defence are true to the best of my knowledge and recollection.



    xxx
    XX April 2018
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 25th Apr 18, 7:16 PM
    • 61,685 Posts
    • 74,582 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Looks good, only skim read but you have the main points you need there.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT UNLESS IN SCOTLAND OR NI
    TWO Clicks needed Look up, top of the page:
    Main site>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets Fines & Parking - read the NEWBIES THREAD
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 25th Apr 18, 8:16 PM
    • 9,280 Posts
    • 9,544 Thanks
    KeithP
    Slight adjustment needed:
    e. The Defence Defendant 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.
    .
    • WhoDunnitDevil
    • By WhoDunnitDevil 27th Apr 18, 2:49 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    WhoDunnitDevil
    Hi guys,

    Just a quick one I think.

    I am about to finalise by inputting my personal details, printing, signing, saving as a PDF with my signature and then sending. I just wanted to check I am not missing anything or have added too much. I did look at some templates but can't see anything which helps. Happy to be redirected to a link.
    I have included my address in the top right, the make, model and reg of the car.
    Before the body begins I have the reference of the Claim Number.
    I DON'T HAVE the date here or the address of the recipient, should I include these?
    I have my name, the date and my signature at the bottom after the statement of truth.

    Is there anything I am missing and should I include the date and the court postal address at the beginning as if it were a "normal" letter?

    Thanks
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 27th Apr 18, 3:08 PM
    • 9,280 Posts
    • 9,544 Thanks
    KeithP
    You seem to be asking about layout.

    Here is a sample Defence linked from post #2 of the NEWBIES FAQ sticky thread which should help with that:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/rl1e9kocnuwvjzc/Defence%20-%20VCS%20Claim.docx?dl=0


    But as it says in post #2 of the NEWBIES: DO NOT blindly copy that one but you can see how to set it out: numbered, double line-spaced in Times New Roman font 12.
    .
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