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  • FIRST POST
    • Cherryblossom17
    • By Cherryblossom17 23rd Apr 18, 2:04 PM
    • 10Posts
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    Cherryblossom17
    Pls help civil enforcement ltd, Northampton claim form
    • #1
    • 23rd Apr 18, 2:04 PM
    Pls help civil enforcement ltd, Northampton claim form 23rd Apr 18 at 2:04 PM
    Hi I am looking for advice after looking at other claims similar to mine.

    I have received a claim form from Northampton business centre following a parking charge from civil enforcement limited.

    I am the registered keeper of the car but was not the driver, I have messages confirming I was elsewhere on the date of the parking charge. I did not receive a notice to keeper, the first letter received was demanding £100.

    Since then I have received letters from CEL, ZZPS and QDR solicitors all stating inflated amounts, with a different times stating the vehicle was parked but on the same dates. These letters have not been signed by individuals.

    I have looked at other drafts and what I have “put to paper” in my defence in comparison now looks “basic”, can I leave my defence as not being the driver and not believing it was a bonefide claim due to the sporadic letters? As I have never been to the location would I have to go back and check for signage or would this not apply?

    Many thanks!
Page 1
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 23rd Apr 18, 2:12 PM
    • 9,197 Posts
    • 9,370 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #2
    • 23rd Apr 18, 2:12 PM
    • #2
    • 23rd Apr 18, 2:12 PM
    You post appears to say you have already filed a Defence.
    Have I read that right?

    If so, can you please post here exactly what that Defence said.
    .
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 23rd Apr 18, 2:19 PM
    • 3,415 Posts
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    nosferatu1001
    • #3
    • 23rd Apr 18, 2:19 PM
    • #3
    • 23rd Apr 18, 2:19 PM
    Indeed, please be exactly specific with this

    Have you filed a defence with teh court? Yes or No
    If Yes, state exactly what that defence IS

    THis is only CEL. They dont, so far, turn up to hearings.
    • Cherryblossom17
    • By Cherryblossom17 23rd Apr 18, 2:49 PM
    • 10 Posts
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    Cherryblossom17
    • #4
    • 23rd Apr 18, 2:49 PM
    • #4
    • 23rd Apr 18, 2:49 PM
    Sorry! I have been drafting a defence but have not filed anything.
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 23rd Apr 18, 2:52 PM
    • 9,197 Posts
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    KeithP
    • #5
    • 23rd Apr 18, 2:52 PM
    • #5
    • 23rd Apr 18, 2:52 PM
    You might want to consider basing your Defence on one of the hundreds already written about CEL here this year.

    There is a good example linked from post #2 of the NEWBIES FAQ sticky thread.

    Please post your draft here for appraisal when you're ready.

    Have you done the Acknowledgement of Service?

    What is the date of issue on your Claim Form?
    Last edited by KeithP; 23-04-2018 at 2:56 PM.
    .
    • The Deep
    • By The Deep 23rd Apr 18, 2:55 PM
    • 9,989 Posts
    • 9,804 Thanks
    The Deep
    • #6
    • 23rd Apr 18, 2:55 PM
    • #6
    • 23rd Apr 18, 2:55 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.
    • Redx
    • By Redx 23rd Apr 18, 2:56 PM
    • 19,213 Posts
    • 24,409 Thanks
    Redx
    • #7
    • 23rd Apr 18, 2:56 PM
    • #7
    • 23rd Apr 18, 2:56 PM
    "not being the driver" is not really a defence UNLESS CEL failed POFA2012, plus if the defendant had proof of not being the driver

    it may be one of a number of legal arguments in this defence, but it is not a guaranteed defence in itself for pcn,s in England & Wales , certainly not since 2012

    post your draft defence below for critique
    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
    • Cherryblossom17
    • By Cherryblossom17 23rd Apr 18, 3:10 PM
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    Cherryblossom17
    • #8
    • 23rd Apr 18, 3:10 PM
    • #8
    • 23rd Apr 18, 3:10 PM
    I have not done an acknowledgement of service as was going to go straight to defence. Is this the wrong thing to do?

    Looking back I believe I may have been sent a !!!8220;letter before action!!!8221; however it is not obvious that it is one and does not include any specifics surrounding my claim. Just a link to a website if I would like to view their information sheet etc.

    I have not been sent any proof that my vehicle was parked, is now too late to request this information as from my limited knowledge I understand the claim form is not a summons?

    Thank you so much, I will get working on a defence, I am a bit nervous to just cut and paste from the newbies faqs hence started my thread!
    • Cherryblossom17
    • By Cherryblossom17 23rd Apr 18, 3:11 PM
    • 10 Posts
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    Cherryblossom17
    • #9
    • 23rd Apr 18, 3:11 PM
    • #9
    • 23rd Apr 18, 3:11 PM
    The issue date was 13th April! (Friday 13th)
    • Redx
    • By Redx 23rd Apr 18, 3:15 PM
    • 19,213 Posts
    • 24,409 Thanks
    Redx
    AOS should be done FIRST, preferably online but leave the defence box blank

    post #2 of the NEWBIES FAQ sticky thread explains all this , guides you through it and tells you why (it extends the 14 days to 28 days to prepare the defence, so why not do it when it doubles the time to prepare your defence ?)

    then start to draft your legal defence , using and adapting one of the many examples of defences honed by other people who have been in your position previously

    nobody expects you to do it from scratch, you read and adapt and crib from somebody else who has already been where you are now

    the claim form is an MCOL, not a summons

    you get to see their evidence later on after the DQ stage, at this moment you do the AOS and draft your defence and post it for critique

    stop getting ahead of yourself

    ps:- you were CORRECT in starting a new thread, now just do what the regulars here are telling you to do, basing the advice given around that NEWBIES thread , post #2 (you wont get better advice anywhere else, certainly not for free)

    you should assume that their LBC was not compliant with the new oct 2017 PaP protocols too

    calm down , and carry on
    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 23rd Apr 18, 3:18 PM
    • 9,197 Posts
    • 9,370 Thanks
    KeithP
    I would suggest you do the AoS in the next few days. It gives you another fourteen days to prepare your Defence.

    There is a Dropbox link in post #2 of the NEWBIES FAQ sticky thread which guides you through that - in pictures.

    Once you've done the AoS you have until Wednesday 16 May 2018 to file a Defence.
    .
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 23rd Apr 18, 5:46 PM
    • 3,415 Posts
    • 4,242 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    Always do the AoS. It gives you time. Time is your friend with this process
    • Cherryblossom17
    • By Cherryblossom17 13th May 18, 10:04 PM
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    Cherryblossom17
    You're definitely right! I needed the extra time! Please can you take a look at this defence response? I have used newbies FAQ and tried to make sure everything is relevant to my case! Although I'm not sure what the signage is like at the alleged car park! Thank you so much !!

    The defendant denies they are liable for the entirety of the claim for the following reasons:

    1. The Claim Form issued on 13 April 2018 by Civil Enforcement 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's states that it has been issued by Civil Enforcement Limited 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 of that of his firm or employer.

    2. The 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 is 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 as required under the Practice Direction.

    b. This is a speculative serial litigant, issuing a large number of draft particulars. These mail-merged documents contain very little information.

    c. The Schedule of Information is sparse of detailed information and holds different information to that of subsequent correspondence from QDR Solicitors, who were instructed to issue correspondence by ZZPS Limited who were acting on behalf of Civil Enforcement Ltd.

    d. The Claim Form Particulars were incredibly sparse and and disclosed no fuses 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 Action should have been produced, pursuant to paragraph 6 of the Practice Direction, Pre Action Conduct. Therefore this constitutes a deliberate attempt to prevent any efforts to defend the claim pursuant to to paragraph 12 of the Practice Direction. This, again 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 in order to help clarify whether there are any issues in dispute.

    ii) Enable to 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 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.

    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. The Claimant is therefore unable to hold the Defendant liable under the strict keeper liability provisions:
    The Claimant did not comply with POFA 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 the Notice to be valid, must be delivered by no later than 14 days after the vehicle was parked. No ticket was left on the windscreen and no Notice of keeper was sent within the 14 days required to comply with POFA 2012 (or ever) only a speculative invoice titled Parking Charge Notice; which was sent outside of the 14 day period, which did not 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 or subsequent letters mentioned a possible £323.78 for outstanding debts and damages. The additional costs, which the Defendant contests have not been incurred, are none of it's 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 the claim are templates, so it is simply not credible that £50 legal representatives costs were incurred. The Defendant believes that Civil Enforcement 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 , 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 given and explanation as to how the claim has increased from the original parking Notice to £323.78. 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 are 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 contract none of this applies in this material case.

    6. In the absence of any proof of adequate signage contractually bound the Defendant then there can have been no contract and the Claimant has no case

    a. The Claimant is put to strict proof at the time of the alleged event they had both advertisement consent and the permission from the site owner to display the signs

    b. In the absence of strict proof the Defendant submit that the Claimant was committing an offence by displaying their signs and therefore no contract could have been entered into between the driver and the Claimant

    c. Inadequate signs incapable of binding the driver, this distinguishes this case from the Beavis case:

    i) Sporadic and illegible (charge not prominent nor large lettering) of site/entrance signage - breach of the POFA 2012 Schedule 4 and the BPA Code of Practice and no contract formed to pay any clearly stated sum

    ii) It is believed the signage was not lit and any terms were not transparent or legible; this is an unfair contract, not agreed by the driver and contrary to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 in requiring a huge inflated sum as compensation from by an authorised party using the premises as intended

    iii) No promise was made by the driver that could constitute consideration because there was no offer known nor accepted.

    iv) The signs are believed to have no mention of any debt collection additional charge, which cannot form part of any alleged contract.

    d. BPA CoP breaches this distinguishes this case from the Beavis case:

    i) The signs were not compliant in terms of the font size, lighting or positioning

    ii) The sum pursued exceeds £100

    iii) There is/was no compliant landowner contract

    7. No Standing, this distinguishes this case from the Beavis case: It is believed Civil Enforcement Ltd do not hold a legitimate contract at this car park. As an agent, the Claimant has no legal right to bring such a claim in their name which should be in the name of the landowner.

    8. The Beavis case confirmed the fact that, if it is a matter of trespass (not breach of any contract), a parking firm has no standing as a non-landowner to pursue even nominal damages.

    9. The charge is an unenforceable penalty based upon a lack of commercial justification. The Beavis case confirmed that the penalty rule is certainly engaged in any case of a private parking charge and was only disengaged due to the unique circumstances of that case, which do not resemble this claim.


    10. The Defendant has reasonable belief that the Claimant sent a letter claiming to be a final letter before court action, but then instead sent this to more debt collectors. As such the Claimants have artificially inflated the claim value by claiming to involve further debt collectors, the Defendant puts the Claimant to strict proof that all claimed costs were invoiced and paid.

    11. Due to the length of time, it would not be reasonable expect a registered keeper to be able to recall the potential driver(s) of the car 8 months later particularly on a specific date. 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 13 April 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.

    The Defendant (I) confirm that the contents of this Defence are true to the best of my knowledge.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 14th May 18, 12:12 AM
    • 61,458 Posts
    • 74,332 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Looks fine for CEL.

    Do not delay, you are nearly out of time to defend, so print off a copy with headings/claim number at the top as you have seen on other threads, sign & date it and then scan the document back in and attach it as a PDF to an email (NO NEED TO POST AS WELL).

    MCOL has just changed its email address for defences and DQs to:

    CCBCAQ@Justice.gov.uk

    There is currently a forward on the old CCBCAQ email address, but it's probably best to start using the new email addy from now on.

    Make sure the Claim number is stated in the subject line and the word 'DEFENCE'.
    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.

    • Cherryblossom17
    • By Cherryblossom17 14th May 18, 7:54 AM
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    Cherryblossom17
    Thank you. I will get this done today. Do I need to log on to MCOL again or just send an email to the address above? Thank you for providing as I've been struggling to find the email address.
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 14th May 18, 9:34 AM
    • 3,415 Posts
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    nosferatu1001
    NO, just email.
    • Cherryblossom17
    • By Cherryblossom17 14th May 18, 10:57 AM
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    Cherryblossom17
    Is there anyone I need to address it to? Does the body of the email need to include anything specific other than defence, claim ref etc?
    • nosferatu1001
    • By nosferatu1001 14th May 18, 1:00 PM
    • 3,415 Posts
    • 4,242 Thanks
    nosferatu1001
    Its not a formal letter. No need for much apart from please see attached defence for claim ref XYZ

    Just get it sent. Its processed by staff quite quickly.
    • Loadsofchildren123
    • By Loadsofchildren123 14th May 18, 3:19 PM
    • 2,353 Posts
    • 3,929 Thanks
    Loadsofchildren123
    If you haven't submitted this, please make sure that your defence specifically denies that you were the driver. I can't see that in there and it's quite crucial. You can admit that you are registered keeper.


    Put in a sentence saying you put the Claimant to full proof of every aspect of its claim.
    Although a practising Solicitor, my posts here are NOT legal advice, but are personal opinion based on limited facts provided anonymously by forum users. I accept no liability for the accuracy of any such posts and users are advised that, if they wish to obtain formal legal advice specific to their case, they must seek instruct and pay a solicitor.
    • Cherryblossom17
    • By Cherryblossom17 15th Jun 18, 8:12 AM
    • 10 Posts
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    Cherryblossom17
    Hi, I had since had a reply giving me 2 options whether to go ahead with small claims mediation service or to go ahead with the small claims track. Which would you say would be the most appropriate? Thanks
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