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    • Batman84
    • By Batman84 12th May 18, 4:16 PM
    • 5Posts
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    Batman84
    Received court papers! Advice please.
    • #1
    • 12th May 18, 4:16 PM
    Received court papers! Advice please. 12th May 18 at 4:16 PM
    Hello everyone,

    So after recieving a pcn, following the forum advice and sending the letter template, then being bombarded by the various threatening letters etc, we've now received county court papers claiming an owed debt of 160, 185 total with costs. Great.

    I'm trying to use the forum for advice but this link isn't working for me?

    "Here is a guide to MCOL & how to acknowledge service (the first step), put together by a genuine PPC fighter:

    Dropbox - money-claim-online-How-to-Acknowledge.pdf

    Currently debating if I need to just cut my losses and begrudgingly pay these cowboys. Could I get an idea of its in my interests to fight this or not.

    Circumstances/defence?:

    -wife is currently heavily pregnant and we are also in midst of moving house, we really don't need extra stress. That said, 185 is a significant amount of money for us to just lose.
    -pcn issued almost a year ago, we paid for parking in a car park and put all the change we had in. We ended up being 10 minutes late back to the car to find pcn issued four minutes after our time ran out. If we'd been 6 minutes earlier!
    -we were disgusted at the outrageous charge for this tiny over stay therefore refused to pay, if it was a reasonable charge then maybe. But this quickly escalated to a demand of 160 for 10 minutes parking.
    -the defendant would be my wife, the registered keeper.

    Any help is appreciated.
Page 1
    • Batman84
    • By Batman84 12th May 18, 4:22 PM
    • 5 Posts
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    Batman84
    • #2
    • 12th May 18, 4:22 PM
    • #2
    • 12th May 18, 4:22 PM
    For what it's worth, we were late back to the car due to the restaurant we were dinining at for my birthday running slow and keeping us later than planned.
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 12th May 18, 4:27 PM
    • 7,138 Posts
    • 6,589 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #3
    • 12th May 18, 4:27 PM
    • #3
    • 12th May 18, 4:27 PM
    You are going about this correctly.

    That link works for me.
    Here it is again:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/xvqu3bask5m0zir/money-claim-online-How-to-Acknowledge.pdf?dl=0

    Once you have done the AoS continue by compiling your Defence.

    Who is the parking company?

    What is the date of issue on your Claim Form?
    .
    • Batman84
    • By Batman84 12th May 18, 5:12 PM
    • 5 Posts
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    Batman84
    • #4
    • 12th May 18, 5:12 PM
    • #4
    • 12th May 18, 5:12 PM
    Thanks Keith,

    Acknowledgement done.

    We've had letters from all sorts of "companies" regarding this. But the claimant is named as vehicle control services. The issue date is 11 may 18.
    • Batman84
    • By Batman84 13th May 18, 2:10 PM
    • 5 Posts
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    Batman84
    • #5
    • 13th May 18, 2:10 PM
    • #5
    • 13th May 18, 2:10 PM
    Anyone? Do I have a leg to stand on here?!
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 13th May 18, 2:16 PM
    • 7,138 Posts
    • 6,589 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #6
    • 13th May 18, 2:16 PM
    • #6
    • 13th May 18, 2:16 PM
    As I said, get your Defence together and post it here for review if you like.

    Are you really expecting someone here to say you have no chance and should pay?
    .
    • Batman84
    • By Batman84 13th May 18, 4:08 PM
    • 5 Posts
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    Batman84
    • #7
    • 13th May 18, 4:08 PM
    • #7
    • 13th May 18, 4:08 PM
    ok, heres first draft defence statement.

    ****


    IN THE COUNTY COURT BUSINESS CENTRE
    CLAIM No. DXXXXXXX
    BETWEEN
    Vehicle Control Services Ltd (CLAIMANT)

    -and-

    xxxxx xxxxxxxx (DEFENDANT)

    ________

    DEFENCE
    ________

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

    Preliminary
    2. The Claimant 'VCS' has failed to comply with the requirements of Civil Procedure Rule 16.4. Its sparse Particulars do not disclose any cause of action which could give rise to a claim, and their single-page Letter Before Claim was no more than an aggressive demand, designed to intimidate and mislead the defendant, rather than narrow the issues or provide any specific detail.

    2.1. The Claimant has failed to set out the basis of the claim - trespass or contractual breach? It has not specified how the sum sought represents any fee, charge, costs or damages incurred - nor evidenced that any contract existed or was breached - hence the Defendant is having to attempt to cover all possibilities, with no fair opportunity to make an informed response.

    2.1.1. The Claimant's solicitors have sent no relevant details, copies of letters, facts or evidence.


    ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis is distinguished
    3. ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis [2015] UKSC 67 is fully distinguished from this claim, due to the completely different facts, including but not limited to:
    i) There was no parking licence or offer, no consideration followed and there was no contract capable of being breached.
    ii) The Claimant did not follow the effectively binding IPC Code of Practice.
    iii) The sum claimed is extortionate, and the predatory business model is punitive and unconscionable.
    iv) The Claimant has no standing or authority from the landowner.
    v) There is no comparable legitimate interest or commercial justification to disengage the penalty rule.


    Background - no contract
    4. It is admitted that at all material times the Defendant is the registered keeper of the vehicle which is the subject of these proceedings. The vehicle is insured and more than one driver is permitted to use it.

    4.1. No indication was provided as evidence to support the Claimant's contractual authority to operate at this specific location. The Defendant avers that the business model utilised at this site is predatory, punitive, unauthorised by the landowner and operates contrary to the IPC Code of Practice.

    4.2 It is averred that the Claimant is not the landowner and therefore lacks any cause of action. If it is alleged that a trespass had occurred then the remedy available for that tort (which is denied) is in the gift of the landowner alone, to seek damages.

    4.3 It was confirmed by the Supreme Court that ParkingEye Ltd could only recover the 85 parking charge which more than covered all costs of the automated business model of a parking firm and was heavily weighted for profit. It was held that a parking firm not in possession could not recover any sum at all in damages, but the Supreme Court were willing to impose a penalty as allowable only in the unique context of that particular retail site of commercial value. In that case, the signs were 'very prominent' and clear - both upon entry to the site and throughout - with the parking charge in the largest lettering with a free parking licence being offered and accepted under contract, giving rise to a sum being payable by patrons who overstayed.

    Absence of 'registered keeper liability'
    5. The Claimant has provided no evidence (in pre-action correspondence or otherwise) to identify the driver. The balance of probabilities is not tipped in the Claimant's favour, given the fact that more than one person drives this car. The Defendant avers that the Claimant is therefore limited to pursuing the Defendant in these proceedings under the provisions set out by statute in the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 ("the POFA").

    5.1 If seeking to rely on the keeper liability provisions of Schedule 4 of the POFA, the Claimant must demonstrate that:
    5.1.1. there was a !!!8220;relevant obligation!!!8221;; either by way of a breach of contract, trespass or other tort; and
    5.1.2. that this Claimant has established itself as the offeror and creditor; and
    5.1.3. that it has followed the required deadlines and wording as described in the Act to transfer liability from the driver to the registered keeper. It is not admitted that the Claimant has complied with the relevant statutory requirements.

    5.2. To the extent that the Claimant may seek to allege that any such presumption do exist, the Defendant expressly denies that there is any presumption in law (whether in statute or otherwise) that the keeper is the driver. Further, the Defendant denies that the vehicle keeper is obliged to name the driver to a private parking firm. Had this been the intention of Parliament, they would have made such requirements part of the POFA, which makes no such provision.


    The sum claimed is a penalty
    6. The Claimant has at no time provided an explanation how the !!!8220;parking charge!!!8221;; has been calculated, or how the amount has been inflated from the initial 60 to now 160. This is a completely exorbitant charge for an alleged overstay in this car park of around four minutes.

    6.1. Schedule 4 of the POFA, Paragraph 4(5), states that the maximum sum that may be recovered from the keeper is the charge stated on the Notice to Keeper (a document which the Defendant avers was never received, but cannot have exceeded 90, if the Claimant is relying upon the sign in the photograph provided). The clear intention of Parliament was that parking charges on private land be capped at the (already inflated to include profit) sum on the Notices, with double recovery being specifically disallowed.

    6.2. The Defendant has the reasonable belief that the Claimant has not incurred such exorbitant costs to pursue an alleged 160 debt. Notwithstanding the Defendant's belief, the costs are in any case not recoverable. No indemnity costs or damages have been incurred, nor were any debt collection 'fees' paid by this Claimant, and nor were such sums specified in prominent lettering on any sign at the point of the driver parking. It is averred that the sum claimed is invented out of thin air as part of the Claimant's solicitors' robo-claim model.


    Wholly unreasonable and vexatious claim
    7. It is submitted that the conduct of the Claimant in operating a predatory model for profit, and intimidating the Defendant with misleading threats in the pre-action stage before pursuing this claim, is wholly unreasonable and vexatious.

    7.1. 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 on an indemnity basis, pursuant to Civil Procedure Rule 27.14(2)(g).

    8. The Defendant denies the claim in its entirety, voiding any liability to the Claimant for all amounts. 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.

    9. In the alternative, 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.

    Signed:

    Date:


    ***

    This was amended from a one recently found on the site.



    I will point out that this overstay consisted of 4 minutes by the way. a charge of 160 is simply digusting.


    Any input is appreciated.


    Thanks.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 13th May 18, 4:21 PM
    • 57,301 Posts
    • 70,914 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #8
    • 13th May 18, 4:21 PM
    • #8
    • 13th May 18, 4:21 PM
    ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis is distinguished
    You could add two more points under #3:

    - the driver has not been identified and nor can the Claimant rely on the POFA Schedule 4

    - the Trade Body Code of Practice regarding Grace Periods has been breached.



    We ended up being 10 minutes late back to the car to find pcn issued four minutes after our time ran out. If we'd been 6 minutes earlier!
    I am not seeing anything jumping out at me (or the Judge) about that and about the fact that across the country (private and Council) at least ten minutes is required after expiry of paid-for time. Find the IPC CoP that applied at the time of the PCN and quote a short excerpt from it.
    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.

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