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  • FIRST POST
    • psdie
    • By psdie 18th Jul 18, 10:15 PM
    • 107Posts
    • 66Thanks
    psdie
    Link Parking / Gladstones - unclear signage Court Defence by 23 July
    • #1
    • 18th Jul 18, 10:15 PM
    Link Parking / Gladstones - unclear signage Court Defence by 23 July 18th Jul 18 at 10:15 PM
    Hi all - thank you for the amazing work by the kind volunteers here!

    I need urgent advice please for drafting my Court Defence filing (orientated around conflicting and unclear signage), due by Saturday 21st (EDIT: actually probably Mon 23rd, as weekend) unfortunately. Sorry for the late notice - just back from holiday.

    I've been lurking here for a while picking up advice for a Link Parking (LP) PCN received in Sep last year - I filed an appeal with LP disputing the PCN entirely, on the basis of:
    1. A sign right next to the entrance / parking space stating that restricted days were Mon-Sat, meaning unrestricted on the Sunday parking date, in accordance with DfT sign regulations. I much later came to suspect this sign relates to a couple of council-run parking spaces adjacent to the restricted area, but this is impossible to know - the sign is literally next to the space that was parked in!
    2. I provided photos of the above to LP in the appeal, along with photos showing the entrance sign (which doesn't mention LP) fully obscured by parked vehicles, and another sign obscured by hedges well away from the parking space near the entrance. No operator signs were legible for these reasons when entering the car park, particularly late evening at the time of parking (no sign illumination) - only the unrestricted sign was clearly visible.

    Despite the above, LP refused outright to hear my appeal unless I agreed to identify the driver - which I've refused as I understand there's no legal requirement. I did however provide all details necessary to authenticate myself as an authorised representative - full PCN and personal contact details, etc. I also requested the usual evidence of land owner authority etc, plus acknowledgement of a DPA Section 10 notice to not distribute my personal data, which they have continually ignored to-date.

    I received a POFA NtK from LP in November and replied clearly setting out the appeal grounds again (without identifying the driver), with further gathered photos, and repeated my request for documentation and acknowledgement of the Section 10 notice. They sent a generic reply (given the signs are clearly inadequate and conflicting):

    The vehicle was parked in a manner which attracted a charge as it was parked whilst not fully displaying a valid permit. It is the drivers responsibility to ensure they meet the parking requirements. Our signs clearly advertise the parking requirements and by not meeting them you accepted our charge.

    Given the facts we are rejecting your appeal. We note that you previously refused to comply with our standard appeals process. If you believe this decision is incorrect, you are entitled to appeal to the Independent Appeals Service (IAS).
    I received a Letter Before Claim from Gladstones in March, with the original 100 PCN amount increased by 60 "claimed by our Client for its time spent and resource facilitating the recovery of the charge. The amount is pre-determined and nominal contribution to our Client's losses as a direct result of your non-payment.". I completed their online PAP reply (and sent them an e-mail with full appeal thread) reiterating that the claim was fully disputed, the key reasons, and highlighting that LP refused to hear my pre-POFA appeal or provide requested evidence of authority.

    I also stated that I understood adding additional collection fees is expressly disallowed by POFA, according to advice on this forum - is that correct, and the max they can claim is the original PCN amount?

    Gladstones didn't reply. I received a MCOL Claim Form in June - 160, plus 8+ interest (continuing till judgement at 0.04/day), plus 25 Court fee, plus 50 "Legal representative's costs". Again, are they allowed to add legal fees, court fees, interest - or are these generally disallowed by the court in POFA cases if I have followed PAP rules (which I believe I have)? Clarification particularly appreciated on fees, as they increase the amount from 100 to 240+! If any part is disallowed / unlikely to be allowed, what do I do to enforce this?

    I now need to submit a Court Defence filing by Saturday, having already submitted an Acknowledgement of Service to the court opting to defend in full, which I'm prepared to do in person at my local Small Claims court.

    I'm going to submit this post now as it's getting late, and add further detail - pointers to the best template Defence to start with would be much appreciated, along with any other advice. There's tonnes of threads here with conflicting and sometimes outdated advice (e.g., those highlighted in Irrelevant Defences), so I'd appreciate help.

    Many thanks in advance!
    Last edited by psdie; 20-07-2018 at 1:30 AM. Reason: Add additional info
Page 3
    • psdie
    • By psdie 23rd Jul 18, 3:31 PM
    • 107 Posts
    • 66 Thanks
    psdie
    OK, as it's 8 pages, I've printed and signed the last page, scanned, then appended to a PDF containing pages 1-7. I presume that's OK, or do they really insist on scanning all pages so the PDF is massive (and I need to do 8 append operations)? Just about time to scan rest if necessary! Thanks
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 23rd Jul 18, 3:34 PM
    • 62,736 Posts
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    Coupon-mad
    That sounds fine as long as it's one document, one PDF.
    • psdie
    • By psdie 23rd Jul 18, 3:43 PM
    • 107 Posts
    • 66 Thanks
    psdie
    Defence submitted
    Phew - sent to CCBCAQ@Justice.gov.uk with the instructed subject and body - is there some way to check they've received? Thank you so much for your help CM, couldn't have done without you and other contributors!
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 23rd Jul 18, 3:47 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    Check MCOL regularly to see it update as defended - or to be safe, ring the CCBC tomorrow and stay on the line till they answer, & ask them to get that urgent email and mark the case as defended immediately!
    • psdie
    • By psdie 24th Jul 18, 11:57 PM
    • 107 Posts
    • 66 Thanks
    psdie
    A million thanks - case now showing as defended. I'll post an update here when hear more. Enjoy the sunny week!
    • psdie
    • By psdie 28th Aug 18, 11:51 PM
    • 107 Posts
    • 66 Thanks
    psdie
    N180 DQ filed
    Hi all - N180 filed by e-mail to CCBC, in line with this advice (#4), with a copy by e-mail to leanne@gladstonessolicitors.co.uk (+ julie@ to be safe).

    MCOL states the claimant filed their DQ a couple of weeks ago, but I've not received a copy of it by post or e-mail - is this unusual / beneficial to my defence?
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 29th Aug 18, 12:01 AM
    • 62,736 Posts
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    Coupon-mad
    MCOL states the claimant filed their DQ a couple of weeks ago, but I've not received a copy of it by post or e-mail - is this unusual / beneficial to my defence?
    Unusual but no help for you really. You could ask Leanne or Julie for a copy!
    • psdie
    • By psdie 29th Aug 18, 12:18 AM
    • 107 Posts
    • 66 Thanks
    psdie
    Thank you CM. I've just realised from the CCBC acknowledgement e-mail that the deadline was actually 4pm on the specified date, whereas I incorrectly assumed midnight (and submitted shortly before it). Hopefully this won't cause a problem? There's no instructions for filing online in the DQ letter unfortunately - so much for encouraging paperless!
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 29th Aug 18, 3:51 PM
    • 62,736 Posts
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    Coupon-mad
    Check MCOL and make sure your DQ is updated. If not, ring the court.
    • psdie
    • By psdie 29th Aug 18, 10:26 PM
    • 107 Posts
    • 66 Thanks
    psdie
    Not showing on MCOL yet, hmm. Apologies for the newb question - given hasn't been assigned to a court yet (AFAIK), who do I call? CCBC somehow? Thanks!
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 29th Aug 18, 10:33 PM
    • 9,889 Posts
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    KeithP
    CCBC somehow?
    Originally posted by psdie
    Yes. There's a phone number on your Claim Form.

    Alternatively, stick contact ccbc into google.

    Imagination needed sometimes.
    .
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 29th Aug 18, 10:48 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    Any company or service with a website, can be Googled with the words 'contact us'. Thought everyone knew that?
    • psdie
    • By psdie 29th Aug 18, 11:16 PM
    • 107 Posts
    • 66 Thanks
    psdie
    Thanks. Don't forget some of us are brand new to this - it wasn't obvious how to "contact the court" before actually assigned a court, and CCBC aren't a court AIUI, hence the question. Will get in touch with them, fingers crossed just a processing delay
    • psdie
    • By psdie 6th Oct 18, 10:27 PM
    • 107 Posts
    • 66 Thanks
    psdie
    A quick update - my DQ eventually showed up online on 5/9 despite filing on 28/8. I received a Notice of Transfer of Proceedings from CCBC on 5/9 saying transferred to my local county court as requested, saying they'd contact me once allocated - but nothing yet a month-ish later (normal?).

    I'm wondering if I should write to Gladrags and offer discontinuation if they offer a nominal compensation amount for the hours of stress and paperwork I've incurred (I'd expect this to at least the attendance allowance normally offered by the court). Partly to get this out of my hair, and partly because perhaps the court will appreciate my efforts to settle out of court?
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 6th Oct 18, 10:34 PM
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    Coupon-mad
    Yes the delay is normal, that's the slow machine of the courts for you!

    You could try your idea but you won't get them agreeing!
    • psdie
    • By psdie 6th Oct 18, 11:40 PM
    • 107 Posts
    • 66 Thanks
    psdie
    Thank you CM .. I don't mind if they don't agree, their loss (likely to be awarded more in court) - but do you think it's helpful for showing I've tried to reach out of court settlement?
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 6th Oct 18, 11:44 PM
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    KeithP
    Why do you think suggesting to them that they pay you any money to settle will have any appeal to them?

    They can discontinue anytime they wish without paying out another penny.
    .
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 8th Oct 18, 12:42 AM
    • 62,736 Posts
    • 75,673 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Thank you CM .. I don't mind if they don't agree, their loss (likely to be awarded more in court) - but do you think it's helpful for showing I've tried to reach out of court settlement?
    Originally posted by psdie
    No because you can't show your 'Without Prejudice Save as to Costs' offer negotiations at the hearing, except when it comes to the matter of costs at the end.
    • psdie
    • By psdie 9th Oct 18, 1:01 AM
    • 107 Posts
    • 66 Thanks
    psdie
    Keith - thinking behind an offer at this stage is that if it's obvious they'll lose in court (given watertight Defence AIUI), and I make clear will be applying for costs if they discontinue at this stage without compensation (given the considerable time it's cost me), they may agree a sum now to avoid claim for higher costs in court.

    CM - understood that wouldn't help the actual court decision - it's to help demonstrating Unreasonable Behaviour from them at the costs claim - refusal to negotiate out of court, after relentlessly pursuing a case clearly without merit (given they were provided with exonerating photo evidence at the very earliest stage of appeal).

    If don't think it's a good idea, happy to sit tight instead!
    • psdie
    • By psdie 13th Oct 18, 6:45 AM
    • 107 Posts
    • 66 Thanks
    psdie
    Amended Defence due by ~23 Oct
    OK, I've received Notice of Allocation to Small Claims Track from the court last week. The Judge kindly granted my request to stay the claim due to inadequate particulars, but Gladrags have filed amended particulars as instructed. A redacted copy is here.

    Basically they state claim is on basis of breach of contract, because they'd installed signs at the site (literally in a hedge around the corner in the dark, with contradicting signage right next to the parking spot). The also claim "the Defendant was driving the vehicle", which is not and has never been admitted and they present zero proof - indeed my Defence states the primary driver of the vehicle at the time wasn't me, and I'm defending as Registered Keeper only. They mention POFA rights, so presumably only claiming under that.

    The court letter sets out the following schedule:
    • ~23 Oct = Amended Defence due
    • ~6 Nov = Evidence doc copies due
    • ~12 Nov = They must pay 25 court fee else struck
    • ~20 Nov = Witness statement due
    • Mid Dec = Hearing date at County Court [fixed!]

    My amended Defence is the first deliverable, due in ~10 days. Advice for this greatly appreciated - the original filed version is here. I will need to at least reflect that (presumably) accurate particulars have now been filed - does it change anything about how I should approach the Defence? I will state that they're put to strict proof as to the identity of the driver.

    They mention "claims costs on contractual (indemnity) basis, pursuant to CPR 44.5, as the contract contains an expressed indemnity clause". I presume this is unenforceable as the driver never saw their obscured signage - but in principle does this mean that they want to try to apply for costs above the claim amount? Or perhaps this is referring to their 50 "Legal representative's costs", but no longer state an amount.

    They also mention 50 damages for breach of contract - which appear to be a different sum from the original particulars, which had a lump amount for 160 for "Parking Charges / Damages and indemnity costs if applicable" - so presumably they're lowering from 60 to 50 for that aspect. All very unclear!

    Advice welcome - thank you all
    Last edited by psdie; 15-10-2018 at 1:08 AM. Reason: Mag Court -> County Court
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