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  • FIRST POST
    • woozlekeeper
    • By woozlekeeper 29th Jul 18, 2:42 PM
    • 10Posts
    • 0Thanks
    woozlekeeper
    County Court letter for unpaid UKPC parking tickets
    • #1
    • 29th Jul 18, 2:42 PM
    County Court letter for unpaid UKPC parking tickets 29th Jul 18 at 2:42 PM
    We received 2 parking tickets from UK Parking Control Ltd (UKPC) over the last year for parking in a commercial parking lot after working hours, when the premises were empty and the car park was no longer being used by customers (e.g. 8pm-midnight). It was dark when we parked and we did not see any private parking notices - but had a ticket on the windscreen when we returned. We have since had several follow-up letters which we ignored (advice found online) and have now received an official County Court Claim Form for a large sum (in the high hundreds ).

    We have read the 'Newbies Thread' and have created a Government Gateway ID and an Acknowledgement of Service Form to activate the 14 day extension on the claim.

    Unfortunately, we no longer have copies of the original letters that have been sent to us by UKPC. However, from memory - both photos were taken in the dark - and in the first letter the VRN was printed incorrectly.

    The original letters were sent to an old address (that we still own but rent out) and UKPC seem to have used DVLA data to obtain our current address, because they then started sending the letters to our current location.

    We would really appreciate some help in drafting an appropriate defence letter and advice with next steps. Thank you!
Page 2
    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 10th Aug 18, 6:44 PM
    • 38,012 Posts
    • 22,107 Thanks
    Quentin
    Your expectation that this forum will write your defence for you was erroneous and politely pointed out to you immediately


    Now you bite the hand(s) trying to help you!


    Everyone who comes here for help is new to this!


    If it was a straightforward issue there wouldn't be such a massive forum here resulting from all the confused newbies who manage to DIY in the end!
    • woozlekeeper
    • By woozlekeeper 23rd Aug 18, 4:47 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    woozlekeeper
    I have tried to write out a new draft response, based on the letter that was recommended to me from Post 2 on the Newbies thread.

    Please see below:

    "Re: Claim Number [INSERT CLAIM NUMBER]

    I am [INSERT FULL NAME AND MAIDEN NAME THAT TICKETS WERE ADDRESSED TO], the defendant in this matter and the registered keeper of vehicle [INSERT VRN].

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

    1. The Claim Form issued on the [INSERT DATE] by [INSERT FULL LEGAL COMPANY NAME] 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 [INSERT LEGAL COMPANY]; as the Claimant’s 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.

    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.

    2a) Of the alleged contraventions, the Claimant has claimed different causes (customer use only - despite it being after working hours; not clearly showing a valid permit for a permit-holder parking space (when the lot was empty late at night; and parking for longer than the allegedly allowed time). These contraventions, despite being different were apparently all in breach of the same unlit sign that one would have to seek out to find (see photos attached).

    3. This is a speculative serial litigant, issuing a large number of draft particulars. The badly mail-merged documents (including using my former name, corresponding with 2 different addresses, and getting my VRN wrong once) contain very little information; and there is some concern as to how the Claimant obtained both my previous and current postal addresses, as this would have most likely been done by violating my data protection rights (only one of these addresses should have been available via my car registration/DVLA). Posting some letters to one address and then the other made it very difficult to ascertain clarity of the claim(s), timeline, and communication; and I believe that either not all documents pertaining to the claims were sent - or were lost by being sent to the wrong address.

    4. The Claim Form Particulars were extremely sparse; as they did not contain what the alleged contract was and did not contain any evidence of contravention or photographs.

    5. 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 notice to keeper was sent within the 14 days required to comply with POFA 2012, only a speculative invoice entitled “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), is the sum on the Notice to Keeper.

    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.

    7. 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 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. No consideration flowed from the Claimant.
    iv. The signs are believed to have no mention of any debt collection additional charge, which cannot form part of any alleged contract.

    8. The factors that distinguish 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.

    9. In the case of the Contravention listed in the particulars under section 4.2, it has been noted that Crossfit Cambridgeshire no longer operate in that property and that the sum is not being collected for them or on their behalf. The photos attached show all of the current premises tenants and they do not include Crossfit.

    10. 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.

    11. The Defendant has reasonable belief that the Claimant sent a letter claiming to be a debt collection before court action. 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.

    12. Due to the length of time, the Defendant has little to no recollection of the day in question. It would not be reasonable to expect a registered keeper to be able to recall the potential driver(s) of the car so many months and/or years later (the furthest one back being just over 2 years ago). 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.

    Should this Claim fail to be cancelled, I require with your rejection letter, all images taken of this vehicle & the signs at the location the day and time the charge was issued; as I have not been provided with these images for all the alleged contraventions.

    Statement of Truth:

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

    [INSERT SIGNATURE]
    15/08/2018

    -------------------------------------

    In order to resolve the dispute, I attach copies of the following:
    (a) Copy of the Beavis case sign to compare how awful the small print sign was in our case.
    (b) Photos taken from the car - proving the scarce and unlit small print signs in our case, from both locations where the contraventions allegedly took place.
    (d) Copy of Schedule 4 of the POFA (due to defending as keeper).
    (e) Copy of Henry Greenslade's wording from the POPLA Annual Report 2015 'Understanding Keeper Liability' (due to defending as keeper)."

    Please could someone let me know if this is better and would this version be OK to submit? I can't attach images or links to hosted images still (due to being a newbie) so cannot show the signage or locations photographed.

    Thanks kindly in advance!
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 26th Aug 18, 8:44 PM
    • 64,896 Posts
    • 77,472 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    In order to resolve the dispute, I attach copies of the following:
    The defence stage is not the time for attachments, nothing. Just a defence.

    That's very wordy and I would boil it down to the facts, and as they have escalated 2 x 100 to 'high hundreds' then add an ending like here:

    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=74710387#post74710387

    You might want to look at that defence too, as it is less wordy and explains the unclear signs better. Here's another example, different PPC and not the same exactly, but it shows you that this person went straight in with' the facts are':

    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=74692055#post74692055

    Your defence isn't clear at the start what the facts are.

    HTH
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 26-08-2018 at 8:59 PM.
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 26th Aug 18, 9:14 PM
    • 11,362 Posts
    • 11,892 Thanks
    KeithP
    As I said a couple of weeks ago:
    With a Claim Form Issue Date of 27th July, you have until 4pm on Wednesday 29th August 2018 to file your Defence.
    When you are happy with the content, you should file your Defence via email as described here:

    1) Print the Defence.
    2) Sign it and date it.
    3) Scan the signed document back in and save it as a pdf.
    4) Send that pdf as an email attachment to CCBCAQ@Justice.gov.uk
    5) Just put the claim number and the word Defence in the email title, and in the body of the email something like 'Please find my Defence attached'.
    6) Log into MCOL after a few days to see if the Claim is marked "defended". If not, you should chase the CCBC until it is.
    7) Wait for the Directions Questionnaire and come back here.
    .
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