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  • FIRST POST
    • rob800
    • By rob800 2nd Aug 18, 2:50 PM
    • 20Posts
    • 4Thanks
    rob800
    VCS Claim received, defence help please
    • #1
    • 2nd Aug 18, 2:50 PM
    VCS Claim received, defence help please 2nd Aug 18 at 2:50 PM
    Hi
    I have received the claim form through, VCS have skipped having BW Legal contact me it seems. I have drafted my defence from the examples on here. Any help please -

    DEFENCE STATEMENT

    Preliminary

    1. The claimant failed to include a copy of their written contract as per Practice Direction 16 7.3(1) and Practice Direction 7C 1.4(3A). No indication is given as to the Claimants contractual authority to operate there as required by the Claimants Trade Association's Code of Practice B1.1 which says;
    “If you operate parking management activities on land which is not owned by you, you must supply us with written authority from the land owner sufficient to establish you as the ‘Creditor’ within the meaning of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (where applicable) and in any event to establish you as a person who is able to recover parking charges. There is no prescribed form for such agreement and it need not necessarily be as part of a contract but it must include the express ability for an operator to recover parking charges on the landowner’s behalf or provide sufficient right to occupy the land in question so that charges can be recovered by the operator directly. This applies whether or not you intend to use the keeper liability provisions.”

    2. The particulars of claim do not meet the requirements of Practice Direction 16 7.5 as there is nothing which specifies how the terms were breached. Indeed the particulars of claim are not clear and concise as is required by CPR 16.4 1(a). The Claimants are known to be serial issuers of generic claims similar to this one. HM Courts Service have identified over 1000 similar sparse claims. I believe the term for such behaviour is ‘roboclaims’ and as such is against the public interest. Practice Direction 3A which references Civil Procedure Rule 3.4 illustrates this point;

    “ 1.4 The following are examples of cases where the court may conclude that particulars of claim (whether contained in a claim form or filed separately) fall within rule 3.4(2)(a):
    1. those which set out no facts indicating what the claim is about, for example ‘Money owed £5000’,
    2. those which are incoherent and make no sense,
    3. those which contain a coherent set of facts but those facts, even if true, do not disclose any legally recognisable claim against the defendant ”

    3. The claimant has not provided enough details in the particulars of claim to file a full defence;
    3.1. The Claimant has disclosed no cause of action to give rise to any debt.
    3.2. The Claimant has stated nothing more than a ‘charge notice’ was issued.
    3.3. The Claimant has given no indication of the nature of the alleged charge in the Particulars of Claim. The Claimant has therefore disclosed no cause of action.
    3.4. The Particulars of Claim contains no details and fails to establish a cause of action which would enable the Defendant to prepare a specific defence. It just states “parking charges” which does not give any indication of on what basis the claim is brought.
    There is no information regarding why the charge arose, what the original charge was, what the alleged contract was, nor anything which could be considered a fair exchange of information.
    The Particulars of Claim are incompetent in disclosing no cause of action.

    3.4.1 On the 20th September 2016 another relevant poorly pleaded private parking
    charge claim by Gladstones was struck out by District Judge Cross of St Albans County Court without a hearing due to their ‘roboclaim’ particulars being incoherent, failing to comply with CPR. 16.4 and ‘providing no facts that could give rise to any apparent claim in law.’

    3.4.2. On the 27thJuly 2016 DJ Anson sitting at Preston County Court ruled that the very similar parking charge particulars of claim were deficient and failing to meet CPR 16.4 and PD 16 paragraphs 7.3 – 7.6. He ordered the Claimant in that case to file new particulars which they failed to do and so the court confirmed that the claim be struck out.

    Background
    4. It is admitted that at the time of the alleged infringement the Defendant was the registered keeper of vehicle registration mark ****** which is the subject of these proceedings. In addition to myself, four other members of my family have access to use this vehicle. It is noted that the Claimant states that my vehicle is a Hyundai I30, which it is not. Therefore the claimant has either mistakenly identified my vehicle as the target of this claim or have made an error in their initial recording of the alleged infringement, which they have failed to carry out any deal diligence on at any point since or when issuing these proceedings.

    5. It is not admitted that on ******* the Defendant's vehicle committed any infringement at the location identified by the claimant as ‘Southgate Retail Park’.
    5.1. The Claimant has provided no comprehensive evidence, photographic or otherwise that the vehicle committed any infringement. The photographs the claimant has provided, taken on a mobile phone of one its employees, are of poor quality and show only a partial vehicle registration plate in several photos. The only photographs that appear to show the registration plate of my vehicle are close up photos of the plate, which make it impossible for me to identify where these were taken or if in fact the vehicle was actually parked at the time (rather than in the process of parking or otherwise manoeuvring)

    6. It is denied that the Defendant was the driver of the vehicle. The Claimant is put to strict proof.
    6.1. The Claimant has provided no evidence (in pre-action correspondence or otherwise) that the Defendant was the driver. The Defendant avers that the Claimant is therefore limited to pursuing the keeper in these proceedings under the provisions set out by statute in the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 ("POFA")
    6.2. Before seeking to rely on the keeper liability provisions of Schedule 4 POFA the Claimant must demonstrate that:
    6.2.1. There was a ‘relevant obligation’ either by way of a breach of contract, trespass or other tort; and
    6.2.2. 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.

    6.3. To the extent that the Claimant may seek to allege that any such presumption 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 POFA, which makes no such provision. In the alternative, an amendment could have been made to s.172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. The 1988 Act continues to oblige the identification of drivers only in strictly limited circumstances, where a criminal offence has been committed. Those provisions do not apply to this matter.

    7. The defendant wrote to the claimant on 12/2/18 & 14/4/18, 1/5/18 and 30/5/18 asking for:
    a) Full particulars of the parking charges
    b) Who the party was that contracted with UK Car Park Management Ltd
    c) The full legal identity of the landowner
    d) A full copy of the contract with the landholder that demonstrated that Vehicle Control Services Ltd had their authority.
    e) If the charges were based on damages for breach of contract and if so to provide justification of this sum.
    f) Comprehensive photographic evidence of the alleged infringement

    The claimant has not responded with any of the above information.

    As VCS deal with these claims every single day of the week there can be no excuse for these omissions.

    The Defendant asks that the court orders Further and Better Particulars of Claim and asks leave to amend the Defence.

    8. Vehcile Control Services Ltd are not the lawful occupier of the land. I have the reasonable belief that they do not have the authority to issue charges on this land in their own name and that they have no rights to bring action regarding this claim.
    8.1. The Claimant is not the landowner and is merely an agent acting on behalf of the landowner and has failed to demonstrate their legal standing to form a contract.
    8.2. The claimant is not the landowner and suffers no loss whatsoever as a result of a vehicle parking at the location in question
    8.3 The Claimant is put to proof that it has sufficient interest in the land or that there are specific terms in its contract to bring an action on its own behalf. As a third party agent, the Claimant may not pursue any charge

    9. The Claimant has at no time provided an explanation how the ‘parking charge’ has been calculated, the conduct that gave rise to it or how the amount has escalated from £100 to £160. This appears to be an added cost with apparently no qualification and an attempt at double recovery, which the POFA Schedule 4 specifically disallows.
    9.1. The Protection of Freedom Act Para 4(5) states that the maximum sum that may be recovered from the keeper is the charge stated on the Notice to Keeper.
    9.2. The driver did not enter into any 'agreement on the charge', no consideration flowed between the parties and no contract was established.
    9.2.1. The Defendant denies that the driver would have agreed to pay the original demand of £100 to agree to the alleged contract had the terms and conditions of the contract been properly displayed and accessible.

    Failure to set out clear parking terms
    10. The Defendant relies upon ParkingEye Ltd v Barry Beavis (2015) UKSC 67 insofar as the Court were willing to impose a penalty in the context of a site of commercial value and where the signage regarding the penalties imposed for any breach of parking terms were clear - both upon entry to the site and throughout.
    10.1. The Defendant avers that the parking signage in this matter was, without prejudice to his/her primary defence above, woefully inadequate.
    10.1.1. At the time of the material events the signage was deficient in number, distribution, wording and lighting to reasonably convey a contractual obligation;
    10.1.2. The signage did not comply with the requirements of the Code of Practice of the Independent Parking Committee’s ("IPC") Accredited Operators Scheme, an organisation to which the Claimant was a signatory; and
    10.1.3. The signage contained particularly onerous terms not sufficiently drawn to the attention of the visitor as set out in the leading judgment of Denning MR in J Spurling v Bradshaw [1956] EWCA Civ 3
    10.2. The site in question, identified by the claimant as ‘Southgate Retail Park’, is actually two separate car parks separated by a central access aisle from the main road. From the limited information provided by the claimant, the alleged infringement is claimed to have taken place in the right hand car park of the two on site. Upon entry to this car park there is a prominent, permanent metal sign identifying the car park as ‘Southgate Innovation Centre’. It is not identified as ‘Southgate Retail Park’ as the claimant alleges. The only parking condition on this sign is a 2 hour maximum stay, with no mention of any penalty charges for any breaches of this. This sign is presented in the colour scheme, font and including logos of the ‘Southgate’ brand seen elsewhere on the site. It would be considered by any user to be a genuine piece of signage, identifying the name of the car park and the conditions of parking within.
    The VCS signage present on the ‘Southgate’ site, which the claimant is relying on for claim, are generic signage without any of the Southgate branding, referring to terms and conditions for parking at ‘Southgate Retail Park’, not ‘Southgate Innovation Centre’ as the car park in question is identified by the signage on entry to that car park. The VCS signage would therefore be considered by any user as not valid to the ‘Southgate Innovation Centre’ car park and would any user would naturally believed they referred to the left hand car park, as that is a retail area containing Pound World and Lidl retail units. The ‘Southgate Innovation Centre’ part of the site includes a gym, an assessment centre, various office units and a charity donation centre, no retail units.

    11. The Claimant has sent threatening and misleading demands which stated that further debt recovery action would be taken to recover what is owed by passing the debt to a recovery agent (which suggested to the Defendant they would be calling round like bailiffs) adding further unexplained charges with no evidence of how these extra charges have been calculated.
    No figure for additional charges was 'agreed' nor could it have formed part of the alleged 'contract' because no such indemnity costs were quantified on the signs. Terms cannot be bolted on later with figures plucked out of thin air, as if they were incorporated into the small print when they were not.

    12. The claimant failed to provide any independent appeals process for me to be able to challenge the validity of this claim. The Claimant as a member of the IPC, only offer the IAS (Independent Appeals Service), which has been widely discredited. This is due to the fact that the 'IAS' is widely held to be a misnomer and is not an independent appeals service at all and is well known as a heavily biased 'kangaroo court' created for the benefit of IPC members, in order to attempt to offer a false perception that you have offered an independent, impartial appeals service.

    Parliament are well aware of the conflict of interests preventing any IPC form being considered to be offering anything like a fair appeals process, quotes from Hansard from 2nd February 2018 included "appeals service is no guarantee of a fair hearing and the current system of regulation is hopeless, like putting Dracula in charge of the blood-bank". I have repeatedly requested a truly independent or transparently fair appeal facility, like the POPLA service offered by other companies, however the Claimant has refused to provide this and has continued the aggressive demands for payment instead.


    Wholly unreasonable and vexatious claim
    12. It is submitted that the conduct of the Claimant in pursuing this claim is wholly unreasonable and vexatious. 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, pursuant to Civil Procedure Rule 27.14(2)(g).

    13. The Defendant respectfully suggests that parking companies using the small claims track as a form of aggressive, automated monetary demands against motorists, alleging 'debts' for parking on free customer parking areas is not something the Courts should be seen to support.

    14. The Court is invited to take Judicial Notice of the fact that the Claimant is engaged in a course of conduct which involves issuing tens of thousands of totally meritless Claims, which are routinely dismissed by District Judges sitting in this Court, and other County Court hearing centres in all parts of England & Wales. The Court is therefore invited to refer the matter to the Designated Civil Judge, for consideration of the issuing an Extended Civil Restraint Order against the Claimant, pursuant to CPR Practice Direction 3.1(3).

    15. The Defendant denies the claim in its entirety, voiding any liability to the Claimant for all amounts due to the aforementioned reasons. 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.

    16. If the court is not minded to make such an order, then 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.

    Name - Signed - Date
Page 1
    • IamEmanresu
    • By IamEmanresu 2nd Aug 18, 3:04 PM
    • 3,784 Posts
    • 6,229 Thanks
    IamEmanresu
    • #2
    • 2nd Aug 18, 3:04 PM
    • #2
    • 2nd Aug 18, 3:04 PM
    What a waste of time.

    You could easily have put this in your other threads so we could actually relate what you are saying with what they are claiming.
    If you want to win - avoid losing first. Here are a few examples
    1. Failing to RTFM - the Civil Procedure Rules
    2. Failing to Acknowledge or Defend- See #1
    3. Failing to RTFCL - the Court letters
    4. Template defences that say nothing - See #1
    5. Forgetting about the Witness Statement - See #3
    • bargepole
    • By bargepole 2nd Aug 18, 3:06 PM
    • 2,496 Posts
    • 7,154 Thanks
    bargepole
    • #3
    • 2nd Aug 18, 3:06 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Aug 18, 3:06 PM
    This looks like one of those scattergun defences which appear on here regularly, where someone has disinterred a load of obsolete stuff from several years ago, and thought 'ah, that paragraph looks legal and I have no idea what it means, so I'll bung that in'.

    I might copy and paste the above defence to another legal forum I belong to, as a perfect example of how not to plead a defence.

    Rip that load of rubbish up and start again, please.

    I have been providing assistance, including Lay Representation at Court hearings (current score: won 35, lost 10), to defendants in parking cases for over 5 years. I have an LLB (Hons) degree, and am a Graduate member of CILEx, studying towards a Fellowship (equivalent to solicitor) in Civil Litigation. However, any advice given on these forums by me is NOT formal legal advice, and I accept no liability for its accuracy.
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 2nd Aug 18, 3:08 PM
    • 11,362 Posts
    • 11,889 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #4
    • 2nd Aug 18, 3:08 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Aug 18, 3:08 PM
    So that's now three threads on this saga.
    .
    • rob800
    • By rob800 2nd Aug 18, 6:30 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    rob800
    • #5
    • 2nd Aug 18, 6:30 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Aug 18, 6:30 PM
    ?? I have used one of the example from the sticky thread and amended it to my circumstances. Which bits are no longer valid ? I have followed the advice from the sticky and looked at the other defences on here, I don't have the legal knowledge to do otherwise. Any constructive advice on what I need to follow welcome please.
    • rob800
    • By rob800 2nd Aug 18, 6:49 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    rob800
    • #6
    • 2nd Aug 18, 6:49 PM
    • #6
    • 2nd Aug 18, 6:49 PM
    It is VCS, reason for charge was not being wholly parked within a bay. One wheel was over the line due to how other vehicles were parked right up to the line. There are issues from the photographs having the number plate partly obstructed in most of them and signage issues noted in my defence.
    • IamEmanresu
    • By IamEmanresu 2nd Aug 18, 7:19 PM
    • 3,784 Posts
    • 6,229 Thanks
    IamEmanresu
    • #7
    • 2nd Aug 18, 7:19 PM
    • #7
    • 2nd Aug 18, 7:19 PM
    If you are happy with the defence then send it in. As we have nothing to go on and like you can't be arsed, then it is a simple decision for you to "spray and pray".

    Lets hope the judge is in a good mood and won't just throw it on the pile of "template crap"
    If you want to win - avoid losing first. Here are a few examples
    1. Failing to RTFM - the Civil Procedure Rules
    2. Failing to Acknowledge or Defend- See #1
    3. Failing to RTFCL - the Court letters
    4. Template defences that say nothing - See #1
    5. Forgetting about the Witness Statement - See #3
    • Redx
    • By Redx 2nd Aug 18, 7:26 PM
    • 20,410 Posts
    • 25,768 Thanks
    Redx
    • #8
    • 2nd Aug 18, 7:26 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Aug 18, 7:26 PM
    pm soolin or crabman and ask them to merge your 3 threads in this forum (all from this year) into one , one topic , one thread, then people know what its all about


    have that board guide change the thread title to something like VCS COURT CLAIM too


    then work on a legal defence that works as clearly the one posted above has attracted critique so far, so isnt suitable , plus it has spelling errors too
    Last edited by Redx; 02-08-2018 at 7:44 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
    • rob800
    • By rob800 2nd Aug 18, 7:53 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    rob800
    • #9
    • 2nd Aug 18, 7:53 PM
    • #9
    • 2nd Aug 18, 7:53 PM
    IamEmanresu bit unfair saying I can't arsed. I have followed the advice on the newbie and tried to amend other defences on here that people have used and have had various help on from people. I have tried to the best of my ability to amend one to my circumstances. If it is no good fair enough but can someone please help me out and what is good and bad about it ? or suggest I better one I can look at please ? I can't just write one from scratch and it tells you not to do that in the newbie anyway. Thanks
    • Thorsson
    • By Thorsson 2nd Aug 18, 8:09 PM
    • 146 Posts
    • 71 Thanks
    Thorsson
    You haven't detailed your circumstances. You've just gone straight to Defence. Look at 95% of other threads to see why yours is different.

    Engage brain - why do you think that might be less than helpful?
    • Redx
    • By Redx 2nd Aug 18, 8:16 PM
    • 20,410 Posts
    • 25,768 Thanks
    Redx
    very few people who come onto this forum are legally trained and this forum isnt even about legal matters, its about PARKING TICKETS , FINES & PARKING as shown in the forum header , nothing about court claims, plus this is mentioned in my signature

    I would think that for somebody who is legally trained its a chore to go through your defence with a red pen

    what would I be doing ?

    I would be reading through the posts bargepole has made on here in the last 2 years for starters , plus johnersh and LOC123 posts too (and coupon-mad where its a post about a 2018 defence)

    I would especially read the ones where they have given the red pen treatment to scattergun defences and trimmed them down and honed them into a version of the "perfect bespoke defence" , I have seen a couple of those recently from bargepole for example

    so I would also be looking at other recent defences where the same has been done by people like johnnersh and LOC123 as well - they do exist !!!

    where you have annoyed some posters is posting a defence with no context, as the context has been lost in thread 1 (parking ticket by VCS) , thread 2 , (failure at the IAS) and thread 3) (THIS THREAD)

    should be all one thread with this defence a continuation of that single thread which would be about the whole sorry saga from start to conclusion

    people here are volunteers with too many threads about court claims and hardly anyone legally trained who will give up their free time to write or hone defences

    hence why I would be looking at recent 2018 defences that are already honed and have been submitted or approved , not just relying on the linked ones in the newbies faq thread

    I would also be looking at B W LEGAL and EXCEL court claim threads as well , seeing as its all the same really

    and those thoughts are from a regular (me) that has never been through it but comes here daily and reads a lot. the reading creates knowledge , and you get a wide spectrum of what is good and what is bad

    so those are my legally untrained thoughts on how I would be approaching this and the pitfalls to avoid like multiple threads and no context
    Last edited by Redx; 02-08-2018 at 8:20 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
    • Le_Kirk
    • By Le_Kirk 3rd Aug 18, 9:41 AM
    • 3,412 Posts
    • 2,372 Thanks
    Le_Kirk
    When you have PM'd a board guide to have your threads merged change: -
    DEFENCE STATEMENT
    It's just a DEFENCE!
    • rob800
    • By rob800 3rd Aug 18, 12:22 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    rob800
    Thanks for advice Redx. I mistakenly started a new post as it says to do so in newbie and it doesn't let you change the name of your previous post to show you are now at the claim stage. I will request they are merged.

    I have looked at some more posts similar to mine (not parked wholly within a bay) and amended and slimed mine down to the below. Any comments/advice welcome please.

    1.It is acknowledged that the Defendant is the registered keeper of the vehicle xxxx. In addition to the Defendant, four family members have access to use this vehicle. It is noted that the Claimant states that this vehicle is a Hyundai I30, which is not. Therefore the claimant has either mistakenly identified the vehicle xxxx as the target of this claim or have made an error in their initial recording of the alleged infringement, which they have failed to carry out any deal diligence on at any point since or when issuing these proceedings.


    2. It is denied that any monies related to the "Charge Notice" (whatever they might be) as stated on the Particulars of Claim ('POC') are owed and any debt is denied in it's entirety. The POC fail to state anything about the alleged breach of terms.


    3. Notwithstanding the failure of the POC to state any detail, the Defendant is aware that there was one unfair parking charge notice (PCN) affixed to this vehicle in January 2018, where the PCN was punitive and appeared to be no more than a predatory scam as featured heavily in the media. The narrow parking bays in question vary greatly in size and shape, for no more reason than seemingly, to cause difficulty for and to entrap motorists.

    4.1 It is not admitted that on ******* the Defendant's vehicle committed any infringement at the location identified by the Claimant as !!!8216;Southgate Retail Park!!!8217;.
    The Claimant has provided no comprehensive evidence, photographic or otherwise that the vehicle committed any infringement. The photographs the claimant has provided, apparently taken on a mobile phone of one its employees, are of poor quality and show only a partial vehicle registration plate in several photos. The only photographs that appear to show the registration plate of the claimants vehicle are close up photographs of the plate, which make it impossible to identify where these were taken or if in fact the vehicle was actually parked at the time (rather than in the process of parking or otherwise manoeuvring). Requests for additional photographic evidence from the Claimant, clearly showing the vehicle registration plate in all cases, have been ignored.


    4.2. The car shown in the claimant!!!8217;s photographs, which the Defendant is unable to confirm is their own with any certainty due to the issues mentioned above, appears to be have been positioned as such due to the way adjacent vehicles are parked. The adjacent to this vehicle to the right was parked right up to the line, causing the driver of the vehicle in question to have to place the car carefully and courteously alongside and an equal distance between the two adjacent vehicles, albeit at a angle with one wheel over the white line. This appears to have been done to prevent access issues and possible damage to any of the three vehicles, when the doors of any of the vehicles were opened.

    4.3. This exact situation was briefly touched upon by the Judges at the Supreme Court in ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis [2015] UKSC 67, where the concept of ticketing cars for having to park at an angle due to the line of the first car in the row, was considered to be potentially unfair, but that was not the situation so the discussion moved on to consider the facts of the case and whether the charge at hand was unconscionable or justified, as must always be considered with any PCN, on a case-by-case basis.

    4.4. However, the Supreme Court Judges stated that the penalty rule was undoubtedly engaged in all parking charge cases and the Beavis case charge was only saved from being held to be an unrecoverable and unconscionable penalty, due to the compelling commercial justification of the value of offering a licence for '2 hours free' parking in that busy retail park and the necessity to ensure a regular turnover of bays. None of this applies in this case and the Defendant avers this charge is punitive and not saved by any compelling legitimate interest, which cannot be to punish drivers. The Claimant has failed to provide any claim or evidence to demonstrate an obstruction to parking being caused by this vehicle. In fact the photographs provided by the Claimant show all bays fully occupied.

    4.5 The site in question, identified by the claimant as !!!8216;Southgate Retail Park!!!8217;, is actually two separate car parks separated by a central access aisle from the main road. From the limited information provided by the claimant, the alleged infringement is claimed to have taken place in the right hand car park of the two on site. Upon entry to this car park there is a prominent, permanent metal sign identifying the car park as !!!8216;Southgate Innovation Centre!!!8217;. It is not identified as !!!8216;Southgate Retail Park!!!8217; as the claimant alleges. The only parking condition on this sign is a 2 hour maximum stay, with no mention of any penalty charges for any breaches of this. This sign is presented in the colour scheme, font and including logos of the !!!8216;Southgate!!!8217; brand seen elsewhere on the site. It would be considered by any user to be a genuine piece of signage, identifying the name of the car park and the conditions of parking within.
    The VCS signage present on the !!!8216;Southgate!!!8217; site, which the claimant is relying on for claim, are generic signage without any of the Southgate branding, referring to terms and conditions for parking at !!!8216;Southgate Retail Park!!!8217;, not !!!8216;Southgate Innovation Centre!!!8217; as the car park in question is identified by the signage on entry to that car park. The VCS signage would therefore be considered by any user as not valid to the !!!8216;Southgate Innovation Centre!!!8217; car park and would any user would naturally believed they referred to the left hand car park, as that is a retail area containing Pound World and Lidl retail units. The !!!8216;Southgate Innovation Centre!!!8217; part of the site including a gym, an assessment centre, various office units and a charity donation centre, no retail units.

    5 It is denied that the Defendant was the driver of the vehicle. The Claimant is put to strict proof.
    5.1. The Claimant has provided no evidence (in pre-action correspondence or otherwise) that the Defendant was the driver. The Defendant avers that the Claimant is therefore limited to pursuing the keeper in these proceedings under the provisions set out by statute in the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 ("POFA")
    5.2. Before seeking to rely on the keeper liability provisions of Schedule 4 POFA the Claimant must demonstrate that:
    5.3.1. There was a !!!8216;relevant obligation!!!8217; either by way of a breach of contract, trespass or other tort; and
    5.3.2. 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.


    6.It is denied that the Claimant has authority to bring this claim.
    a) The Claimant is not the landowner and is merely an agent acting on behalf of the landowner and has failed to demonstrate their legal standing to form a contract.
    b) The claimant is not the landowner and suffers no loss whatsoever as a result of a vehicle parking at the location in question
    c) The Claimant is put to proof that it has sufficient interest in the land or that there are specific terms in its contract to bring an action on its own behalf. As a third party agent, the Claimant may not pursue any charge. I have the reasonable belief that they do not have the authority to issue charges on this land in their own name and that they have no right to bring action regarding this claim.


    7.The Letter before Action omitted the following information
    a) Include details of the breach of contract.
    b) A list of the relevant documents/evidence on which the Claimant intends to rely.


    8. This case can be easily distinguished from ParkingEye v Beavis which the Judges held was 'entirely different' from most ordinary economic contract disputes.
    Charges cannot exist merely to punish drivers. This claimant has failed to show any comparable 'legitimate interest' to save their charge from Lord Dunedin's four tests for a penalty, which the Supreme Court Judges found was still adequate in less complex cases, such as this allegation.

    9. It is submitted that (apart from properly incurred court fees) any added legal fees/debt recovery costs in addition to the original £100 charge, are simply numbers made up out of thin air, and are an attempt at double recovery by the Claimant, which would not be recoverable in the small claims court.

    10. It is denied that there was any 'relevant obligation' or 'relevant contract' relating to any single parking event.


    11. The defendant denies the claim in its entirety voiding any liability to the claimant for all amounts claimed due to the aforementioned reasons.
    It is submitted that the conduct of the Claimant is wholly unreasonable and vexatious.
    As such, I am keeping a note of my wasted time/costs in dealing with this matter.

    12. I request the court strike out this claim for the reasons stated above, and for similar reasons cited by District Judge Cross of St Albans County Court on 20/09/16 where a similar claim was struck out without a hearing, due to the Claimants template particulars for a private parking firm being 'incoherent', failing to comply with CPR16.4, and ''providing no facts that could give rise to any apparent claim in law''.

    Statement of Truth: I confirm that the contents of this statement are true to the best of my knowledge and belief.
    • Johnersh
    • By Johnersh 3rd Aug 18, 12:57 PM
    • 1,183 Posts
    • 2,249 Thanks
    Johnersh
    1.It
    is acknowledged that the Defendant is the registered keeper of the vehicle xxxx. In addition to the Defendant, four family members have access to use this vehicle. It is noted that the Claimant states that this vehicle is a Hyundai I30, which is not. Therefore the claimant has either mistakenly identified the vehicle xxxx as the target of this claim or have made an error in their initial recording of the alleged infringement, which they have failed to carry out any deal diligence on at any point since or when issuing these proceedings.
    Or put another way:

    The defendant is keeper of a [eg. Ford focus] registration XXX ("the Car"). This is a different vehicle than that described in the Particulars of claim. At all material times, the Car has been insured, with 4 named drivers.

    Prune the rambling....
    "The best advice I ever got was that knowledge is power and to keep reading."
    DISCLAIMER: I post thoughts as & when they occur. I don't advise. You are your own person and decision-maker. I'm unlikely to respond to DMs seeking personal advice. It's ill-advised & you lose the benefit of a group "take" on events.
    • rob800
    • By rob800 6th Aug 18, 4:40 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    rob800
    Any more help please guys ? many thanks
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 6th Aug 18, 5:11 PM
    • 11,362 Posts
    • 11,889 Thanks
    KeithP
    As suggested above, prune the rambling.
    Then perhaps post a revised Defence.

    Have you read any of the concise Defences linked from post #2 of the NEWBIES FAQ sticky thread?
    .
    • rob800
    • By rob800 10th Aug 18, 4:23 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    rob800
    Please see my updated defence attached, any advice would be great thanks in advance.

    1.It is acknowledged that the Defendant is the registered keeper of the vehicle xxxx, a Hyundai I20, a different vehicle type to the one identified in the Particulars of Claim. In addition to the Defendant four other family members have access to drive the vehicle

    2. It is denied that any monies related to the "Charge Notice" (whatever they might be) as stated on the Particulars of Claim ('POC') are owed and any debt is denied in it's entirety. The POC fail to state anything about the alleged breach of terms.


    3. Notwithstanding the failure of the POC to state any detail, the Defendant is aware that there was one unfair parking charge notice (PCN) affixed to this vehicle in January 2018, where the PCN was punitive and appeared to be no more than a predatory scam featured heavily in local media. The narrow parking bays in question vary greatly in size and shape, for no more reason than seemingly, to cause difficulty for and to entrap motorists.

    4.1 It is not admitted that on ******* the Defendant's vehicle committed any infringement at the location identified by the claimant as !!!8216;Southgate Retail Park!!!8217;.
    The Claimant has provided no comprehensive evidence, photographic or otherwise that the vehicle committed any infringement. The photographs the claimant has provided, apparently taken on a mobile phone of one its employees, are of poor quality and show only a partial vehicle registration plate in several photos. The only photographs that appear to show the registration plate of the claimants vehicle are close up photographs of the plate, which make it impossible to identify where these were taken or if in fact the vehicle was actually parked at the time (rather than in the process of parking or otherwise manoeuvring). Requests for additional photographic evidence from the Claimant, clearly showing the vehicle registration plate in all cases, have been ignored.


    4.2. The car shown in the claimant!!!8217;s photographs, which the Defendant is unable to confirm is their own with any certainty due to the issues mentioned above, appears to be have been positioned as such due to the way adjacent vehicles are parked. The adjacent vehicle to the right was parked right up to the line, causing the driver of the vehicle in question to have to place the car carefully and courteously alongside and an equal distance between the two adjacent vehicles, albeit at a angle with one wheel over the white line. This appears to have been done to prevent access issues and to prevent possible damage to any of the three vehicles, when the doors of any of the vehicles were opened.

    4.3. This exact situation was briefly touched upon by the Judges at the Supreme Court in ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis [2015] UKSC 67, where the concept of ticketing cars for having to park at an angle due to the line of the first car in the row, was considered to be potentially unfair, but that was not the situation so the discussion moved on to consider the facts of the case and whether the charge at hand was unconscionable or justified, as must always be considered with any PCN, on a case-by-case basis.

    4.4. However, the Supreme Court Judges stated that the penalty rule was undoubtedly engaged in all parking charge cases and the Beavis case charge was only saved from being held to be an unrecoverable and unconscionable penalty, due to the compelling commercial justification of the value of offering a licence for '2 hours free' parking in that busy retail park and the necessity to ensure a regular turnover of bays. None of this applies in this case and the Defendant avers this charge is punitive and not saved by any compelling legitimate interest, which cannot be to punish drivers. The Claimant has failed to provide any claim or evidence to demonstrate an obstruction to parking being caused by this vehicle. In fact the photographs provided by the Claimant show all bays fully occupied.

    4.5 The site in question, identified by the claimant as !!!8216;Southgate Retail Park!!!8217;, is actually two separate car parks separated by a central access aisle from the main road. From the limited information provided by the claimant, the alleged infringement is claimed to have taken place in the right hand car park of the two on site. Upon entry to this car park there is a prominent, permanent metal sign identifying the car park as !!!8216;Southgate Innovation Centre!!!8217;. It is not identified as !!!8216;Southgate Retail Park!!!8217; as the claimant alleges. The only parking condition on this sign is a 2 hour maximum stay, with no mention of any penalty charges for any breaches of this. This sign is presented in the colour scheme, font and including logos of the !!!8216;Southgate!!!8217; brand seen elsewhere on the site. It would be considered by any user to be a genuine piece of signage, identifying the name of the car park and the conditions of parking within.
    The VCS signage present on the !!!8216;Southgate!!!8217; site, which the Claimant is relying on for claim, are generic signage without any of the Southgate branding, referring to terms and conditions for parking at !!!8216;Southgate Retail Park!!!8217;, not !!!8216;Southgate Innovation Centre!!!8217; as the car park in question is identified by the signage on entry to that car park. The VCS signage would therefore be considered by any user as not valid to the !!!8216;Southgate Innovation Centre!!!8217; car park and would any user would naturally believed they referred to the left hand car park, as that is a retail area containing Pound World and Lidl retail units. The !!!8216;Southgate Innovation Centre!!!8217; part of the site including a gym, an assessment centre, various office units and a charity donation centre, no retail units. Any user would therefore not be aware that they were involved in any contract with the Claimant when parking in the area in question.

    5 It is denied that the Defendant was the driver of the vehicle. The Claimant is put to strict proof.
    5.1. The Claimant has provided no evidence (in pre-action correspondence or otherwise) that the Defendant was the driver. The Defendant avers that the Claimant is therefore limited to pursuing the keeper in these proceedings under the provisions set out by statute in the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 ("POFA")
    5.2. Before seeking to rely on the keeper liability provisions of Schedule 4 POFA the Claimant must demonstrate that:
    5.3.1. There was a !!!8216;relevant obligation!!!8217; either by way of a breach of contract, trespass or other tort; and
    5.3.2. 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.


    6.It is denied that the Claimant has authority to bring this claim.
    a) The Claimant is not the landowner and is merely an agent acting on behalf of the landowner and has failed to demonstrate their legal standing to form a contract.
    b) The claimant is not the landowner and suffers no loss whatsoever as a result of a vehicle parking at the location in question
    c) The Claimant is put to proof that it has sufficient interest in the land or that there are specific terms in its contract to bring an action on its own behalf. As a third party agent, the Claimant may not pursue any charge. I have the reasonable belief that they do not have the authority to issue charges on this land in their own name and that they have no right to bring action regarding this claim.


    7.The Letter before Action omitted the following information
    a) Include details of the breach of contract.
    b) A list of the relevant documents/evidence on which the Claimant intends to rely.


    8. This case can be easily distinguished from ParkingEye v Beavis which the Judges held was 'entirely different' from most ordinary economic contract disputes.
    Charges cannot exist merely to punish drivers. This claimant has failed to show any comparable 'legitimate interest' to save their charge from Lord Dunedin's four tests for a penalty, which the Supreme Court Judges found was still adequate in less complex cases, such as this allegation.

    9. It is submitted that (apart from properly incurred court fees) any added legal fees/debt recovery costs in addition to the original £100 charge, are simply numbers made up out of thin air, and are an attempt at double recovery by the Claimant, which would not be recoverable in the small claims court.

    10. The Claimant failed to provide a truly independent appeal service, despite requests to do so. The only service offered was the !!!8216;IAS!!!8217;, which is a trading name for the IPC, to which the Claimant belongs, a clear conflict of interest. No figures or reports are published by the IAS, compared to the POPLA service, where 40%-50% of appeals have consistently been upheld since its inception in 2012. There is no scrutiny board, unlike POPLA. The IAS decisions in the public domain blatantly disregard recognised standards of law or justice. The Claimant believes that access to an independent service like POPLA would have resulted in access to a fair hearing and resolution of this case some months ago.


    11. It is denied that there was any 'relevant obligation' or 'relevant contract' relating to any single parking event.


    12. The defendant denies the claim in its entirety voiding any liability to the claimant for all amounts claimed due to the aforementioned reasons.
    It is submitted that the conduct of the Claimant is wholly unreasonable and vexatious.
    As such, I am keeping a note of my wasted time/costs in dealing with this matter.

    13. I request the court strike out this claim for the reasons stated above, and for similar reasons cited by District Judge Cross of St Albans County Court on 20/09/16 where a similar claim was struck out without a hearing, due to the Claimants template particulars for a private parking firm being 'incoherent', failing to comply with CPR16.4, and ''providing no facts that could give rise to any apparent claim in law''.

    Statement of Truth: I confirm that the contents of this statement are true to the best of my knowledge and belief.
    • rob800
    • By rob800 12th Aug 18, 2:27 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    rob800
    Any more advice on this please before I get it sent off ?

    Thanks
    • rob800
    • By rob800 13th Aug 18, 8:41 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    rob800
    Anything please guys ? :-)
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 14th Aug 18, 2:32 AM
    • 64,896 Posts
    • 77,472 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    I would remove #11 as that relates to a Gladstones case. Is yours BW Legal?

    I would also remove this admission:
    with one wheel over the white line.
    And 4.4. appears to be repeated, pretty much, by #8 so remove one.

    4.5. is far too long. Every paragraph should have a number. Break it up & renumber it.

    I assume you have the usual headings at the top, and signature/date at the end? And know to email the defence to the CCBC, not post it?
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