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  • FIRST POST
    • fullofbeans
    • By fullofbeans 6th Aug 18, 5:25 PM
    • 4Posts
    • 0Thanks
    fullofbeans
    County Court Claim - Gladstones
    • #1
    • 6th Aug 18, 5:25 PM
    County Court Claim - Gladstones 6th Aug 18 at 5:25 PM
    Hello Everyone,
    This is my first ever post on MSE.
    Tomorrow is the date by which I need to submit my defence. I did my AOS and have left it too late to start a thread. Situation: Left my car in car park that had inadequate, very small signage, poorly lit to go and pick up a takeaway from a restaurant. The car park allows free parking for 2 hours - the diner has to first go in the restaurant and get a slip and then walk back to his/her vehicle and display in the windscreen. As it was nearly closing time (after 10.30pm ) the lady in the restaurant said I didn't need to display the permit as my takeaway would be ready shortly. I received my food and drove off. I have received this county court claim from Gladstones. The parking charge Total being claimed by them is 240.19.
    As deadline is tomorrow I will limit to 122 lines and enter on MCOL not email the PDF to court email - is that ok?
    Any particular threads which would be particualrly suitable for me to use as a 'start for 10' to build my defence? I will of course tailor it and re-post here for some advice.
    Thanks all in advance.
Page 1
    • IamEmanresu
    • By IamEmanresu 6th Aug 18, 5:33 PM
    • 3,783 Posts
    • 6,224 Thanks
    IamEmanresu
    • #2
    • 6th Aug 18, 5:33 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Aug 18, 5:33 PM
    If you search the site for "122 lines" you will see it is nonsense.

    Find a defence based on the signs and send it in by email. Given the shortage of time don't wait for "approval" and get it done.
    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
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 6th Aug 18, 5:50 PM
    • 11,255 Posts
    • 11,815 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #3
    • 6th Aug 18, 5:50 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Aug 18, 5:50 PM
    MCOL response? Not a good idea.

    Bargepole's walkthrough linked from post #2 of the NEWBIES FAQ sticky explains why that is not a good idea:
    ...trying to fit it in the online box destroys the formatting, and makes it hard for the Judge to read.

    When happy with the content, the Defence should be filed 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 son should chase the CCBC until it is.
    7) Wait for the Directions Questionnaire and come back here.
    .
    • fullofbeans
    • By fullofbeans 6th Aug 18, 10:27 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    fullofbeans
    • #4
    • 6th Aug 18, 10:27 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Aug 18, 10:27 PM
    Here is my defence statement - please could someone kindly offer their advice on how to improve..thank you..
    --------------
    I assert that I am not liable to the Claimant for the sum claimed, or any amount at all, for the following reasons:

    1. It is admitted that the Defendant was the authorised registered keeper of the vehicle in question at the time of the alleged incident.

    2. Based upon the scant and deficient details contained in the Particulars of Claim it appears to be the Claimant's case that:!
    a. There was a contract formed by the Defendant and the Claimant on XX/XX/XXXX.!
    b. There was an agreement to pay a sum or parking charge!
    c. That there were Terms and Conditions prominently displayed around the site!
    d. That in addition to the parking charge there was an agreement to pay additional and unspecified additional sums.
    e. The Claimant company fully complied with their obligations within the International Parking Community Code of Practice of which they were member at the time.!

    3. It is denied that:
    a. A contract was formed
    b. There was an agreement to pay a parking charge.
    c. That there were Terms and Conditions prominently displayed around the site.!
    d. That in addition to the parking charge there was an agreement to pay additional and unspecified additional sums.!
    e. The claimant company fully complied with their obligations within the International Parking Community Code of Practice of which they were member at the time.!

    4. a. The restaurant car park in which the vehicle was parked has a system which by default can make one in breach of the terms and conditions !!!8211; the diner has to park first and go inside the restaurant and get a permit which allows 2 hours free parking and then walk back to their vehicle to display the permit inside the vehicle. It is asserted this whole process can take such a long time by which a parking charge is issued via ANPR/post and never via a windscreen ticket. It is asserted that any alleged contract is therefore void as the terms are impossible.
    b. On the date and time of the alleged incident the defendant was only collecting a take-away meal and the vehicle in question was parked for a very short period (less than 15 minutes) and all reasonable efforts were made by enquiring with the restaurant staff whether the standard process of walking back to the vehicle and displaying the free permit should be followed !!!8211; the restaurant staff said the meal would be ready for collection momentarily and there would be no need to go all the way to the vehicle and display the permit and return as the the food would be ready for collection before then. This is promissory estoppel -it is not reasonable in these circumstances for the driver to assume any more obligations for making the payment.!
    In Jolley v Carmel Ltd [2000] 2 !!!8211;EGLR -154, it was held that a party who makes reasonable endeavours to comply with contractual terms, should not be penalised for breach when unable to fully comply with the terms.
    6. The signage on this site was inadequate to form a contract with the motorist.!
    a. The signage on and around the site in question was unclear and not prominent and did not meet the British Parking Association (BPA) Code of Practice or the International Parking Community (IPC) Code of Practice. The Claimant was a member of the IPC at the time and committed to follow its requirements. Therefore no contract has been formed with driver to pay the amount demanded by the Claimant, or any additional fee charged if unpaid in 28 days.
    b. The contract and the offer is not sufficiently brought to the attention of the motorist, nor are the onerous terms (the 100 parking charge) sufficiently prominent to satisfy Lord Dennings "red hand rule!!!8221;.!
    c. In the absence of !!!8216;adequate notice!!!8217; of the terms and the charge (which must be in large prominent letters such as the brief, clear and multiple signs in the Beavis case) this fails to meet the requirements of Schedule 4 of the POFA. Further the alleged incident took place after 10pm in the month of December and there was very poor or no lighting by many of the signs making it difficult to read.
    d. Further, another private parking company has its signs displayed (also not very prominently in a location adjacent to where the vehicle was parked and thereby adding to the confusion

    5. In order to issue parking charges, and to pursue unpaid charges via litigation, the Claimant is required to have the written authority of the landowner, on whose behalf they are acting as an agent. No evidence of such authority has been supplied by the Claimant or their legal representatives, and the Claimant is put to strict proof of same, in the form of an unredacted and contemporaneous contract, or chain of authority, from the landowner to the Claimant. A Managing Agent is not the Landowner.

    6.The Claimant!!!8217;s representatives, Gladstones Solicitors, have artificially inflated the value of the Claim from 100 to 240.19. I submit the added costs have not actually been incurred by the Claimant; these are figures plucked out of thin air and applied regardless of facts, as part of their largely automated !!!8216;robo-claim!!!8217; litigation model, in an attempt at double recovery, circumventing the Small Claims costs rules. Further, Gladstones Solicitors appear to be in contravention of the Solicitors!!!8217; Regulation Authority Code of Conduct.

    7. The Defendant denies the claim in its entirety voiding any liability to the claimant for all amounts due to the aforementioned reasons. It is submitted that the conduct of the Claimant is wholly unreasonable and vexatious.!

    8. The Defendant invites the court to dismiss this claim out as it is in breach of pre court protocols in relation to the particulars of claim under Practice Direction 16, set out by the Ministry of Justice and also Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) under 16.4 and to allow such Defendant!!!8217;s costs as are permissible under Civil Procedure Rule 27.14.!



    I believe the facts stated in this Defence Statement are true.


    !!!8230;!!!8230;!!!8230;!!!8230;!!!8230;!!!8230;!! !8230;!!!8230;!!!8230;!!!8230;!!!8230;!!!8230;!!!8 230;!!!8230;!!!8230;!!!8230;!!!8230;!!!8230;!!!823 0;!!!8230;!!!8230;. !!!8230;!!!8230;!!!8230;!!!8230;!!!8230;!!!8230;!! !8230;!!!8230;!!!8230;
    (Defendant) (Date)
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 6th Aug 18, 10:38 PM
    • 11,255 Posts
    • 11,815 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #5
    • 6th Aug 18, 10:38 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Aug 18, 10:38 PM
    Your numbering goes: 4 - 6 - 5 - 6.
    I.e. you have two paras 6.

    Nothing in there about Protection of Freedoms Act. Is that right?
    .
    • fullofbeans
    • By fullofbeans 6th Aug 18, 10:52 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    fullofbeans
    • #6
    • 6th Aug 18, 10:52 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Aug 18, 10:52 PM
    Sorry what do I need to include about Protection of Freedoms Act? I have not seen it (or may have missed in other defences)..
    • bargepole
    • By bargepole 6th Aug 18, 10:58 PM
    • 2,496 Posts
    • 7,152 Thanks
    bargepole
    • #7
    • 6th Aug 18, 10:58 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Aug 18, 10:58 PM
    You would only need to make any points about POFA if someone other than the defendant was driving the vehicle, and there was an issue about whether keeper liability can be established.

    But, since your defence states that "the Defendant was only collecting a take away meal", that implies that the defendant was the driver, and indeed the arguments about the inadequacy of the permit scheme are better expressed from the point of view of the driver, who can give direct evidence on this point.

    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.
    • fullofbeans
    • By fullofbeans 7th Aug 18, 7:18 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    fullofbeans
    • #8
    • 7th Aug 18, 7:18 AM
    • #8
    • 7th Aug 18, 7:18 AM
    4) Send that pdf as an email attachment to CCBCAQ@Justice.gov.uk
    Please note email address is now: ccbcaq@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk

    Defence now submitted. This has been a most stressful period glad it's submitted. Thanks all for help.
    Last edited by fullofbeans; 07-08-2018 at 7:22 AM.
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 7th Aug 18, 11:55 AM
    • 11,255 Posts
    • 11,815 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #9
    • 7th Aug 18, 11:55 AM
    • #9
    • 7th Aug 18, 11:55 AM
    Either of those email addresses are ok.

    The newer one is justice.gov.uk but HMCTS haven't updated their website yet.
    .
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