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  • FIRST POST
    • Dartforddad
    • By Dartforddad 7th Oct 18, 7:46 PM
    • 19Posts
    • 2Thanks
    Dartforddad
    County Court Claim from CEL
    • #1
    • 7th Oct 18, 7:46 PM
    County Court Claim from CEL 7th Oct 18 at 7:46 PM
    Hi

    I have read the newbie section but I didn't see anything that correctly relates to the situation I have.

    I'm feeling really bad as the CC form has scared the person who received it and they are quite a nervous person. We had originally appealed to CEL and to POPLA and both were rejected. After the initial flurry of correspondence we actually never heard anything for over a year so had assumed it had gone away.

    We have now received a Claim Form from the County Court Business Centre in Northampton. It actually looked fake at first as the images were very blurred and it was only signed as Civil Enforcement Limited, but it does have the correct forms and is on moneyclaim.gov.uk

    In the original POPLA response from CEL, I was actually surprised how detailed it was with photographs of the signage, APNR camera shots, copies of the ticket machine log, etc

    The details are:
    The Driver parked in Debenhams car park in Guildford on the 20th November 2016.
      1. They arrived at 10:12;
      2. and bought a 1-hour parking ticket at 10:23;
      3. that ticket expired at 11:23;
      4. at 11:46, they bought another hour’s parking;
      5. and left at 12:54
    Now their notice states that all parking has to be paid prior (so they say you cannot top up). I do wonder what happens if you drive out and back in as there are no notices of no return. The exact wording they use is:

    "If you (a) do not pay within 10 minutes of arrival; or (b) overstay the purchased parking time; or (c) do not enter your full, exact registration number when making your payment, you agree to pay the standard fee of £100 per day to Civil Enforcement Ltd"

    The original ticket was £100 reduced to £60 if paid early.

    The wording on the Claim Form is:

    Particular of Claim

    Claim for monies relating to a Parking Charge for parking in a private car park managed by the Claiments in breachof the terms + conditions (T+Cs). Drivers are allowed to park in accordance with the T+Cs of use. ANPR camera and/or manual patrols are usedto monitor vehicles entering + exiting the site. Debt + damages claim the sum of 236.00
    Violation date : 20/11/2016
    Time in : 10:12
    Time Out : 12:54
    Then the PCN Reference
    The Registration no
    Car Park :-Debenhams Guilford

    Total due - 236.00
    (ref: their website address or Tel. 01158225020)
    The Claimant claims the sum of 271.02 for the monies relating to the parking charge per above including 30.02 interest pursuant to s.69 of the County Court Act 1984
    Rate 8% pa from dates above to 28/09/18
    Same rate to Judgement or (sooner) payment Daily rate to judgement - 0.05

    Total Debt and interest due - 271.02

    Court fee : £25
    Legal representative costs : £50


    So a total of £346.02

    Now they actually issued the notice after 14 days (which is in the guidelines as I understand) so the original appeal was that it was outside of the guidelines plus there was no photographs, just a demand to pay. I felt I let my daughter down here as they have used her appeal in the POPLA statement. Maybe I should of put without prejudice on the letter.


    Now there was a period where we heard nothing and then another company called ZZPS wrote twice with more charges added threatening to pass this this to QDR Solicitors.

    Its all been lots of bullying letters and threats but I feel I have let the person down.

    I'm really not sure what to do next as they work as a school teacher and would not like or enjoy a day in court (or getting the time off) and all the way through they keep quoting ParkinyEye V Beavis
    Last edited by Dartforddad; 07-10-2018 at 8:50 PM. Reason: recommended
Page 2
    • Dartforddad
    • By Dartforddad 15th Oct 18, 6:28 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Dartforddad
    Anyone like to respond on my question on point 9.2 (sorry to ask such helpful people)


    Also, looking at what I have found the Letter Before Court Action they sent (2nd one, as the one from last year wasn't even signed !) it doesn't seem to meet the requirements. Should it not clearly state at the top of the letter something like 'Letter Before Action'


    A copy (with a space in the URL) is linked below


    https: //ibb.co/fUvVRL


    I know this is one of many points to raise but I haven't referenced this in the defence so far.
    • Dartforddad
    • By Dartforddad 15th Oct 18, 11:49 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Dartforddad
    Version 3 - Really could do with a view on their so called letter before action
    N THE COUNTY COURT

    CLAIM No: xxxxxxxxxx

    BETWEEN:

    Civil Enforcement Limited (Claimant)

    -and-

    xxxxxxxxxxxx (Defendant)

    ________________________________________
    DEFENCE
    ________________________________________

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


    2. The Claim Form issued on **/**/2018 by Civil Enforcement Limited was not correctly filed under The Practice Direction as it was not signed by a legal person but signed by “Civil Enforcement Limited”. The claim does not have a valid signature and is not a statement of truth. It states that it has been issued by Civil Enforcement Limited, as the Claimants Legal Representative. Practice Direct 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. If the party is legally represented, the legal representative may sign the statement of truth but in his own name and not that of his firm or employer. CLAIM FORM SIGNED CEL (CLAIMANTS LEGAL REP)

    3. The Particulars of Claim state that Drivers are allowed to park in accordance with T+Cs of use. These assertions indicate that the Claimant has failed to identify a Cause of Action, and is simply offering a menu of choices. As such, the Claim fails to comply with Civil Procedure Rule 16.4, or with Civil Practice Direction 16, paras. 7.3 to 7.5. Further, the particulars of the claim do not meet the requirements of Practice Direction 16 7.5 as there is nothing which specifies how the terms were breached.


    4. In the Claimants POPLA response (section 28), it is mentioned that the Defendant never used their helpline (which they state is at the bottom of their signage). It is questionable that a call could be made in an underground carpark but more importantly, if this is a ‘HELPLINE’ should not the signage say this. It only appears at the end of their address and does not indicate it could be a helpline.

    5. The Claimant in their POPLA response (their section 23) acknowledges that parking for Debenhams was purchased. The Claimant than says in BOLD, that full duration of parking is required. This is not actually stated on their signage. Further parking time was purchased but this has always been disregarded.

    6. In the Claimants response to POPLA they cited a signage plan and lighting plan. This has never been provided.

    7. We have photographic evidence that the signage has been replaced or updated since the alleged offence which clearly brings into question is legality at the date of the incident.


    8. This Claimant uses ANPR camera systems to process data but fails to comply with the Information Commissioner's 'Data Protection Code of Practice for Surveillance Cameras and Personal Information'. This Code confirms that it applies to ANPR systems, and that the private sector is required to follow this code to meet its legal obligations as a data processor. Members of the British Parking Association AOS are required to comply fully with the DPA, as a pre-requisite of being able to use the DVLA KADOE system and in order to enforce parking charges on private land. The Claimant's failures to comply include, but are not limited to:

    i) Lack of an initial privacy impact assessment, and

    ii) Lack of an evaluation of proportionality and necessity, considering concepts that would impact upon fairness under the first data protection principle, and

    iii) Failure to regularly evaluate whether it was necessary and proportionate to continue using ANPR at all times/days across the site, as opposed to a less privacy-intrusive method of parking enforcement (such as 'light touch' enforcement only at busy times, or manning the car park with a warden in order to consider the needs of genuine shoppers and taking into account the prevailing conditions at the site on any given day), and

    iv) Failure to prominently inform a driver in large lettering on clear signage, of the purpose of the ANPR system and how the data would be used, and

    v) Lack of the 'Privacy Notice' required to deliver mandatory information about an individual's right of subject access, under the Data Protection Act (DPA). At no point has the Defendant been advised how to apply for a Subject Access Request, what that is, nor informed of the legal right to obtain all relevant data held, and

    8.1. This Claimant has therefore failed to meet its legal obligations under the DPA.

    8.2. In a similar instance of DPA failure when using ANPR cameras without full DPA compliance - confirmed on this Claimant's Trade Body website in a 2013 article urging its members to comply - Hertfordshire Constabulary was issued with an enforcement notice. The force was ordered to stop processing people's information via ANPR until they could comply. The Information Commissioner ruled that the collection of the information was unlawful; breaching principle one of the DPA.

    9. The Court's attention will be drawn to the case of “Andre Agassi v S Robinson” (HM Inspector of Taxes). Whilst not wholly aligned to the issues in this case, it is on all fours with the above point, because of the principle it extols that no one should profit from their unlawful conduct. Paragraph 20 of the Transcript of that case states: ''It is common ground that, whatever costs may be recoverable by a litigant in respect of professional services such as those provided by Tenon to the appellant, they cannot include the cost of any activities which are unlawful''. Paragraph 28 continues - ''...cannot on any view recover the cost of activities performed by Tenon which it was not lawful for them to perform.''

    9.1. Further, in “RTA (Business Consultants) Limited v Bracewell” [2015] EWHC 630 (QB) (12 March 2015), at paragraph 34 the Judge discusses the relevance of the public law principle going back well over 200 years, that no man should profit from his crime; it is submitted that this is particularly relevant in this action. The Judge cited Lord Mansfield CJ to explain that: ''The principle of public policy is this;”ex dolo malo non oritur actio.” No Court will lend its aid to a man who founds his cause of action upon an immoral or an illegal act. If [...] the cause of action appears to arise “ex turpi causa, or the transgression of a positive law of this country, there the Court says he has no right to be assisted. It is upon that ground the Court goes; not for the sake of the defendant, but because they will not lend their aid to such a plaintiff.''

    9.2. Even if there was a purported contract between the driver and the Claimant, it was illegal at its formation because it was incapable of being created without an illegal act (the failure to comply with the points above, as part of the legal obligations that must be communicated up front and/or undertaken by a consumer-facing service provider, some of which were required even before commencing any use of ANPR at all).

    9.3. Where a contract is illegal when formed, neither party will acquire rights under that contract, regardless of whether or not there was an intention to break the law; the contract will be void and treated as if it had never been entered into. As such, the asserted contract cannot be enforced.

    9.4. In this case it was not lawful for the Claimant to process any data using ANPR camera systems upon which it relied for the entire ticketing regime, due to its failure to meet its specific legal obligations as a data processor of ANPR information. The collection of the information was unlawful; breaching principle one of the DPA.

    9.5. To add weight, the Defendant also cites from “ParkingEye Ltd v Somerfield Stores Ltd” [2012] EWCA Civ 1338, which concerns an alleged illegal contract involving a similar BPA member parking firm. Whilst the facts of that case are not relevant, the Judge's comments at paragraph 29 of the Transcript of the “Somerfield” case are of importance: ''At common law, historically, a distinction has been drawn between cases where the guilty party intended from the time of entering the contract unlawfully and cases where the intention to perform unlawfully was only made subsequently''. As has already been stated, in this case the problem arose at (and before) the formation of the alleged contract and was not in relation to any subsequent act. Laws LJ, in Somerfield, concluded that ParkingEye did not have an intention, when creating that contract, to deliberately break the law so the contract was upheld. Differently in this case, it is asserted that the Claimant did deliberately or negligently break the DPA and as it was a BPA member with access to a wealth of DPA compliance information, articles and legal advice, and being a signatory to the KADOE contract with the DVLA, the Claimant cannot be excused from, nor justify, their conduct in failing to meet their legal obligations.

    9.6. At paragraphs 65-74 of the Somerfield transcript, Laws LJ set out three factors which need to be considered in a defence of illegality. The Defendant submits that the key issues in this action are that:

    i) the commission of an illegal wrong being present at the time of entering the contract means that the Claimant will not be able to enforce the contract.

    ii) the illegality is central to the contract and is not merely a minor aspect, thus it should not be held to be too remote so as to render the contract enforceable.

    iii) the nature of the illegality: in this case it was a breach of legal obligations regarding data, and not merely a civil tort as in “Somerfield.” The gravity of the illegality is therefore far greater.

    9.7. It should be noted that the issue of breach of the DPA also transgresses the tests of fairness and transparency of consumer contracts, as set out in the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which was enacted after the final hearing in “Beavis”. This charge and use of ANPR by this claimant is both unfair and not transparent and can be fully distinguished from “Beavis”, where none of the issues in the Defendant's points 8 and 9 above were argued.


    10. Due to the sparseness of the particulars, it is unclear as to what legal basis the claim is brought, whether for breach of contract, contractual liability, or trespass. However, it is denied that the Defendant, entered into any contractual agreement with the Claimant, whether express, implied, or by conduct, beyond the agreement to pay the tariff and identify the car registration number, which the defendant carried out.

    11. Further and in the alternative, it is denied that the claimant's signage sets out the terms in a sufficiently clear manner which would be capable of binding any reasonable person reading them. The largest part of the signage says £1 per hour. The rest of the signage is very small.

    12. The terms on the Claimant's signage were also displayed in a font which was too small to be read from a passing vehicle, and were in such a position that anyone attempting to read the tiny font would be unable to do so easily. It is, therefore, denied that the Claimant's signage is capable of creating a legally binding contract. The entrance to the Car Park is from a busy road with an incline with no possibility to stop safely.

    13. The Claimant is put to strict proof that it has sufficient proprietary interest in the land, or that it has the necessary authorisation from the landowner to issue parking charge notices, and to pursue payment by means of litigation.

    14. The claim includes an additional £221.02, for which no calculation or explanation is given, and which appears to be an attempt at double recovery.

    15. In addition to the original parking charge, for which liability is denied, the Claimant has artificially inflated the value of its claim by adding purported but unsupported damages, admin, debt collector or other costs, which the Defendant submits have not actually been incurred at all. The claim flows from an alleged (already hugely inflated) contractual parking charge of £100 but the sum on the claim form is more than three times this sum. The Defendant avers that this inflation of the considered amount is a gross abuse of process.


    16. The Claimant sent an original unsigned Letter Before Action on the 9th November 2017. They then passed this to ZZPS almost 6 months later and then to QDR Solicitors which has clearly unrealistically inflated the Claim.

    17. The Claimant has added unrecoverable sums to the original parking charge. It is believed that the employee who drew up the paperwork is remunerated and the particulars of claim are templates, so it is simply not credible that £50 'legal representative” (or even admin) costs were incurred. The Defendant believes that Civil Enforcement Ltd has artificially inflated this claim. They are claiming legal costs when not only is this not permitted (CPR 27.14) but the Defendant believes that they have not incurred legal costs. According to Ladak v DRC Locums UKEAT/0488/13/LA the claimant can only recover the direct and provable costs of the time spent on preparing the claim in a legal capacity, not any administration cost. The Defendant denies that the Claimant is entitled to any interest whatsoever. The Claimant has not explained how the claim has increased from the original parking notice to £271.02. If the Claimant alleges that they claim the cost of its in-house administration, these cannot be recovered - they are staff performing the task that they have been employed for and essential to the Claimant's business plan.

    18. The Claimant is a serial offender on this regard and must be well aware that CPR 27.14 does not permit such charges to be recovered in the Small Claims track. According to Ladak v DRC Locums UKEAT/0488/13/LA the Claimant can only recover the direct and provable costs of the time spent on preparing the claim in a legal capacity, not any administration cost.

    19. The Defendant denies any liability whatsoever to the Claimant in any matter and asks the Court to note that the Claimant has failed to disclose any cause of action in the Claim Form, where the sparse cut & paste particulars are embarrassing and give rise to no recognisable claim in law.

    20. When Directions are given, the Defendant asks that there is an order for sequential service of witness evidence (rather than exchange) or alternatively, for the hearing fee to be ordered to be paid before exchange of documents between the parties, because where a claim from this serial Claimant is robustly defended, this Claimant routinely discontinues after seeing a Defendant's Witness Statement and never pays the court hearing fee

    21. In summary, it is the Defendant's position that the claim discloses no cause of action, is without merit, and has no real prospect of success. Accordingly, the Court is invited to strike out the claim of its own initiative, using its case management powers pursuant to CPR 3.4.

    I believe the facts contained in this Defence are true.

    Name
    Signature
    Date
    • Dartforddad
    • By Dartforddad 24th Oct 18, 4:36 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Dartforddad
    Version 4 - Would appreciate feedback
    I have seen lots of posts around trying to use too much legal argument so I have stripped this down


    IN THE COUNTY COURT

    CLAIM No: xxxxxxxxxx

    BETWEEN:

    Civil Enforcement Limited (Claimant)

    -and-

    xxxxxxxxxxxx (Defendant)

    ________________________________________
    DEFENCE
    ________________________________________

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


    2. The Claim Form issued on **/**/2018 by Civil Enforcement Limited was not correctly filed under The Practice Direction as it was not signed by a legal person but signed by “Civil Enforcement Limited”. The claim does not have a valid signature and is not a statement of truth. It states that it has been issued by Civil Enforcement Limited, as the Claimants Legal Representative. Practice Direct 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. If the party is legally represented, the legal representative may sign the statement of truth but in his own name and not that of his firm or employer. CLAIM FORM SIGNED CEL (CLAIMANTS LEGAL REP)

    3. The Particulars of Claim state that Drivers are allowed to park in accordance with T+Cs of use. These assertions indicate that the Claimant has failed to identify a Cause of Action, and is simply offering a menu of choices. As such, the Claim fails to comply with Civil Procedure Rule 16.4, or with Civil Practice Direction 16, paras. 7.3 to 7.5. Further, the particulars of the claim do not meet the requirements of Practice Direction 16 7.5 as there is nothing which specifies how the terms were breached.


    4. In the Claimants POPLA response (section 28), it is mentioned that the Defendant never used their helpline (which they state is at the bottom of their signage). It is questionable that a call could be made in an underground carpark but more importantly, if this is a ‘HELPLINE’ should not the signage say this. It only appears at the end of their address and does not indicate it could be a helpline. The defendant has noted that a landline phone has now been installed into the carpark further indicating that communication from the space could be difficult.


    5. The Claimant in their POPLA response (their section 23) acknowledges that parking for Debenhams was purchased. The Claimant than says in BOLD, that full duration of parking is required. This is not actually stated on their signage. Further parking time was purchased but this has always been disregarded and does not allow for grace periods as defined in BPA Codes of Practice 13.2, which states a minimum of 10 minutes.

    6. In the Claimants response to POPLA they cited a signage plan and lighting plan. The actual plan has no lighting and was out of date on locations and failed to also show the contradicting signs placed by the landowner.

    7. We have photographic evidence that the signage has been replaced or updated since the alleged offence which clearly brings into question is legality at the date of the incident.


    8. claim is brought, whether for breach of contract, contractual liability, or trespass. However, it is denied that the Defendant, entered into any contractual agreement with the Claimant, whether express, implied, or by conduct, beyond the agreement to pay the tariff and identify the car registration number, which the defendant carried out.

    9. Further and in the alternative, it is denied that the claimant's signage sets out the terms in a sufficiently clear manner which would be capable of binding any reasonable person reading them. The largest part of the signage says £1 per hour. The rest of the signage is very small.

    10. The terms on the Claimant's signage were also displayed in a font which was too small to be read from a passing vehicle, and were in such a position that anyone attempting to read the tiny font would be unable to do so easily. It is, therefore, denied that the Claimant's signage is capable of creating a legally binding contract. The entrance to the Car Park is from a busy road with an incline with no possibility to stop safely.

    11. The Claimant is put to strict proof that it has sufficient proprietary interest in the land, or that it has the necessary authorisation from the landowner to issue parking charge notices, and to pursue payment by means of litigation.

    12. The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, Schedule 4, at Section 4(5) states that the maximum sum that may be recovered from the keeper is the charge stated on the Notice to Keeper, in this case £100. The claim includes an additional £221.02, for which no calculation or explanation is given, and which appears to be an attempt at double recovery.

    13. In addition to the original parking charge, for which liability is denied, the Claimant has artificially inflated the value of its claim by adding purported but unsupported damages, admin, debt collector or other costs, which the Defendant submits have not actually been incurred at all. The claim flows from an alleged (already hugely inflated) contractual parking charge of £100 but the sum on the claim form is more than three times this sum. The Defendant avers that this inflation of the considered amount is a gross abuse of process.


    14. The Claimant sent an original Letter Before Action on the 9th November 2017. They then passed this to ZZPS almost 6 months later and then to QDR Solicitors which has clearly unrealistically inflated the Claim.

    15. The Claimant has added unrecoverable sums to the original parking charge. It is believed that the employee who drew up the paperwork is remunerated and the particulars of claim are templates, so it is simply not credible that £50 'legal representative” (or even admin) costs were incurred. The Defendant believes that Civil Enforcement Ltd has artificially inflated this claim. They are claiming legal costs when not only is this not permitted (CPR 27.14) but the Defendant believes that they have not incurred legal costs. According to Ladak v DRC Locums UKEAT/0488/13/LA the claimant can only recover the direct and provable costs of the time spent on preparing the claim in a legal capacity, not any administration cost. The Defendant denies that the Claimant is entitled to any interest whatsoever. The Claimant has not explained how the claim has increased from the original parking notice to £271.02. If the Claimant alleges that they claim the cost of its in-house administration, these cannot be recovered - they are staff performing the task that they have been employed for and essential to the Claimant's business plan.

    16. The Claimant is a serial offender on this regard and must be well aware that CPR 27.14 does not permit such charges to be recovered in the Small Claims track. According to Ladak v DRC Locums UKEAT/0488/13/LA the Claimant can only recover the direct and provable costs of the time spent on preparing the claim in a legal capacity, not any administration cost.

    17. The Defendant denies any liability whatsoever to the Claimant in any matter and asks the Court to note that the Claimant has failed to disclose any cause of action in the Claim Form, where the sparse cut & paste particulars are embarrassing and give rise to no recognisable claim in law.

    18. When Directions are given, the Defendant asks that there is an order for sequential service of witness evidence (rather than exchange) or alternatively, for the hearing fee to be ordered to be paid before exchange of documents between the parties, because where a claim from this serial Claimant is robustly defended, this Claimant routinely discontinues after seeing a Defendant's Witness Statement and never pays the court hearing fee

    19. In summary, it is the Defendant's position that the claim discloses no cause of action, is without merit, and has no real prospect of success. Accordingly, the Court is invited to strike out the claim of its own initiative, using its case management powers pursuant to CPR 3.4.

    I believe the facts contained in this Defence are true.

    Name
    Signature
    Date
    • Le_Kirk
    • By Le_Kirk 24th Oct 18, 7:05 PM
    • 3,344 Posts
    • 2,297 Thanks
    Le_Kirk
    In para 7 you say "we have photographic .... " Defences should always be written in the third person. apart from this slip, the rest is third person.
    • Dartforddad
    • By Dartforddad 24th Oct 18, 8:04 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Dartforddad
    Version 4a
    Thanks for pointing that out, also spotted I had also manage to cut off part of 8 !


    IN THE COUNTY COURT

    CLAIM No: xxxxxxxxxx

    BETWEEN:

    Civil Enforcement Limited (Claimant)

    -and-

    xxxxxxxxxxxx (Defendant)

    ________________________________________
    DEFENCE
    ________________________________________

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


    2. The Claim Form issued on **/**/2018 by Civil Enforcement Limited was not correctly filed under The Practice Direction as it was not signed by a legal person but signed by “Civil Enforcement Limited”. The claim does not have a valid signature and is not a statement of truth. It states that it has been issued by Civil Enforcement Limited, as the Claimants Legal Representative. Practice Direct 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. If the party is legally represented, the legal representative may sign the statement of truth but in his own name and not that of his firm or employer. CLAIM FORM SIGNED CEL (CLAIMANTS LEGAL REP)

    3. The Particulars of Claim state that Drivers are allowed to park in accordance with T+Cs of use. These assertions indicate that the Claimant has failed to identify a Cause of Action, and is simply offering a menu of choices. As such, the Claim fails to comply with Civil Procedure Rule 16.4, or with Civil Practice Direction 16, paras. 7.3 to 7.5. Further, the particulars of the claim do not meet the requirements of Practice Direction 16 7.5 as there is nothing which specifies how the terms were breached.


    4. In the Claimants POPLA response (section 28), it is mentioned that the Defendant never used their helpline (which they state is at the bottom of their signage). It is questionable that a call could be made in an underground carpark but more importantly, if this is a ‘HELPLINE’ should not the signage say this. It only appears at the end of their address and does not indicate it could be a helpline. The defendant has noted that a landline phone has now been installed into the carpark further indicating that communication from the space could be difficult.


    5. The Claimant in their POPLA response (their section 23) acknowledges that parking for Debenhams was purchased. The Claimant than says in BOLD, that full duration of parking is required. This is not actually stated on their signage. Further parking time was purchased but this has always been disregarded and does not allow for grace periods as defined in BPA Codes of Practice 13.2, which states a minimum of 10 minutes.

    6. In the Claimants response to POPLA they cited a signage plan and lighting plan. The actual plan has no lighting and was out of date on locations and failed to also show the contradicting signs placed by the landowner.

    7. The defendant has photographic evidence that the signage has been replaced or updated since the alleged offence which clearly brings into question the legality at the date of the incident.

    8. Due to the sparseness of the particulars, it is unclear as to what legal basis the claim is brought, whether for breach of contract, contractual liability, or trespass. However, it is denied that the Defendant, entered into any contractual agreement with the Claimant, whether express, implied, or by conduct, beyond the agreement to pay the tariff and identify the car registration number, which the defendant carried out.

    9. Further and in the alternative, it is denied that the claimant's signage sets out the terms in a sufficiently clear manner which would be capable of binding any reasonable person reading them. The largest part of the signage says £1 per hour. The rest of the signage is very small.

    10. The terms on the Claimant's signage were also displayed in a font which was too small to be read from a passing vehicle, and were in such a position that anyone attempting to read the tiny font would be unable to do so easily. It is, therefore, denied that the Claimant's signage is capable of creating a legally binding contract. The entrance to the Car Park is from a busy road with an incline with no possibility to stop safely.

    11. The Claimant is put to strict proof that it has sufficient proprietary interest in the land, or that it has the necessary authorisation from the landowner to issue parking charge notices, and to pursue payment by means of litigation.

    12. The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, Schedule 4, at Section 4(5) states that the maximum sum that may be recovered from the keeper is the charge stated on the Notice to Keeper, in this case £100. The claim includes an additional £221.02, for which no calculation or explanation is given, and which appears to be an attempt at double recovery.

    13. In addition to the original parking charge, for which liability is denied, the Claimant has artificially inflated the value of its claim by adding purported but unsupported damages, admin, debt collector or other costs, which the Defendant submits have not actually been incurred at all. The claim flows from an alleged (already hugely inflated) contractual parking charge of £100 but the sum on the claim form is more than three times this sum. The Defendant avers that this inflation of the considered amount is a gross abuse of process.


    14. The Claimant sent an original Letter Before Action on the 9th November 2017. They then passed this to ZZPS almost 6 months later and then to QDR Solicitors which has clearly unrealistically inflated the Claim.

    15. The Claimant has added unrecoverable sums to the original parking charge. It is believed that the employee who drew up the paperwork is remunerated and the particulars of claim are templates, so it is simply not credible that £50 'legal representative” (or even admin) costs were incurred. The Defendant believes that Civil Enforcement Ltd has artificially inflated this claim. They are claiming legal costs when not only is this not permitted (CPR 27.14) but the Defendant believes that they have not incurred legal costs. According to Ladak v DRC Locums UKEAT/0488/13/LA the claimant can only recover the direct and provable costs of the time spent on preparing the claim in a legal capacity, not any administration cost. The Defendant denies that the Claimant is entitled to any interest whatsoever. The Claimant has not explained how the claim has increased from the original parking notice to £271.02. If the Claimant alleges that they claim the cost of its in-house administration, these cannot be recovered - they are staff performing the task that they have been employed for and essential to the Claimant's business plan.

    16. The Claimant is a serial offender on this regard and must be well aware that CPR 27.14 does not permit such charges to be recovered in the Small Claims track. According to Ladak v DRC Locums UKEAT/0488/13/LA the Claimant can only recover the direct and provable costs of the time spent on preparing the claim in a legal capacity, not any administration cost.

    17. The Defendant denies any liability whatsoever to the Claimant in any matter and asks the Court to note that the Claimant has failed to disclose any cause of action in the Claim Form, where the sparse cut & paste particulars are embarrassing and give rise to no recognisable claim in law.

    18. When Directions are given, the Defendant asks that there is an order for sequential service of witness evidence (rather than exchange) or alternatively, for the hearing fee to be ordered to be paid before exchange of documents between the parties, because where a claim from this serial Claimant is robustly defended, this Claimant routinely discontinues after seeing a Defendant's Witness Statement and never pays the court hearing fee

    19. In summary, it is the Defendant's position that the claim discloses no cause of action, is without merit, and has no real prospect of success. Accordingly, the Court is invited to strike out the claim of its own initiative, using its case management powers pursuant to CPR 3.4.

    I believe the facts contained in this Defence are true.

    Name
    Signature
    Date
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 27th Oct 18, 12:55 AM
    • 63,826 Posts
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    Coupon-mad
    3. The Particulars of Claim state that Drivers are allowed to park in accordance with T+Cs of use. These assertions indicate that the Claimant has failed to identify a Cause of Action, and is simply offering a menu of choices.
    Not sure that makes sense?

    Lots of words, lots of non-defence repetition here and you haven't objected to the huge interest add-on either:

    12. The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, Schedule 4, at Section 4(5) states that the maximum sum that may be recovered from the keeper is the charge stated on the Notice to Keeper, in this case £100. The claim includes an additional £221.02, for which no calculation or explanation is given, and which appears to be an attempt at double recovery.

    13. In addition to the original parking charge, for which liability is denied, the Claimant has artificially inflated the value of its claim by adding purported but unsupported damages, admin, debt collector or other costs, which the Defendant submits have not actually been incurred at all. The claim flows from an alleged (already hugely inflated) contractual parking charge of £100 but the sum on the claim form is more than three times this sum. The Defendant avers that this inflation of the considered amount is a gross abuse of process.

    14. The Claimant sent an original Letter Before Action on the 9th November 2017. They then passed this to ZZPS almost 6 months later and then to QDR Solicitors which has clearly unrealistically inflated the Claim.

    15. The Claimant has added unrecoverable sums to the original parking charge. It is believed that the employee who drew up the paperwork is remunerated and the particulars of claim are templates, so it is simply not credible that £50 'legal representative” (or even admin) costs were incurred. The Defendant believes that Civil Enforcement Ltd has artificially inflated this claim. They are claiming legal costs when not only is this not permitted (CPR 27.14) but the Defendant believes that they have not incurred legal costs. According to Ladak v DRC Locums UKEAT/0488/13/LA the claimant can only recover the direct and provable costs of the time spent on preparing the claim in a legal capacity, not any administration cost. The Defendant denies that the Claimant is entitled to any interest whatsoever. The Claimant has not explained how the claim has increased from the original parking notice to £271.02. If the Claimant alleges that they claim the cost of its in-house administration, these cannot be recovered - they are staff performing the task that they have been employed for and essential to the Claimant's business plan.

    16. The Claimant is a serial offender on this regard and must be well aware that CPR 27.14 does not permit such charges to be recovered in the Small Claims track. According to Ladak v DRC Locums UKEAT/0488/13/LA the Claimant can only recover the direct and provable costs of the time spent on preparing the claim in a legal capacity, not any administration cost.
    See this CEL defence example, which deals with the matter of added interest since 2016 plus the inflation of the considered amount to £350 all told:

    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=74969375#post74969375

    Feel free to use whatever suits your case, to replace the repetition in the last draft. ZZPS and QDR do not charge CEL anything ('no win no fee' debt collection outfits) so CEL would be lying to say this has added to the costs.
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 27-10-2018 at 12:58 AM.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT UNLESS IN SCOTLAND OR NI
    TWO Clicks needed Look up, top of the page:
    Main site>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets Fines & Parking - read the NEWBIES THREAD
    • Dartforddad
    • By Dartforddad 27th Oct 18, 1:12 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Dartforddad
    Thanks


    I will review this.



    I see the point on the interest


    They sent a Letter Before Action last year and then passed it to the two outfits listed.


    I have to say the images they supplied to POPLA on the car park were incorrect and failed to show all the signs Debenhams have put up. I do think this is strong point as its confusing and contradicting.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 27th Oct 18, 1:14 AM
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    Coupon-mad
    We agree, and we expect everyone to win a defended case. 99% do here.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT UNLESS IN SCOTLAND OR NI
    TWO Clicks needed Look up, top of the page:
    Main site>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets Fines & Parking - read the NEWBIES THREAD
    • Dartforddad
    • By Dartforddad 27th Oct 18, 1:14 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Dartforddad
    Feel free to use whatever suits your case, to replace the repetition in the last draft. ZZPS and QDR do not charge CEL anything ('no win no fee' debt collection outfits) so CEL would be lying to say this has added to the costs.

    Can this be proved ?
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 27th Oct 18, 1:18 AM
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    Coupon-mad
    Of course, debt collectors don't charge parking firms. Their websites often advertise that.

    It's a minor point, a nail in the coffin, nothing to get excited about.

    Parking firms ALWAYS add about £60 to the PCN sum (at court claim stage) on the pretence that it's damages, or debt collector costs. It is made up.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT UNLESS IN SCOTLAND OR NI
    TWO Clicks needed Look up, top of the page:
    Main site>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets Fines & Parking - read the NEWBIES THREAD
    • Dartforddad
    • By Dartforddad 27th Oct 18, 1:22 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Dartforddad
    My family already think I have become obsessed with this !!


    I must admit everytime I drive into private car park I look at the quality (?) of the signage. Can't image what its like for some of you who help so much on this forum !
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 27th Oct 18, 1:26 AM
    • 63,826 Posts
    • 76,450 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    We regulars laugh that we are really pedantic about reading signs and we would never collect a PCN ourselves as we would never fall foul of PPC scammers' tricks! I read every word and check out which scammer it is, and choose to just boycott the retailers and leave sometimes.

    I also warn other car park users (saved someone from UKCPS the other week). The elderly driver had parked VERY badly in an almost empty car park and I explained why that's not a good idea and would cost them £100 penalty - they had no idea, the signs are woeful. They re-parked and thanked me.

    I've taught my adult kids how to read/understand even the most complicated parking signs, including Council on-street ones, and they know all the rules & exemptions and how to appeal a scam private one.

    A useful skill, given the pariah of this industry.
    Last edited by Coupon-mad; 27-10-2018 at 1:28 AM.
    PRIVATE 'PCN'? DON'T PAY BUT DON'T IGNORE IT UNLESS IN SCOTLAND OR NI
    TWO Clicks needed Look up, top of the page:
    Main site>>Forums>Household & Travel>Motoring>Parking Tickets Fines & Parking - read the NEWBIES THREAD
    • Dartforddad
    • By Dartforddad 10th Nov 18, 2:43 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Dartforddad
    Next stage question
    OK, defence was sent and has been acknowledge by the court via a letter.


    The letter states that the defence has been sent to the claimant and they have 28 days to respond on how they want to proceed.


    This all makes sense though reading the various threads I thought directions questionnaire (Form N180) would be sent to both parties.


    I ask this as the MCOL site says DQ was sent on the 29th October though all we have is the acknowledgement letter mentioned above.


    Sorry if I’m asking silly questions but this is my first experience of this process.
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 10th Nov 18, 2:58 PM
    • 10,525 Posts
    • 10,924 Thanks
    KeithP
    Sorry if I’m asking silly questions...
    Originally posted by Dartforddad
    Not there are no silly questions there.
    If fact, I can't see any questions in your latest post.

    If you want to, you can download a blank DQ from the court forms finder webpages - stick those bold words into google to find it.
    .
    • Dartforddad
    • By Dartforddad 10th Nov 18, 3:38 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Dartforddad
    Thought I might as well post the full letter from the court:


    I acknowledge receipt of your defence. A copy is being served on the claimant (or the claimant's solicitors).The claimant may contact you direct to attempt to resolve any dispute. If the dispute cannot be resolved informally, the claimant will inform the court that he wishes to proceed. The court will then inform you of what will happen.


    Where he wishes to proceed, the claimant must contact the court within 28 days after receiving a copy of your defence. After that period has elapsed, the claim will be stayed. The only action the claimant can then take will be to apply to a judge for an order lifting the stay.


    I read this as sit and wait (though obviously with an eye to the potential next stage)
    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 10th Nov 18, 3:39 PM
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    Quentin
    Correct .
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 10th Nov 18, 3:43 PM
    • 10,525 Posts
    • 10,924 Thanks
    KeithP
    Yes, that's a bog standard letter. Everyone gets that.

    Still you have asked no questions.

    My previous post continues to apply.
    .
    • Dartforddad
    • By Dartforddad 10th Nov 18, 4:03 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Dartforddad
    Yes, that's a bog standard letter. Everyone gets that.

    Still you have asked no questions.

    My previous post continues to apply.
    Originally posted by KeithP

    Sorry, put another way, should I contact the court and ask about the DQ, or sit and wait.


    I would gather from one of the responses the correct action is to wait.
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