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  • FIRST POST
    • beanparking
    • By beanparking 19th Nov 18, 8:59 PM
    • 19Posts
    • 4Thanks
    beanparking
    County Court Claim - Gladstones
    • #1
    • 19th Nov 18, 8:59 PM
    County Court Claim - Gladstones 19th Nov 18 at 8:59 PM
    Hello all,
    I received a County Court Claim through from Gladstones solicitors about a week ago, and now am trying to figure the best way to go about dealing with it.

    After reading a fair few posts here (it's a lot to take in), I've got to moneyclaim.gov.uk to Acknowledged Service of the claim, stating I will defend in full.

    I'm currently preparing my defence, but feel like I'm running out of time. Here are the particulars of my case
    • The car was parked outside a Tescos express, where some of the parking spots are allocated for Tescos customers, some are for private parking. My car was parked for what was probably around 10 minutes in what they are claiming is a private bay. For this, they are asking for approx £160 (up to approx £240 after the court claim).
    • The bays were not clearly marked indicating which are for Tescos customers, and which are private. This can be confirmed with google map street view history (from about 6 months before) and even the photos of my car they had sent shows the bays had no individual signage (which have since been added). Over the last year or so, they have made several changes to the carpark to make it more obvious, which surely shows they knew people would be confused?
    • The ticket was served at night (or at least, when it was it was dark). The signage was not illuminated (aside from ambient street light).
    • I don't know if this makes any difference, but you can see in the photo the bays surrounding my car were empty.
    • The car park has no signs on entrance and only small signs at ground level to warn about parking restrictions.
    • My first letter was from debt collectors, several weeks after my alleged offence, with no ticket given at the time.

    I also have some general questions that I can't seem to find answers for. I apologize if this is covered in other threads, it's all a little overwhelming!
    • I'm seeing in some threads about turning up to court. For me, taking the day off work to go to court will be expensive and very difficult. Is this really necessary? Can it not be defended by paper?
    • I am going to be out of the country next week for a couple of weeks. Is there is a way I can prevent this from going forward whilst I'm not here?
    • I understand that even if I lose (I don't believe this will happen, as I believe my case is strong), I will not have any negative effects on my credit unless I don't pay within 30 days. Are there any exceptions to this?

    I appreciate you lovely people taking the time out to help!
Page 2
    • beanparking
    • By beanparking 2nd Feb 19, 8:35 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    beanparking
    Hi, quick question:

    For me, taking the day off to go to court is not really an option at the moment. If this is the case, I assume I should agree with Gladstones request to proceed without an oral hearing?

    Many thanks!
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 2nd Feb 19, 8:53 AM
    • 23,331 Posts
    • 37,163 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    Hi, quick question:

    For me, taking the day off to go to court is not really an option at the moment. If this is the case, I assume I should agree with Gladstones request to proceed without an oral hearing?

    Many thanks!
    Originally posted by beanparking
    That's a possibility, but we've not seen any case won this way. You lose a golden opportunity to provide the Judge with the chance to speak with you direct about anything unclear, or needs further explanation. In my view, it puts you on the back foot, possibly passing any advantage over to the claimant.

    You can claim for loss of half a day's pay/annual leave (capped at £95) if you win.
    Last edited by Umkomaas; 02-02-2019 at 8:56 AM.
    Please note, we are not a legal, residential or credit advice forum, rather one that helps motorists fight private parking charges, primarily at the 'front-end' of the process.
    Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day;
    show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
    • beanparking
    • By beanparking 2nd Feb 19, 2:49 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    beanparking
    OK, I didn't realise it would make that much of a difference.

    There is a part of me that feels the stress of time-off from work, preparing and going to court isn't worth the cost, but then letting these cowboys win doesn't seem right either!
    • beanparking
    • By beanparking 14th May 19, 7:05 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    beanparking
    Witness Statement - PCM
    Hello all,
    I was hoping you would be able to help me with my witness statement. I have a court date set in early June, and would be most grateful if anyone here could help.

    The exhibits listed below are either photos UK CPM had sent or screenshots from Google street view.

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

    2. The facts are that the vehicle, registration XXX XXXX, of which the Defendant is the registered keeper, was parked on the material date in an unmarked bay at XXX
    3. The Defendant never received any Notice to Keeper from the Claimant. The first communication the Defendant received was a letter dated XX/XX/2018 (through DRP debt management (Exhibit A - Notice). The Defendant puts the Claimant to strict proof that it issued a compliant notice to keeper under Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. Absent such a notice served within 14 days of the parking event and with fully compliant statutory wording, this Claimant is unable to hold the Defendant liable under the strict ‘keeper liability’ provisions of Schedule 4 of POFA.


    4. The Defendant denies that any contract was formed between the driver and the Claimant because of Inadequate signage which was incapable of forming any contract would have bound the driver - this distinguishes this case from the Beavis case:

    a. Lack of site/entrance signage - breach of the POFA 2012 Schedule 4 and the BPA Code of Practice and no contract formed to pay any clearly stated sum. This can be seen in images from Google maps taken shortly after (March-May 2018) the date of the alleged claim (Exhibit E-G). Furthermore, signage has been added in the last 12 months (between May and October 2018 (Exhibit J)) indicating the claimant was aware of the lack of signage and has sought to rectify this.

    b. The car park was too dark to see any signage or possibly know about any purported contract term. This can be seen in the photos provided by the claimant (Exhibit B-D).
    c. The signage was not lit and any terms were not transparent or legible and placed at ground level, where they are hard to read and easily obscured (Exhibit B).
    d. The parking bays were unmarked, with no distinction between those free to use for Tescos Express customers and those for private tenants (Exhibit B-D/Exhibit K).

This has since changed, with markings indicating which bays are for customers (Exhibit L), indicating the client was aware that the lack of markings was confusing and inadequate.
    e. The terms on the Claimant's signage are also displayed in a font which is too small to be read from a passing vehicle, and is 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 (Exhibit M).
    f. Any contract which may have been formed is void because its terms are unfair as they were contrary to the UTCCRs (as applicable at the time),
    g. No terms were agreed by the driver
    h. No promise was made by the driver that could constitute consideration because there was no offer known nor accepted. No consideration flowed from the Claimant.
    i. Absent the elements of a contract, there can be no breach of contract.

    5. 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. They merely state that vehicles must be parked correctly within their allocated parking bay, giving no definition of the term 'correctly parked', nor indicating which bays are allocated to whom.!

    6. The Particulars of Claim state that the Defendant was the registered keeper and/or the driver of the vehicle(s);. 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.!

    Thank you for taking the time.
    • beanparking
    • By beanparking 14th May 19, 7:08 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    beanparking
    Cont.
    7. 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, or any driver of the vehicle, entered into any contractual agreement with the Claimant, whether express, implied, or by conduct.

    8. The Defendant has the reasonable belief that the Claimant has not incurred £60 costs to pursue an alleged £100 debt. The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, in Schedule 4, Para 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.

    9. In summary, the Claimant's particulars disclose no legal basis for the sum claimed, and the Court is invited to dismiss the claim in its entirety.

    10. I believe that the facts contained in this Defence are true.!
    Thank you for taking the time.
    • The Deep
    • By The Deep 14th May 19, 7:16 AM
    • 12,999 Posts
    • 13,328 Thanks
    The Deep
    Are you aware that new laws are being passed to stop these scammers?

    Nine times out of ten these tickets are scams and will fail in court so complain to your MP.

    Parliament is well aware of the MO of these private parking companies, and on 15th March 2019 a Bill was enacted to curb the excesses of these shysters. Codes of Practice are being drawn up, an independent appeals service will be set up, and access to the DVLA's date base more rigorously policed, persistent offenders denied access to the DVLA database and unable to operate.

    Hopefully life will become impossible for the worst of these scammers, but until this is done you should still complain to your MP, citing the new legislation.

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2019/8/contents/enacted

    Just as the clampers were finally closed down, so hopefully will many of these Private Parking Companies.
    You never know how far you can go until you go too far.
    • Le_Kirk
    • By Le_Kirk 14th May 19, 8:52 AM
    • 4,785 Posts
    • 4,257 Thanks
    Le_Kirk
    That looks more like a defence than a witness statement. What is it you would actually like?
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 14th May 19, 11:41 AM
    • 71,904 Posts
    • 84,321 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    I was hoping you would be able to help me with my witness statement. I have a court date set in early June
    The WS should be the story of what happened from your point of view, in the first person. If defending as keeper (not driver) then you can still tell the story, such as that you have visited the site to look at the signs and they are hidden in a corner by the bins (or whatever) and are far from prominent by the bays, where no terms are visible...

    etc.
    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
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 14th May 19, 5:50 PM
    • 14,668 Posts
    • 16,856 Thanks
    KeithP
    Beanparking, why have you started a new thread?

    Can you please PM a Board Guide and ask for your threads to be merged. Thanks.
    .
    • beanparking
    • By beanparking 16th May 19, 6:31 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    beanparking
    The WS should be the story of what happened from your point of view, in the first person. If defending as keeper (not driver) then you can still tell the story, such as that you have visited the site to look at the signs and they are hidden in a corner by the bins (or whatever) and are far from prominent by the bays, where no terms are visible...

    etc.
    Originally posted by Coupon-mad
    OK, thanks. I'm looking in another thread that has a 'skeleton argument'. Is this something attached at the same time? Do I need to provide evidence here?


    Can you please PM a Board Guide and ask for your threads to be merged. Thanks.
    Originally posted by KeithP
    I have PM'd someone who I understand to be a guide.

    Please forgive my general ignorance, I have very little free time and am a little overwhelmed by it all.
    • The Deep
    • By The Deep 16th May 19, 7:52 AM
    • 12,999 Posts
    • 13,328 Thanks
    The Deep
    Overwhelming it is not, court guidance is clear, the internet is full of advice, (mostly good), and most judges are fully aware of the scam.

    The only problem is that it is time consuming and, even if you give the scammer a resounding kicking, you are unlikely to be properly recompensed for your time and effort. For some reason, judges are unwilling to award punitive damages against these companies.
    You never know how far you can go until you go too far.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 16th May 19, 1:43 PM
    • 71,904 Posts
    • 84,321 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    I'm looking in another thread that has a 'skeleton argument'. Is this something attached at the same time? Do I need to provide evidence here?
    Skeleton arguments are not mandatory, whereas a WS is.

    See the NEWBIES thread again. The difference between the two is explained.

    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
    • Crabman
    • By Crabman 16th May 19, 9:56 PM
    • 9,733 Posts
    • 7,170 Thanks
    Crabman
    Threads have been merged
    I'm a Board Guide on the Savings & Investments, ISAs & Tax-free Savings, Public Transport & Cycling, Motoring and Parking Fines, Tickets & Parking Boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Board Guides are not moderators & don't read every post. If you spot a contentious or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com

    • beanparking
    • By beanparking 17th May 19, 6:25 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    beanparking
    Thanks for all of your help and guidance. I have revisited the WS with your feedback, I hope you can let me know if this is in the right direction?

    I am the Defendant in this matter, I am unrepresented, with no experience of Court procedures. If I do not set out documents in the way that the Claimant may do, I trust the Court will excuse my inexperience.!Needless to say, I deny liability for the entirety of the claim.

    
In this Witness statement, the facts and matters stated are true and within my own knowledge, except where indicated otherwise.!

    1. This matter relates to a car park outside of a local Tesco Express store, where there are bays allocated to both the store customers and residents (with those for the store being free to use). On XX/XX/2017 I had parked in what I believed to be a bay allocated to store customers.


    2. Having received no indication at the time from the claimant of my alleged wrongdoing (no ticket at the time, with the first correspondence being received by myself on XX/XX/2018 - nearly 3 months after the alleged claim), my recollection of events is based on general visits to the store. That being said, the time parked in the bay would most likely be for no more than 10 minutes.


    3. As set out in my defence, there were no markings at the time to differentiate the bays allocated to Tesco’s customer and those allocated to residents. This can be seen clearly in both the photos provided by the claimant (Exhibit B/C/D) and in photos ascertained through Google Street View taken from the nearest date prior to the date of the claim (Exhibit H/K –XXX 2017/XXX 2016).


    4. Furthermore, it is clear that the claimant was aware of the lack of markings, as they have since made an effort to mark bays to indicate which parking bays are allocated to whom (Exhibit G/L/I – from XXX 2018/XXX 2018)


    5. As per my defence, I maintain that there was no signage to indicate that I was entering a restricted parking area. This can be seen by the photos from Google Street view taken on XXX (the street from which I entered). This can be seen in Exhibit E/F(March 2018/May 2018), where the only visible signage is to advise drivers of noise and speed limits.


    6. Furthermore, you can see that by XXX 2018, the claimant has added a notice to the sign warning of CCTV monitoring for parking (Exhibit J), indicating that they were aware of the previous lack of signage.


    7. I would also maintain that the signage that was there did not clearly set out to which parking bays were restricted. In fact, the photo of the signage provided by the claimant (Exhibit M) was attached to a completely different set of parking bays in the middle of the road. The signage was also very low to the ground, in a small font and not illuminated (as you can see in the photo, it was dark at the time).

    I believe that the facts stated in this witness statement are true.
    • bergkamp
    • By bergkamp 17th May 19, 7:41 AM
    • 257 Posts
    • 460 Thanks
    bergkamp
    Get your WS to how you are happy with it, but do not send it until you have received and read the Claimant's WS.
    It will no doubt be full of errors that can be added to your WS to help your case.

    Obviously don't miss the deadline to send yours to the Claimant and the Court.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 17th May 19, 11:58 AM
    • 71,904 Posts
    • 84,321 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    My first letter was from debt collectors, several weeks after my alleged offence, with no ticket given at the time.
    Originally posted by beanparking
    Check UKCPM's evidence when they send you the WS, as they needed to send you a PCN by post first, and I expect they will show they did (but check).

    I am not sure why you are doing the WS as admitted driver? I did tell you how to write it as keeper, given that you told us that no PCN was served, thus they can't hold a keeper liable unless they put one in evidence:
    If defending as keeper (not driver) then you can still tell the story, such as that you have visited the site to look at the signs and they are hidden in a corner by the bins (or whatever) and are far from prominent by the bays, where no terms are visible...
    Now, it might be easier to defend as driver, but wait to see their evidence first to see if they include a NTK copy.

    Don't miss YOUR WS & evidence deadline...but wait till the last day possible before that deadline, so you can get their WS first & tear it apart, as seen on lots of other similar threads.

    Read some to see how to demolish a WS, while you are waiting.
    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
    • beanparking
    • By beanparking 19th May 19, 9:56 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    beanparking
    Check UKCPM's evidence when they send you the WS, as they needed to send you a PCN by post first, and I expect they will show they did (but check).

    I am not sure why you are doing the WS as admitted driver? I did tell you how to write it as keeper, given that you told us that no PCN was served, thus they can't hold a keeper liable unless they put one in evidence:

    Now, it might be easier to defend as driver, but wait to see their evidence first to see if they include a NTK copy.
    Originally posted by Coupon-mad
    I misunderstood your previous post. Yes, the PCN that they claimed they had been sent via post has come through in their evidence (attached to the WS). I'm guessing the fact that I didn't get this at the time doesn't matter?

    Considering this, would it be better to defend as the driver?

    Don't miss YOUR WS & evidence deadline...but wait till the last day possible before that deadline, so you can get their WS first & tear it apart, as seen on lots of other similar threads.
    Originally posted by Coupon-mad
    My deadline is tomorrow! I thought I might be able to submit my WS by email, but it doesn't look like that's possible? Otherwise, I could deliver it by hand to the court on my lunch break. I'm guessing that would be preferable to being late by post?
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 19th May 19, 10:32 AM
    • 23,331 Posts
    • 37,163 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    I misunderstood your previous post. Yes, the PCN that they claimed they had been sent via post has come through in their evidence (attached to the WS). I'm guessing the fact that I didn't get this at the time doesn't matter?
    The more important point is does the NtK fully comply with PoFA to hold the keeper liable? If it does, then defending as the keeper has no particular advantage over defending as the driver.

    Given the time, if you can't determine whether it is PoFA compliant, scan a copy of both sides and let us have a look at it.

    NEWBIES - HOW TO UPLOAD LINKS TO PHOTOS/SCANS TO MSE

    To upload a photo/scan link, you first need to host it on a free photo hosting site (like Dropbox or Imgur), copy the URL, paste it here, but change the http to hxxp and we'll do the conversion. Newbies can't directly upload links to photos/scans until they've a few posts under their belt.
    Please note, we are not a legal, residential or credit advice forum, rather one that helps motorists fight private parking charges, primarily at the 'front-end' of the process.
    Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day;
    show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
    • beanparking
    • By beanparking 19th May 19, 11:25 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    beanparking
    Given the time, if you can't determine whether it is PoFA compliant, scan a copy of both sides and let us have a look at it.
    Originally posted by Umkomaas
    Thank you so much, here it is:

    hxxps://www.dropbox.com/s/d76svsyp6mjybrt/PCN1.jpg?dl=0
    hxxps://www.dropbox.com/s/xvykzdq9bo6ilvn/PCN2.jpg?dl=0
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 19th May 19, 12:21 PM
    • 23,331 Posts
    • 37,163 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/d76svsyp6mjybrt/PCN1.jpg?dl=0
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/xvykzdq9bo6ilvn/PCN2.jpg?dl=0

    They have the wording from PoFA - many of them have now sharpened up their act (eventually, after almost 7 years after its enactment).

    Just one final shot - please tell us the date of the parking event and the 'Date Issued' shown on the NtK (which has been redacted on your scan).
    Please note, we are not a legal, residential or credit advice forum, rather one that helps motorists fight private parking charges, primarily at the 'front-end' of the process.
    Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day;
    show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
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