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  • FIRST POST
    • goingcrazy2019
    • By goingcrazy2019 27th Mar 19, 4:55 PM
    • 11Posts
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    goingcrazy2019
    VCS Court Claim - Johnsons Cleaners
    • #1
    • 27th Mar 19, 4:55 PM
    VCS Court Claim - Johnsons Cleaners 27th Mar 19 at 4:55 PM
    Hi hive mind -
    I have read all the newbie stickies and have logged into Moneyclaim and submitted the AOS. I'm guessing I now need to build my defence. I haven't been able to find any similar cases so wondering if you can help me?


    My car was parked on a Johnsons Cleaners Car Park between 9.20pm and 9.27pm 24.11.2018. The photographs on the VCS website are taken between 9.22pm and 9.25pm. There were no illuminated signs and the business was not open at the time. No signs were visible therefore it was believed the car could be parked there legitimately. When I returned there was a PCN on my windscreen.


    We then looked for signage and found unlit signs at the back of the car park stating a permit was needed. I believe that due to the unlit signage I was not able to lawfully enter into a contract to park on this land.


    I also believe, with subsequent knowledge from employees of the cleaners, that no permits actually exist. Therefore, it would not be possible to display a permit even if the shop had been open.


    I had written to the parking company, just outside of the appeals timeline, and stated why I felt the parking notice was unlawful but did not get a response to this letter.


    I then received a number of automated letters threatening court unless I paid the fee of £160.


    Today I have received a Claim Form from (County Court Business Centre, Northampton) stating I am being taken to court for £185.


    What do I do next?


    Thanks in advance......
Page 1
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 27th Mar 19, 4:57 PM
    • 14,345 Posts
    • 16,326 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #2
    • 27th Mar 19, 4:57 PM
    • #2
    • 27th Mar 19, 4:57 PM
    Hi and welcome.

    What is the Issue Date on your Claim Form?

    You now need to be reading post #2 of the NEWBIES FAQ sticky thread to discover how to compile a winning Defence.
    Last edited by KeithP; 27-03-2019 at 5:00 PM.
    .
    • Umkomaas
    • By Umkomaas 27th Mar 19, 5:10 PM
    • 23,080 Posts
    • 36,668 Thanks
    Umkomaas
    • #3
    • 27th Mar 19, 5:10 PM
    • #3
    • 27th Mar 19, 5:10 PM
    Have you obtained your own photographs, if not, you need to get photos of the signage in the car park, taken in the light conditions that prevailed at the time of the parking event. If in the hours of darkness, take photos without flash to show any poor illumination.

    You also need good quality close ups so the terms are clear to read, as they form the purported contract between the driver and the parking company.
    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.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 27th Mar 19, 7:56 PM
    • 70,394 Posts
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    Coupon-mad
    • #4
    • 27th Mar 19, 7:56 PM
    • #4
    • 27th Mar 19, 7:56 PM
    When I returned there was a PCN on my windscreen.
    Are you sure it wasn't a red card/envelope emblazoned 'this is NOT a Parking charge'?

    Not sure why you can't find similar defences to crib from. All you need is to search:

    defence IPC unlit signs

    defence IPC shops closed no contract

    defence IPC grace period

    defence VCS permit


    Assuming it was a 'not a PCN' card, what's wrong with the VCS example in the NEWBIES thread that deals with exactly that scenario and is right there in the sticky thread?
    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
    • goingcrazy2019
    • By goingcrazy2019 28th Mar 19, 5:50 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    goingcrazy2019
    • #5
    • 28th Mar 19, 5:50 PM
    • #5
    • 28th Mar 19, 5:50 PM
    Issue date 25th March
    • goingcrazy2019
    • By goingcrazy2019 28th Mar 19, 5:52 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    goingcrazy2019
    • #6
    • 28th Mar 19, 5:52 PM
    • #6
    • 28th Mar 19, 5:52 PM
    Have you obtained your own photographs, if not, you need to get photos of the signage in the car park, taken in the light conditions that prevailed at the time of the parking event. If in the hours of darkness, take photos without flash to show any poor illumination.

    You also need good quality close ups so the terms are clear to read, as they form the purported contract between the driver and the parking company.
    Originally posted by Umkomaas
    Yes I have all of these.
    • goingcrazy2019
    • By goingcrazy2019 28th Mar 19, 5:53 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    goingcrazy2019
    • #7
    • 28th Mar 19, 5:53 PM
    • #7
    • 28th Mar 19, 5:53 PM
    Are you sure it wasn't a red card/envelope emblazoned 'this is NOT a Parking charge'?

    Not sure why you can't find similar defences to crib from. All you need is to search:

    defence IPC unlit signs

    defence IPC shops closed no contract

    defence IPC grace period

    defence VCS permit


    Assuming it was a 'not a PCN' card, what's wrong with the VCS example in the NEWBIES thread that deals with exactly that scenario and is right there in the sticky thread?
    Originally posted by Coupon-mad
    Trying to locate the original, but think it was yellow and definitely a printed card with hand written info. Can’t remember if it had ‘this is not a PCN charge’

    Ok thanks, didn’t think of searching those terms and searching on my phone brings up weird responses. Will look on a laptop.
    Last edited by goingcrazy2019; 28-03-2019 at 5:56 PM. Reason: Add info
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 28th Mar 19, 6:02 PM
    • 14,345 Posts
    • 16,326 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #8
    • 28th Mar 19, 6:02 PM
    • #8
    • 28th Mar 19, 6:02 PM
    Issue date 25th March
    Originally posted by goingcrazy2019
    With a Claim Issue Date of 25th March, you have until Monday 15th April to do the Acknowledgement of Service, but there is nothing to be gained by delaying it. To do the AoS, follow the guidance offered in a Dropbox link from post #2 of the NEWBIES FAQ sticky thread.

    Having done the AoS, you have until 4pm on Monday 29th April 2019 to file your Defence.

    That's over a month away. Loads of time to produce a perfect Defence but best not leave it to the very last minute.


    When you are happy with the content, your Defence should be filed via email as suggested here:
    1. Print your 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 "defence received". If not chase the CCBC until it is.
    7. Do not be surprised to receive a copy of the Claimant's Directions Questionnaire, they are just trying to put you under pressure.
    8. Wait for your DQ from the CCBC, or download one from the internet, and then re-read post #2 of the NEWBIES FAQ sticky thread to find out exactly what to do with it.
    .
    • goingcrazy2019
    • By goingcrazy2019 29th Mar 19, 6:49 AM
    • 11 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    goingcrazy2019
    • #9
    • 29th Mar 19, 6:49 AM
    • #9
    • 29th Mar 19, 6:49 AM
    ďWith a Claim Issue Date of 25th March, you have until Monday 15th April to do the Acknowledgement of Service, but there is nothing to be gained by delaying it. To do the AoS, follow the guidance offered in a Dropbox link from post #2 of the NEWBIES FAQ sticky threadď

    Sorry should have said in original post that Iíve done all the steps suggested in the newbie thread. Just at point of collating defence. I have searched using search terms suggested and picked up a few defence points from others.

    In terms of the Ďpermití issue, there are no actual permits issued (employees confirmed this) so itís not possible to get a permit. Is this something to mention in the defence or is it irrelevant?

    Also - the shop was shut at the time, is there anything in previous cases I can quote or if there isnít is this something that can be used as a defence? Or does it not matter, the fact it was private land is all that matters?

    The place could easily be chained off (across entrance) but it is not and it is right next to public spaces so not really clear that you canít oark there. We genuinely didnít know it was private land. It is like they are inviting people to park there to entrap. Is this anything that can be mentioned?

    Finally, although my letter (a version of the one on MSE website) would have reached them after the appeal cut off, it wasnít written as an appeal and was sent recorded delivery. We never had a response. Can this be included in defence?

    Thank you so much for all your help.
    • D_P_Dance
    • By D_P_Dance 29th Mar 19, 8:10 AM
    • 277 Posts
    • 374 Thanks
    D_P_Dance
    Clearly they are trying to scam you and I am sure a judge will see through it. IMO, they would be mad to put this in front of a judge, but complain to your MP anyway, it costs them money yo deal with letters from MPs.

    On 18th March 2019 a Bill was enacted to curb the excesses of these private parking companies. 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, and persistent offenders denied access. Hopefully life will become impossible for the worst of these scammers.

    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.
    Treat everyday as your last one on earth! and one day you will be right.
    • Ralph-y
    • By Ralph-y 29th Mar 19, 8:15 AM
    • 2,965 Posts
    • 3,731 Thanks
    Ralph-y
    HOW TO USE THE FORUM SEARCH FUNCTION:

    Use the Forum Jump button (one near the top and one near the bottom of this page) to get back to the forum thread list. Just above the threads, on the right, is a heading along a line, next to forum tools, called 'Search this Forum'. Put your key word(s) in and change the default search from 'Show Threads' to 'Show Posts'.



    Ralph
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 30th Mar 19, 9:06 PM
    • 70,394 Posts
    • 82,988 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Trying to locate the original, but think it was yellow and definitely a printed card with hand written info. Canít remember if it had Ďthis is not a PCN chargeí
    Originally posted by goingcrazy2019
    it was probably a ''not a parking charge notice'' in which case there is a defence already written in the NEWBIES thread about VCS an a ''fake'' CN, which they then lie in the Particulars, was a 'CN' after all.

    In terms of the Ďpermití issue, there are no actual permits issued (employees confirmed this) so itís not possible to get a permit. Is this something to mention in the defence or is it irrelevant?
    Search the forum for PACE v Lengyel void for impossibility and copy from a defence just like your situation.
    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
    • goingcrazy2019
    • By goingcrazy2019 15th Apr 19, 5:18 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    goingcrazy2019
    Please could someone check this for me? I've kept it short.





    IN THE COUNTY COURT

    CLAIM No: xxxxxxxxxx

    BETWEEN:

    VEHICLE CONTROL SERVICES LIMITED (Claimant)

    -and-

    xxxxxxxxxxxx (Defendant)

    ________________________________________
    DEFENCE
    ________________________________________



    • The Defendant denies that the Claimant is entitled to relief in the sum claimed, or at all.
    • Section B.2.1, B.2.2 of the IPC Code of Practice gives clear instructions as to the placing, visibility and clarity of any signs that must be used to form contracts. It says: ''It is therefore of fundamental importance that the signage meets the minimum standards under The Code as this underpins the validity of any such charge.''
    • The International Parking Community Accredited Operator Scheme Code Of Practice v6 Amended 14th June 2017 (of which the claimant is a member) states: Drivers should be allowed a sufficient amount of time to park and read any signs (this is more specifically given as 10 minutes according to British Parking Association code of practice) so they may make an informed decision as to whether or not to remain on the site. Drivers must be allowed a minimum period of 10 minutes to leave a site after a pre-paid or permitted period of parking has expired.
    • The POFA, 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 £60, for which no calculation or explanation is given, and which appears to be an attempt at double recovery.
    • As parking required a permit, and as the driver did not and could not have a permit due to the shop being closed, the contract in any case has failed by the doctrine of impossibility of performance (PACE vs Lengyel). This would mean no contract could be in place and the driver would therefore be a trespasser. The claim in question does not argue trespass.
    • 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.
    • The Claimant is put to strict proof that it has sufficient proprietary interest in the land, or that it has the necessary authorization from the landowner to issue parking charge notices, and to pursue payment by means of litigation.
    • 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
    • Redx
    • By Redx 15th Apr 19, 5:19 PM
    • 22,245 Posts
    • 28,131 Thanks
    Redx
    should be numbered , like the posts by BARGEPOLE
    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
    • goingcrazy2019
    • By goingcrazy2019 15th Apr 19, 5:29 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    goingcrazy2019
    it is in the word document - not sure why it has come out like this on the forum.
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 15th Apr 19, 5:45 PM
    • 14,345 Posts
    • 16,326 Thanks
    KeithP
    Mickey Mouse forums cannot cope with all the formatting options of all the world's best word processing software.

    Also, copying direct to this forum from a Word document is a bad idea.

    See this thread...

    Last edited by KeithP; 15-04-2019 at 5:48 PM.
    .
    • goingcrazy2019
    • By goingcrazy2019 15th Apr 19, 5:52 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    goingcrazy2019
    Here you go - as suggested by your suggested thread:


    IN THE COUNTY COURT


    CLAIM No: xxxxxxxxxx


    BETWEEN:


    VEHICLE CONTROL SERVICES 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. Section B.2.1, B.2.2 of the IPC Code of Practice gives clear instructions as to the placing, visibility and clarity of any signs that must be used to form contracts. It says: ''It is therefore of fundamental importance that the signage meets the minimum standards under The Code as this underpins the validity of any such charge.''



    3. The International Parking Community Accredited Operator Scheme Code Of Practice v6 Amended 14th June 2017 (of which the claimant is a member) states: Drivers should be allowed a sufficient amount of time to park and read any signs (this is more specifically given as 10 minutes according to British Parking Association code of practice) so they may make an informed decision as to whether or not to remain on the site. Drivers must be allowed a minimum period of 10 minutes to leave a site after a pre-paid or permitted period of parking has expired.



    4. The POFA, 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 £60, for which no calculation or explanation is given, and which appears to be an attempt at double recovery.



    5. As parking required a permit, and as the driver did not and could not have a permit due to the shop being closed, the contract in any case has failed by the doctrine of impossibility of performance (PACE vs Lengyel). This would mean no contract could be in place and the driver would therefore be a trespasser. The claim in question does not argue trespass.



    6. 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.



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



    8. 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
    • goingcrazy2019
    • By goingcrazy2019 15th Apr 19, 6:01 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    goingcrazy2019
    Also - I am not sure about the timings of the letters after the card was left on the windscreen. The first letter I received was dated 6 days after the 'contravention date' (card on car) - is that against POFA regulations?
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 15th Apr 19, 6:13 PM
    • 70,394 Posts
    • 82,988 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    Yes and that's why I suggest you instead use the VCS 'not a CN' defence example.
    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
    • goingcrazy2019
    • By goingcrazy2019 16th Apr 19, 4:54 AM
    • 11 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    goingcrazy2019
    The only problem is I canít find the original card. It was definitely red because you can see it in the photos theyíve submitted for evidence. Does it matter if I donít have the card? I donít want to state it but not have evidence to back it up. Although I can reference previous court cases where they have done this, obviously.
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