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  • FIRST POST
    • Fluffernutter
    • By Fluffernutter 12th Apr 19, 2:56 PM
    • 4Posts
    • 2Thanks
    Fluffernutter
    Claim Form - VCS
    • #1
    • 12th Apr 19, 2:56 PM
    Claim Form - VCS 12th Apr 19 at 2:56 PM
    Hi all!

    Last year I received a NTK from VCS for my car being parked in an off-road car park after 9pm without a pay & display ticket. I appealed on the grounds of illegible and ambiguous signage and poor lighting, obviously didn't get the ticket cancelled. After asking for proof of adequate signage, the photos sent by VCS actually helped my argument (photos showed cars parked in front of T&Cs signage, several photos where no signage could be seen!).

    Anyway I've got a claim form from CCBC, I've done the AOS online and compiled my defence. Could anyone give it a once over to see if I'm missing anything?


    --------------------------
    IN THE COUNTY COURT

    CLAIM No: xxxxxxxx

    BETWEEN:

    VEHICLE CONTROL SERVICES LTD (Claimant)

    -and-

    xxxxxxxxx (Defendant)

    ________________________________________
    DEFENCE
    ________________________________________

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


    1. The facts are that the vehicle, registration xxxxxxx, of which the Defendant is the registered keeper, was photographed by ANPR entering and exiting xxxxxxxxxxxxx CAR PARK in xxxxxxx during night-time hours on xx/xx/xxxx.

    2. 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.

    3. The Parking Charge Notice states the reason for the charge as being “Contravention: 101) PARKED WITHOUT PAYMENT OF THE PARKING TARIFF FOR THE VEHICLE REGISTRATION MARK OF THE VEHICLE ON SITE The Maximum period allowed at this site is minutes”. However the Defendant has carried out research and has been unable to confirm this as a valid contravention code for parking charge notices in the UK. Could this be an automatic get-out? I can't find this contravention code anywere...

    4. 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.

    5. Further, 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 entering the car park in a vehicle. The large signs leading to the car park merely state an “all day” rate of £4.50. Due to the ambiguity of the term “all day” it would be reasonable to assume charges apply during day-time hours and not after 9pm. * Note - I read somewhere that in cases of ambiguous signage, it automatically favours the driver. But I can't seem to find this anywhere now!

    6. These large signs have small print stating “This is a 24 hour pay and display car park”; however this is disguised within a coloured strip and 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.

    7. The Defendant requested proof of adequate signage from the Claimant on multiple occasions, showing the visibility and legibility of signage during night-time hours. The photographs provided were in broad daylight and, indeed, show that signage was not visible from several parts of the car park. The photographs also show the signage within the car park entrance stating “This is a 24 hour pay & display car park" to be fully obstructed by a parked car. Additional signs in the entrance stating the terms and conditions were shown to be partially obstructed by a car, and obscured under a tree such that the wording is difficult to read.

    8. 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.

    9. 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 £60 (plus £25 for Court fees), for which no calculation or explanation is given, and which appears to be an attempt at double recovery.

    10. 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 xxxxx
    Signature xxxxx
    Date xx/xx/xxxx

    ----------------------------------
    Is it worth adding that I sent a SAR request and have had nothing back? Or should I wait to see if I get anything before sending in my defence (I've still got a couple of weeks left to submit)?

    Thanks in advance!
Page 1
    • tboo
    • By tboo 12th Apr 19, 3:17 PM
    • 835 Posts
    • 4,438 Thanks
    tboo
    • #2
    • 12th Apr 19, 3:17 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Apr 19, 3:17 PM
    What is claim issue date on the form and the date you did the AOS



    Where is this car park?
    How long was the car in the car park for?
    This doesn't make sense

    3. The Parking Charge Notice states the reason for the charge as being “Contravention: 101) PARKED WITHOUT PAYMENT OF THE PARKING TARIFF FOR THE VEHICLE REGISTRATION MARK OF THE VEHICLE ON SITE The Maximum period allowed at this site is minutes”. However the Defendant has carried out research and has been unable to confirm this as a valid contravention code for parking charge notices in the UK.
    Started on the No Clutter thread - 25/01/2018
    “You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don't worry and be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” —Walter Hagen
    Mortgage free 2/07/18. 9 years early

    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 12th Apr 19, 4:21 PM
    • 14,268 Posts
    • 16,208 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #3
    • 12th Apr 19, 4:21 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Apr 19, 4:21 PM
    * Note - I read somewhere that in cases of ambiguous signage, it automatically favours the driver. But I can't seem to find this anywhere now!
    Originally posted by Fluffernutter
    Consumer Rights Act 2015 Section 69.
    .
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 12th Apr 19, 6:03 PM
    • 70,218 Posts
    • 82,799 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #4
    • 12th Apr 19, 6:03 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Apr 19, 6:03 PM
    However the Defendant has carried out research and has been unable to confirm this as a valid contravention code for parking charge notices in the UK. Could this be an automatic get-out? I can't find this contravention code anywere.
    No! Stop looking at COUNCIL contravention codes.

    This is a private contractual charge and they could issue one for 'parking on a crack in the pavement' if it was listed on the sign....but only if the sign & charge was readable.

    I appealed on the grounds of illegible and ambiguous signage and poor lighting, obviously didn't get the ticket cancelled.
    Did you admit to being the driver, in that appeal? If so, continue to court in the same vein and admit to being the driver and don't hide behind 'the driver did this/that'.

    If you did NOT give away who was driving in the appeal, then stay in keeper mode.

    Was the PCN in fact a red card saying 'this is not a PCN'?

    If so, then add in some paragraphs from 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
    • Fluffernutter
    • By Fluffernutter 15th Apr 19, 11:48 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Fluffernutter
    • #5
    • 15th Apr 19, 11:48 AM
    • #5
    • 15th Apr 19, 11:48 AM
    Thanks for the responses, and KeithP - you're a star!

    Incidentally, I just stumbled upon a case from July 2018 (same company, car park, and signage) where the defendant argued that the threat of a PCN for failing to make payment was on the general sign, NOT under the T&Cs. (I can't post links, but the website is perincuriam.com/vehicle-control-services-b-w-legal/ ). The judge agreed with the argument so I'll definitely add a section in to cover this, and I'll reference the case.

    What is claim issue date on the form and the date you did the AOS
    Issue date was 3rd April, I sent the AOS on 12th.

    Where is this car park?
    How long was the car in the car park for?
    Smyth Street, Wakefield. The car was parked for about 2hrs.

    This doesn't make sense

    3. The Parking Charge Notice states the reason for the charge as being “Contravention: 101) PARKED WITHOUT PAYMENT OF THE PARKING TARIFF FOR THE VEHICLE REGISTRATION MARK OF THE VEHICLE ON SITE The Maximum period allowed at this site is minutes”. However the Defendant has carried out research and has been unable to confirm this as a valid contravention code for parking charge notices in the UK.
    I'm hoping the judge thinks the same! Really poor wording on the NTK, I'm thinking a proof-reader could earn a small fortune working with these companies...

    This is a private contractual charge and they could issue one for 'parking on a crack in the pavement' if it was listed on the sign....but only if the sign & charge was readable.
    Ah I see, that explains why I couldn't find it!

    Did you admit to being the driver, in that appeal? If so, continue to court in the same vein and admit to being the driver and don't hide behind 'the driver did this/that'.

    If you did NOT give away who was driving in the appeal, then stay in keeper mode.

    Was the PCN in fact a red card saying 'this is not a PCN'?
    I haven't said who was driving, I'm guessing if (when) this goes to court I still refuse to declare this? Or would I have to name them if asked directly?
    And unfortunately not a 'this is not a PCN' case.

    One thing I put in the appeal that I haven't included here is the dodgy ANPR photos used on the NTK. They're pitch black and only show the number plate and a partial reflection of the headlights. I tried using it to prove how dark the car park must have been, and that it doesn't actually show the car within the car park (you can't even see the car). But I don't know if this is standard quality for ANPR in darkness...?

    Thanks for all your help
    • The Deep
    • By The Deep 15th Apr 19, 11:53 AM
    • 12,626 Posts
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    The Deep
    • #6
    • 15th Apr 19, 11:53 AM
    • #6
    • 15th Apr 19, 11:53 AM
    Get you MP on side, parliament is very much aware of this scam and a new Code of Practice and unbiased appeals system is being drafted and should become law by summer

    On 15th 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.
    You never know how far you can go until you go too far.
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 15th Apr 19, 11:57 AM
    • 70,218 Posts
    • 82,799 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #7
    • 15th Apr 19, 11:57 AM
    • #7
    • 15th Apr 19, 11:57 AM
    That is standard quality for ANPR in darkness - but is relevant in a defence as it does show that it was pitch black, if the first photo shows it was.

    Change this to:
    3. The Parking Charge Notice states the reason for the charge as being “Contravention: 101) PARKED WITHOUT PAYMENT OF THE PARKING TARIFF FOR THE VEHICLE REGISTRATION MARK OF THE VEHICLE ON SITE The Maximum period allowed at this site is {blank} minutes”. However the Defendant has carried out research and has been unable to confirm this as a valid contravention code for parking charge notices in the UK.
    You haven't said though, how many minutes the car is shown to be in the car park, are you saying it was merely minutes? If so then say so and cite the grace period wording from the IPC CoP, if it assists your case.
    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 15th Apr 19, 1:43 PM
    • 14,268 Posts
    • 16,208 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #8
    • 15th Apr 19, 1:43 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Apr 19, 1:43 PM
    Issue date was 3rd April, I sent the AOS on 12th.
    Originally posted by Fluffernutter
    With a Claim Issue Date of 3rd April, and having done the Acknowledgement of Service in a timely manner, you have until 4pm on Monday 6th May 2019 to file your Defence.

    That's three weeks away. Loads of time to produce a perfect Defence, but don't 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 an early copy of the Claimant's Directions Questionnaire, they are just trying to keep 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.
    .
    • Fluffernutter
    • By Fluffernutter 15th Apr 19, 3:54 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Fluffernutter
    • #9
    • 15th Apr 19, 3:54 PM
    • #9
    • 15th Apr 19, 3:54 PM
    You haven't said though, how many minutes the car is shown to be in the car park, are you saying it was merely minutes? If so then say so and cite the grace period wording from the IPC CoP, if it assists your case.
    A couple of hours so I don't have the grace period get-out unfortunately

    I'll definitely mention the dark photos though, if I can figure out how to post pictures I'll show you - should give you a laugh once the number plates are blacked-out!

    I'll spend a bit more time on the defence and post it here for a check before I send it.

    Thanks again
    • Redx
    • By Redx 15th Apr 19, 4:07 PM
    • 22,230 Posts
    • 28,100 Thanks
    Redx
    host them on tinypic and add a broken url link in your reply
    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
    • Fluffernutter
    • By Fluffernutter 16th Apr 19, 10:50 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Fluffernutter
    ANPR photo 1 : http:// tinypic.com/m/kd2ucm/4

    ANPR photo 2 : http:// tinypic.com/m/kd2ucn/4

    Hopefully that worked
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 18th Apr 19, 11:44 PM
    • 70,218 Posts
    • 82,799 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    http://tinypic.com/usermedia.php?uo=jJm7XUcEEIzaojaxD8%2Fw3oh4l5k2TGx c#.XLkLL-hKjIU

    http://tinypic.com/usermedia.php?uo=jJm7XUcEEIwSBQEb7swpBoh4l5k2TGxc# .XLkLVOhKjIU

    As you are relying on it being too dark to see any signs or PDT machines (am I right, no payment was made?) then do not have stuff talking about what the 'large signs' actually say!

    5. Further, 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 entering the car park in a vehicle. The large signs leading to the car park merely state an “all day” rate of £4.50. Due to the ambiguity of the term “all day” it would be reasonable to assume charges apply during day-time hours and not after 9pm.
    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
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