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  • FIRST POST
    • heehaw23
    • By heehaw23 15th Apr 19, 12:47 PM
    • 4Posts
    • 1Thanks
    heehaw23
    County Court Claim Defence Review Request Civil Enforcement Ltd
    • #1
    • 15th Apr 19, 12:47 PM
    County Court Claim Defence Review Request Civil Enforcement Ltd 15th Apr 19 at 12:47 PM
    Claim Issue Date: 27th March 2019
    Acknowledgement of Service filed online

    Claim Info:
    Claim for monies relating to a Parking Charge for parking in a private car park managed by the Claimant in breach of terms + conditions (T+Cs). Drivers are allowed to park in accordance with T+Cs of use. ANPR cameras and/or manual patrols are used to monitor vehicles entering + exiting the site.
    Debt + damages claimed the sum of 182.00
    Violation Date: 01/07/2018
    Time In: 12:46
    Time Out: 14:50
    PCN ref: xxxxxx
    Car registration no.: xxxxx
    Car Park:- High Force Waterfalls

    Total due- 182.00
    (Ref:ce-service.co.uk or Tel:01158225020)
    The Claimant claims the sum of 192.69 for monies relating to a parking charge per above including 10.69 interest pursuant to S.69 of the County Courts Act 1984
    Rate 8.00% pa from dates above to- 26/03/2019
    Same rate to Judgement or (sooner) payment
    Daily rate to Judgement- 0.04
    Total debt and interest due- 192.69

    Amount claimed: 192.69
    Court fee: 25.00
    Legal representatives costs: 50.00
    Total amount: 267.69

    Circumstances:
    The driver entered the busy car park, queueing for 5 minutes prior to being able to find a parking space.
    Once parked, the driver walked to the only ticket machine visible in the car park.
    After queueing for a further 10 minutes, they discovered that the machine did not accept payment by notes, nor by card. Driver left the queue and proceeded to get change from family members before starting to queue again for a ticket.
    A 3 ticket was purchased and displayed on the dashboard of the car.
    Family proceeded to picnic and visit the waterfalls, carrying on with their day in the assumption that the purchase of the ticket was sufficient to permit them to park.

    Ticket purchased was disposed of prior to receipt of any PCN, so is not available as evidence.

    Upon review, signage stated the ticket was to be purchased within 10 minutes of arrival. Since this date, and in review of previous complaints, it has now been extended to a 30 minute grace period to allow for peak season.

    CEL are stating they did not receive payment for this registration number.

    Subject Access Request was sent upon receipt of LBC but has had no response as yet.

    The below is the Proposed Defence, any and all feedback would be appreciated please. I am unsure if I have missed anything or if there is a glaring mistake.

    Also, where it states about the maximum amount that can be claimed - how do I know what this figure would be?

    +++++++++++++++++++

    IN THE COUNTY COURT

    CLAIM No: xxxxxxxxxx
    BETWEEN:
    CIVIL ENFORCEMENT LTD (Claimant)
    -and-
    xxxxxxxxxx (Defendant)
    ________________________________________
    DEFENCE
    ________________________________________

    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 xxxxxxxxxx, of which the Defendant is the registered keeper, was parked on the material date in a public space and paid for a ticket at the Pay and Display ticket machine within 25 minutes of arrival.

    3. The Particulars of Claim state that the Defendant xxxxxxxxxx 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.

    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 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 state that the ticket must be purchased within 10 minutes of the vehicle entering the car park, yet this grace period does not take in to consideration queues both to get parked and then to purchase the ticket.

    6. 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.

    7. 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.

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

    9. 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 x
    Signature x
    Date x

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Page 1
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 15th Apr 19, 2:11 PM
    • 14,258 Posts
    • 16,181 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #2
    • 15th Apr 19, 2:11 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Apr 19, 2:11 PM
    Claim Issue Date: 27th March 2019
    Acknowledgement of Service filed online.
    Originally posted by heehaw23
    With a Claim Issue Date of 27th March, and having done the Acknowledgement of Service in a timely manner, you have until 4pm on Monday 29th April 2019 to file your Defence.

    That's two weeks away. Loads of time to produce a perfect Defence, and it is good to see you are not leaving 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.
    .
    • Coupon-mad
    • By Coupon-mad 15th Apr 19, 3:34 PM
    • 70,207 Posts
    • 82,782 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #3
    • 15th Apr 19, 3:34 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Apr 19, 3:34 PM
    2. The facts are that the vehicle, registration xxxxxxxxxx, of which the Defendant is the registered keeper, was parked on the material date in a public space and paid for a ticket at the Pay and Display ticket machine within 25 minutes of arrival.
    The above should say a little more about the nature of the car park and what the driver did in an effort to get the right change and the fact the unsuitably short time period allowed during peak times has been the subject of so many complaints by drivers who also paid as soon as it was possible to do so, that the grace period of free time to allow a payment to be made is now 30 minutes. And at the time, the signs were silent about any time limit.

    I also think we don't go to town enough about the IMHO fraudulently added 'costs/damages' these firms slap on and expect Judges to swallow (and many do).

    Look at the last few paras of this draft, that is there to be copied by anyone:

    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=75660009#post75660009
    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
    • heehaw23
    • By heehaw23 16th Apr 19, 8:38 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    heehaw23
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 19, 8:38 AM
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 19, 8:38 AM
    Thank you KeithP for the information and confirming the 29th! Much appreciated :-)

    Thank you Coupon-Mad! I have added a bit more info as suggested and blatantly copied your proposed points about the costs/damages which I agree is exorbitant!



    Updated Defence as below. Again, all feedback welcome!
    +++++++++++++++++++

    IN THE COUNTY COURT

    CLAIM No: xxxxxxxxxx
    BETWEEN:
    CIVIL ENFORCEMENT LTD (Claimant)
    -and-
    xxxxxxxxxx (Defendant)
    ________________________________________
    DEFENCE
    ________________________________________

    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 xxxxxxxxxx, of which the Defendant is the registered keeper, was parked on the material date in a public space and paid for a ticket at the Pay and Display ticket machine within 25 minutes of arrival.

    2a. The car park was very busy, and cars were queueing, waiting for the next space to become available. Average waiting time of 5 minutes to get parked. The Defendant stood in the queue at the only visible ticket machine for 10 minutes before reaching the front of the queue to discover the machine does not accept payment by notes, nor by card. The Defendant left the queue to get some change before rejoining the queue. Upon reaching the front of the queue again, the ticket was purchased and then placed on the dashboard of the car. This process was completed within 25 minutes.

    2b. Civil Enforcement have advised that the ticket was to be purchased within 10 minutes of entering the car park which is a physical impossibility during peak season. The ticket booth was unmanned and there was only one ticket machine, which for a car park big enough to hold at least 50 cars is extremely inadequate.

    2c. This 10-minute clause has caused numerous issues and complaints from other visitors to the area which have subsequently resulted in Raby Estates requesting Civil Enforcement Ltd to extend this grace period to 30 minutes. The Defendant’s ticket was purchased within this updated grace period.

    3. The Particulars of Claim state that the Defendant xxxxxxxxxx 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.

    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 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 state that the ticket must be purchased within 10 minutes of the vehicle entering the car park, yet this grace period does not take in to consideration queues both to get parked and then to purchase the ticket.

    6. 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.

    7. 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.

    8. The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 ('the POFA') 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 being a maximum of 100, if the Claimant has a cause of action at all, which is denied.

    9. Regarding purported '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 costs allegedly incurred by already remunerated clerical staff. Not only are such costs not permitted (CPR 27.14) but the Defendant believes that the Claimant has not incurred any case-specific legal costs, because no solicitor is likely to have supervised this current batch of cut & paste claims at all and this Claimant uses an in house administrative team. It is noted that no named solicitor has signed the claim form.

    10. It is an abuse of process for the Claimant to issue a knowingly inflated claim that it is not entitled to recover. The acid test is whether the conduct permits of a reasonable explanation, but the Defendant avers it cannot. Claims such as this have recently been struck out by County Courts for reasons of: ''Substantial charge additional to the parking charge. Additional charge not recoverable under the POFA, Pre-action Protocol and CPRs...this is an abuse of process.''

    11. Even if letters were sent by any third party, debt collection agencies act on a no-win-no-fee basis for parking operators, therefore no costs or damages have been incurred, in truth. Nor can a parking operator add any 'damages' to the PCN sum, not even if a further sum is mentioned on signage, because this would exceed the maximum parking charge (100). Any additional charge for damages/indemnity costs (howsoever described) for parking on private land is not recoverable under the BPA Code of Practice and/or the POFA Schedule 4, nor with reference to the CPRs, the pre-action protocol for debt claims and the judgment in the Beavis case.

    12. It was held in the Supreme Court in Beavis (where 85 was claimed, and no more) that a private parking charge already includes a very significant and high percentage in profit and more than covers the costs of running an automated regime of template letters (including any pre-action 'debt recovery' letters which are all part of a template chain). Thus, there can be no 'damages' to pile on top of any parking charge claim, and the Defendant asks that the Court takes judicial notice of this industry's repeated abuse of consumers' rights and remedies by attempting double recovery.

    13. 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 x
    Signature x
    Date x
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    • The Deep
    • By The Deep 16th Apr 19, 8:43 AM
    • 12,626 Posts
    • 12,840 Thanks
    The Deep
    • #5
    • 16th Apr 19, 8:43 AM
    • #5
    • 16th Apr 19, 8:43 AM
    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 18th Apr 19, 11:36 PM
    • 70,207 Posts
    • 82,782 Thanks
    Coupon-mad
    • #6
    • 18th Apr 19, 11:36 PM
    • #6
    • 18th Apr 19, 11:36 PM
    2. The facts are that the vehicle, registration xxxxxxxxxx, of which the Defendant is the registered keeper, was parked on the material date in a public space and the driver paid for a ticket at the Pay and Display ticket machine as soon as was reasonably possible, given the circumstances. within 25 minutes of arrival.
    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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