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Civil enforcement, Chasing after 2 years
Sigurd
post Wed, 14 Mar 2018 - 20:55
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Good evening all. First time poster and possibly a tad too late but here goes !
I received an invoice from Civil Enforcement in April 2016 for overstaying in Taunton Holiday Inn car park. I appealed at the time stating poor signage positions and punitive charging etc. Appeal rejected. I then made a Popla appeal which was also rejected. I waited and heard nothing from Civil Enforcement after this at all until a letter today, nearly 2 years later, asking for £100 within 14 days or the hounds of hell shall be released on me !!
Any advice as to how I should deal with this would be much appreciated.

Many thanks
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post Wed, 14 Mar 2018 - 20:55
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SchoolRunMum
post Fri, 9 Nov 2018 - 23:09
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Does MCOL say the court has sent out the N180 Directions Questionnaire to you yet?

The second post here has an explanation of WHAT HAPPENS WHEN that you need to be on top of:

https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showth...d.php?t=4816822

HTH
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Sigurd
post Sat, 10 Nov 2018 - 15:04
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Hi SchoolRunMum
MCOL is hopeless and still doesn’t recognise my claim number. Have tried to re register but still no joy. All I have is a letter from the court saying my defence has been served on the claimant and they have 28 days to contact the court. It then says that the court will inform me of what will happen.
That’s all the info I have
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SchoolRunMum
post Sat, 10 Nov 2018 - 15:11
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OK, so you can easily download a N180 from the court form finder online (not on MCOL) if you would rather not wait.

The second post of the NEWBIES thread on MSE tells you how to complete it, Q by Q, thanks to a post there by bargepole.
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Sigurd
post Thu, 20 Dec 2018 - 08:32
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Have finally received the N180 form and I have sent off to both the Court and the Claimant. Should I be looking forward to my day in court now ?
Festive regards to you all x
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nosferatu1001
post Thu, 20 Dec 2018 - 09:06
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Yes, but you realise there is another step or two first, yes?

If not, you havent researched court procedure well enough
MSE FORUM -> NEWBIES thread -> Post 2. Takes you through the entire process, and lets you prepare your most crucial next step - witness statement. Read, read, read and read.
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Redivi
post Thu, 20 Dec 2018 - 09:58
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QUOTE (Sigurd @ Thu, 20 Dec 2018 - 08:32) *
Have finally received the N180 form and I have sent off to both the Court and the Claimant. Should I be looking forward to my day in court now ?
Festive regards to you all x

No

Civil Enforcement doesn't do hearings

There's a risk that a judge might understand its business practices
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nosferatu1001
post Thu, 20 Dec 2018 - 10:15
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REdivi - not entirely true
They turned up to a hearing the other week
Got thrashed.
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Sigurd
post Fri, 21 Dec 2018 - 12:35
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I am indeed aware that my next step will be a witness statement. I have looked at some examples and being a simple statement of events is ok. But where I have concerns is evidence as don’t have any car park related details as I live too far away and too much time has passed for photos etc.
Would you say that the main crux of my defence is in the practices of the claimant rather than the act itself?
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nosferatu1001
post Fri, 21 Dec 2018 - 13:17
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Your WS should support your defence, all aspects of it, if you possibly can.

Have you not tried to grab photos elsewhere? Facebook groups, etc.
THe more you have the better.
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Sigurd
post Fri, 21 Dec 2018 - 13:21
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Thanks Nosferatu.
Trouble with photos is that by the time I knew I would need anything it was over 2 years after the event so I would have no way of knowing or proving if anything had changed since then ?

This post has been edited by Sigurd: Fri, 21 Dec 2018 - 13:43
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ostell
post Fri, 21 Dec 2018 - 16:40
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Any suitable images on Google Street View? It can often be wound back a few years.
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Sigurd
post Fri, 21 Dec 2018 - 17:35
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Thanks, will take a look x
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Sigurd
post Wed, 6 Feb 2019 - 19:38
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Hi All, I have my court date now for early April and have a month in which to submit ‘any documents that I intend to use in my defence to the court and to the claimant’
I am drafting a witness statement using examples on here as a guide and I have a few photos showing inadequate signage though I am sure they will be argued as adequate.
Would one of you lovely people mind walking me through what would be the crux of my defence etc. As I obviously want to be as well prepared as possible ? I have no fear in attending the court as long as I am confident in and know what I am talking about.
Many thanks
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nosferatu1001
post Thu, 7 Feb 2019 - 09:36
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You have ALREADY submitted your defence!
Thats done

Your WS and evidence msut now SUPPORT your defence. So you file documents with the court AND claimant showing how your version is supported


I told you this in post 49, about 6 weeks ago.
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Sigurd
post Thu, 7 Feb 2019 - 13:10
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Apologies, what I meant was how I focus my defence going to the actual court day itself. I have the signage part and will submit photos to back up those points mentioned in my defence. I have included a copy of the Beavis sign to compare to the ones in my case which makes quite a good point. But because the main part is more about the claimants business practices etc. is there any documentation I should be looking for to assist ?
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nosferatu1001
post Thu, 7 Feb 2019 - 14:36
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Youre skipping ahead

Get your WS done.

Get the evidence that supports that

Once you have this done, you can consider the skeleton argument, whci his a bullet list of your key defence points, how their claim fails, etc.
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Sigurd
post Mon, 11 Feb 2019 - 21:51
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Hi All
Please would you take a look at this as a first crack at a WS ?
Many thanks
I, XXXXX, of XXXXXXXX, will say as follows:

I am the Defendant in this matter. Attached to this statement is a paginated bundle of documents marked Xxx to which I will refer.

Before I describe what happened on the day I parked in the Holiday Inn car park, I confirm that the essence of my defence to this claim is that:
a. I did not breach the terms and conditions of parking
b. The Claimant's signage was not noticed by me and a revisit of the site has confirmed to me that the signage was indeed above the drivers natural eyeline and in very small print making it impossible for me to have willingly entered into any contract. It is trite law that any uncertainty in a contract should be resolved against the person who offered it under the contra preferentem rule;
c. The Now famous Beavis judgement actually relied on good clear signage and a penalty amount that was also clear and obvious so that the consumer would be in no doubt as to the contract they were forming. I have included some clauses from the judgement which refer to signage (D1A)

On 30/4/ 2016 I was meeting a friend to drive on to an event. We decided to meet at the Holiday Inn car park as it was handy to the motorway and we had both used it many times before both as customers and as a meeting point. In previous visits there was a two hour grace period similar to the other Holiday Inn Express directly across the road which has this to this day. I drove into the entrance, saw the large green Holiday Inn sign pointing to the car park and proceeded to drive into the car park and stop my vehicle. I waited there for around 40 minutes when my friend was dropped off and we went on our way. During all of this I did not notice any signs or anything that stood out to tell me that any type of strict regime was in place, and thus was somewhat knocked sideways to receive a demand for £100 from CEL a couple of weeks later. I decided to appeal this and wrote to CEL explaining my position but this was refused. I then went on to a Popla appeal and heard nothing from this until I received a letter from CEL saying i had been unsuccessful. I was unable to log back in to the Popla site and eventually I just forgot about it and got on with my life. Then two years later on 12/3/2018 I received a letter from CEL, (D1) saying that ‘despite our various communication your debt remains outstanding’, (which incidentally was an untruth as I had not received any correspondence in two years!), I should do so within 14 days or my debt would be passed on to a debt collector, this letter also mentioned bailiffs and seizing of vehicle etc. which is unnecessarily threatening and intimidating ! This was followed by two letters from something called ZZPS in April and May(D2,D3), asking now for £160. Next to arrive in May and June were two letters from QDR solicitors(D4,D5), where the alleged debt has risen to £196. I draw your attention to the part in D4 which states that failure to pay may affect my current employment and future employment prospects )Again, totally unnecessary scare tactics which I find abhorrent in the extreme. Next in the bombardment of mail came in August from CEL themselves this time (D6), giving me a final opportunity to pay up.
I then finally received court claim forms in October where the amount had grown to £233.85 after some strangely worked out interest charges had been added.
I have returned to the site and photographed the entrance(P1) which shows me how my attention was drawn to the big green hotel sign directing me to the car park and not the other poorly laid out sign which appears in any case to be dealing with the parking area off to the right which is around the hotel entrance itself. Even now that I know the sign is there I have to take my eye off the road to look up and can’t read the small print. Compare this with the sign from the Beavis case (P2) which is correctly coloured to stand out and has an obvious penalty amount showing. I put it on record that had I have seen a sign where it brought to my attention the restrictions and penalties involved I would not have parked there. The exact position I stopped and waited in is shown in photo P3 and even when taking the picture from way back there are no signs visible in the photo, and you can imagine that while parked in the space marked there is no way I would have seen a sign. It is worth noting that I did not get out of car and even if I had my future visit tells me it would have been pure chance had I seen one of the signs.

The issue the court is being asked to deal with is de minimis and the court's valuable time should not have been taken up with this matter.

The Court is invited to dismiss the claim and to award my costs of attendance at the hearing, such as are allowable pursuant to CPR 27.14.

I believe that the facts stated in this Witness Statement are true.


Signature of Defendant:


Name:
Date:
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nosferatu1001
post Tue, 12 Feb 2019 - 11:03
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Its laid out horribly

Parapraphs and short, concise sentences

The format you MUST USE for exhibits are INITIALS/001
Its obvious why - if you use A, B, C and so does the claimant, then how do you cross refer? Its impossible. Initials are enough, usually, to diferentiate.

You cannot make arugments ina WS. FACTS ONLY. No inviting the court to do anything.
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Sigurd
post Tue, 12 Feb 2019 - 11:40
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Thanks Nosferatu, agreed the layout is horrible, but I never intended this to be the final draft it was really for the content.
I will amend the exhibit formats, remove the invitation and improve the layout and repost for you to check again. Many thanks.
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Sigurd
post Tue, 12 Feb 2019 - 13:23
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I think this is a lot better but is it good enough?

Thanks in advance




I, XXXXX, of XXXXXXXX, will say as follows:

I am the Defendant in this matter. Attached to this statement is a paginated bundle of documents marked Xxx to which I will refer.

Before I describe what happened on the day I parked in the Holiday Inn car park, I confirm that the essence of my defence to this claim is that:

a. I did not breach the terms and conditions of parking

b. The Claimant's signage was not noticed by me and a revisit of the site has confirmed to me that the signage was indeed above the drivers natural eyeline and in very small print making it impossible for me to have willingly entered into any contract. It is trite law that any uncertainty in a contract should be resolved against the person who offered it under the contra preferentem rule;

c. The Now famous Beavis judgement actually relied on good clear signage and a penalty amount that was also clear and obvious so that the consumer would be in no doubt as to the contract they were forming. I have included some clauses from the judgement which refer to signage (AB/001)

On 30/4/2016 I was meeting a friend to drive on to an event. We decided to meet at the Holiday Inn car park as it was handy to the motorway and we had both used it many times before both as customers and as a meeting point.

In previous visits there was a two hour grace period similar to the other Holiday Inn Express directly across the road which has this to this day. I drove into the entrance, saw the large green Holiday Inn sign pointing to the car park and proceeded to drive into the car park and stop my vehicle. I waited there for around 40 minutes when my friend was dropped off and we went on our way. During all of this I did not notice any signs or anything that stood out to tell me that any type of strict regime was in place, and thus was somewhat knocked sideways to receive a demand for £100 from CEL a couple of weeks later.

I decided to appeal this and wrote to CEL explaining my position but this was refused. I then went on to a Popla appeal and heard nothing from this until I received a letter from CEL saying i had been unsuccessful. I was unable to log back in to the Popla site and eventually I just forgot about it and got on with my life.
Then two years later on 12/3/2018 I received a letter from CEL, (AB/002) saying that ‘despite our various communication your debt remains outstanding’, (which incidentally was an untruth as I had not received any correspondence in two years!), I should do so within 14 days or my debt would be passed on to a debt collector. This letter also mentioned bailiffs and seizing of vehicle etc. which is unnecessarily threatening and intimidating !

This was followed by two letters from something called ZZPS in April and May(AB/003, AB/004), asking now for £160.

Next to arrive in May and June were two letters from QDR solicitors(AB/005,AB/006), where the alleged debt has risen to £196. I draw your attention to the part in AB005 which states that ‘failure to pay may affect my current employment and future employment prospects’ Again, totally unnecessary scare tactics which I find abhorrent in the extreme.

Next in the bombardment of mail came in August from CEL themselves this time (AB/007), giving me a final opportunity to pay up.
I then finally received court claim forms in October where the amount had grown to £233.85 after some strangely worked out interest charges had been added.

I have returned to the site and photographed the entrance(AB/008) which shows me how my attention was drawn to the big green hotel sign directing me to the car park and not the other poorly laid out sign which appears in any case to be dealing with the parking area off to the right which is around the hotel entrance itself.
Even now that I know the sign is there I have to take my eye off the road to look up and can’t read the small print. Compare this with the sign from the Beavis case (AB/008) which is correctly coloured to stand out and has an obvious penalty amount showing.

I put it on record that had I have seen a sign where it brought to my attention the restrictions and penalties involved I would not have parked there.
The exact position I stopped and waited in is shown in photo AB/009 and even when taking the picture from way back there are no signs visible in the photo, and you can imagine that while parked in the space marked there is no way I would have seen a sign.
It is worth noting that I did not get out of car and even if I had my future visit tells me it would have been pure chance had I seen one of the signs.

The issue the court is being asked to deal with is de minimis and the court's valuable time should not have been taken up with this matter.

I believe that the facts stated in this Witness Statement are true.


Signature of Defendant:


Name:
Date:




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