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CEL Court Proceedings - DQ Small Claims Track, Threads merged
WR2019
post Fri, 18 Jan 2019 - 17:44
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Hi guys,

This is all rather new to me.

CEL have used their typical bullying tactics on me and launched a court claim. The case got stayed 2nd Jan 2019 after I filed my defence and they failed to respond in time. However the stay was lifted and I’ve now received their Small Track questionnaire and have to send this to the court and the claimant (CEL) by the 31st Jan (I’m also awaiting to receive their questionnaire).

In a nutshell:

I entered a carpark that I never knew was ANPR controlled (I’ve lived in the area for 25 years and never had any issues).

There was no signage on the date of the date of my visit to the Costa Coffee in the shopping parade - furthermore they can't expect photographs to claim this as I didn’t know it was ANPR controlled thus there was no reason for me to look out for any signage. They to date haven't showed me evidence that there was signage and T&C's on the date of the alleged breach.

A year or so before the incident I had two back surgeries that haven’t gone well and since I have been in severe agony. I saw the orthopaedic consultant a few days after this “parking contravention” about my pain and what can be done (I have the summary letter from his clinic where he advised having a further spinal fusion procedure to rid my sciatic symptoms and pain).

The above point is relevant as the reason why I spent 2 hour and 28 mins in Costa Coffee, as I was around 1hr 30 mins into my coffee I started to experience nerve pain and weakness in my legs. This was very random and extremely painful but in line with the side effect of my previous two surgeries. I obviously was not going to get into my car and drive until the symptoms had warn off, if I did I would have risked my life and the life of other road users/pedestrians (many children and elderly are nearby as there’s a doctors surgeries, pharmacy and a school very close by).

Ultimately, I’ve defended their charge based on no evidence of signage and my extenuating medical circumstances that were for the greater good. I would have appealed via the standard routes POPLA etc. beforehand had I received any of the claimants prior fines or letters. However the first I knew about the incident was with the county court claim form that the claimant has filed against me (incident Feb 2018, claim form Nov 2018). They've not send any evidence of what fines were sent etc. such as recorded delivery confirmation etc.

I now am in the process of completing this questionnaire and have found this blog insightful so was wondering if anyone may be able to help in this matter?

Thanks!
Wayne
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post Fri, 18 Jan 2019 - 17:44
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Redivi
post Fri, 18 Jan 2019 - 18:15
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They've been unstaying a lot of cases lately

Your defence in particular has missed out most of the usual points such as the no cause of action on the claim form, its fake signature, absence of a contract with the landowner, fake debt collector and solicitor charges that they wouldn't want to explain to a judge

You can't introduce new defence points but your witness statement later could be peppered with phrases such as
I do not believe that CEL paid ZZPS £60 (£70?) to write these letters whether or not they were successful

This post has been edited by Redivi: Fri, 18 Jan 2019 - 18:16
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Glacier2
post Fri, 18 Jan 2019 - 18:30
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CEL often back away when it gets to the paying the hearing fee.
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Redivi
post Fri, 18 Jan 2019 - 18:38
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They used to pay it as a pressure tactic and cancel just in time to have it returned

They've probably decided that it's time to do something about their always cancel reputation that's too well known
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WR2019
post Sat, 19 Jan 2019 - 02:01
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Thanks all.

The other annoying thing is that I haven't heard a peep about. The "breach" occurred Feb 18, I didn't hear anything untill Nov 18 which was claim form from the courts. Surely this is against due process or protocols? I haven't a clue how to prepare a witness statement anybody got any skeleton statements that I can use? Also in my defence I mentioned that I wasn't aware of any t&C's as i didn't recall seeing any hence I never knew it was anpr controlled. They've haven't even shown me any evidence of their t&C's at the time of the incident or that my vehicle was captured in the car park at the said times. My overarching case will be public safety. I have suffered horrendously following my operation and on that day I recall a bad time which would have been unsafe to drive. What kind of judge would uphold a ridiculous charge for an overstay against public safety had I moved the vehicle whilst I was experiencing symptoms?

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nosferatu1001
post Sat, 19 Jan 2019 - 09:08
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It's against protocols but the court doesn't care.

A witness statement is easy. It's fact based. So start writing it. It's your events in your words.

You've already written your defence. You can't raise new arguments but you can point out facts. If you have medical statements about your symptoms then state so, but be careful about public safety. Easy to turn that into - you shouldn't have been driving as you knew you weren't fit to do so.

If you want data about yourself then send CEL a sar. Separately ask them for a copy of signs on the day.
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WR2019
post Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 21:25
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Hi there,


Thanks for the information. I've received the Directions Questionnaire to complete, where do I add the witness statement?

So far I see section:
D2 - Expert Evidence
D3 Witnesses (including myself)

However I can't see anywhere to include the witness statement?


I was thinking about a Witness Statement as follows, What do you think? :

In the County Court at XXXXX
Claim No. XXXXXXXX
Between
Civil Enforcement Ltd (Claimant)
and
WR2019 (Defendant)

-------------------------
Witness Statement
-------------------------

1. I am WR2019, of [Address], [Postcode], the Defendant in this matter. I will say as follows:

2. On [DATE], I visited the (coffee shop) at the shopping parade, and parked my vehicle registration no, XXXXX in the car park.

3. I saw no signage about any ANPR system or similar controls and as a member of the community and local visitor to this parade for over 25 years I have known it to be controlled in anyway.

4. My health was okay but following two unsuccessful spinal surgeries 18 months before this alleged incident, I had numbness in my foot and leg. It’s never been debilitating or impacted my function and I was given the all clear to drive by the orthopaedic surgeon and spoke to the DVLA and they said if the doctor has said I’m fine to drive and I’m not in debilitating pain then I’m fine to drive. I was due to see a consultant a few days after this incident and attached is the consultant’s summary, making clear mention of my symptoms and ongoing complaints.

5. I drank my coffee and I was about to leave but I began to experience severe sciatic pain. This was not like any pain I experienced before as it was very sharp. I was not so concerned about my vehicle as I mentioned on point 3, I had no reason to believe the car park was controlled or restricted. Furthermore, the coffee shop is close to many young children (schools and parks) elderly citizens (doctors’ surgeries and pharmacies), so I did not want to risk potentially causing harm to them or myself whilst I had this episode of debilitating pain.

6. I waited approx. 20 mins and my pain thankfully subsided and I felt better. I got in my car and drove home as normal and I never heard anything after.

7. Around 8 months later I received a court claim form from Civil Enforcements limited. I was shocked that I had not received any prior correspondence. Had I done so I would have contacted POPLA and the BPA to appeal mainly based on the; absence of signage, medical episode. I immediately filed a defence to have the case struck, requesting an urgent hearing for the matter to be heard as the claim has been brought about without following protocol. No correspondence before the claim form is unacceptable, especially from a serial litigant (CEL Ltd) who are known to leverage claims in the masses without any substantial lawful case with the hope that many will be intimidated into paying.

7. The claimant had sufficient time to respond to my defence but did not do so in a timely matter, which does not show the traits of somebody who is trying to recover commercial loss. The county court business centre gave the claimant leeway (extra days to respond given the time of the year and their backlog) however the claimant disregarded this and the case got put into stay and the claimant has had to pay a lifting cost to have the stay lifted.

8. The claimant has very vague particulars of claims, with no T&C’s seen from the claimant to date as there was no signage or evidence of signage on the day of the alleged claim. The claim form has not been signed and there is no detail of what commercial loss has been suffered or how this has been quantified. So far there is a nominal amount which as stated by Lord Hodge from the Supreme court, cannot amount to the cost of performing the contract or interest of the claimant.

Statement of Truth

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

Signature
Date

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Editing
post Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 21:36
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Point 3 is missing “not”......
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WR2019
post Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 22:07
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ahh yes right you are. Thanks! I will change that. Any idea where I include the witness statement?

This post has been edited by WR2019: Mon, 21 Jan 2019 - 22:08
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nosferatu1001
post Tue, 22 Jan 2019 - 12:34
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YOU DONT, NOT YET!
If you had read other thread,s or the excellent NEWBIES THREAD over on teh MSE Forum - post 2, wihch deals with court claims - you would have seen you only send WS and other documents to the LOCAL court and only when ORDERED To do so - which will be after the DQ and after you have a date allocated. WEHen you get your hearing allocation letter, you will notice it sets a deadline for the exchange of documents. THis is usually 14 days before the hearing date, but can vary.
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WR2019
post Tue, 22 Jan 2019 - 19:59
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Ooops my bad! Thanks for the above detail. I'll get my DQ sent of tomorrow then.

Let's wait and see what happens.

Tbh I think the use of ANPR cameras to leverage mass claims should be outlawed. ANPR cameras should not be used in a way to generate revenue in such an automated process. I can understand what happens when no parking measures are enforced but it seems their business model isn't to manage private land, rather to generate dubious revenue from motorist by means of harassment etc.

Do you think it's of any importance that CEL haven't sent me a copy of their DQ? Also I'm considering making a SAR, to see if they can prove that there was fairly displayed and legible signage on the date of the "offence".

Thanks a lot!
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nosferatu1001
post Wed, 23 Jan 2019 - 07:59
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A SAR is, as the name tells you, only to do with data about the SUBJECT
Signs on a piece of land are NOT your personal data, and are not the subject of a SAR

You can ask the court to strike the claim as CEL has not served a copy of their DQ by the deadline of X, which is now Y days ago. Dont expect the court weill listen, and CEL usually discontinue defended cases regardless
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WR2019
post Wed, 23 Jan 2019 - 10:29
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Thanks! I'll leave the SAR then.

I'm curios as to how this works with asking for a case to be struck out. There's a specific form to complete N244 or something I believe but according to the CC business centre Northampton, making such application cost £100 and it's not refundable or cannot be claimed back.

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nosferatu1001
post Wed, 23 Jan 2019 - 10:42
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Dont apply
WRite a letter.
If you apply and pay the fee, you can hopefully get it bac from CEL. But its ony a hope.
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WR2019
post Wed, 23 Jan 2019 - 11:32
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Sounds like a silly question but what address and details shall I put for the judge? The only address details I have so far are the Northampton CC business centre.
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nosferatu1001
post Wed, 23 Jan 2019 - 13:56
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Wait untill you get your local court allocated
Noone at the CCBC willd o anything useful with a letter.
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WR2019
post Wed, 23 Jan 2019 - 17:27
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Thanks a lot!!
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southpaw82
post Wed, 23 Jan 2019 - 21:49
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Paragraph 8 has no place in a witness statement.


--------------------


Any comments made do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon. No lawyer/client relationship should be assumed nor should any duty of care be owed.
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WR2019
post Thu, 31 Jan 2019 - 16:54
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So I received a call from the "CEL Legal team" a few days back, they offered as a gesture of good will to reduce the charge down to £60. I smelt something fishy and today was their deadline to send me their DQ's (I sent mine via recorded delivery a few days back), which they didn't do so.

Anybody else get this call about a good will reduction from CEL?
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Redivi
post Thu, 31 Jan 2019 - 17:05
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It's quite common but usually closer to the hearing date and for a much larger amount

It rather looks like the unstaying was a bluff to see if you caved in and paid £300

Why else would they pay £100 to unstay the claim and offer to settle for £60 only a couple of weeks later ?

Up to you whether it's worth paying £60 to be shot of the claim but, as your witness statement is nearly complete, most of the work has been done
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