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Excel/VCS/bwlegal - PCN from March 2012, Threads merged
Persephone
post Tue, 30 Aug 2016 - 14:10
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I collected information from this forum after the receipt of a “Notice to Owner” dated 16/4/2012 until the threatening letters from Whites stopped arriving later in 2012. I did not respond to any of those.
On 27th July 2016 I received the letter from VCS passing my “account” to bwLegal and, in the same post, another letter from bwLegal claiming a “balance due” of £174.00, comprising a PCN charge of £120.00 plus £54.00 “initial legal costs”. Once again I researched this forum and came up with this response:

1 August 2016
Dear Sir/Madam,

In response to your letter of 25 July 2016, a copy of which I enclose, I deny any debt to Vehicle Control Services Parking Limited. As I’m sure you are aware, the alleged event took place before the enactment of The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, and I was not the driver. Thus, your client has no right to pursue me as the registered keeper.

You have no reasonable cause to continue to process my personal information, including Vehicle Registration Mark. As such you must confirm within 21 days that you and all your agents have ceased processing my data, to prevent further distress and harassment being caused. You must treat this as a Section 10 notice under the Data Protection Act.

No consent has been given, or will be given, for you to process my data. Should you contend consent was given, which is denied, it is revoked.

Do not reference Elliot Vs Loake. You are fully aware this does not apply in this case. Similarly, I should not have to remind you that your £54 "legal" charges cannot possibly be recovered at small claims, as per CPR27.14.

In summary:
1 I was not the driver of the vehicle on 16 March 2012.
2 BW Legal has attempted to mislead me by demanding £54 legal costs, which cannot be recovered in the Small Claims Court.
3 BW Legal has also misrepresented the consequences of a judgement - a CCJ “may have a detrimental effect on my future creditworthiness and employability”.
4 Vehicle Control Services Parking Limited’s delay of over four years to begin legal action is unreasonable behaviour.

Yours faithfully,



bwLegal’s response to that arrived on 25/8/2016 (dated 23 Aug).


I’ll try to post an image.


What is the best way forward? Do I use Gan’s concise response:

Dear Sir/Madam,
Ref: *****
I acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 23 August 2016.

I refer you to my previously reply, a copy of which is enclosed

My position is unchanged

Yours Faithfully

OR can I rant a bit?

Dear Sir/Madam,
Ref: *****
I acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 23 August 2016 and would like to draw your attention to the following:
1. I deny any debt to your client. The £174.00 is the sum of £120.00 PCN Charge plus £54.00 your legal fees.
2. I did not “suggest” I was not the driver of the car. I clearly stated I was not the driver.
3. I do not know who the driver was on 16 March 2012. Even if I did it would be impossible to provide you with that information “within 7 days” as you letter arrived on Thursday 25th August - just before a Bank Holiday weekend.
4. You referenced the case Elliot Vs Loake despite my pointing out to you that it does not apply in this case.
5. Your extract From the DVLA Release of Information document does not address my request that you cease processing my data.
6. your reference to the £100.00 PCN charge does not match with point 1, where the PCN charge is clearly £120.00 (£174.00 minus £54.00 legal fees).
7. Your reference to ParkingEye v Beavis (2015) is not relevant in this case.
8. Your statement that “the relevant car parking Codes of Practice also gives guidance that £100.00 is a reasonable sum to charge” seems to be an error as you are asking me to pay a charge of £120.00. See also points 1 and 6.
9. Referencing the “detailed terms and conditions located within the Car Park” is not very helpful as I have already stated that I was not in that car park.
Finally, I was staying in a hotel in Basingstoke at a family event over the weekend 16 - 18 March 2012. I was not the driver of the vehicle on 16th March 2012. I do not know who was driving the vehicle on that date.

Yours Faithfully
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post Tue, 30 Aug 2016 - 14:10
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nosferatu1001
post Mon, 12 Feb 2018 - 12:24
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No it isnt 3 days, its 5 days later for date of service. Written on the form.

6) isnt a defence
7) how does it go from £120 to £100, then "reduce" to £126?
8) No idea where you found no GPEOL from. REMOVE it.
10A) Your dates are wrong. 2012 -> 2016 is four years.

FOr 3, just make it clear who the driver was. If you cannot state you were not the driver, state that as more than X years have passed it is unreasonable to expect you to recall, and in any event you have no liability in law to provide the name of the driver.
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Redivi
post Mon, 12 Feb 2018 - 12:49
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As a first shot at refining

DEFENCE

1. The Defendant denies that the Claimant is entitled to relief claimed in the sum of £XXX, or at all, for the reasons stated in the following paragraphs.

2 The Particulars of Claim disclose no cause of action. Neither do they explain if the claim is founded on a contractual charge, a breach of a contract or trespass that require different defences.
Neither do they provide any explanation of the £54 contractual charge.
The Defendant invites the court to strike out the claim as in breach of CPR 16.4 or to order the Claimant to provide further and better Particulars of Claim

3. It is admitted that the Defendant was the Registered Keeper of the vehicle in question on the material date.

4. The Defendant denies that he was the driver of the vehicle in question on the material date.
The alleged contravention took place before the enactment of The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and the Claimant has never had any right to recover payment from the registered keeper.
The Claimant's solicitor, BW Legal Services Ltd has been informed of this fact on at least two occasions and has knowingly issued the claim against a party that has no liability

5. The Claimant's solicitor has not sent a Letter of Claim and has failed to respond to the Defendant's request to provide copies of photographic evidence that it has claimed to possess to support the claim
The car park in question no longer exists and it is impossible for the Defendant to determine if the signage was compliant with the Claimant's trade association Code of Practice.
The Defendant refers the Court to the Claimant's unreasonable delay to issue the claim

6. The Claimant's trade association Code of Practice states that, if it is not the land-owner, it has no capacity to take legal action unless specifically provided for in its contract.
The Claimant is put to strict proof that it has such a capacity.

7. The Claimant has at no time provided an explanation how the sum has been calculated, the conduct that gave rise to it, how the amount has changed from £120 to £100 and later reduced to £126 in a discount offer or why the £54 "contractual costs" were initially described as "Client's Initial Legal Costs". This appears to be an attempt at adding costs with no legal basis, and an attempt at double recovery, in order to circumvent Civil Procedure Rule 27.14
The Claimant's solicitor advertises that it can issue more than 24000 claims per month.
The Defendant has the reasonable belief arising from the incompetent Particulars of Claim and failure to provide requested information that the Claimant's solicitor has issued such a "roboclaim" without inspecting the Claimant's documents
The Defendant further has the reasonable belief that the costs have not been incurred but are an indemnity charge and puts the Claimant to proof that they were invoiced and paid.

8. The Claimant has in previous correspondence referenced ParkingEye v Beavis. The present case can be easily distinguished as the Claimant has not shown any valid 'legitimate interest' allowing them the unusual right to pursue anything more than a genuine pre-estimate of loss. Neither has it complied with its trade association Code of Practice.

10. The Claimant has included six years interest charges of £64.26.
The Defendant refers the Court to the Claimant's unreasonable delay since 2nd May 2012 when it send a "Final Demand Prior to Court Action"

11 The Defendant has the reasonable belief that the Claimant has no intention to continue the claim to a hearing and asserts that it has no purpose other than to cause alarm and result in a payment that is not owed

12. The Defendant invites the Court to use its case management powers to strike out the claim as having no prospect of success and for failure to disclose a cause of action. In the alternative, the Defendant invites the Court to order the Claimant to provide further and better particulars of claim.

13 The Claimant failed to send a Letter Before Action or respond to the Defendant's requests for information. It has also delayed legal action for almost six years against a party that it knows to have no liability.
The Defendant will invite the Court to have regard to the Claimant's unreasonable behaviour, the Pre-action Protocol for Debt Claims and CPR 27.14(g) when it disposes of the costs of the case

I believe that the facts stated in this Defence are true.

This post has been edited by Redivi: Mon, 12 Feb 2018 - 12:52
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nosferatu1001
post Mon, 12 Feb 2018 - 14:31
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Your numbers are still wrong, in 7
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Redivi
post Mon, 12 Feb 2018 - 15:31
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I didn't check those details
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Persephone
post Mon, 12 Feb 2018 - 21:48
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QUOTE (nosferatu1001 @ Mon, 12 Feb 2018 - 12:24) *
No it isnt 3 days, its 5 days later for date of service. Written on the form.

6) isnt a defence
7) how does it go from £120 to £100, then "reduce" to £126?
8) No idea where you found no GPEOL from. REMOVE it.
10A) Your dates are wrong. 2012 -> 2016 is four years.

FOr 3, just make it clear who the driver was. If you cannot state you were not the driver, state that as more than X years have passed it is unreasonable to expect you to recall, and in any event you have no liability in law to provide the name of the driver.


Thank you for those comments nosferatu.

So that’s 33 days from 26th January making it Wed 28th February. Can I send it as late as Monday 26th February?
Changed 7) to "reduced" to £126 (£72 + client's legal fees)

For the reference to the driver can I add - The Defendant can prove that she was not the driver on that date. As almost six years have passed it is unreasonable to expect her to recall who might have been the driver.

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Persephone
post Mon, 12 Feb 2018 - 22:12
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QUOTE (Redivi @ Mon, 12 Feb 2018 - 12:49) *
As a first shot at refining

DEFENCE

1. The Defendant denies that the Claimant is entitled to relief claimed in the sum of £XXX, or at all, for the reasons stated in the following paragraphs.

2 The Particulars of Claim disclose no cause of action. Neither do they explain if the claim is founded on a contractual charge, a breach of a contract or trespass that require different defences.
Neither do they provide any explanation of the £54 contractual charge.
The Defendant invites the court to strike out the claim as in breach of CPR 16.4 or to order the Claimant to provide further and better Particulars of Claim

3. It is admitted that the Defendant was the Registered Keeper of the vehicle in question on the material date.

4. The Defendant denies that he was the driver of the vehicle in question on the material date.
The alleged contravention took place before the enactment of The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and the Claimant has never had any right to recover payment from the registered keeper.
The Claimant's solicitor, BW Legal Services Ltd has been informed of this fact on at least two occasions and has knowingly issued the claim against a party that has no liability

7. The Claimant has at no time provided an explanation how the sum has been calculated, the conduct that gave rise to it, how the amount has changed from £120 to £100 and later reduced to £126 in a discount offer or why the £54 "contractual costs" were initially described as "Client's Initial Legal Costs". This appears to be an attempt at adding costs with no legal basis, and an attempt at double recovery, in order to circumvent Civil Procedure Rule 27.14


11 The Defendant has the reasonable belief that the Claimant has no intention to continue the claim to a hearing and asserts that it has no purpose other than to cause alarm and result in a payment that is not owed.


Many thanks for this refined version, Redivi.
That final sentence in paragraph 11 makes a lot of sense. I had thought they were just careless. But is really just another form of harassment. The amount of time I have spent on research and preparing my draft response might not be obvious from the finished piece, but it makes me cross that this may well be a complete waste of everybody's time.

However, the process continues and here is my revision. The passages marked with asterisks in Paragraphs 4 & 7 refer to the questions I asked in my last post.

DEFENCE

1. The Defendant denies that the Claimant is entitled to relief claimed in the sum of £XXX, or at all, for the reasons stated in the following paragraphs.

2 The Particulars of Claim disclose no cause of action. Neither do they explain if the claim is founded on a contractual charge, a breach of a contract or trespass that require different defences.
Neither do they provide any explanation of the £54 contractual charge.
The Defendant invites the court to strike out the claim as in breach of CPR 16.4 or to order the Claimant to provide further and better Particulars of Claim.

3. It is admitted that the Defendant was the Registered Keeper of the vehicle in question on the material date.

4. The Defendant denies that she was the driver of the vehicle in question on the material date. *(The Defendant can prove that she was not the driver on that date. As almost six years have passed it is unreasonable to expect her to recall who might have been the driver.)

The alleged contravention took place before the enactment of The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and the Claimant has never had any right to recover payment from the registered keeper.
The Claimant's solicitor, BW Legal Services Ltd has been informed of this fact on at least two occasions and has knowingly issued the claim against a party that has no liability

5. The Claimant's solicitor has not sent a Letter of Claim and has failed to respond to the Defendant's request to provide copies of photographic evidence that it has claimed to possess to support the claim.
The car park in question no longer exists and it is impossible for the Defendant to determine if the signage was compliant with the Claimant's trade association Code of Practice.
The Defendant refers the Court to the Claimant's unreasonable delay to issue the claim

6. The Claimant's trade association Code of Practice states that, if it is not the land-owner, it has no capacity to take legal action unless specifically provided for in its contract.
The Claimant is put to strict proof that it has such a capacity.

7. The Claimant has at no time provided an explanation how the sum has been calculated, the conduct that gave rise to it, how the amount has changed from £120 to £100 and later "reduced" to £126 *(£72 + client's legal fees) in a discount offer or why the £54 "contractual costs" were initially described as "Client's Initial Legal Costs". This appears to be an attempt at adding costs with no legal basis, and an attempt at double recovery, in order to circumvent Civil Procedure Rule 27.14
The Claimant's solicitor advertises that it can issue more than 24000 claims per month.
The Defendant has the reasonable belief arising from the incompetent Particulars of Claim and failure to provide requested information that the Claimant's solicitor has issued such a "roboclaim" without inspecting the Claimant's documents
The Defendant further has the reasonable belief that the costs have not been incurred but are an indemnity charge and puts the Claimant to proof that they were invoiced and paid.

8. The Claimant has in previous correspondence referenced ParkingEye v Beavis. The present case can be easily distinguished as the Claimant has not shown any valid 'legitimate interest' allowing them the unusual right to pursue anything more than a genuine pre-estimate of loss. Neither has it complied with its trade association Code of Practice.

9. The Claimant has included six years interest charges of £64.26.
The Defendant refers the Court to the Claimant's unreasonable delay since 2nd May 2012 when it send a "Final Demand Prior to Court Action"

10. The Defendant has the reasonable belief that the Claimant has no intention to continue the claim to a hearing and asserts that it has no purpose other than to cause alarm and result in a payment that is not owed

11. The Defendant invites the Court to use its case management powers to strike out the claim as having no prospect of success and for failure to disclose a cause of action. In the alternative, the Defendant invites the Court to order the Claimant to provide further and better particulars of claim.

12. The Claimant failed to send a Letter Before Action or respond to the Defendant's requests for information. It has also delayed legal action for almost six years against a party that it knows to have no liability.
The Defendant will invite the Court to have regard to the Claimant's unreasonable behaviour, the Pre-action Protocol for Debt Claims and CPR 27.14(g) when it disposes of the costs of the case

I believe that the facts stated in this Defence are true.
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Redivi
post Mon, 12 Feb 2018 - 22:18
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The Defendant denies that she was the driver on that date and can prove that she was elsewhere
It is impossible after six years to identify which of (number) possible drivers would have parked the vehicle

I wouldn't wait until the last minute to send the defence
You wouldn't be the first defendant to forget or be prevented by an unexpected event or miss the post

I would send it a week before the deadline

Ideal is to email it as a pdf attachment, with a copy to another email address as evidence of sending
If you email, don't forget to sign it
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Persephone
post Mon, 12 Feb 2018 - 22:19
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BWlegal have responded to my email requesting more details:
"I now request that full and concise details of this claim and all photographic evidence and data held on file be provided to me by post within 14 days - on or before 19th February 2018."

We write in reference to the above matter and your email dated 5 February 2018.
Whilst we note your comments made, a Claim Form has now been issued through the Northampton County Court (CCBC).
We request that you complete and return either an Admission or Defence within the specified timeframe.
Should you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact our office on 0113 323 4479.
Yours sincerely


I don't think they are going to provide me with any.
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nosferatu1001
post Tue, 13 Feb 2018 - 08:11
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You include their refusal to comply with your reasonable request of X date to see documents relating to this claim, in breach of the CPRs and the Overriding Objective, as well as their duty to the court, within your defence.
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Redivi
post Tue, 13 Feb 2018 - 09:39
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Absolutely

5. The Claimant's solicitor has not sent a Letter of Claim and has failed to respond to refused the Defendant's request of 5th February to provide copies of photographic evidence that it has claimed to possess to support the claim.

7....The Defendant has the reasonable belief arising from the incompetent Particulars of Claim and failure to provide requested information that the Claimant's solicitor has issued such a "roboclaim" without inspecting the Claimant's documents
This is evidenced by the unreasonable refusal of the Claimant's solicitor to provide documents and photographs, in breach of the Civil Procedure Rules and the Over-riding Objective

12. The Claimant failed to send a Letter Before Action or respond to and has refused the Defendant's requests for information.

I think what we're seeing here is the inevitable consequence of a well defended roboclaim

BWL doesn't actually have any information about the case and the effort to obtain it will be more expensive than writing off the claim later

This post has been edited by Redivi: Tue, 13 Feb 2018 - 09:40
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Persephone
post Tue, 13 Feb 2018 - 16:42
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QUOTE (Redivi @ Tue, 13 Feb 2018 - 09:39) *
Absolutely

I think what we're seeing here is the inevitable consequence of a well defended roboclaim

BWL doesn't actually have any information about the case and the effort to obtain it will be more expensive than writing off the claim later


Probably the inevitable consequence of a very refined Redivi defence. Many thanks for your input Redivi and nosferatu.
Unless someone spots an error or bwlegal contact me again, the Defence below will signed, scanned and sent by email as a pdf to ccbcaq@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk and another recipient on Monday 19th Feb.

DEFENCE

1. The Defendant denies that the Claimant is entitled to relief claimed in the sum of £XXX, or at all, for the reasons stated in the following paragraphs.

2 The Particulars of Claim disclose no cause of action. Neither do they explain if the claim is founded on a contractual charge, a breach of a contract or trespass that require different defences.
Neither do they provide any explanation of the £54 contractual charge.
The Defendant invites the court to strike out the claim as in breach of CPR 16.4 or to order the Claimant to provide further and better Particulars of Claim.

3. It is admitted that the Defendant was the Registered Keeper of the vehicle in question on the material date.

4. The Defendant denies that she was the driver on that date and can prove that she was elsewhere. It is impossible after six years to identify which of two possible drivers would have parked the vehicle.
The alleged contravention took place before the enactment of The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and the Claimant has never had any right to recover payment from the registered keeper.
The Claimant's solicitor, BW Legal Services Ltd has been informed of this fact on at least two occasions and has knowingly issued the claim against a party that has no liability.

5. The Claimant's solicitor has not sent a Letter of Claim and has refused the Defendant's request of 5th February to provide copies of photographic evidence that it has claimed to possess to support the claim.
The car park in question no longer exists and it is impossible for the Defendant to determine if the signage was compliant with the Claimant's trade association Code of Practice.
The Defendant refers the Court to the Claimant's unreasonable delay to issue the claim

6. The Claimant's trade association Code of Practice states that, if it is not the landowner, it has no capacity to take legal action unless specifically provided for in its contract.
The Claimant is put to strict proof that it has such a capacity.

7. The Claimant has at no time provided an explanation how the sum has been calculated, the conduct that gave rise to it, how the amount has changed from £120 to £100 and later "reduced" to £126 (£72 + client's legal fees) in a discount offer or why the £54 "contractual costs" were initially described as "Client's Initial Legal Costs". This appears to be an attempt at adding costs with no legal basis, and an attempt at double recovery, in order to circumvent Civil Procedure Rule 27.14
The Claimant's solicitor advertises that it can issue more than 24000 claims per month.
The Defendant has the reasonable belief arising from the incompetent Particulars of Claim and failure to provide requested information that the Claimant's solicitor has issued such a "roboclaim" without inspecting the Claimant's documents. This is evidenced by the unreasonable refusal of the Claimant's solicitor to provide documents and photographs, in breach of the Civil Procedure Rules and the Over-riding Objective.
The Defendant further has the reasonable belief that the costs have not been incurred but are an indemnity charge and puts the Claimant to proof that they were invoiced and paid.

8. The Claimant has in previous correspondence referenced ParkingEye v Beavis. The present case can be easily distinguished as the Claimant has not shown any valid 'legitimate interest' allowing them the unusual right to pursue anything more than a genuine pre-estimate of loss. Neither has it complied with its trade association Code of Practice.

9. The Claimant has included six years interest charges of £64.26.
The Defendant refers the Court to the Claimant's unreasonable delay since 2nd May 2012 when it sent a "Final Demand Prior to Court Action".

10. The Defendant has the reasonable belief that the Claimant has no intention to continue the claim to a hearing and asserts that it has no purpose other than to cause alarm and result in a payment that is not owed

11. The Defendant invites the Court to use its case management powers to strike out the claim as having no prospect of success and for failure to disclose a cause of action. In the alternative, the Defendant invites the Court to order the Claimant to provide further and better particulars of claim.

12. The Claimant failed to send a Letter Before Action and has refused the Defendant's request for information. It has also delayed legal action for almost six years against a party that it knows to have no liability.
The Defendant will invite the Court to have regard to the Claimant's unreasonable behaviour, the Pre-action Protocol for Debt Claims and CPR 27.14(g) when it disposes of the costs of the case.

I believe that the facts stated in this Defence are true.

This post has been edited by Persephone: Tue, 13 Feb 2018 - 16:44
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Persephone
post Wed, 28 Feb 2018 - 20:27
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The Court received my defence on 20th February and I really hoped that would be the last I heard of it. But today I received a letter, dated 26th February, from bwlegal informing me that "Our client intends to continue with the claim, we confirm that we have notified the Court of the same.”

I suppose I now have to wait for the Court to look at the claim.
I still have no details of the contravention other than “Parked after expiry of time in pay & display car park”

At what point should I start preparing my Witness Statement?
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nosferatu1001
post Thu, 1 Mar 2018 - 00:10
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Well you can do that now

You should know the next steps - court sends DQ to both parties, both parties complete theirs, sending to court and other party. Then you get notification it’s at your local court, and after that a hearing date. That letter tells you the deadline to have all parties receive a copy of your documents - ws plus other evidence.
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Persephone
post Fri, 16 Mar 2018 - 22:24
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DQs have been exchanged. BW's has named a person in "B. contact details" but it is signed BW Legal. I think I've been communicating with a computer programme.

I have now received a notice of transfer of proceedings to my local County Court.

Because I will soon be offline until the second week of April, I have made an attempt at drafting my witness statement.
I'm delighted that Fellsider didn't copyright his. He, and those who assisted him, will recognise much of this! Having said that, all errors and confusions are my own.
I would be very grateful if someone could look this over.



I will insert the headings and a statement of truth at the end.

1. I am an unrepresented defendant who has never attended the county court before.

2. On the XX/4/2012 I received a Notice To Owner from Vehicle Control Services Ltd dated XX/4/2012 (Exhibit A) asking for payment of £120 for an unpaid
Parking Charge Notice issued on X/3/2012 at XXXpm.
The reason for the alleged contravention was described as: “Parked after the expiry of time in a pay & display car park”.
There is the suggestion that there had been some payment. There is no reference to the length of the overstay.
A Final Demand Prior to Court Action from VCS dated X/5/2012 arrived on X/5/2012. (Exhibit B)

3. I was the registered keeper of the vehicle in question at the time of the alleged contravention.

4. More than four years later, XX/7/2016, I received a letter from VCS informing me that they had passed my account to their legal team BW Legal and,
in the same envelope, a letter from BW Legal requiring payment of £120 plus “Our Client’s initial legal costs of £54” within 16 days of the date of the letter.
(Exhibit C.1 & C.2)

5. The Claimant did not identify the driver. I was not the driver of the vehicle on XX/3/2012 and have no knowledge of the events, or signage terms on that date.
The Claimant's solicitor, BW Legal Services Ltd, has been informed of this fact on at least two occasions (Exhibits D & G) and has knowingly issued the claim against
a party that has no liability. Car insurance documents from 2011/12 have not been kept and, after six years, it is not possible to identify the driver on XXX 2012.

6. I was attending a family celebration in a hotel in Basingstoke over the weekend XX/3/2012. There are a number of people willing to vouch for my presence at the celebration.
I also have an email confirming our hotel booking from the XXX hotel, Basingstoke, dated XX/9/2011 (Exhibit Q) and a credit card statement showing
payment to XXX hotel, Basingstoke on the XX/3/2012. (Exhibit R).

7. The alleged contravention took place before the enactment of The Protection of Freedoms Act, 2012, and
the Claimant has never had any right to recover payment from the registered keeper.
In a letter dated XX August 2016 (Exhibit E), the Claimant’s solicitor informed me that their client did not rely on POFA and referred me to the case of
Elliot v Loake 1982. In the case of Elliot v Loake, the court decided that there was evidence of the driver's identity.

8. The Particulars of Claim disclose no cause of action. The Claimant has not supplied any evidence at all that the alleged contravention ever occurred.
The Claimant's solicitor has refused my requests sent on XX February by mail and email (Exhibits J & K) to provide copies of photographic evidence and data that
VCS has claimed to possess to support the claim. (Exhibits A & B)
They did acknowledge receipt of both the letter and the email. (Exhibits L & M)

9. Withholding any relevant photos of the car, particularly the full view of the windscreen and any signage terms, despite being asked for,
is against the SRA code as well as contrary to the ‘overriding objective’ in the pre action protocol.

10. The Claimant's solicitor advertises that it can issue more than 24000 claims per month. With this level of experience in dealing with private parking issues there can be no excuse for these omissions.

11. The claimant failed to send a copy of their written contract as per Practice Direction 16 7.3(1) and Practice Direction 7C 1.4(3A).
No indication is given as to the Claimant's contractual authority to operate there as required by the Claimant's Trade Association's Code of Practice B1.1 which states:

1.1 If you operate parking management activities on land which is not owned by you, you must supply us with written authority from the land owner
sufficient to establish you as the ‘Creditor’ within the meaning of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (where applicable) and in any event to establish
you as a person who is able to recover parking charges. There is no prescribed form for such agreement and it need not necessarily be as part of a contract
but it must include the express ability for an operator to recover parking charges on the landowner’s behalf or provide sufficient right to occupy the land in
question so that charges can be recovered by the operator directly. This applies whether or not you intend to use the keeper liability provisions.

The car park in question no longer exists. It was initially referred to as The Percy Car Park by the Claimant, Vehicle Control Services on the Notice to Owner XXX
and the Final Demand Notice XXX It was later called The Percy Car Park Hanro Group in all correspondence from BW Legal.
The car park was already a building site when BW Legal first contacted me in July 2016, after more than four years of hearing nothing further from the Claimant.
According to a press release dated 16/9/2016, Kier Property had bought from Hanro a portfolio of properties which included the car park in question. (Exhibit P)


12. The Final Demand Prior to Court Action, XX/5/2012, suggested that, should I fail to "pay this notice", court proceedings could
"lead to a warrant being issued to the bailiffs to recover payment/seize goods". (Exhibit B)

13. Four years later I received a demand from BW Legal for £174. This was described as £120 PCN charge plus "Our Client's initial legal costs of £54". (Exhibit C2)
In their letter, dated XX/8/2016, I was further informed that payment of such fees was detailed in the terms and conditions in the car park (Exhibit E).
At this point the car park was no longer in existence and I have yet to see any evidence, including signage, from the Claimant or their solicitors.
The £54 "client's initial legal fees" was also referred to in BW Legal's "Discount Offer", dated XX/8/2016, (Exhibit F) when they reduced the £120 PCN amount to £72 but still requested £126.

14. The Claimant appeared to be uncertain as to whether the PCN charge was £120 or £100 in their letter of XX/8/2016 (Exhibit E).
At the beginning of the letter, the claim is for the sum of £174. There are later references to the £54 legal fees. The penultimate paragraph claims that
PCN charges are not a penalty and that the car parking Codes of Practice "give guidance that £100 is a reasonable sum to charge".
I pointed out these discrepancies in my response (Exhibit G). I heard nothing more from the Claimant or their solicitors until after the Claim Form arrived from the County Court Business Centre.

15. The Claimant's solicitor has also misrepresented the consequences of a judgement - a CCJ
“may have a detrimental effect on your future creditworthiness and employability”. (Exhibit C.2)
They also attempted to mislead me by demanding £54 legal costs, which cannot be recovered in the Small Claims Court, as per CPR 27.14.
I pointed this out to them in my response to their initial demand, (Exhibit D) dated XX/8/2016 and my more detailed response, (Exhibit G) dated XX/9/2016.

16. On the XX/1/2018 I received a Claim Form from CCBC (Exhibit H). I did not receive a Letter Before Claim or even a final demand indicating that litigation was imminent.

17. On the XX/1/2018 BW Legal sent a "Notice of County Court Claim Issued" (Exhibit I), dated 1/2/2018. This Notice broke down the outstanding balance of £313.26:
Principle Debt £120.00
Interest £64.26
Court Fees £25.00
Solicitors' Costs £104.00

The Claimant's legal costs appear to have almost doubled. I dispute that the Claimant has incurred £104 solicitors' costs to pursue an alleged £120 debt,
the costs of which are in any case not recoverable. On the Claim Form (Exhibit H) the legal representative's costs are listed as £50 and
the Particulars of Claim describes the £54 as "contractual costs pursuant to PCN terms and conditions".
The Claimant's solicitor, who signed the Claim Form as BW Legal Services Limited, seems confused about the amount they are charging VCS.

18. The Claimant has included six years interest charges of £64.26. I would like to refer the Court to the unreasonable delay in issuing a claim when
the Claimant sent a "Final Demand Prior to Court Action" almost six years ago on XX May 2012.

19. The Claimant has not complied with the pre-court protocol as No Letter of Claim or initial information was sent to me.

20. I would like to refer the court to Paragraph 4 on non-compliance and sanction, and also point out that there can be no reasonable excuse for the Claimant's failure
to follow the Pre-Action Conduct process, especially bearing in mind that the Claim was issued by their own Solicitors. They clearly had legal advice before issuing proceedings.

21. PRACTICE DIRECTION – PRE-ACTION CONDUCT AND PROTOCOL Steps before issuing a claim at court.
6.Where there is a relevant pre-action protocol, the parties should comply with that protocol before commencing proceedings.
Where there is no relevant pre-action protocol, the parties should exchange correspondence and information to comply with the objectives in paragraph 3,
bearing in mind that compliance should be proportionate.
The steps will usually include—
(a) the claimant writing to the defendant with concise details of the claim. The letter should include the basis on which the claim is made, a summary of the facts,
what the claimant wants from the defendant, and if money, how the amount is calculated;
(b) the defendant responding within a reasonable time - 14 days in a straight forward case and no more than 3 months in a very complex one.
The reply should include confirmation as to whether the claim is accepted and, if it is not accepted, the reasons why,
together with an explanation as to which facts and parts of the claim are disputed and whether the defendant is making a counterclaim
as well as providing details of any counterclaim; and
© the parties disclosing key documents relevant to the issues in dispute.

22. The claimant has not provided enough details in the Particulars of Claim to enable me to file a full defence.
In particular, the full details of the contract, which it is alleged was breached, have not been provided.

1. The Claimant has disclosed no cause of action to give rise to any debt.
2. The Claimant has stated that a parking charge was incurred.
3. The Claimant has given no indication of the nature of the alleged charge in the Particulars of Claim.
The Claimant has therefore disclosed no cause of action.

23. The Particulars of Claim contains no details and fails to establish a cause of action which would enable me prepare a specific defence.
It just states Parking Charge Notice (PCN) which does not give any indication of the basis on which the claim is brought.
There is no information regarding why the charge arose, what the original charge was, what the alleged contract was nor anything
which could be considered a fair exchange of information.

24.The Particulars of Claim are incompetent in disclosing no cause of action.

25. The Claimant has in previous correspondence (Exhibit E) referenced ParkingEye v Beavis. The present case can be easily distinguished as
the Claimant has not shown any valid 'legitimate interest' allowing them the unusual right to pursue anything more than a genuine pre-estimate of loss.
Neither has it complied with its trade association Code of Practice. 
If it is not the landowner, it has no capacity to take legal action unless specifically provided for in its contract.
The Claimant has not explained if the claim is founded on a contractual charge, a breach of a contract or trespass that require different defences.

26. On the 27thJuly 2016 DJ Anson sitting at Preston County Court ruled that the very similar parking charge particulars of claim were deficient and failed
to meet CPR 16.4 and PD 16 paragraphs 7.3 – 7.6. He ordered the Claimant in that case to file new particulars which they failed to do and so the court confirmed that the claim be struck out.

27. The particulars of claim do not meet the requirements of Practice Direction 16 7.5 as there is nothing which specifies how the terms were breached.
Indeed the particulars of claim are not clear and concise as is required by CPR 16.4 1(a).

28. The Claimants are known to be serial issuers of generic claims similar to this one. HM Courts Service has identified over 1000 similar sparse claims.
I believe the term for such behaviour is roboclaims and as such is against the public interest.

Practice Direction 3A which references Civil Procedure Rule 3.4 illustrates this point:
7.5 Where a claim is based upon an agreement by conduct, the particulars of claim must specify the conduct relied on and state
by whom, when and where the acts constituting the conduct were done.

29. Since 2012 the Claimant has described the charge of £54 as ‘legal fees’. Only in the Particulars of Claim does this become ‘contractual costs’.
CPR 31.14 does not permit these to be recoverable in the Small Claims Court.

30. The amount claimed is a charge and evidently disproportionate to any loss suffered by the Claimant and is therefore unconscionable.

31. I assert that the Claimant has also ignored the Government’s official position on parking charges as expressed clearly in
the Department for Transport Guidance on the Recovery of Parking Charges:
“Charges for breaking a parking contract must be reasonable and a genuine pre-estimate of loss. This means charges must compensate the landholder only for the loss
they are likely to suffer because the parking contract has been broken. For example, to cover the unpaid charges and the administrative costs associated with issuing
the ticket to recover the charges. Charges may not be set at higher levels than necessary to recover business losses and the intention should not be to penalise the driver.”

32. I submit that the amount demanded cannot possibly be a genuine pre-estimate of the Claimant’s loss.


33. The Claimant has at no time provided an explanation how the sum has been calculated or the conduct that gave rise to it.

34. Vehicle Control Services were not the lawful occupier of the land. I have the reasonable belief that they did not have the authority to issue
charges on this land in their own name and that they have no rights to bring this case.

35. The Claimant was not the landowner and is merely an agent acting on behalf of the landowner and has failed to demonstrate their legal standing to form a contract.

36. The Claimant is put to proof that it had sufficient interest in the land or that there are specific terms in its contract to bring an action on its own behalf.
As a third party agent, the Claimant may not pursue any charge. I have the reasonable belief that they do not have the authority to issue charges on this land
in their own name and that they have no right to bring action regarding this claim.

37. I watched the recent Parliamentary debate on the planned Private Parking (Code of Practice) Bill, which particularly singled out the current unacceptably high
numbers of unfair 'parking charges' received by ordinary residents, and how this is considered completely unreasonable.
Stephen Doughty MP referred to the Claimant's solicitor in his speech. "there are other firms of solicitors that use the same name—as is BW Legal.
I have been involved in a lengthy case concerning a constituent. This week, I raised concerns about such firms with the Solicitors Regulation Authority,
and I am hopeful that it will take a close look at the matter and consider whether the firms are complying with the regulatory environment for solicitors, and with best practice."
Full transcript of the debate - (Exhibit S)

38. ParkingEye v Sharma (3QT62646 Brentford County Court) examined the contract and dismissed the claim for the reason that the Claimant had no ownership of,
or proprietary interest in, the land; it followed that the Claimant, acting as an agent, had no locus standi to bring court proceedings in its own name.

39. ParkingEye v Gardam (3QT60598) similarly examined the contract and found the Sharma judgment persuasive.

40. I also refer the court to ParkingEye v Somerfield (2012) (EWCA Civ 1338 case A3/2011/0909) that examined ParkingEye contracts.
This stated that any debt was due to Somerfield and that ParkingEye did not have the authority to issue proceedings. It follows therefore that if a debt exists, it is owed to the landowner, not the Claimant.

41. I would like to point out that as this car park does not offer a free parking period the ParkingEye v Beavis and Wardley case does not apply (ParkingEye v Cargius case)

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SchoolRunMum
post Fri, 16 Mar 2018 - 23:25
Post #35


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Group: Members
Posts: 17,633
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Member No.: 32,130



That's very long, should only be the facts as you know them. Needs massive pruning adn lots of that stuff is too old.

Remove this completely, it is NOT a valid argument since the Beavis case in 2015

QUOTE
31. I assert that the Claimant has also ignored the Government’s official position on parking charges as expressed clearly in
the Department for Transport Guidance on the Recovery of Parking Charges:
“Charges for breaking a parking contract must be reasonable and a genuine pre-estimate of loss. This means charges must compensate the landholder only for the loss
they are likely to suffer because the parking contract has been broken. For example, to cover the unpaid charges and the administrative costs associated with issuing
the ticket to recover the charges. Charges may not be set at higher levels than necessary to recover business losses and the intention should not be to penalise the driver.”


Remove 38 through to 41, all old stuff.

I do like your point #37 and use of the Parliamentary debate to open your Judge's eyes, in case they are not a person who has twigged what these robo-claims are actually hiding.

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Persephone
post Sat, 17 Mar 2018 - 18:07
Post #36


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Group: Members
Posts: 37
Joined: 30 Aug 2016
Member No.: 86,742



Thank you for your helpful input SchoolRunMum.

I've removed paragraph 31 and 38 - 41.
I'm also tempted to take out 31 through to 35.

I want to concentrate on the fact that I wasn't the driver and can prove it, March 2012 was pre-POFA and there is no keeper liability,
that there has been unreasonable delays in contacting me and that their sudden reappraisal of the "debt" appears to have been caused by the sale of the property in 2016.



Witness Statement - 2nd draft:


[attachment=54345:Redacted...tatement.pdf]
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SchoolRunMum
post Sat, 17 Mar 2018 - 22:12
Post #37


Member


Group: Members
Posts: 17,633
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Member No.: 32,130



I would only remove 33 - 35 because ''no loss'' has no hope as an argument:
QUOTE
30. The amount claimed is a charge and evidently disproportionate to any loss suffered by the
Claimant and is therefore unconscionable.
31. I submit that the amount demanded cannot possibly be a genuine pre-estimate of the Claimant’s
loss.
32. The Claimant has at no time provided an explanation how the sum has been calculated or the
conduct that gave rise to it.


Your WS needs a statement of truth at the end, and your signature and date.
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Persephone
post Sun, 18 Mar 2018 - 23:06
Post #38


Member


Group: Members
Posts: 37
Joined: 30 Aug 2016
Member No.: 86,742



Thanks again, SchoolRunMum. I feel more comfortable dealing with points that I (almost) understand.

I will be offline from Tuesday for almost three weeks and I am happier that this witness statement is drafted.
Of course, it might all change if/when the Claimant files a witness statement.

[attachment=54378:2nd_Reda...tatement.pdf]
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SchoolRunMum
post Mon, 19 Mar 2018 - 01:02
Post #39


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Group: Members
Posts: 17,633
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Member No.: 32,130



I would get rid of 26, 27 and 28.

If you get their WS soon, before submitting this WS and evidence, go through it with a fine tooth comb. Are the signs/contract is VCS name, or Excel?

And consider using one or both of Lamilad's case transcripts (Excel v Lamoureux) as an exhibit as well with your WS, found here:

http://www.parking-prankster.com/more-case-law.html

Read them and you'll see how clearly it is stated that a keeper cannot be held liable when a PPC (sister company of VCS, also using BW Legal) cannot rely on the POFA, which in your case, clearly VCS cannot and they are stuffed.
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Persephone
post Fri, 13 Apr 2018 - 15:19
Post #40


Member


Group: Members
Posts: 37
Joined: 30 Aug 2016
Member No.: 86,742



Attached File  3rd_draft_Redacted_Witness_Statement.pdf ( 110.22K ) Number of downloads: 13


I came back to a Notice of Allocation to the Small Claims Track. My Witness Statement and evidence need to be with the court and the Claimant by 4pm, 23rd April.
I aim to have them in the post by Thursday 19th.
Thanks, SchoolRunMum for suggesting the use of the Excel v Lamoureux case. I have made reference to it in paragraph 9 as it follows on from my comment about VCS not relying on POFA. (Although there was no POFA in March 2012)
I've also removed those three paragraphs.
if nobody spots an error or contradiction, this should be my final WS draft. Then I'll have to arrange everything into a folder - dividers and labels will be a must here, I think.
I have highlighted three three short extracts in the Hansard - Parking Code of Pratice Bill debate. One makes reference to BWLegal and two others mention "roboclaims".

Many thanks in advance.
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