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Gladstones: Letter before Claim
crox
post Thu, 17 May 2018 - 11:36
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So the letter below came across my desk. The original charge notice was ignored by the driver at the time (company car, leased), as were the original letters.

Given I have plenty of other things to do, entering a defence on court action doesn't particularly thrill me. I understand that the contract is with the driver, but clearly have no wish for the company to be involved, but neither do I want to involve the driver.

Any valued advice greatly appreciated!
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post Thu, 17 May 2018 - 11:36
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emergencychimp
post Thu, 17 May 2018 - 12:29
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It's not compliant with PAP.

Reply with.

First, the alleged debt is disputed and any court proceedings will be vigorously defended.

Your letter before claim is defective as it does not comply with numerous requirements of the Practice Direction on Pre-action Conduct.

Please therefore provide a Letter Before Claim which complies with the requirements of the Practice Direction on Pre-action Conduct:

I confirm that I shall then seek advice and submit a Response as required by the Practice Direction.

Please ensure that someone does actually read and respond to this letter, providing the specific information relating to any court claim that you intend to make against myself as the defendant to the proposed legal proceedings. Please DO NOT send a generic letter in reply as to do so does not meet the requirements of the Practice Direction and will take this matter no further forward.

Please note, a refusal to comply with the Practice Direction will result in an immediate referral to the Solicitors Regulation Authority for breach of the Principles contained in the SRA Handbook version 8, published on 1st October 2013.

I trust this will not be necessary, and look forward to receiving a fully compliant letter before claim in due course.
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Redivi
post Thu, 17 May 2018 - 12:42
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The Practice Direction for Pre-action Protocol has been replaced by the Pre-action Protocol for Debt Claims

Gladstones, by the way, has no idea what this concerns

It never sees any of its client's paperwork unless a claim has been defended
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emergencychimp
post Thu, 17 May 2018 - 12:51
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Ah. My bad. I've seen Pre-action Protocol for Debt Claims banded about but didn't realize it replaced Practice Direction. Nothing can be too straightforward eh.
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crox
post Thu, 17 May 2018 - 13:57
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so replace The Practice Direction for Pre-action Protocol with Pre-action Protocol for Debt Claims, and we are good to go?!

Cheers
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Redivi
post Thu, 17 May 2018 - 14:38
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Yes
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crox
post Tue, 10 Jul 2018 - 10:23
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So ... we had a response recently.

The letter simply states (abridged):

——

We believe the enclosed documents will assist you in providing a factual response to our Client’s claim in order to narrow down the substantive issues.

You have a further 30 days from this letter to return enclosed paperwork (standard claim form) or make payment in full, failure to do either will result in further legal proceedings being issued etc.

——

Now, we are no lawyers, but it hardly seems that they have addressed the main points in the reply (based on your previous advice).

What now? Do we also refer them to the Solicitors Regulation Authority, if so, how?
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Redivi
post Tue, 10 Jul 2018 - 10:42
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What have they sent ?
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crox
post Tue, 10 Jul 2018 - 10:49
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Photos of the car, with ticket on the screen. Reply Form with information. Lots of FAQ’s
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Redivi
post Tue, 10 Jul 2018 - 12:03
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What about copies of the parking notice, the letters sent and the signs ?

This post has been edited by Redivi: Tue, 10 Jul 2018 - 12:34
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Eljayjay
post Tue, 10 Jul 2018 - 12:21
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I presume that this is not a residential parking matter; however, if it was, do say.
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ostell
post Tue, 10 Jul 2018 - 12:41
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Have you got any of the paperwork that was sent to the company? The reason I am asking is that in this situation most parking companies fail to send the copies of the lease agreement and the original NTK as required by POFA 14 (2) (a). Without those documents there can be no keeper/hirer liability. Timings of the delivery of the paperwork might also be a problem.
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crox
post Tue, 10 Jul 2018 - 13:14
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Thanks All.

The latest communication only contained:

1. Cover Letter as per text above.
2. Photographs (presumably taken by the ‘officer’) of the car and ticket attached.
3. Reply to Claim & Financial Docs
4. FAQ’s.

There was no copies of the lease agreement, original NTK, images of the signs included with the above letter. I assume that requesting a Letter Before Claim that actual hits the right standard should have included those documents.

This is not a residential property.

I have other paperwork (namely, from memory, the initial letters to us as the registered keeper) but it is locked in a drawer, with the keys 150miles away. If pertinent, I should have access to those later in the week.
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ostell
post Tue, 10 Jul 2018 - 13:22
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Those documents are very very pertinent indeed. I hope this is all of the documents and none have been destroyed. They are the very basis of your defence against this claim. They should have been used initially to get rid of the claim.

You cannot be the registered keeper, unless the lease company put your company name on the V5 documents, which I doubt. This needs clarification.

This post has been edited by ostell: Tue, 10 Jul 2018 - 13:28
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crox
post Tue, 10 Jul 2018 - 13:29
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Sorry, I have probably used the wrong term there. The car is leased, so we are down on the V5, but the lease company have put us down as having the car, therefore (and under the terms of our lease agreement) we are responsible for these occurrences.

We certainly have all the paperwork.
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ostell
post Tue, 10 Jul 2018 - 14:07
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The lease needs to be clarified.

As I said it is unusual for a lease company not to have their name on the V5. What usually happens is that the parking company contact the lease company because their name is on the V5 and hence are the registered keeper recorded at the DVLA. The lease company write back to parking company identifying the hirer so that the lease company do not have any further liability. The parking company write to the hirer and give a notice to hirer in the hirer's own name.
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crox
post Tue, 10 Jul 2018 - 14:16
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QUOTE (ostell @ Tue, 10 Jul 2018 - 15:07) *
The lease needs to be clarified.

As I said it is unusual for a lease company not to have their name on the V5. What usually happens is that the parking company contact the lease company because their name is on the V5 and hence are the registered keeper recorded at the DVLA. The lease company write back to parking company identifying the hirer so that the lease company do not have any further liability. The parking company write to the hirer and give a notice to hirer in the hirer's own name.


Spot on. This is what has happened. Excuse the wrong terminology used above.
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Redivi
post Tue, 10 Jul 2018 - 14:20
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QUOTE (crox @ Tue, 10 Jul 2018 - 14:29) *
Sorry, I have probably used the wrong term there. The car is leased, so we are down on the V5, but the lease company have put us down as having the car, therefore (and under the terms of our lease agreement) we are responsible for these occurrences.

We certainly have all the paperwork.

But did the parking company send you a copy of the lease agreement ?
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ostell
post Tue, 10 Jul 2018 - 14:21
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OK So POFA 12 (2) (a) applies (here's POFA ). If those items are not included then there can be no hirer/keeper liability. You need those keys !!

You then write back to Gladstones pointing this out and that their claimant has no case against the hirer and to proceed would be vexatious.
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crox
post Tue, 10 Jul 2018 - 14:39
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QUOTE
But did the parking company send you a copy of the lease agreement ?


Sorry, for clarification, did the parking company send us a copy of the lease agreement between the leasing company and ourselves? The answer is no, but in the original communication, the leasing company just replied to the original letter to them with our company details.

QUOTE (ostell @ Tue, 10 Jul 2018 - 15:21) *
OK So POFA 12 (2) (a) applies (here's POFA ). If those items are not included then there can be no hirer/keeper liability. You need those keys !!

You then write back to Gladstones pointing this out and that their claimant has no case against the hirer and to proceed would be vexatious.


For clarity, I assume 13 (2)?

There is no distinction between a car on a lease agreement to a company, and a car hired out to an individual?
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