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PCN issued by Britannia Parking, Plymouth
Rule1949
post Tue, 8 Jan 2019 - 12:44
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Hi

I really do hope that I will find some help with my problem on this site.

In April 2017 I received a letter from Britannia Parking concerning “failure to make a valid payment” at one of the car parks they operate in the south west

I immediately wrote to them , heading my letter “ for information only” confirming that I had visited that site ( I didn’t say who was with me or who was driving the vehicle concerned ); on the stated day; I advised them of the approximate time of arrival and departure and finally provided them with a copy of the debit card transaction showing that 6 hours of parking had been purchased (more than I had parked for). I was even able to tell them which machine had been used for the transaction. I finished my letter with the following “… please advise me of what went wrong. Once I have all the information, I will decide whether or no to appeal your notice.”

The response from Britannia Parking started with “Thank you for your appeal received on xx April 2017”

The letter then went on to give the cause for PCN – First two letters of registration number were entered incorrectly (they were the first two letters from my wife’s car reg). They did offer a much reduced amount if paid within 14 days.

They then confirmed that I had reached the end of their internal appeals procedure and they provided me with a POPLA reference number. I did not appeal to POPLA AS I had not, as far as I was concerned, appealed to Britannia

I have had various letters from DRP and Zenith for various amounts from £100 to £145 and most recently a LETTER OF CLAIM from bwlegal for £145 ( £85 + additional costs of £60) advising that they have been instructed by Britannia to commence legal action if payment is made by 1st February. I did email bwlegal suggesting that they ask their client why in 2017 Britannia declined my appeal BEFORE it was made. I’m not expecting a reply.


Any advice would be most welcome.






This post has been edited by Rule1949: Sun, 13 Jan 2019 - 11:14
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Rule1949
post Sun, 28 Jul 2019 - 10:32
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Hi Nosferatu1001.

If possible would you comment on my last post, please. I have another 10 days to post my defence, but what with looking after grand children and other commitments, I would like to complete the delivery to MCOL by Thursday. Many thanks
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Rule1949
post Mon, 29 Jul 2019 - 09:54
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HELP / GUIDANCE NEEDED

I urgently need a reply to the recent post regarding an amendment to my defence.

I must submit the defence a week early due to family commitments.

Thank you
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Redivi
post Mon, 29 Jul 2019 - 12:50
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I'm assuming that at some time you've received a letter from BWL that refers to £60 legal costs

Try this

DEFENCE
________________________________________

1. The Defendant denies that the Claimant is entitled to relief in the sum claimed, or at all.

2. The Particulars of Claim state the Claimant issued a PCN dated zz/xx/2017. The Defendant denies that he has ever received a PCN with this date. The Defendant admits that he has received a PCN dated yy/xx/2017. The sparse Particulars do not identify the PCN by reference number but the Defendant has the reasonable belief that they are one and the same.

3 The Particulars of Claim fail to provide any description of the driver's actions that give rise to the claim. It is also unclear as to what legal basis the claim is brought, whether for breach of contract, contractual liability, or trespass. The Defendant invites the Court to strike out the claim for failure to disclose a cause of action and failure to comply with CPR 16.4 Contents of the particulars of claim and Practice Direction 16 paras 7.3 – 7.5. The Defendant further invites the Court to strike out the claim as an abuse of process. The Claim includes an amount of £60 for which no explanation is given. The amount has, however, been described in previous correspondence from the Claimant's solicitor as "Legal Costs". The Claimant's solicitor is fully aware that these cannot be recovered in the Small Claims Court.

4. The claim does not state if it is the driver or the registered keeper that is being pursued. However, the claimant’s solicitors have confirmed that this claim is against the defendant as Registered Keeper. The Claimant has never, however, acquired any right to recover a payment from the Defendant as keeper. The Parking Charge Notice (PCN), dated April xx 2017, and sent to the Defendant as the Registered Keeper, gives the unspecific reason for issue as “Failed to make a valid payment”. This notice does not comply with the requirements of Practice Direction 16 7.5 as there is nothing which specifies how the terms were breached. Additionally the PCN failed to comply with the requirements of Schedule 4 of The Protection Of Freedoms Act 2012 namely, but not limited to, failing to give notice of keeper liability as prescribed by section 9 (2) (f) of the Act. The Claimant also failed to give the invitation to keeper as required by 9 (2) (e) of the same Act.

5 Notwithstanding that the Defendant denies that the Parking Notice complies with The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, Schedule 4, at Section 4(5) the legislation states that the maximum sum that may be recovered from the keeper is the charge stated on the Notice to Keeper, in this case £85. The claimant cannot recover from the keeper the additional £60, for which no calculation or explanation is given but the Claimant's solicitor has previously described as "Legal Costs" (that it knows cannot be recovered). In June 2019 Judge Taylor, sitting at Southampton County Court, struck out a similar claim by the Claimant and BWLegal, which included such charges, stating that it was an abuse of process.

6 The Defendant disputes that the Claimant has the capacity to take legal action is put to strict proof that it, in accordance with the British Parking Association Code of Practice Paras 7.2 and 7.3, has sufficient proprietary interest in the land, or that it has the necessary authorisation from the landowner to issue parking charge notices, and to pursue payment by means of litigation. The Claimant has been requested to supply this information to the Defendant but the requests have been refused.

7. The Defendant denies the Claimant's assertion that the vehicle was parked without a valid permit or payment. The Claimant has previously confirmed that the driver did purchase a ticket to cover 6 hours of parking and was parked for a period of only 5 hours on April xx 2017. The Claimant did not, however, regard the payment as valid because the registration number had not been either entered or recorded correctly. The Defendant is aware that the British Parking Association and POPLA, its independent appeals body, instructs parking company members to cancel parking notices for trivial errors. The Defendant requests that the Claimant provides the Court with a copy of its policy and proof that those checks were made in this instance.

8. The Claimant's ANPR system knows which vehicles are in the car park at any time and its technology can easily reject attempts to pay for a vehicle that is not present. The Defendant further asserts that the requirement to enter the full registration is a breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 as a term that has a hidden motive. The last three letters of the registration number easily identify a vehicle arriving within a short time window in a car park. The requirement to enter the full registration has no purpose except to expose the driver to a grossly disproportionate penalty as the result of a trivial mistake or a sticking keyboard.

The Defendant reminds that Court that that the driver essentially complied with the terms of parking; the Claimant easily identified the payment; any failure was de minimis and the Claimant has not followed the BPA instructions regarding trivial mistakes.

9. In summary, the Defendant asserts that the claim discloses no cause of action, is without merit, and has no real prospect of success. Accordingly, the Court is invited to strike out the claim of its own initiative, using its case management powers pursuant to CPR 3.4.

I believe the facts contained in this Defence are true.

Name
Signature
Date
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Rule1949
post Tue, 30 Jul 2019 - 09:24
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Hi Redivi. Thanks for your prompt response and suggestion.

I would like to use your sample but I have a couple of points to raise.

1. At the end of point 2 would the following sentence be ok ?? !!!

The only difference being a result of a data input error by the Claimant,s Legal Representative.

I find it impossible to apply the word Solicitor when talking about BWLegal.

2. Point 7.

(a) Refers to valid permit or payment. In this instance should the word ticket replace the word permit ??

(b) The second sentence refers to the driver purchasing the ticket. I have previously indicated that It was me who purchased the ticket, using my card. Due to this ,If it stays as it is, I would be identifying myself as the driver !!!


Could I amend the sentence to

The Claimant has previously confirmed that (a) the Defendant did purchase a ticket to cover 6 hours of parking and (b) the Defendant’s car was parked for a period of only 5 hours on April xx 2017.


I would also like to substitute solicitor with Legal Representative throughout. Would this be ok ??

Again, many thanks for your help
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Rule1949
post Tue, 30 Jul 2019 - 16:41
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Following recent posts this is a further revised defence for comments please


IN THE COUNTY COURT

CLAIM No: xxxxxxxxxx

BETWEEN:

BRITANNIA PARKING GROUP LIMITED
T/A BRITANNIA PARKING(Claimant)

-and-

xxxxxxxxxxxx (Defendant)

________________________________________

DEFENCE
________________________________________

1. The Defendant denies that the Claimant is entitled to relief in the sum claimed, or at all.

2. The Particulars of Claim state the Claimant issued a PCN dated zz/xx/2017. The Defendant denies that he has ever received a PCN with this date. The Defendant admits that he has received a PCN dated yy/xx/2017. The sparse Particulars do not identify the PCN by reference number but the Defendant has the reasonable belief that they are one and the same. The only difference being a result of an input error by the Claimant,s Legal Representative.

3 The Particulars of Claim fail to provide any description of the driver's actions that give rise to the claim. It is also unclear as to what legal basis the claim is brought, whether for breach of contract, contractual liability, or trespass. The Defendant invites the Court to strike out the claim for failure to disclose a cause of action and failure to comply with CPR 16.4 Contents of the particulars of claim and Practice Direction 16 paras 7.3 – 7.5. The Defendant further invites the Court to strike out the claim as an abuse of process. The Claim includes an amount of £60 for which no explanation is given. The amount has, however, been described in previous correspondence from the Claimant's legal representative as "Legal Costs". The Claimant's legal representative is fully aware that these cannot be recovered in the Small Claims Court.

4. The claim does not state if it is the driver or the registered keeper that is being pursued. However, the claimant’s solicitors have confirmed that this claim is against the defendant as Registered Keeper. The Claimant has never, however, acquired any right to recover a payment from the Defendant as keeper. The Parking Charge Notice (PCN), dated April xx 2017, and sent to the Defendant as the Registered Keeper, gives the unspecific reason for issue as “Failed to make a valid payment”. This notice does not comply with the requirements of Practice Direction 16 7.5 as there is nothing which specifies how the terms were breached. Additionally the PCN failed to comply with the requirements of Schedule 4 of The Protection Of Freedoms Act 2012 namely, but not limited to, failing to give notice of keeper liability as prescribed by section 9 (2) (f) of the Act. The Claimant also failed to give the invitation to keeper as required by 9 (2) (e) of the same Act.

5 Notwithstanding that the Defendant denies that the Parking Notice complies with The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, Schedule 4, at Section 4(5) the legislation states that the maximum sum that may be recovered from the keeper is the charge stated on the Notice to Keeper, in this case £85. The claimant cannot recover from the keeper the additional £60, for which no calculation or explanation is given but the Claimant's legal representative has previously described as "Legal Costs" (that it knows cannot be recovered). In June 2019 Judge Taylor, sitting at Southampton County Court, struck out a similar claim by the Claimant and BWLegal, which included such charges, stating that it was an abuse of process.

6 The Defendant disputes that the Claimant has the capacity to take legal action is put to strict proof that it, in accordance with the British Parking Association Code of Practice Paras 7.2 and 7.3, has sufficient proprietary interest in the land, or that it has the necessary authorisation from the landowner to issue parking charge notices, and to pursue payment by means of litigation. The Claimant has been requested to supply this information to the Defendant but the requests have been refused.

7. The Defendant denies the Claimant's assertion that the vehicle was parked without a valid permit or payment. The Claimant has previously confirmed that (a) the Defendant did purchase a ticket to cover 6 hours of parking and (b) The Defendant’s car was parked for a period of only 5 hours on April xx 2017. The Claimant did not, however, regard the payment as valid because the registration number had not been either entered or recorded correctly. The Defendant is aware that the British Parking Association and POPLA, its independent appeals body, instructs parking company members to cancel parking notices for trivial errors. The Defendant requests that the Claimant provides the Court with a copy of its policy and proof that those checks were made in this instance.

8. The Claimant's ANPR system knows which vehicles are in the car park at any time and its technolog, if suitably set up and applied, can easily reject attempts to pay for a vehicle that is not present. The Defendant further asserts that the requirement to enter the full registration is a breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 as a term that has a hidden motive. The last three letters of the registration number easily identify a vehicle arriving within a short time window in a car park. The requirement to enter the full registration has no purpose except to expose the driver to a grossly disproportionate penalty as the result of a trivial mistake or a sticking keyboard.

The Defendant reminds that Court that that the driver essentially complied with the terms of parking; the Claimant easily identified the payment; any failure was de minimis and the Claimant has not followed the BPA instructions regarding trivial mistakes.

9. In summary, the Defendant asserts that the claim discloses no cause of action, is without merit, and has no real prospect of success. Accordingly, the Court is invited to strike out the claim of its own initiative, using its case management powers pursuant to CPR 3.4.

I believe the facts contained in this Defence are true.

Name
Signature
Date
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anon45
post Tue, 30 Jul 2019 - 18:33
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Subject to the advise of the others, I would consider adding that, under the obvious intention and correct interpretation of the POPLA ruling, the appeal was in fact allowed, such that the claim is estopped.

In the alternative, if the above argument is not accepted, I would draw attention to the fact that the independent appeals body, POPLA, found that the signage was inadequate to create a contract, and invite the court to come the same conclusion.
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southpaw82
post Tue, 30 Jul 2019 - 22:17
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Is there any reason your defence is massively long?


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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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Rule1949
post Wed, 31 Jul 2019 - 08:52
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Hi Southpaw82

The defence is massively long probably because its got too many words in it !!!

This is my first attempt at writing a defence. It's also my first (known) parking problem in over 50 years of driving

In your opinion should I look to tidy up #37. or. #45 ????

I have to submit my defence in 7 days at latest and I intend to submit it at the weekend so positive comments / guidance would be appreciated

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ostell
post Wed, 31 Jul 2019 - 10:55
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@Southpaw, as an aside from the thread I have received a defence from the solicitors of a company I am claiming against. The actual defence itself is 11 pages long in 10 or 11 point and then 3 annexes of some 20 pages total? This was directly from the solicitor and not via MCOL. The accompanying letter states that they have sent to the court but MCOL have not registered it yet although it is past the 28 days.

What would the court think of that?
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southpaw82
post Thu, 1 Aug 2019 - 07:57
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QUOTE (ostell @ Wed, 31 Jul 2019 - 11:55) *
@Southpaw, as an aside from the thread I have received a defence from the solicitors of a company I am claiming against. The actual defence itself is 11 pages long in 10 or 11 point and then 3 annexes of some 20 pages total? This was directly from the solicitor and not via MCOL. The accompanying letter states that they have sent to the court but MCOL have not registered it yet although it is past the 28 days.

What would the court think of that?

Without any details of the claim it’s impossible to say. As it’s off topic you’ll have to take it up elsewhere.


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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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Rule1949
post Thu, 1 Aug 2019 - 09:57
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HELP !!!!!

The last few posts refer to being "off topic" ??? I have queried this

BUT I URGENTLY NEED POSITIVE GUIDANCE IN REPECT OF POSTS #43. TO #45

If I use #45 I will be adding a clause regarding signage

On July 12th I requested BWL for a copy of all paperwork and documents within 7 days "to narrow the issues as per court directives. Nothing was received. Can I add this fact to my defence as an apology for its length ???? If YES - the suggested wording would be appreciated

This post has been edited by Rule1949: Thu, 1 Aug 2019 - 09:58
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Rule1949
post Fri, 2 Aug 2019 - 10:22
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Could somebody give me last minute guidance as per my last post, please
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southpaw82
post Fri, 2 Aug 2019 - 13:12
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QUOTE (Rule1949 @ Fri, 2 Aug 2019 - 11:22) *
Could somebody give me last minute guidance as per my last post, please

When does your defence have to be submitted by?


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Rule1949
post Sat, 3 Aug 2019 - 14:50
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Hi Southpaw82

Apologies for delay in reply - been away 24 hrs for a 90th birthday - not mine !!

Defence has to be submitted by Wednesday. . It will have to be by midday as I'm tied up all afternoon /early evening
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Rule1949
post Thu, 15 Aug 2019 - 14:17
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Defence has been submitted and receipt received - 5th August

SAR response received from BWL ( 2 days late !!- due to admin error !!)

What timescale am I now looking at ?? The reason for asking is that I am going on holiday, for just under 3 weeks, leaving in 10 days. I will have limited access to Internet and no access to my notes on this matter. I would hate for any time sensitive issue to commence whilst I am away. Is this likely ?? If so can / should I make any party aware of this ??
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nosferatu1001
post Thu, 15 Aug 2019 - 14:28
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I may have missed but why was the SAR sent to BW? They usually dont know anything. A SAR to teh PPC will uncover everythign you need, usuaully.

The next step is to file an N180 directions questionnairre with the court. You can just down load your own copy of this, fiolll it out and send to court AND to the claimant. Otherwise any hearing will be months away.

Guidance on completing the N180 is everywhere.
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