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Small claims mediation - Gladstones. Should I?
sardonicus
post Mon, 9 Sep 2019 - 12:51
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Hello All,

This relates to a Gladstones solicited claim against me made on behalf of HX Car Park Management.

I lodged a PCN defence to the Small Claims Court based on poor signage and elligibility of contract from a non-landowner.

I have since received a letter from Gladstones confirmed that the claimant wants to pursue the claim but have "elected to mediate in an attempt to settle this matter amicably, without the need for further court intervention".

What are the pros/cons of entering mediation via the small claims track? It seems to me this is an admission of weakness on their part and I should probably stick to my guns, but how would prior refusal to enter mediation on my part look to the court on the day?

This post has been edited by sardonicus: Mon, 9 Sep 2019 - 12:56
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post Mon, 9 Sep 2019 - 12:51
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Redivi
post Wed, 11 Sep 2019 - 09:23
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As soon as the claim has been issued, it's too late for the keeper to name the driver as a defence

Looks like the OP has given HX the chance of a second bite if a claim against the keeper fails

For a claim against the driver, HX has a chance to recover the additional debt collection costs although not, I assume, the costs of a failed claim against the keeper

A thought for a different approach but wait for other opinions:

Mediation discussions are without prejudice and can't be mentioned in court

The keeper could, however, make a Without Prejudice Save to Costs offer to settle the case
If the offer is accepted, HX no longer has any claim against the driver for the PCN, only some debt collection costs

If the offer is refused and the case proceeds to a hearing, HX must be awarded significantly more or it's stuck with all the costs

If it wins against the keeper, the award is limited to the original PCN and the costs leave it out of pocket
If it loses for non-POFA reasons, any subsequent claim against the driver must also fail as res judicata, already decided
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sardonicus
post Wed, 11 Sep 2019 - 09:56
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Ultimately the reason I named the driver was based on the assumption that the court would throw the original case out, and the PPC would need to bring a new one in my name, thus reinstating domestic harmony.

Now I see I may have to defend twice - oops.
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nosferatu1001
post Wed, 11 Sep 2019 - 11:00
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It was a poor assumption sadly
The court doesnt "throw things out" unless yous how a reaosn *un law* why it should do so, and file an application to that effect. Costs £100. Except you dont really have one

If youre determined to close this quickly then a WP save as to costs - titled EXACTLY that, dont miss off the "save as to costs" but as you want to be able to show this to a court *after* the case has been decided (WP by itself means it can never be shown to a court) - approach isnt a tall a bad one. One for the amount of the PCN PLUS the court filing cost of £25 and their solicitor cost of £50 might get somewhere.
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sardonicus
post Wed, 11 Sep 2019 - 11:23
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I don't necessarily want to close this off quickly as I believe I should not be liable for this 'penalty'. What I am hoping for on these forums, given you have had a chance to look at this evidence (before redaction) and the submitted defence, is your expert opinion on the likelihood of me winning on the day.

I don't see why I would put in a WP (amounting £100 PCN + 25 court + 50 solicitor = to £175 if I do as suggested) unless I thought it likely I would lose the case. I understand i would only be liable for this amount if I DID lose the case?

Possibly I am missing some nuance from Redivi's last post.

This post has been edited by sardonicus: Wed, 11 Sep 2019 - 11:26
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nosferatu1001
post Wed, 11 Sep 2019 - 12:04
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We're not experts - talented amateurs. You also have litigation risk; the DJ could have gotten out of bed the wrong side, decided youre an evil motorist, and you lose no matter what you say.

The nuance is:

If they reject your offer - doesnt have to be £175 remember - then IF they win, UNLESS they gain *lots* more than the amount you offered, your argument would be that THEY should pay YOUR costs for the hearing - the hearing wasnt necessary, they have put the court to a waste of time and your times been wasted as well. Thats the nuance.
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sardonicus
post Wed, 11 Sep 2019 - 12:47
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Ok got it - thanks.

Fundamentally though, in light of prior experience through cases and their outcomes, as discussed on this forum - do you consider my defence and evidence to have any legs? I understand there there is a inherent risk in litigation and there are externally contributing factors outside of my control, but as a newbie trying to assess the essential soundness (or otherwise) of my defence is the most challenging aspect in all of this.
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nosferatu1001
post Wed, 11 Sep 2019 - 13:11
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Have you looked at many other threads - particularly in COMPLETED CASES section - so you can see where you are?

BEcause at the end of the day my opinions not worth much - you have to be comfortable as to your own defence, presenting it in a hearing, and how strong you think it is. Me seeing its good or otherwise shouldnt alter that by too much, as its your judgement.

For a start if it was hopeless someone would have said "pay" by now. That hasnt, frmo what ive seen, occurred.
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