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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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Persephone
post Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 22:19
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Thank you. nosferatu.

On reflection I don't think the list of actions would be very useful. I was only considering using it to show that VCS had noted that I had stated I was not the driver.

However, the emails indicate that BW Legal did not have any data or evidence of the contravention when they filed the Claim. They also indicate that there was confusion about the contract and that one of the signage images was presented in their WS as being present in 2012 when the email attachment labels it as "Old Style VCS Sign 2010 JPG.

The comment "Although the contract does not mention the Percy Car Park, this should not be a problem, as it only gives the location of the car park." suggests to me that the facts in the WS are unreliable. The writer of the WS is then told "Please proceed on this basis."


I have a spreadsheet of time spent on research, writing etc MCOL, Defence, WS and SA. This is based on the list of print jobs from my computer. Most of that time, especially research, was as a result of not knowing what I was defending. I can select specific jobs to list separately.

I'll do that and send it with the SA to the Court and BW.
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nosferatu1001
post Fri, 10 Aug 2018 - 08:32
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You then point out how many car parks are there...

Show us your costs scheudle here. Remember the rate is fixed.
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Persephone
post Sun, 12 Aug 2018 - 10:02
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QUOTE (nosferatu1001 @ Thu, 9 Aug 2018 - 11:48) *
Do a seperate costs schedule and send it under the same cover to court and send it to BW via email.

Have two sections - ordinary costs, and unreasonable behaviour costs. You can see how to lay this out elsewhere, and what you need to justify


Sorry about the delay in getting back. After six and a half months of coping with the stress of this, I've become very anxious over the last couple of days. Not sleeping very well.

Are the ordinary costs "disbursements"?

This is what I've extracted from my computer's list of print jobs and a folder on my computer of research files.



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Redivi
post Sun, 12 Aug 2018 - 14:25
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You haven't converted the 75.5 hours into a cost at £19/hr
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Persephone
post Sun, 12 Aug 2018 - 20:18
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QUOTE (Redivi @ Sun, 12 Aug 2018 - 15:25) *
You haven't converted the 75.5 hours into a cost at £19/hr


Thanks Redivi.
I've added that.
TOTAL 75.5 hours at Litigant in Person rate of £19 p/h = £1434.50.

Seems a ridiculous amount!
Is this the unreasonable behaviour costs? And the £91.94 disbursements ordinary costs?

I now have to thread the information from the VCS/BWLegal emails into my Skeleton Argument.
And add information about the two car parks - the Percy Car Park and the still-existing Gallowgate Car Park, which was run by the Newcastle City Council until Feb 2nd 2016 and is now run by VCS.

This post has been edited by Persephone: Sun, 12 Aug 2018 - 20:40
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nosferatu1001
post Mon, 13 Aug 2018 - 08:00
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No, you havent read what was posted - makes sense if youre not sleeping!

You have ORDINARY COSTS - these are half days loss of leave OR pay, mileage (45p per mile), parking. the pay is capped at £95. You have to take proof of it.

Yes it is huge. but thats the point - they havent behaved reasonably, so this is a form of punishing hten.

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cyclocross
post Mon, 13 Aug 2018 - 10:19
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Think of them as naughty children who you, with a firm voice, will send packing!

Maybe go for a walk to clear your head? It's not toooo bad out there. It's low tide, so the beach would be good.

And to recap what others have said, your schedule of costs should contain:
1. Ordinary costs: travel expenses to and from court on the day of the hearing (eg, car mileage and parking fees, or bus fare)
2. Unreasonable behaviour costs: your time at £19/h, printing and postage costs, etc.

I suggest you remove the word "disbursements" from your schedule, for clarity.

Chin up!



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Persephone
post Mon, 13 Aug 2018 - 16:36
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Thnaks nosferatu and cyclocross.

QUOTE (cyclocross @ Mon, 13 Aug 2018 - 11:19) *
And to recap what others have said, your schedule of costs should contain:
1. Ordinary costs: travel expenses to and from court on the day of the hearing (eg, car mileage and parking fees, or bus fare)
2. Unreasonable behaviour costs: your time at £19/h, printing and postage costs, etc.

I suggest you remove the word "disbursements" from your schedule, for clarity.
Chin up!


The penny has dropped at last!
I haven't any ordinary costs. I'm retired so the only expense on the day will be a taxi down to the court. Can't use my free bus pass before 9.30am.
If I'm paying for transport, it will be door to door. But I'll get a receipt.

"Disbursements" will disappear.

Redraft of the SA is now progressing.
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Persephone
post Tue, 14 Aug 2018 - 18:12
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Well, that's it! I delivered the SA and an additional exhibit, containing selected emails between VCS and BW, to the court this afternoon and emailed a copy to BW when I got home.

I've printed off a copy of my costs schedule to take with me on Friday in case I get the opportunity to ask for unreasonable behaviour costs.

My McKenzie Friend, aka husband, will have a copy of the SA so he can keep me on track. Hopefully, he'll take some notes so I can report back to the forum.

I hadn't intended to refer to the contract between VCS and the landowner. I have included some points after reading through the VCS/BW emails and using information Cyclocross posted a while ago.

QUOTE
10. Contract between VCS and the landowner
The Claimant's Exhibit, JI1, pages 1 & 2 show a copy of a contract between VCS (The Company) and Fraise Properties Limited c/o the Hanro Group (the Client) and dated 1/10/2007.
The Car Park address is given as Gallowgate, Strawberry Place, Newcastle upon Tyne. Page 2 is a "Boundary Plan and Site Instructions".
This plan indicates the position of nineteen signs within the car park. Special Instructions are noted as:
"Valid Permits and Pay & Display Tickets, Enforce Only at Client Request".
Page 3 of JI1 is a copy of a Contract Witness Statement, dated 18/12/15 and refers to the site as "Percy House".
This item seems irrelevant as it was signed more than three years after the alleged contravention date.
The paralegal writing the Claimant's WS had concerns about the contract he was sent and requested further details in emails to VCS@excel.co.uk. (REF 3 Exhibit 21, page 1)

On 20 April Jxx Ixxx asks, "Is this the correct contract for the Percy St Car Park. If it is, I would need something to confirm
VCS's entitlement to enforce the terms and conditions of the Car Park near the time of the contravention."
The last email sent from VCS on the morning that the Claimant's WS was filed, (REF 3 Exhibit 21, page 6), concludes with,
"Although the contract does not mention the Percy Car Park, this should not be a problem, as it only gives the location of the car park."
"Please proceed on this basis."
Two car parks were in existence in 2012. The Gallowgate Car Park was operated by Newcastle City Council until
4th February 2016 and is now run by VCS. The Percy Car Park site is now an accommodation block.


It's such a relief to have this SA out of my hands.

I'll let you know the outcome on Friday.

Many thanks to all who have kept me going with suggestions and encouragement.

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nosferatu1001
post Yesterday, 08:12
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we said to supply the SA AND costs schedule at the same time
Id do that today
You really want to have this in advance.
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ostell
post Yesterday, 08:42
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Percy House is a seperate location, quite some distance away. It has 2 car parks at the back. Perhaps they have a contract to operate there?

The name rang a bell, I used to work there many, many years ago. Sixth Floor.
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cyclocross
post Yesterday, 09:48
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The car park in question is immediately behind (to the west) of Percy House. However, I still think that we can cast reasonable doubt that the contract that VCS have supplied, which refers to "Gallowgate" and not to the Percy car park, actually covers the car park where the defendant's car was parked. The reference to "Gallowgate" can reasonably be interpreted as referring to the Gallowgate car park, in my opinion.

Persphone: I suggest you take with you on Friday a map or print out of google maps, that identifies the Gallowgate car park. VCS should lose anyway on (lack of) keeper liability, but lack of a contract to issue PCN's would be useful to have in reserve.
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ostell
post Yesterday, 10:34
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If the contract supplied refers to Percy House then how can they possibly show that they have the right to ticket elsewhere?
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Persephone
post Yesterday, 11:20
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QUOTE (nosferatu1001 @ Wed, 15 Aug 2018 - 09:12) *
we said to supply the SA AND costs schedule at the same time
Id do that today
You really want to have this in advance.


Oh dear! Seems the penny didn't really drop.

I'll take a copy down now.

Will a cover letter asking for it to be attached to my SA do?
Or should I write something about unreasonable behaviour?

QUOTE (cyclocross @ Wed, 15 Aug 2018 - 10:48) *
The car park in question is immediately behind (to the west) of Percy House. However, I still think that we can cast reasonable doubt that the contract that VCS have supplied, which refers to "Gallowgate" and not to the Percy car park, actually covers the car park where the defendant's car was parked. The reference to "Gallowgate" can reasonably be interpreted as referring to the Gallowgate car park, in my opinion.

Persphone: I suggest you take with you on Friday a map or print out of google maps, that identifies the Gallowgate car park. VCS should lose anyway on (lack of) keeper liability, but lack of a contract to issue PCN's would be useful to have in reserve.


Their site plan clearly shows the outline of the old Percy Car Park. But there is the instruction "Enforce only at Client request".

Google maps show the current Gallowgate car park and I have photos taken from inside the building on the site of the Percy car park clearly showing the retaining wall separating the two car parks. The Gallowgate car park and current VCS signs are visible in the photos.
I'll take a selection of these on Friday.

Do BW Legal require a copy of my costs schedule?
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nosferatu1001
post Yesterday, 11:56
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I said to summarise their unreasonable behaviour so far into the costs schedule, as just a short para.
No need to append it ot your SA, just make sure claim number, claimant, defence etc is in there.

Yes, you always send the court AND claimant a copy of everything. You serve ALL parties to the claim.
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Persephone
post Yesterday, 12:19
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QUOTE (nosferatu1001 @ Wed, 15 Aug 2018 - 12:56) *
I said to summarise their unreasonable behaviour so far into the costs schedule, as just a short para.
No need to append it ot your SA, just make sure claim number, claimant, defence etc is in there.

Yes, you always send the court AND claimant a copy of everything. You serve ALL parties to the claim.


Thanks for you time and patience, nosferatu.

I've pointed out examples of unreasonable behaviour in my SA and concluded with a short list.
I'll use this list and fill it out a bit. It will be a separate document presented appropriately and signed.
When I take it to the court today it will probably go into their "job box" to be opened tomorrow morning.

BW will get their copy by email.

Once again, many thanks to you all. I wouldn't have got here without you.
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