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Successful Pre-POFA court win against Excel
Dub_cat
post Sun, 20 Aug 2017 - 16:54
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This was a pre-pofa case, from May 2011, being pursued by BW Legal on behalf of Excel. The driver had purchased a ticket for 1 hour and stayed only 30 minutes. No cause of action was given by the claimant until witness statement stage.

The evidence supplied by the claimant contradicted their Witness Statement and instead supported the Defendant.

Case heard in Skipton Court last week.

CLAIM DISMISSED!! laugh.gif Awarded costs for parking and petrol only. probably lasted about 30 minutes but really not sure - it was a whirlwind to say the least.

Not much to tell really! I literally was not given the opportunity to utter a single word.

I arrived one and half hours early, so I could be comfortable and read through documents. No chance of that though!. The claim before mine went in as I was going through security, then came out about 5 minutes later!

Mr Pickup introduced himself to me (very nice man indeed) and we went into a side room. I asked if he had all of the documents, which he didn't. I informed him I would be challenging his right of audience and he said 'I thought you might say that'. I gave him a copy of the skeleton and preliminaries and expressed how disappointed I was that BW had failed to provide him with those, then he stepped out to make a phone call and read them. By the time I got my things out of my bag, the usher arrived and we had to wait for Mr Pickup to return a few minutes later and were shown in (over an hour early).

I barely had chance to get in the room when the judge started proceedings and only then did I realise I couldn't even get a pen out of my bag as I was very quickly told to sit down.

She had obviously read the skeleton and preliminaries and started with asking about the witness and why they would not be attending - she was very annoyed about that as it obviously prevented any cross examining. She then raised the issue of conduct of litigation and commented about the 'Litigation Executive' who clearly had no knowledge of the alleged contravention and was likely a graduate, but she was very clear to say that she was casting no aspersions about the individual at all.

She then started talking about the photographs (she was mistaken as to what they were, believing them to be photos of the parked car and stated she couldn't make out if a ticket was or was not on display. She saw me wanting to speak (to let her know they were anpr images) but before I had actually said anything, told me to keep quiet and not interrupt her train of thought. Mr Pickup then had to tell her the photos were blown up ANPR images! And she rightly commented that there were no photos producing any evidence of anything!

She brought up the ANPR list which was redacted and questioned the validity of this, saying there was no statement, signature, heading or any other method of demonstrating it was contemporaneous or accurate. She kept asking Mr Pickup to show this and that from the WS and evidence and I felt very sorry for him to be in the position he was - completely unable to answer any of the questions. He pointed out the anpr list showed my VRM, then there was a discussion about it simply being down to the time it was purchased. I knew where she was going as it was very evident she had read all my documents and made penned notes on the points she wanted to raise.

She made her point clear that she was well versed on Excel and the private parking industry, had read all of the supreme court Beavis stuff, but surprisingly went on to say that the defendant was being penalised and this was clearly a penalty. (presumably as it was a PDT car park? - she didn't say that though). She went on to talk about contract law and indicated that my evidence was rather a bit much! But I took it that she meant I had been forced into that position due to the way this claim had been brought.

she then moved straight on to criticising the evidence and witness statement further, concluding that they had 6 years to prepare evidence and had produced nothing.

Moved onto 'claim dismissed' and asked me about costs.

I asked about loss of earnings and she asked what I do, which I answered and explained why I could not undertake the work at another time, but no credence given to my answer by the judge. As a self employed professional, I could not offer proof of losing time sensitive work unfortunately (I wasn't about to get a new client to write a confirmation email to help me in court before I'd ever done any work for them! and the work had been offered face to face at a meeting so there was no paper trail.). For any other self employed people likely to be in this situation, I highly recommend having clear evidence and a prepared answer as to why you could not do the work at another time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She refused litigant in person 'as this is the small claims court' and I simply didn't want to annoy her by challenging that - and she refused postage and stationery with an absolute 'no'. Parking and petrol allowed, about £38. I asked how it would be paid and someone said by post, so I said 'cheque I guess' and she said 'well they're not going to send cash are they?!' I think she thought I was stupid, but I was just surprised because I haven't seen a cheque in years!

She then apologised for not letting me speak at all, and gave me back my file, which I said I would recycle accordingly! And we left!!

I said my goodbyes to Mr Pickup in the foyer! I just felt really bad for him, it's shocking how he's put in that position! But I guess it's his job.

Full Thread here: http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showtopic=112635

The support on this forum is amazing! Thank you one and all! xx
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