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Hi i'm new to the forum and looking for some advice concerning the PCN i received from CEL, it is now at the stage where I have received a N149A form and need to fill in my directions questionnaire, the form seems straight forward enough to fill in but its my defence I need guidance with, also how long will I have to prepare a defence, the questionnaire has to be filed by the 30th October 2014.
Your account is very confusing

The court won't send an N149 unless you sent a defence several weeks previously
If it wasn't a defence, what did you send ?
Hi sorry for the confusion, i did send in my defence, but i need to know, if there is anything i need to take with me for the county court appearance as they obviously dont think the defence is enough as they are proceeding with court case. if you need any details about the issuing of the PCN I can give you the details, I'm grateful for any help you can give.
If you mean, the court didn't think it's enough, they only cancel claims if there is no defence

If you mean CEL didn't think it's enough, it will be at least a month before they cancel

Their recent tactic is to send a letter in a month's time threatening to claim costs of £300 because you've been unreasonable and defended the claim.
It appears alarming but you should be pleased if it arrives because it means that they're about to cancel the claim if you call their bluff

The letter is so over the top that they won't want a judge to see it

When both of you have returned the Directions Questionnaires, the court will tell you what else to send
CEL will almost certainly fail to send you a copy

When their deadline has passed, complain to the court and ask it to strike out the claim

It appears that you haven't done any reading about Small Claims procedures
It would be well worth your time
Also take a note of all the time you spend on this and have a Schedule of YOUR costs to hand. If they pay the hearing fee but do not cancel within a reasonable time, you can ask the court for YOUR costs in dealing with the matter.

See the CEL walkthrough to see the sort of tactics they get up to - including never turning up to court.
Thanks for the helpful response to my questions, its just that i read on one of the forums that if i am presenting any information in the court to back up my case i will also have to send copies to CEL. I have a letter which CEL sent to me stating that 87.5% debt had been assigned to DEAL so they only own 12.5%, i also emailed the CEO of the CO OP several times explaining that there was no loss to the business as the car was parked there on a sunday evening and the store was closed,and we didnt realise there was a 2 hr parking limit so would they be able to contact CEL on my behalf, but i was told it was in CEL hands and they couldnt intervene.I was going to take copies of these with me to the court but do i need to give copies to CEL?

Your correspondence with Co-op is of no use whatsoever to the case
Don't send it to anybody

The DEAL letter will be part of your evidence
As you've only just received the N149A, the court won't be telling you about sending evidence for another six weeks or more

What are the points of your defence ?
No signs on enetering or exiting the car park the ones that are in the car park are too small and barely noticeable
No contract with the landlord that allows CEL to claim in their own name
Operator doesnt own the car park but are agents for the owner occupier
They originally assigned 87.5% of the debt to DEAL and retained 12.5% so they can only pursue 12.5% of their initial claim
They have not suffered any loss caused by the breach of the conditions, therefore the claim is an unlawful penalty not a genuine loss or pre-estimate of loss as required for seeking damages for breach of contract
The CO OP suffered no financial loss as at the time of parking there as the store was closed for business, the store offers 2hour free parking and the car was parked there for 2hrs and 18 mins

Should be enough to persuade them to back down in the end

Could have thrown in that the Particulars of Claim don't say what the breach of conditions actually was and show no cause of action
Also a flat denial that you agreed a contract and it's obvious that this wasn't the purpose of the sign

Better than most I've seen

Make time to be familiar with the Small Claims procedure
Plenty of good websites out there including Gov.UK and Citizens Advice

When your friends tell you they've heard enough of the subject, you're about ready
Thanks for the quick response, but do you think its worth while requesting an amendment to my defense as its not the strongest, or will i get the chance to submit a stronger defense to the court before my apearance date, as ive seen on a forum that you can present new evidence to the court as long is its received atleast 14 days before the court date and this new defence also has to be presented to CEL. I havent posted my directions questionnaire of yet the court has to receive it for the 30th of October, when would be the best time to post a copy to CEL?

thanks for your help
I would do it differently

It's untidy as a both a process and the presentation of your defence
It creates administration for the court and provides an opportunity for CEL to object to a new submission without paying a fee

What you can do instead is present it the "proper" way

When the time comes to provide your evidence pack you can send a Witness Statement (the story) and a Skeleton Argument (the legal points)
You can work the extra defence points into these

That way you come across as in control and following procedures - a more serious opponent for CEL

Send the DQ to CEL on time
A week or so after the deadline when you haven't received yours, ask the court to strike out the claim because they're ignoring the procedures
At the very least, you've added another piece of "unreasonable behaviour" evidence when it comes to claiming your costs
Thanks very much you have been a great help,i wasnt sure if i would get a further chance to submit a stronger defence but ive been reading up on some information about submitting a skeleton argument and witness statement, I also read that if you use any points in the skeleton argument concerning case law you need to take 3 copies of the documentation into court on the day but don't need to post with your skeleton argument, is this correct? I would be very grateful if you could give me some advice on how to put together a strong defence as i would like to be prepared well in advance of the court date to go up against these so called "parking management specialists", also is there any information i should be asking CEL for?
once again thanks so much for all of your help
Just like you said Gan, i havent received my copy of the directions questionnaire from CEL, i should have recived on the 30th Oct, so it was a week overdue yesterday, you mentioned contacting the court and requesting for them to strike out the claim, what is the best form of contact, telephone, email or by post? Also will it be the court who sent the original documents or the one i have requested for my court hearing.

QUOTE (scv48 @ Fri, 7 Nov 2014 - 13:02) *
Just like you said Gan, i havent received my copy of the directions questionnaire from CEL, i should have recived on the 30th Oct, so it was a week overdue yesterday, you mentioned contacting the court and requesting for them to strike out the claim, what is the best form of contact, telephone, email or by post? Also will it be the court who sent the original documents or the one i have requested for my court hearing.


It might be worth rinigng the court, to see if THEY have a copy of the DQ, and you don't

If they dont have one, then write (written is golden, proof of posting and all) asking for the claim to be struck out as they are abusing the process. May not work but worth a try.

If the courts HAVE a copy of the DQ, then point out that you do not, and Matt or someoen else can definitely tell you the correct shitstorm to kick up at that point smile.gif

Well done for sticking with it so far!
Have you received a notification of transfer of proceedings to your local court yet?

If you haven't this means that CEL has not submitted the DQ to the court either so no need to do anything for now.

If you do receive this notice of transfer then let us know and that is when you need to send a letter to your local court to ask for the claim to be dismissed rather than a hearing scheduled. More later wink.gif
Thanks for the advice, if CEL haven't sent a copy of the DQ to the court yet either what will be the next move the court will take against CEL?
and will they contact me to let me know that they haven't received the DQ?

The court will issue an order giving CEL one last chance otherwise the claim will be struck out. The court normally sends you a copy of said order.

However, CEL normally do file a DQ after this last chance letter. But of course never send a copy of it to the Defendant because that would be complying with the CPR.
ok thanks for that i'll let you know when i have any more info

just received a letter from CCMCC today, to tell me the claim has been transferred to the requested court for allocation, on receipt the file will be referred to a procedural judge who will allocate the claim to track and give case management directions. Details of the judge's decision will be sent to you in a notice of allocation. Please allow 5 working days from receipt of this notice for the file to be received at the court. I still haven't received a copy of CEL's DQ yet doesn't look like they're going to bother sending it, will it be worth contacting the court about it once i receive confirmation of the allocation? Any info on what to expect next from the county court?

Thanks everyone
Yes write a letter to your local court (ie where the claim has been transferred to) as follows:

"In the County Court at XXX

Urgent Matter - to be referred to procedural judge.

In the matter of

Civil Enforcement Ltd v XYZ
Claim Number XXX

Dear Sir or Madam,

I have been advised by the County Court Business Centre that the above claim has been transferred to this court for the listing of a hearing.

However, I would like to draw the court's attention to the fact that the Claimant has not served me with a copy of their Directions Questionnaire. This will be in direct contravention of a court order which (as a standard paragraph in the court's Notice of Proposed Allocation to the Small Claims Track) orders both parties to serve copies of the completed Directions Questionnaire on the other party at the same time when they are filed with the court.

I also understand that this Claimant has filed hundreds of similar court claims all over the country, and I am not aware of a single instance where the Claimant has served a copy of the Directions Questionnaire on the respective Defendants.

I thus believe that it is obvious that the Claimant is abusing the court process and that they are thus a vexatious litigant.

On this basis, instead of scheduling this claim for a hearing I would respectfully request that the claim is struck out immediately, or stayed pending the Claimant's application to have a stay lifted after showing that they have complied with the court order by serving me with a copy of their Directions Questionnaire.

The court is also respectfully reminded of the court powers to consider a Civil Restraint Order against the Claimant.

Yours faithfully,


If you send this immediately then maybe it arrives in time to be given to the procedural judge at the same time as the claim from Northampton, and maybe the judge sees the point.
Thanks for that, posted it off this morning will wait and see what the ourcome is, i'll let you know what the outcome is.

Thanks once again for all of your help
Finally received my court date this morning, so writing to the court informing them that I hadn't received my DQ didn't work worst luck. The letter informs me that the hearing will take place on the 30th december. It states each party must deliver to every other party and to the court office copies of all documents on which that party intends to rely on at the hearing no later than 14 days before the hearing.

The original documents must be be brought to the hearing.
In cases of this type the documents and information sent to the court and each party should, where available, include.
. the lettermaking the claim and any reply,
. details of what is said to have been done negligently,
. details of why it is said that the party was negligent,
. details of the damage said to have been caused,
. details of any injury or loss which has been suffered and how any(and each)sum claimed has been calculated,
. the response of the allegedly negligent party to the above.

The judge may refuse to consider a document or take it into account if a copy of it has not been sent to all parties as required by this order.

The documents to be sent to the parties and the court must include the statements of all witnesses (including the parties themselves)

Witness statements must:
.Start with the name of the case and the claim number
.State the full name and address of the witness
.Set out the witness's evidence clearly in numbered paragraphs on numbered pages
.End with this paragraph: I believe that the facts stated in this witness statement are true. '(or words to that effect); and
.be signed by the witness and dated.

The judge may refuse to hear the evidence, or consider any statement, of any witness whose statement has not been prepared and copied to all parties and the court in accordance with the paragraphs above.

Neither party may rely on any report from am expert at the hearing unless permission has been granted by the court beforehand. Anyone wishing to rely on an expert must write to the court immediately on receipt of this Order and seek permission, giving an explanation why the assistance of an expert is necessary.

Because this Order has been made by the court without considering representations from the parties, the parties have the right to reply to have the order set aside, varied or stayed. A party wishing to to make an application must send or deliver the application to the court (together with the appropriate fee) to arrive within seven days of service of this Order.

Any advice on how to prepare a witness statement and how to collate any information I will need and if I need to request anything from CEL, I also have a copy of the letter I received from CEL telling me they had passed over 87.5% my debt over to DEAL and retaining 12.5% themselves.
All advice is greatly appreciated

If it helps, I can send you a copy of the witness statement & skeleton argument I submitted for my case (which was heard last week) minus my personal details of course! You could base your own documents on these, but it goes without saying that you should tailor them to your own case by adding/deleting/amending where applicable. I also have an example index for the evidence bundle if you'd like it. Just send me a PM with your email address and I can send them to you.

Once you're happy with your documents, it would be worth getting one of the experts to cast their eyes over them to make sure they're good to go.

This should help as well:

It's a summary by bargepole about the process, the forms, what to do.

Also this is useful if it comes to a hearing and CEL actually turn up:

Oh, and have you seen the Parking Prankster's blog about the 'issues' with CEL/DEAL claims? I can't link it here so read his recent blogs about CEL/DEAL, it's very interesting and there may be aspects you can include in your bundle.

Received a General Form of Judgement or Order this morning, stating that CEL must file and serve full particulars of the alleged terms of contract it relies upon and how it is alleged those terms were breached, and also serve upon myself a copy of DQ as required by CPR 26.3 (1)(B)(ii) and the notice of proposed allocation dated xx xx and file at court evidence of such notice. In default the claim will be struck out.Does this mean that the Court haven't received the documents either or is it just me? Also the date they have been ordered to serve these documents is several days after I have to submit my witness statement and skeleton argument to CEL and the Court so I won't be able to dispute it and add it to my witness statement as these have to be received 15 days before the court date. If CEL serve the full particulars of the alleged terms of contract would it be worth typing up an argument disputing it and taken copies to the court on the day?
thanks every one for all of the help I've received so far, couldn't have managed without you
It sounds like the court havent yet received the docs.

Unsure on what is best to do with CEL "evidence" arriving after the deadline for you to submit - it could be worthwhile submitting a quick rebuttal, noting the short amount of time to respond.
Just to let everyone know went to court this morning and CEL did not show so it was struck out (OVER AT LAST biggrin.gif ), the lovely Sandra from creative car parks emailed me yesterday asking for me to get in touch urgently obviously a tactic to either get me to pay up or not turn up (i didn't reply) so i was hoping this was going to be a good sign and it was.I'd just like to thank everyone on this forum for all of the help and advice, and also a big personal thanks to matt 285 and jojo01, i wouldn't have feltany where near as confident turning up at the court if it wasn't for all of the help and knowledge i have gained from the people on this forum. For anyone else going through the same thing GOOD LUCK and hang on in there, and to everyone else keep up the good work.

Did you ask for costs?
Excellent news OP, well done. Great that you'll be able to start the new year without this hanging over you. smile.gif
The Slithy Tove
QUOTE (scv48 @ Tue, 30 Dec 2014 - 12:01) *
CEL did not show so it was struck out

If such wilful, deliberate abuse of the court system isn't grounds for punitive damages/costs to be awarded against CEL, or better still, contempt of court against their directors resulting in jail time, then I don't know what is.

I believe Parking Prankster is compiling a list of cases where CEL don't show up - OP, it's worth you dropping him a line (include your case number) so that yours can be added to the list.
Didn't need to ask for costs the judge mentioned them first, will drop a line to parking prankster we need to do as much as possible to stop companies like these making a living out of innocent people.

thanks again everyone
QUOTE (scv48 @ Tue, 30 Dec 2014 - 16:23) *
the judge mentioned them first

Our sort of Judge wink.gif

Were costs awarded then?
Well done, this forum is a lot of help but it takes guts to follow it through when you have no previous experience of court.
It's great to hear another successful court case. Good work for getting this one killed off and for not paying up to those bullies.
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