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Defence statement help for CEL Ltd county court claim

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  • Defence statement help for CEL Ltd county court claim

    Morning everyone

    As suggested I wrote to CEL requesting they provide copies of all the documents but to date have heard nothing back. I have found a few copies of various letters from CEL, ZZPS and QDR solictors so Im pretty confused with whose who right now.
    I have attempted to start drafting a defence statement which I presume I need to get submitted pretty quickly so would you mind taking a look over this and advise if I need to amend/include any further information. Im not great with legal jargon.

    Once again many thanks for your help. Statement below

    DEFENCE STATEMENT

    I deny that I am liable to the Claimant for the entirety of the claim for each of the following reasons:

    1. The Claim Form issued on the 01 October 2018 by Civil Enforcement Limited was not correctly filed under The Practice Direction as it was neither a valid statement of truth, nor signed by a legal person but signed by “Civil Enforcement Limited”.

    2. This Claimant has not complied with pre-court protocol. The Particulars of Claim do not disclose any cause of action or details that can enable me to defend the case. The Defence therefore asks the Court to strike out the claim as having no reasonable prospect of success as currently drafted.

    3. The Claimant has added unrecoverable sums to the original parking charge. The original Letter before Action demanded a lower sum, and there is a reasonable belief that subsequent charges were not incurred and were added to inflate the claim. The Particulars of Claim were prepared by CEL’s own staff and not a legal representative, so it is simply not true that £50 'legal representative’s (or even admin) costs' were incurred. The amount is therefore false.

    3. This Claimant has not complied with pre-court protocol. And as an example as to why this prevents a full defence being filed at this time, a parking charge can be for trespass, breach of contract or a contractual charge. All these are treated differently in law and require a different defence. The wording of any contract is naturally a key element in this matter, and a copy of the alleged contract has never been provided to the Defendant. The Beavis case confirmed the fact that, if it is a matter of trespass (not breach of any contract), a parking firm has no standing as a non-landowner to pursue even nominal damages.

    a) There was no compliant ‘Letter before County Court Claim’, under the Practice Direction.
    b) This is a speculative serial litigant, issuing a large number of identical 'draft particulars'. The badly mail-merged documents contain very little information.
    c) The Schedule of information is sparse of detailed information.


    d) The Defence therefore asks the Court to strike out the claim as having no reasonable prospect of success as currently drafted.
    e) Alternatively, the Defendant asks that the Claimant is required to file Particulars which comply with Practice Directions and include at least the following information;
    (f) Whether the matter is being brought for trespass, breach of contract or a contractual charge, and an explanation as to the exact nature of the charge
    (ii) A copy of any contract it is alleged was in place (e.g. copies of signage)
    (iii) How any contract was concluded (if by performance, then copies of signage maps in place at the time)
    (iv) Whether keeper liability is being claimed, and if so copies of any Notice to Driver / Notice to Keeper
    (v) Whether the Claimant is acting as Agent or Principal, together with a list of documents they will rely on in this matter
    (vi) If charges over and above the initial charge are being claimed, the basis on which this is being claimed
    (vii) If Interest charges are being claimed, the basis on which this is being claimed
    g) Once these Particulars have been filed, the Defendant asks for reasonable time to file another defence.


    4) In the absence of any proof of adequate signage that contractually bound the Defendant then there can have been no contract and the Claimant has no case.
    a) I put the Claimant to strict proof that it issued a compliant notice under Schedule 4 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
    Absent such a notice served within 14 days of the parking event and with fully compliant statutory wording, this Claimant is unable to hold me liable under the strict ‘keeper liability’ provisions.
    b) Henry Greenslade, lead adjudicator of POPLA in 2015 and an eminent barrister and parking law expert stated that “However keeper information is obtained, there is no ‘reasonable presumption’ in law that the registered keeper of a vehicle is the driver. Operators should never suggest anything of the sort.”
    c) Schedule 4 also states that the only sum a keeper can be pursued for (if Schedule 4 is fully complied with, which it was not, and if there was a 'relevant obligation' and relevant contract' fairly and adequately communicated, which there was not as there was no clear, transparent information about how to obtain a permit either inside or outside the site) is the sum on the Notice to Keeper. They cannot pluck another sum from thin air and bolt that on as well when neither the signs, nor the NTK, nor the permit information mentioned a possible 251.72 for outstanding debt and damages


    5) The Claimant is put to strict proof that at the time of the alleged event they had both advertisement consent and the permission from the site owner to display the signs.
    a) In the absence of strict proof I submit that the Claimant was committing an offence by displaying their signs and therefore no contract could have been entered into between the driver and the Claimant.
    b) Inadequate signs incapable of binding the driver - this distinguishes this case from the Beavis case:
    (i) Sporadic and illegible (charge not prominent nor large lettering) of site/entrance signage - breach of the POFA 2012 Schedule 4 and the BPA Code of Practice and no contract formed to pay any clearly stated sum.
    (ii) Non-existent ANPR 'data use' signage - breach of ICO rules and the BPA Code of Practice.
    (iii) It is believed the signage and any terms were not transparent or legible; this is an unfair contract, not agreed by the driver and contrary to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 in requiring a huge inflated sum as 'compensation' from by an authorised party using the premises as intended.
    (iv) No promise was made by the driver that could constitute consideration because there was no offer neither known nor accepted. No consideration flowed from the Claimant.
    (v) The signs are believed to have no mention of any debt collection additional charge, which cannot form part of any alleged contract.
    (i) the signs were not compliant in terms of the font size, lighting or positioning.
    (ii) the sum pursued exceeds £100.
    (iii) there is/was no compliant landowner contract


    6) No standing - this distinguishes this case from the Beavis case:
    It is believed Civil Enforcement do not hold a legitimate contract at this car park. As an agent, the Claimant has no legal right to bring such a claim in their name which should be in the name of the landowner.

    7) No legitimate interest - this distinguishes this case from the Beavis case:


    8) The Beavis case confirmed the fact that, if it is a matter of trespass (not breach of any contract), a parking firm has no standing as a non-landowner to pursue even nominal damages.

    9) The charge is an unenforceable penalty based upon a lack of commercial justification. The Beavis case confirmed that the penalty rule is certainly engaged in any case of a private parking charge and was only disengaged due to the unique circumstances of that case, which do not resemble this claim.

    10) The claimant has added unrecoverable sums to the original parking charge.
    The Defendant denies any liability whatsoever to the Claimant in any matter and asks the Court to note that the Claimant has failed to disclose any cause of action in the incorrectly filed Claim Form issued on 01 Oct 2018




    I believe the facts contained in this Defence Statement are true.
    Signed
    Dated.
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Hello LOZ_102. How are you getting on with your defence?

    Comment

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