AS Parking Roboclaim: Pay and Display car park

The initial claim form (N1) has very few details but later on you get a complete pack with details that have a) been withheld and b) were not there in the original claim. You might want to print out this page and send it with your initial defence to show that these are simply computer generated template claims.

 

IN THE Truro County Court And Family Court                                               CLAIM NO: [INSERT HERE]

Athens Security Services Ltd T/a AS Parking
(Claimant)

-and-

[YOUR NAME HERE]

(Defendant)

WITNESS STATEMENT OF [INSERT NAME]

l, [Insert Name], Of Unit la Newquay Road, St Columb Road, Cornwall, TR9 6P2 WILL SAY AS FOLLOWS:

1. I am the Director of the Claimant Company ('my Company') and I am duly authorised to make this statement on its behalf. The facts and matters set out in this statement are within my own knowledge unless otherwise stated and I believe them to be true. Where I refer to information supplied by others, the source of the information is identified; facts and matters derived from other sources are true to the best of my knowledge and belief.

2. Exhibited to this Witness Statement at 'GSL1' are following documents which my Company wishes to rely upon;

i) The Agreement authorising my Company to manage parking on the relevant land (as described therein and hereinafter referred to as 'the Relevant Land')
ii) The Sign (i.e. the Contract)
iii) The Site Plan
iv) The Notices
v) Photographs of the incident
vi) Letter Before Claim

3. The Defendant is liable for a parking charge relating to the parking of a vehicle on the Relevant Land in a manner so as to incur the same pursuant to the Contract (ie. the Sign). Set out in the Schedule below are details of the parking charge;

PCN NUMBER DATE OF CHARGE LOCATION DESCRIPTION
[Details here]

The Defence

Pay & Display

4. My Company doesn’t dispute the Defendant may have paid for parking, however it is the Defendant’s obligation pursuant to the contract (the Sign) to ensure that the ticket is displayed for inspection. As evident from the photographs they didn’t display their ticket in accordance with the terms.

5. It is an integral part of the parking scheme that a valid ticket is displayed as otherwise the scheme would be unmanageable. If my Company were to waive one charge on the basis put forward in the Defence it would open the floodgates to the waiver of many more charges, making the parking management process that has been put in place entirely redundant.

No authority to enforce charges

6. As the contract is between my Company and the Defendant, my Company does have the authority to enforce parking charges. However, both VCS v HM Revenue & Customs (2013) and Parking Eye v Beavis (CA 2015) made it clear that a contracting party need not show they have a right to do what they have promised in the performance of a contract, nor is (in the case of a parking operator) the agreement between Operator and Landowner of any relevance. In any event, and without concession, the Agreement exhibited to this Witness Statement evidences my Company's authorisation to operate / manage the Relevant Land on behalf of the Landowner.

7. Lord Justice Lewison commented in VCS v HM Revenue & Customs [2013] EWCA Civ 186

1. "The Upper Tribunal's reasoning on this part of the case was that since VCS did not have the right under its contract with the car park owner to grant a licence to park, it could not have contracted with the motorist to grant such a right. In my judgment there is a serious flaw in this reasoning.

2. The flaw in the reasoning is that it confuses the making of a contract with the power to perform it. There is no legal impediment to my contracting to sell you Buckingham Palace. If (inevitably) I fail to honour my contract then I can be sued for damages. on the stock market it is commonplace for traders to sell short; in other words to sell shares that they do not own in the hope of buying them later at a lower price. In order to perform the contract the trader will have to acquire the required number of shares after the contract of sale is made. Moreover, in some cases a contracting party may not only be able to contract to confer rights over property that he does not own, but may also be able to perform the contract without acquiring any such right. Thus in Bruton v London and Quadrant Housing Trust [2000] 1 AC 406 a housing trust with no interest in land was held to have validly granted a tenancy of the land to a residential occupier. The tenancy would not have been binding on the landowner, but bound the two contracting parties in precisely the same way as it would have done if the grantor had had an interest in the land. Thus in my judgment the Upper Tribunal were wrong to reverse the decision of the FTT on the question whether VCS had the power to enter into a contract. Having the power to enter into a contract does not, of course, mean that VCS necessarily did enter into a contract with the motorist to permit parking"

Charge is excessive/ no loss suffered

8. The charge sought is industry standard and is set at a rate so as to suitably satisfy my Company's legitimate interest. In the case of ParkingEye v Beavis 2015 it was held that an £85.00 charge was neither extravagant nor unconscionable. The Accredited Trade Associations of which parking operators must be a member in order to apply for DVLA data prescribe a maximum charge of £100. My Company's charges are within this level. The charge is not, therefore, excessive.

9. The recent decision of the Supreme Court also made it clear that the charges are not penal nor do they have to be reflective of the parking operator's loss. Furthermore, they are they are entitled to be at a level that provides a deterrent effect.

Particulars of Claim

10. The Claim is issued via the County Court Business Centre which is a procedure specifically provided for in the Civil Procedure Rules. This only allows the Claimant to insert brief details of the Claim. In any event, I can confirm that the Particulars of Claim contained sufficient information for the Defendant to be aware of what the claim relates to; namely:-

i) The date of the charge;
ii) The vehicle registration number;
iii) The Parking Charge Notice number;
iv) The amount outstanding;
v) That is relates to parking charges; and
vi) That it is debt.

11. Further, prior to proceedings being issued the Defendant was sent notices in accordance with the Act and a Letter Before Claim. As such, the Defendant would have been aware of the charge which is/are the subject of this claim.

Part 18 request

12. Gladstones Solicitors Limited did receive the Defendant’s Part 18 Request which was responded to on [Date here]. Paragraph 1.2 of Practice Direction 18 states that a request ”should be concise and strictly confined to matters which are reasonably necessary and proportionate to enable the first party to prepare his own case or understand the case he has to meet”. The Defendant’s request was not. With all due respect, the Particulars of Claim contained sufficient information for the Defendant to be aware of what the claim relates to. Further, prior to proceedings being issued a Letter Before Claim was sent to the Defendant which, again, provided details of the outstanding balance. It is also evident from the Defence that the Defendant was aware of the parking charge notice upon his return to his vehicle and was aware that it remained outstanding after receiving numerous correspondence.

The Current Debt

13. In view of the Defendant not paying the charge within the 28 days allowed they are in breach of the contract. Breach of contract entitles the innocent party to damages as of right in addition to the parking charge incurred.

14. In view of the Defendant not paying the charge the matter was passed to my Company’s legal representatives, Gladstones Solicitors Ltd. The debt has, as a result of this referral risen as my Company’s staff have spent time and material in facilitating the recovery of this debt. This time could have been better spent on other elements of my Company’s business. My Company believes the costs associated with such time spent were incurred naturally as a direct result of the Defendant’s breach and as such asks that this element of the claim be awarded as a damage. The costs claimed are a pre-determined and nominal contribution to the actual losses. Alternatively, my Company does have a right to costs pursuant to the sign (i.e. the contract).

[Editor Note: The main challenge is to the £50 they have added on for "costs" already. Get them to prove that the £50 has been incurred and not just double charging for "legal" service i.e. sending out a template Roboclaim. See ParkingEye v Somerfield at para #419]

I believe that the facts stated in this witness statement are true.

Signed:
Dated:

Have more questions? Submit a request

0 Comments

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Powered by Zendesk