This has become a Parking Control Management "hot spot" where one of their staff issues tickets rather than advise drivers of the no-stopping signs there. There are a set of images for you to use in any defence to a Roboclaim for here but this is what you are likely to see just prior to a hearing. Note that the Particulars on the N1 form bare little or no relation to their later statement. Classic Roboclaim.
Stop Press: Contract for site now available which shows the 10 minute "drop off" clause. See downloads below. This is the contract PCM have been producing at court.
IN THE COUNTY COURT AT [Insert name] CASE NO
PARKING CONTROL MANAGEMENT (UK) LIMITED
[Insert Name here]
WITNESS STATEMENT OF [INSERT NAME]
I, [Insert Name], OF The Courtyard IA Cranbourne Road Slough 511 2XF, WILL SAY AS FOLLOWS:
1. I am an employee of the Claimant Company ('my Company') and 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. My Company manages a privately owned car park situated at High Point Village ('the Land') and is duly authorised to do so pursuant the agreement exhibited at GP1.
3. In order to effectively manage the Land, my Company unilaterally offers motorists the opportunity to park subject to the terms stated on its signs. Annexed to this statement and marked GP2 is an image which shows the content of the signs on display [Editor note: this may be untrue as the signs/lines have changed often at this site. Get time stamped pics] which forms the contract between my Company and the motorist (i.e. the Defendant). Also annexed to this statement at GP3 is a site plan indicating the location of the signs. My Company relies specifically on the following clauses (among others);
"Parking is permitted for: Vehicles parked fully within the confines of a marked bay for a maximum stay of 20 minutes — no return within I hour. No stopping or waiting outside of the marked bays at any time."
"By parking or remaining at this site otherwise than in accordance with the above, you, the driver ... agree to pay consideration in the form of a parking charge in the sum of £100, to be paid within 28 days of issue."
"Enforcement action may incur additional costs that will be added to the value of the parking charge."
4. On [Insert Date] the Defendant parked on the land outside of a marked bay. I enclose photographic evidence at GP4.
5. In accordance with the agreement between the parties, as a result of the above, the Defendant was notified of his/her obligation to pay the relevant charge. It was this failure to do so, that gave rise to these proceedings.
6. The Defendant alleges he has never received any correspondence bar the Letter Before Claim. The Defendant confirms his address for service in his Defence as [Insert information]. [Editor Note: Have a look at Ghost Ticketing] Exhibited to this Witness Statement at GP5 are copies of the 'Notice to Driver' dated [Insert Date] and Notice to Keeper dated [Insert Date]. Both these notices were sent to the Defendant at the same address as stated in his Defence, as such I can think of no reasonable explanation as to why he would receive the Letter Before Claim and the Claim Form but not these notices.
7. It is rejected that the Particulars of Claim are embarrassing and disclose no legal cause of action. The Particulars of Claim state the date the charge was issued, the vehicle registration, the Parking Charge Notice number and the amount outstanding. Further, the Defendant admits to receiving the Letter Before Claim which informed the Defendant of the outstanding balance and what It relates to, i.e. an outstanding parking charge.
8. The Defendant alleges that the sum of £150.00 exceeds the stated maximum of the accredited trade association. This is rejected. The charge was originally £100.00 as per the sign and is an agreed core price. The Defendant was provided with the opportunity to pay a reduced sum, however. My Company is a member of the International Parking Community and therefore abides by their code of conduct. I can confirm that E100.00 is industry standard and is set as a rate so as to suitably justify my Company's legitimate interest in the Land [Editor Note: It is not legitimate interest in the land but a legitimate purpose to have the scheme - very different]. In this regard, I refer to the case of ParkingEye v Beavis (2015) whereby at paragraph 100 is stated, "The Trial Judge, Maloney QC found that the £85.00 charge was neither extravagant nor unconscionably...the Court of Appeal agreed...and so do we the Supreme Court)". As such, I respectfully submit that £100.00 is neither extravagant nor unconscionable.
The Current Debt
9. 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. [Editor Note: 3 or 4 template letters is not much work] 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) that states "Enforcement action may Incur additional costs that will be added to the value of the Parking charge"
[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]