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Thread: County Court Claim BW Legal - VCS Parking Charge Notice

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  1. #1
    InnocentMotorist's Avatar

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    Default County Court Claim BW Legal - VCS Parking Charge Notice

    Hi All,

    I've been reading through a few other threads regarding County Court Claims for parking charge notices and whilst all the info is very helpful it may not necessarily help with this situation so i decided to log a new thread. Apologies if this has been discussed elsewhere.

    The registered keeper of a car has received a County Court Claim requesting a total payment of £242.48 because the car had been parked on private property supposedly without a ticket in 2015. The claimant is Vehicle Control Services Limited and was filed by BW Legal. The private property was and still is a family members work car park and the land is owned by the company they work for. The car has been parked on these premises on many occasions and on every occasion the driver has been given permission to do so with a ticket. The ticket was supplied by the land owner and titled 'Vehicle Control Services GUEST' and was displayed on the dashboard of the car. On the date specified in the county court claim, they declare a ticket was not displayed. At the time of the incident it's believed there were only 2 signs stating 'Primate property...Valid Permit holders...Parking charge £100' but now there are 4.

    The registered keeper of the car has received several letters from VCS and subsequently the debt collectors they hired to chase the charge. Each time these letters were ignored as is commonly advised. They were ignored because it was believed the parking attendant had mistakenly written the ticket despite sufficient permission being presented. The register keeper has not seen evidence to prove that either the car was parked there or if a ticket providing permission was displayed.

    The registered keeper of the car intends to appeal the decision in court but would like help understanding if they have a leg to stand on and the potential outcomes.
    The sum of £242.48 has been broken down to - Amount claimed £167.48, Court Fee £25, Legal representative's costs £50.
    If the registered keeper did go to court and was to lose his appeal, is it possible for the sum of £242.48 to increase or are these costs the maximum possible pay out?

    The registered keeper intends to use the following in their defence;
    -VCS vs Ibbotson (right of the claimant to issue charges on behalf of the land owner) - http://nebula.wsimg.com/e3da92cb966c...&alloworigin=1
    -Insufficient/unclear signage.

    Thank you very much for reading this far. Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated!!!

    InnocentMotorist

  2. #2
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    Default Re: County Court Claim BW Legal - VCS Parking Charge Notice

    If the registered keeper is not the driver then they are almost certain to have problems with keeper liability.

    Unclear signage is certainly a defence but relies on evidence and a judge who is open and fair minded. Not all are.

    What has the employer (landowner) said ?

    Otherwise post as much info as possible such as signage, sanitised PCN etc etc

    M1
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    I can only help with what you tell me. Post up information (other than names and addresses!).

    I NEVER enter any appeals or court documentation on your behalf. This is your responsibility.

    Upload images to your thread like this .Email kati@legalbeagles.info if you can't upload images/documents. She doesn't own a crystal ball as far as i'm aware so link to your thread or tell her how to find it !

    If you want to tell someone YOU were driving, go to confession.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: County Court Claim BW Legal - VCS Parking Charge Notice

    Hi mystery1,

    Thank you for responding so quickly!

    http://imgur.com/a/Fc7Kc
    At this link you will find:
    1.0 County Court Claim Form January 2017
    2.0 VCS Final Reminder Notice 16th April 2015
    3.1 VCS Cover Letter -Your account has been passed to our legal team 23rd May 2016
    3.2 BW Legal - First Letter 23rd May 2016
    4.0 BW Legal 21st June 2016 Final Notice
    5.0 BW Legal Letter of Claim 22nd July 2016
    6.1 car park photo with single sided signs x2 september 2014
    6.2 car park photo with double sided signs x3 april 2015
    6.3 VCS Signage
    7.0 VCS Parking Permit

    I used Google maps to decipher when they changed the signage at the premises as you will see from 6.1 and 6.2. It's clear they themselves believed the signage to be insufficient if they have since added an additional sign and made them double sided. Previously the signs were only readable from the road, not from within the car park and so anyone leaving the car park would not be able to see these signs visible. Furthermore the signs are at the immediate entrance the to premises on which a busy road passes so it is unsafe for a driver to stop in the road to read the signs. The driver of the vehicle is confident the signs were not double sided at the time of the claimed incident.

    *EDIT* The CCCF was issued 06/01/2017 and i have not yet responded to the claim. Should I acknowledge the claim and request 28 days to form a defence?
    I have not yet spoken with the land owner but I know for a fact that the land owner is unaware VCS are attempting to file this claim.

    Thank you for helping with my concerns!

    InnocentMotorist
    Last edited by InnocentMotorist; 11th January 2017 at 19:30:PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: County Court Claim BW Legal - VCS Parking Charge Notice

    Should I acknowledge the claim and request 28 days to form a defence?
    100%

    I have not yet spoken with the land owner but I know for a fact that the land owner is unaware VCS are attempting to file this claim.
    Do it quickly and hopefully they can intervene and stop this.



    Send a request for further information to BW Legal.



    Dear BW Legal,


    I, as defendant, am in receipt of your court claim number xxxxxxxx in which the claimant is Vehicle Control Services limited.


    I would like to bring to your attention CPR 16.4 which centres around the contents of the claim form and practice direction 16 particularly 7.5 This case should be repleaded as it is neither concise nor has any information which must be specified.

    There is no mention of the capacity of myself driver/keeper/registered keeper. There is no mention of how any offer was communicated or the terms (including the term breached). The claim lacks a cause of action.


    CPR 16




    Contents of the claim form
    16.2
    (1) The claim form must –
    (a) contain a concise statement of the nature of the claim




    Contents of the particulars of claim
    16.4
    (1) Particulars of claim must include –
    (a) a concise statement of the facts on which the claimant relies;




    Practice direction 16




    Other matters to be included in particulars of claim




    7.5 Where a claim is based upon an agreement by conduct, the particulars of claim must specify the conduct relied on and state by whom, when and where the acts constituting the conduct were done.






    Further the particulars of claim are signed BW Lgal services limited which is a clear violation of cpr.


    CPR 22


    Documents to be verified by a statement of truth
    22.1
    (1) The following documents must be verified by a statement of truth –
    (a) a statement of case






    Practice direction 22


    Who may sign the statement of truth
    3.1 In a statement of case, a response or an application notice, the statement of truth must be signed by


    (2) the legal representative of the party or litigation friend.


    3.7 Where a party is legally represented, the legal representative may sign the statement of truth on his behalf. The statement signed by the legal representative will refer to the client’s belief, not his own. In signing he must state the capacity in which he signs and the name of his firm where appropriate.


    3.9 The individual who signs a statement of truth must print his full name clearly beneath his signature.


    3.10 A legal representative who signs a statement of truth must sign in his own name and not that of his firm or employer.




    Practice direction 7E


    Signature
    10 Any provision of the CPR which requires a document to be signed by any person is satisfied by that person entering their name on an online form.




    In order to ascertain your response and see if i need to take further action i would ask for an extension to the time for filing a defence pursuant to CPR 15.5 and seek the full 28 days extra and look forward to your cooperation on this. Failure to sort out you case or the issues identified will lead me to consider a summary judgement application particularly if time starts to get short.

    I would like the following information to help reduce the issues in dispute,

    1. Are you claiming i was the driver or registered keeper ?
    2. Is the claim a contractual penalty or trespass ?


    Please reply before 20/01/17


    Yours etc


    M1
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    Private messages are off as all help on this site is on board.

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    I can only help with what you tell me. Post up information (other than names and addresses!).

    I NEVER enter any appeals or court documentation on your behalf. This is your responsibility.

    Upload images to your thread like this .Email kati@legalbeagles.info if you can't upload images/documents. She doesn't own a crystal ball as far as i'm aware so link to your thread or tell her how to find it !

    If you want to tell someone YOU were driving, go to confession.

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  5. #5
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    Post Re: County Court Claim BW Legal - VCS Parking Charge Notice

    @mystery1 Incredible! I can't thank you enough!

    I will complete and return the Acknowledgement of Service form later today allowing me 28 days to form a defence.
    Should I email my request for further information to BW legal or send via 1st class post?
    I will also try to get a response from the land owner.

    InnocentMotorist

  6. #6
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    Default Re: County Court Claim BW Legal - VCS Parking Charge Notice

    Email.

    M1
    ********************************Signature********* ************************

    Private messages are off as all help on this site is on board.

    Please note i am now pretty much without access/time to help 5 days a week. Others will hopefully help you.


    I can only help with what you tell me. Post up information (other than names and addresses!).

    I NEVER enter any appeals or court documentation on your behalf. This is your responsibility.

    Upload images to your thread like this .Email kati@legalbeagles.info if you can't upload images/documents. She doesn't own a crystal ball as far as i'm aware so link to your thread or tell her how to find it !

    If you want to tell someone YOU were driving, go to confession.

    I,I,I,I,I,I should be avoided unless you are Jim Diamond.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: County Court Claim BW Legal - VCS Parking Charge Notice

    The acknowledgement of service has been returned to the court so i await their response.
    I have emailed BW Legal to their VCS specific address.

    In regards to contacting the Land owner - I understand the land owner has tried in the past to dispute PCN's for genuine authorised guests of the premises but ended up paying the fees on the defendants behalf :tinysmile_hmm_t2:

    I'll keep you updated on the progress of the emails.

    Many Thanks

    InnocentMotorist

  8. #8
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    Default Re: County Court Claim BW Legal - VCS Parking Charge Notice

    Keep an eye on your court deadlines in case they try and trick you in to missing them.

    M1
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    Private messages are off as all help on this site is on board.

    Please note i am now pretty much without access/time to help 5 days a week. Others will hopefully help you.


    I can only help with what you tell me. Post up information (other than names and addresses!).

    I NEVER enter any appeals or court documentation on your behalf. This is your responsibility.

    Upload images to your thread like this .Email kati@legalbeagles.info if you can't upload images/documents. She doesn't own a crystal ball as far as i'm aware so link to your thread or tell her how to find it !

    If you want to tell someone YOU were driving, go to confession.

    I,I,I,I,I,I should be avoided unless you are Jim Diamond.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: County Court Claim BW Legal - VCS Parking Charge Notice

    @mystery1 So i've had no response from BW Legal but then i didn't expect much. I'll be submitting my defence claim tomorrow with the deadline being 2nd Feb. I'll be sticking to the points you've outlined previously. Any further suggestions?

    Thanks for your help

    InnocentMotorist

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    Default Re: County Court Claim BW Legal - VCS Parking Charge Notice

    Don't be too hasty. Give me a look at what you've got 1st (sanitised of personal info).

    M1
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    Private messages are off as all help on this site is on board.

    Please note i am now pretty much without access/time to help 5 days a week. Others will hopefully help you.


    I can only help with what you tell me. Post up information (other than names and addresses!).

    I NEVER enter any appeals or court documentation on your behalf. This is your responsibility.

    Upload images to your thread like this .Email kati@legalbeagles.info if you can't upload images/documents. She doesn't own a crystal ball as far as i'm aware so link to your thread or tell her how to find it !

    If you want to tell someone YOU were driving, go to confession.

    I,I,I,I,I,I should be avoided unless you are Jim Diamond.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: County Court Claim BW Legal - VCS Parking Charge Notice

    In the County Court Business Centre, Northampton
    Claim No.: XXXXX
    Between

    XXXXX (Claimant)

    and

    XXXXX (Defendant)

    __________________________________________________ _________________________

    Defence Argument
    __________________________________________________ _________________________


    1. BW Legal are a known Roboclaim firm who file claims without doing any due diligence and without properly establishing any debt is due. At the time of filing a claim they have not even received a copy of the purported contract from the claimant and so cannot possibly meet the practice direction requirements for filing a claim.
    2. The particulars fail to comply with Civil Procedure Rule 16.4 and Practice Direction 16, paragraphs 7.3 – 7.5 (see Appendix 1) as they do not contain a copy of the contract, and do not explain how the contract was concluded. It is allowable to file these within 14 days as additional particulars if they do not fit on the claim form under PD16 3.2(2) and 3.3. However, the claimant did not do this.
    https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/pr...l/rules/part16
    https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/pr...rt16/pd_part16
    3. As an example as to why this prevents a 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 (as required by PD 16, para 3.7) will naturally be a key element in this matter, and a copy of the alleged contract has never been provided to the Defendant
    4. The claimant can file these as further particulars within 14 days as per PD16 3.2(2), but have failed to do so
    5. Practice direction 22 para 3.1 sets out who may sign a statement of truth. Para 3.10 states that ‘A legal representative who signs a statement of truth must sign in his own name and not that of his firm or employer’.
    https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/pr...rt22/pd_part22
    6. The claim is signed by ‘BW Legal’. This therefore does not comply with the requirements.
    7. The Defence therefore asks the court to strike out the claim as having no reasonable prospect of success as currently drafted.
    8. Alternatively, the Defendant asks that the claimant is required to file particulars which comply with practice directions and include at least the following information
    a. 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
    b. A copy of any contract it is alleged was in place (eg copies of signage)
    c. How any contract was concluded (if by performance, then copies of signage maps in place at the time)
    d. Whether keeper liability is being claimed, and if so copies of any notice to driver/notice to keeper
    e. Whether the Claimant is acting as agent or principal, together with a list of documents they will rely on in this matter
    f. If charges over and above the initial charge are being claimed, the basis on which this is being claimed
    g. If interest charges are being claimed, the basis on which this is being claimed
    9. Once these particulars have been filed, the Defendant asks for reasonable time to file a defence

    10. Alternatively, as the claimant has not filed proper particulars of claim, the following generic defences are applicable, and can be expanded upon once the particulars have been filed
    h. No contravention occurred
    i. No contract was entered by performance as the signage was not frequent or clearly visible or readable while driving
    j. No contract existed as there was no offer as the wording on the signage was forbidding
    k. The contract was non-binding as it did not comply with the information requirements of the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation And Additional Charges) Regulations 2013, enacted 13 June 2014
    l. The charge was a penalty and/or unfair consumer charge and is not saved by ParkingEye v Beavis as the claimant has not shown how that applies
    m. The location appears to be a public road and the Claimant has not shown they have the authority to issue charges and take court action with a clear chain of authority from the landowner
    n. Keeper liability has not been established and the defendant was not the driver
    o. The Equalities Act 2010 applies and the defendant should have been allowed a reasonable adjustment

    I believe the facts stated in this Defence Statement are true.

    ……………………………………………………. ………………………
    (Defendant) (Date)

  12. #12
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    Default Re: County Court Claim BW Legal - VCS Parking Charge Notice

    I do prefer something like

    "Save as specifically admitted in this defence the Defendant denies each and every allegation set out in the Particulars of Claim, or implied in Pre action correspondence."

    And also references to each allegation in the particulars of claim but you do have the main points covered by the look of it.

    M1
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    Private messages are off as all help on this site is on board.

    Please note i am now pretty much without access/time to help 5 days a week. Others will hopefully help you.


    I can only help with what you tell me. Post up information (other than names and addresses!).

    I NEVER enter any appeals or court documentation on your behalf. This is your responsibility.

    Upload images to your thread like this .Email kati@legalbeagles.info if you can't upload images/documents. She doesn't own a crystal ball as far as i'm aware so link to your thread or tell her how to find it !

    If you want to tell someone YOU were driving, go to confession.

    I,I,I,I,I,I should be avoided unless you are Jim Diamond.

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    Default Re: County Court Claim BW Legal - VCS Parking Charge Notice

    @mystery1BW Legal have responded - http://imgur.com/a/MTETjIt sounds like a last ditch attempt to make me pay. They insist their claim is accurate but as my defence pointed out, they did not sign the document correctly so surely this cannot be the case?How do you suggest i should respond? Should i respond directly to BW legal? Do you know how long i have left to respond?Many ThanksInnocent Motorist

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    Default Re: County Court Claim BW Legal - VCS Parking Charge Notice

    Quote Originally Posted by InnocentMotorist View Post
    @mystery1BW Legal have responded - http://imgur.com/a/MTETjIt sounds like a last ditch attempt to make me pay. They insist their claim is accurate but as my defence pointed out, they did not sign the document correctly so surely this cannot be the case?How do you suggest i should respond? Should i respond directly to BW legal? Do you know how long i have left to respond?Many ThanksInnocent Motorist
    your link appears to be broken :noidea:
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    Default Re: County Court Claim BW Legal - VCS Parking Charge Notice

    Sorry about that! Unfortunately I'm unable to upload it right now but the letter reads:

    'Please note that as an SRA regulated firm of solicitors we are well acquainted with CPR and practice direction. Our client is satisfied that the particulars are sufficient and satisfactory.

    Furthermore our pre-legal correspondence confirmed all details to the PCN and our clients position.

    We note from your correspondence that you state you were not the driver at the time of the PCN. As details of the driver have not been forthcoming to state otherwise, our client, in the absence of the drivers details, reasonably presumes you were the driver and we refer you to the case of Elliot vs Loake [1982].

    Our client also places reliance on the judgement handed down in a recent court of appeal case - Combines Parking Solutions Ltd (CPS) vs AJH Films Ltd [2015] EWCA Civ 1453. In this case it was concluded that CPS could hold the defendant liable for the charge as AJH Films had failed to identify/provide details of the driver of the vehicle on the day in question.

    We trust this clarifies our clients position.

    Yours faithfully

    BW Legal'

  16. #16
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    Default Re: County Court Claim BW Legal - VCS Parking Charge Notice

    You could write back and point out to them, as a SRA regulated firm, that they should know E v L was a criminal case where forensic evidence, amongst other things, showed that the keeper was the driver. Please supply proof with comparable standing. You have also had E v L disallowed by a judge in recent cases. The other case are not applicable at all as this was an employer/employee relationship matter

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    Default Re: County Court Claim BW Legal - VCS Parking Charge Notice

    I agree. Chancing bast@rds.

    M1
    ********************************Signature********* ************************

    Private messages are off as all help on this site is on board.

    Please note i am now pretty much without access/time to help 5 days a week. Others will hopefully help you.


    I can only help with what you tell me. Post up information (other than names and addresses!).

    I NEVER enter any appeals or court documentation on your behalf. This is your responsibility.

    Upload images to your thread like this .Email kati@legalbeagles.info if you can't upload images/documents. She doesn't own a crystal ball as far as i'm aware so link to your thread or tell her how to find it !

    If you want to tell someone YOU were driving, go to confession.

    I,I,I,I,I,I should be avoided unless you are Jim Diamond.

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    Default Re: County Court Claim BW Legal - VCS Parking Charge Notice

    @ostell Thanks for the feedback, I've sent a letter off to them mentioning both court rulings are not applicable. However I only did this yesterday and I've just this morning received another letter stating the following:

    'Our client intends to continue with the claim.

    We have filed notice of our client's intention to proceed with the court
    Yours faithfully
    BW Legal'

    Do you reckon this is yet another scare tactic? It's sounding like they will actually take this to court

  19. #19
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    Default Re: County Court Claim BW Legal - VCS Parking Charge Notice

    It is my understanding that VCS do not reply on keeper liability and do not comply with PoFA Schedule 4 anyway.

    Did you receive a PCN on the screen?

    I have them on my back at the moment and have recently defended a claim. I have another 19 days before they have to decide whether or not they are continuing with their claim following my 7 page defence.

    It looks as though yours is further on. They have 28 days + 5 days from date of your submission to respond to your defence. I haven't read your post fully as yet as I am time strapped but I will do. I assume you have submitted a robust defence with the help of the folk here.

    They usually use E v L which is not valid and Parking Eye v Beavis. Again, this can largely be irrelevant in many cases of parking on private land.

    If I feel I can offer anything of substance to your thread, I will do in due course but I think you are probably so far down the route, it would just perhaps cause confusion.

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    Default Re: County Court Claim BW Legal - VCS Parking Charge Notice

    Quote Originally Posted by InnocentMotorist View Post
    @ostell Thanks for the feedback, I've sent a letter off to them mentioning both court rulings are not applicable. However I only did this yesterday and I've just this morning received another letter stating the following:

    'Our client intends to continue with the claim.

    We have filed notice of our client's intention to proceed with the court
    Yours faithfully
    BW Legal'

    Do you reckon this is yet another scare tactic? It's sounding like they will actually take this to court
    It will go to court. Whether it makes a hearing is an altogether different question.

    M1
    ********************************Signature********* ************************

    Private messages are off as all help on this site is on board.

    Please note i am now pretty much without access/time to help 5 days a week. Others will hopefully help you.


    I can only help with what you tell me. Post up information (other than names and addresses!).

    I NEVER enter any appeals or court documentation on your behalf. This is your responsibility.

    Upload images to your thread like this .Email kati@legalbeagles.info if you can't upload images/documents. She doesn't own a crystal ball as far as i'm aware so link to your thread or tell her how to find it !

    If you want to tell someone YOU were driving, go to confession.

    I,I,I,I,I,I should be avoided unless you are Jim Diamond.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: County Court Claim BW Legal - VCS Parking Charge Notice

    Hi All,

    Sorry i've not updated in a while but there's not been any movement until now.

    I've received a letter from The County Court which states the Claimant must file a properly completed application before a set date otherwise the claim will be struck out. My defence did identify that the claimant had signed the claim on behalf of the company and not with an individuals name.

    If they do re-submit then a court date has been set. The letter does encourage me to go through mediation which i have previously declined.

    I'll let you know if the claimant does file a properly completed application!

    Kind regards,

    InnocentMotorist

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    Default Re: County Court Claim BW Legal - VCS Parking Charge Notice

    HSBC Aka DG solicitors got called to base over this isssue.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: County Court Claim BW Legal - VCS Parking Charge Notice

    Hi,

    I thought i was finally rid of these guys but I've just received an email from BW Legal stating they have submitted a Witness statement to the court dated 10th July. I have linked images of the witness statement with redacted info. As you can see the statement is dated 10th July - The letter i received from the court in April stated that if the claimant did not file a properly completed application then the claim would be struck out with effect from 5th July. Does this mean the claimant has filed the papers too late?

    Witness statement - http://imgur.com/a/u1Uqp @mystery1
    Thanks for your help

    InnocentMotorist

  24. #24
    mystery1's Avatar

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    Default Re: County Court Claim BW Legal - VCS Parking Charge Notice

    Quote Originally Posted by InnocentMotorist View Post
    Hi All,

    Sorry i've not updated in a while but there's not been any movement until now.

    I've received a letter from The County Court which states the Claimant must file a properly completed application before a set date otherwise the claim will be struck out. My defence did identify that the claimant had signed the claim on behalf of the company and not with an individuals name.

    If they do re-submit then a court date has been set. The letter does encourage me to go through mediation which i have previously declined.

    I'll let you know if the claimant does file a properly completed application!

    Kind regards,

    InnocentMotorist
    Can i see this please ?

    Fom what you say it sounds like the claim will be struck out. I'd call the court to confirm if the judges order was complied with.

    M1
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    Default Re: County Court Claim BW Legal - VCS Parking Charge Notice

    Quote Originally Posted by mystery1 View Post
    Can i see this please ?

    Fom what you say it sounds like the claim will be struck out. I'd call the court to confirm if the judges order was complied with.

    M1
    Sure, here it is - http://i.imgur.com/wqF2CzU.jpg

    I'll be ringing the court in the morning to find out if they have struck it out or whether the claimant submitted the necessary files before 5th July.

    Thanks for the quick reply.

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