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Jamie-Law
Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 4344
Experience:  Solicitor
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My question is regarding a county court claim made against

Customer Question

Hi there, my question is regarding a county court claim made against me by a private parking company. I went to a private car park. The machine was out of order (completely covered over - unfortunately, I did not have my phone with me to take pictures. There was no signage to say if there were any other machines in use, so I went to look for another machine and to see if I could find a member of staff. There was no one to speak to, and I couldn’t find another machine. (I have since found out there is another machine, which is out of view of the car park, and no signage to direct you to this machine. I did park here for a full hour. The charge per hour is £3.00. After receiving a ticket, I wrote to the private parking company who issued the ticket - district enforcement, to explain the case and that I was willing to pay the amount of £3.00 but not a fine of £50 as feel this is disproportionate. I phoned to see that they had received the appeal, which they confirmed at the time, but they now deny any receipt.
It seems to be a grey area in law on amount that private company can charge? Only for the land onwers losses, which would be £3.00 for space? Could you advise please. If you could also advise, if I choose to dispute all of the claim, can their solicitors add additional fee’s?
Many Thanks
Clare Leo
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

Hello Clare my name is ***** ***** I will help you.

Do they accept the machine was out of use?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi Jamie,
I have tried contacting the landowners but cant seem to get through. After speaking with others in the area, the machine had been out of use for at least 1 month.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I have not had any response to my appeal from District enforcement
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

Have you complained to their professional body?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I was just letter dated the 25th August from their solicitors demanding a payment of £150 or to reply with a response stating the who the driver was and give their address. (Letter before claim) The letter was sent 2nd class post, so I received it on the 30th August. It states they allow 14 days to pay up or reply, but I received the claim form from the court with the date stated as the 12th Sept
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No, I haven't. (I was a away) and I don't actually have time to do write to them now, as I have to reply to the court claim within 14 days which would be this Monday.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi Jamie, are you still there? I'm not quite sure how this works. Do we need to arrange a time to email?
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

Is this a county court claim or just letter before action?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi Jamie,
Yes, it is a county court claim. Please see attached. Could you please advise on what course of action I should take. Should I dispute all of the claim how likely would I be to win the case, and if I didn't will there be additional costs involved from the court of the solicitors acting on their behalf?
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

Ok. You file a defence saying what has happened.

It would then be for them to show that the machine was working. But file a defence saying it didn't work and no other machine.

Given what you have said this defence is likely to succeed.

Can I clairfy anything for you about this today please?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks.. are you sure it wouldn't be up to me to prove that the machine wasn't working? Can you also confirm, I will not incur any other charges I dispute the whole claim. Should I offer to pay the £3.00 and admit part of the claim?
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

No. you are the defendant you don't have to prove anything.

Yes you can admit the £3 and specify reasons why.

Does that clairfy?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I'm confused as it wouldn't be in their interest to prove that the machine was out of order? They are claiming that I parked without paying? Which wasn't the case. Won't the court ask me for evidence?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Can you also confirm that I won't incur any further costs I I go ahead?
thanks
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Can you advise of any thing else I should be adding to my defence?
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

yes, but they have to prove it was working which is why you didn't get a ticket. But you couldn't pay because the machine was not working.

If you went ahead and lost the only additional cost would be the hearing fee.

Does that clairfy?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
How much is a hearing fee?
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

Depends on value. See fee scale here

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fees-for-civil-and-family-courts/court-fees-for-the-high-court-county-court-and-family-court

Does that clairfy?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I'm looking at hearing fee's on the link you sent 4.1 as the the amount being claimed is less than £300 can you confirm the only cost i would incur is £25. If I lost would I have to pay the full amount plus £25?
Just to clarify, you advise that admit the amount of £3.00 on the claim form even though this was offered to the parking company NOT their solicitors who are the one's taking me to court?
I am also unsure whether I should counter claim for my costs, admin time, finding a solictor etc?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I am looking for advise on the best course of action to take.
Thank you
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

yes it's £25. You would have to pay the full amount plus the hearing fee of £25

I would send in a partial admission of £3 and why.

Can I clairfy anything for you?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Okay, thanks. If I have any further questions I will contact you tomorrow morning before I file the claim.Thank you
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 10 months ago.

Sure. If I could ask you to rate my answer before you go today, otherwise the site does not pay me for the time spent with you today. Thank you in advance and good luck!

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