As no-one from The Parking Ticketing Company Ltd showed up the claim was dismissed within 5 minutes. Costs of £79 were awarded against The Parking Ticketing Company Ltd.
Gladstones asked for a paper based hearing several months ago, but this was denied by the court and both parties were ordered to attend. The day before the hearing Gladstones emailed the motorist saying they were not going to attend, and neither was the parking company.
This is against civil procedures which clearly state 7 days notice needs to be given, otherwise the court can strike out the claim.
Non-attendance of parties at a final hearingWe will not know the exact dialogue between Gladstones and their client, but failure to give the proper 7 day notice meant that the parking company did not even have the chance to have their arguments decided on the paperwork. It was therefore more than likely that the case would be struck out.
(1) If a party who does not attend a final hearing–
(a) has given written notice to the court and the other party at least 7 days before the hearing date that he will not attend;
(b) has served on the other party at least 7 days before the hearing date any other documents which he has filed with the court; and
(c) has, in his written notice, requested the court to decide the claim in his absence and has confirmed his compliance with paragraphs (a) and (b) above,
the court will take into account that party’s statement of case and any other documents he has filed and served when it decides the claim.
(2) If a claimant does not –
(a) attend the hearing; and
(b) give the notice referred to in paragraph (1),
the court may strike out(GL) the claim.
The parking company could still have dropped the claim, which may have had a chance of saving them £79 costs.
The parking companies must be wondering what the point of Gladstones is, apart from to charge them money and help them lose court cases.
Gladstones typical trick is to file particulars of claim so brief that the defendant has nothing substantial they can defend against.
The particulars give the date, registration, and reference, but do not state why the claim arises, what the contract was, how the contract was concluded or what the original parking charge was.
They then write to the court or defendant saying the case is straightforward and it should therefore be considered on the paperwork.
This is an attempt to outmaneuver the motorist and should be avoided at all costs. Agreeing to this means that Gladstones will pull their next typical trick and file their legal points disguised as a witness statement at the last minute, too late for any response by the defendant.
As previously blogged, the witness statement may contain inaccuracies, but if you are not in court, you cannot bring these to the attention of the judge.
The Prankster therefore suggests that your best chance of success is to attend court and robustly challenge their attempt to have the case heard on the papers.
To the court manager
(Copy to Gladstones)
The defendant objects to the the request for a paper hearing. Both Link Parking and Gladstones solicitors have a record of filing incorrect documents in court. In Link Parking v Cowles B5GF95H3, Chippenham Court, 24/11/2015 in front of DJ Asplin, it was found that a witness statement prepared by Gladstones solicitors and signed by Martin Gardner of Link Parking, contained false information. Martin Gardner admitted signing the witness statement before it was fully prepared.
As the facts of the case are in dispute, I believe it important to be able to orally challenge the claimant, and any witness statement they may file later.
It is also noted that Gladstones regular behaviour is to ambush defendants in court by failing to provide any information until the last minute. I therefore wish to be able to challenge whatever information is filed should I disagree. It is noted that the correct procedure is to file any challenges to my defence as a reply to defence. Gladstones solicitors regularly ignore the court process by attempting to file new legal arguments in their witness statement at the last minute. As they are regularly assist in parking cases they are well aware this is not correct procedure.
Should they do this, I would need to orally dispute this.
For all these reasons I request that an oral hearing is held.
Additionally, regarding their claim together with a lack of any reply to defence, I would content they have not established any prima facie case and therefore have no prospect of success. As this is a regular tactic of theirs, the court can use their discretionary case management abilities and strike the claim out. I enclose a copy of an order showing a similar claim by Gladstones which was struck out. It is worth noting that Gladstones do not respect court procedure and although the claim was struck out they then refiled the claim with new particulars. This was then of course duly struck out again
Copies showing the claim struck out can be obtained from this blog entry.
Do you think companies like Gladstones should behave like this? If not, sign Barry Beavis's petition and share it via social media.
The Parking Prankster