How to Defend Regent Parking Court Claim in 2021

If you have a county court claim from Regent Parking, we will guide you to prepare and defend your defence online from £19.99.

Table of Contents

About your Regent Parking County Court Claim

Regent Parking have issued a County Court Claim against you and you must defend it to make sure you don’t get a CCJ. Our simple service is to guide you on how to acknowledge the claim, write your defence and we can submit your defence online as well. 

The purpose of the defence is to confirm the following:

  1. Are you the keeper or driver?
  2. Are you contesting that you owe the money claimed?
  3. Do you want Regent Parking to prove their case?
  4. Do you have evidence to get the claim dismissed?

The defence is not yet the opportunity to explain everything in detail. You need need to summarise the key points you rely on. Simply answer a few questions and our online service will generate your defence.

How to defend your Regent Parking County Court Claim

There are 5 important steps to complete when defending a county court case.

  1. You must acknowledge the claim within 14 days of receiving it (max within 19 days) 
  2. You have to submit a defence within 14 days or 28 days if you acknowledged it
  3. You will then complete form N180 and choose a local court for the hearing
  4. Regent Parking will send you their evidence pack, you must check the evidence pack and write a witness  statement explaining your reasons
  5. You attend the hearing at your local court to go through your defence and witness statement before the judge decides the verdict.

1. Acknowledge the Claim Form

Understanding the claim form

So, you have received a Claim Form, from the Northampton Business Centre, and it shows that Regent Parking is trying to claim a sum of money from you.

The claim form will typically contain –

Northampton is purely an administrative centre, all claims start there, but if you elect to defend it, the case will be transferred to the County Court nearest to your home address where the hearing will take place.

If in any doubt, phone the Northampton Business Centre on 0300 123 1056.

How to acknowledge the claim:

Acknowledging Service of the claim does the following:

  • This extends the deadline for submitting a defence to 28 days from date of service, which is counted as 5 days after the date shown on the claim form to allow for postage.
  • Progress updates: You can see the status of the claim on the Money Claim page

2. Write & Submit your County Court defence

Step 1: How to write your defence

The first step is to write a defence within 14 days of receiving the claim form. Use the small claims defence service to write your defence. In total, you have 19 days to file a defence.

A defence should explain why you don’t owe money to Regent Parking. It doesn’t have to be super detailed but should summarise the key reasons that you will later rely on in court. 

* A claim form is deemed to have been issued 5 days after the date on the claim.

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Examples of good reasons to use as your defence

Step 2: How to submit your defence

Automatic: If you use Parking Mate UK, your defence will be sent automatically to the CCBC.

Manual: If you want to do it yourself, your defence can be submitted by email to ccbc@justice.gov.uk

If you submit your defence within 14 days, there is no need to acknowledge the claim.

Sample County Court Defence

Click the icon to see a sample PDF defence you can generate on Parking Mate UK

3. Directions Questionnaire & Allocation to Your local court

Step 1: The Directions Questionnaire

After you have submitted your Defence Statement. The Northampton County Court Business Centre will send a copy of the defence to Regent Parking, notifying them that it is now a defended claim.

If the Regent Parking wishes to continue to pursue the case, they must send a Directions Questionnaire (form N180) to the court, and a copy to you (the defendant).

The court will also send you a form N180, which you must complete and return by the specified date, and send a copy to Regent Parking. 

Anything you send to the Court must also be copied to the Regent Parking (or their solicitors) via post or email.

Step 2: How to Complete N180 Form

You can complete the Form N180 Directions Questionnaire online. Simply go to government website and complete the form N180 Directions questionnaire: small claims track.

Once you finish, simply print the form to get a copy of the completed form. 

Here are the recommended answers to the form:

The Claimant may also provide a ‘Reply To Defence’ at this stage, in which they attempt to rebut your defence points.

4. Preparing For The Hearing

Things to do

The Directions Questionnaires have been filed and served, and you should receive a letter from Northampton confirming that the case is allocated to the small claims track, and the case has been transferred to your local County Court.

Within about 4 weeks, you will get a letter from a Judge at your local court, notifying you of the date and time of the hearing. It will also say that your witness statement, and any other documents you intend to rely on, must be filed and served by an earlier date – usually 14 days before the hearing, unless the Judge
has specified otherwise.

Document 1: Preparing A Witness Statement

The Witness Statement is simply a statement of facts, relating to the events giving rise to the claim, which needs to be prepared in the correct format based on the information supplied. Any supporting documents, such as photos, copies of contracts, invoices etc., should be included as attachments.

Document 2: Preparing A Skeleton Arguement

The Skeleton Argument is not mandatory in small claims cases, but is a useful tool both for the Judge to see a summary of the defence points, and for you to refer to if conducting your own defence case. 

It simply sets out, in a logical sequence of numbered paragraphs, the main issues and the legal arguments as to why you should not be held liable for the alleged debt. It may refer to other court cases which create a precedent for your case, these are known as ‘authorities’, and copies of the relevant judgments can be printed out and taken to court on the day of the hearing.

Your documents, once completed, should be signed and dated, and filed with the Court and served on Regent Parking by the deadline date.

How to Get More evidence

  1. Email the DPO and request a copy of all data held by Regent Parking on their systems, you can usually find the contact information of the Regent Parking DPO by checking the privacy policy on their website.
  2. Check the landowner authorisation provided at the evidence stage by Regent Parking, the contract must have 2 signatures, a start and end dates, and it should clearly state that Regent Parking can take people to court for breach of contract
  3. Check if the parking charge notice was issued correctly, there are 3 important things to check
    • If the parking charge notice was sent by post, it must be sent within 14 days
    • If the parking charge notice does not have a clear duration of parking, then the contract was not formed correctly because drivers are allowed time to read signs before they can enter into a contract
    • If the parking charge notice was not issued using POFA 2012 then you can challenge this and state that you are not liable
  4. Signs are very important when it comes to private parking enforcement. The requirement for signs are decided by ATA associations like The IPC and The BPA and if the requirements are not met, then Regent Parking can’t form valid contracts with drivers. This will kill their case. The key things to check for signs are:
    1. The signs were clearly displayed in the car park
    2. The signs were not damaged or vandalised
    3. The signs are written in big font and easy to read
    4. The signs are well lit and illuminated so they are possible to read at night

5. The Court Hearing

Documents required

Attending the court hearing

You have now completed all the paperwork stages, and have copies of all case documents, sent and received, neatly sorted in a file.

You should arrive at the Court at least 30 minutes before the listed start time, to allow for getting parked, and going through security scan at the Court main entrance.

You should aim to report to the Usher at least 15 minutes before the start time, and make sure you know which courtroom or side hearing room your case is in.

There will be a list up on the wall of the waiting area, with the details of all the day’s cases. Also bear in mind that Courts often schedule more cases than they can deal with, in the hope that some will settle beforehand, or not turn up, so you may be waiting around for some time before your case is called – if you’ve taken time off work, it’s best to book the whole day.

The Usher may direct you towards the representative for the other side, as parties are always encouraged to reach a settlement out of court.

You may reach an agreement at that late stage, but it doesn’t often happen. Anything you discuss in the waiting area is on a ‘without prejudice’ basis, and can’t be mentioned inside the Court. 

The Usher will call your case when the Judge is ready, and show you into the room – it may be an actual courtroom, with the Judge sitting up on a bench, or more usually a side room with seats around a table.

The usher or judge will indicate where you should sit.

Costs you can claim from Regent Parking

Should the case be decided in your favour or Regent Parking concede, you can claim money from Regent Parking using the following simple steps.

  1. If the claim is dismissed at a hearing

You can tell the judge you have a summary of costs that you want to claim at the end of the hearing after the judge confirms that the claim has been dismissed.

The is a cap of around £85 for a litigant in person that should cover you attending the court hearing, documentation, parking and expenses for the day. You can claim more than this but the judge will typically assess your claim and if the claim is justified, your request will be granted.

  1. If Regent Parking issue a notice of discontinuance

If Regent Parking concede the case and send a notice of discontinuance, then you can send a request and ask for your costs to be covered. Again, just remember to be reasonable with your request for costs.

Here are 2 examples where the judge awarded far higher costs that the normal. 

Remember, one of the these claims was defended by a barrister and in the second case, one parking solution were very unreasonable.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/judge-awards-driver-500-over-parking-companys-abuse-of-process-5psqx2m27

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4835050/Parking-firm-took-lawyer-85-fine-lost.html

During the county court claim proceedings with Regent Parking, a number of messages and information will be exchanged, it is your responsibility to check that their claim is valid. Here are some tips on how to get information from Regent Parking or their legal team.

Check if the Regent Parking solicitor is qualified

Because of the low amounts involved in small claims, Regent Parking may send someone who is not qualified to have a right of audience to the court. 

If a court claim is for £182 but the cost of a solicitor for the day is £250, then financially the case does not make sense and often, Regent Parking may not even attend the hearing.

Once you know who is representing Regent Parking, search the SRA register for the name of the solicitor and see what rights they have.

If the solicitor is not on the register, they likely are not yet qualified or do not have right of audience, you can raise this when the court hearing starts with the judge and if the solicitor does not have right of audience, then the case can be dismissed right there and then.

Read the Parking Prankster guide for more details about challenging the right of audience.

How to negotiate an out of court settlement

The court would prefer if you and Regent Parking negotiated out of court and go to the hearing as the last option and every effort must be made to settle the case out of court has failed.

The government website advises Claimants that “The judge might not award you costs if they think you’ve made no effort to agree out of court. ” So make every effort to settle out of court if you can.

Not everyone wants to go to court and we understand this. So during the proceedings, especially if you feel that the case may be stacked against you, you can negotiate paying a lower amount to Regent Parking than the court claim. 

You simply do this in writing with the Regent Parking legal representatives.

To negotiate successfully, first inspect the facts and see if you have a case to defend the claim. For example, if the amount claimed is £182, you can try to offer an amount like £100 to settle out of court, if the settlement is accepted, then you simply pay through the nominated process and then the case will be withdrawn from court.

How to contact the Regent Parking's solicitor or lawyer

How to contact the solicitor or lawyer, in all correspondence you receive from Regent Parking regarding your court claim, there should be contact information provided so you know exactly how to contact them. 

If not, don’t be scared to do a Google search to find contact information or simply pick up the phone and try to find the person to call.

Summary of Useful Links And Resources

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