Ms B contacted the Prankster because she discovered a CCJ had been lodged against her at a previous address. She had not lived there since February 2015. The claim did not provide much to go on. Ms B contacted MIL and spoke to an arrogant representative who told her that MIL Collections had purchased a disputed parking charge from North West Parking Enforcement from 2014, the CCJ was now with the bailiffs and that they were in the process of taking her to court for another ticket. He informed her that she had to pay £100 to stop the new court hearing, but refused to provide any details of what the charge was for.
This obviously worried Ms B who contacted The Prankster
The Prankster assisted her to advise of the process for requesting a set-aside of the judgement. MIL stated they would not contest the set-aside, as long as Ms B paid them all the money they wanted, and did not claim against them for the set-aside fee of £255. The Prankster pointed out that this did not appear to be a particularly good bargain, seeing as MIL had lost all reported cases. Ms B decided not to accept the offer and so MIL contested the set-aside. The Prankster provided a witness statement detailing the known problems with MIL's purported deed of assignment, the fact that these issues had been substantially dealt with by a judge in the same court, and the fact that MIL appeared to be recycling the same undated deed of assignment in multiple cases, claiming it had been assigned on different dates each time.
MIL Collections sent an advocate to the hearing. Ms B made contact and described him as a lovely old man. The hearing was an hour behind schedule and there was a previous MIL case. Ms B was unaware of the outcome. In the hearing it appeared that the set-aside form and witness statement were all that was necessary. DJ Smith hardly had a word to say to Ms B and instead concentrated on grilling MIL's advocate.
Ms B was initially worried about having to prove she would win any rehearing but Judge Smith stopped MIL's representative from even trying to say anything about the case. He made it clear "that wasn't why we were are today and I am only judging on whether I should grant a set aside"
He wanted to know why MIL had made no attempt to verify Mr B's address before filing a claim. No satisfactory answers were forthcoming. The advocate stated MIL had got the data from the DVLA, which was not correct as they got it from NWPE. Ms B in fact had a letter from the DVLA confirming this but this was not needed. The Judge just looked at her and said "I take it when you moved house your car went with you?" and she just replied "Yes Sir". This was enough proof for the judge.
The judge granted the set-aside and pointed out that MIL would have substantial problems with their deed of allocation should they wish to continue with a new hearing.
Ms B asked for her costs and the judge ruled that as Ms B had been severely disadvantaged by having to pay £255 for a set-aside hearing, MIL should refund this to her within 14 days.
MIL will have paid out around £500 to get this far for a claim involving a disputed £100 parking charge. Given that they have never been known to provide a valid deed of allocation they have no real prospect of success at a final hearing against defendants who raise this as a point of dispute.
Just recently it seems MIL have not been including the deed of assignment in their evidence packs - no doubt in the hope a judge will rule that it is satisfactory without having actually seen it.
It is surprising to people not in the know that a business can be run filing for claims which have no real hope of success at the hearing stage.
Ms Barry confirms she is extremely happy with the result so far and reports it is a lovely feeling when justice is done. She would like to encourage any motorist who has been unfairly lumbered with a CCJ to consider going through the set-aside process.
The Government recently announced a consultation to stop this nasty practice of granting judgments without confirming the victim's address.
The Parking Prankster