Sometimes it is better to read the form before filling it out! Many of the questions on this form are for different forms of cases where there is a real debt. With parking charges these are only allegations of an amount owed - and usually unproven.
We recommend completing the form as follows:
Section A: Settlement/Mediation
A.1. Say NO to mediation.
The Court's Mediation Service is a commercial operation which is there to divert as many of these cases away from the courts as possible. They do not assess the merits of any case as they are only interested in pressurising both sides to arrive at a figure. So unless you want to pay to make it go away then NO is the better option.
Section B: Contact Details
Fill in your current address details or where the court can contact you. It is important that these are valid for at least 6 months as that can be the length of time it takes for this to come to court. If you provide an incorrect address and the court cannot contact you, you may get a default judgment against you! Make sure you can be always be contacted by the court or you are in a position to receive any paperwork from them.
Section C: Track
Put in YES to small claims track – this is the limited costs track for claims up to £10,000 in value.
Section D: About the Hearing
D.1. Name of your local County Court – unless you are a Ltd company, the case files will be transferred there. The Claimant will likely ask for their court, but you object to that. You should also object to a Paper Hearing if the claimant has requested that and you want your day in court. Otherwise opt for a paper hearing where you need not attend and the case will be decided on the paperwork in front of the judge. If you are unsure which to chose, ask us.
To find your local County Court use this link and search the nearest to your postcode.
D.2. Say NO to expert evidence. This question relates to medical negligence cases and suchlike so not applicable to these cases.
D.3. Put in 1 witness which is you. However if you intend to bring along a passenger/driver to back up your defence, then add them in. They will need to provide a Witness Statement prior to any hearing.
D.4. Put down the dates of any pre-booked holidays or days you will not be available. Courts do not reschedule if you have decided to go on a last minute package. Say NO to an interpreter unless you need one.
Last Section: Signature.
Always ensure you have signed the document as the court may reject unsigned ones.