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NSW Court and Solicitor Fees - Can I Negotiate?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by patchirajan, 30 June 2015.

  1. patchirajan

    patchirajan Member

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    I got a court notice from a solicitor, which says I need to pay $800 for court and solicitor fees with my levy of $1800. But I have not been contacted since Apr (I'm located in is Perth). Can I negotiate the case to reduce the extra payment?

    Regards.
     
  2. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi Patchirajan,

    Were these costs incurred by you or by the other side (to a case in which you lost)?
     
  3. patchirajan

    patchirajan Member

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    Hi sarah
    Thanks for the reply to my question.

    I actually relocated to Perth last year leaving my property for rent and set up an Australia Post mail redirection to my new address in Perth. So until December, I receive the levy notice so pay partially and slowly settling the levy due to relocation and spend for 3 kids. I hope the Australia Post mail redirection finished in January. I haven't received any notice and the property was maintained by real estate.

    But my email address where I am receiving minutes of the meeting and mobile are same for 6 years.

    Suddenly last week real estate called me and said receive court notice to pay levy amount + court spending. Which even I don't know that it gone to court.
     
  4. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    It's hard to help you without having the backstory.

    1. What was the court matter concerning?
    2. Why is the real estate agent involved? Are they representing you or were they the other side?
    3. The lawyer fees, are they for services performed for you, for the estate agent, for the other side?
    4. Why were you not aware of the court hearing? Are you even involved in the court hearing?
    5. Are you disputing the debt or just wishing for a payment arrangement?
    6. Did you lose this court hearing? What are the fees for?
     
    patchirajan likes this.
  5. patchirajan

    patchirajan Member

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    1. What was the court matter concerning?
    Delay in paying strata levy

    2. Why is the real estate agent involved?
    Are they representing you or were they the other side?
    Real estate not involved. I had the address redirect but that expired before a month. And the first court notice received by current tenant in that property have not given the letter to real estate agent who renting now.

    3. The lawyer fees, are they for services performed for you, for the estate agent, for the other side?
    For other side

    4. Why were you not aware of the court hearing? Are you even involved in the court hearing?
    Due to lack in chance of address and lack of renew postal redirection i have no info about notice.

    5. Are you disputing the debt or just wishing for a payment arrangement?
    Want know whether i can distribute they added extra $600 lawyer fee (not in notice) with other fees on court notice.

    6. Did you lose this court hearing? What are the fees for?[/QUOTE]
    I dont know anything until my agent receive notice from local court. Fees on notice says court fee ,processing fee etc.
     
  6. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like there was a court hearing, notice was sent to your last known address but because you moved, you did not receive notice of the hearing. The hearing went ahead without you and the other side received a favourable judgment (most likely a Default Judgment). They are now asking you to pay their legal costs in relation to the hearing. Is this correct?

    First, ascertain whether you have a default judgment against you. Ask the other side for a copy of the judgment, or call the court to enquire.

    Second, are you disputing the actual (primary) debt? If you are, you will need to set aside the default judgment. You will need to apply to court for this. If you are not, meaning, (i) you did in fact owe the other side strata levy, and (ii) they had a right to sue for this in court (check your agreement to see if they are able to go to court without preliminary notice procedure), then you will need to reimburse their legal costs (iii) if they win.* On the default judgment, the court would have made an order as to costs. Check your default judgment and see what this is.

    The normal costs order is that the losing side pays the winning side reasonable costs (legal fees, disbursements, filing and service fees etc). You can ask them for a detailed itemised list of fees and expenses. If you believe the costs are unreasonable, you can dispute them in court (known as "taxation of costs"). This is the process where the taxing officer goes through each item claimed, match this against the "reasonable average" predetermined by the court each year, and determine whether the cost is reasonable or not and make any readjustments if necessary. However, the taxing process itself is costly, and the "loser" of this process then bears the costs of the taxing process.

    ----

    * If these three points exist, then the other side has a right to ask you to reimburse their legal costs.
     

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