QLD Defamation questions

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Davidfc007

Well-Known Member
26 November 2019
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Hello, I am representing myself in a defamation matter before the Southport Magistrate Court and was hoping to gain some information and help please.

The lawyer for the defendant has made an application to strike out my claim (Section 10AA of Limitation of Actions Act) because I filed the claim more than one year after the alleged act of defamation was published in September 2018 to others (that I was an drug addict) when I filed the claim in July 2020.

The statement of fact told by the defendant to others has destroyed my mental health, confidence and has resulted in serve depression (supported by health professionals) from the moment I found out it was told to others. From that moment I have been living a life of isolation from the world.

My question is there any precedent and/or provision that would allow a plaintiff to claim that my mental health degradation impacted on my ability to have the courage and strength to file a claim against the respondent within the one year time limit? I understand the court can allow claims that have been made after three years, but I want to know what basis would they allow those claims to proceed to a trial.

Thank you, any help would be greatly appreciated :)

p.s. if you have any information of what will take place at a hearing before the court registrar to strike out this matter that would also be greatly appreciated :)
 

Docupedia

Well-Known Member
7 October 2020
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Section 10AA of the Defamation Act limits the bringing of a defamation action to one year, as you've pointed out. Applications made after the one year limit is passed as 'statute barred'. All the defendant has to do is to raise that issue (as they've apparently done).

There is one way around that, and the onus is on the plaintiff to pursue it. Section 32A of the Limitation of Actions Act provides a plaintiff can seek an order from the court to extend the 1 year period by up to a further 2 years (not a guaranteed 2 years). It is not an open discretion for the court - section 32A(2) states the court must be "satisfied that it was not reasonable in the circumstances for the plaintiff to have commenced an action in relation to the matter complained of within 1 year from the date of the publication". They cannot make an extension order in any other circumstance. Note - A Registrar cannot make the order. It will have to be a judge (see below).

I suggest reading the 2019 Queensland District Court case of Herdy v Targato which you can find here: Herdy v Targato [2019] QDC 39 (28 March 2019) The whole thing is relevant, particularly from the start of paragraph [11] (just under the heading "Primary issue - principles to be applied") onwards.

You appear to have other problems as well. The Queensland Law Handbook indicates that a defamation action can only be brought in the District or Supreme Court - meaning you're likely to get tossed out of the Magistrates Court anyway (see: Defamation: What You Need To Know)

In terms of the Registrar, my guess is it will very likely go in the following manner:
- "Do you have an order to extend the limitation period for bringing a defamation action?"
- "No."
- "I am striking out the initiating application by reason of section 10AA of the Limitation of Actions Act. Are there any submissions as to costs?"
 

Tim W

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28 April 2014
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And you will need formal medical evidence - from a psychiatrist.
At your expense.
 

Rod

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27 May 2014
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You appear to have other problems as well. The Queensland Law Handbook indicates that a defamation action can only be brought in the District or Supreme Court - meaning you're likely to get tossed out of the Magistrates Court anyway
I do not practice in QLD, however the Magistrates' Court is likely an option where there is no jury.
 

Jaywoo220

Well-Known Member
11 November 2019
300
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It would be difficult to extend limitation period based on case law.

You would need a really, really good psych medico legal report to shows the effects on you and linking your inability to start legal action due to mental illness. I can see some grounds for this based on personal experience but very hard to prove I think.

In Nsw, you can only start defamation proceedings in the District Court so agree with Docupedia in that regard.

Furthermore, the Caxton Legal Centre ( based in Queensland and quoting Qld law handbook) website states:

A claim for defamation:

- must be made in either the District or Supreme Court and may involve a jury
- must be commenced within one year from the date of the publication of the matter (s 10AA Limitation of Actions Act 1974 (Qld))
- can result in a court ordering the unsuccessful party to pay the legal costs of the other party.

Hence, I would seek to speak to the court and ask to change jurisdiction of court if possible before application for dismissal by opposing lawyer.


I posted below in another thread and relatees to Nsw Law:


Uniform Defamation Laws amended their limitation statutes to provide that a cause of action was not maintainable if brought after the end of the limitation period (one year) from the date of publication of the matter complained of: Limitation Act 1969 s 14B. An extension of up to three years may be granted, but the test (that the plaintiff must demonstrate that it was not reasonable to have commenced an action within the one year period from date of publication) has been called a “difficult hurdle”: Rayney v State of Western Australia (No 3) [2010] WASC 83 at [41].

The test of unreasonableness is a difficult one to satisfy; in Pingel v Toowoomba Newspapers Pty Ltd [2010] QCA 175, the court (by majority) considered that negotiations for an offer of amends (where the plaintiff contended it was not reasonable to start proceedings which would imperil these negotiations) was an insufficient ground.

Disclaimer: Not a solicitor and offering general assistance which should not be relied on in place of legal advice.
 

Rod

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Jaywoo220

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11 November 2019
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Hi Rod, To clarify I meant in NSW you can also start proceedings in the District, Supreme, or Federal Court.

The reference to District was the lowest court.

You cannot start a defamation proceeding in the Local Court in Nsw from my understanding.
 

Rod

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I can't see anything precluding taking action in the Local Court.
 

Jaywoo220

Well-Known Member
11 November 2019
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Hi Rod,

Go to www.ucprforms.nsw.gov.au

Go to publications link.

Page 19 of types of claims.

All defamationsvmatters in nsw get referred to Sydney and are handled by DCJ gibson in the District Court.

So if you start proceeding in Lismore District, it gets transferred to Defamation List in Sydney for example.
 

Jaywoo220

Well-Known Member
11 November 2019
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To clarify above all solely Defamation District Court only matters get transferred to Sydney, not Supreme or Federal from my limited understanding.

Also, the only reason I do not think you can start in local is because the local registry stated I could not start proceedings in local when I tried to.