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VIC Reclaiming Costs from Common Law Case?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by Skateboard, 31 May 2018.

  1. Skateboard

    Skateboard Active Member

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    I had a case listed in the Victorian Supreme Court commercial division. I was the respondent/defendant and the other party claimed I had committed contempt and was asking the judge to fine and imprison me.

    I was self-represented and the judge who was annoyed that the case had been listed before him redirected the case to the common law division.

    I appeared again, some five months later, self-represented and I had filed my affidavits and submission. The Judge in his opening address stated that he was of the opinion there was no case to answer and dismissed the allegation in the summons that I had committed contempt.

    No costs order was made.

    The whole matter took eight months from start to finish. It cost me a lot of money as I did get legal advice from a barrister then could not afford the fees anymore and had to go it alone. I also got stressed and couldn't work for several months.

    Can I claim costs and what sort of costs could I expect to get and how much would it cost me?
     
  2. DMLegal

    DMLegal Well-Known Member

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    Sadly you can claim costs for ‘stress’ or the months out of work. I am slightly confused by your explanation as it is typically the judge who finds the person in contempt and does not usually need any ‘persuasion’ from opposing counsel. Can you provide more information on what happened that day?
     
  3. Skateboard

    Skateboard Active Member

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    So I can claim costs for stress and the months off work! Horaay.

    I have applied for the transcript to make it easier to understand what the judge said, basically there was a Supreme Court Order that came from a poorly worded request that family documents were the private and confidential documents of my brother. The order did not refer to any particular documents and as such the Judge said that the order was meaningless as it stood and after dismissing the contempt matter he suggested that the QC take to opportunity to reword the order so that it could be enforced in the future. I requested copies of every document that was claimed as confidential and the Judge agreed that this was a good procedure so that I know what is what but they still haven't given me copies.
     
  4. Skateboard

    Skateboard Active Member

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    I also applied for a transcript of the first Supreme Court hearing where the Judge got annoyed and redirected the case to another case.
     
  5. Skateboard

    Skateboard Active Member

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    I also wasn't happy that the Judge asked the QC to reword the original court order, I felt I was ambushed by the Judge on the day, I had prepared to contest the contempt charge not rework a court order. If I had known in advance this was going to occur I would have asked that the order to re written to include that they were family documents and that family members could use them as they wished, that way I don't have to worry about committing contempt of court for the rest of my life when discussing what are basically my emails to my former accountant and my brother.
     
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