Saturday, May 09, 2009

Impartial Law Applied

Decisions by Magistrates in Australia cannot set legal precedents. Mine Host believes this to be an acknowledgement by the authorities of how ...er.. erratic Magistrates can be.

Online, in discussion groups etc, Mine Host is fed lots of rot about how Magistrates are "impartial" & "bound by law" (& other stuff just as far removed from what actually goes on in a Magistrates courtroom)

When recently in NSW, besides observing preceding cases, Mine Host had the interesting experience of the case in which he was involved.

Mine Host's version of events: Goods (envelopes, pens, etc) arrived unannounced by the boxload at the Wayside Tavern.
Attached to the boxes was a bill for several thousand dollars.

The envelopes & pens were imprinted with an email address, street address, phone number & the name of the Wayside Tavern, Mine Host noted the following weirdness:
The email address was incorrect (info@waysidetavern.com.au). Real email address: waysidetavern@bigpond.com
The street address was the wrong street and the wrong street number.
The name printed: Wayside Tavern & Bistro, (real name: "Wayside Tavern")

Mine Host telephoned the number on the bill, explained that the goods had been delivered in error, & should he send them back? The dispatching company stated coldly that Mine Host had ordered the goods, many months prior to their delivery, and must pay for them.

The dispatching company (clearly experienced in this scam) sent via fax a copy of an order form, with the blanks obviously filled out at their end by automation (not by handwriting), however the name and signature of the "authorised officer to purchase" at the bottom, were most definitely not those of Mine Host.

It was that of a receptionist from some months previously. The name was correct, but the signature did not match the signature on file for that ex-staff member.

Bumping into the ex-staff in the street, Mine Host asked if she could throw any light on the matter? She recalled being telephoned by the company, asked her name, and informed that a fax would be following, as "a previous manager" of the Wayside Tavern had ordered some goods, and that she must "sign off" on the order.

A telephone call accompanied the fax, instructing her to sign the fax and send it back. The fax was an order form already filled out, with her name typed on the bottom.

She ignored the fax, but after repeated phone calls advising her to sign & return the fax, she faxed it back, unsigned. When the company phoned to advise her that she had overlooked signing the fax, she stated that she would not be signing it. She assumed the matter had ended there.

She was most surprised to learn that some months later the goods had arrived, along with a bill, and the order form, purportedly duly signed by her.

When showed the order form she stated the signature was not hers. She subsequently produced an affidavit swearing the signature on the order form was not hers, and attached copies of several documents that did carry her signature, these being driver's licence, passport and the like. The signature on the driver's licence etc was not the same signature as the one on the order form.

An affidavit is sworn on a bible, in front of an impeccable witness, thus carries a lot of weight in a courtroom. The witness was a JP, and the lady swearing the affidavit was also a JP.

This brings us to why Mine Host is way down south in a NSW courtroom, defending a case brought against him for non-payment for "goods ordered".

The company that had sent the goods produced a lot of documents for the court, transcripts of telephone conversations with Mine Host, these transcripts clearly generated from some sort of software which is filled out while the telephone call is in process.

Also transcripts of a telephone call with the receptionist, made months after the order, in which she supposedly admits signing the order form. The format of this transcript is inconsistent with their other transcripts, this one being typed in the manner of the script of a school play, rather than generated by the call centre software... hmmmm....
Also submitted was the signed order form, and typewritten accounts of the saga. Mine Host noted that no officer of Scam company had put their personal signature at the bottom of their written accounts.

Presuming that his sworn affidavit would carry some weight, Mine Host was shocked by what happened next......

The Magistrate asked Mine Host how he had come by the affidavit from the receptionist.
When informed she had agreed to provide it after a chance conversation in the street, the Magistrate grunted "I find that hard to believe".
The Magistrate then went on to note that the signature on the affidavit did not match the signature on the order form provided by the company (er... the very point of the affidavit).

The Magistrate then asked the representative of the company was their written account true? The company piouly replied that what they had written was 100% truth.

The Magistrate then hammered a gavel onto his desk and stated "I find for the plaintiff" (that is, he found in favour of the scam company)

In the next few seconds Mine Host said several things which undoubtedly brought him very close to arrest for contempt of court or somesuch.

The topics covered in his "post-decision impromptu statement" were bigoted remarks about New South Wales in general, an observation that the town we were in was solidly anglo-saxon, and the affidavit may have carried some weight, except it was sworn by a JP who was a black woman, in front of a JP who was chinese.

Mine Host then leaned over the desk to the company representatives, congratulated them on getting a hometown decision, then spat out that the next time they phoned a black girl to sign a document & forged her signature it would not be settled in a "mexican court".

The junior of the two company people, a female telephonist who had placed the calls to the Wayside Tavern, spoke "but we didn't realise she was black".

For those who have spent their life under a cabbage leaf, or have no legal experience, the above statement translates as: "Your version was valid and correct, every word we spoke in court was perjury."

4 comments:

Sackerson said...

Can you appeal?

I'll try to avoid remarks about kangaroo courts.

mlesser said...

Gday. Thanks for reading my blog. You are correct in that being TW of W-Air. He is a top bloke and his brother was even better!

As for the prohibited area, thats P229. Its on about the 223 - 280 radial. Flying to Yuendumu is out of the way plus tower will vector you around it or clear to stay visually clear. Basically going to Ayers rock, Kintore and Kiwikurra will bust its airspace.

Nice to see someone with good knowledge of the area.

Once again, thanks for the comments

Mike.

Mine Host said...

Kangaroo court is a most apt term for what had transpired.

Decisions of a Magistrate are almost impossible to appeal.

If the Australian public knew how the court system actually worked, they would be marching on parliament, accompanied by flaming torches & baying hounds.

It is nothing like what they see on TV or read in the newspapers.

Most everything is handled by the arbitrary decision of an unsackable Magistrate accountable to nobody.

Think of a mediocre arts student at university, who has never had to justify their existence, who is able to rule in a courtroom with no correspondence entered into.

That is a Magistrate.

Anonymous said...

Blimey!

Are you really more intelligent than the rest of the world, or is is just your imagination?

Magistrates rule, that means they decide what is what, and this one decided you are full of crap and ruled in favour of the plantiff.

Your superiority complex certainly helps you none.

If you walk into a courtroom and act like the case is closed in your favour because of a piece of paper you had signed by a questionable person under questionable circumstances, then you need to be prepared to have your ass handed to you.

You walked in to the Magistrates domain acting like you owned the place, and you found out, you don't.

You come in with a fuck-you attitude, and you got a fuck-you result.

To hell with the Magistrate?

Wrong answer buddy, to hell with you.

Welcome to planet Earth.

Love it or leave it.