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Potential Invalidity of Magistrates Court Judgments

It is somewhat common practice in this State for Magistrates, sitting in the Magistrates Court of Western Australia, to hand down judgments by sending copies to the parties involved by post.

This practice was recently commented on by the Court of Appeal in Ho v Loneragan. The appeal related to the ability to  appeal from the decision of a Magistrate. The judgment in question was handed down on 10 August 2010, it was not given in open court but rather was sent to both parties’ solicitors by post. It was received by the appellants solicitors on 17 August 2010.

The appeal was filed on 3 September 2010, 24 days after judgment but only 17 days after the judgment was received. It has recently been settled that the time limit to appeal from the decision of a Magistrate is 21 days from the date of the judgment and that time frame cannot be extended. [Edit: The act has now been amended to permit the District Court to extend time]

The appeal to the District Court was dismissed. The appellant then appealed to the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal reasoned that the Magistrates judgment was liable to be set aside. It did not comply with the Act, which created the Magistrates Court, which requires proceedings to be conducted in open court. The Court noted that no application to set aside the judgment had been made. The Court did not decided whether it was open for the appellants to now apply to set aside the judgment as a result of the irregularity.

The result is that judgments which have not been given in open court are liable to be set aside. However, the Court did note that, until set aside, the judgments continue in full force and effect.

Arguments that do not add to the store of human knowledge

Time and time again, litigants advance the argument that Local Governments are unconstitutional and that Courts in this state a corporate entities and not proper courts. Well it happened again and the judgment did not hold back.

Here were the grounds of appeal:

1. The Magistrate erred in law when she continually disobeyed all High Court Decisions of the High Court of Australia. Which state she must sit under chapter 111 of the Commonwealth Constitution Act. The Magistrate was reminded of this in all our submissions presented to her.


2. The Magistrate sat under the Magistrates Court Act 2004 which contravenes the State Constitution Act which is put in place with letters patent and the Commonwealth Constitution and contravenes the Judiciary Act. When Challenged on what authority she sat, Magistrate Hamilton abandoned the Court.


3. The Magistrate erred in law when she stated that the Local Government Act was a lawful Act, when it contravenes both State and the Commonwealth Constitution Act.


4. The Magistrate erred in law when she failed to deal with criminal offences revealed to her and ignored them. (Trespass).


5. The Magistrate erred in law by refusing to accept affidavits that outlined those offences.


6. The Magistrate erred in law by allowing any Local Government employee to express right to enter our property.


7. The Magistrate erred in law when she allowed an employee of a company to prosecute in a criminal jurisdiction, for and on behalf of another company knowing that, that company was not acting under the Crown.


8. The magistrate erred in law when she sat in Armadale Court on the 26th October 2012 knowing that she has not been appointed or sworn in using the lawful oath by the Governor General of the State of Western Australia under the correct State Constitution.


9. The Magistrate erred in law when she failed to acknowledge that the State Constitution being used by Western Australia is unlawful.


10. The Magistrate by failing to answer challenges on her abandonment of the Court and the State Constitution agreed in TACIT that we were correct.


11. The issues raised are inter-se and that includes this Court and the Full Bench of this Court.


12. Magistrate Langdon & Hamilton erred in law when they refused to accept or recognise the UCC 1-308 declarations of Common Law Rights handed to them.


13. This appeal is not vexatious or malicious, in fact the Magistrates Court of Armadale displayed vexatious and malicious behaviour during the whole case.

It included the following comments:

Contrary to proposed ground 13 this entire appeal is vexatious and an abuse of the processes of the court. I have read the submissions filed by the appellant and read the affidavits on the Magistrate Court file. Today I listened to Ms Pengelly amplify some of the arguments. They do not add to the store of human knowledge.


Grounds of appeal like these are promoted by a small group of sad and deluded individuals who labour on in their delusions despite comprehensive rejection by the Court of Appeal and the General Division