Appeal Magistrates Court Decision

Court proceedings and Legal Process
mussmick
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Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2014 11:09 am

Appeal Magistrates Court Decision

Postby mussmick » Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:53 am

Yesterday I had a Magistrates court hearing which I was unable to attend. I had a VCAT hearing the same day and provided the court with this information.
The Court Registrar did not grant adjournment because the matter had been adjourned 4 times previous (due to seeking alternative legal advice and work commitments).

I was aware the Magistrate would decided on the day whether the matter would be adjourned and if not I would be found guilty by ex-parte.
I decided to submit a Defense Statement in my absence and just in case the Magistrate did not grant adjournment.

They did not grant adjournment.
I was found guilty and received the full penalty.

How do I go about appealing this?
Legal Aid are absolutely useless in assisting me with this.

Can I ask for the court transcript or recording, to see if the Magistrate bothered to read my Defense Statement?

Thank you in anticipation of your assistance.

Hardy
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Re: Appeal Magistrates Court Decision

Postby Hardy » Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:16 pm

You have 28 days within which to lodge an appeal to the county court.
You do that by attending at a Magistrates Court and signing an appeal against conviction.

The other option is to apply for a re-hearing of your case before the Magistrate, or if the case was heard by a Judicial Registrar (many cases that commence as infringement notices are) then you can appeal from the Judicial Registrar to a Magistrate (or to a county court judge). There is no point in getting the tapes of the hearing unless you are thinking of lodging Supreme Court appeal. See McWhiter's case. Your defence statement was probably not read and it was a complete waste of time sending it.

mussmick
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2014 11:09 am

Re: Appeal Magistrates Court Decision

Postby mussmick » Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:21 am

Thanks Sean.
I am going to attempt a re-hearing and see how that goes.

I do believe it was heard before a judicial registrar and I was told by the court registrar upon filing my Defence Statement, that there was 1 hour set aside for the hearing so there's no reason why my defence statement would not be read but you're right, it probably most wasn't.

Hardy
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Re: Appeal Magistrates Court Decision

Postby Hardy » Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:43 am

There is a very good reason why your defence statement was not read. It is not the correct process and can not be read. You have to turn up at court to defend a case and even then you can not read out your evidence - you need to get in the witness box and tell the court what happened.
You are at risk of failing in your application for a re-hearing on the basis that you knew the hearing was on. That is proved by you filing a defence statement. By then you will be too late to lodge an appeal. You need to file a county court appeal within 28 days even if that means withdrawing your application for a re-hearing.

mussmick
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2014 11:09 am

Re: Appeal Magistrates Court Decision

Postby mussmick » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:34 am

Today is 28 days and I will be lodging an appeal to the County Court.
Do you have any information on the County Court's procedure and how the Judge is likely to react to an appeal on a traffic offense?
Especially if I am representing myself and do not have a barrister.
Are their costs involved in appealing to the County Court?

Hardy
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Posts: 8460
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Re: Appeal Magistrates Court Decision

Postby Hardy » Mon Feb 09, 2015 12:15 pm

It costs nothing to appeal.
The case is heard and determined in the same was as it is in the magistrates court - only its a bit like going business class instead of economy.


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