"Magistrate Daynor Trigg tells open court that the laws of parliament do not apply to him."

Alice Springs Magistrate (Daynor) Trigg recently told applicants to an appeal in civil court that the laws handed down by parliament do not apply to him.  The legislation pertaining to the matter was brought to his attention during the proceedings by the applicant.

Then he gave an Order which did not contain any reasons for judgement or decision - not surprising though given his lack of purporting to enforce the laws which he took oath to uphold.  How could he anyway, given his blatant disregard for them ... Replies to requests for Reasons for Order were "There are no written reasons provided which is not unusual in the Magistrates Jurisdiction.  Reasons were stated by the Magistrate orally (this is standard practice)."  However a search on judgements by Trigg showed every case had Reasons for Judgement provided. View

Well if the laws do not apply to Trigg, and it is not his job to enforce them, the public should know - and people should either have the right to have their matter heard before a real judge not some idiot in a kangaroo court who has a complete and blatant disregard for the law because it does not appeal to his agenda.

The Stupidity Magistrate told parties today that the laws don’t apply in his courtroom because “they are the laws that parliament makes”. (Nice one Trigg, can’t wait to see that in the transcript or does his office alter official records to their convenience also?).  The matter was on appeal of decision made by Darwin Lawyer acting as the “Commission of Tenancies”, whereby the Commissioner refused to apply the law in the matter in which the tenants broke the lease due to unemployment, and since the matter first arose (the agents, Golden Home RE) have seeked to claim over $9,000 in under various sections of the residential tenancies act.  (Which we might add is highly illegal).

So what are the issues in the case, and why aren't the real estate entitled to make any claims of compensation ?

Well, the first issue is that Section 121 claims states the landlord must file any invoices within the required seven day time limit, or they cannot make a claim. (And they did not file within the time period allocated). [ii] View attached claim.   The claims are illegal and furthermore, they are not invoice claims in any case - they are only quotes that were obtained under false pretence.  And the work was never followed through by the companies who provided the quotes.

Then the landlord then filed a Section 122 Claim for Compensation (attached) [iv] for another $4,000 for pretty much the same expenses that they were already claiming under Section 121 – which under law is not allowed. [v]

To add insult to injury, the landlord filed quotes purported as invoices and has attempted to use these as the basis for the claim. See attached documents [vi], [vii] and [viii].

The law clearly states “Residential Tenancies Act - Sect 122 Compensation and civil penalties (2)    A party may not apply under subsection (1) for: (a) compensation payable under section 121;” [ix]

Further to the matter, the landlord did not ever supply a copy of the condition report (outgoing) to the tenant (S110.1) [x], or fill it out in the presence of the tenant (S110.2A)[xi] or even send a copy of it to the tenant (S110.3 and S112.4A)[xii]

The law is clear in that it states “Subject to S113.2, the landlord IS NOT entitled to retain, or continue to hold under subsection (6), part or all of the security deposit, unless within 7 business days after the tenant gave up vacant possession of the premises or has in the opinion of the landlord, apparently abandoned the premises, the landlord has “C. Attached a copy of a statutory declaration attesting that the receipts, invoices or other document’s attached to the declaration relate to …..

Some other points of interest in the matter are :

The RTO8 forms’ “amount of security deposit which is not being retained or continuing to be held by the landlord is” was quoted as $0 (zero). [xiii]
The notes section on the RTO8 form clearly state “the total of claims PLUS the amount NOT being claimed MUST equal the total security deposit being held by the landlord / agent”.
The amounts in the claims do not equal the total security deposit being held and violate this requirement.

So according to the law :

  1. The real estate never filed any invoices in the required time to be eligible to claim for compensation (for cleaning etc). The invoices they did eventually file were filed well after the 7 day legal requirement.
  2. And they cannot claim for in Section 122 what they are able to claim in Section 121 - which was the entire amount; and they did,
  3. And the amounts and paperwork supplied are only quotes anyway and not invoices - so have no bearing for any claim whatsoever;
  4. And the magistrate seems to think that this is okay and continued to award payment in their favour?
  5. The magistrate is also to take into consideration the behaviour of the parties and how they have obliged themself to follow the law - and Golden Home and Eli Melki most certainly did not - yet was rewarded for their unlawful and unethical behaviour.

To show furhter bias, the appellant also previously had educated & supportive representation for each court appearance, yet the magistrate denied the appellant this support in the actual hearing, and as he was unable to obtain legal representation was denied any procedural fairness as the client (tenant). 

Under the circumstances, the appellant still :

  1. Asked for permission of the court to have the same supportive representation he had been afforded on each previous occasion - and was denied.
  2. Asked for permission to have the matter adjourned until he was able to obtain representation because he was not allowed his supportive representation - and was denied.
  3. Asked the magistrate why the laws of the RTA did not apply in this case, and was told that those were the laws that parliament made and had no bearing on the case.
  4. The magistrate said the representative couldn’t represent the client as she wasn’t a solicitor - nor had he even enquired as to whether she was or was not - giving the impression that there were ex-parte communications between the landlord and himself, in an effort to ensure that the tenant had nobody assisting him.

The magistrate also denigrated the clients young child and said she had to leave as “he wasn’t having a kid running around his court room”, which was after the previous magistrate had stated “how well behaved and well mannered” the young child had been at the preliminary hearing only weeks earlier.

We find it of interest that when the support representation for the client requested permission to represent her client as is legally allowed, the magistrate requested under which section of law was this allowed.  When she informed the magistrate - after she was told by him that she was no solicitor - that surely he would know which law it was, he denied her acting in the capacity denying the appellant any assistance in the matter at all.  

In a recent court case SM Trigg claimed “the rules in court are a little bit different to out on the street”. [1], however failed to apply any of the law when it came to him defending, and even arguing on behalf of the other parties in the case citing the cleaning of his own property in trying to determine what the charges should be for cleaning when the law clearly indicated that there was no option to make any claims as it was not done according to law.

Good luck with anybody trying to get justice whilst this idiot magistrate reins, as there are no laws that will be enforced if it doesn't suit him or his agenda.

[1] http://www.news.com.au/news/jailed-for-mobile-in-courtroom/story-fna7dq6e-1111116399615
[i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2009-06-24/lawyer-scolded-for-horsing-around/1330120
[ii] S 112.5 RTA states “Subject to section 113(2), the landlord is not entitled to retain, or to continue to hold under subsection (6), part or all of a security deposit unless, within 7 business days after the tenant gave up vacant possession of the premises or has, in the opinion of the landlord, apparently abandoned the premises, the landlord has:     (c)     attached a copy of a statutory declaration attesting that the receipts, invoices or other documents attached to the declaration …”
[v] Section 122 states that “a party may not apply for compensation payable under section 121”.
[ix] http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nt/consol_act/rta207/s122.html
[x] http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nt/consol_act/rta207/s110.html
[xi] http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nt/consol_act/rta207/s110.html
[xii] http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nt/consol_act/rta207/s110.html
[xiii] Considering they’re still holding all the bond, one can only interpret this to mean that the landlord have continued to hold any and all monies unlawfully.

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