A HANDWRITTEN NOTE THAT COULD CHANGE A WILL

Posted on Sep 29, 2014

Uncertainty arose when the author of a will who left her property to her two children also left a separate handwritten note saying that her son could ‘use’ the house for as long as he ‘needs’ it. Was the note part of her will? If so, how long could her son use the house? These issues had to be considered in a recent case in the Supreme Court. The deceased executed her last will and testament in January 1993 which included the wording, “I give my residence as at the time of my death to my executors on trust for my said son … until...

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JEWELLERY – OR A $10,000 KNUCKLE DUSTER?

Posted on Sep 25, 2014

Photographs of Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg were shown to a Court in defence of a man charged with possessing a knuckle duster when police seized his 9 carat gold two-finger ring valued at approximately $10,000 to $15,000. The solid 9 carat gold item measured 70mm long and 40mm wide with openings for two fingers and the letters “F”, “I”, “N” and “K” embossed on top covering almost the entire face. The police officer who seized the item concluded that it was a knuckle duster on the basis that he considered it had been designed to...

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I WANT TO RELOCATE WITH MY CHILD

Posted on Sep 23, 2014

What happens after separation if one parent wants to move with their child to live at a location significantly distant from the other parent? Recently the Family Court had to consider the future living arrangements of a child when her mother appealed against an order refusing her permission to relocate to Pilbara in northern Western Australia from Perth where the child’s father lived. Notably, the child’s parents had separated before her birth and her father had spent relatively little time with her so that the mother was almost the...

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I’M A WORKER NOT A STRIPPER

Posted on Sep 23, 2014

Showgirls at an Adelaide striptease venue are ‘workers’ because their elaborate dresses and other apparel are their ‘tools of trade’ but in contrast their makeup, cream, strawberries and neon paint were the materials with which they worked. The issue arose when the Supreme Court was called upon to determine whether the showgirls came within the definition of a ‘worker’ under the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act. According to The Palace Gallery, their showgirls were independent contractors and not workers because they...

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COURTS GET TOUGH ON TRUCK DRIVERS

Posted on Sep 22, 2014

In four separate cases in a row the Supreme Court has emphasised the need for Courts to be tough on penalties for heavy vehicle drivers who record false information in their work diaries or drive for excessive periods. Only a month ago the Supreme Court reviewed the penalties to be imposed for truck drivers who make false or misleading logbook – or work diary – entries and that case has now been referred to in increasing the penalty given by a Magistrate in four different cases (See our article PENALTIES FOR DRIVER’S WORK DIARY (LOGBOOK)...

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WHO GETS THE FARM? THE IMPORTANCE OF INITIAL CONTRIBUTIONS IN FAMILY LAW PROPERTY SETTLEMENTS

Posted on Sep 14, 2014

In a recent matrimonial property case the Federal Court was presented with the task of evaluating and comparing the significant initial contributions of the husband who had been a farmer all his life and brought into the relationship – and inherited during the course of it – substantial farming properties valued at over two million dollars. The parties had separated after nearly 14 years. At the commencement of their relationship the wife had savings of $30,000, bank shares worth around $7,000, a car and superannuation of around $12,000. ...

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SENTENCING STANDARDS FOR DRIVING DISQUALIFIED OR DRIVING WHILST SUSPENDED

Posted on Sep 11, 2014

Penalties for driving licence offences imposed by Courts are set to increase significantly following a review by the Supreme Court of cases finalised over the last three years. The Court noted that the most common major penalty for driving licence offences was a fine and it appeared that the need to impose penalties that will deter others from committing such offences hasn’t been given sufficient weight. According to the Supreme Court, as a matter of principle, sentences of immediate imprisonment will often be justified even in the...

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INTERVENTION ORDERS IN TROUBLE – POLICE EXCEED THEIR POWER

Posted on Sep 10, 2014

The Supreme Court has overturned a finding of guilt against a man charged with contravening an intervention order on the basis that the order made by police prohibiting him from ‘entering or remaining in the vicinity’ of specified premises was invalid. The intervention order was made in favour of the man’s former wife following their separation and after an incident in which the wife alleged that he had trespassed on property and assaulted her. Those charges went to trial at which time the Magistrate rejected the...

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DOES A TERMINATION PAYMENT MEAN I DON’T GET WORKERS COMPENSATION?

Posted on Sep 9, 2014

What happens when a person who is injured at work receives a termination payment? Does that mean that they are not entitled to Workers Compensation payments for lost income because they’ve already been paid? This question arose when a Council employee who was employed on a fixed term contract was terminated by the employer four months before the end of his contract period. The Workers Compensation Tribunal found that this early termination was an unreasonable breach by the Council of the employment contract because it was without...

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A JOKE EMAIL THAT COST $200,000

Posted on Sep 3, 2014

A man who sent an email from his co-worker’s login saying, ‘Hello people, just a note to say that i am a homosexual and i am looking for like minded people to share time with” will have to pay over $200,000.00 in damages. The plaintiff who was employed by the Department for Correctional Services had been called away from his office and left the computer on which he had been working logged on in his name. The defendant co-worker seized the opportunity to send the offending email to around 2,300 email addresses at various...

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