Lawfulness of the Infringements Court

John Andrews made this Freedom of Information request to Victorian Department of Justice & Regulation

The request was refused by Victorian Department of Justice & Regulation.

From: John Andrews

Delivered

Dear Victorian Department of Justice & Regulation,
1. According to legal definition a Court consists of Magistrates/Judges, associate Magistrates/Judges among other staff, could you please supply the names of officiating Magistrates and or Judges who administer the Infringements Court?
2. The Magistrates Court has been established by the Magistrates Court Act 1989 while the County Court has been established by the County Court Act 1984 but there is no Infringements Court Act that establishes it. Is the existence of this Court then lawful?
3. Is this Infringements Court a publicly or privately funded operation and corporation the latter being the case with Civic Compliance?
4. If the infringements Court is privately owned as is the case with Civic Compliance how do either purport to complete judicial functions or conduct "reviews" in response to "appeals" from motorists?
5. Is it lawful and or in line with the provisions of the Constitution that a penalty can be applied without a conviction being recorded by a Magistrate with a current Bonding Certificate and or a Writ of Commission?, if so this would seem to indicate a presumption of guilt. Is this inline with either the provisions of the Constitution or Common Law?
6 Are actions taken by the Sheriff's Office without the said recorded conviction lawful?

Yours faithfully,
John Andrews

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In response to:




Freedom of Information request - Lawfulness of the Infringements Court

John Andrews
to:
FOI requests at Victorian Department of Justice &
Regulation
17/05/2017 04:10
PM
Show Details

Dear Victorian Department of Justice & Regulation,
1. According to legal definition a Court consists of Magistrates/Judges,
associate Magistrates/Judges among other staff, could you please supply the
names of officiating Magistrates and or Judges who administer the
Infringements Court?
2. The Magistrates Court has been established by the Magistrates Court Act
1989 while the County Court has been established by the County Court Act
1984 but there is no Infringements Court Act that establishes it. Is the
existence of this Court then lawful?
3. Is this Infringements Court a publicly or privately funded operation and
corporation the latter being the case with Civic Compliance?
4. If the infringements Court is privately owned as is the case with Civic
Compliance how do either purport to complete judicial functions or conduct
"reviews" in response to "appeals" from motorists?
5. Is it lawful and or in line with the provisions of the Constitution that
a penalty can be applied without a conviction being recorded by a
Magistrate with a current Bonding Certificate and or a Writ of Commission?,
if so this would seem to indicate a presumption of guilt. Is this inline
with either the provisions of the Constitution or Common Law?
6 Are actions taken by the Sheriff's Office without the said recorded
conviction lawful?

Yours faithfully,
John Andrews

-------------------------------------------------------------------

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[FOI #3529 email]

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From: John Andrews

Delivered

Dear Victorian Department of Justice & Regulation,

I am still awaiting a reply to my enquiry to which Right TO Know have informed me is overdue. I am currently dealing with the "Infringements Court" and a reply would be timely at this time. The last communication I have received takes the form of an Enforcement Order Notice and has been issued, as indicated on the form, by the "Infringements Registrar" and has arrived in an Infringements Court envelope but bears the logo of the Magistrates Court which appears to me to be a clear case of fraudulent misrepresentation.
According to web pages accessed through the Magistrates Court website but link elsewhere outside of it, it appears that phone enquiries to the Infringements Court are to be directed to Civic Compliance rather than the Magistrates Court which seems strange if the Infringements Court is an "extension" of the Magistrates Court whom one might presume would accept calls in the absence of an official of the actual "Infringements Court" if such a body exists, and who coincidentally share the same address as Civic Compliance.
Further I note that a list of Victorian Courts appear on the Magistrates Court website of which the Infringements Court is notably absent, is there a reason for this?

Yours faithfully,

John Andrews

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James Baldwin left an annotation ()

John,

Here is some helpful information about Infringements Court that is available online.

https://www.magistratescourt.vic.gov.au/...

It is likely you haven't had a reply because

Applications must:
*Be in writing or lodged electronically via FOI Online.
*Clearly describe the documents you are requesting access to.
*Include the application fee or evidence that you qualify to have the application fee waived. Other costs may be incurred in granting access to the documents that you have requested. For more information see Costs.
*Be made to the agency that holds the documents you are seeking.

As your application does not meet most of these points, it is not a valid request.

I suggest you try http://www.foi.vic.gov.au/ and apply that way, as it is set up for FOI requests in Victoria which use different law to the Commonwealth.

James

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From: John Andrews

Delivered

Dear Victorian Department of Justice & Regulation,

I have not sought access to any documents at all, the questions remain however and I fail to see why they cannot be answered via this platform, you are obviously connected to it which suggests its validity. The website you have referred me to I don't believe is actually the website to where the link takes me to being only a link on the Magistrates Court website that redirects elsewhere. These are fairly simple questions why don't you answer them?

Yours faithfully,

John Andrews

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James Baldwin left an annotation ()

John,

I am just another user of the site, trying to help applicants with their requests by 'annotating' their requests. I am not in anyway associated with the Victorian government.

The site I directed you to is for FOI for all of Victoria, as I thought that might be the most effective. If you don't want to use it, that is ok. I was trying to be helpful.

There is no reason why the Department of Justice can't answer your questions on here. But, they are not required to. The only way you can require them to do something is under the FOI Act, and unfortunately the FOI Act only allows you to ask for documents, not to ask questions.

Good luck.

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From: John Andrews

Delivered

James Baldwin, my apologies, I thought you worked for them

Yours faithfully,

John Andrews

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Victorian Department of Justice & Regulation

Dear Mr Andrews,

Thank you for your enquiry.

I apologise for not responding to you sooner.

Please note that section 3 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982  (FOI
Act) provides for access to information in documentary form. This means
that you may gain access to documents held by government agencies. It does
not require agencies to answer questions. Under section 17 of the FOI Act,
an applicant may seek access to a document of an agency or an official
document of a minister. Section 14 of the FOI Act states that the Act does
not apply to documents that are available for purchase.

Your request is a request for answers to specific questions concerning
interpretation of the law, It is essentially a request for legal advice,
and it is inappropriate for an agency to provide such advice. I can tell
you that the answers to your questions may be found in the Infringements
Act 2006  (Infringements Act) and the Magistrates Court Act 1989
 (Magistrates Court Act).  Consequently, your request is not a valid
Freedom of Information request under section 17 of the FOI Act, and the
Act would not apply to any document that might be relevant because it
would be a legislative document that is available for purchase.        

I can also provide you with the following general information.

Under section 54 of the Infringements Act  2006, an enforcement agency may
lodge details of an infringement penalty together with prescribed costs
(if any) with the infringements registrar if a penalty reminder notice has
been served on a person, and at least 28 days has passed and payment has
not been received.

The Infringements Court is defined in section 3 of the Magistrates’ Court
Act, as a venue of the Magistrates Court. The Infringements Court, exists
therefore, within the jurisdiction of the Magistrates Court and deals with
the administration of infringements, including the processing and
enforcement of infringement notices and penalties, such as speed camera
and parking fines.

The role of the Infringements Court is to resolve unpaid infringement
notices lodged by enforcement agencies. This reduces the workload on the
judicial and administrative resources of the hearing courts without
removing the right of any individual to appear before a magistrate if they
wish to do so.

The functions, powers and duties of the Sheriff are specified in section 7
and Part 3 of the Sheriff Act  2009.

Yours sincerely

Richard Kemp
Freedom of Information Senior Adviser
Department of Justice & Regulation
     

From:        John Andrews <[FOI #3529 email]>
To:        "FOI requests at Victorian Department of Justice &amp;
Regulation" <[Victorian Department of Justice &amp; Regulation request email]>,
Date:        04/07/2017 08:20 AM
Subject:        Re: Freedom of Information request - Lawfulness of the
Infringements Court

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Victorian Department of Justice & Regulation,

I am still awaiting a reply to my enquiry to which Right TO Know have
informed me is overdue. I am currently dealing with the "Infringements
Court" and a reply would be timely at this time. The last communication I
have received takes the form of an Enforcement Order Notice and has been
issued, as indicated on the form, by the "Infringements Registrar" and has
arrived in an Infringements Court envelope but bears the logo of the
Magistrates Court which appears to me to be a clear case of fraudulent
misrepresentation.
According to web pages accessed through the Magistrates Court website but
link elsewhere outside of it, it appears that phone enquiries to the
Infringements Court are to be directed to Civic Compliance rather than the
Magistrates Court which seems strange if the Infringements Court is an
"extension" of the Magistrates Court whom one might presume would accept
calls in the absence of an official of the actual "Infringements Court" if
such a body exists, and who coincidentally share the same address as Civic
Compliance.
Further I note that a list of Victorian Courts appear on the Magistrates
Court website of which the Infringements Court is notably absent, is there
a reason for this?

Yours faithfully,

John Andrews

show quoted sections

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Locutus Sum left an annotation ()

I must begin to say that I know nothing of the Infringements Court but I have a suggestion of something that you might find interesting to read and consider --- if you can tolerate it. The interesting thing is the High Court case of Kirk v Industrial Relations Commission; Kirk Group Holdings Pty Ltd v WorkCover Authority of New South Wales (Inspector Childs) [2010] HCA 1 (3 February 2010) available on AusLii.edu.au . There is a discussion about whether a court in New South Wales was lawfully constructed because the legislation attempted to make appeals from the court impossible.

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