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Green77

Belmon v Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police

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Posted (edited)

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Contact Details - Applicant/Plaintiff
First Name: Joel
Last Name: Green
Mobile: 2721946
Discord: ThomasG#1337
Organisation Name: GTG & Associates

Contact Details - Applicant/Plaintiff - Co-Counsel
First Name: Rudolph
Last Name: Guillani
Mobile: 795956
Discord: lynxaa#3213
Organisation Name: GTG & Associates

Contact Details - Client (If this application is submitted by a registered legal practitioner or on behalf of an organisation)
First Name: Raffaele
Last Name: Belmon
Mobile: 9847257
Discord: N/A

 

Defendant Name: San Andreas Police Force
Defendant Organisation (If available): SAPF

 

Statement of Facts:

[1] On the 16/06/2022, Mr Belmon was in a police pursuit with multiple police cars chasing him. He parked his car up on the docks and dived into the water to escape them.

[2] Mr Belmon then fell unconscious in the water, where he was rescued by police officers.

[3] While waiting for emergency services to arrive, two other officers in a car (later confirmed to be members of the Australian Federal Police) thought it necessary to push Mr Belmon’s car, causing it to fall off the docks and into the water, causing it to be permanently seized due to the nature of the damage sustained.

[4] Mr Belmon then woke up with the help of the other officers and emergency service workers who informed Mr Belmon what had just happened to his car.

 

Statement of Claims:

[1] Your Honour, the plaintiff will have a 3 fold argument being that the Defendant has engaged in the tort of trespass to goods, that section 10 Civil Torts Act 2020 (SA) does not apply to the instant case. In the alternative, we would submit that if the Court does not find that the Defendant committed the tort of trespass then the Court is open to find that the tort of tresspass does apply.

[2] Your Honour, it is the plaintiffs submission that the defendant has breached the tort of trespass to personal property pursuant to section 7(a)(9) Civil Torts Act 2020 (SA)

[3] Your Honour, there is no statutory provision that establishes the elements of the tort of trespass to personal property (goods). As such, it is necessary to establish the elements through the common law the leading case in establishing the elements of trespass to goods is Penfolds Wines Pty Ltd v Elliott (1946) 74 CLR 204 (‘Penfolds’), in which the Court stated ‘A trespass to goods occurs when a defendant directly interferes with goods in the possession of the plaintiff without their consent or other legal justification’. As such to establish a trespass to good has occurred we must prove the following;
i) The subject matter interfered with was a good (Chattel);
ii) There was a sufficient act of interference;
iii) The interference to plaintiff was direct upon the defendants act;
iv) The goods were the Plaintiffs or he was in lawful possession of them giving him a right to sue, and;
v) The defendant had the requisite state of mind.

[4] We will address each of these elements in turn. The first element that the chattel interfered with was a good is easily proven the object interfered with in this case is tangible property, namely, a motor vehicle. As such this element would be proven.

[5] The second element requires that there is a sufficient act of interference, the High Court in Penfolds described it as an action that is an ‘infringement’ on the plaintiffs possession. Your Honour, this element can be proven through a number of ways, one such way is dispossessing the plaintiff of the chattel can amount to an act of interference as seen in the matter of Wilson v Lombank Ltd [1963] 1 All ER 740, where the defendant took the a car under the plaintiffs possession in circumstances very similar to the present case. In any event, the destruction of the chattel amounts to trespass to goods as seen in Davies v Bennison and Simon v Condran in both cases the unlawful destruction of the Plaintiffs chattel amounted to trespass to goods.

[6] Your Honour, in order to establish the next element the plaintiff must prove that the Defendants action was consequential to the Plaintiffs loss. Your Honour, we would submit that the action of the defendant by pushing the car into the ocean was the cause of the plaintiffs loss and it was not merely consequential of the defendants act but rather the plaintiffs loss was a direct result of the Defendants act of pushing the car into the ocean.

[7] Your Honour, turning to the next element, in order for the Plaintiff to have a right to sue they must be in possession of the goods either actual or constructive possession. Your Honour, in Strange Investments (WA) Pty Ltd v Coretrack Ltd it was held that constructive possession still gives a right to sue for trespass to goods. It is our submission that the Plaintiff was in constructive possession of the chattel as he still retained custody of the goods as the lawful owner of the property and still had an intent to possess the car.

[8]  In relation to the state of mind of the requisite state of mind of the defendant, we would submit that the Defendant intended to interfere with the Plaintiff’s chattels by forcibly pushing it into the ocean with the intention of depriving the Plaintiff of his chattels.

[9] In relation to section 10 Civil Torts Act 2020 (SA), your Honour, we would submit that provision does not apply to this incident. We would submit, that the purpose of this provision is to not allow criminals to sue police for damages they accrue in the commission of an offence as where it states ‘the damage is for a loss of an instrument of crime or proceeds of crime, or a loss suffered as a result of the conduct of an illegal activity’ this indicates that criminals cannot claim for damages for losses they accrue in the commission of an offence such as their cars being disabled in a pursuit, the loss of stolen goods, an assault against their person during a lawful arrest If say hypothetically, the car was rammed by police during the pursuit and it ended up in the water then the Plaintiff would not be able to sue for damages. . However, we would submit this section does not cover the actions of the police in this instance as after the plaintiff has left his vehicle and been arrested the defendant has then gone and pushed the car into the water at this point the car was not being used in the commission of an offence as the Plaintiff was in custody. It would be an absurdity for the provision to be construed in such a way that would void police of any liability when they engage in such behaviour and we would submit that it would not be the intention of the framers for this provision to be construed in such a way. 

[10] Your Honour, the plaintiff will be seeking orders from the Court to protect the identities of the 2 witnesses as soon as the matter is taken up.

 

Orders Sought:

i) Mr Belmon be given a new car identical to the one he lost or be compensated for the full amount his car was worth.
ii) Mr Belmon’s legal fees be paid for by the defendant.

 

Witnesses:
Witness A (Name withheld)
Witness B (Name withheld)

 

Evidence:
N/A

Acknowledgement: Failure to acknowledge the following will result in penalties
1. I acknowledge that under section 22 of the Crimes Act 2018 and section 8 of the Judicial Procedures Act 2019 that it is an offence to provide falsified statements or evidence and may result in harsh penalty if convicted.
 (Y)
2. I acknowledge that under section 15 of the Judicial Procedures Act 2019 that there will be a fee associated with the court proceedings of this case, per person in each party. (Y)
3. I authorise the Government of San Andreas to deduct any fees set out in point 2 above from my bank account automatically. 
(Attach evidence of consent from additional applicants to this case). (Y)

Edited by Green77

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Belmon v Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police 
[2022] SADC 33


[1] The District Court accepts the plaintiff's statement of claim against the defendant.

[2] The defendant is directed to file an appearance and a defence within five days, effective from receiving notice of these proceedings being accepted by the Court. Failure to provide a response or appearance will result in the proceedings being heard without the defendant and may result in a judgment in the favour of the plaintiff by default.

[3] The Court will contact the parties to give directions about how these proceedings will be conducted.

[4] Whilst presided over by a Supreme Court Justice, this case is being heard at a District Court level. 

CASE TITLE: Belmon v Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police [2022] SADC 32

PRESIDING: Harold J. Holt AM PSM

DIVISION: CIVIL

DATE: 27/06/2022 VENUE: VIRTUAL

Edited by Nukaa (Harold J. Holt)

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