Court of Appeal

John Banks back in court

Former Auckland mayor and MP John Banks is chasing $190,000 in costs for his wrongful conviction and acquittal for filing a false electoral return.

At a Court of Appeal hearing in Auckland on Wednesday afternoon, a panel of three judges heard Bank’s lawyer argue why a High Court decision not to award his client $190,000 in costs should be overturned.

David Jones QC alleged Banks’ original trial judge, Justice Edwin Wylie, had been “duped” by fabricated evidence given by Kim Dotcom and his team. Read more »

Vicious horse torturer’s appeal refused


THE COURT of Appeal has delivered a knockout blow to two brothers jailed for one of the worst cases of animal cruelty ever in New Zealand.

Douglas John Williamson and John Blackwood Williamson were convicted in July last year and sentenced to 16 months behind bars on charges of wilfully ill-treating six horses, ill-treating another horse, and failing to ensure for the physical health and behavioural needs of five horses.

They were also banned from owning animals for five years, and ordered to pay reparations of $7000.

When SPCA inspectors visited the defendants’ Halswell property on March 29, 2010 they found 22 horses in various states of distress.

A stallion was found in a small, dark stable covered in urine and faeces with little water and no feed exhibiting behaviour associated with stress.

A bay standard bred colt was about the size of a yearling despite being two-and-a-half years old and was unable to stand. The colt was immediately euthanised.

Of the 21 horses removed from the property five were subsequently euthanised.

The remaining 16 horses were drenched and put on a feeding plan. ?? Read more »

‘One law for all’ says Court of Appeal

Annette Sykes

Annette Sykes

The Court of Appeal has spoken – and it?s bad news for those who want the judiciary to consider cultural factors when sentencing Maori offenders.

The controversial issue of ?special treatment? for Maori lawbreakers has reared its head again in the case of a Rotorua gunman sentenced to ten-years behind bars for shooting another man in the face.

In June 2012 Cody James Fane pleaded guilty to charges of causing grievous bodily harm, unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of cannabis for the purpose of sale.

In February 2011 Fane shot his partner?s father in the face with a sawn-off shotgun after objecting to him taking his daughter to see a new-born cousin in hospital.

At sentencing, Justice Paul Heath described Fane’s offending as cowardly and extremely violent. It was pure luck his victim had not been killed.

The man had had five operations to his face and may need more.

His injuries had affected him physically and mentally. Brushing his teeth or hair was painful and he was forced to sleep sitting up in a chair to avoid pressure on his face.

Earlier this year Fane filed an appeal with the Court of Appeal against the length of the sentence on the grounds Justice Heath failed to give sufficient weight to ?tikanga Maori? at sentencing. ? Read more »

Moderate Islam?

When you hear the description ‘ Moderate Islam ‘ what image does that evoke for you? Do you associate Moderate Islam with Sharia law?

What about with cross dressing?

A Malaysian court on Friday gave transgender Muslims the right to cross-dress in a landmark decision overturning an Islamic sharia law ban that could trigger similar challenges.

Muslim-majority Malaysia represents itself as the global face of moderate Islam, but at home it has experienced a gradual Islamisation that makes minority groups worry their rights could lose out in a clash between sharia law and the constitution.

Several cases challenging Malaysia’s religious law in civil courts have been quashed in recent years, despite guarantees in the constitution on the freedom of expression, religion and gender equality.

On Friday, the Court of Appeal said the law against cross dressing by Muslim men contravened the country’s constitution and did not take account of male Muslims affected by gender identity disorder.

The law and its punishments were “degrading, oppressive and inhuman“, the three judges added.

Rights group Human Rights Watch has listed Malaysia as one of the worst countries in which to be a transgender person, due to systematic abuses by religious authorities and police.

Read more »

Time to put a stop to the nonsense

Convicted blackmailer, tax cheat, fraudster and bankrupt Graham McCready may well have got the scalp of John banks but the nonsense of people like him using the judicial system to bully and threaten people must be brought to an end.

On June 9 McCready lost another case, in the Supreme Court, and has been ordered to pay costs of $2500 plus disbursements after he sought leave to appeal?against a judgment of Stevens J dismissing his challenge to a decision by the Registrar of the Court of Appeal not to
dispense with security for costs.?The security required of the applicant was $5,880. The appeal to the Court of Appeal is against an order of adjudication in bankruptcy made against the applicant based on non-payment of an order for costs made against him in earlier proceedings.

mccready Read more »

A complete waste of the court’s time

The Snowden v RNZ case is a classic example of how obsessed and fixated litigants can murk up cases endlessly in their attempts to mount a wonky jihad to “clear their name” or prove that they were right.

In the end, it was a rout. After a 12-year, multimillion-dollar battle that began with a disagreement over newsroom budgets, former Radio New Zealand journalist Lynne Snowdon conclusively lost her Employment Court case last week.

She’d claimed RNZ treated her badly and then dismissed her unfairly. She’d claimed senior executives committed financial fraud then conspired to cover it up.

Along the way she’d made sundry complaints to the police, the Serious Fraud Office, the High Court, the Ombudsman, the Audit Office, the Commerce Select Committee, the Court of Appeal. She had invited a judge to recuse (disqualify) herself because she was biased.

But on Tuesday, the music stopped. Judge Tony Ford, of the Employment Court in Wellington, delivered a devastating written judgment based on an epic hearing that started last September and finished in February.

The judgment crushed each of Snowdon’s three main claims. Her employment grievances weren’t justified. Her dismissal had been fair. There had been no fraud whatsoever. In some cases the “evidence” that was meant to have supported her claims was non-existent.

Before spelling out his conclusions, though, Ford counted up some dreadful numbers. In the leadup to a normal employment hearing, he wrote, there might be a maximum of two preliminary (or “interlocutory”) hearings to figure out some procedural issues. This case had involved 23.

It is almost unheard of for the rulings from those minor hearings to be appealed. Snowdon appealed six of them. The case involved thousands of pages of evidence and exhibits. The hearing was delayed for years, and when it finally happened it took 47 days. It concerned events that mainly occurred over a decade ago. Millions have been spent or are owed.? Read more »

Dotcom warrants ruled legal, costs awarded against him

In breaking news the Court of Appeal has ruled that the warrants in the Kim Dotcom case had flaws but were still legal.

This is another step closer to the extradition of Kim Dotcom, and puts his plans to sue the government in jeopardy now as the case relied on the warrants being illegal.

A ?The appeal is allowed in respect of the declaration as to the invalidity of the search warrants, but dismissed in respect of the declaration as to the unauthorised removal of the clones from New Zealand.
B ?The order made in the sealed judgment of the High Court at 1 declaring the search warrants invalid is set aside.? Read more »

Is the FMA corrupt?

miscarriage of justice

When you get a former Acting Supreme Court Judge saying?there has been a grievous miscarriage of justice, people tend to wonder what?s going on.

Sir Ed Thomas has smacked the convictions of the directors of Lombard Finance with the line

?the Court of Appeal?s grasp of the facts was incomplete and it?s reasoning suspect or flawed in a number or respects.?

In legal circles that?s giving them a right shellacking.

The Lombard Finance case is worth looking at. The MSM tend to conveniently forget that as a result of the GFC over 60 finance companies in New Zealand collapsed. Some were run by dodgy crooks and they?ve been rightly hurfed into jail for completely ripping people off. Others like Hanover, well, the directors look as though they escape court all together.

But in Lombard?s case, there was no finding of fraud, negligence or mismanagement and the governance of the company was not questioned. Thomas says that the Lombard?s directors had been held to be honest and says: ?? Read more »

Charities Registration Board taking Greenpeace to Supreme Court?

Rumours are circulating and gaining traction in Wellington that the?Charities Registration Board?are planning on sticking to their guns about Greenpeace being a? bunch of political activists and intend on taking the Court of Appeal?s decision to the Supreme Court. It needs that final arbiter.

Clearly the Board is not happy about having to decide whether Greenpeace?s political activities are ancillary to its charitable purposes. Not only that, it looks like the Board are not happy about having to consider whether under the changed rules, Greenpeace was involved in illegal activities or is likely to be involved in them in the future.

There?s more at play than meets the eye to most punters.

Greenpeace is furiously changing its website and its ?objects? to focus on ?nuclear disarmament and the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction? so that it can claim the golden goose of charitable status.

Their wordsmithing is nothing short of an attempt to rort the NZ taxpayer. Does anyone really, seriously believe that Greenpeace activists will suddenly not undertake illegal activities?

There will be many watching closely how this plays out, including so-called charities currently enjoying charitable status when really their activities are political in nature.

The Charities Board will also be aware New Zealand?s international reputation is also at risk by allowing a blatantly political activist group to be granted charitable status.

Makes you wonder whether?Jo Goodhew?s recently appointed board?is up to the task…

A Very Interesting Case – Fidelity Life Loses Appeal

Well, well, well, three holes in the ground, one more well and we would be talking Texas.

Fidelity Life has copped a flogging in the Appeals Court in a case that isn’t too dis-similar from mine. Andrew Hooker writes at about the case;

In a recent and controversial Court judgment, the Court of Appeal has confirmed a High Court Judge?s order that an insurance company pay its client?s income under an income protection policy until the dispute over policy coverage is decided by the Court.

Normally, if your income protection insurance company declines your claim, you are hit with a double whammy.

Not only is your income summarily ended, but you have to fight the insurance company without any income.

It?s hard enough paying your lawyer in the best of times. But when you have no income the battle can be daunting or impossible. And if you?re unwell to start with, the stress of the whole fiasco can be too much.
The lack of income for the length of the Court process may just be the straw that breaks the camel?s back and forces you into financial (and maybe mental) oblivion.

A cynic might say that this is what some less scrupulous insurance companies play on when they summarily decline such claims.

It seems too common for some insurers to suddenly ?turn off the tap? and declare someone fit for work, sometimes on the skimpiest of medical or factual evidence. ?There?s nothing wrong with you…go back to work?. Then the insured person has to embark on an expensive battle that he or she is simply unable to fund.

Eventually the insured person can no longer afford the fight and throws in the towel.

In this recent decision, the Court recognised that the insured person was financially ruined without the income and the balance of convenience supported reinstating the payments until the Case was finally resolved.

The Court of Appeal referred to some Canadian cases and in particular a comment by a Canadian Judge that:

??the wrongful withholding of disability payments may involve more than mere money. As well as taking away comfort and security, it can cause chaos in the plaintiff?s affairs. The long term effects of the loss of security and the impoverished lifestyle caused by cessation can amount to more than mere loss of money and beyond the scope of damages.?

With the case set down for hearing, the Court of Appeal decided that, on the balance of convenience, the insurance company should continue to pay while the dispute went through the Courts.

In doing so, the Court entered unchartered territory for New Zealand insurers and for that reason the decision will be of real concern to the insurance industry.

Until now insurance companies were free to decline and force the financially strapped and income-less customer try to fight against their almost endless resources. However, it seems clear that in some circumstances the Courts will grant an interim order requiring the insurance company to continue to pay until the matter is resolved.

Before getting too excited, it is important to recognise that the grounds on which a Court will make such an order are very limited. And in this case, the insured person provided an undertaking from a relative to repay the funds should the insurance company win the main case.

But some may say that it is a step in the right direction when the refusal to pay will cause irreparable damage if not reversed. In other words, if the insured person?s affairs are such that his or her financial position will crumble before the case is heard, and that even if he or she succeeds, it may be too late, then the court may order the insurance company to continue the payments until the case is decided.

It will be interesting to see how the insurance industry reacts, and what other cases this will be applied to.

Interesting that it is Fidelity Life and interesting that there seems to be a similar pattern in how they impoverish their customers so they can’t fight back. Well this blogger never gives in and this case just adds steel to my resolve to fight them and fight them hard.

Let me make something clear too, my case is far more clean cut than Pilkington’s. There has been and is no allegations of fraud against me, never has been and never will be. it is simply a matter of Fidelity Life deciding, against all medical evidence, including those of their paid doctors 9Prof. Des Gorman, Anthony Asteraidis and Ralf Schnabel) to conclude my claim. Since that time they have delayed and delayed and refused to enter into meaningful dialogue, following pretty much the same route they have employed against Pilkington, playing the long game against a client that they impoverished by their actions.