Thank you Armstrong Legal, the lawyers that have helped over the past 3 years but more importantly, thank you to Thomas Allen for the major part you and Mr Buckland played. Cannot thank you enough. Cheers.
Hi all. I would like to thank Ms Lisa Riley for all her help with my legal issues this past month. It was the most harrowing experience of my life and thanks to her expertise, professionalism and knowledge of the law, I came out almost unscathed. I have no hesitation in recommending Lisa Riley and Armstrong Legal if you need help. The service is amazing and the cost was very minimal for the great outcome. Thank you Lisa for helping me in the most difficult time.
I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. My whole life I was thrown away, you made me feel like I did mean something. I could not have asked for a better lawyer. Your compassion and love for your job is inspiring. Your upfront and honesty were muchly appreciated, you are a beautiful person. Thank you for not giving up on me and thank you for all the work you put in. I wish you all the best for the future and I will be recommending you to everyone I know. You're amazing!!!!
I just wanted to thank you for representing me on Monday, I was overjoyed & relieved with the outcome. I don’t think it could have gone any better. All the best, I hope you got to celebrate this one instead after work, you forever made a difference in my life.
I know I thanked you before we parted company but please allow me to reiterate in writing my sincere deepest thanks for defending me in court today. … Armstrong Legal certainly has a great Lawyer you are a credit to the company and I'm quite sure you will secure a very successful future! … My Kindest Regards and Thanks
Throughout Angela has been the consummate professional. She maintained a calm, yet strong demeanour remained informative and completely open in her communication and took complete ownership of the situation. We felt confident we finally had an advocate to steer us out of the nightmare we were in, and she did so with great respect and sincerity. I cannot speak more highly of Angela. She has literally rescued our family from what looked very much like a hopeless future.
Words can’t describe how grateful I am to Trudie Cameron being my solicitor and to Andrew Tiedt presenting my case in the court. They both have been very supportive and amazingly professional and effective. I’ve got an absolutely fantastic outcome I couldn’t even dream about.
Soon after meeting Andrew I knew he was the solicitor I wanted to handle my matter. He immediately sprang into action which brought me stability and hope during a tumultuous time in my life. Andrew was never afraid to give me straight answers to my tough questions which is a true mark of integrity. He is clearly at ease in the court environment and I believe his calm and measured demeanour went a long way to helping me secure the best result from my day in court. I would certainly recommend you approach Andrew if you need assistance.
"Andrew Tiedt was very professional and considerate to personal circumstances and gave sound advice that resulted in the best outcome possible. Highly recommended."
Private Prosecutions (NSW)
People usually associate criminal prosecutions with the police and the Department of Public Prosecutions, otherwise known as the Crown. Although these agencies are responsible for the vast majority of prosecutions in New South Wales, it is also possible under NSW legislation, for a private individual to commence a prosecution by application to the registrar of the Local Court. When this occurs, it is called a private prosecution. This article outlines the law on private prosecutions in New South Wales.
Legislation on private prosecutions
Section 14 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 authorises prosecutions to be instituted by any person unless the right to prosecute the offence is confined under statute. Therefore, except where the institution of proceedings is confined by statute, an application to a Local Court registrar to issue court attendance notices against a person for an offence can be made by any person.
The ability to commence private prosecutions is contained in section 49(1) of the Act. This provision states:
“(1) If a person other than a police officer or public officer is authorised under section 14 of this Act or under any other law to commence committal proceedings against a person for an offence, the person may commence the proceedings by issuing a court attendance notice, signed by a registrar, and filing the notice in accordance with this Division.”
What is a Court Attendance Notice?
A Court Attendance Notice (CAN) must be written in the form prescribed by the rules. A CAN must:
- describe the offence;
- briefly state the particulars alleged;
- contain the name of the prosecutor;
- require the accused to appear at court on a specified date, time and place, unless a warrant has been issued for their arrest or they have been remanded in custody; and
- state that failure to appear may result in their arrest or in the matter being dealt with in their absence (unless a warrant has been issued or they have been refused bail).
When can a registrar refuse to sign a CAN?
Under section 49(2), a registrar must not sign a court attendance notice if the CAN:
- does not disclose grounds for the proceedings;
- is not in the required from; or
- a ground for refusal set out in the rules applies.
In addition to these grounds for refusal, under Rule 8.4 of the Local Court Rules 2009, a registrar must not sign a court attendance notice, or an application notice, in proceedings commenced by a private individual if they consider that the proceedings are frivolous, vexatious, without substance or lack a reasonable prospect of success.
Key considerations for private prosecutions
Any application to the registrar needs to set out the facts relied on to prove the alleged offence. Applications that fail to set out adequate factual foundations, will ultimately lack substance and/or have no reasonable prospect of success.
It is therefore important that a person seeking to initiate a private prosecution is aware of the elements of the offence and ensures that each element can be proven. Where an element of the offence cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the application is likely to be refused by the registrar.
Reviewing a registrar’s decision not to sign a CAN
A decision by a registrar not to sign a CAN can be reviewed.
The 2004 decision of Potier v Huber involved a challenge to a registrar’s refusal to issue a CAN. If a registrar refuses to sign a CAN a person is proposing to issue, the applicant can apply to have the issue of whether the CAN should be signed determined by a Magistrate.
Service of court attendance notices
A CAN may be served by the person who initiated the issuing of the CAN or by a licensed process server, a sheriff’s officer, a legal practitioner or their employee. Service of CANs in summary proceedings can be affected by serving the CAN:
- by post, addressed to the person and sent to their residential address;
- by fax; or
- by email if the person has consented to service by email.
Private prosecutions are taken to have commenced on the date on which a court attendance notice is filed in the court registry.
If you require legal advice or representation in relation to private prosecutions, or in any other legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
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WHERE TO NEXT?
If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.
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