Donate Child Support Calculator
Skip navigation

Contravention Orders - Can you recover costs?

Just read s 117 FCA. I filed a contravention order which resulted in massive amounts of accusations. As a result, the CO was withdrawn as it would have had very little effect. As usual, the costs in defending the allegations over 2.5 years was fairly high. I would like to recover this from my accusers.

I know they will claim they had "reasonable suspicions". However, the children were examined by police, doctors, psychologists and DoCS and my accusers were told very clearly that nothing was wrong. Furthermore, my accusers then made up stories, which were proven false by police. The Family Report noted that my children had been coerced and police also noted this. So I dont thing the accusations could be seen as "reasonable".

If I filed for a CO again, will it be taken seriously, and can I claim costs? With the Family Court, there is what is written, and reality. I would like to know the reality.

www.domesticviolencemethod.com
dvmethod.com said
If I filed for a CO again, will it be taken seriously, and can I claim costs? With the Family Court, there is what is written, and reality. I would like to know the reality.
 Presumably you means a Costs Order, did your Lawyer make an application for costs? and if you made one as an SRL what did you actually ask for? Your chances are somewhere between none and buckleys months or years after the event.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
No, my lawyer seemed pretty useless. As was the barrister. Everything was dropped when the accusations got bad. I think they knew it was not going to be good for me, whether I proved my accusers to be lying or not.

That was about 3-4 months ago. Can I not file a Contravention Order after a certain time? My solicitor and barrister told me that "this [FC] is not a house of punishment" and that if I did file a further CO, a judge could take it as creating further conflict and ban be entirely from my children. So Ive held off.

What about a civil suit? I have been told that defamation suits are pretty much non-existent in reality. Are they really hard to win?

I just cant believe that ANYONE can make an accusation, withhold children, let the other person spend so much money to fight the accusations, then the accuser just walks away. Especially when they claim domestic violence and get Legal Aid funding.

www.domesticviolencemethod.com
dvmethod.com said
I just cant believe that ANYONE can make an accusation, withhold children, let the other person spend so much money to fight the accusations, then the accuser just walks away. Especially when they claim domestic violence and get Legal Aid funding.
You better believe it as it happens and will continue to happen as long as people are financially rewarded by the CSA and Centrelink for increasing their level of care!  Despite it's intentions, the family court system etc has turned into a "wealth distribution" system instead of a system to protect the rights of children.
wharty said
……. the family court system etc has turned into a "wealth distribution" system instead of a system to protect the rights of children.
What a stupid and inaccurate remark. Lest you forget (if you ever knew) there were massive changes in the 2006 Amendments and some people worked on these for a great many years and there were thousands of hours poured into getting the changes through legislation . BUT there was (and is) no new generation of warriors to take on the continuing struggle and many of the amendments have been watered down in legislation and by case law. 2007 and 2008 were the high water years but now the tide is getting further out. Bitching here about wealth distribution is meaningless unless you are part of an organization actively involved in progressive changes.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
dvmethod.com said
That was about 3-4 months ago. Can I not file a Contravention Order after a certain time? My solicitor and barrister told me that "this [FC] is not a house of punishment" and that if I did file a further CO, a judge could take it as creating further conflict and ban be entirely from my children. So Ive held off.
Depends entirely on whether it is a viable contravention and whether the Court perceives it is being used as a weapon

dvmethod.com said
What about a civil suit? I have been told that defamation suits are pretty much non-existent in reality. Are they really hard to win?
Defamation? Libel? Slander? Isnt your case private? Have you suffered damage to your reputation? You want to take this on? Win the Lotto as your legal team will want dollars up front and the other side will ask for security of costs.
 
dvmethod.com said
I just cant believe that ANYONE can make an accusation, withhold children, let the other person spend so much money to fight the accusations, then the accuser just walks away. Especially when they claim domestic violence and get Legal Aid funding.
  This is part of the watered down scenario that has been occurring. You should know that 3 organisations are working together  on collecting and collating information on false allegations and this is for presentation to Canberra

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Agog said
What a stupid and inaccurate remark.
Really? Care to elaborate as to why when there are plenty of cases pointing to this being true (Mine included!).

Agog said
Lest you forget (if you ever knew) there were massive changes in the 2006 Amendments and some people worked on these for a great many years and there were thousands of hours poured into getting the changes through legislation . BUT there was (and is) no new generation of warriors to take on the continuing struggle and many of the amendments have been watered down in legislation and by case law. 2007 and 2008 were the high water years but now the tide is getting further out.
I am well aware of this as I have been in the system since 1998.

Agog said
Bitching here about wealth distribution is meaningless unless you are part of an organization actively involved in progressive changes.
  I'm not bitching about anything.  I'm just stating what is FACT!
wharty said
Agog said
What a stupid and inaccurate remark.
Really? Care to elaborate as to why when there are plenty of cases pointing to this being true (Mine included!).

Agog said
Lest you forget (if you ever knew) there were massive changes in the 2006 Amendments and some people worked on these for a great many years and there were thousands of hours poured into getting the changes through legislation . BUT there was (and is) no new generation of warriors to take on the continuing struggle and many of the amendments have been watered down in legislation and by case law. 2007 and 2008 were the high water years but now the tide is getting further out.
I am well aware of this as I have been in the system since 1998.

Agog said
Bitching here about wealth distribution is meaningless unless you are part of an organization actively involved in progressive changes.
  I'm not bitching about anything.  I'm just stating what is FACT!
  Perhaps you can let me know of one or even two of these "plenty of" cases that point to wealth distribution

So you have been in the system for 15 years and what pray tell have you done to try to improve it?

You are nor quoting a fact, just an unsupported personal opinion.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Agog said
So you have been in the system for 15 years and what pray tell have you done to try to improve it?
I'm sorry Agog however I don't come on this forum to "sing my own praises" and tell everyone how brilliant I am for supporting a cause and I don't intend to start now just to please you.

I could ramble on about how my own situation turned into an example of wealth distribution however based on your aggressiveness, it would be a waste of time.

Enjoy the rest of your evening!
wharty said
 I'm sorry Agog however I don't come on this forum to "sing my own praises" and tell everyone how brilliant I am for supporting a cause and I don't intend to start now just to please you.
No it appears from your posts you come on this forum to have a whinge. If you really have been in the system for 15 years then you could have made some excellent commentary and observations on the improvements and detriments in the Family Court system. It could also be that in 15 years you have not moved on. There are enough posts from moderators detailing that this site is not for a form of therapy.
 
wharty said
I could ramble on about how my own situation turned into an example of wealth distribution however based on your aggressiveness, it would be a waste of time.
I am sure you could ramble on but in the absence of information or case law to prove your point you are wasting everyones time. Dont confuse aggressiveness with all of the moderators purpose to stop people making selective or misleading posts that waste readers time and energy.

 

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
agog said
This is part of the watered down scenario that has been occurring. You should know that 3 organisations are working together  on collecting and collating information on false allegations and this is for presentation to Canberra
Can you supply some further information on these organisations?

My husband faced this very same problem is his parenting matters before the court between 2009 - 2011, and was fortunate in being able to disprove the allegations made against him and end up with significant and substantial time with his son.

That said, the process was not cheap, and he was advised that there was little to no chance of him being awarded costs for the matter.

A child is a gift, not a weapon. To be a parent is a privilege, one which unfortunately some parents do not deserve.
kathg said
That said, the process was not cheap, and he was advised that there was little to no chance of him being awarded costs for the matter.
  Is there any reason why you can not make a claim through CDDA.
Are matters before the Family Law Courts and Federal Circuit Courts (was Federal Magistrates Court) for parenting orders eligible for CDDA compensation? I have never heard of this.

The unsubstantiated allegations that were made were in a parenting matter, and were initially made in mediation prior to any court action, then in affidavits.

The mediation, and then hearing process was significantly delayed due to the allegations, but once the matter got to a hearing and the appropriate interviews had been conducted by the expert witnesses it was found by the then Federal Magistrate that the allegations were unfounded.

The allegations concerned one alleged act of sexual abuse from the husband on the ex-wife some 2-3 months prior to the separation.

The resultant delay in mediation, and then hearings, progressing meant that the husband did not see his child for 10 months, (despite interim orders for a minute amount of time with the child and nightly phone calls), as the ex-wife claimed it was to emotionally stressful to her.

Whilst I understand that in the event of the allegations being founded then it could well be stressful, however, at the end of the day the court found that they were "a likely fabrication".

A child is a gift, not a weapon. To be a parent is a privilege, one which unfortunately some parents do not deserve.
dvmethod.com said
Just read s 117 FCA. I filed a contravention order which resulted in massive amounts of accusations. As a result, the CO was withdrawn as it would have had very little effect. As usual, the costs in defending the allegations over 2.5 years was fairly high. I would like to recover this from my accusers.
IF you are entirely successful in your contravention you can ask for a costs order but they are generally made as part of the order when the orders are read. If you are a Self Represented Litigant it is highly UNLIKELY you will get any costs. Cost orders when made are made on the book rates as well so they usually do not come anywhere near to cover actual incurred costs.

Even though s117AB has been removed there is still scope for costs orders in 117. One of the problems is the high threshold of evidence required when "Reasonable Excuse" (Think you suggested they had "reasonable suspicions") is a plausible argument. One off contraventions are usually going to fail.
dvmethod.com said
….However, the children were examined by police, doctors, psychologists and DoCS and my accusers were told very clearly that nothing was wrong. Furthermore, my accusers then made up stories, which were proven false by police. The Family Report noted that my children had been coerced and police also noted this.
If the evidence was so conclusively proved it seems odd that you vacated the matter with a Solicitor and a Barrister. You said .. my lawyer seemed pretty useless. As was the barrister. Everything was dropped when the accusations got bad..

If the evidence was clear and unequivocal it seems unusual that you gave up the matter. This is one of the difficulties of contraventions that where there is a"reasonable excuse" things can get very tricky.
dvmethod.com said
If I filed for a CO again, will it be taken seriously, and can I claim costs? With the Family Court, there is what is written, and reality. I would like to know the reality.
You can file a contravention at any time and all are taken seriously. You can claim costs but as a Self Represented Party will get little if any. If there is a reasonable excuse than the reality is that contraventions are extremely difficult to get over the line. Not impossible but difficult. You do have a better chance if there is a pattern of contravening and contacts have beem intermittent and continued from time to time or where there is unequivocal evidence.

That is the reality

Kathg - CDDA is the scheme for Compensation for Detriment caused by Defective Administration and operates under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act). A fuller description is given in Finance Circular No 2006/05, Discretionary Compensation Mechanisms, available at Department of Finance (The same or a similar remedy can often be granted by a non-FMA agency, though each agency can treat these payments differently.)

Compensation for detriment caused directly to a person by defective administration can be made under the Scheme for Compensation for Detriment caused by Defective Administration (CDDA Scheme). Detriment includes personal injury, property damage and economic detriment. Examples of defective administration are an unreasonable agency failure to follow procedures or to give proper advice, or giving advice that was incorrect or ambiguous.

A payment under the CDDA Scheme can be authorised by the agency against which the claim is made (CSA for example and I have not seen any Family Court applications). Legal liability to pay compensation does not have to be proved. Also an act of grace payment for special circumstances can be made by the Minister for Finance (or a delegate) under s 33 of the FMA Act. An example of a special circumstance is where a person suffers loss caused by agency action that has an unintended outcome, or by legislation that has had an unintended, inequitable or anomalous effect. The act of grace payment can be a one off or a periodic payment.

The problem with these sorts of claims is you have to prove a reasonable financial loss. Taking time off work to attend court will not be considered as a significant detrimental costs. Coming back to contraventions you "might" get the costs of travel to and from court and the application costs. I have not heard of any SRL's being entirely satisfied on costs. Other more experienced colleagues may have additional info for this thread.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
 
kathg said
Can you supply some further information on these organisations?

My husband faced this very same problem is his parenting matters before the court between 2009 - 2011, and was fortunate in being able to disprove the allegations made against him and end up with significant and substantial time with his son.

That said, the process was not cheap, and he was advised that there was little to no chance of him being awarded costs for the matter.
There are a number of organisations working to make reform measures including the Shared Parenting Council of Australia , Lone Fathers Association, Parents without Partners, Men's Rights Agency, Dads in Distress, Dads4Kids and teh Non Custodial Parents Party (John Flanagan) to name just a few.


Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
 
Dont ever file a Contravention Order.  I was told they are useless,  and found out they are.  I filed one,  and spent 2.5 years battling accusations as a 'response'.  In the end,  I only have my kids about 1/4 of the time I did.  Why?  The FC judge said 'it is no point making orders these women wont follow'.  I have a recording of that and will upload it to the dvmethod website shortly. My barrister wasnt even allowed to take the stand.  The accusations were so bad,  we dropped the Contravention Order because my accusers relied on 'reasonable suspicions',  which was rubbish.
Other fathers have told me similar stories.  Contravention Orders are completely useless.

www.domesticviolencemethod.com
kathg said
agog said
This is part of the watered down scenario that has been occurring. You should know that 3 organisations are working together  on collecting and collating information on false allegations and this is for presentation to Canberra
Can you supply some further information on these organisations?

My husband faced this very same problem is his parenting matters before the court between 2009 - 2011, and was fortunate in being able to disprove the allegations made against him and end up with significant and substantial time with his son.

That said, the process was not cheap, and he was advised that there was little to no chance of him being awarded costs for the matter.
  Because of the response to the original post we have been in discussions with several of the other organizations and have decided to create a central database/repository.
Because some of the material may contain Section 121 sensitive information (reports etc) the intention is to provide a direct link to a Lawyer from where the information can be collated.

It may take a week or so but when this is available it will be published on this site.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
dvmethod.com said
Dont ever file a Contravention Order.  I was told they are useless,  and found out they are.  I filed one,  and spent 2.5 years battling accusations as a 'response'.  In the end,  I only have my kids about 1/4 of the time I did.  Why?  The FC judge said 'it is no point making orders these women wont follow'.  I have a recording of that and will upload it to the dvmethod website shortly. My barrister wasnt even allowed to take the stand.  The accusations were so bad,  we dropped the Contravention Order because my accusers relied on 'reasonable suspicions',  which was rubbish.
Other fathers have told me similar stories.  Contravention Orders are completely useless.
  This post is INACCURATE and reflects only the negative views of this poster. Contraventions do succeed and many result in more than a slap on the wrist and end as fines or orders being changed. The problem is that people do not understand that for a contravention to succeed it has to be reasonable and be shown to be a deliberate contravention of a written order and not what the applicant may consider being the unwritten intent of that order. As SECSPCA has already alluded to, going to Court with just ONE contravention is fraught with danger.

When a contravention is lodged it will of course provoke a reaction of defence either against the application or in more aggressive forms. For goodness sake this is not even legal - for every action there is a reaction.

"Other fathers have told me similar stories.  Contravention Orders are completely useless"
So is this your research? And not the 52% reported by the FCC as being successful.

"My barrister wasnt even allowed to take the stand."
   Why would your Barrister want to take the stand? Why should he/she be allowed to? Why did he/she think they could? Remember generally a witness can only remain in the Courtroom after they have given their evidence and not hear previous evidence from other witnesses.

Good luck on uploading an illegal recording to your website. Peter Nolan does the same but has the good sense to live overseas.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
1 guest and 0 members have just viewed this.

Recent Tweets