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Child Support hearing - SSAT appeal

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Hi, I have posted details about the SSAT decision that I am appealing in the FMC in this Forum.

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I lodged an appeal in the FMC at XXXXXXtown because of a conflict of interest issue with one of the the FM's at XXXXXXXCity. The Appeal was accepted at XXXXXXtown and a date was set. Yesterday I got a letter from the Parramatta FMC saying the matter had been transferred to Parramatta for a later date for a "mention".

The reason that was given by the court was that the matter was an SSAT appeal and therefore required a Child Support specialist FM and that there was not one in XXXXXXXXXXtown but there is one at XXXXXXXother town. I won't mention the name as I am not sure if that is the right thing to do.

Coincidentally I had been to the XXXXXXXXXother town courts this week to observe proceedings as I will be self representing in the matter and the magistrate I was observing was asked for a date for an Interim hearing by the solicitor in the case that was before him at the time and his response was that the "books" at that FMC are full for 2009 and they are only taking cases for Interim and Final Orders in 2010. (He didn't say how far into 2010).

My reason for the SSAT appeal is that there is no way I can afford their assessment and if I have to wait for 2010 for a hearing the CSA is going to be chasing me for the assessed amount for the next year or so. I am not sure what they will do but as the assessment is for over $2,500 a month I will be accumulating a huge debt.

I wrote back to the XXXXXXXXnew town court and told them I was aware of the long delays and asked if it was possible to transfer the case to say AnotherCITY. The reply I got was this. There are only 2 Child Support FM's in the area. One is at XXXXXNew town and the other is at XXXXXCITY but this person is the one that is unable to hear the case because of conflict of interest, Apparently there are none in AnotherCITY either.

Can anyone shed any light on whether this is really the case? The SSAT appeal is on a matter of law, Surely any FM can hear a case on a matter of interpretation of the law? Am I being given the run-around here (perhaps under the influence of the FM in XXXXXCITY that is related to my ex?)

My other question is this. At the mention hearing, can I ask for a stay on the CSA from accumulating the debt until the matter has been heard? What is the likelihood of this being granted?

Last edit: by Steve

Yesterday in the Sydney Registry an out of state FM sat on a case that was Sydney  in origin. That adds another twist to the stuation.
Are there any FMs from other states capable of hearing the matter and who are likely to overcome the conflict of interest situation when they have hearings in Sydney?
It could be worth considering asking for an order at the Mention but you might have to give an undertaking so as to remedy any difference if the determination is not favourable to you. That's not based in experiences. it could be an option.
The court prefers resolutions to be suggested by parties. Never up, never in?
How many CSA specialists ae there in Australia?
Who are they all? I can't imagine it is secret information as  a search will give the names.

What is done for you, let it be done, what you must do, be sure you do it, as the wise person does today that what the fool will do in three days - Buddha
verdad said
It could be worth considering asking for an order at the Mention but you might have to give an undertaking so as to remedy any difference if the determination is not favourable to you. That's not based in experiences. it could be an option.
Sorry to show my ignorance here but I am not sure what you mean about giving an undertaking to remedy any difference if the determination is not favourable
undertaking = a formal promise to the court.
(my layman's definition, not a legal one).

remedy and difference… = pay the difference if things don't go in your favour.

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Verdad said
It could be worth considering asking for an order at the Mention but you might have to give an undertaking so as to remedy any difference if the determination is not favourable to you.
I don't want to appear completely ignorant but can I just clarify this. Lets say I am currently assessed to pay $2,500 a month in child support. At the Mention I ask the Magistrate for a stay on the payment until the matter is resolved. Suppose he/she agrees but asks me for an undertaking to remedy any difference if the determination is not favourable, to which I agree. The final orders are not made for a year (seems quite posible) and they are not in my favour and that the original assessment stands at $2,500 a month. The "remedy" would then be for me to pay the $30,000 at the time the Final Orders are issued.

I imagine what is more likely is that if I ask for a stay at the mention the Magistrate is likely to say something to the effect of "I am not prepared to order a stay on the total payment so how much can you afford to pay each month until the matter is resolved and you will need to give an undertaking to remedy any difference if the determination is not favourable." Or am I way off the mark here?
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