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  • Unreported Judgment

Kenneth Charles Collins v State of Queensland

 

[2020] QSC 190

 

SUPREME COURT OF QUEENSLAND

 

CITATION:

Kenneth Charles Collins v State of Queensland [2020] QSC 190

PARTIES:

KENNETH CHARLES COLLINS

(applicant)

v

STATE OF QUEENSLAND

(respondent)

FILE NO/S:

BS 8473 of 2018

DIVISION:

Trial Division

DELIVERED ON:

24 June 2020

DELIVERED AT:

Brisbane

HEARING DATE:

Heard on the papers

JUDGE:

Holmes CJ

ORDER:

The applicant is to pay the respondent’s costs of the application filed 21 November 2019 including the amended application filed 27 November 2019 on the standard basis.

CATCHWORDS:

PROCEDURE – CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS – COSTS – GENERAL RULE: COSTS FOLLOW EVENT – GENERAL PRINCIPLES AND EXERCISE OF DISCRETION – where the applicant’s application was dismissed – where the respondent seeks its costs of the application – whether costs should follow the event

COUNSEL:

The applicant appeared on his own behalf

M H Hindman QC for the respondent

SOLICITORS:

The applicant appeared on his own behalf

Crown Law for the respondent

  1. [1]
    On 5 June 2020 I dismissed Mr Collins’ application for the setting aside of a Deed of Settlement entered with the respondent, with a declaration that is was unenforceable or void, and the setting aside of a Notice of Discontinuance.  Mr Collins had failed to establish a case of duress, undue influence and unconscionable conduct against the respondent in respect of the relevant mediation, and claims that the Deed of Settlement was void or had been breached in an essential term were not made out.  The respondent now seeks its costs of the application.
  2. [2]
    Mr Collins opposes the making of a costs order against him, arguing that he made his application in good faith, but suffered a lack of legal assistance, and he points out that the respondent had admitted to errors in the “execution” of the Deed.  He also contends that the respondent is in breach of its Model Litigant Principles in “seeking to take advantage of an impecunious opponent”. 
  3. [3]
    I do not doubt that Mr Collins’ application was made in good faith, but it was misconceived, and there is no reason that the respondent should bear the resulting costs burden.  The respondent’s errors in the drafting of the Deed and the carrying out of its terms were, as I found, immaterial, and arguments based on them were doomed to failure.  Legal assistance would have made no difference to the outcome in this case.  As to the contention that the respondent is acting in breach of its Model Litigant Principles, seeking costs in circumstances such as this, whatever the financial state of the opponent, is not unfair.  Indeed, the Model Litigant Principles require the respondent to pursue costs where it is successful in litigation, in order to deter vexatious proceedings. (That is, of course the desired general effect; there is no suggestion that these particular proceedings were vexatious.)
  4. [4]
    There is no reason put forward which would justify my departing from the general rule that the successful party should have its costs. The applicant must pay the respondent’s costs of the application filed 21 November 2019, including the amended application filed 27 November 2019, on the standard basis.
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Editorial Notes

  • Published Case Name:

    Kenneth Charles Collins v State of Queensland

  • Shortened Case Name:

    Kenneth Charles Collins v State of Queensland

  • MNC:

    [2020] QSC 190

  • Court:

    QSC

  • Judge(s):

    Holmes CJ

  • Date:

    24 Jun 2020

Litigation History

No Litigation History

Appeal Status

No Status