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  • Unreported Judgment

Melville v Valuer-General

 

[2020] QLC 41

LAND COURT OF QUEENSLAND

CITATION:

Melville v Valuer-General [2020] QLC 41

PARTIES:

Stephen James Melville

(applicant)

v

Valuer-General

(respondent)

FILE NO:

LVA404-20

DIVISION:

General Division

PROCEEDING:

Jurisdiction - appeal against annual valuation

DELIVERED ON:

30 November 2020

DELIVERED AT:

Brisbane

HEARD ON:

Heard on the papers

HEARD AT:

Heard on the papers

JUDICIAL REGISTRAR:

GJ Smith

ORDERS:

  1. The Court has jurisdiction to hear and determine the appeal.
  2. The matter be adjourned to Townsville for a Preliminary Conference on Monday 7 December 2020 at a time to be advised.

CATCHWORDS:

Practice and Procedure – failure to appeal to Land Court within time – health related difficulty – whether reasonable excuse – Land Valuation Act 2010 ss 155, 158

Land Valuation Act 2010 ss 155, 158

AG Russell v The Crown (1992-93) 14 QLCR 202

Stevens v Motor Vehicle Insurance Trust (1978) WAR 232

APPEARANCES:

Not applicable

Background

  1. [1]
    The Court in this matter must determine whether it has jurisdiction pursuant to s 157 of the Land Valuation Act 2010 (the LVA) to hear and determine a proposed appeal lodged by Stephen James Melville (the applicant) against a decision on objection by the respondent regarding an annual valuation of land owned by him within the Townsville City Council local government area.
  1. [2]
    An objection decision notice was issued by the respondent to the applicant on 2 July 2020.
  1. [3]
    On 1 September 2020 the proposed appeal was filed in the Land Court. On 3 September 2020 the Registrar of the Land Court wrote to the applicant advising that the appeal period had expired on 31 August 2020 and that pursuant to s 158 of the LVA, the appeal could only be heard if the Court was satisfied that there was a reasonable excuse for not filing the notice of appeal within the appeal period.

Legislation

  1. [4]
    Section 158 of the LVA provides –

158 - Late filing

  1. (1)
    This section applies if a valuation appeal notice is filed after the appeal period has ended.
  2. (2)
    The Land Court can hear the appeal only if -
  1. the valuation appeal notice was filed 1 year or less after the objection decision notice was issued; and
  2. the appellant satisfies the court there was a reasonable excuse for not filing the notice within the appeal period.

Example of reasonable excuse –

The notice of the valuer-general’s decision or the valuation appeal notice was lost or delayed in the ordinary course of post.

Evidence

  1. [5]
    A letter dated 28 October 2020[1] by the applicant detailing the circumstances surrounding some health related difficulties he experienced during the appeal period and a medical certificate[2] by Dr C. Mamawal dated 16 November 2020 confirming these health difficulties were relied upon as evidence to establish reasonable excuse as required by s 158 of the LVA.
  2. [6]
    This evidence was not challenged or contradicted by the respondent.
  1. [7]
    On 18 November 2020 correspondence[3] was received from In-House Legal, Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy advising that “the Valuer-General will not oppose the Court finding jurisdiction to hear the appeal in the circumstances”. The correspondence also requests that the question of jurisdiction be resolved “on the papers. No other materials or submissions were relied upon by the respondent.

Conclusion

  1. [8]
    With the agreement of the parties this application has been considered without the need to convene the Court for the formal hearing of evidence.
  1. [9]
    The circumstances surrounding the delayed filing of the Notice of Appeal must be considered in order to determine whether a reasonable excuse is established by the applicant as required by s 158(2)(b) of the LVA.
  1. [10]
    The evidence of the applicant is not disputed by the respondent and is also supported by the evidence of his general practitioner. The health difficulties suffered by the applicant during the appeal period were in my view of a “substantial nature”[4] and concerned “the kind of thing which might be expected to delay the ‘taking of action by a reasonable man”. [5]
  1. [11]
    On the evidence before the Court a reasonable excuse has been established by the applicant and it therefore follows that the Court has jurisdiction to hear and determine the appeal.

Orders

  1. The Court has jurisdiction to hear the appeal.
  2. The matter be adjourned to Townsville for a Preliminary Conference on Monday 7 December 2020 at a time to be advised.

Footnotes

[1]Exh 1.

[2]Exh 2.

[3]Exh 3.

[4]AG Russell v The Crown (1992-93) 14 QLCR 202.

[5]Stevens v Motor Vehicle Insurance Trust (1978) WAR 232.

Close

Editorial Notes

  • Published Case Name:

    Melville v Valuer-General

  • Shortened Case Name:

    Melville v Valuer-General

  • MNC:

    [2020] QLC 41

  • Court:

    QLC

  • Judge(s):

    G J Smith

  • Date:

    30 Nov 2020

Appeal Status

Please note, appeal data is presently unavailable for this judgment. This judgment may have been the subject of an appeal.
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