Willis & Bowring Mortgage Investments v Belramoul [2009] NSWSC 125

This case demonstrates the serious backwardness of the NSW Supreme Court in dealing with possession applications. This case was filed in January 2006 and as of March 2009 the lender is still no closer to obtaining a writ of possession. This case is no isolated incident. There are multiple possession proceedings that are taking three years or more to be heard by the court. 

In this particular instance the matter was set down to strike out the defence as disclosing no reasonable defence. Section 56 of the Civil Procedure Act requires that the court facilitate “the just, the quick, and the cheap resolution of the real issues in the proceedings”, nevertheless because the borrower claimed he was seeking new legal representation the court vacated the hearing date. This was despite the fact the borrower knew of the trial date all along.

It was recognised long ago that the ambling pace of the Supreme Court would ruin the economy if it was applied to serious commercial disputes. In response the Commercial List was created to expedite and deal with commercial disputes quickly, usually within 12 months of filing. It is submitted that a similar approach now needs to be taken with the Possession List or else burnt lenders will begin to avoid NSW.

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