Small Claims Tribunal. No teeth???? (Qld)

I have an issue I am considering resolving via the small claims court, or QCAT (Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal) as it appears to now be called.

I have been reading about how it works and this page has me concerned:
http://www.qcat.qld.gov.au/enforcing-a-qcat-decision.htm

particularly this sentence:

Decisions made by the tribunal must be followed and are enforceable as if they were made by a court. The tribunal's role does not however extend to enforcing the decision. The party whose favour the decision has been made in, is responsible for enforcing it


So I interpret the sequence of events like this:

Someone owes me money.
I have been requesting payment and sent letters of demand etc.
Other party refusing to pay.
I lodge application and we go to court.
Court rules in my favour.
According to the page above, I then ask for payment again and the order is not actually enforced by the court.

I don't see this putting me in any better position than I am in now, whereby the other party is refusing to cough up.

He knows he is in the wrong and is just being stubborn. I don't see the court order having any influence on his decision to not pay..

Soooo, it looks like the next step is the magistrates court, whereby I imagine the process becomes too expensive and in this case no longer makes economical sense..




Am I interpreting this correctly?
Has anyone had an satisfaction from a small claims court?

Thanks in advance.
 
Haven't been before QCAT yet but if you get a monetary order you can probably register it in the Mags court and execute on it. It was always for the successful party to execute on the judgment.
 
I think in your claim you would also be claiming professional expenses

I was in court the other day and the RTA had a case where a witness had to come from another state.

The RTA got the amount they was owed + $1400 expenses relating to getting the interstate witness to come.

All tthat happened was the magistrate goes "other then x amount, is their anything else you would like to make me aware of"

Chick rep'n the rta said "yeah 1400 in additional expenses for interstate witness"
 
Thanks for the replies.

I understand I may also be awarded court costs ect, but my question is how do I enforce payment. He doesn't want to pay now, and I suspect a court order from small claims, enforceable only by myself won't make any difference to his attitude.

It appears almost pointless. At the moment I am asking him for the money and he is saying 'no'. So I go to court and get a ruling in my favour, ask him for the money again and he will still say 'no', and the info reads as though small claims are powerless to enforce it....
 
A baseball bat and a few select words seem to grease the wheels in these situations ;)

Or am I the only one thinking this?

Cheers

Mick
 
Thanks for the replies.

I understand I may also be awarded court costs ect, but my question is how do I enforce payment. He doesn't want to pay now, and I suspect a court order from small claims, enforceable only by myself won't make any difference to his attitude.

It appears almost pointless. At the moment I am asking him for the money and he is saying 'no'. So I go to court and get a ruling in my favour, ask him for the money again and he will still say 'no', and the info reads as though small claims are powerless to enforce it....

Sorry I missed that you already have a judgment. Depends how much it is for but some options are:

See if he has land - place an enforcement writ over it and sell it. You can also have the Bailiff sell off his car if it is worth enough.

Have an enforcement hearing order issue- when he doesn't show have the court issue a warrant for his arrest and pay the Bailiff fee to execute on it.

If he is a PAYE get a garnishee on his wages (an attachment order)

Bankrupt him if debt is enough >$2k I think

Sell the debt to a collection agency.

Generally speaking it is not economical to get most lawyers involved unless the debt is about $2k or greater.

And fax a copy of the judgment to Veda advantage to screw his credit rating.
 
Am I interpreting this correctly?
Has anyone had an satisfaction from a small claims court?

Thanks in advance.


Answers...
I believe so

In our case....
No satisfaction and case not heard as yet and application for Small Claims was put in last year in NSW.

I have been wondering if I would have received a quicker resolution using a solicitor?


Regards
Sheryn
 
Follow cu@thetop's advice. Those are some pretty powerful options which should prompt payment, unless it's a "blood from a stone" situation, in which case perhaps you could negotiate a payment plan.
 
Most of them have no teeth at all. Usual process is as follows

1. Debtors doesn't pay and waits for demand letters (usually takes months)
2. Debtor ignores demand letter as they have 28 days to pay.
3. Debtor goes to court with sob story and asks to make payment over the next year.
4. Magistrate feels sorry for debtor and agrees to payment plan.

Stuck with a debt being paid over the next year.

All in favour of the debtor. Good luck with trying to bankrupt them process is even slower and outcome as likely as above. See it all the time.

Recommend 50% payment upfront for services and then progress payments along the way. Banks are for funding not small business owners.
 
Use a debt collection agency for the entire process.

It's far less hastle for you and their resourses to blacklist and add to the debtors credit report may not be something that you can easily do.

The charge for their service if successful goes to the debtor too.

Going through this atm as well.
 
Thanks again for the ideas.

We have negotiated a payment plan. It will take a year to get the full sum back, but that's ok with me.

If they don't keep the agreement I will definitely be referring to this thread and cu@thetop's ideas :)
 
Thanks for the replies.

I understand I may also be awarded court costs ect, but my question is how do I enforce payment. He doesn't want to pay now, and I suspect a court order from small claims, enforceable only by myself won't make any difference to his attitude.

It appears almost pointless. At the moment I am asking him for the money and he is saying 'no'. So I go to court and get a ruling in my favour, ask him for the money again and he will still say 'no', and the info reads as though small claims are powerless to enforce it....

I went through it a few yrs back - in 2004.
Very similar situation. Tenant walked away from lease owing me close to $4k.
Went through the system & there were 4 appearances in court.
At the 4th appearance the tenant still had not paid, so I was awarded a "Sherif's Order" where I could attend the current address of the person with the "County Sherif" (this is in Brisbane) and I could legally take any possessions of the person up to the value of what was owed to me.

Unfortunately this person was smart.
He had no driver's licence.
No insurance of any kind.
& He lived at his mother's house.
So legally he didn't exist & legally all items within the property (other than his clothes) belonged to his mother, not him.
So I got nothing.
 
Court give judgments and then you have to enforce the judgment. This could involve seizing property including land, garnishing bank accounts and wages etc.

However, if they don't have any assets there is nothing that can be done. You can garnish wages - but only if they earn over a certain amount. What many do is to make sure they don't earn more than this - think it is around $700 pw, but will vary depending on their dependents etc.
 
In Sydney, if you get an order for the other party to pay you by certain day and they fail to do that, then you can contact the Sheriff's office and get them to enforce it. Can you not do that in QLD?
 
G'day 65fbk,

How'd you go with your negotiated repayments of the QCAT order?

I've just received my landlord QCAT order and am keen to resolve the matter. It is about 9k and am not feeling very negotiable.

Have you had to enforce the order? If so, what steps did you take?

Hope it went well for you.
 
Well about a fortnight ago my conveyancer called to say the other parties solicitor had been in touch and wanted my bank details as they were ready to pay up...

Predictably, nothing has happened.......

It's not a lot of money, I just wanted to fight it on principle as I hate being ripped off, but I have pretty much given up...

There is one benefit however. It confirmed my conveyancer is incompetent and I won't be using her again.....
 
Next month we go to Small Claims Court , here in Canada.
This time we are using a lawyer. We are seeking $15 in damages and lost rent from our former tenant would doing a Rent to Own.
We may never get anything, but we will bankrupt them, if needed.
They have also trashed the next house they moved to, after ours. OUr lawyer informed us they are also suing.

We will try for a settlement (payment plan)
This will add interest..
We cannot be compensated for our lawyer.
 
Am sorry to hear mate.

Here are some links for you

http://www.qcat.qld.gov.au/all-other-monetary-decisions.htm

http://www.bailiff-sheriffaustralia.com.au/qld/_bailiffsher/dutiesbailiff.php

Off the top of my head, the order may be enforceable up to a period of 12 years. That's a long time for them to not own an asset of financial interest to you.

I agree, it is the principle of it. Plus, if they don't pay, they tell their friends, and they tell their friends and suddenly there is not much respect for a QCAT order.

Where as a bailiff driving off with their new jet ski 3 years down the track might demonstrate the consequences of not meeting their responsibilities.

Please do your own reading on this one as well as I am only in the learning process about QCAT.

Best of luck mate. Keep us posted.
 
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