Van den Hoorn v Ellis [2010] QDC 451

In Van den Hoorn v Ellis [2010] QDC 451 the appellant contended he was the “owner of the created fictions known as JOHAN HENDRICK VAN DEN HOORN and JOHN HENRY VAN DEN HOORN, being created fictions fraudulently owned and controlled by legal fictions” which included “australia inc” and “queensland inc”, as well as “queensland transport inc” and “numerous other incorperations and deciets” (sic) and an “assumed” jurisdiction “over a free man” because the magistrate “lacked lawful standing to judge a free man” who was “in good standing”. The arguments included references to the Magna Carta, and centered on various flawed definitions. The Court rejected the notions:

“Additionally, there was the puzzling contention that, before the lower court, the appellant was assumed to be a “corperation [sic]” by the fact of the court accepting the alleged “capitalisation of (his) family name” which so led to him being deemed to be a “corporative fiction of limited liability” when he was “a living/breathing soul … of full liability”. Its “liability” relevance, if any, seems to be limited to the statutory requirement of mandatory third party personal injury insurance for motor vehicles. Since “driver” in the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 is defined as meaning the “person” driving the vehicle (including the “rider” of a vehicle), the appellant is not a person who falls within the Act because, from the same definitions just referred to, a person “includes” a “corporation” and the appellant is not a “corporation”. Besides misunderstanding about what “includes” means, it is clear from the context of the definition – and reality – that a corporation could never drive or ride a vehicle. Such an interpretation is therefore absurd, and must be rejected. A similar fate follows from any argument that a “person” is only a fictitious legal entity.”

Of primary concern to the appellant was the definition of a “vehicle”. The definition is relevant to all four charges. There having been no evidence given by the appellant in rebuttal of the relevant averments under s 124(1)(r) of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995, the attack here is on the proper interpretation of the underlaying premise of those averments. Turning first to the definition of “vehicle” in the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995, Schedule 4 defines it in a way which “includes” any type of “transport” that moves on wheels. In turn, “transport” is defined “in relation to” dangerous goods “to include” each of specified ways which are set forth in subparagraphs (a) to (e).

“Include” is contended by the appellant, by reference to Black’s Law Dictionary (5th ed), to mean to “shut in” or “keep within” and therefore “limiting” the subject to the specified objects: cf (9th ed) at p 831. Hence, the interpretation advanced by the appellant is that “transport” is limited to the transport of goods and that, in turn, means that the only objects that are vehicles are those that transport goods. The argument must fail. First, it is clear that the actual definition of the word “transport” is limited to defining such “in relation to” dangerous “goods”. Secondly, both in the definition of “vehicle” and of “transport”, “includes” is not intended to be an exhaustive definition: see Statutory Interpretation in Australia (6th ed) (Pearce & Geddes) at [6.56] – [6.59]. The limitation of “vehicle” to being one of transportation must be rejected.

The appellant, in his Outline of Argument, included 12 pages of definitions which included a definition of “registration” as meaning the transfer of “superior ownership to the entity accepting the registration”, adding that once an item has been registered, “you are no longer the OWNER … but instead you become the KEEPER”. Another interpretive argument is based upon there being evidence that the particular “vehicle” had details which were “on” the register. The Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 defined “registered” as meaning registered “in a register of vehicles” kept by the chief executive under a transport Act. In the relevant Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Regulation 1999, s 5, for this regulation, stated that a vehicle is “taken to be” a “registered vehicle” if it has “current registration” under the regulation. Accordingly, so the argument runs, if the relevant vehicle was, as here, “on” the register, it must mean that the vehicle registration was “registered”. This is contended to have the consequence that it was thus not “cancelled”. Such an approach to interpretation blatantly ignores the fact that the definition of “registered” means entered in a register as “registered”. It does not mean simply that, if there are details of a vehicle on or in a register, then it must be “registered”. The meaning of “registered” depends on context and it is clear from the whole of the relevant Act that being “registered” does not encompass any registration which has been cancelled.”

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