Mike Palmer

Mike Palmer operates Know Your Rights Group and Aussie Speeding Fines, both websites promote many OPCA concepts and sells booklets of the same titles. Despite Mike Palmer failing in his own cases submitting the very contentions he promotes, he continues to sell his flawed ideas to other gullible people for financial gain.

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Mike Palmer’s Facebook page “Know Your Rights Group” actually states in the “about” section “Lawyer and Law Firm”.

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So he is not only touting himself to be “engaged in legal practice” contrary to the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014 (Vic), but his actions are also consistent with the indica found In Re Sanderson; ex parte the Law Institute of Victoria [1927] VLR 394, which has been further defined in Cornall v Nagle [1995] 2 VR 188 and Felman v Law Institute of Victoria [1998] 4 VR 324.

Under these fraudulent misrepresentations, Mike Palmer sells his various deeply flawed booklets for pecuniary financial gain, contrary to section 18(1) of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) which provides that: “A person must not, in trade or commerce, engage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive or is likely to mislead or deceive.” Under section 236, where one suffers loss or damage because of this conduct, they are entitled to recover loss or damage. As the various contentions expressed as “remedies” in his booklets have been consistently rejected in his followers cases, some even in his own cases, he cannot claim he is unaware of their invalidity. Instead, like most OPCA litigants, he claims the courts are corrupt, while continuing to influence others to attempt the same strategies again.

He is for all intents and purposes, following the same doomed path as David Walter, which ultimately led an injunction to restrain him from engaging in legal practice in Legal Services Commissioner v Walter [2011] QSC 132. Unlike David Walter though, Mike Palmer is engaging in fraud by actively obtaining financial reward through deception.

It really is unconscionable conduct preying on vulnerable people like this, hoping they are gullible enough to part with their cash, in the interests of leading them and others into harm and loss in the courts. That is without even considering the potential risk to the public by spruiking these concepts. For example, one of Mike Palmer’s videos says you don’t have to stop for a Random Breath Test when directed to. That kind of advice places police officers in immediate danger, as well as the general public with the subsequent police chase.

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Public Warning – Aussie Speeding Fines

PUBLIC WARNING ISSUED UNDER S162A of the FAIR TRADING ACT 1999

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I Dr Claire Noone, the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria, being satisfied that it is in the public interest to do so and pursuant to section 162A(a) of the Fair Trading Act 1999, issue the following warning to the public identifying and giving information about the business practices of a person or persons trading as: Aussie Speeding Fines

The person or persons trading as Aussie Speeding Fines are responsible for the marketing and sale of a book, via its website aussiespeedingfines.com, (the website) which recommends consumers pursue a number of different strategies for avoiding paying speeding and traffic fines, and provides pro forma letters to send to law enforcement agencies.

The website was established for a Michael Gareth Palmer (Mr Palmer) of Beaumaris, Victoria. The website is operated at least in part by Mr Palmer and or Libra Consulting Services Pty Ltd a company of which Mr Palmer is the sole Director and shareholder.

The Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria warns consumers that the material contained within the book may be misleading, and may cause significant detriment to consumers if pursued in response to the receipt of an actual traffic infringement notice or summons for a driving offence. Consumers wishing to challenge speeding or traffic offences are advised to seek legal advice from a qualified legal practitioner, rather than relying on information and pro forma letters that have been published anonymously.

Consumers should be wary of this internet site that claims to provide specialist information, but does not provide the name of the author of the publication and the details of qualifications of the author to provide specialist information.

For advice on avoiding scams consumers can contact the Consumer Affairs Victoria helpline on 1300 55 81 81

Dated 4 September 2008
Dr Claire Noone
Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria

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The following of Mike Palmer’s own cases are published and on public record:

(1) Permanent Custodians Limited v Palmer [2009] VSCA 80 (24 April 2009)
(2) Permanent Custodians Limited v Virgin Investments Pty Ltd [2009] VSC 246 (28 May 2009)
(3) Palmer v Permanent Custodians Ltd [2009] VSCA 164 (21 July 2009)
(4) Michael Gareth Palmer v Permanent Custodians Limited [2009] HCASL 197 (1 October 2009)
(5) Permanent Custodians Ltd v Virgin Investments Pty Ltd [2009] VSC 429 (2 October 2009)
(6) BMW Australia Finance Ltd v Palmer [2010] VSC 178 (22 Mar 2010)
(7) DCT v Palmer [2019] VCC 1401 (3 September 2019)

 


(1) Permanent Custodians Limited v Palmer [2009] VSCA 80

Permanent Custodians Limited filed a writ against Virgin Investments Pty Ltd and Mr Palmer, that it had advanced money to Virgin pursuant to a loan agreement, that Virgin subsequently defaulted in respect of payments due. Permanent obtained default judgment against Virgin for the recovery of the property and the payment of $1,429,744.38, together with interest of $22,066.64 and costs in the sum of $2,100.00. A summons was then issued by Mr Palmer on behalf of Virgin seeking the setting aside of the default judgment, which was dismissed by the Associate Justice. An appeal by Virgin from that decision was also dismissed, so Mr Palmer sought a further application for leave to appeal in Permanent Custodians Limited v Palmer [2009] VSCA 80. The court held that there is no merit in any of Mr Palmer’s submissions, including the allegation that Virgin has not signed any loan contract or agreement with Permanent, and that the money has no value due to fractional reserve banking. “All of these are just figures. They’re just figures on a piece of paper…” Leave to appeal was refused.

Click to access permanent-custodians-limited-v-palmer-2009-vsca-80.pdf


(2) Permanent Custodians Limited v Virgin Investments Pty Ltd [2009] VSC 246

Permanent Custodians Limited v Virgin Investments Pty Ltd [2009] VSC 246 was an appeal against the decision of the Associate Justice dismissing the setting aside of the default judgment. 

“I asked whether there was anything new that was relied upon.  I was told that there was a document that had not been put before Smith J or the Court of Appeal, namely discovered document 113 in the proceeding… The exhibit itself shows that Mr Palmer’s assertions in that regard are misconceived and again this is a matter that has already been dealt with in previous decisions.  The fact that he wrote “without prejudice”, or that someone wrote “without prejudice”, in connection with the signature of the documents does not indicate to any extent at all that at the trial it would be likely to be found that Virgin Investments and Mr Palmer did not consciously and deliberately apply for this loan, take the benefit of the moneys, and commit themselves to the mortgage. So it seems to me, for those reasons and for the added reason that this application represents an attempt to relitigate, in substance, what has already been litigated unsuccessfully, that I should not accept Mr Palmer’s submissions.”

Click to access permanent-custodians-limited-v-virgin-investments-pty-ltd-2009-vsc-246.pdf


(3) Palmer v Permanent Custodians Ltd [2009] VSCA 164

In Palmer v Permanent Custodians Ltd [2009] VSCA 164 Michael Palmer sought a stay of the orders, pending the hearing and determination of his application for special leave to appeal to the High Court. The court held that the applicant’s arguments reiterate in various guises those already rejected in the previous cases and are are “…based on fundamental misconceptions of the relevant issues and devoid of merit.” The application for a stay of the writ of execution was dismissed.

Click to access palmer-v-permanent-custodians-ltd-2009-vsca-164.pdf


(4) Michael Gareth Palmer v Permanent Custodians Limited [2009] HCASL 197

In Michael Gareth Palmer v Permanent Custodians Limited [2009] HCASL 197, the application for special leave to the High Court was dismissed.

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(5) Permanent Custodians Ltd v Virgin Investments Pty Ltd [2009] VSC 429

Permanent Custodians Ltd v Virgin Investments Pty Ltd [2009] VSC 429 was an appeal against the decision of the Associate Justice refusing his application for the provision of further and better discovery by Permanent Custodians Limited. Particularly bizarre is the assertion, based on the theory known as “fractional reserve banking” that no lawful consideration passed from Permanent Custodians to Virgin Investments.

“The appeal from Associate Justice Evans came before me on 8 September in the Practice Court.  In the course of that application Mr Palmer referred to an affidavit filed the day before to which he annexed a copy of a booklet entitled “Modern Money Mechanics” and two decisions emanating from Credit River Township, Scott County, Minnesota. On the morning of the hearing, Mr Moffatt, who appeared for Permanent Custodians, sighted Mr Palmer’s affidavit and was content to deal with it and its annexures in the course of submissions.  He did not oppose leave being granted to Mr Palmer to rely upon it. Mr Palmer asserted, in the course of argument, that two decisions in First National Bank of Montgomery v Daly (Justice Court State of Minnesota, Martin V. Mahoney. “the Credit River decisions”) were not only authoritative but stood unreversed. In addition it was said that, the “Modern Money Mechanics” booklet also provided the foundation for the discovery of the “lawful consideration” category of documents. Subsequently, on 14 September, Mr Moffatt provided the Court and Mr Palmer with extracts from the judgment of Byrne J in National Australia Bank Ltd v McFarlane [2002] VSC 116 and Dodds-Streeton J in Walter v National Australia Bank Ltd [2004] VSC 36 [237])

I also thought it necessary to research the status of the Credit River decisions in both State and Federal Courts in the United States.  My Associate provided Mr Palmer with details of a number of State and Federal U.S. authorities relating to those  decisions as well as details of the two Victorian cases identified by Mr Moffatt.  It was then arranged that the matter be re-listed to 24 September for further argument.  Mr Palmer appeared, under protest, asserting that the Court should not re-open argument about the authority of the Credit River decisions. I pause at this moment to observe that it was essential that the Court re-open the debate concerning the status of the Credit River decisions.  As will be seen, Mr Palmer’s statements to the Court as to their status were patently wrong.  The purpose in reconvening the Court was to enable Mr Palmer to put any other material forward which may have indicated that a number of decisions of the Minnesota Supreme Court, U.S. Federal Judges, other U.S. State Judges and Judges of this Court were incorrect.  On 24 September, the parties made submissions in relation to these decisions.

In support of his argument, Mr Palmer relied upon the two quite different sources which I have already referred to.  Firstly, the booklet “Modern Money Mechanics”, which has no named author.  Secondly, the Credit River decisions. “Modern Money Mechanics” appears to be a treatise describing the U.S. banking system.  It is described as “the workbook on bank reserves and deposit expansion”.  It was apparently published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in February 1994.  One passage, in particular, is relied upon by Mr Palmer:

“In the United States neither paper currency nor deposits have value as commodities.  Intrinsically, a dollar bill is just a piece of paper, deposits merely book entries.  Coins do have some intrinsic value as metal, but generally far less than their face value. What, then, makes these instruments – cheques, paper money and coins – acceptable at face value in payment of all debts and for other monetary uses?  Mainly, it is the confidence people have that they will be able to exchange such money for other financial assets and for real goods and services whenever they choose to do so.”

Putting to one side that this analysis is of the US banking system and, in particular, the operations of the Federal Reserve, the contents of the booklet do not support Mr Palmer’s contention.  The booklet simply sets out the manner in which the U.S. banking system operates and the role of the Federal Reserve. The facts of this case demonstrate the fallacy of Mr Palmer’s assertion that there was no lawful consideration.  The moneys advanced by Permanent Custodians were used to pay off an existing mortgage (of about $1.2 million) and other costs associated with the loan and the registration of the mortgage.  In addition, Virgin Investments directly received nearly $70,000 by way of bank cheque.  Each of these transactions had a value.  Virgin Investments was relieved of its indebtedness to the previous mortgagee, creditors were paid out and Virgin received funds which it was able to utilise for its own benefit.  Virgin received value as a result of it entering into the loan agreement and the mortgage.

The second limb to Mr Palmer’s argument was based upon the Credit River decisions.  In fact, the first of those decisions (First National Bank of Montgomery v Daly) related to a trial by a jury of 12 “talesman” presided over by Martin V. Mahoney in the township of Credit River, Scott County Minnesota.  The second related to the appeal by the Bank against the jury’s decision.

In the course of his submissions, Mr Palmer said the following:

“MR PALMER:  Yes, Your Honour.  This ruling has gone unchallenged for 40 years because they cannot dispute his findings.  No-one can fault his findings that no lawful consideration was ever tendered either in the initial contract with Mr Jerome Daly, nor was lawful consideration tendered to the court on the appeal with the $2.

HIS HONOUR:  On your argument, would they ever have been able to appeal?

MR PALMER:  Yes, they would have, Your Honour.

HIS HONOUR:  How would they have done that?

MR PALMER:  With either paying two silver dollars, four half dollars, eight quarter dollars or indeed 200 pennies, Your Honour.”

Mr Palmer’s assertion that the two decisions of the Justice of Credit River Township have gone unchallenged is quite wrong, indeed, misleading. Mr Daly, an Attorney, was sued by the Bank for possession of a property he owned in Scott County.  The jury concluded that the loan of $14,000, secured by a mortgage given by Mr Daly, did not constitute “lawful consideration”.  Martin V. Mahoney was, in fact, a justice of the peace with no legal qualifications.  He presided over the trial and wrote in the “judgment and decree”:

“The jury found there was no lawful consideration and I agree.  Only God can create something of value out of nothing …  Plaintiff’s act of creating credit is not authorised by the Constitution of laws of the United States, as unconstitutional and void and is not a lawful consideration in the eyes of the law to support any thing or upon which any lawful rights can be built.”

The saga did not end there.  The Bank appealed and provided security, perhaps unwisely in the context of the first decision, in the form of two one dollar bills.  On 6 January, the Court filed a notice of refusal to allow the appeal.  On 22 January at 7.00pm, Mr Daly again appeared before Justice of the Peace Mahoney.  The bank was unrepresented.  The nub of Mr Mahoney’s decision was:

“That the Federal Reserve notes on deposit with the clerk of the court are not lawful money of the United States;  are in violation of the Constitution of the United States and are not valid for any purpose.”

It is necessary, for a few moments, to look at events in Minnesota subsequent to the Credit River decisions. On 11 July 1969, Justice C. Donald Peterson, acting for the Minnesota Supreme Court, directed “Martin v Mahoney, Justice of the Peace of Credit River Township and Jerome Daly to show cause”, in respect of a separate proceeding, as to why they should not be permanently restrained from further proceedings in the Justice Court. (Jerome Daly v Savage State Bank & Anor 171 NW (2d) 218.) The death of Mr Mahoney on 22 August 1969 rendered the proceedings against him moot, however Mr Daly was suspended by the Supreme Court from the practice of law in Minnesota courts from 1 October 1969. (In Re Jerome Daly 284 Minn. 567, 171 NW 2d 818 (1969), at 568.) In July 1971, Mr Daly’s disbarment hearing came on before the Minnesota Supreme Court.  Mr Daly appeared for himself.  The tenor of his argument and the Court’s response can be gleaned from the following remarks by the Court:

“Contrary to the respondent’s fanciful assertions that these proceedings are a conspiracy by banks and their directors to put an end to his persistent attacks upon the constitutionality of the monetary system of the United States, disciplinary proceedings, including this one are not designed to punish an attorney or to prevent him in good faith espousing a legal cause however unpopular or seemingly untenable, but rather to discharge this court’s responsibility to protect the public, the administration of the justice and the profession …”. (In Re Jerome Daly 291 Minn. 488, 189 NW 2d 176 (1971), at 489.)

The concluding remarks of the court in disbarring Mr Daly are worth summarising:

“No useful purpose would appear to be served by repeating the detail of the instances supporting the foregoing summary of ultimate findings, all of which are adopted as the basis for respondent’s removal from practice.  It should be noted, however, that respondent’s persistent and continuing attacks on our national monetary system can hardly be regarded as zealous advocacy or a good-faith effort to rest the validity of repeated decisions of courts of record.  For, as found by the referee, up to the time of his findings and recommendations respondent had avoided payment of any Federal income tax from 1965 and subsequent years on the asserted ground that he has not received gold and silver coin and, therefore, had no earnings that were taxable.  Also, he has taken personal advantage of the system he attacks by borrowing money from a bank to purchase lakeside property, only to subsequently defeat the bank’s repossession after mortgage foreclosure by taking the position that the bank’s extension of credit was unlawful, obligating him neither to pay the debt, nor to surrender possession following expiration of the time to redeem. (In Re Jerome Daly 291 Minn. 488, 189 NW 2d 176 (1971), at 495.)

The argument that paper dollars have no intrinsic value and therefore nothing of any worth has been loaned has surfaced regularly in Courts in the United States, often with references to the Credit River decisions.  For instance, in 2007 Sneed v Chase Home Finance LLC 2007 WL 185 1674 (S.D. Cal. June 27, 2007), Judge Burns of the United States District Court said as follows:

“Plaintiff’s allegations concerning the loans appear to be contradictory.  She alleges both that Defendants never loaned anything of value … and also that payment of the loan in full was attempted … .  The nature of the alleged business relationship, where nothing of value was lent but where Plaintiff attempted to repay the loan anyway, is never explained. The resolution of this paradox appears to be that Plaintiff does not recognize U.S. Federal Reserve notes as legal tender (or ‘lawful money’, as she terms it).  Plaintiff repeatedly either implies or asserts that Defendants did not lend lawful currency.  …  In particular, Plaintiff reveals her thinking in a boldface paragraph citing what purport to be cases of Minnesota state courts for the proposition that ‘Federal Reserve Notes [are] fiat money and not legal tender. Furthermore, the Minnesota cases cited by the plaintiff are not only unreported but they have been vacated by the Minnesota Supreme Court reported decisions.  …  The plaintiff is hereby admonished.  She must not cite any decision under which Justice Martin Mahoney purported a question of the validity of Federal currency or the constitutionality of the Federal Reserve Act, nor may she cite any opinion or decision as authoritative which no longer has authoritative status”. (Sneed v Chase Home Finance LLC 2007 WL 185 1674 (S.D. Cal. June 27, 2007), p 3-4.)

It is also clear that in this State, like the United States, arguments concerning fractional reserve banking have been raised and rejected on a number of occasions:  Smart v ANZ Banking Group Limited [2002] VSCA 111, Walter v National Australia Bank Limited [2004] VSC 36, and National Australia Bank Limited v McFarlane [2002] VSC 116  In each of these cases, the argument based on “no lawful consideration” was raised in a similar fashion to that articulated by Mr Palmer.  It suffices to repeat what was said by Byrne J in McFarlane:

“The defendants next contend that there was no lawful consideration given for the mortgages as the Bank did not advance the money claimed but only created a credit in the accounts of the McFarlanes.  …  As best I understood him, he based his conclusion on the fact that the Bank, as lender, does not in fact lend money, that is, cash, banknotes or bullion, but merely creates a book entry.  This, he said, was a fraud on the customer who believes that they are receiving a loan.  Unless the supposed lender in a transaction such as the present hands over bullion, banknotes or coin, he continued, the mortgage entered into is invalid.  It is apparent to me that this is arrant nonsense.  It has no regard to the legal obligations which are created by a bank loan; it ignores the reality of modern commerce where it is money, in the broad sense of that term, including choses in action, and not only gold, banknotes and coin, or indeed legal tender, which plays a most important part.

I was referred also to the decision of Justice of the Peace Martin V Mahoney in First National Bank of Montgomery v Daly decided in 1969 in the Justice Court, Township of Credit River, County of Scott, State of Minnesota in the United States of America.  I have read this decision with care.  This is not an easy task as its procedural aspects are unfamiliar to an Australian practitioner and its logic is bizarre.  Insofar as His Honour relied upon the provisions of the Constitution of the United States of America, the Constitution of the State of Minnesota and the laws of the United States, these precepts have no application in Victoria.  I am not bound by this decision.  In any event, I am not persuaded that His Honour’s reasoning is valid. (at [7][8]. Cited with approval by Dodds-Streeton J in Walter v National Australia Bank Limited [2004] VSC 36 [246].)

This overly long narrative places in context the Credit River decisions.  Absent his death, it is fair to assume that Justice of the Peace Mahoney would have been removed from office. (Daly v Savage Stone Bank (1969) 171 NW (2D) 218.) The Credit River decisions are worthless as authority for any proposition in any Court in this country.

The argument put by Mr Palmer that s 115 of the Constitution and s 22 of the Currency Act (Cth) render the printing of paper money by the Reserve Bank illegal is so unmeritorious it does not warrant any further attention. I have spent far too long in endeavouring to deal with the submission based on “fractional reserve banking” and the absence of lawful consideration;  it does seem, however, to be a recurrent theme advanced by litigants in person when confronted with loan default.  The argument is totally devoid of merit and should be rejected.  If there was a power of admonition, such as that possessed by a US Federal Court Judge, I would apply it unhesitatingly. It follows that none of the documents within the classes sought by Mr Palmer are relevant to the issues in this proceeding.

Click to access permanent-custodians-ltd-v-virgin-investments-pty-ltd-2009-vsc-429.pdf


(6) BMW Australia Finance Ltd v Palmer[2010] VSC 178

BMW Australia Finance Ltd v Palmer [2010] VSC 178 was an appeal from an order made by Associate Justice Mukhtar on 10 March 2010.  The order was made on a summons filed by the plaintiff, BMW Australia Finance Limited, that sought orders extending certain times that had been fixed by an order concerning discovery made by Associate Justice Daly on 16 December 2009, and that the defendant, Mr Palmer, provide inspection of documents by a specified time. Mr Palmer suggested that because the correspondence he received did not bear the signature of an individual Australian lawyer, but was  merely endorsed “Douros Lawyers”, it therefore has no legal existence or legal validity and he should not be required to respond to it. The court ordered that the appeal be dismissed and noted:

“A very similar, if not identical, argument was advanced by Mr Palmer to Smith J in the Practice Court in February 2009 in a case involving an attempt by Mr Palmer to obtain the setting aside of a default judgment that had been entered against a company, Virgin Investments Pty Ltd, associated with Mr Palmer.  On 24 February 2009 Smith J rejected Mr Palmer’s suggestion that a law firm could not sign a statement of claim because it was not a legal entity.”

Click to access bmw-australia-finance-ltd-v-palmer-2010-vsc-178.pdf


(7) DCT v Palmer [2019] VCC 1401

In DCT v Palmer [2019] VCC 1401 Michael Palmer was sued by the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation, claiming that he has paid no income tax for the nine year period, from 1 July 2007 – 30 June 2016, and that his income tax debt for this period is $1,019,524.20, plus penalty amounts totalling $561,723.33. Michael Palmer says that there is no jurisdiction for the DCT to bring, or the Court to hear, the DCT’s claims. He has applied for the proceeding to be struck out on the grounds that the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation is a non-entity, and has no authority to sue the Defendant, that the “Michael Gareth Palmer” referred to in the Writ and Statement of Claim is a corporation or artificial entity, not him, that the DCT cannot collect money on behalf of a purported Australian government authority (the Australian Taxation Office) but only on behalf of the Commonwealth, that the proceedings ought to be brought in the name of the Queen of the United Kingdom, and that he requires a trial by jury.

“In essence, he submitted that I ought to strike out the proceeding unless the DCT could establish “jurisdiction” by admissible evidence specifically proving not just that the DCT was appointed by the (purported) Commissioner, but that the (purported) Commissioner was validly appointed by a validly appointed Governor-General under a validly enacted legislative provision, which had been validly assented to by a validly appointed Governor General. He also asserted that a similar onus lay upon this Court to produce evidence that it (and myself, as a Judicial Registrar) had jurisdiction, sourced back to the Commonwealth Constitution, to determine the dispute.”

“Michael placed a great deal of emphasis in his submissions on the fact that the ATO was a “non-entity”. However, the plaintiff in this proceeding is not the ATO but Robert Ravanello, in his capacity as DCT. The question of whether or not the ATO is an “entity” or person has no relevance to the capacity of Mr Ravanello. (See further Daniels v DCT [2007] SASC 114 at [42]Dooney v Henry (2000) 174 ALR 41 at [6]-[7]DCT v Levick (1999) 168 ALR 383 at 392 at [22].)”

“That the “Michael Gareth Palmer” referred to in the Writ and Statement of Claim must be a corporation or artificial entity, which is not the person who made submissions today in Court, known as Michael Gareth Palmer.

Michael accepted that he was a “living breathing man” and, although he preferred to be called Michael or “Michael of the family Palmer” in Court, referred to himself on many occasions in his written submissions as “Michael Palmer”. As I understand this aspect of his submissions, he contended that: a) he was not a “person” within the meaning of the relevant legislation; and b)    the DCT was not suing him, but a “corporation” created either by the issuing of a birth certificate or by the creation of a tax file number. It is well accepted that “person” includes “natural person” or (to use Michael’s terminology) a “living breathing man”. (See Pharmaceutical Society v London and Provincial Supply Association Ltd (1880) 5 AC 857 at 861; Bennett-Hullin v Clark (TP) & Co [1944] VLR 45 at 46.) On the face of the Writ and Statement of Claim, the DCT appears to be suing a natural person by the name of Michael Gareth Palmer rather than a corporation. Further, Michael also swore an affidavit dated 17 May 2019 which commenced: “I, Michael Palmer, a subject of the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, a de jure solemn et natural, living, breathing man, make oath and say as follows: I am listed as the Defendant in these proceedings…” On the evidence before me, I am satisfied that Michael is the named defendant to these proceedings.”

“During the course of oral submissions, Michael also suggested that he could not have made a profit because he had only earnt “worthless fiat currency”. This point is not jurisdictional in nature. To the extent that this may have been an attempt to re-agitate an argument previously made and rejected in Permanent Custodians Ltd v Virgin Investments Pty Ltd [2009] VSC 429, I agree with Forrest J that “it does not warrant any further attention”. (at 51)”

“Michael repeatedly asserted during the course of his submissions that I (or the Court) was required to “prove” or “establish” jurisdiction by, for example, producing evidence of my appointment (by a validly appointed Governor-General pursuant to validly enacted legislation etc); or that I had sworn an oath to the “Queen of the United Kingdom”. It is neither the role of the Court nor my role specifically to tender evidence to prove jurisdiction. Evidence is tendered by the parties, not the Court. In response to a request from Michael at the hearing on 27 May 2019, my Associate did forward to the parties a copy of an Order in Council dated 24 April 2018 recording my appointment under sub-s17O(1) of the County Court Act 1958 (Vic) which was obtained from the records of the Court. However, as Michael rightly points out, this document has not been tendered in evidence by either party.  In the absence of any evidence that I have been invalidly appointed, the presumption of regularity in relation to my appointment has not been rebutted. I am satisfied that I have jurisdiction to hear and determine Michael’s application.

Michael has, it seems, not paid tax for over 9 years. He has provided extensive written and oral submissions to the Court arguing that notwithstanding this, the DCT has no power to sue him for unpaid tax and that this Court has no power to determine the DCT’s claims. In the course of those submissions he has relied upon, among other things, a number of cases relating to constitutional principles applicable in the United States of America. In the end, I have determined that none of his jurisdictional objections can be sustained. I conclude these reasons with a quotation of my own from Benjamin Franklin, a contributor to the drafting of the American constitution and one of America’s Founding Fathers:

“Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

Click to access dct-v-palmer-2019-vcc-1401.pdf

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