Rural Bank (A Division Of Bendigo And Adelaide Bank Limited (ACN 068 049 178) v Manolini [2019] WASC 313

In Rural Bank (A Division Of Bendigo And Adelaide Bank Limited (ACN 068 049 178) v Manolini[2019] WASC 313, the bank brought proceedings against the Manolini’s claiming repayment of money owing under a loan, and vacant possession of land which was subject to a first mortgage securing the debt. The judge granted summary judgment in favour of the Bank against the Manolini’s, and judgment was entered against them in the sum of $1,448,085.59 plus interest at the rate of $353.84 per day from 2 July 2019 until payment, and indemnity costs.  The appellant and second respondent were ordered to give vacant possession of the secured property within 30 days. Mr Manolini sought to object to the court’s jurisdiction over him on the present application by his reference to issues said to concern the Crown.

In Manolini v Rural Bank (A Division of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited (ACN 068 149 178) [2019] WASCA 196 the application in the appeal sought orders that included that the primary court had no jurisdiction in the matter, the affidavits relied on by the Bank were made under the Oaths, Affidavits and Statutory Declarations Act 2005 (WA), which is ‘not compliant’ with s 58 of the Commonwealth Constitution, and an insistence that:

“The application of rules, pursuant to the Supreme Court (Court of Appeal) Rules 2005, be dispensed with and make use of such most recent rules that are constitutionally compliant to section 2(3)Constitution Act 1889 (WA) and the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act.”

The court held that the appellant did not advance any grounds of appeal that have any reasonable prospect of succeeding, and it would be futile to grant an extension of time.  The application for an extension of time and the appeal were dismissed.

Of particular note in these cases, is the involvement of Rodney Culleton and Neil Pichinin, whom the defendant/applicant apparently gave Power of Attorney.  As noted in Manolini v Rural Bank (from 18):

“The appellant attended in person at the bar table.  He was accompanied by Mr Neil Pichinin and Mr Rodney Culleton at the bar table.  He referred to both as his ‘power of attorney’. Counsel for the Bank and the second respondent (who acted in person) objected to Mr Culleton being at the bar table.  The judge asked Mr Culleton to leave the bar table.  Mr Culleton then sat in the public gallery. His Honour allowed Mr Pichinin to remain at the bar table as a ‘McKenzie friend’, but did not permit him to address the court without leave. The appellant sought to object to the court’s jurisdiction over him by reference to issues said to concern the Crown.  The judge overruled his objection.  This resulted in the appellant and Mr Pichinin joining Mr Culleton in the public gallery.  They left the courtroom together at 11.14 am.”

And in Rural Bank v Manolini (at 93):

“The Culleton affidavit, which Mr Manolini had sought to incorporate through his materials, displayed that Mr Culleton was seeking to act for and raise legal arguments for Mr Manolini (somehow) linked to the Royal Style and Titles Act 1973 (Cth), and the (somehow) actions of the Whitlam government at in around 1973 related to that Commonwealth Government’s interactions with Buckingham Palace around the time. Apparently, this Commonwealth Crown nomenclature material was supposed to somehow support arguments bearing against the court’s present jurisdiction to deal with the plaintiff bank’s present application against the first and second defendants.”

There is also a mention of a document entitled “Notice of Extracts – Queen and Crown. First & Final Constitutional Commission Reports 1988” by Darren Dickson. (at 50) See also footnote 8 in Sprlyan v Wyborn [2019] WASC 227:

The application also has a 7 page attachment entitled “Notice of Extracts – Queen and Crown” by Darren Dickson and a 6 page attachment which is said to be a “Petition for the Restoration of the Commonwealth” by Mr Rodney Culleton. The attachments were not evidence that was taken into account by the magistrate and neither are they evidence in the appeal. I have not had regard to them.”

The Manolini’s did not give up vacant possession of the farm, which ultimately resulted in the Bank seeking an order for possession. The Sheriff accompanied the Bank representatives to the property on 14 October 2021, where Rodney Culleton was waiting. A confrontation ensued, in which Rodney Culleton had allegedly assaulted the Sheriff, and was subsequently charged with Assaulting a Public Officer.

Rodney Culleton broadcast the whole event on a Facebook live video:

He appeared for the mention on 29 March 2022. The Leader: “Culleton clueless about WA assault charge“:

Wayne Manolini’s sister had apparently placed a caveat on the property, which was finally lifted on 31 March 2022, allowing the Bank to take possession. West Australian: “Farm at centre of former senator Rod Culleton’s Great Southern showdown set for sale after court lifts caveat“:

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