Commonwealth Bank Of Australia v Palermo [2019] WASC 28

The bank brought proceedings against Ms Palermo, claiming it was owed money pursuant to loan agreements with Ms Palermo.  The Bank also claimed possession of Ms Palermo’s land pursuant to a mortgage securing those loans.  In Commonwealth Bank Of Australia v Palermo [2019] WASC 28,  Ms Palermo refused to file a proper defence, but submitted that she did not enter into a loan agreement with the Bank.  During the trial, Ms Palermo admitted, from the bar table, that she was the registered proprietor of the Property but denied entering into a contract to buy the land. Ms Palermo also denied, from the bar table, that she owed the Bank, or any bank, money.  She denied receiving a notice of default or a letter from the Bank advising that it intended to take enforcement proceedings if the money owing was not repaid. In addition, Ms Palermo raised issues relating to procedure, jurisdiction and treason.

“Ms Palermo also filed a document titled ‘Affidavit of Diana Tina Palermo’ on 11 January 2019. Despite the title, it purported to be a defence, but again was not a proper defence. This document raised a number of matters, including an allegation that the court documents were ‘counterfeit’ and ‘a criminal offence’ because they used ‘both descriptive text and “debase Latin”‘. None of the matters contained in that affidavit are relevant. She then made various submissions about the duty of a judge to disqualify themselves if required to do so by law, that orders issued by a judge who failed to do this would be invalid, and that a judge who ‘wars against the Constitution or if he or she acts without the jurisdiction … has engaged in treason to the Constitution’. At the conclusion of her speech, Ms Palermo left the courtroom and did not return for the remainder of the trial.”

The trial judge entered judgment for the Bank, and Ms Palermo was ordered to give the Bank possession of the claimed property and pay the Bank $485,732.06 plus post-judgment interest and costs.

Click to access commonwealth-bank-of-australia-v-palermo-2019-wasc-28.pdf

On 5 March 2019, Ms Palermo appealed against the trial judge’s decision.  Ms Palermo was granted a number of extensions of time in which to file an appellant’s case, and on 19 June 2019, Mitchell JA granted Ms Palermo a further extension of time for filing an appellant’s case to 4 pm on 10 July 2019.  He also made a springing order to the effect that the appeal would be dismissed unless Ms Palermo filed and served an appellant’s case that complied with the Rules by that time. No appellant’s case was filed by 4 pm on 10 July 2019, with the consequence that the springing order sprung and the appeal was dismissed at that time. Ms Palermo has deposed that she was unable to meet the springing order deadline due to a computer hard drive failure, so on 26 July 2019, Ms Palermo applied for a further extension of time in which to file an appellant’s case, which was head in Palermo v Commonwealth Bank of Australia [2019] WASCA 132. The court found that the proposed grounds of appeal, and the appeal itself, have no reasonable prospect of success, and therefore it would have been futile to extend the time for Ms Palermo to file her appellant’s case.  Ms Palermo’s application for an extension of time to file her appellant’s case were dismissed. 

Click to access palermo-v-commonwealth-bank-of-australia-2019-wasca-132.pdf