Bertola v Australian and New Zealand Banking Corporation [2014] FCA 609

In Bertola v Australian and New Zealand Banking Corporation [2014] FCA 609 the applicants were represented by a non-lawyer, Peter Paalvast, seeking an order to block liquidation of their farm. They had annotated a copy of a judgment for the sale of farm assets, “…and attached that to other documents exhibiting various stamps and seals and a fingerprint of Mr Bertola.” which was sent to the bank and allegedly “accepted the document in “accord and satisfaction” of all monies due to the bank…” This document was claimed to be a binding contract under the Bills of Exchange Act 1909, and that the $10 was adequate consideration to pay the outstanding debt.

The court held this was “…not only hopeless but nonsense …” and the applicants had been led “…like a drowning man clutching at a straw, to rely on a stranger’s advice and commence a hopeless proceeding at a real financial cost to them.”

Click to access bertola-v-australian-and-new-zealand-banking-corporation-2014-fca-609.pdf