Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Lamont [2019] NSWSC 92

In Deputy Commissioner of Taxation v Lamont [2019] NSWSC 92 the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation claimed income tax debts of $4,317,316.07 for the financial years ended 30 June 2002 to 13 February 2019. A notice of appearance identified a Mark Andrews as his “legal representative”, which was refused as he was not a solicitor or officer of the court.  He contended that the court had “no jurisdiction, authority, status and standing to proceed” in the absence of the appellant’s consent. 

The defendant announced that he was present “under duress, protest and threats of menace” stating that his property was “under threat” by the plaintiff, providing five pages of written submissions which included biblical references in support of a proposition that the income tax legislation of the Commonwealth of Australia is ineffective because the relevant Acts do not: “refer to or define a man or a woman and hence, Parliament did not pass statutes that apply to a man nor a woman.” The document also cited a 1796 US decision Cruden v Neale to support an argument that the defendant is not bound by any laws or institutions except those to which he gives his consent, naming the administration statutes of the Commonwealth: “I no longer consent the statutes above apply to me, the living man.”

Finally in answer to the whole of the debt, the defendant maintained that it was satisfied by his delivery to the Deputy Commissioner of “a completed non-negotiable contract and accompanying promissory note made out for $5,000,000”. Fagan J. ordered Judgment for the plaintiff against the defendant. 

The defendant appealed this decision in Lamont v Deputy Commissioner of Taxation [2019] NSWCA 221. The Court of Appeal upheld the primary decision, noting the arguments are what has been described elsewhere as “pseudolegal commercial arguments”, and bears some resemblance to those made in Warren Ronald Wichman v Pepper Finance Corporation Limited [2019] NSWCA 195.


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