273 vexatious claims against “to name a few, her Majesty the Queen, as the [251st] cross-respondent …

A bankrupt vexatious litigant, Garrett, could not start court actions because of his vexatious status. Instead he managed to lodge 46 false registrations on the Personal Property Securities Register against 24 parties.  They all applied to the Court to have the false registrations removed by the PPSR Registrar. Garrett then sought to join the Queen, the Chief Justice, the Judge hearing his matter (Rares J), and a few other judges and legal institutions, 273 in total. 

Justice Rares had a bit to say about Garrett, including his possible criminal conduct, but also about the PPS Registrar.

Those 273 parties included

“to name but a few, her Majesty the Queen, as the two hundred and fifty first cross-respondent, using the description “Regina”; the High Court of Australia; all of the Members and Senators of the Commonwealth Parliament; this Court; the Chief Justice and other judges of the Court, including myself; together with a number of law societies and statutory legal profession regulatory bodies …”.   

 Justice Rares was very critical of the Registrar in not acting to prevent the registrations being made

“despite both his duty to maintain the integrity of the Register and to protect the public from obvious abuses based on his past knowledge”.

The Registrar has powers under s 150 and s 184 of the PPS Act to refuse to register or to remove a registration that is frivolous or vexatious, offensive, or contrary to the public interest.

Such a registration can cause the alleged grantor considerable damage or inconvenience.  In this case, the Judge said that 

“(i)t is inconceivable how the Registrar, properly performing his functions, could not have been satisfied that Mr Garrett’s application, for example, in respect of the Federal Court of Australia was frivolous, vexatious and contrary to the public interest.  … The mere fact that this extraordinary collection of public and professional institutions and bodies, together, had supposedly entered into transactions granting Mr Garrett security interests over all of their assets should have set alarm bells ringing in the Registrar’s office.  ….  The Registrar should not let this situation occur again”.

Criminal conduct?

Garrett obtained the registration of security interests by making false representations to the Registrar that he was a secured party. Justice Rares said “(t)hat conduct may have been criminal” and he referred the conduct of Garrett to the CDPP, after investigation by an appropriate investigatory agency. 

Rubis v Garrett (No 2) [2018] FCA 2011.

Posted by admin