Suing The NSW State for false Imprisonment

false imprisonment

We represented our client, Mark*, who was the plaintiff in this case. He sued the New South Wales state for his 7 day* false imprisonment.

In 2017*, police arrested Mark. The police charged him with four separate offences. In May of 2017*, the court sentenced him and he received only a bond and fines. However, on the day of sentencing, a court employee prepared a Section 9 bond and a sentence warrant of nine months. This was inconsistent with the orders of the court.

As a result, they did not release Mark from custody.

Mistake by NSW led to unlawful incarceration

The bond stated that Mark must obey directions. These directions included counselling, education, development, and drug and alcohol rehabilitation. This was for the duration of the bond too, for 2 years. A registry employee would enter the details of the order into the Justicelink computer system (Justicelink) for each offence. To do this, the registry employee would review the court order and tick two boxes in Justicelink.

However, the employee made a mistake. They failed to tick the correct box on the form in Justicelink. Basically, Mark did not need to be supervised when released on parole. However, they did not tick this box. Therefore, they did not record the non-supervision order. Additionally, they made another administrative mistake. Corrective Services did not include Mark’s detainer.

Unlawful detainment in NSW

Following the trial, they put Mark into custody. Mark experienced confused about when his exact release date. Mark asked why they had not released him as per the court orders. 

A correctional officer noticed that there were no obvious detainers on his record from that period forward. Additionally, the officer noted that Mark had a suspended sentence. Following an internal investigation, they released Mark from custody. 

Suing NSW state for false imprisonment

Employees at the registry owed Mark a duty of care to ensure they input his records correctly. As his records contained crucial information about his sentencing decision, they should have ensured it was correct. Compliance with orders depend heavily on the maintenance of accurate records. Additionally, incorrect details like sentencing decisions can have serious consequences for individuals.

In this case, it cost Mark his freedom. The administrative error jointly/severally resulted in corrective services to detain and incarcerate Mark for 7 days. Therefore, the state subject him to false imprisonment.

Mark claimed general and exemplary damages. He also claimed aggravated damages for the shock and distress he experienced for his time incarcerated. Mark also experienced damage to his reputation. 

Above all, Mark suffered a long period of wrongful imprisonment. 

Mark filed for his seven days of false imprisonment against the state of New South Wales.

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O’Brien Criminal & Civil Solicitors
p: 02 9261 4281
a: Level 4, 219-223 Castlereagh St,
Sydney NSW 2000

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