South Australia

Court of Appeal

  • Groom v Police [2020] SASCA 1 (22 January 2021) – South Australian Court of Appeal
    Abuse of process’ – ‘Application for permission to appeal’ – ‘Protection order’ – ‘Systems abuse

    Proceedings: Application for permission to appeal the dismissal of an application for revocation of an intervention order.

    Facts: This matter had an extensive history (set out at [7]). The intervention order was originally made on 19 October 2011, and confirmed by consent on 22 February 2012. The applicant’s appeal against confirmation of the interim intervention was upheld on 25 June 2013: Groom v Police (No 3). On 10 December 2013, the application to confirm the intervention order was again confirmed by consent in the Magistrates Court. The applicant’s appeal was dismissed by a single judge on 21 March 2014 and an application for permission to appeal to the Full Court refused on 19 November 2014: Groom v Police. In December 2014, the applicant was convicted of contravening a term of the intervention order and an appeal was dismissed in July 2015: Groom v Police. In 2016, the applicant filed an application to revoke the intervention order, which was dismissed by the Magistrate. Various appeals were dismissed by a single judge and the Full Court in 2017. Notwithstanding the Full Court’s judgment, the applicant again applied to a Magistrate to revoke the order made on 19 October 2011 and confirmed on 10 December 2013. The Magistrate dismissed the application on 26 May 2020 and this was affirmed on appeal by Lovell J.

    Grounds of appeal: The Magistrate and Lovell J erred in failing to find that there was new and compelling evidence to demonstrate that the order was invalid and should be revoked.

    Held: The Court not only dismissed the application for permission to appeal but also held at [10]-[11] that:

    “In our view, the latest material filed in support of the application for permission to appeal demonstrates that the applicant continues to attempt to relitigate matters previously ventilated and considered in the Magistrates Court, by the various Judges of this Court and by the Full Court.

    We consider the current application for permission to appeal, in the circumstances, to be an abuse of process.”

    The Court referred the matter to the Attorney-General to consider whether there were proper grounds for an application to be made under s 39 of the Supreme Court Act 1935 (SA) to stay any further proceedings sought to be instituted by the applicant (at [12]-[13]).