News

Memo to the Profession – Administrative Delays at the LTO and SRO

Administrative Delays at the LTO and SRO
Will Justo, President, LST

The Society is aware of delays in processing certain documents at the Land Titles Office as well as delays in stamping documents sent to the State Revenue Office.  With respect to the former, the Society has been made aware of an instance in which LTO staff have advised that certain documents are not being looked at until the LTO is contacted and that only then will they be put on a “priority list”.  With respect to the SRO, the guidelines for documents that must be sent to the Office for stamping state that documents will be returned in 21 days.  Our view is that this is unacceptable but in any event it is not being achieved by the SRO.

I have written to both the Recorder of Titles and the Assistant Commissioner highlighting these concerns.  To our mind it is obvious that they seem to be under resourced whilst at the same time (and especially in the case of the State Revenue Office) taking in more revenue whilst reducing their own staff and “outsourcing” duties and roles to the private profession.  I have also outlined our concern that most Practitioners have been absorbing the costs of that but that ultimately that is not sustainable and it is also not right that our clients should have to pay extra for the privilege of having to pay duty in the first place!

We will keep members informed as to developments.


W Justo

15 November 2017

Legal Member – Parole Board

The Government of Tasmania is seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified persons for appointment as a Legal Member of the Parole Board pursuant to section 62(2)(a) of the Corrections Act 1997. It is intended to appoint one person for a term of up to 3 years. Applications for the position are invited from any person who is an Australia lawyer of at least 7 years’ standing as an Australian legal practitioner and has never been suspended from practice or been disbarred; Parole Board hearings are held fortnightly in Hobart. An Information Package may be accessed under “News” on the Department’s website at www.justice.tas.gov.au.  Applications addressing the relevant criteria may be sent to applications@justice.tas.gov.au; or
Recruitment Department of Justice GPO Box 825 HOBART TAS 7001.  Applications must be received by close of business Friday 24 November 2017. All applications will be acknowledged when received.  For further enquiries please contact Ms Liz Hawkes on (03) 6165 6719 or liz.hawkes@justice.tas.gov.au.

Review of Federal Court Practice Notes

 

Update – Review of Federal Court Practice Notes

On 25 October 2016, the Federal Court issued a suite of national practice notes, replacing its 60 previous practice notes and administrative notices.  The Court now has 27 national practice notes.  These include the Central Practice Note (with guiding principles for case management), National Practice Area practice notes (relevant to specific practice areas) and General Practice Notes (applicable across National Practice Areas, or which address important administrative matters).  More information about the Court’s practice notes is available here.

The General Practice Notes were issued on a “12-month review” basis to allow for detailed feedback (excluding the Class Actions Practice Note which, like the Court’s other practice notes, was subject to an earlier consultation process).  That formal review period has now closed.  The Court will review the feedback received, make any appropriate amendments to the practice notes and provide further updates when any changes occur.

Although the formal review period has closed, the Court continues to welcome feedback from the legal profession and other Court users in respect of all of the Court’s national practice notes.  If you would like to provide any feedback about the Court’s practice notes, please send an email to the Deputy National Operations Registrar, David Pringle (practice.notes@fedcourt.gov.au) including a short summary of any important issues that you wish to bring to the Court’s attention and your relevant contact details.  The Court will consider all feedback and acknowledge receipt of all feedback provided.

 

Tasmanian Revenue Online – development of fact sheet guidelines to assist users with recent changes to TRO – have your say regarding topics

Important Memo to TRO Users from the Law Society

8 November 2017

 

The State Revenue Office is developing a series of TRO ‘how to’ Fact Sheets. The idea is to release these over a number of months, concentrating at first on matters which are of (possible) greater importance (see initial list further below).

 Invitation to members

The purpose of my memo is twofold:

Firstly: to advise members about the Law Society’s support for this proposal.

Secondly: to invite you to consider and nominate any other topics for the fact sheet series. These will be issues of appreciable importance or relative complexity that require specific, step-by-step guidance. If you are submitting a topic, please include several dot points to provide context about the issue.

We are not asking for a critique of the TRO portal. Our aim here is to support the development of practical, clear-cut information to assist TRO users where it’s shown, through your submissions, that it’s most needed.

 Establishing priorities

Once your submissions are in and collated, priority will be given to developing fact sheets for topics that are issues in common for TRO users across the board. It is important to note that resources aren’t available to provide fact sheets for general processing tasks or similar functionality; guidance for these is available from the TRO help files.

Topics currently under consideration by the SRO

The SRO has already begun preparatory work on the fact sheet series. Below is the draft list of topics they have identified:

 

  1. Communication
    Communicating with the SRO using the TRO portal – explaining the differences between communicating about Transaction-specific and general Account issues.
  2. Deceased estates
    How to enter deceased estates (transferor is deceased estate, not executor in their own right).
  3. Trusts
    How to enter Trusts over property (fixed beneficiary – limited recourse borrowing arrangements).
  4. Aggregations
    How to enter Aggregated transactions.
  5. Farming property sales
    How to enter Sales of farming property (including section 225 – intergenerational rural transfers – whether as a transfer of property or sale of business).
  6. Payments
    How to pay invoices and assessment notices.
  7. Life Interest
    How to submit life interest.

Submissions close on Wednesday 22 November 2017

Could you please send your submissions to Francesca Saturno at Francesca.Saturno@lst.org.au or, in the alternative, please contact me directly to discuss.

Will Justo
Law Society President and member of the Property & Commercial Law Committee
Wallace, Wilkinson & Webster
Tel: (03) 6234 8022
wjusto@wwwlawyers.com.au

Federal Circuit Court Rules amendments contained in the Federal Circuit Court Amendment (Costs and Other Measures) Rules 2017

 

The amendments contained in the Federal Circuit Court Amendment (Costs and Other Measures) Rules 2017 extending the time a response must be filed and served from 14 days to 28 days of service of the application to which it relates commence on 2 November 2017.   As a consequence the following forms have been changed and will be available from 2 November 2017:

General Federal Law
• Application – General Federal Law
• Response – General Federal Law
• Application – Human Rights
• Response – Human Rights
• Application – Migration
• Application – Fair Work Division

Family Law
• Initiating Application

​Further details

New Probate Rules Commenced 8 November 2018

Transitional provisions:
For a period of two months from the date of commencement the Probate Registry will accept applications and supporting documents that comply with the 1936 Rules and use the existing forms if the application was signed or prepared by the applicant/s prior to the commencement date of the 2017 Rules… read more here.

Support:
The Probate Registry requests that all queries about the 2017 Rules and Forms be submitted by email to probate@supremecourt.tas.gov.au.
Answers to frequently asked questions will then be provided to practitioners and trustee companies.