Serenity Of Courtroom At Melbourne Magistrate

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Serenity Of Courtroom At Melbourne Magistrate

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Serenity Of Courtroom At Melbourne Magistrate

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The serenity of the courtroom at Melbourne’s magistrate court offers a sense of security and comfort. The walls and the mere presence of policemen heavily guarding the court entrance almost made me a bit uncomfortable. Once inside the courtroom, one cannot help but blend in with the seriousness of the building let alone the matters discussed in the courtroom.
The layout of the Hearing Room
The layout of a normal courtroom contains a raised bench where the magistrate alongside a bench clerk seat. There is also a dock whereby defendants are housed as they hear the proceedings on their case. A witness stand which houses witnesses is available. There is a bar table where both parties involved in the case at hand seat. Finally at the back, is a wide public gallery that contains the listening community.
The Personnel in the Hearing
In the Melbourne magistrate court, the following personnel titles and their respective roles are present during hearings. The magistrate is responsible for deciding whether the accused is guilty or not. Prosecutor is in charge of presenting the case against the accused. Duty solicitor provides legal advice on the court and can also act as a prosecutor. The bench clerk takes part in announcing cases, inviting witnesses to the stand, assist in oath administration and prepare the available court orders for necessary distribution. Witnesses who contribute as part of the evidence in a present case participate in court hearings. The public which comprises of relations and other individuals interested in the court proceedings are also part of a court hearing.
Types of Cases Heard by the Civil Personnel
There are a number of different cases heard at the Melbourne magistrates’ court. They include; hearings on warrant application, bail application, money and civil disputes, family law and matters pertaining to family violence.
Steps Taken in Commencing and Defending an Action in Court
Before a plaintiff resorts to issuing a complaint in court, it is advisable to try and solve the matter personally with the defendant. If the cause of legal action involves money recovery, for example, it is recommendable to file a complaint document, Form 5A, to the court (Magistratescourt.vic.gov.au, 2017). This form must state your personal details of contact and address, the defendant’s details, your claim statement; the date, venue and description of the event. After filling the form, the plaintiff is required to lodge the complaint to the court almost adjacent to anything related to your claim statement. According to the Civil Procedure Rules 2010, there is a mandatory payable fee when filing a complaint. The defendant is then supposed to be issued a copy of the valid complaint. An Affidavit of service, which entails information on time and manner in which the document was issued to the defendant, should be provided. Finally, the plaintiff should maintain contact with the magistrates’ court for updates concerning the pending case.
Melbourne Landlord v Tenants
During the visit to Melbourne court, there was an ongoing case between a landlord and her tenants. The tenants are accused of sub-renting a two bedroom Fitzroy apartment belonging to Mrs. Catherine Swan (Lenaghan, 2016). According to Justice Clyde Croft’s ruling, the sub-renting was not part of the agreement between the tenants and their landlord, based on the given accounts by various written proof contracts.
The Landlord-Tenant Act
The law used in governing the case is the Landlord-tenant law which states the respective rights and duties expected by tenants and landlords (Ahlen & Foster, 2014, 20). The major elements in this law are real property and contract law. There are two major types of leases identified by the landlord-tenant law; residential leases and business leases. Residential leases are agreements created for people living in groups or individually in a specific leased space. Commercial leases, on the other hand, involve spaces set aside for trade which includes; industrial purpose, manufacture and retailing or even official set up (Ezarik, 2006, 68). Landlord duties contained in the Landlord-tenant act include; duty of possession delivery, quiet enjoyment contract, and habitability warranty (Huben, 2013, 2). Tenants also have duties to play in accordance with the law. These duties are; premise preservation, operation in accordance with the lease agreement and the rightful duty to pay rent as agreed upon.
Based on the Landlord-tenant law, the following conditions can lead to a rightful reason of tenant eviction (Suykens, 2015, 490).

Tenants’ refusal to pay rent on the agreed time and without submitting a questionable reason of delay. The willful damage to premises by the tenant exceeding the normal limits of wearing out.
Continuous disorderly conduct by the tenant leading to disturbance of peace to other tenants.
Tenants’ participation in illegal activity within the rentals without the landlord’s concern.
Failure of the tenant to grant access to residential premises after a notice of eviction.

Landlord-Tenant Law in Accordance with Mrs. Swan v Tenant
According to the substantial evidence provided in the court hearing, the tenants were guilty of breaching their residential lease. The conclusion was followed by the illegal sub-renting of the rental unit to short-stay guests who in turn paid for their stay. Moreover, the sub-renting was done without the landlord’s knowledge or approval.
The Case Outcome
 The final judgment given by justice Croft was that the tenants be evicted, granting Mrs. Swan a possession order of her rental apartment. Evidently, Mrs. Swan was declared the outright winner in the case appeal. The tenants were wrong to breach their lease agreement by illegally sub-renting the apartment without the landlord’s knowledge.
According to my viewing on the court’s final decision, I believe it was only fair for the landlord to regain possession of her apartment. Furthermore, the tenants ought to be grateful that the court did not decide to fine them any penalty for their illegal sub-renting. If I was given the option to decide on the ruling, I would have charged the tenants a sum fine for illegal sub-renting. This is because they illegally acquired the money from another person’s hard work of setting up the residential premise.
Ahlen, J, & Foster, L 2014, ‘Uniform Residential Landlord-Tenant Law: Changes on the Way’, Probate & Property, 28, 4, pp. 20-24
Ezarik, M 2006, ‘LESSONS in landlording’, University Business, 9, 9, pp. 68-72, Professional Development Collection.
Huben, BD 2013, ‘A Matter of Priorities: Mechanics’ Liens and Landlord Indemnity Claims in Retail Tenant Bankruptcies’, Shopping Center Legal Update, 33, 3, pp. 1-4, Business Source Complete,
Lenaghan, N. (2016). 404 | afr.com. [online] Afr.com. Available at: https://www.afr.com/real-estate/melbourne-landlord-wins-landmark-airbnb-case-20160609-gpfa3g. [Accessed 11 May 2017].
Magistratescourt.vic.gov.au. (2017). About the Court | Magistrates’ Court of Victoria. [online] Available at: https://www.magistratescourt.vic.gov.au/about-us/about-court [Accessed 11 May 2017].
Suykens, B 2015, ‘The Land that Disappeared: Forceful Occupation, Disputes and the Negotiation of Landlord Power in a Bangladeshi Bastee’, Development & Change, 46, 3, pp. 486-507

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