District Court New South Wales

CASE SUMMARY NO. 1

The Plaintiff resides in the state of New South Wales and is aged approximately 53 years of age.

The Plaintiff brought proceedings against the State of New South Wales for the following:

  1. False imprisonment;
  2. Assault;
  3. Battery

The proceedings brought against the State of New South Wales (formerly the NSW Police Department) was successful and heard before the District Court of NSW in late 2018.

The factual circumstances of the accident are as follows:

  1. Male, aged 53, sitting in Burke Street, Surry Hills, when police suddenly pull over at approximately 2.30am and question him.
  2. He was immediately searched on the footpath and forced to the ground and handcuffs were placed upon him.
  3. He was then transported to Kings Cross Police Station where an illegal strip search was performed and told to leave the premises and provided with a fuel can to attend the Downing Centre in the next few weeks.
  4. The strip search was illegal in all respects and it was conceded by the State of New South Wales, that the police officers owed a duty of care to the Plaintiff.

In His Honour’s final judgment he made a significant point as to the exemplary damages to be awarded to the Plaintiff due to the shocking and horriful conduct of the police officers.

His Honour in his Judgment clearly stipulated that the intent of exemplary damages is to punish the offender and accordingly the findings by the Judge were one of the highest exemplary damages awarded in recent times in any claim made against the state in the State of New South Wales.

Subsequent to His Honour’s findings, the NSW Police Commission conducted its own investigations. In addition to the findings of the Court, the State of NSW was punished to pay all the Plaintiff’s legal costs, which exceeded $250,000.

The Commissioner’s findings against the police have resulted in the police being expelled from NSW Police Force and no superannuation and/or future entitlements are allowed.

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