Sladen Snippet - Court awards indemnity costs where caveat lodged without proper grounds

On 23 April 2015, the Supreme Court ordered a party who lodged a caveat without proper grounds to pay the other party’s costs on an indemnity basis.  The defendant lodged a caveat on the title of a property claiming an interest pursuant to a purchaser’s contract. 

The plaintiff landowner stated that he did not enter into any contract with the defendant and moreover had never met the defendant or had any dealings with the defendant.  The Court ordered that the defendant pay the plaintiff’s costs on an indemnity basis because the Court inferred that the defendant, at no time, had any valid basis upon which he could claim a caveat over the property. 

It appeared that the motivation for lodging the caveat may have been related to a demand to receive $1,000.00 back from the defendant which appeared to have never been repaid. Citing the need to discourage persons from lodging caveats without bona fide claims, the Court ordered that the plaintiff be entitled to an order for indemnity costs.  The case serves as a warning to parties not to use the caveat process as a leverage or pressure mechanism to secure payment of monies due. 

If you would like further information in relation to caveats and their removal, please contact:

Leneen Forde
Sladen Legal
03 9611 0142