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Occupy Sydney Legals News ::

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Legals facebook group is here

a post by Wenny on FB & googlegroups 15 April 2011

Here's a report back from court this week:

- Firstly the s* news about A’s prison sentence yesterday for his assault police charge from 22nd Oct: 1 year in prison, 9 months’ non-parole. His appeal has been lodged for 9th May. Bail was refused to release him until then.

If ppl are interested in visiting him (probably at Silverwater) etc, I can put you in touch with ppl who may be doing that ([email protected])

His sentence for his other charges were:
. Larceny 24th Feb: conviction, good behaviour bond for 2 years
. Resist police 22nd Oct: as above
. Trespass 22nd Oct: conviction

Quick two cents from me - not part of this report back so please comment on them separately if you’d like. A’s actions have been controversial. He has a fairly extensive record that the Magistrate certainly took into account upon sentencing. She also went on about the victim police officer who suffered a 1.5cm laceration and his “silent voice”. I’ll consider A’s sentence a fair and just one the day we see police officers being held to account in the courtroom for some of their violence, instead of their actions largely being swept under the carpet by internal mechanisms and systemically excused as being executed in the course of their jobs. See http://corrigan.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/cpa1999278/s3a.html for the purposes of sentencing in NSW law. Not quite sure how the courts think A’s sentence will necessarily promote deterrence, protection and rehabilitation either.

- The great news from court yesterday is that the police withdrew six matters for the people that had court-elected on their fines for ‘camping’ from the 23rd Oct eviction. A big congratulations to A, D, K, P, R and S! This follows on from the withdrawal of G and K’s camping matters in the last fortnight, and of course the dismissals of L and B’s charges given the paucity of police evidence. So the police have yet to prove a single camping or staying overnight matter in the courtroom, despite laying 20 charges and giving out 36 fines for this alleged offence and making dozens of arrests and trying to lay prohibitive bail conditions in the meantime.

- To the 14 people in the Group which matters have been continuously adjourned for the Fed Court case (J, R, M, A, L, J, F, E, N, P, M, M, R and B) - your next court date is 25th May. You must come to court and the Legals team will be in touch with you about it.

- B’s matters have been adjourned to 4th May. As has P’s reply date for his RBA trespass charge, with the police prosecutor saying yesterday that they’re reviewing their brief of evidence and may withdraw his charge ...

- V and S’s hearing date is 30th May. V successfully had her twice-weekly reporting bail condition lifted, congrats!

 - On Thursday, V successfully appealed the severity of her sentence for the Westpac trespass charge. Her conviction and $200 fine were downgraded to a section 10 non-recording of a conviction and a 12-month good behaviour bond; another congrats.

- The police have indicated that they'll be withdrawing J's 'hinder police' charge from mid-Dec ... stay tuned.

Please see the updated Occupy the Court dates below (all @ Downing Centre, 9.30am. The hearings have been bolded):

- Fri 27th April: D’s ‘camping’ hearing continues (representation by Stephen Dolan, Aboriginal Legal Service)

- Fri 4th May: Mentions (entering a plea) for B’s matters; reply for P’s RBA trespass charge (getting a hearing date, or the police withdrawing it ..)

- Wed 9th May: M’s hearing for his RBA trespass charge (self-representing); A’s sentence appeal (representation by Wendy Langley)

- Thurs 17th May: L’s hearing on ‘staying overnight’ and ‘intimidating police’

- Tues 22nd May: Second directions hearing for our Fed Court case (hopefully getting a hearing date for that)

- Fri 25th May: Mentions for 14 people in Group (entering pleas)

- Wed 30th May: L’s ‘staying overnight’ hearing continues (representation by Charles Waterstreet); V and S’s hearings on ‘public mischief’ charges for the Greek solidarity action
  An update of people’s court matters over the past month, in roughly chronological order in relation to court dates. NB: All upcoming court dates are @ the Downing Centre, from 9.30am.

Please help to distribute the upcoming Occupy the Court dates, e.g. on the website etc. 

A few things before the Court report backs and update:
1. Legal Support Working Group meeting – this Monday 5th March, 5pm @ the site.Special invite to people representing themselves in court at this stage to chat through questions, strategies etc. Also to people that can lend a hand to the group!!   

2. Highlighting that our constitutional challenge in the Federal Court begins next Thursday 8th March – more details below.

3. The legals team has distributed over $1,300, mainly raised from the fundraiser in Marrickville in December, for people’s fines and court costs. We urgently need to do more fundraising for legal costs. Please stay tuned to a fundraiser that people like Bernie, Matt M and Stef are organising for Friday 16th March. A big thanks to Kathryn and Ness for coordinating the distribution of money from the legals fund up to this stage. 

4. Two groups of people are in the process of applying for a review of their fines (Penalty Infringement Notices or PINs) for i. ‘camping’ and ii. ‘staying overnight’, referencing Lance’s ‘camping’ court victory amongst other things. Stay tuned to the results of these applications!

5. People may recall the questions we gave to David Shoebridge via Irene Doutney to ask in NSW Parliament about the policing of Occupy. FYI that we should get a response in about two weeks’ time. 


Legals phone:  
Legals email: 
Legals email list: 
Legals facebook group is here


Akin: had court 27th Jan, an adjournment to 24th Feb, and had court again today, with representation by Wendy Langley. Today he entered pleas of guilty to his new larceny charge from last Friday, and to resist arrest, assault police and remain on enclosed land from 22nd Oct. Two charges from 22nd Oct, another resist and offensive weapon, were withdrawn and dismissed. Akin will be sentenced on 13th April after a sentencing report is produced to the court. He has bail conditions for his larceny charge, successfully varied today to prohibiting him from being at Martin Place or Hyde Park.

Glenn: had court 30th Jan after he court-elected on his ‘camping’ PIN from the 23rdOct eviction. He entered a plea of Not Guilty and his reply court date to get a hearing date is 12th March.

RE arrests from Westpac action 30th Jan:
Lily: Lily was arrested on 30th Jan for her action next to the Westpac building and action. She refused police bail and was brought before the court on 31st Jan, where she decided to plead guilty to her two charges of risking safety of another by climbing a building/structure, and for graffiti for affixing a placard/paper on premises without consent. For the first offence she was given a conviction, $100 fine and $81 court costs, which have been paid for from the Occupy legals fund. For the second she was given a s(10)(1)(a) – no conviction recorded. The Central Local Court’s Legal Aid lawyer represented her.

Vicki: Vicki successfully varied bail prohibiting her from 2km of MP on 3rd Feb, to not going back to Westpac. She had court 27th Feb for her charge for remain on enclosed land (the Westpac foyer). That was adjourned to today when she pleaded guilty, with representation by Wendy Langley. Vicki was given a conviction, $200 fine and $81 court costs. At this stage there ISN’T enough money in the legals fund to pay for these.

Alain, Duncan, Kathryn, Pathi and Rohan: had court 31st Jan for their court-election of ‘camping’ PINs from 23rd Oct. Alain, Duncan and Pathi adjourned to 3rd Feb to join the big group of Occupy matters that will keep being adjourned until after the constitutional challenge – on 3rd Feb, those matters were adjourned to 13th April. Kathryn and Rohan adjourned to 14th Feb for further legal advice, then also adjourned to 13th April.

­Ruby: for her ‘graffiti’ charge for chalking on 10th Jan, Ruby had court 31st Jan, her matter was adjourned to 14th Feb, and on 14th Feb she pleaded guilty, was given a s10(1)(a) (no conviction recorded) and given $81 court costs that the Occupy legals fund has paid for.

RE arrests from the big eviction on 2nd Feb:
There were seven arrests: five led to charges of ‘staying overnight’ (for Blake, Lance, Lily, Ray and Troy) and two under-18s were released with cautions

Bail – everyone was given police bail conditions of not being able to be at MP between 9pm and 6am daily. Lance refused them, was taken before Central Local Court, and the Magistrate agreed to release him without bail conditions. On 8th Feb, Lily and Troy successfully varied their bail to no conditions. (Unfortunately something came up for Ray and he couldn’t be there, and Blake’s left Sydney for further travelling)

Troy: has a lawyer for an existing matter who represented him on the bail variation application on 8th Feb, and also entered a plea of Not Guilty that day. Troy’s reply date to get a hearing date/adjourn to 13th April is 6th March

Lily: had court 23rd Feb, pleaded Not Guilty and her hearing date is 30th March

Blake and Ray: also had court 23rd Feb, adjourned to 13th April. Thanks to Dale Mills for appearing for them to do that in their absences

Lance: as people may know, Lance was arrested early on 3rd Feb when he went to retrieve property from the Rocks police station, for ‘staying overnight’ and ‘intimidating police’. He refused police bail conditions prohibiting him from MP between 6pm and 7am daily. He was taken before Central Local Court but the Magistrate upheld those conditions. On 8th Feb, he successfully varied his bail at the Downing Centre to no conditions. On 3rdFeb, Lance had also entered pleas of Not Guilty to the two charges and the ‘staying overnight’ one from 2nd Feb. His reply date to get a hearing date is 9th March.

People in the Group whose matters are being adjourned until after the constitutional challenge ie the 10 people who received charges from the 23rd Oct eviction – Anneleis, Bernie, Eamonn, Fabi, Jessica, Josh, Lindsay, Mushy, Ness and Rich; the 3 people that received charges from 5th Nov – Bernie, Morgan and Patrick; and Mehrdad who was arrested and charged on 8th Nov. Note that Bernie also has seven other charges, two relating to OS, that have joined his two other OS charges in the Group. At this stage there are 21 people in the Group – the original 13 people + Alain, Duncan, Kathryn, Pathi, Rohan, Shelly, Blake and Ray. The matters for the Group were mentioned on 3rd Feb and adjourned to 13th April.

- Matt:
 had court 3rd Feb for his RBA ‘trespass’ charge. He entered a plea of Not Guilty and his reply date to get a hearing date is 16th March.

- Bob:
 as people may know, Bob was arrested 9th Feb for ‘staying overnight’. He refused police bail conditions of not to be at MP between 9pm and 6am daily. 10 hours later in the Central Local Court, the Magistrate agreed and gave him bail conditions requiring him to comply with signs at MP. On 16th Feb, Bob applied to vary bail to try to get the court to specify their definition of ‘staying overnight’. The Court varied bail requiring Bob to comply with Federal, State and Council laws. On 9th Feb, Bob entered a plea of Not Guilty and his hearing date is 4th April.

Pathi: had court 17th Feb for his RBA ‘trespass’ charge. He adjourned to today to await a reply to his representations to the police for them to withdraw his charge. He still hasn’t received a formal reply but has been told that they will proceed with prosecuting the charge. Today the court ordered for the police to prepare their brief of evidence for the charge and Pathi’s reply date to get a hearing date is 13th April.

Shelly: had court 20th Feb for her court-election of a ‘camping’ PIN from 23rd Oct. Adjourned to 13th April.
Kristian: had court 21st Feb for his court-election of a ‘camping’ PIN from mid-Nov. He pleaded Not Guilty and his hearing date is 3rd April

RE arrests from the Greek solidarity action on 15th Feb: 
- As people may know, six people were arrested and held for 10-12 hours each. Only two, Stef and Vicki, were charged with ‘public mischief'

- Stef:
 Stef applied to vary his bail conditions on 24th Feb, successfully varying the most restrictive one for him. However he’s not allowed to be within 50m of MP. He has court on20th March.

- Vicki:
 Vicki unsuccessfully applied to vary her bail conditions on 23rd Feb but today, with Wendy Langley’s assistance, varied her 50m place restriction from MP to not entering MP between Elizabeth and Castlereagh Streets. Today she entered a plea of Not Guilty to her public mischief charge and her reply date to get a hearing date is 13th April, representation by Wendy Langley.

Jacob: today Jacob had a reply date for his hinder police charge from 13th Dec but he hasn’t yet received his brief from the police. His new reply date to get a hearing date is22nd March, representation by Wendy Langley.   

-       Tues 6th March: reply for Troy’s staying overnight charge from 2nd Feb
-       Wed 7th March: HEARING for Darren’s camping charge from 15th Dec – please come if you can!! Representation by Aboriginal Legal Service
-       <<<< Thurs 7th March: first directions hearing for the constitutional challenge in the Federal Court of Australia. From 9.30am on Levels 17-27 in the Law Courts Building @ 237 Macquarie St (the same building as the Supreme Court), right around the corner of the occupation site. We’ll know more about the progress of the constitutional case after that e.g. further court dates. Please come if you can!! >>>>>
-       Fri 9th March: reply for Lance’s two staying overnight and intimidating police charges from 2nd and 3rd Feb
-       Mon 12th March: reply for Glenn’s camping charge from 23rd Oct
-       Fri 16th March: reply for Matt’s RBA trespass charge from 23rd Nov, and Billalso has his first court date (called a mentions, where he’ll enter a plea of Guilty or Not Guilty) after court-electing on a ‘camping’ PIN from 14th Dec
-       Tues 20th March: mentions for Stef’s public mischief charge from 15th Feb
-       Thurs 22nd March: reply for Jacob’s hinder police charge from 13th Dec
-       Mon 26th March: Stephen has a mentions for his court-election of a ‘camping’ PIN from 18th Nov
-       Fri 30th March: Lily’s HEARING for her staying overnight charge from 2nd Feb
-       Tues 3rd April: Kristian’s HEARING for his camping charge from 18th Nov
-       Wed 4th April: Bob’s HEARING for his staying overnight charge from 9th Feb
-       Fri 13th April: Group of 21 people. Vicki and Pathi also have reply dates to get hearing dates, and Akin will be sentenced that day. i.e. 24 occupiers in court that day – please put this date in your diaries!

With a NSW police campaign underway to silence Occupy Sydney combined with an orchestrated litany of scurrilous charges to defend, our exhausted Occupy Sydney legal team are desperate for support.

 Until such support can be developed, The current Occupy Sydney Legal Team are unable to support future arrestees.

 The Occupy Sydney legal team urgently need : 

  • Pro-bono solicitors
  • Pro-bono barristers
  • Pro-bono senior counsel
  • Pro-bono researchers
  • A legals co-ordinator (for cases going forward)