Skip to main content
31 Mar 2006
Appeal Status
Not appealed

Proceedings struck out for exceeding jurisdiction

2006 case note – pleadings struck out as they exceeded the District Court's jurisdiction and this was a deliberate calculation by the taxpayer.

Graham Ashley Robert Palmer v The Commissioner of Inland Revenue


The District Court struck out causes of action 3,4,5 & 6 of the Taxpayer's Statement of Claim under the proviso to section 44 District Courts Act 1947 as the aggregate of the causes of action in the proceeding exceeded the District Court' jurisdiction of $200,000 and the Taxpayer knew his claim exceeded the jurisdiction.


The Taxpayer’s proceeding, claiming under six different causes of action, collectively amounted to $8,946,716.49 plus interest for damages arising from the Commissioner stopping two cheques for GST refunds; one for $29,013.21 in 1996 and the other for $59,422.03 in 1998. The jurisdiction of the District Court is limited to $200,000. The Court held that that jurisdiction is exceeded where there a number of causes of action which, although individually involving less than $200,000, exceed that amount in the aggregate. Under the proviso to section 44 of the District Courts Act, where a plaintiff knew that the jurisdiction was exceeded, the Court can strike out the proceedings. The Court found that the Taxpayer made a deliberate and calculated decision to ignore the jurisdiction limit and struck out causes of
action 3, 4, 5 & 6; leaving the causes of action for each of the stopped cheques.

District Courts Act 1947; District Courts Rule 1992