A few months ago I wrote about Adhesive Pro P/L -v- Blackrock Supplies P/L, in which an application to set aside a Statutory Demand failed largely because the Court turnaround for stamping the documents did not return the application for serving until after the strict 21-day period for service.
The Court was pretty scathing of the “defective administrative processes” in the Registry as well as the delay by the solicitors, then acting, for the Applicant.
The ACT Magistrates Court has reacted by releasing a new Notice to Practitioners which outlines the new procedures for filing and stamping of documents.
The notice states that the Court will stamp, rather than seal, documents for service on other parties. The stamp will include the date the document was originally filed.
This does not address the issue of Registry turnaround time but does provide parties with a stronger tool to prove that a served document is a true copy and was indeed filed at the stated time.
Rule 6304 of the Court Procedures Rules allows the Court to stamp a document instead of sealing it to indicate that it is a true copy of a filed document.