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Non Raceday Inquiry RIU v M J Anderson - Costs Ruling dated 13 August 2020 - Chair, Mr M McKechnie

Created on 14 August 2020

BEFORE A JUDICIAL COMMITTEE OF

THE JUDICIAL CONTROL AUTHORITY

UNDER THE RACING ACT 2003

AND IN THE MATTER of the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing

BETWEEN RACING INTEGRITY UNIT (RIU)

Informant

AND MATTHEW JASON ANDERSON

Licensed Public Trainer

Respondent

Informations: A7521/A7522

Present:

Judicial Committee: Murray McKechnie, Chairman

Prof Geoff Hall, Committee Member

Counsel for RIU: Mr Brian Dickey

Counsel for Respondent: Mr Allister Davis

COSTS RULING OF NON-RACEDAY JUDICIAL COMMITTEE 13 AUGUST 2020

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 In its decision of 14 July 2020 the Committee sought submissions on costs.

1.2 Submissions have now been received from counsel for Mr Anderson and counsel for the RIU. These can be briefly summarised as follows:

(a) The RIU advises that it has incurred costs in the sum of $8,580.60 (exclusive of GST) in relation to the investigation and prosecution of Mr Anderson. It is said that costs should follow the event. The submissions nevertheless acknowledge that the Committee may award a proportion of total costs rather than indemnity costs. It is said that Mr Anderson, through his legal counsel, was well aware of the RIU’s position as a result of correspondence exchanged between legal counsel before the commencement of the hearing.

(b) For Mr Anderson it is said that in consequence of his disqualification for six months from 1 August he will have no employment and thus no income. It is said further that he has no assets other than a motor vehicle on which money is owing. Further, it is said that he has no savings and will be required to move out of his current accommodation. It is submitted that no award of costs should be made but if such were to be ordered then that should be paid at a weekly sum of no more than $5.00 until Mr Anderson can gain employment.

1.3 There have been developments that have taken place since the decision of the Committee issued on 14 July 2020. These are:

(a) Mr Anderson appealed the decision of the Judicial Committee. Both as to the finding that the charges were proved and in relation to the penalty of six months disqualification. The appeal in both respects was later withdrawn.

(b) It has come to the attention of the Committee that Mr Anderson has recently been convicted of two criminal charges in the Christchurch District Court. These are charges of assault and strangulation. Further enquiry has established that he is to be sentenced on those charges on 24 November 2020.

2.0 DISCUSSION

2.1 The Committee necessarily cannot know what will be the outcome of the sentencing of Mr Anderson on 24 November 2020 in the Christchurch District Court. Given the nature of the charges upon which he is to be sentenced some restriction on his liberty may result. Further, given those convictions and the current disqualification imposed of six months from 1 August this year, Mr Anderson’s ability to earn any meaningful income will have been seriously impacted.

2.2 The charges which Mr Anderson faced before the Judicial Committee were vigorously denied. Detailed submissions were filed on his behalf. There was a hearing of almost one days’ duration in Christchurch and thereafter further submissions were required from both parties upon whether or not the Committee had jurisdiction to rule upon the charges laid. This issue of jurisdiction rose from the rather uncertain wording of the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing. These circumstances have led to considerable time being required of the Judicial Committee.

2.3 The most significant circumstance in evaluating whether to award costs and if so in what amount(s) is Mr Anderson’s current position. He is plainly not in a strong financial position.

2.4 The Committee takes the view that a costs award in favour of both the RIU and the Judicial Control Authority is appropriate. The quantum of those awards must however have regard to Mr Anderson’s position as outlined above. Having regard to those circumstances the figures that the Committee has concluded are appropriate are very significantly less than would have been the case but for those circumstances.

3.0 DECISION

3.1 An appropriate figure for costs in respect of the RIU is $2,500.00. An appropriate figure for a contribution towards the costs of the JCA is in the same amount, $2,500.00, thus a total of $5,000.00.

3.2 Mr Anderson will almost certainly require time to make payment of these costs and he and/or his counsel are invited to communicate with the RIU and the Harness Racing NZ in order to set up a regime for payment over time.

Dated this 13th day of August 2020

Murray McKechnie

Chairman

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