False imprisonment of young people class action


Conditional Settlement Reached

The parties to a class action over alleged false imprisonment of young people by the New South Wales Police Force have reached an in-principle settlement. The class action is in the Supreme Court of New South Wales and is called Amom v State of New South Wales (proceeding number 2011/187125).

You may be eligible for compensation if:

  1. you faced charges in the Children’s Court of New South Wales; and
  2. you were arrested before 20 May 2014 by the New South Wales police for a breach of bail conditions; and
  3. you weren’t actually on bail at the time you were arrested, or you were on bail but not subject to the condition you were arrested for.

What you have to do

If you were arrested in the way described above and you want to receive compensation, you must by 9 October 2015 either:

  1. fill in a Registration Form and send it to the law firm Maurice Blackburn; or
  2. telephone the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and give information about yourself.

Details of settlement

The State of New South Wales has agreed to pay money into a fund to be administered for participating group members. Maurice Blackburn, the lawyers for the plaintiff, will administer a settlement scheme if it is approved by the Court. If you are a group member, you register by 9 October 2015 and you provide the required information, you will receive compensation for each unlawful arrest you were subjected to.

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre is acting for group members in the proceeding. You can ask the Public Interest Advocacy Centre for a copy of the settlement scheme that the Court will be asked to approve.

The settlement will only proceed if it is approved by the Supreme Court of New South Wales. If you are entitled to receive compensation you can object to the proposed settlement. If you want to object, you must write to Maurice Blackburn by 9 October 2015 giving reasons why you think the settlement should not be approved.

If you have any questions about the proposed settlement you should ring the Public Interest Advocacy Centre as soon as possible on (02) 8898 6500.

Registration forms or objections must be sent to Maurice Blackburn by 9 October 2015 at:

CIDnAP Class Action
Maurice Blackburn Pty Ltd
PO Box A266
Sydney South NSW 1235
Email: cidnapclassaction@mauriceblackburn.com.au

Background to the case

On 8 June 2011, Maurice Blackburn together with the Public Interest Advocacy Centre launched a class action in the Supreme Court of New South Wales seeking compensation for children and young people who have been wrongfully arrested and detained by NSW police for breach of bail.

It is thought that many children and young people have been wrongfully arrested in NSW because of a long-standing problem with the police computer system containing out-of-date or incorrect bail information. Sometimes a person's bail status will change either when their case is finalised in the Children's Court or their bail conditions are varied: often these changes in a person's bail status are not being added to the police computer system.

The consequence of this problem with the police computer system has been a devastating loss of freedom for the children and young people who are wrongfully arrested by police officers acting on the basis of wrong information.

The lead applicant in the class action is Einpwy Amom, who was arrested and unlawfully detained three times in western Sydney in March and April 2010. Acting on the basis of incorrect bail information, police detained Mr Amom overnight during each arrest. The next day the Children's Court identified that the police had made a mistake and ordered Mr Amom's immediate release.