Recent Cases

Patsantzopoulos by his tutor Naumov v Burrows [2023] NSWCA 79 (26 April 2023) (Ward P, Leeming and Adamson JJA)


CIVIL PROCEDURE – permanent stay – action for damages for historical sexual assault more than 30 years ago – defendant suffered severe stroke in 2014 and now suffers from dementia – defendant prosecuted for same conduct – defendant found unfit to stand trial – following special hearing, defendant found on limited evidence to have committed offence against plaintiff pursuant to s 22(1)(c) of Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act 1990 (NSW) – whether defendant’s inability to provide instructions and cognitive decline made a fair trial impossible – whether primary judge failed to address substantive submission advanced by defendant – significance of defendant being confronted with allegations before his cognitive decline – significance of being unfit to stand trial on criminal charges and application for permanent stay of civil proceedings – discretion to grant a permanent stay re-exercised but appeal dismissed