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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22822
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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I am a kiwi but lived in asia for 20 years. had a business

Customer Question

I am a kiwi but lived in asia for 20 years. had a business venture in Thailand with a friend from NZ. The business failed and eventually I lost all of my money and started again just working in restaurant business to make ends meet. The venture was over 10 years ago. And I said to the guy that if I can find the money to pay him back I will. But still not able to. I have made no contact with him for over 6 six years and am wanting to go to Australia to find work. I have heard that he has taken out an injunction against me in both NZ and Oz. What does tihat mean? How can I make sure I can get into Australia to look for work? I have no money and am getting to the age where medical things happen so want to be in either NZ or Oz .. but if I get stopped at the border and then cannot go work in Australia then there is no chance for me. Regards
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Perth
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: I don't know, I have not talked with the man but have heard he got an injunction (through a family member)
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No, just that I am in such a bad way I am at the stage of deciding whether to go for bankruptcy or not.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 8 months ago.

In both Australia and New Zealand there is a limitation on bringing civil cases after 6 years. The period means that if they do not take any steps during the time after the money became due, they are time-barred from bringing a claim. It is unusual to get an injunction in this sort of case. While it is possible to obtain orders to stop someone at the airport it is only when there is a suspicion that you are fleeing the country to avoid creditors. There is also an obligation to bring this to your attention. But in any event it is very unlikely and rarely used. Of course he may have filed a court case within that time as required by the Limitation Act, but may have been unable to serve copies on you. In this context I wonder if he has your current contact details? I think it is unlikely however that he has the form of civil proceeding filed which would stop you at the border. Although you may be reluctant to contact the former business partner, perhaps now might be the right time to do so and see what has actually happened.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I am fully aware of the 6 year rule which is one reason I was reluctant to make any contact / acknowledgment of debt - we both lost on the deal but I said I would try to pay him back as I was the one that bought him to the deal. I have had the same address for 15 years, and same phone number and same email ... in Thailand. I have been outside of NZ for 20 years and have no assets or residence there. I have not seen any documentation from him. I just want to go and get a job that can pay my daily requirements .. I know I will have no chance of paying anything back as I am broke.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
If I go to Perth next month is there any likelihood of being stopped at border or any action taken on me when I first arrive. If so it could also jeopardise my job opportunities as I used to work for ANZ for 20 years so would be looking at Banking type work.
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 8 months ago.

I think it is very unlikely. You dont get injunctions just for a civil debt. It is also very unusual to be arrested at the border for a civil debt, and I suspect someon is trying to spread malicious information. Can you contact this person? That seems the best way. You could also get in touch with the Border officials and ask if there is any order which would be used at the airport

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
OK, thanks. I also believe it is difficult to go at me indiviually as the funds went to a Thai company that I was a director of. That Thai company got in such a bad way that it is now out of business and owes the Thai tax authorities etc. All the dispute would be based on happenings in Thailand and while he may want to take action against me in NZ it is in fact something he needs to take action on in Thailand... and therefore can he actually take action against me at all (in NZ)?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 8 months ago.

That means he would need to sue in Thailand and then try to register the judgment in New Zealand. That would not be easy because they are a civil law country and we are a common law country, and civil judgments are hard to register here. But if this is also just a company debt, this adds a further difficulty for him. Of course having lived in Thailand you know the judges there may be more suceptable to being helped to get the "right result". But again as you live there, you would have seen the paperwork I am sure, if this was attempted

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thanks. There is much less "helping" now that the Army is in charge of the Government. I have even heard of Judges giving the money back. I have seen no paperwork and Thailand has statutes as well so I believe it is therefore unlikely that anything could be done. He certainly can't sue the company as the tax man is in front of the queue on that one. ... so it seems he is just trying to scare me into doing something that I wish I could do, but unfortunately cannot. Thanks again. Just talking it through helps me get a better clarity on it.
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 8 months ago.

Great, glad this has helped

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