Why is not paying for fuel a police matter, but trashing a house, not paying rent, a civil matter?.

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by Car tart, 2nd Nov, 2018.

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  1. Car tart

    Car tart Well-Known Member

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    i fail to understand the difference between not paying for petrol and not paying for a car, home etc.

    Two years ago I was contacted by police who attended my company to question me about driving off four days earlier without paying for $9.60 in petrol.
    The car was lent to a friend.
    I rang my mate and he said he realised he had no money on him and immediately stopped filling at $9.60, left his watch drove home, returned and filled the car and paid the $60 due and reclaimed his watch.
    I rang the police later and explained the story.
    Two days later police again confronted me in my office, the $60 was paid but not the $9.60. I explained that $60 was for $9.60 and $50.40. Two separate fills in one night.
    The police then drove from parramatta to mascot to ascertain this was correct and rang me later to say it was ok.

    I’ve had tenants bounce bank cheques for thousands, claim their credit card was stolen after they paid for something and then they receive a claim bank. This weekend I sold my trans am for $12,500 then 4 days later they sent me a message saying they don’t like the car and they’ve asked St George to cancel the bank cheque. I was horrified this was possible.

    Yet these are civil matters not a police matter.

    Why?
     
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  2. Propagate

    Propagate Well-Known Member

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    Maybe something to do with the tax component of the fuel? It's ok to steal form the "little guy", i.e. you and me, but woe betide you if take from the state?
     
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  3. TheSackedWiggle

    TheSackedWiggle Well-Known Member

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    Lobby group?
     
  4. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    A tenant is occupying as an invitee - the lease is a contract & contract law applies.

    Did they keep the car? That's theft.
     
  5. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    What do you mean by this?
     
  6. Car tart

    Car tart Well-Known Member

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    Yes but it’s over 300kms away and they’re happy to give it to me if I give up my claim. I’m not allowed to test the car to see what faults it now has before I sign a release.
     
  7. Illusivedreams

    Illusivedreams Well-Known Member

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    Very hard to cancel a bank cheque once lodged.
    In fact almost impossible. (very few ways)
     
  8. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

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    Scott is correct here - there is a contract between the tenant and landlord.

    Not paying rent is not theft like not paying for petrol would be - it is a contractual (civil) issue.

    Similarly, reneging on a contract of sale is not a criminal matter.
     
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  9. Paul@PAS

    [email protected] Tax, Accounting + SMSF + All things Property Tax Business Plus Member

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    State Crimes Act defines what offences Police enforce. They also may enforce other laws (ie Road traffic laws eg ROAD RULES 2014) and (some) environmental laws eg noise anjd other legislation that gives police powers. Some police powers are also delegated eg Commonwealth laws.

    Police dont deal with civil contractual matters as this is determined by a lease agreement including one that is made under Residential Tenancy Act 2010 (NSW). Other agencies (Fair Trading / Tribunal etc) address actions under those laws. Its like suggesting a Policeman to enforce a consumer warranty. Evictions can occur with police attendance only for civil order and safety. Sheriff will enforce an eviction NOT the police.
     
    Last edited: 2nd Nov, 2018
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  10. Car tart

    Car tart Well-Known Member

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    The bank told me that a bank cheque is not much different from a personal cheque except that you are assured that the bank has funds in its account but not the personal cheque.
     
  11. Illusivedreams

    Illusivedreams Well-Known Member

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    From another forum

    Phil181
    Whirlpool Forums Addict
    ref: whrl.pl/RdgFt4
    posted 2012-Jul-31, 5:01 pm AEST
    The purchaser cannot "stop" the bank cheque.
    They can report it lost or stolen and only be issued with a duplicate cheque. This can only happen at least a week after it was purchased and the client needs to complete all the bank paperwork which includes a declaration on what they did with the cheque to lose it. The bank confirms that it has not been banked in the meantime, before they will issue a replacement/duplicate (which would still have your name on it).

    To cancel the cheque, you need to take it physically back to the bank.
    Stolen or forged cheques are another issue completely
     
  12. Illusivedreams

    Illusivedreams Well-Known Member

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  13. kaibo

    kaibo Well-Known Member

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    i think alterations or forgeries of bank cheques is the main concern
     
  14. Illusivedreams

    Illusivedreams Well-Known Member

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    I think OPs main concern was cheque being cancelled by purchaser.
     
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  15. Ted Varrick

    Ted Varrick Well-Known Member

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    How did they ask St George to cancel a bank cheque that you had legitimately banked?

    Assuming the conversation they had with St George was not fraudulent, of course?

    And, are there any before and after pics of your Trans Am?
     
  16. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    I’m interested in hearing from the OP what ended up happening.

    I don’t think the car purchaser has any chance to get the bank to cancel their bank cheque unless they are claiming the cheque was stolen or lost.
    If you have cashed it, they definitely have no hope.
     
  17. craigc

    craigc Well-Known Member

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    Police no longer (recent change) follow up petrol drive-offs in Melbourne, as advised by operator who I helped describe the driver & car to (deliberate drive-off, definitely no accident).
    Servo rings through report and that’s it now.
    Maybe if car is pulled over for other offences it comes up, but seems that’s it.
    Certainly very diligent in your example.
     
  18. Car tart

    Car tart Well-Known Member

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    It’s been tough.
    Purchaser went to St George bank and said cheque was lost and to cancel.
    My bank says it’s up to St George.
    St George says I am not a customer and they cannot help.
    Police said it’s not a police matter. Even though I believe a fraud has been committed.
    Only Avenue is to seek redress though court at a cost of $1,000s.
     
  19. qak

    qak Well-Known Member

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    Interesting question though - isn't the sale of petrol (or anything else) a contract (even if not written)?

    There's an invitation to treat, offer, acceptance, valuable consideration ...

    ETA: ACCC says it is Entering into a contract - see the 2nd dot point.
     
  20. Perp

    Perp Well-Known Member

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    The contract for sale of petrol is only completed when the petrol is paid for.

    If the customer hasn't paid for the petrol, they're committing a crime - theft (or shoplifting, depending on your jurisdiction) - which is why the police get involved.

    The problem with a rental contract is that it's an ongoing contract for the supply of a service in exchange for the payment of rent. If a tenant somehow managed to get into occupation without the contract ever being completed - eg a squatter who never paid rent or had a completed agreement - then it would be a police matter - you could have them evicted as a trespasser.

    But the tenancy contract is completed when the landlord makes the tenant an offer for them to rent the property on certain terms, the tenant accepts it, and the tenant pays consideration, such as their first period of rental payment, which a prudent landlord insists upon receiving before giving the tenant keys. Once those things have happened, there's an ongoing binding contractual arrangement. If the tenant doesn't pay rent after that, there's a contractual dispute, which police don't get involved in.

    I know it sucks, but that's the distinction.

    Not legal advice, standard disclaimer applies.