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Vic Supreme Court dismisses suit against education department over enrolment of homeschooled child

The plaintiff’s wide-ranging allegations against individuals associated with both the original and the new schools included claims of policy breaches by the Department and defamation, which he stated led to severe psychiatric injuries, including major depressive disorder and anxiety disorder, among others. He sought damages exceeding $1.6 million.

Throughout the legal proceedings, the plaintiff submitted multiple statements of claim to lay out his case and legal bases for his allegations. However, the department argued these documents failed to adequately articulate a cause of action or properly detail the specific legal wrongs and the basis for the department’s accountability.

The Supreme Court highlighted that the department, as a state entity, is immune from tort claims except under specific conditions outlined in the Crown Proceedings Act 1958 (Vic). It noted the plaintiff’s failure to specify how any alleged misconduct by department employees or agents occurred within their employment scope, which is necessary for establishing the department’s vicarious liability.

The court also pointed out the excessive length and complexity of the pleadings, which contained numerous allegations against non-parties and made vague, unparticularised statements beyond the primary claims. Given these issues, the court concluded that the plaintiff’s case lacked any real chance of success and accordingly dismissed the lawsuit.  

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