Junk Mail Kills Appeal


The law can be very unforgiving. A few weeks ago the Federal Court decided that a man who received Immigration’s visa refusal letter into his junk mail had no excuse for not seeing it and appealing late. The man’s appeal was dismissed, and he was ordered to pay the legal costs of the government. Winning or losing a case can come down to how it is managed.


Every time I see a case like this I think ‘That wouldn’t have happened on my watch.’  Lawyers do more than just legal advice. We watch over our clients’ cases, receive communications for them, maintain appropriate technology to ensure their data is safe and their deadlines are met, and manage a staff that cares for their interests. Having a good lawyer is like insuring your home. It just makes sense.

Regarding the case of the man who lost his appeal rights, the Honourable Chief Justice Allsop commented at paragraph 23:

“I have, in reaching this conclusion, taken judicial notice of the proposition that junk mail is not received via a different email address but is rather filtered away from the main inbox associated with the same email address. In other words, it is still received by that email address.”

DZE17 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2018] FCA 1521

Adam Welch

My bio is at http://www.welchlaw.com.au/staff-member/adam-welch/