Thursday, 10 July 2014

Metgasco asked for the world in a Notice to Produce in Metgasco Ltd v Minister for Resources & Energy [2014]

Coal seam/tight gas exploration and mining company Metgasco Ltd (whose PEL16 license was suspended in May 2014) asked for the world in a Notice to Produce.

A notice which the NSW Supreme Court classified as a premature and set aside, with the company ordered to pay the NSW Minister for Resources & Energy’s costs.

Excerpt from Metgasco Ltd v Minister for Resources & Energy [2014] NSWSC 908, Hearing Date 4 July 2014 – Decision Date 9 July 2014:

27 In the light of my determination that the Notice to Produce is premature I consider that it would still be open to stand over the Notice to Produce and the Defendant' Motion to set it aside until such time as the amended pleadings are finalised and the evidence is complete. However, that is unlikely to be finalised in a way that would enable me to continue to hear the Notice of Motion on a part-heard basis. Further, the filing of amended pleadings and the serving of the evidence on both sides may well change the basis upon which documents need to be, or are, sought by the Notice to Produce. The better course, it seems to me, is to set aside the Notice to Produce but without precluding the Plaintiff from serving a further Notice to Produce if so advised at a later appropriate time.

28 The Defendant has been successful on its Motion. The Plaintiff ought not to have pursued a defence of the Notice to Produce when it sought to amend its Summons to include the further decision, even if it was justified in doing so earlier. The Plaintiff should pay the costs of the Motion.

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