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Wed 27th September, 2006
Cairns International Hotel

Dad sues Child Support Agency

Submitted by Anonymous on Fri, 29/09/2006 - 15:23.,21985,20482672-661,00.html#
Dad sues over child support
Shelley Hodgson, County Court reporter

September 27, 2006 12:00am

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A FATHER who paid child support for two children that were not his biological offspring is suing the Commonwealth of Australia.

In a statement of claim tendered to the County Court, Liam Magill alleges a gross error was made in calculating his child support liability for the three children in 1999. The children were then believed to be Mr Magill's.

The error resulted in $553.79 being deducted from Mr Magill's $1019.19 fortnightly gross salary for child support payments. He was left with $200 a week, according to court documents.

Mr Magill, 56, claims the error continued without being corrected for three months, causing him financial loss, loss of self-esteem and psychiatric injury.

He also claims that after paternity tests revealed two of the children were not his biological children, the Child Support Agency decided not to return the money taken from him.

Mr Magill is seeking damages in four categories: loss of past earnings, loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering and medical expenses.

He claims the Commonwealth breached its duty of care and abused its statutory power.

The court heard yesterday that by 2000 Mr Magill had amassed a child support debt exceeding $40,000.

The Child Support Agency decided no refund should be sought from the children's mother. Cheryl King, for Mr Magill, said the debt was a "phantom debt" due to interest and penalties brought about as a result of a superannuation drawdown.

The civil trial, before Judge Graham Anderson, continues.

It comes as Mr Magill awaits a High Court decision in the case against his former wife.

The County Court awarded Mr Magill a $70,000 payout from his ex-wife in 2002 but she appealed against the decision and the Victorian Court of Appeal stripped him of the award. He was granted leave to appeal to the High Court, which heard the matter in April.



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