Opinion Number. 274

Subject

ELECTIONS WHETHER CANDIDATE'S DEPOSIT LIABLE TO GARNISHMENT

Key Legislation

COMMONWEALTH ELECTORAL ACTS 1902-1905, s. 103

Date
Client
The Secretary, Department of Home Affairs

The Metropolitan Gas Co. has served upon the Commonwealth Electoral Officer for the State of Victoria a garnishee order requiring him to pay to the Company so much of the debt due from him to A.C. as may be sufficient to satisfy a debt of £2.5.6 due by A. C. to the Company.

It appears that the moneys attempted to be garnisheed are the deposit of £25 lodged with the Electoral Officer by A.B.C., a candidate for the Senate.

The Secretary, Department of Home Affairs asks to be advised on the matter.

In my opinion, the deposit cannot be garnisheed. The Electoral Officer must deal with it as required by section 103 of the Electoral Acts, and no State law or process requiring him to deal with it otherwise is of any effect.

Apart from all other reasons, it would also be a conclusive answer to the present proceedings that, until the return of the writ, there is no debt.

I think that the case should, if the Electoral Officer so desires, be defended by the Commonwealth.

[Vol. 5, p. 492]