I would like to enquire where I can go with this issue. If you could give me a guideline I'd be very grateful. I am a

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Customer: Goodafternoon, I would like to enquire where I can go with this issue. If you could give me a guideline I'd be very grateful.
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I am a retired nursing sister. For the past 10 years I nursed my mother and then took on my own retirement. Part of my mothers estate was the sale of a house. I placed a full house full of beautiful furniture, mostly antique into storage. I made arrangements for the uplift with a local NSW removalist who quoted me for uplift & storage. I accepted and up till the furniture was placed into the truck I was of the understanding it would be packed into a container and stored locally in Camden NSW at the storage depot. Following the loading of the truck on removal day the removalist informed me that the furniture was going to have to go to Nambucca Heads NSW ( hundreds of miles away) for storage as the large truck he had loaded our goods into was required for a big job up there the following day. I was not pleased but the removalist told me I had so much storage he did not have a container large enough to store our things nor the capacity in his storage yard. Several days later I rang to enquire to the whereabouts of the furniture. The removalist informed me it was stored in Nambucca Heads but he would try and get it to Newcastle within the next 4 months, I had paid him in advance, cash as requested for storage from September 2019 - March 2020. Time passed. I had regular calls to the removalist re the furniture. I was re-assured each call. We were involved with the Bega NSW fires and our job in Bega finished. We returned to Mittagong NSW in Feb, 2020. In January I informed the removalist we would require the furniture in Mittagong in Feb / March and wanted to arrange delivery. I was informed that the roads due to fires were at the time impassable for a big truck. I made an arrangement to ring within 4 weeks to see how things were going. I was informed the furniture had been moved to a storage facility in Awaba NSW.
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: May I tell you further that the removalist in March became unwell and could not deliver my furniture back to me. Sadly the poor man died suddenly in April and I did not find out until june/ July. His family informed me and also asked me to arrange collection of the furniture asap as they were closing the business and wanted the container gone. I was asked to my own removalist and pay the costs. I commenced dealing with the removalists brother who was pleasant but unhelpful. The removalists family referred me to a removalist who moved my furniture by arrangement from the deceased removalists property about 2 weeks ago. To my horror some of the lovely antique soft furnishings, chairs, piano (french polished) have at some stage become wet and mould and mildew has ruined their beautiful fabrics. The removalists who delivered the furniture to me ( not connected with it's storage in any way) could tell me the furniture had just been dumped into the container, without any blanket protections and that it was stored very badly. Our 70 year old piano has been exposed to dripping water onto it and has become watermarked and broken in places. Our box's of linens etc have been wet and are now ruined.I phoned the deceased removalists brother who could tell me it was nothing to do with him, He did not think the furniture had been damaged whilst in storage etc. He could tell me he even stored some of his own personal things in my container ! and of course nothing was wrong with them.... Apparently his full sized pool table was in excellent condition. At no time did I agree for anyone to enter the storage container or store their own things. I'm devastated and really cheezed off. Dozens of our things have been damaged. I found after the eventual delivery that our antiqur hall stand was missing. When I confronted the brother of the deceased removalist ( the pool table owner) he didnt know anything about the missing stand... I told him I would have to involve the police and suddenly he emailed me telling me he thought the hall stand belonged to his deceased brother... I'm getting it back next week.This same brother tells me he is the executor of his brothers estate... he tells me he has closed the removal company, he tells me his brothers estate has to go to the deceased family, and tells me he cannot help me with the damaged goods. I did a company search after talking to Fair trading. Ascic and small trading have informed me according to their records, the company is still listed as functioning. The quotes for damage are consiserable... lounge $6,000 chairs $3000, Piano restor $4,000 and counting. My garage is still full of unchecked goods but I'm making slow progress. I am 70 plus I have a number of stents in my heart that prevent me working fast or handling heavy falling apart box's...My artwork (all original artists - some has been damaged and I have not found my missing Pro Hart's to date. My garage is like Aladins cave. I an devastated and plan to ring NCAT on Monday. Should I be involving a good lawyer. Please help and advise. Thank You
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Jenni Coburn
Answered by John Melis in 12 mins 1 year ago
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John Melis
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John Melis, Expert

Hi, I’m John Melis, solicitor, and I am in Australia. I want to thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. Your question means a lot to me. If I were in your position, I would feel just as you do. If I understand you correctly I suggest the following:

​The New South Wales Civil Administrative Tribunal “NCAT” is perfect for meditating disputes. It forces the parties to come together to discuss the issues involved.

Before raising a claim in NCAT, you should file for mediation at Fair Trading. If the matter does not settle at Fair Trading, then obtain a certificate that mediation failed, and commence an action at NCAT.

In most cases at mediation, the matter will settle.

Your case is civil.

You will be the applicant. The other party is the respondent.

The document you file in the tribunal is the points of claim. This correspondence needs careful preparation. I recommend you download the application first and complete the same. Then upload as required to commence the lawsuit.

Draft the complaint in a chronological order detailing the issue and what action you have taken to try and rectify the matter.

The alternative is to apply to the local court. In court, you may recover your legal fees.

The following link will assist you further. http://www.ncat.nsw.gov.au

There are various help menus on the website that will assist you in finalising the application.

Make sure you have all your evidence for the case.

Once you lodge your application, you will receive notice from the tribunal with the next steps to follow.

​I thank you kindly for reaching out today.

I appreciate your assistance with a rating of five stars, as this helps me support the community.

If there is anything else, big or small, that I can help you with today, please let me know?

Customer
Thank You, ***** ***** I will call Fair Trading on Monday re mediation..
Kind regards
Jenni
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John Melis, Expert

I thank you for reaching out today, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
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