A Queensland mother, 37-year-old Tracy Bright was sentenced to three months imprisonment released forthwith to be of good behaviour for a period of 12 months for producing two false or misleading documents purportedly issued by the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia.
The first false Federal Magistrates Court document was utilised by Bright to attempt to delay her eviction from her residence, which she rented.
By 29 October 2010 Bright and her partner were in arrears of rent and the agent managing that rental property had initiated action to terminate the lease and advertise the property for rent. Ms Bright objected to any advertisements of the property on the internet on the basis that she and her family were the subject of an ‘anonymity order’. That same day Bright sent an email to the managing agent attaching a false document purporting to be a Domestic Violence Order made by the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia. The managing agent sent the fake order to the Federal Magistrates Court for confirmation who in turn referred the matter to the Australian Federal Police.
Bright had been a party to proceedings before the Federal Magistrates Court. She altered genuine orders made by the Court to incorporate Domestic Violence Protection Orders commonly issued by the Queensland Magistrates’ Court.
The second false Federal Magistrates Court document was utilised by Bright to convince her ex-husband to return her child.
Bright and her ex-husband had a parenting agreement in existence for some years, concerning their only child which agreement set out when the child was to spend time with both parents. On 12 June 2011 Bright sent an email to her ex-husband attaching a false document purporting to be a Recovery Order issued by the Federal Magistrates Court requiring the immediate return of her child.
Bright’s ex-husband attended his local police station that afternoon with the email and purported Recovery Order. Officers of the AFP executed a warrant upon Bright’s residence that day and obtained a copy of the email and the two purported Federal Magistrates Court orders, as well as genuine Federal Magistrates Court orders which had been issued in relation to Bright.
On 7 August 2015 Tracy Anndrinna Bright was convicted in the Beenleigh Magistrates’ Court and sentenced to three months imprisonment released forthwith pursuant to section 20(1)(b) of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) and to be of good behaviour for 12 months in relation to:
- 2 counts of false or misleading documents contrary to section 137.2(1)
Her Honour, Magistrate Dowse took into account the defence submissions, plea of guilty and her minor criminal history. Magistrate Dowse considered the offence an ‘outrageous matter’ and ‘totally unacceptable’ and considered that creating fake court orders is very serious and that a message must be sent as a personal deterrent and a deterrent to the community.