Question one (20 marks):
Rollinstone Ltd (Rollinstone) is an electrical wholesaling company operating through
warehouses in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. It supplies electrical consulting
services and lights, switches and wiring to builders. The company has an excellent
reputation for providing good advice, quality electrical work and high quality products.
When a builder contacts the company, Rollinstone sends out an electrician to talk to the
builder. Within 24 hours of that meeting Rollinstone sends an email to the builder with a
list of recommendations, prices and estimate of delivery dates. The client then fills in the
details on the form sent with the email, signs and returns it by email, posting a hard copy
and deposit at the same time. The goods order is then filled and the work done by
Rollinstone, normally within one week of the builder’s request.
Three months ago the company was sold to Eminem who is looking for ways of cutting
costs. This includes replacing qualified electricians who leave with less-qualified people
and looking for cheaper sources for equipment and goods.
Jimi Hendricks is a builder who has dealt with with Rollinstone for some years. The credit
terms, prompt delivery, prices and quality offered by Rollinstone are all important to him
because he builds high quality houses and is often working under very tight timelines
and profit margins. One month ago he rang the Sydney branch as he normally would, to
request assistance with the lighting and other electrical work for a new house. Bob
Dillon, who failed his apprenticeship exams, has recently been hired as an electrical
assistant. Bob was sent to give Jimi some advice. After his visit, the email arrived as
normal and, without reading it, Jimi duly filled in the details on the form, replied by email,
and sent the hard copy plus deposit through the mail, also as he normally would. This
mail is delayed because of a postal strike and does not arrive at Rollinstone’s offices
until two weeks after he posted it.
It was only when Jimi rings Rollinstone to arrange for the work to be carried out (three
weeks after he sent the email and one week after Rollinstone received the hard copy
and deposit) that he discovered there are problems. He is informed by Bett Middler, the
Manager of the branch, that some of Bob’s recommendations are impossible to carry
out, that some switches have to be ordered from a factory in Asia, that a specialist
electrician will have to be employed to do the work and that Jimi will have to pay an extra
$1000 up-front if he wants the work to be carried out within three months. When Jimi
objects, Bett points out that in the email sent by Rollinstone, the price and time estimates
were clearly specified as rough estimates only, and that under a new policy of the
company, Jimi’s order was not sent to the supplier until Rollinstone received his
confirmation and deposit by post.
Jimi is horrified at this bad news as he has only four weeks in which to complete the
house or face penalty payments.
Required: advise Jimi as to his legal rights. In your answer, identify any limitations to
those rights and his ability to enforce them. Also list any further information that you
would find useful in deciding whether those rights can be enforced. Always ensure you
refer to relevant case and statutory sources to support your answer.
Question 2 (10 marks)
The Torrens system of land registration (embedded in state-based land
registration legislation) provides for recording, notification, prioritisation and
enforcement of interests and claims in and against real property. The Personal
Property Securities Act (PPSA) provides for recording, notification, prioritisation
and enforcement of claims against personal property.
Required: with reference to the above statement discuss the following (answer a
AND b OR c):
a. The differences between real and personal property (4 marks)
b. The differences in the nature and scope of claims supported under the land
registration system as opposed to the PPSA (6 marks)
c. Why the statement refers to “interests and claims in and against real property” but in
relation to the PPSA refers only to “claims against personal property”? (6 marks)