Price v Spoor [2021] HCA 20 (23 June 2021) (Kiefel CJ, Gageler, Gordon, Edelman and Steward JJ)


Catchwords:


Limitation of actions – Exclusion by agreement – Where mortgages over land secured loan – Where mortgagors failed to repay loan – Where mortgagees brought proceedings to recover monies owing and possession of land secured by mortgages – Where mortgagors contended mortgagees statute-barred from enforcing rights under mortgages as a result of expiry of relevant time period under Limitation of Actions Act 1974 (Qld) (“Act”) – Where mortgagors contended mortgagees’ title under mortgages extinguished by operation of s 24 of Act – Where mortgagees contended that mortgagors agreed not to plead any defence under Act by virtue of cl 24 of mortgages – Whether cl 24 effective to prevent mortgagors from pleading any defence under Act – Whether agreement not to plead any defence under Act unenforceable as contrary to public policy – Whether s 24 of Act operated automatically to extinguish mortgagees’ title at expiry of relevant time period – Whether mortgagees’ remedy confined to damages for mortgagors’ breach of cl 24 of mortgages.

Words and phrases – “action”, “agreement”, “agreement not to plead”, “benefit”, “breach of contract”, “contracting out”, “defeated”, “defence”, “defence of limitation”, “expiry”, “extinguishment of title”, “finality of litigation”, “jurisdiction of the court”, “limitation period”, “limitations defence”, “plea”, “public interest”, “public policy”, “reasonable business person”, “remedy”, “shall not be brought”, “statute-barred”, “statute of limitations”, “statutory bar”, “statutory right”, “waiver”.