Madeline Clarke, Solicitor

First Name-Last Name_Role_Go To Court Lawyers

Madeline Clarke holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from La Trobe University and obtained a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from the College of Law. Madeline is admitted to practice law in the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Madeline is particularly interested in drug use and mental health and their intersection with criminal law. She wrote her Honours thesis on Drug Induced Psychosis and Criminal Responsibility and before joining Go To Court Lawyers, was doing research into methamphetamine use with Monash University and the Burnet Institute.

Madeline has a keen interest in family law and has a passion for advocating for clients, providing them practical support and facilitating timely and cost-effective outcomes.

Madeline also enjoys the challenges of civil law including succession matters (wills and estates) and litigation.

In her spare time, Madeline enjoys Italian food, mindfulness meditation and spending time with family and friends.

Accreditations & Memberships

  • Member of the Victorian Law Society

Success Stories and Publications

Driving While Suspension Charge Withdrawn

Our solicitor Madeline Clarke represented a woman at the Werribee Magistrates’ Court in relation to a single charge of driving while suspended.

The client had a long-standing medical review condition on her driver’s licence which required her to provide VicRoads with a medical report at their request. In early 2019 the client had received a request from VicRoads after which she promptly provided them with a current report from her General Practitioner. When she received no further correspondence in relation to the review she assumed that the report had been accepted and that she had maintained her licence.

Some months later, our client was intercepted by Victoria Police as part of a random roadside testing program. During this assessment, Police ran a licence check which indicated that the client’s licence had been suspended due to VicRoads not receiving a medical report pursuant to their request. Our client was subsequently charged with driving whilst suspended and summonsed to appear at Werribee Magistrates’ Court.

When our client first met with Ms Clarke she expressed how anxious she was about the charge, having had a perfect driving record and never being required to go to court before. Ms Clarke explained the process, and the options available to her in responding to the charge and assisted the client in collating evidence in support of the fact that she had responded to VicRoads' request as required.

At first mention, Ms Clarke participated in a Summary Case Conference with Police Prosecutions, presenting evidence to substantiate that our client had diligently complied with the conditions of her licence including providing a medical report as requested. Ms Clarke also pointed to the client’s immaculate record to support the conclusion that a defence of honest and reasonable mistaken belief would be successful in circumstances where the charge was not withdrawn.

Police Prosecutions subsequently withdrew the charge at the earliest possibility, therefore avoiding the client needing to return before the court and allowing to her to maintain her unblemished driving record.

This result was achieved by preparing the case thoroughly, and paying close attention to the details of the matter and making strong representations to Prosecutions

This case illustrates the importance of quality representation and the value of a solicitor like Madeline Clarke who cares for clients’ circumstances, takes her time to familiarise herself with all the evidence and works hard to ensure that the case is presented in a way to ensure that full effect is given to every factor in a client’s favour.

Judgment Debt and Notice of Bankruptcy set aside

Our solicitor Madeline Clarke acted on behalf of a male residing in Canberra who sought assistance in preventing bankruptcy proceedings progressing further.

Prior to engaging Go To Court Lawyers, the client had been served Victorian court documents alleging he owed a significant debt to a large company. As the client resided interstate, he failed to respond to the court documents as required and the company proceeded to obtaining a judgement against him.

The client contacted Madeline Clarke after the company had commenced enforcement proceedings and he had been served a Bankruptcy Notice – the first step a creditor takes in making a person bankrupt.

After being served a Bankruptcy Notice the debtor has 21 days to comply with the notice and pay the debt in full to avoid being declared bankrupt. Whilst our client had the ability to pay the amount claimed by the creditor, he instructed that the original judgment debt (on which the bankruptcy notice was based) was a case of mistaken identity. The client having a relatively common name.

Given the effects of a judgment debt (including effecting one's credit rating), the client hoped to resolve the matter in full, despite failing to respond to the original court action taken by the creditor.

In order for the Bankruptcy Notice and original Judgement Debt to be set aside, our office promptly drafted and filed necessary documents with both the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria. As the matter involved two jurisdictions, the Bankruptcy proceedings in the Federal Circuit Court, and the Judgement Debt from the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, it was pertinent that the appropriate steps were taken in each to ensure that the client was placed in a position that rectified the initial error being made by the creditor in pursuing him.

After filing the necessary applications with each court, Ms Clarke was then able to liaise with the creditor, and provide evidence that the original debt claimed had been incorrectly attributed to our client. Further negotiations allowed the parties to reach agreement and thereafter have both the Bankruptcy Notice and Judgment Debt set aside.

This matter illustrates the importance of understanding the different jurisdictional issues that arise in debt matters, and of taking prompt again to avoid significant financial consequences. This result was achieved by paying close attention to the instructions provided by our client and giving priority to proceedings where strict deadlines can have substantial and irreparable consequences.

Fine Without Conviction for Animal Cruelty Offences

Our solicitor Madeline Clarke represented a 37 year old woman charged with several animal cruelty offences at Geelong Magistrates’ Court .

The client was charged with three offences, the most serious of which carries a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment. The allegations were in relation to one of the three horses owned by the client. The horse had become unwell and quickly lost weight. Subsequently the animal was euthanised, as it had become malnourished to the extent that it was unable to walk.

Prior to the matter coming before the Court, Ms Clarke case conferenced the matter with the Prosecuting Agency (the RSPCA), where she was able to negotiate the withdrawal of the two most serious offences. When the matter came before the court, Ms Clarke made submissions about the client’s otherwise good character, and the circumstances which lead her to become overwhelmed by many competing things in her life with the result that she had neglected to provide adequate care for her animals.

The client had no criminal record and worked in a profession which meant that a conviction would have a significant effect on her future work prospects. Ms Clarke made submissions to the court that the accused was of otherwise good character, and that despite the seriousness of the offence, asked the court to have regard to the effect a conviction would have on her capacity to support herself and her family.

After considering Ms Clarke’s submissions, the court ordered the client pay a fine of $1,000.00, and was persuaded not to impose a conviction for the offence.

This case demonstrates the importance of quality representation and the value of a solicitor like Madeline Clarke who takes the time to reflect on her clients’ circumstances and will work hard to ensure that their case is prepared and presented in a way that ensures the court gives full effect to every factor in their favour.

Adjourned Undertaking for Second Drink Driving Offence

Our solicitor Madeline Clarke represented a 24 year old woman at the Werribee Magistrates’ Court charged with her second high-range drink driving offence.The client had previously been found guilty of a drink driving offence and had her licence disqualified for some time. She also had prior convictions for driving whilst disqualified.

The maximum penalty for a second drink driving offence is 6 months imprisonment. This type of offending behaviour is treated particularly seriously, as courts often take the view that the penalty for a subsequent offence must be greater than the first.

Ms Clarke made submissions about the client's personal circumstances, which included the sudden death of a family member in the years prior. She explained to the court that the client’s use of alcohol had become a means of dealing with unresolved grief, and that she had since sought psychological support to manage this behaviour.

The court was persuaded by Ms Clarke’s submissions, and ordered that the client enter a 12-month adjourned undertaking without conviction. The undertaking required the client to continue seeing her psychologist and make a small donation to the court fund.

This result was achieved by a combination of solicitor experience, detailed case preparation and the determination to ensure that our client’s voice be heard. This case illustrates the importance of quality representation and the value of a solicitor like Madeline Clarke who will always fight for the best outcomes for her clients.

No Conviction for Handling Stolen Goods

Our solicitor Ms Madeline Clarke represented a 37-year-old male charged with handling stolen goods at the Geelong Magistrates’ Court .

The client had for some time been selling Australian-made baby formula to overseas consumers and would purchase this on his buyers’ behalf as ordered. The client was approached by a man who claimed to have purchased the wrong type of baby formula, and having lost the receipt, was unable to return it. The client agreed to buy the tins of formula at slightly below retail price. The man continued to visit the client with further tins until the client became aware that the products may have been stolen. However due to a language barrier and other factors, the client failed to make any further inquiries.

Our representation resulted in an adjourned undertaking with the conditions that our client must be of a good behaviour for the period of one year. No conviction was recorded.

That result was achieved by preparing the case thoroughly, paying careful attention to our client’s personal circumstances and collecting material to demonstrate that he was otherwise of good character. We also made submissions to the Court that the offending occurred over a short period, the client gained only a slight financial benefit and that he was fully cooperative with police and was entering a guilty plea at the earliest opportunity.

This case illustrates the importance of quality representation and the value of a solicitor like Ms Clarke who will ensure every matter is thoroughly prepared and presented in a way that ensures the court gives full effect to every factor in the client’s favour.

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