Chow Hing Chuen v Chu Kwan Kwong

Court:District Court (Hong Kong)
Judgement Number:DCCJ1909/1972
Judgment Date:03 Jul 1972




ACTION NO. 1909 OF 1972









Coram: N.B. Hooper, D.J.




1. This is an action for damages arising out of an assault committed by the defendant and others on the plaintiff on the 17th of November, 1971 at approximately 2.15 p.m. outside a lift on the ground floor at No.733 Nathan Road. The Writ was issued out of the Kowloon District Court on the 25th of March, 1972 as action No. 2527 of 1972. The defendant filed a defence to the action that bears no date except that there appears at the top of the document the imprint of a rubber stamp showing the date to be the 30th of March, 1972. In his defence he claimed that although there was a fight at the time and place in question it was caused by the plaintiff who hit him first and that he merely acted in self defence. He admits in his defence that he was convicted on the 22nd of November in respect of a charge of assault under S.40 of the Offence against the Person Ordinance and was fined $750, but he maintained that he was hit first and that he acted only in self defence. He gave his address at two places firstly No. 93 Tung Choi Street, 11th floor, Kowloon, and secondly Room 777, Block 12, Li Chang Uk Resettlement Estate, Kowloon.

2. The next step in the action was taken by the plaintiff when his solicitors Messrs. D’Almada Remedios applied for a date of trial and on the 28th of April 1972 the hearing date was set for the 1st of June at 10 a.m. at the Victoria District Court an order being made for the transfer of this case to the Vicoria District Court. A formal notice of trial dated the 1st of May, 1972, was sent to the defendant by registered post to his address at Room 777, Block 12, Li Chang Uk R/E, Kowloon, one of the two addresses given by him on his statement of defence. The letter was returned with an endorsement in the form of an imprint of a rubber chop bearing the words “return to sender” and a tick against the word “unclaimed”. Evidence has been given by a clerk at the Victoria District Court Registry confirming the return of this letter unopened and varifying that when he opened the envelope it contained the notice of trial giving full particulars. It appears from the Court’s record that a further letter was sent to the respective parties in this case informing them of the new action No. V.C.J. Action No. and of the time and date for hearing. This second letter was addressed to the defendant at the first of the 2 addresses given by him in his statement of defence, namely No. 93 Tung Choi Street, 11th floor Kowloon. Again the envelope was returned bearing the same imprint from a rubber stamp with the words “returned to sender” and a tick opposite the word “unknown”. On the day of the trial, not surprisingly the defendant failed to appear. On hearing the evidence of the Registry Clerk of the Victoria District Court, I was satisfied that Rule 38E(a) of the District Court Civil Procedure (General) Rules regarding service of the notice had been complied with. The hearing therefore carried on.

3. The plaintiff went into the witness box and described the circumstances which led up to the assault, and also gave details of the assault. It would appear from his evidence that the defendant was at one time a very good friend of...

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