Cwy v Cy (Formerly Known As Cy)

CourtFamily Court (Hong Kong)
Judgment Date20 May 2019
Neutral Citation[2019] HKFC 131
Judgement NumberFCMC106/2018
SubjectMatrimonial Causes
FCMC106/2018 CWY v. CY (formerly known as CY)

FCMC 106 / 2018

[2019] HKFC 131

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

MATRIMONIAL CAUSES

NUMBER 106 OF 2018

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BETWEEN
CWY Petitioner
and
CY (formerly known as CY) Respondent

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Coram: Her Honour Judge Sharon D. Melloy in Chambers (Not open to public)
Date of Hearing: 26 March 2019
Date of written submissions: 16 April and 8 May 2019
Date of Ruling: 20 May 2019

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RULING
(Costs following a compromise on a defended suit)

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Introduction

1. On the 26 March 2019 this matter returned to court for a First Appointment hearing. On that occasion it became clear that the parties had still not resolved the issue of the suit, which remained defended. On the 4 January 2018 the Petitioner husband had originally filed a petition based on the wife’s unreasonable behaviour and on the 28 February 2018 the Respondent wife had countered by filing an Answer denying the same and also filing a cross petition based on the husband’s unreasonable behavior. Sensibly the parties finally reached consensus on the 26 March 2019 and agreed to proceed on the basis of one-year separation with consent. It is of note that it was also agreed that the parties had infact been separated since December 2016 – i.e. for over one year as at the date of both the petition and cross petition. Unfortunately, the parties could not agree on the issue of costs and it was directed that this matter be dealt with by way of a paper disposal.

2. I should add at this point that generally speaking defended suits are not encouraged by the courts. Thus parties are routinely told early on, that there will be cost consequences in the event that one or other of the parties is deemed to be unreasonable in this regard.

The law

3. The relevant law is not in dispute and can be found at Order 62 RHC on costs. To summarize it is accepted that the issue of costs lies in the discretion of the court and that costs are normally expected to follow the event. This presumption is more easily displaced in family proceedings than in others. In exercising the courts discretion reference can also be made to a number of factors as set out in Order 62 r 5 including inter alia any without prejudice save as to costs...

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