Maria Luisa Xavier v Jerry Francis Xavier

Court:Family Court (Hong Kong)
Judgement Number:FCMC35/1975
Judgment Date:09 Jun 1976
FCMC000035/1975 MARIA LUISA XAVIER v. JERRY FRANCIS XAVIER

FCMC000035/1975

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF HONG KONG

HOLDEN AT VICTORIA

DIVORCE JURISDICTION

ACTION NO. 35 OF 1975

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BETWEEN
Maria Luisa XAVIER Petitioner
and
Jerry Francis XAVIER

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Coram: Collier, D.J. in Court.

Date of Judgment: 9 June 1976

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RULING

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1. I am asked to convict the Respondent to prison for contempt of court in that he did not comply with an order to pay maintenance.

2. This is not the first such application that has been before me.

3. While it is true, that, prima facie, rules 87 & 88 of the Matrimonial Causes Rules made under the Matrimonial Causes Ordinance, Cap. 179, would appear to give power to convict for contempt, those rules must be read with the power given to the Chief Justice to make the said rules. Section 54(1) of that Ordinance says:

"The Chief Justice may make rules for the better carrying out of the purposes and provisions of this Ordinance and in particular, but without prejudice to the generality of the fore-going, may make rules -

(a) as to all matters of procedure under this Ordinance;
(b) prescribing the forms to be used under this Ordinance;
(c) with regard to any matter as to which rules may be made under this Ordinance;
(d) providing for the enforcement in the Supreme Court of orders made under this Ordinance in the District Court.

4. It is clear therefore that the intention of the legislature was to provide that orders made by the District Court should be enforced in the Supreme Court in a manner to be prescribed by rules made by the Chief Justice under item (d) of subsection (1) of section 54. That section (54) does not empower the Chief Justice to prefer upon the District Court any powers with regard to committal for contempt by the process of making rules, neither does Cap. 179 confer any greater jurisdiction with regard to powers to convict for contempt than that which appears in the District Court Ordinance, by section 20, which is concerned only with contempt in the face of the Court, which does not arise in this application.

5. Subsection (2) of Section 10A of Cap. 179 does not assist the Applicant/Petitioner either in that, although it provides that "In respect of matrimonial causes in which the...

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