Robert Yung Pak Liang v Lena Yung Dai Ming

Court:Family Court (Hong Kong)
Judgement Number:FCMC309/1980
Judgment Date:11 Mar 1983
FCMC000309/1980 ROBERT YUNG PAK LIANG v. LENA YUNG DAI MING

FCMC000309/1980

Appeal from Registrar's decision - Hearing de novo, but only confined to the issues set out in the notice of appeal - Wrong in principle for the court to make an order for a smaller maintenance than the case merits so as to bring pressure upon the wife to be in gainful employment and thereby reduce the husband's liability to maintain her - costs awarded on five years' separation on unreasonable conduct of the husband.

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF HONG KONG

HOLDEN AT VICTORIA

DIVORCE JURISDICTION

ACTION NO. 309 OF 1980

______________________

BETWEEN

ROBERT YUNG PAK LIANG Petitioner
(alias YUNG CHO FAM)

and

LENA YUNG DAI MING Respondent

___________________

Coram: H. Wong, D. J. in Court.

Date: 11th March 1983

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JUDGMENT

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1. This is an appeal against the Registrar's decision on ancillary relief in a matrimonial action. I shall, for convenience's sake, call the husband appellant as the "Husband" and the wife respondent as the "Wife", although their divorce decree has been made absolute.

2. The couple was married in Hong Kong in 1962 and two children were born to them in 1963 and 1965 respectively. In 1974 the Wife alone went to live away from the rest of the family and thenceforth was given $4,000 by the Husband as monthly maintenance. Their marriage was eventually dissolved in September 1980, with the children's custody being given to the Wife but control and upkeep remaining vested in the Husband and with maintenance. to the Wife. continuing on the same term as before.

3. On 13.1.82 the Wife's application for ancillary relief was heard by Mr. Registrar Blackwell (as he then was) who: (a) confirmed the then existing interim order of maintenance of $4,000 (b) ordered the Husband to pay to the Wife a lump sum of $200,000 and (c) awarded costs to the wife. It was against this decision that the Husband appealed on 2 grounds: (1) for a reduction of the maintenance and (2) for the cancellation of the order as to costs; whilst the wife also cross-appealed for an increase in that maintenance.

4. All along the Husband was legally represented and his notice of appeal was filed on 18.1.82. At the hearing of the appeal on 28.10.82 the Husband's counsel proceeded on the basis that all 3 items of the Registrar's order, viz, lump sum payment, maintenance and costs, were challenged

5. Although I agree with both counsel that the appeal is a hearing "de novo", yet I feel that since the court was moved to try what was set out in the notice of appeal, i.e. on maintenance and costs, it could not, without the Wife's consent, hear the Husband's argument on lump sum payment which is a matter extraneous to the scope of that notice. It should also be noted that the Husband had 9 months between January and October 1982 within which to decide what items to prosecute but had taken no steps to amend the ambit of the issue to incorporate the third item of lump sum payment in his notice of appeal. In the event I hold the view...

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