Super Eastern Ltd v Harbour Base Properties Ltd

CourtDistrict Court (Hong Kong)
Judgment Date05 August 2013
Judgement NumberDCCJ4077/2011
Subject MatterCivil Action
DCCJ592A/2006 WAN CHI HING v. WONG CHUNG KAI t/a KAI HING TRADING CO

DCCJ 592/2006

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

CIVIL ACTION NO 592 OF 2006

________________________

BETWEEN

WAN CHI HING Plaintiff

and

WONG CHUNG KAI
trading as KAI HING TRADING COMPANY
Defendant

________________________

DCCJ 1497 & 1498/2006
(Consolidated)

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

CIVIL ACTION NOS 1497 & 1498 OF 2006 (Consolidated)

________________________

BETWEEN

WAN CHI HING Plaintiff

and

STRONG MASTER CORPORATION LIMITED Defendant

________________________

DCCJ 1673/2006

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

CIVIL ACTION NO 1673 OF 2006

________________________

BETWEEN

WAN CHI HING Plaintiff

and

LAU WAI FAN
trading as FAN’S TRADING COMPANY
Defendant

________________________

DCCJ 1365/2006

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

CIVIL ACTION NO 1365 OF 2006

________________________

BETWEEN

SUPER EASTERN LIMITED Plaintiff

and

HARBOUR BASE PROPERTIES LIMITED Defendant

________________________

DCCJ 4077/2011

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

CIVIL ACTION NO 4077 OF 2011

________________________

BETWEEN

SUPER EASTERN LIMITED Plaintiff

and

HARBOUR BASE PROPERTIES LIMITED Defendant

________________________

Before: His Honour Judge Wilson Chan in Chambers
Date of Hearing: 5 August 2013
Date of Decision: 5 August 2013

________________________

D E C I S I O N

________________________

DCCJ 592/2006, DCCJ 1497&1498/2006 (Consolidated), DCCJ 1673/2006 (collectively “the Main Actions”)

1. This is an application by the plaintiffs in the Main Actions for the same to be transferred to the Court of First Instance of the High Court, pursuant to sections 41(1) and 42 of the District Court Ordinance, Cap 336.

2. The plaintiffs’ position is that from the documents recently disclosed by the defendants and made available to the plaintiffs on 25 May 2013, the claim in damages in DCCJ 592/2006 and DCCJ 1498/2006 exceeds the District Court jurisdiction of $1,000,000.

3. Section 41(1) of the District Court Ordinance provides as follows: “The Court shall, either of its own motion or on the application of any party, order that an action or proceeding be transferred to the Court of First Instance where an action or proceeding commenced in the Court, not being a counterclaim, is outside the jurisdiction of the Court but is within the jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance.” I note the word “shall” in that subsection.

4. In Wong Miu Kwan v FPD Savills Property Management Ltd [2006] 1 HKC 575, at paragraph 21, Suffiad J gave guidance on how the matter should be approached:-

“(a) In the absence of abuse, a plaintiff should be entitled to frame his case in the manner that he wishes.

(b) At an interlocutory stage, it would not be proper for the court or a master to view the plaintiff’s claim in the same way as it would be viewed at trial by weighing the different evidence or by believing or disbelieving some or all of the evidence. That exercise can only be carried out where all the evidence, cross-examination and submission has been heard, particularly where there are factual and or other disputes between the parties, as for instance disputed expert opinion.

(c) Accordingly, the plaintiff’s case on quantum as framed by him ought to be viewed at its highest when determining the proper jurisdiction where the case should be brought.”

5. Further guidance is given by H H Judge Thomas Au (as his Lordship then was) in Wong Kwong Wa v Hip Hing Construction Company Limited,DCPI 2039/2006 (Decision dated 11 July 2007). At paragraph 16, the learned judge held as follows:

“Thus, construing section 41...

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