LOUIS PAO v. LEUNG KIM-PING T/A BROTHERS CO.

HCMP002403/1985

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF HONG KONG

Miscellaneous Proceedings

No. 2403 of 1985

BETWEEN

LOUIS PAO

and

LEUNG KIM-PING trading as BROTHERS CO.

Coram: Hon. Li, V.-P., Kempster, J.A. & Power, J.

Date of Hearing: 10th December 1985

Date of Judgment: 10th December 1985

___________

JUDGMENT

___________

Kempster, J.A.:

1. The applicant, Louis Pao, who is a dancing master, claimed damages for trespass to goods in the Kowloon District Court. He allegedthat during 1982 the defendant, LEUNG Kim-ping, had taken down and damaged one of his advertising signs at Mirador Mansion in NathanRoad. On 8th October 1984 Judge McClelland dismissed the claim as unsubstantiated by evidence and made a like finding when he reviewedhis judgment on 17th May of this year. On the same day the judge gave the applicant leave to appeal to this Court on terms that hepaid $5,000 into Court by way of security for the defendant’s costs. Being dissatisfied with the condition imposed the applicant,by Notices dated 24th October, seeks leave to apply to us, out of time, for unconditional leave to appeal. Rather usually his applicationhas been listed before a Court of three whereas normally it would be dealt with by a single judge pursuant to section 35 of the SupremeCourt Ordinance. Having regard to the provisions of section 63(6) of the District Courts Ordinance the applicant should have appliedto this Court for leave to appeal by 1st June. But this Court has power to extend time by virtue of section 63(5). In order to exerciseour discretion to extend time we must be satisfied that there is some good reason for the delay. We look for a particularly cogentexplanation when the matters sought to be appealed took place over three years ago. The applicant has furnished us with a substantialvolume of documents, some of them bearing interesting colours, illustrations and including photographs. But from these documentsthe only page that is relevant to the lapse of time is what he describes as and is labelled as “*P(A2)”. The applicant has read usa great part of this page. But we find the explanation set out on that page quite inadequate to explain the delay. The provisionsmade by the District Courts Ordinance for appeals are normally to be observed. It is important that legal proceedings should be broughtto finality within a reasonable time. It is not right for a defendant or a potential defendant to have the liability of legal proceedingshanging over him indefinitely. In the circumstances the application for leave to apply to this Court for leave to appeal out of timeis refused.

(M. Kempster)

Justice of Appeal

Representation:

Applicant/plaintiff in person

Respondent/defendant in person