MAN LAN TAI v. TANG SIN KEI

HCMP 1576/2013

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

MISCELLANEOUS PROCEEDINGS NO 1576 OF 2013

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IN THE MATTER of ALL THAT piece or parcel of ground registered in the Land Registry as Tai Po Tau Tsun Lot No 87 (also known as TaiPo Tau Tsun House Lot No 87) in Demarcation District 5 AND of and in the messuages erections and buildings erected thereon

and

IN THE MATTER of Section 45 of the Trustee Ordinance, Cap 29

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BETWEEN

MAN LAN TAI (文蘭娣) Plaintiff

and

TANG SIN KEI (鄧善基) Defendant

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Before: Deputy High Court Judge Whitehead, SC in Chambers

Date of Hearing: 5 September 2013
Date of Decision: 5 September 2013

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D E C I S I O N

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1. This is the decision of the court on this matter. The plaintiff, Madam Man Lan Tai, makes an application under section 45 of the Trustee Ordinance for a vesting order in respect of the property described in the schedule to the originating summons.

2. This morning, the court has received a memorandum of notification of an application for legal aid in respect of the defendant, MrTang, and dated 30 August 2013. Under the Legal Aid Ordinance, this ordinarily results in an automatic 42-day stay of these proceedings.

3. Mr Samuel Yip for the plaintiff, Madam Man, today has asked me to exercise my undoubted discretion to lift the legal aid stay. MrTang, the defendant, is a gentleman of limited education. The notice of appointment to hear the originating summons was served on22 August 2013. I accept that, prior to this date, Mr Tang was well aware of his mother’s intentions and, indeed, he told me heknew of the originating summons in July of this year.

4. In all the circumstances, I am not prepared to accede to Mr Yip’s application to lift the legal aid stay. Taking into accountMr Tang’s level of education and the fact that I can see no ulterior motive in this admittedly very late application for legalaid, and given the fact that Mr Tang at least seems to have acted expeditiously after the service of the notice of appointment on22 August, I think, in all the circumstances, it would not be appropriate to dislodge the stay that has now come into place.

5. I make an order that this matter be adjourned for a date to be fixed. I will reserve the question of costs.

(Robert Whitehead)
Deputy High Court Judge

Mr Samuel Yip, instructed by Liu, Chan & Lam, for the plaintiff

The defendant, unrepresented, appeared in person