Bannirchelvam v Parimalam d/o Jyah Raman

CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)
JudgeFoo Tuat Yien
Judgment Date10 September 2002
Neutral Citation[2002] SGDC 237
Citation[2002] SGDC 237
Publication Date19 September 2003
SubjectCivil Procedure,Striking out,Striking out application under Order 18 Rule 19,Res judicata,Abuse of court process

Judgment

GROUNDS OF DECISION

1. This is an appeal from the decision of the learned Deputy Registrar on 24.6.02 ordering that the plaintiff’s action be dismissed under order 18 Rule 19 and that the plaintiff pay the defendant costs of $2 500. I dismissed the plaintiff’s appeal on 31 July 2002. These are my grounds of decision.

Background

2. The plaintiff states that he practised as an advocate and solicitor under the name and style of Bannir and Associates from 1985. In March 1998, the plaintiff entrusted his firm to the defendant, who was his legal assistant. It was agreed that the defendant would pay $5 000 per month indefinitely for the firm, until the terms and conditions for the sale of the firm could be finalised. The defendant disputes the alleged terms.

3. On 28th April 1999, parties signed an agreement for the plaintiff to sell his firm to the defendant for $150 000 (purchase price) to be paid in monthly installments of $5 000 for 30 months wef 1st May 1999. The last installment was due on 1st October 2001. It was also agreed that payment of another sum of $12 771.19, that was in arrears (sum in arrears) was, apart from the first installment of $771.81, to be paid in installments of $500 per month. The last installment was due on 1st May 2002.

4. Clause 2 of the agreement provided that until payment of the final installment, the ownership, title and interests of the firm and its assets would remain in the plaintiff. Clause 14 provided that the plaintiff was ‘ to spare 14 days to do such general and client relation works per year as required by the (defendant) without charging any fees save for expenses incurred.’ Clause 5 provided that ‘ Save for Australian migration cases, the (plaintiff) was to endeavour to pass on all clients and legal works to the (defendant) and would assist the (defendant), when required to establish a legal practice.’

5. The defendant took over the firm. On 12th June 2000, the defendant sent an email to terminate the agreement, stating in essence that she was unable to pay any more moneys to the plaintiff

6. On 21st November 2000, the plaintiff commenced an action in MC Suit No 26351 of 2000/Q for the sum of $48 256.17, being the payments allegedly due and outstanding. In the statement of claim, the plaintiff reserved his right to claim for future installments of $60 000 for the purchase price beginning from 1st October 2000 and $3 500 for the balance sum in arrears that would accrue from 1st November 2000.

7. On 29th March 2001, the plaintiff applied for summary judgement. On 10th May 2001, the plaintiff was given judgement for the sum of $48 256.17, interest and with a stay of execution pending the resolution of the defendant’s cross claim arising out of the agreement. On appeal, the District Judge in Chambers on 22nd August 2001, reduced the judgement amount to $25 920.66. This MC suit is pending.

8. On 8th January 2002, the plaintiff started this DC action for the balance $60 000 due as from 1st November 2000 to 1st October 2001 and $3 500 for the balance sum in arrears from 1st November 2000 to 1st May 2001.

9. On 9th April 2002, the plaintiff applied for summary judgement. On 21st May 2002, the defendant applied for the plaintiff’s...

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