Chong Li Yoon v Soo Yook Thong

JurisdictionSingapore
CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
Judgment Date29 June 1993
Docket NumberDivorce Petition No 102 of 1993
Date29 June 1993

[1993] SGHC 143

High Court

P Coomaraswamy J

Divorce Petition No 102 of 1993

Chong Li Yoon
Plaintiff
and
Soo Yook Thong
Defendant

V A Joseph (Ann Tan & Associates) for the petitioner/wife

The respondent/husband in person.

Crystall v Crystall [1963] 1 WLR 574; [1963] 2 All ER 330 (folld)

Livesey (formerly Jenkins) v Jenkins [1985] AC 424; [1985] 1 All ER 106 (folld)

Milne v Milne [1981] FLR 286; (1981) 125 SJ 375 (folld)

PQR v STR [1992] 3 SLR (R) 744; [1993] 1 SLR 574 (refd)

Women's Charter (Cap 353, 1985 Rev Ed) ss 56, 106, 107, 118, 122, 130, 131

Married Women's Property Act 1882 (c 75) (UK) s 17

Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (c 18) (UK) s 23

Courts and Jurisdiction–Jurisdiction–Original–Ancillary matters–Women's Charter (Cap 353, 1985 Rev Ed)–Family Law–Ancillary powers of court–Jurisdiction and powers of court over ancillary matters governed solely by Women's Charter (Cap 353, 1985 Rev Ed)–Claim by wife against husband for repayment of loans and debts–Application by wife to enjoin husband from dealing with Central Provident Fund moneys until loans and debts settled–Whether court had jurisdiction in matrimonial proceedings to deal with contractual, quasi-contractual or restitutionary claims

In this divorce petition, in addition to the prayers for the usual ancillary relief, the petitioner wife prayed for the following two orders: (a) repayment of all the loans and debts incurred by the petitioner on behalf of respondent husband; and (b) an injunction restraining the respondent from dealing with his Central Provident Fund (“CPF”) moneys until all the loans and the debts incurred by her on his behalf had been settled.

Held, dismissing the application:

(1) The court's jurisdiction and powers concerning ancillary matters in matrimonial proceedings were expressly laid out in the Women's Charter (Cap 353, 1985 Rev Ed) (“the Charter”), Pt IX, Chapters 4 and 5 and nowhere else. An order not specified in the provisions of Pt IX, Chapters 4 and 5 of the Charter could not be made in the course of matrimonial proceedings or at or consequent to the grant of a decree: at [3] and [6].

(2) Liabilities in respect of the loans and debts were matters in the law of contract and quasi-contract (or restitution). They were not ancillary matters in divorce proceedings, nor did they come under the provisions of the Charter quoted above. The proper and only remedy was for the claimant to take out a separate action: at [20], [21] and [22].

(3) As the prayer for repayment and restitution of the loans and debts were dismissed, the foundation for the injunction disappeared and accordingly no order would be made with respect to the second prayer: at [23] and [25].

[Observation: Under s 131 of the Charter, it was doubtful whether CPF moneys constituted property and whether a CPF member's exercise of his statutory right to those funds was “disposition” for the purposes of that section, either in the ordinary sense of the word or within the definition of the word provided in s 131 (2): at [24].]

Judgment reserved.

P Coomaraswamy J

1 The parties were married in 1974 and they have three children. The petitioner/wife presented this petition for divorce based on the behaviour of the husband being such that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with him. The petition was uncontested. It had prayers for dissolution of the marriage, determination of interests in a flat, an asset acquired by the parties during the marriage, custody of the children and maintenance for them, maintenance, alternatively a lump sum for the petitioner and two prayers not found in divorce petitions. They were prayers (c) and (d) and read as follows:

  1. (c) that the respondent do repay the petitioner all the loans and debts incurred by the petitioner on his behalf;

  2. (d) that the respondent be restrained from dealing with his Central Provident Fund moneys until all the loans and debts incurred by the petitioner on his behalf are settled by him.

2 Ihad very serious...

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5 cases
  • Ho Kiang Fah v Toh Buan
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 10 Marzo 2009
    ...respondent. Chee Siok Chin v Minister for Home Affairs [2006] 1 SLR (R) 582; [2006] 1 SLR 582 (folld) Chong Li Yoon v Soo Yook Thong [1993] 2 SLR (R) 309; [1993] 3 SLR 181 (distd) Heng Joo See v Ho Pol Ling [1993] 2 SLR (R) 763; [1993] 3 SLR 850 (refd) Lai Shit Har v Lau Yu Man [2008] 4 SLR......
  • Yeong Swan Ann v Lim Fei Yen
    • Singapore
    • Court of Three Judges (Singapore)
    • 9 Enero 1999
    ...she had indeed loaned the above sum to the husband. The learned judge ordered this despite the case of Chong Li Yoon v Soo Yook Thong [1993] 3 SLR 181 which stated that a loan being a claim in contract or quasi-contract, did not come within the range of orders that the court could order wit......
  • Hafiani bte Abdul Karim v Mazlan bin Redzuan
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 4 Noviembre 1995
    ...... orders that are within its jurisdiction and power to make - see Chong Li Yoon v Soo Yook Thong [1993] 3 SLR 181 and Livesey (formerly ......
  • QY v QZ
    • Singapore
    • District Court (Singapore)
    • 11 Julio 2006
    ...such jurisdiction, and the wife had to take out a separate civil action to recover such loans, relying on Chong Li Yoon v Soo Yook Thong [1993] 3 SLR 181. He also explained that the wife has not clearly explained how the sum was derived. 31 Following Yeong Swan Ann, the court has jurisdicti......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
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