Chua Soo Lee and Another v City Council of Singapore

JudgeChua F A J
Judgment Date18 April 1967
Neutral Citation[1967] SGFC 9
Date18 April 1967
Subject MatterWhether orders should be set aside,Writ of summons,Death of sole plaintiff,Order XVIII Rules of the Supreme Court 1934,Order XVIII Rules of the Supreme Court1934,Action becoming abated or defective until O XVIII Rules of the Supreme Court 1934 complied with,Whether orders irregular,Setting aside,Whether action abated or defective,Parties,Writ renewed after death of plaintiff without complying with Order XVIII Rules of the Supreme Court 1934,Civil Procedure,Order to continue action,Writ and service set aside
Docket NumberCivil Appeal No Y50 of 1966
Published date19 September 2003
Defendant CounselDavid Chelliah (Drew & Napier)
CourtFederal Court (Singapore)
Plaintiff CounselHarry L Wee and Lim Chor Pee (Chor Pee & Hin Hiong)

This action has reached perhaps a very unfortunate stage. It was commenced in the name of Wong Chow Dow against the city council of Singapore in April 1962 being an action for damages for breach of contract.

The writ was taken out on 2 April 1962 but it was not served at all and towards the end of March the following year before the period of 12 months allowed for the service of the writ would lapse, an application was made to renew the writ for a further period of six months.
That was necessarily an ex parte application which was heard on 29 March 1963 when an order was made to renew this yet unserved writ.

The factual position however as regards the plaintiff was that he had died a few months earlier on 10 November 1962.
I will deal with the effect of that in relation to the writ at a later stage.

Having obtained an order to renew the writ, the writ was served, just before the final expiry date, on the defendants, the city council of Singapore, for the first time on 28 September 1963.
The defendant thereupon filed a memorandum of conditional appearance on 4 October 1963 and on 11 October 1963 applied to the High Court to set aside the writ. This application was made because the order obtained on the original application to renew the writ was an order that the writ be renewed for a period of six months from the date of the said writ and because it was contended that the order to renew should not have been made on the ground put forward mainly that the writ had not been served owing to negotiations for arbitration. This application was heard in October 1963 but unfortunately it was not until 6 December 1966 that judgment was delivered setting aside the renewed writ and the service thereof on the defendants on the ground that the fact that negotiations for arbitration were proceeding was not a good and sufficient ground for giving leave to renew the writ of summons. When that judgment was delivered the parties to the action continued to be the original parties, ie Wong Chow Dow and the City Council of Singapore.

Three weeks later on 28 December 1966 the present appellants on an ex parte application obtained an order to represent the estate of the deceased plaintiff in the proceedings and obtained a further order that they be at liberty to continue the action including an appeal against the judgment of 6 December 1966.

It will be seen from this history of the proceedings that although the original plaintiff had died on 10 November 1962 the

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