CLS v. LPKP
District Court
Matrimonial Causes No 17127 of 2014
Judge Grace Chan in Chambers
28 August 2017, 8 January 2018

Civil procedure — discovery — inappropriate in matrimonial proceedings to seek discovery against banker of spouse rather than spouse

In these matrimonial proceedings, the petitioner-wife applied for specific discovery, not against the respondent-husband, but against his bankers.

Held, dismissing the application, that:-

  • Although the wife’s application was taken out under s. 21 of the Evidence Ordinance (Cap. 8) and s. 47B of the District Court Ordinance (Cap. 336), the applicable rule was, as counsel on both sides agreed, O. 24 r. 7 of the Rules of the High Court (Cap. 4A, Sub.Leg.). (See para. 23.)
  • The discovery sought was unnecessary for the fair disposal of the matter or for saving costs (LKW v. DD [2010] 13 HKCFAR 537 applied). (See para. 65.)
  • It was inappropriate to seek discovery against the husband’s banker rather than against the husband himself. That the husband had refused the discovery requested by the wife was not a good and sufficient reason for her to seek discovery against the banker (Chan Wai Sun v. Law Shiu Kai Andrew [2003] 3 HKLRD 954 distinguished). (See para. 72.)
  • Family practitioners were to be reminded that applicant spouses should not in situations like the present attempt to achieve their discovery objectives by way of subpoena or discovery applications directed to bankers. (See paras. 73.)

Application

This was an application by the petitioner-wife in matrimonial proceedings for specific discovery against the banker of the respondent-husband. The facts are set out in the judgment.

Jurisdictions: 

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