Dormer v Ward: CA 1901

One of the assets included in the marriage settlement was a jointure rent-charge charged on certain specified hereditaments. The CA considered whether what was brought into the settlement so as to be amenable to the court’s statutory jurisdiction was the rent-charge or the hereditaments on which it was charged.
Held: Vaughan Williams LJ (with whom the Lord Chancellor and the Master of the Rolls agreed) said that it was the rent-charge: ‘I agree with what I understand to be the opinion of Gorell Barnes J, that what has been brought into settlement, in this Settlement, so far as the charges are concerned, is not the property upon which the charges are made, but the charges themselves; but there is one argument which was brought before us by Mr Danckwerts, and was also urged by him before Gorell Barnes J, with which I have yet to deal. It is this – that the whole of the hereditaments and premises comprised in the schedules to the marriage settlement were property settled by that settlement, and that the Court could therefore under the terms of s 5, which gives the Court power to make orders with reference to the application of the whole or a portion of the property settled for the benefit of children or their respective parents, order that the whole or a portion of the hereditaments and premises be applied for the benefit of the petitioner. The learned judge answers this by saying, ‘It seems a very extraordinary proposition that, because a charge – it may be a very small one – is created on a large real estate by a marriage settlement, the whole estate can be dealt with by the Court under the powers created by the sections aforesaid.’ I agree with him as to this’.
Lord Halsbury LC, Sir A L Smith MR and Vaughan Williams LJ
[1901] P 20
England and Wales
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Updated: 21 May 2021; Ref: scu.652162