Re Palmer (A Deceased Debtor), Palmer v Palmer: CA 6 Apr 1994

Property had been conveyed to the deceased and the appellant, his widow, to be held as joint tenants. The deceased dies whilst under investigation for defalcations as a solicitor, and an insolvency administration order was obtained in the estate. The wife argued that by the doctrine of survivorship the house was already hers. The administrator said that the effect of the order was backdated so as to have severed the joint tenancy before the death, and that therefore the deceased’s interest passed into the administration.
Held: The appeal was allowed. The rule that a judicial act takes effect from the first moment of the day on which it is made is not universal. ‘the time has come to say the fiction should have no place when the true facts are known, at least in cases where the court’s jurisdiction is concerned. . . The respondent’s submission in the present case is that the insolvency administration order which was made on the 17th August 1991 is deemed by paragraph 12 of the 1986 Order (Sch.1 Part II) to take effect for the purposes of the vesting of property in the trustee as if it had been made on 22 November 1990, the date of Mr Palmer’s death. To this statutory fiction, it is submitted, must be added the common law fiction that the Order was made at the earliest moment of that day, and therefore whilst Mr Palmer was alive.’ The submission failed.
Balcomve LJ, Evans LJ, Roch LJ
Independent 06-Apr-1994, [1994] EWCA Civ 15
Bailii
Insolvency Act 1986 421
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal fromIn Re Palmer, Deceased (A Debtor) ChD 25-Mar-1994
The court considered the effect of the doctrine of relation back on a property of which the bankrupt was formerly a joint tenant where the bankrupt had died after the act of bankruptcy but before adjudication.
Held: A deceased’s share in . .
Times 30-Mar-94, [1994] Ch 316, [1993] 3 WLR 877
CitedWilliams v Hensman 10-Jun-1861
A fund of money was bequeathed on trust to be invested so as to generate an income payable to A ‘the principal to go to her children at her death’.
Held: The will created a joint tenancy. The court set out three ways in which a joint tenancy . .
[1861] 1 John and Hem 546, [1861] 30 LJ CH 878, [1861] 5 LT 203, [1861] 7 Jur NS 771, [1861] 70 ER 862, [1861] EWHC Ch J51
CitedBurgess v Rawnsley CA 15-Apr-1975
. .
[1975] 3 All ER 244, [1975] EWCA Civ 2
CitedWright v Mills 1859
A judgment was signed when the Court’s offices opened at 11 am but the defendant had died at 9.30 the same morning. The Court held that the judgment was regular, applying the rule that judicial acts, being acts of the Crown, have precedence over . .
(1859) 4 HN 488
CitedEdwards v Regina CExc 1854
The process of execution in respect of a Crown debt prevailed over the transfer of the personal estate of a bankrupt to an official assignee which took place earlier on the same day. Significantly, the Court’s judgment added that even if the . .
(1854) 9 Ex.628
CitedShelley’s case; Wolfe v Shelley 1581
If it is possible to do so, every word in a deed must be given effect. A judgment and the process known as recovery were effective even though the defendant had died in the early morning of the day on which, after his death, the court orders were . .
(1581) 1 Co Rep 93b
CitedClarke v Bradlaugh CA 1881
The defendant had sat and voted in parliament without taking the statutory oath. The writ was issued on the same day. The defendant argued that since the writ was deemed to have been issued at the start of the day, the events on which the claim was . .
(1881) 8 QBD 63
CitedClarke v Bradlaugh CA 1881
The defendant had sat and voted in parliament without taking the statutory oath. The writ was issued on the same day. The defendant argued that since the writ was deemed to have been issued at the start of the day, the events on which the claim was . .
(1881) 8 QBD 63
CitedRe Seaford Dec’d CA 1968
A decree of divorce was made absolute by the court on the same day as, but some hours later than, the husband respondent had died. The court considered the general rule that a judicial act takes effect at the start of the day on which it is made. . .
[1968] P 53
CitedTabernacle Permanent Building Society v Knight 1892
The court considered (obiter) it’s lack of jurisdiction to make an order directing arbitrators to state their award in the form of a special case, at a time when the award had already been published earlier on the same day and the arbitrators . .
[1892] AC 298

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 18 December 2020; Ref: scu.85849