Re 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.
Held: The rule did not apply in family proceedings. Willmer LJ said that the rule could not be relied upon so as to confer upon the Court a jurisdiction which it did not have at the time when the order was made. The marriage having been determined by the husband’s death, the Court had no power to dissolve it when the order was made.
Davies LJ rejected the submission that the order took effect at te beginning of the day and said that this legal fiction had no relevance when there was evidence as to the real facts.

Judges:

Willmer LJ, Davies LJ

Citations:

[1968] P 53

Cited by:

CitedRe 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. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Family, Litigation Practice, Wills and Probate

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.267521