Witkowska v Kaminski: ChD 25 Jul 2006

The claimant sought provision from the estate claiming to have lived with the deceased as his partner for the two years preceding his death. She appealed an order which would be enough to allow her to live in Poland, but not in England. She said this was discriminatory under European law. The defendant said that her stay in England was unlawful, and that she should not be counted as having lived with the deceased.
Held: The European treaty did not apply in such proceedings, and the claimant’s appeal failed. As to the defendant’s argument: ‘the claimant’s unlawful presence in this country [was] no bar to her ability to invoke the court’s jurisdiction under the Act to make reasonable financial provision for her out of the deceased’s estate. ‘ The court was entitled to conclude that the cohabitation with the deceased had continued despite the claimant’s return to Poland. The defendant’s cross appeals also failed.
[2006] EWHC 1940 (Ch)
Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, EC Treaty 12
England and Wales
CitedRe Royse (Deceased) CA 1985
The wife sought to claim under the 1975 Act despite having been convicted of her husband’s manslaughter from diminished responsibility. She was the sole beneficiary under his will but was precluded by her conviction from taking any benefit under the . .
CitedV v Addey and Stanhope School CA 30-Jul-2004
The respondent resisted a claim of unfair dismissal and race discrimination on the basis that the employment contract was illegal since the claimant was an immigrant and unable to work without a work permit.
Held: The Court of Appeal upheld a . .
CitedHall v Woolston Hall Leisure Limited CA 23-May-2000
The fact that an employment contract was tainted with illegality of which the employee was aware, did not deprive the employee of the possibility of claiming rights which were due to her under a statute which created rights associated with but not . .
CitedMark v Mark HL 30-Jun-2005
The petitioner sought to divorce her husband. Both were Nigerian nationals, and had married under a valid polygamous marriage in Nigeria. She claimed that the courts had jurisdiction because of her habitual residence here despite the fact that her . .
CitedWhiston v Whiston CA 8-May-1995
A bigamist is unable to claim ancillary relief in the second marriage; would be against public policy. Since bigamy was a serious crime which undermined fundamental notions of monogamous marriage, the Court would not as a matter of public policy . .
CitedSantos v Santos CA 16-Feb-1972
The court considered whether one party who lived in Spain and the other who lived mainly, but not exclusively, in England, were, despite several periods of close cohabitation, living apart.
Held: Mere physical separation without more did not . .
CitedIn re Beaumont, Deceased; Martin v Midland Bank Trust Co Ltd 1980
The words in the section ‘immediately before’ in the context of the maintenance of the claimant by the deceased before the death, were not to be construed literally. The situation was to be viewed as the general arrangements for maintenance in place . .
CitedGully v Dix; In re Dix deceased CA 21-Jan-2004
The claimant sought provision from the estate under the Act. She had cohabited with the deceased for many years, but had moved out several months before the death because of her concern for his drunkenness which lead to threats of self harm.
CitedJelley v Illife CA 1981
The court referred to the case of In re Beaumont and continued: ‘In considering whether a person is being maintained immediately before the death of the deceased, it is the settled basis or general arrangement between the parties as regards . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 31 January 2021; Ref: scu.244114