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Rules of the Superior Courts

Order: 17

Change of parties by death, &c.

The below amendment(s) have been made to this instrument which can be viewed by clicking on the link(s):

No17-S.I. No. 79 Of 1989: Rules Of The Superior Court (No. 3), 1989


1. A cause or matter shall not become abated by reason of the death, or bankruptcy of any of the parties, if the cause of action survive or continue, and shall not become defective by the assignment, creation, or devolution of any estate or title pendente lite; and, whether the cause of action survives or not, there shall be no abatement by reason of the death of either party between the verdict or finding of the issues of fact and the judgement; but judgement may in such case be entered, notwithstanding the death.

2. In case of the death, or bankruptcy, or devolution of estate by operation of law, of any party to a cause or matter, the Court may, if it be deemed necessary for the complete settlement of all the questions involved, order that the personal representative, assignee, trustee, or other successor in interest, if any, of such party be made a party, or be served with notice in such manner and form as hereinafter prescribed, and on such terms as the Court shall think just, and shall make such order for the disposal of the cause or matter as may be just.

3. In case of an assignment, creation, or devolution of any estate or title pendente lite, the cause or matter may be continued by or against the person to or upon whom such estate or title has come or devolved.

4. Where by reason of death or bankruptcy, or any other event occurring after the commencement of a cause or matter and causing a change or transmission of interest or liability, or by reason of any person interested coming into existence after the commencement of the cause or matter, it becomes necessary or desirable that any person not already a party should be made a party, or that any person already a party should be made a party in another capacity, an order that the proceedings shall be carried on between the continuing parties, and such new party or parties, may be obtained ex parte on application to the Court upon an allegation of such change, or transmission of interest or liability, or of such person interested having come into existence.

5. An order obtained as in rule 4 mentioned shall, unless the Court shall otherwise direct, be served upon the continuing party or parties, or their solicitors, and also upon each such new party, unless the person making the application be himself the only new party, and the order shall from the time of such service, subject nevertheless to rules 6 and 7, be binding on the persons served therewith, and every person served therewith who is not already a party to the cause or matter shall be bound to enter an appearance thereto within the same time and in the same manner as if he had been served with a summons.

6. Where any person who is under no disability, or, being under any disability, has a guardian ad litem in the cause or matter, shall be served with such order as in rule 4 mentioned, such person may apply to the Court to discharge or vary such order at any time within twelve days from the service thereof.

7. Where any person being under any disability and not having a guardian ad litem in the cause or matter, is served with any order as in rule 4 mentioned, such person may apply to the Court to discharge or vary such order at any time within twelve days from the appointment of a guardian ad litem for such party, and until such period of twelve days shall have expired such order shall have no force or effect as against such last-mentioned person.

8. When the plaintiff or defendant in a cause or matter dies and the cause of action survives, but the person entitled to proceed fails to proceed, the defendant (or the person against whom the cause or matter may be continued) may apply to compel the plaintiff (or the person entitled to proceed) to proceed within such time as may be ordered; and in default of such proceeding, judgement may be entered for the defendant, or, as the case may be, for the person against whom the cause or matter might have been continued; and in such case, if the plaintiff has died, execution may issue as in the case provided for by Order 42, rule 24.

9. In case of the death of a sole defendant or of all the defendants in an action for the recovery of land before trial, the plaintiff shall be entitled to judgement for recovery of possession of the property, unless some other person shall take defence within a time to be appointed for that purpose by the order of the Court, to be made upon the ex parte application of the plaintiff; and it shall be lawful for the Court, upon such application as aforesaid, to order that the plaintiff shall be at liberty to sign judgement within such time as the Court may think fit, unless the person then in possession, by himself or his tenant, or the legal representative of the deceased defendant, shall within such time appear in the action; and such order may be served in the same manner as the summons; and in case any such person shall appear, the same proceedings may be taken against such new defendant as if he had originally appeared and defended the action; and if no appearance be entered, then the plaintiff shall be at liberty to sign judgement pursuant to the order.

10. In case of the death before trial of one of several defendants in an action for the recovery of land who defends separately for a portion of the property for which the other defendant or defendants do not defend, the same proceedings may be taken as to such portion as in the case of the death of a sole defendant, or the plaintiff may proceed against the surviving defendant or defendants in respect of the portion of the property for which he or they defend.

11. In case of the death before trial of one of several defendants in an action for the recovery of land who defends separately in respect of property for which a surviving defendant or surviving defendants also defend, the Court may, at any time before the trial, allow the person at the time of the death in possession of the property, or the legal representative of the deceased defendant, to defend, on such terms as may appear reasonable and just, upon the application of such person or representative; and if no such application be made or leave granted, the plaintiff may proceed against the surviving defendant or defendants to judgement and execution.

12. Where any cause or matter becomes abated or in case of any such change of interest as is by this Order provided for, the solicitor for the plaintiff or person having the conduct of the cause or matter as the case may be, shall certify the fact to the proper officer, who shall cause an entry thereof to be made in the Cause Book opposite to the name of such cause or matter.

13. Where any cause or matter shall have been standing for one year in the Cause Book marked as "abated," or standing over generally, such cause or matter at the expiration of the year shall be struck out of the Cause Book.