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Colonial Cases

Grant v. Easton, 1883

[foreign judgments]

Grant v. Easton

Queen's Bench Division
Source: The Times, 14 November, 1883

(Sitting in Banco, before Mr. Justice Grove and Mr. Justice Mathew.)
  A curious point here arose under the New Rules of the Judicature Act - whether a debt claimed under a foreign judgment is within them. They provide that in actions for debt arising out of contracts, expressed or implied, the plaintiff may, on affidavit that there is no defence, have judgment summarily. In this case there had been a judgment for £1,800 recovered by the plaintiff against the defendant in the Consular Court of Alexandria. The defendant had come to this country, and the plaintiff, desiring to get his money, had sued him on the judgment, and applied under the well-known Order XIV. for summary judgment. The application was opposed, on the ground that a judgment debt is not a "contract" or a debt "arising out of a contract," express or implied; whereas on the other side it was contended that a foreign judgment, like any other debt, implied a promise to pay it, as settled three and a half centuries ago, in the time of Lord Coke, in  a case known as Slade's case, (the "legal fiction" under which the action of assumpsit was based), and applied in the last century to foreign judgments, and that therefore it was a "debt arising out of an implied contract." The learned Judge doubted, but made the order (subject to the  money being paid into court to await further order), and the defendant now applied by way of appeal to set it aside.
  Mr. R. T. Reid, Q.C., and Mr. Rowland appeared for the defendant, in support of the appeal; Mr. F. Turner appeared for the plaintiff, in support of the order made.
  Mr. Justice Mathew cited a case in which, under similar words in the Common Law Procedure Act, a similar enactment was held to apply to an action on a foreign judgment.
  Mr. Justice Grove said that, under the authority of that case, he yielded to what was obviously a "legal fiction," and so the appeal was dismissed.
  Mr. F. Turner asked that the money paid into court might be ordered to be paid out to his client, but
  The Court, as in the previous case, said there must be a separate application for that.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School