Writ of Summons HC/S 413/2021

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Click here to download Writ of Summons HC/S 413/2021.

Because I claim unlawful termination and tort of extortion, I believe my case would have been lumped under Civil Trial. That is, apparently for some reasons including economization, the Court would, at some point or another, classify this case as a Civil Trial.

If you go here, you may download the form you need to fill in before filing a Writ of Summons via CrimsonLogic/LawNet Service Bureau Supreme Court. On that form, under Nature of Case (High Court), you may not see Civil Trial. You may see a list of 69 items such as Admiralty and Shipping - Bunker Claim, Admiralty and Shipping - Ship Repair, Family Law, Insurance, Sports Law, and Others. You choose one or more of those 69 items and put it in the Writ of Summons form you are filling, under Nature of Case .

Can it be that what you put under Nature of Case in your Writ of Summons form

decides what legislation your case will be judged under?

Surely not...no? And what if someone makes a mistake? There would be opportunities to fix such a mistake. No?

 

For example, in the Pre-Trial Conference. The Registrar conducting the Pre-Trial Conference would then notice that the case has been lumped incorrectly; for example under Land - Landlord/Tenant instead of Land - Property Law. The Registrar may then confirm that the mistake is yours, and not a CrimsonLogic filing error. You confess, and the Registrar reprimands you for wasting the Court's time by lumping your case incorrectly. The Registrar may even fine you! But if you show remorse, and throw yourself at the Court's generosity, the Registrar will correct this error on eLitigation with magnanimous style, and request that henceforth you please pay attention to the accuracy of your filings into CrimsonLogic in all particulars. Needless to say, such a Request is an Order in eLitigation. I mean Court.

In the extremely unlikely event that the case comes before a judge while an error of case lumping is still on eLtigiation, his/her Honor may throw a fit. Her/his Honor may demand to know why and how an error of case classification slipped through a Registrar and perhaps some lawyers (Officers of the Supreme Court of Singapore) for so long before the case come to his screen. 

 

And then? Will her/his Honor hear the matter? If his/her Honor is uncomfortable hearing a matter not in the area of his/her expertise, if the case is under Singapore legislation he/she is unfamiliar with, the case can be heard by another judge. Of course. His/her Honor would naturally move the case to where it can be heard by a judge who does know about the legislation the case is under. And deliver the best justice. Such a scenario is horrific waste of their Honors' time however, and none of us would like to see that happen.

Surely, nothing as inane as ticking that box and not another may constitute a barrier to the administration of justice? Surely, the Registrars and Judges of the Supreme Court of Singapore would not allow something as silly as ticking a box or more of 69 boxes, limit their encyclopaedic knowledge and nuanced interpretation of the Statutes of Singapore? Without doubt, the Singapore Judiciary administer justice holistically - that is, they apply the whole law when administering justice, and not just bits and pieces of it. Right?

Shortly after I handed in my Writ of Summons to Pamela (nee Pam, staff at CrimsonLogic/LawNet Service Bureau Supreme Court), she called me on my phone. Pam called to say:

Since there is no 'tort of extortion'

in the eLitigation list under Nature of Claim,

I am going to put your case under Employment only.

This is not OK.

It is not OK starting with the fact that CrimsonLogic/LawNet Service Bureau staff, Pam and Annie, should not be changing anything you put in your form. Pam and Annie should transcribe it faithfully into eLitigation.

And what if your case lands on the desk of a Registrar who, for whatever act of god, thinks you want it judged with the set of legislation ticked under Nature of Claim in eLitigation? A box chosen by Pam and Annie and not yourself? Surely you will have time to mention the correct legislation your case comes under, and justice will be administered by Court. But you will have wasted the Court's time, practically and potentially.

What Pam said to me is not OK at least because you do not want to be accused of wasting the Court's time. Should, Heaven forbid, your case be judged under the Employment Act only...I mean, that's terribly unlikely. Of course, all one has to do then would be to mention to the judicial officer that such-and-such is the legislation under which one is bringing the matter before Court, and not the Employment Act. But still, let's not go there, shan't we?

 

Such a small misunderstanding, an accident of digitization, though still embarrassing to all involved, would be a trifling matter, a minor hiccup not worth mentioning, in the steadfast and sophisticated daily chewing of the Supreme Court of Singapore.

Click here to read more about HC/S 413/2021

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