22 July 2024

International Cases

Heidi Joubert v Pierre Joubert

South Africa



An application for a request for further particulars is purely interlocutory

In present case, the Respondent launched divorce proceedings in the regional court. In addition to defending the matter, the appellant instituted a counterclaim against the respondent for spousal maintenance. The Appellant, furthermore, delivered a notice requesting further particulars requesting the respondent to make, amongst others, full financial disclosure of his earning capacity. The Respondent refused to furnish the same, contending that they are irrelevant for the purposes of trial. Dissatisfied with this reply, the appellant applied for the respondent to be compelled to comply.

On 22 March 2022 the regional court ordered the respondent to answer to the paragraphs so requested in the appellant’s request to compel. The respondent appealed this order. The appeal was heard by the high court which set aside the order to compel. The high court relied on the decision of Rall v Rall, a full court decision of that court, which held that a party could not be required to give particulars in relation to a bare denial. The appellant then petitioned this Court for special leave to appeal against the judgment of the high court.

It is trite that an application for a request for further particulars is purely interlocutory. The regional court’s order compelling discovery was purely interlocutory in nature and had no final effect. Supreme Court affirmed the decision in TWK vs. Hoogveld Boerdery bellegings wherein this Court warned against courts other than the Constitutional Court in adopting the standard of the interest of justice as a foundational basis upon which they decide whether the matter was appealable or not. The high court was obliged to raise the issue of appealability mero motu. It should have struck the appeal before it from the roll as the order of the regional court was not appealable. Consequently, the Supreme Court did not pronounce on the merits of the matter. The order of the high court was set aside. Appeal is upheld.

Tags : Spousal maintenance Particular Furnishing of

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