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Part IV: Interlocutory Applications

36. Distribution of applications

All applications in Chambers (including summonses and summonses for directions) shall be filed without specifying whether the application is to be heard before a Judge in person or the Registrar.

37. Filing of summonses

All interlocutory applications to be made by summons

(1) The former Form 10 of Appendix A of the Rules of Court (Notice of Motion) has been deleted with effect from 1 January 2006. All interlocutory applications are to be made by way of summons.

“Ex parte” and “by consent” summonses

(2) Ordinary summonses shall be endorsed “ex parte”, or “by consent”, and when so endorsed must bear a certificate to that effect signed by all the solicitors concerned. Any summons that is not so endorsed will be regarded as a contentious matter liable to exceed a hearing duration of 10 minutes.

(3) After the filing of any “ex parte” or “by consent” summons, the application will be examined by the Judge or Registrar as the case may be. If he is satisfied that the application is in order and all other requirements have been complied with, he may make the order(s) applied for on the day fixed for the hearing of the application without the attendance of the applicant or his solicitor.

(4) Summonses that are filed using the Electronic Filing Service will be routed to the inbox of the applicant solicitor’s Electronic Filing Service account. Where the summons is filed through the service bureau, it may be collected at the service bureau. Enquiries by telephone will not be entertained.

37A. Filing of Distinct Applications in Separate Summonses

(1) Where a party intends to make more than one distinct substantive application in a cause or matter, he must file each application in a separate summons. Distinct applications should not be combined in a single summons, unless they are inextricably or closely linked, or involve overlapping or substantially similar issues. For example, it can be envisaged that applications for:

(2) In addition, applications should not contain alternative prayers when the alternative prayers sought in effect amount to distinct applications. For example, a party should not make an application for further and better particulars on particular issues, and in the alternative, interrogatories on different issues. In such a case, separate summonses should be filed. In contrast, the following is an example of alternative prayer which may be permitted:

(3) Any summons that is not in compliance with this paragraph may be rejected by the Legal Registry of the Supreme Court. The Court may also direct the party to file separate summonses before proceeding with the hearing or proceed with the hearing on the solicitor’s undertaking to file further summonses for the distinct applications.

38. Summonses to be heard in open Court

(1) Order 32, Rule 11 of the Rules of Court provides that all summonses shall be heard in Chambers, subject to any provisions in the Rules of Court, written law, directions by the Court and practice directions issued by the Registrar.

(2) The following applications are examples of summonses to be heard in open Court pursuant to written law:

(3) In addition to any provisions in the Rules of Court or other written law, and subject to further directions made by the Court, the Registrar hereby directs that the following applications by summons shall be heard in open Court:

39. Summonses for directions

(1) The principal intention of the summons for directions is to ensure that there is a thorough stocktaking of the issues in an action and the manner in which the evidence should be presented at a trial, with a view to shortening the length of the trial and saving costs generally.

(2) Parties should have completed their discovery of documents by the time of the first hearing of the summons for directions. There should be full discovery on either side.

(3) Parties should also make all interlocutory applications at the hearing of the summons for directions.

40. Transfer of proceedings to the State Courts

Where a claim in the High Court which may have initially exceeded $250,000 is subsequently reduced below this amount, solicitors should bring this to the attention of the Registrar and apply by summons or at the hearing of the summons for directions for an order that the action be transferred to the District Court for trial under section 54C of the State Courts Act (Cap 321), which provides:

41. Ex parte applications for injunctions

(1) Order 29, Rule 1 of the Rules of Court provides that an application for the grant of an injunction may be made ex parte in cases of urgency. However, the cases of Castle Fitness Consultancy Pte Ltd v Manz [1989] SLR 896 and The ‘Nagasaki Spirit’ (No 1) [1994] 1 SLR 434 take the position that an opponent to an ex parte application, especially where the application seeks injunctive relief, should be invited to attend at the hearing of the application.

(2) In view of this, any party applying ex parte for an injunction (including a Mareva injunction) must give notice of the application to the other concerned parties prior to the hearing. The notice may be given by way of facsimile transmission or telex, or, in cases of extreme urgency, orally by telephone. Except in cases of extreme urgency or with the leave of the Court, the party shall give a minimum of two hours’ notice to the other parties before the hearing. The notice should inform the other parties of the date, time and place fixed for the hearing of the application and the nature of the relief sought. If possible, a copy of the originating process, the ex parte summons and supporting affidavit(s) should be given to each of the other parties in draft form as soon as they are ready to be filed in Court. At the hearing of the ex parte application, in the event that some or all of the other parties are not present or represented, the applicant’s solicitors should inform the Court of:

(3) The directions set out in sub-paragraph (2) need not be followed if the giving of the notice to the other parties, or some of them, would or might defeat the purpose of the ex parte application. However, in such cases, the reasons for not following the directions should be clearly set out in the affidavit prepared in support of the ex parte application.

42. Mareva injunctions and search orders

(1) Pursuant to Order 32, Rule 9 of the Rules of Court, the Honourable the Chief Justice has directed that applications for Mareva injunctions and for search orders, whether made on an ex parte or inter partes basis, should be heard by a Judge in person. For the avoidance of doubt, all other ex parte applications for interim injunctions may be heard by a Registrar.

(2) Applicants for Mareva injunctions and search orders are required to prepare their orders in accordance with the following forms in Appendix A of these Practice Directions:

When composing the summons electronic form online through the Electronic Filing Service, these Forms shall be prepared in Portable Document Format (PDF) and attached to the summons electronic form.

(3) The language and layout of the forms are intended to make it easier for persons served with these orders to understand what they mean. These forms of orders should be used save to the extent that the Judge hearing a particular application considers there is a good reason for adopting a different form. Any departure from the terms of the prescribed forms should be justified by the applicant in his supporting affidavit(s).

(4) The applicant should undertake not to inform any third party of the proceedings until after the return date.

(5) Wherever practicable, applications should be made sufficiently early so as to ensure that the Judge has sufficient time to read and consider the application in advance.

(6) On an ex parte application for either a Mareva injunction or a search order, an applicant may be required, in an appropriate case, to support his cross-undertaking in damages by a payment to be made into Court, a bond to be issued by an insurance company with a place of business within Singapore, a written guarantee to be issued from a bank with a place of business within Singapore or a payment to the applicant’s solicitor to be held by the solicitor as an officer of the Court pending further order.

Applications for search orders

(7) It was suggested in Universal Thermosensors Ltd v Hibben [1992] 1 WLR 840 at 861 that the order be served by a supervising solicitor and carried out in his presence and under his supervision.

42A. Documents in support of ex parte applications for injunctions (including Mareva injunctions) and search orders

(1) Without prejudice to the requirements stated in Paragraphs 41 and 42 of these Practice Directions, in order to assist the Court hearing ex parte applications for injunctions (including Mareva injunctions) and search orders, an applicant must include in the affidavit prepared in support of the application the following information under clearly defined headings:

(2) An applicant must prepare skeletal submissions on the points to be raised at the hearing of the ex parte application. At the hearing, the applicant shall give a copy of the skeletal submissions to the Court and to any opponent present. As soon as possible after the hearing, the applicant shall file the skeletal submissions in Court.

(3) The Court may also require the applicant to prepare a note of the hearing setting out the salient points and arguments canvassed before the Court and may order such a note to be served together with the court documents on any opponent who is not present at the hearing or within a reasonable time after the service of the court documents.

43. Applications for discovery or interrogatories against network service providers

(1) This paragraph applies to applications made under Order 24, Rule 6(1) or Order 26A, Rule 1(1) of the Rules of Court:

(2) An application referred to in sub-paragraph (1) shall be made in Form 4 (originating summons) of Appendix A of the Rules of Court.

(3) If the applicant requires an urgent hearing date, the onus shall lie on the applicant to attend before the Duty Registrar to highlight the nature of the application and to request that the application be fixed for hearing on an urgent basis.

(4) In sub-paragraph (1)(a), the words “electronic copy”, “material”, “network service provider” and “primary network” have the same meanings as in section 193A(1) of the Copyright Act (Cap. 63).

(5) In sub-paragraph (1)(b), the words “electronic recording”, “network service provider”, “performance” and “primary network” have the same meanings as in section 246(1) of the Copyright Act.