29a["A Divorce Case", The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA), Friday 24 November 1911, page 10]

A Divorce Case.

An Interesting Point of Law.

Melbourne, November 23.

A divorce suit, in which Abraham Davis, business manager, of Melbourne and Western Australia, was petitioner; Sarah Davis, respondent and J. M. Hattrick, of Sydney, co-respondent, was before the State Full Court yesterday for decision on a point of law which had been referred to the Court by Mr. Justice Cussen. The petitioner was seeking a dissolution of his marriage on the ground of misconduct by his wife with the co-respondent. An order had been made that the respondent and co-respondent should answer various interrogations and allow the "discovery" of certain documents in relation to the case. The "documents" consisted of letters which had passed between them. They objected to answer the questions submitted in writing on the ground that if they did so the answers would tend to incriminate them. On a motion for attachment being made for refusing to answer the questions, Mr. Justice Cussen referred the matter to the State Full Court, which was asked to decide whether the respondent and the co-respondent were bound to answer the questions, or whether the replies given by them were sufficient.

The court found that the rules of divorce provided that no person in affidavit was compelled to confess or admit the commission of misconduct. It would be extremely undesirable to place a respondent in the position of either having to commit perjury or else having to place permanently on record in an affidavit that he had committed misconduct. The summons was dismissed.

29b["Davis v. Davis", The Argus (Melbourne), Tuesday 19 December 1911, page 8]



In the First Civil Court yesterday, Mr. Justice A'Beckett delivered judgment upon the question of costs reserved at the hearing of the divorce suit of Davis v. Davis (Hattrick co-respondent).

Abraham Davis, 48 years of age, business manager, of Drummond-street, Carlton, sought a dissolution of his marriage with Sarah Davis, 40 years of age, on the grounds of desertion, and also of her misconduct with J. M. Hattrick, commercial traveller. Mr. I. S. Woolf appeared for the petitioner, and Mr. J. McFarlan for the co-respondent, upon the question of costs only. There was no appearance for the respondent.

Mr. Justice A'Beckett said that the general proposition prevailed that it was for the husband to satisfy the Court that the co-respondent was aware that the respondent was a married woman. From the letters written by the co-respondent himself, it was evident that in this case the co-respondent had such knowledge, and he must therefore pay the costs, except those of three witnesses, whose attendance had not been necessary. A decree nisi would be granted on both grounds, with costs against the co-respondent.