Photios v Photios [2019] NSWCA 158 (27 June 2019) (Bell P at [1], Gleeson JA at [99], Leeming JA at [100])


Catchwords:


CIVIL PROCEDURE – refusal to allow amendment to challenge testamentary capacity on basis that amendment, if allowed, was doomed to fail – whether primary judge erred in concluding that claim was doomed to fail notwithstanding a finding that there was an arguable case of lack of testamentary capacity established – whether finding that proposed claim was doomed to fail was a discretionary decision or a finding of abuse of process – significance of unique public interest character of probate proceedings – meaning of “acquiescence” – absence of any real prejudice – appropriate conditions to be imposed on amendment

SUCCESSION – grant of probate in common form in respect of a will – application to amend cross-claim to challenge grant on basis of lack of testamentary capacity – no caveat lodged – application to amend made at a time when case ready to be allocated a hearing date – relevant considerations – importance to be placed on ascertainment of true intention of the testator – significance of unique public interest character of probate proceedings – reasonably arguable case that testator lacked testamentary capacity at relevant time – whether application, if granted, doomed to fail – whether challenge to testamentary capacity was an abuse of process in the circumstances – consideration of In re Goode (1890) 11 LR(NSW) (Eq) 281



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