Court rejects request for injunction on assets from former business partner

    'Oku 'i lalo ha fakamatala faka-Tonga

    The Supreme Court has turned down an application for an injunction over the assets of a tourism business in Vava’u.

    Leisa Marie Francis applied for an injunction against her former partner Lolesio Susitiano Lui.

    The parties had a whale watching and sports fishing business at Vava’u.  In July  2017 they separated and in October 2017 the plaintiff returned to Australia with their children.

    In his report on the case Lord Chief Justice Paulsen said Francis alleged she had a verbal partnership agreement with Lui to operate the whale watching and sports fishing business and that she paid for all the major assets of the business including four boats, a trailer and fishing gear.

    She further alleged that the partnership agreement was terminated by the defendant and that she was entitled to the return of her contributions to the partnership namely  the  boats,  trailer  and  fishing  gear.   She also claimed damages for the set up costs of the business and a substantial sum she said she spent to renovate a house.

    Francis asked for an order prohibiting Lui from disposing or otherwise dealing with the partnership assets (the boats, trailer etc) and that  he  be  required  to  keep  them safe and fully  insured  pending further order of the  Court.

    She also asked that the Police be required to regularly inspect and report on the assets and that her former partner  be required to provide reports  on  the  business  to  an  accountant nominated by the plaintiff.

    The judge said Francis had failed to make out the grounds for issuing an injunction.

    “I am prepared  to  accept for present purposes   that  the   plaintiff   has  established   a substantive claim and that there are assets in the jurisdiction to which orders can apply,” he said.

    “However, there is a lack of evidence of any real or substantial risk that the defendant may dissipate those assets and the indications are that he intends to continue to retain the assets to operate the business.

    “ The plaintiffs affidavit  is extremely  brief and does not contain  the sort of detail that one  would  expect to  be  provided  detailing the  matters that show a risk of dissipation  of   the assets. She says that she wants to stop the defendant from disposing of the assets but not why she considers that there is a risk that he may do so.”

    Lord Chief Justice Paulsen said he would therefore refuse an application for an ex parte injunction.

    However, he said he was prepared to deal with the  application  for  injunction  on  notice.

    “I direct that the plaintiff is to serve the defendant with the proceedings along with this ruling and the application for injunction and supporting documents  forthwith.”

    The main points

    • The Supreme Court has turned down an application for an injunction over the assets of a tourism business in Vava’u.
    • Leisa Marie Francis applied for an injunction against her former partner Lolesio Susitiano Lui,
    • The parties had a whale watching and  sports fishing  business  at Vava’u.  In  July  2017 they separated and in October 2017 the plaintiff returned to Australia with their children.

    1 COMMENT

    1. Kuo ‘ikai tali ‘e he Fakamaau’anga Lahi e kole ta’ofi ‘o ha ngaahi koloa ‘a ha pisinisi fakatakimamata ‘i Vava’u.

      Na’e kole ‘a Leisa Marie Francis ke ta’ofi ‘a hono hoa ki mu’a’ Lolesio Susitiano Lui.

      Ko e ongome’a’ ni ne ‘i ai ‘ena pisinisi mamata’anga tofua’a mo e sipoti fāngota ‘i Vava’u.

      Ne na māvae ‘i Siulai 2017 pea ‘i ‘Okatopa 2017 ne foki ai ‘a Francis ia ki ‘Aositelēlia mo ‘ena fānau’.

      Na’a’ ne kole leva ki he fakamaau’anga’ ke ta’ofi ‘a Lui mei ha’ane faka’auha pe ala ki he’ena koloa’ hangē ko e vaka mo e taulani pea ke fekau ia ke ne tauhi ‘i ha feitu’u malu tali ai ki ha toe tu’utu’uni ‘a e fakamaau’anga’.

      Ka ne pehē ‘e he fakamāu’ ne ‘ikai lava ‘e Francis ke ne fokotu’u ha fakamo’oni fe’unga fakalao ki he kole’ ni.

      Ne ‘ikai lava ‘e Francis ke ne ‘omai ha fakamo’oni fe’unga ‘e hanga ‘e Lui ‘o faka’auha e koloa pea ‘oku mahino mai te ne tauhi pe ia ‘e ia ke hoko atu hono fakalele ‘o e pisinisi’.

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