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UNDER TUB DIVORCE AND MATRIMONIAL OAU-ES ACT. Wednesday, Makck 10. (Before his Houor Mr Justice Williams.) NIKEL V. NIKE'-. Suit for a dissolution of marriage. Mr W. C MacGrregor appeared on behalf of the petitioner (Constance Mary Nikel), and there was no appearance on behalf of the respondent (Carl Ferdinand Nikel). Mr MacGregor said that the respondent was served in London. The petition was for dissolution of marriage, the grounds beiDg desertion and adultery. The petition was filed so long ago as November of 1595, but since then the derision in the case of Le Mesurier v. Le Mesurier had appeared, and he was afraid that after that decision the petitioner could not get a decree dissolving thf marriage here, co now it was a decree of separation that was asked ior, on the ground of deaertiou. The head note to the report on that case was : " The matrimonial law applicable to British or European residents in Ceylon is the

Tloimn- Dutch law as it existed in tho colony at Uiorfnteof tho Royal proclamation of the 23rd S-jptember, 1799, and that law did not contain any vile especially conferring on the local courts divorcejurisdiction«t>mcuJo over European spouses resident ia the Nland, but whos-f marriage and domicil were in England. Held, further, that tho permanent domicil of the spouses within tho terrij tory is necessary to give to its courts jurisdiction ' so to divorca a vinculo as that its decree to that effect shall by Ihf general law of nations possess extra-territorial. authority. A so-called matrimonial domicii, said to be created by thebona fide residence of the .spouses within the territory, "f a less degree of uermauence than is required to fix their true domici), caanot bo recognised »s creating such jurisdiction " It seemed, since the case referred to, that even if a de tob dissolving the | marriage were obtained, it would be of no avail i out-iiiio the colony. His Houor remarked that the Le Mesurier case whs suppo-ert to settle a number o conflicting points, but h<* was afraid that, the result c<ce"dingly do ibtful, an I thero was a question whether a uumher of tbe divirc-s obtained here w«re of effect outside tho co' > \ Mr MacGregor : We do not wi-h to add to, the number. Learned ciunsel proceeded to argue, on the Authority of Drummoud v. Dyummond, that there was power to alter the petition and ask for a rlt'cn'i" of separation. Tlis Honor said that lie supposed the greater included the lesser. The only question seemed to lip as to floinicil !->o far as he unrlemtoo I from the pleadinco, wherever the actual domicil was, there was wh i* was called matrimonial domicil iv N-w Smith Wales. Mr Ma^Gregor replied that th^re was also matrim mial rlomicil in New Zealand. The parties never intendod to leave New Zealand Respondent was a life insurance agent, travelling round i the colonies. His Honor said that probably, so far as judicial separation went, tho nou-appearancu of tho r-cponrlent would, be sufficient, if ho did not obipcfc *o jurisdiction Mr MacGregor Raid the parties were married in Dunedin, and after the marriage they lived in T)unedin, Christchnrch, and Wellington, in New Zealand, at Sandhurst and Melbourne, in Victoria, and at Sydney, in New Wales. There were nnw living two children of the marriage- -a girl 'iged ten and a boy aged eight. In November. BW, the petitioner and respondent were livine together in Sydney on good terms, and the petitioner, at the reqn-xt of the respondent, left Sydney for Zealand to visit her relations «n^ recruit her strength. The respondent told her he would send her money to bring her back in six weekH it the lat*st. and she had no suspicion then that the respondent intended to d-^e^t ner. The petitioner, when r-h» arrived a f her home afc Oamaru, wrote to the r n &pondsnt at once, but got no lvuly, an • wrote ao;ain without getting a veplv. She w»te a number of letters l>e<ging ! for a roplv, hut she received none until March, ' 1841. when «he got - letter, wifcten from a hotel in Sy'pey, in which the respondent enclosed a post office order for £2. The petitioner replied fti one, but recived no reply, and then through her father sh" ra id" inquiries and found that apparently tho respondent had left. Australia for England ; anil tho next word sh<» re-eived was a Mler from In'in from London, in July, 1391. Then on the 4rli Au?imt 1891. he wrote her a letter enclosing a draft for £20. The petitioner replied to both letter*, .tnd wrnt» several other letters, but no furtlie- word came from him until 1894, when ba wiote very much on th lines of his previous letters, ami enclosed a draft for £30 All that ehe received from him during these snveral year« A-as t liii .£52 Tho petition 1:!'1 :!' wro'e frequently to tho v-p indent asking him to prepare a home for her ami to take her back, but the lettms which equn=e> had mentioned were the only letters received fiom the respondent, and be Rppa eotly declin°d to discuss The quest'on with her. Matters went on until 1894. when independent inquiries were made in London as to what the respondent w«s doing, and the facts tbat wore disc vere»l wera «et ont in one of tho paragraphs o{ ths petition Hf 'Mr MacGregor) could n-.* prove 1 Mm facts, except by hearsay, huh if his Honor would lock nt the letter from the respondent* iitother-in-law it would give all the information that was necessary. His Honor remarked T hat a letter was not evidence, so that ev*n if there was jurisdiction tber-> wsr not the evidence to establish the petition>'r' < 5 right to a divorce. ' " ! Mr ?.facGrejrir : That is *o. your Honor, and I have advise-? M»s Nilcel ihn-t if she wants a divorce she wi'l have *,n ro Home f r it. His Honor : You rely on the desertion for two year?? Mr MacGregor : That is so. After evidence had been given by the petitioner. His Honor said that there was sufficient before the court to justify a decree of judicial separation at.o tbe giving custody of the children to- the , motber, aud ordering costs agaiust the respon-

Mr MacGrejor said that petitioner also asked for alimony. His Honor suggested that there t>al better ba 8om j evidence as to respondent's means. Mr M-irGregor said lie wai afraid he could give no more than hearsay evidence. ll's Honor said that it would 1)9 as well to have an affidavit giving such evidence as could be procured, and. as alimony had to be part of tho decree, the whole decree had better stand over.

Mr JoHn Dancan, while on a visit sonfch on Land Board business, " foregathered " at Wyndhara with Mr G. G. Fyfe. Together, in 1851, these two croised the firsb sheep over the Taieri River. JPolice-sergeanfc Emerson, who recently received orders to proceed from Hokitika to Dunedin, tendered his resignation rather than ba transferred, and will retire when Sergeantmajor Moore arrives from Gisborne to relieve bim. Sergeant Emerson if entitled to a retiring allowance equal to 12 months' salary. He has spent 33 years in the police force of New Zealand, many of them on the Const in the early days. It is his intention to settle at Kokatahi, near Hokitika, whera he has & farm. "BOOMERANG" Brand Australian Beandt. JOSHUA BROS., Melbouiune, Propiuetors. After Crucial Te«=tfl adopted by the British Admiralty. War Offire, Army Hospital", and House of Commons. Won highest award at the Exhibition of Bordeaux, beating the famous products of the Cognac centre, '.ecomniended by the Lancet, British Medical Journal, _ and London Times. Obtainable from leading Wine and Spirit Merchants and all Fir&t-class Hotels.

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SUPREME COURT. Otago Witness, Issue 2246, 18 March 1897

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