Re Diplock

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Re Diplock
Barnados 1931.jpg
Court House of Lords
Full case name Ministry of Health v Simpson (sub nom Re Diplock)
Citation(s) [1951] AC 251
Case history
Prior action(s) [1948] Ch 465
Keywords
Tracing

Re Diplock or Ministry of Health v Simpson [1951] AC 251 is an English trusts law and unjust enrichment case, concerning tracing and an action for money had and received.

Facts[edit]

Various charities, including the Royal Sailors Orphans Girls’ School and Home and Dr Barnardo’s Homes had wrongly been paid money by personal representatives under Mr Caleb Diplock’s will, which left £250,000. The representatives mistakenly believed a clause in the will was valid. Some money went to be used to improve and repair other property. But the trust was held to be invalid in a decision of the House of Lords, called Chichester Diocesian Fund and Board of Finance Incorporated v Simpson.[1] The next of kin, including Cornelius Simpson, claimed that the money should be repaid by the recipients.

Judgment[edit]

Court of Appeal[edit]

The Court of Appeal rejected the claimant’s claim for a charge over newly built buildings. It allowed a claim for equitable tracing in the mixed funds held by the charities. For mixed funds not held in current accounts, as for Royal Sailor’s, the claimants held a proportionate share. For funds held in current accounts, as for Dr Barnado’s, the first in first out rule was applicable.

Lord Greene MR said the following.[2]

Wrottesley LJ and Evershed LJ concurred.

House of Lords[edit]

House of Lords upheld Court of Appeal that the next of kin, including Simpson, had a personal equitable remedy against the charities to recover the money, once the claims against the personal representatives were exhausted.

Lord Simonds discussed why a mistake of law was different from a mistake of fact, because ignorantia juris neminem excusat. He then continued on the question of receiving property.[3]

Lord Normand, Lord Oaksey, Lord Morton and Lord MacDermott concurred.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ [1944] UKHL 2, [1944] AC 341
  2. ^ [1948] Ch 465, 547-548
  3. ^ [1951] AC 251, 276.

References[edit]

External links[edit]