Kortegast v Bradley [2020] NZFC 888

Published 12 June 2020

Interlocutory application — qualifying relationship — de facto — discovery — disclosure — jurisdiction — severance — Property (Relationships) Act 1976, ss 1N, 2D, 8, 9 & 14 — Mahoney v Mahoney [2017] NZHC 2822 — Public Trust v Cornelius [2009] NZFLR 514 — B v F [2010] NZFLR 67 — Z v F HC Auckland, CIV-2010-404-001424, 9 March 2011. The respondent applied to sever the substantive relationship property division proceedings from the issue of whether the parties were in a qualifying de facto relationship. He argued it would save time and money to hear the issues separately and was confident that he would be successful in proving there was no qualifying relationship under the Property (Relationships) Act which would bring all of the proceedings to an end. The Judge was not convinced by this argument. There was evidence which may establish the parties were in a relationship, and overlap between this issue and other potential relationship property issues. It did not make sense to separate the issues into multiple proceedings. The Judge found the appropriate course was for matters to be addressed comprehensively at one trial and for preparation to proceed on that basis. The application for severance was declined. Judgment Date: 7 February 2020.