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RESIDENT MAGISTRATES COURT

FRIDAY, Got. 21. (Before Mr. F. Guinness, R.M. ) indecent assault. James Wells was charged withl.having indecently assaulted a child named Lea li Elstoff, at Rakaia, on October 21. Mr Branson appeared for accused, who pleaded “not guilty.” The evidence which was taken at considerable length, is unfit for publication, and the prisoner was committed for trial. Civil CASES. Friedlander Bros. v. John Charles—claim, £l2 10s 7d. Defendant admitted the account, and judgment was given for the plaintiffs and costs. Same v. James Charles —claim. £l6 6s lid. Judgment for amount with costs. Trustees of Jameson Bros. v. David Fitzgerald—claim, £4B on a dishonored acceptance. Mr O’Reilly for plaintiff. Judgment confessed. Davidson V. Candish — claim, £6 10s. Judgment confessed. Smith v. Corsbie. Mr Branson for plaintiff, Mr Crisp for defendant. Plaintiff nonsuited with costs, as the description of the plaintiff was insufficient. Stoddart v. W. Smith. Mr Crisp for plaintiff. This was a claim for £25 on a dishonored promissory note. There was no appearance for defendant, and Mr Crisp applied to his Worship to fcompel his attendance on Tuesday next. Application granted. A DISPUTED SECTION. Fitzgerald v. Gibson—claim, £4l 18s for wrongful conversion of a 20-acre paddock of wheat. Mr O’Reilly for plaintiff, Mr Branson for defendant. Mr Branson objected to the case being heard as defendant was a married woman. Mr O’Reilly quoted the statute by which the argument was barred, he not having had 48 hours’ notice given as required in such cases. Mr Branson said that it was well known that Mrs Gibson was a married woman, and in fact it was notorious that her husband was living, and therefore no notice was necessary. The magistrate did not consider a notice necessary. Mr Hugo Friedlander deposed : I know Nicholas Fitzgerald. I hold a license to yocCUpy a secfioiToi land issued to him. / Cross-examined by Mr Branson : I produce an agricultural produce lien which covers the wheat growing on that section, dated August 1878. He never repaid me. The moneys are due under the lien. The document was registered. Mr C. 0. Fooks, surveyor, produced a map of Wakanui district. The section racked 28,773, as shown on the map, is the o n ® described in the license to occupy. Mrs Gibson occupies the adjoining section, ,24,773. Nicholas Fitzgerald owns the . , first-mentioned section. ■ Nicholas Fitzgerald, sworn : lam a farmer Section 28,773 is my property. I know Mrs Gibson ; she occupies the adjoining land on both sides. On the 26th January the defendant’s men and drays came on my land and took off the wheat after I had cut and stocked it. I had previously prevented her from cutting the crop, and offered to sell it to her, also offered to pay her for the labor she had done on the land, but she refused both offers. I also offered to rent it to her, and she would not pay the price. I have charged for the wheat at the same rate as I received for the remaining portion from my land. By Mr Branson : Mrs Gibson ploughed mil sowed the land. I don’t know that she is a married woman. I got the license to occupy in August, 1877. I knew that ahe was ploughing and sowing it. I never warned her not to do so. Mrs Gibson fenced the land before I bought it. On one occasion I dropped the license to occupy, and a man named Sweeny found it, and 1 told him not to mention I had such a document in my possession. I went to see Mrs Gibson in September. I told her the land was mine, that was after the ploughing was done. I did not know that ahe wanted to buy the land. I did not know that she had given instructions to Friedlander Bros, to purchase it for her. My farm is about chains from this section. I never told Mrs Gibson that I had planted wheat somewhere, but would not tell her where. In 1877 and 1878, saw her ploughing. About August, 1878,1 found out that I could get the land from Government, but I was satisfied previously that there were 20 acres in the section. Re-examined by Mr O’Reilly: The fences put up by Mrs Gibson were along the frontages of her other sections, but no side fend® were put up on the boundary between her section and mine. John Moynahan, farm laborer : Saw plaintiff and defendant together when their crops were being cut. He offered payment for work done, or that he would accept rent for the land, but she would not agree to any of his offers. George Cole, farmer, estimated that there was a crop of 15 to 17 bushels of wheat on the section last year, worth 3s Id per bushel. For the defence Mr Branson submitted that, as plaintiff had given a lien to Friedlander Bros, he had no claim to sue, and that as Fitzge’-ald had acted so as to lead defendant to infer that he had no title to the land, he had acted so that the law of estoppel debarred him from taking proceedings. It was clear that the strict terms laid down in the Agricultural Liens Act, took all possession out of Fitzgerald’s hands, and thus he had no locus standi as plaintiff - Mr O’Reilly contended that Fitzgerald had acted fairly, all through. He had made very fair offers to defendant and she had refused all of them. His Worship said that under the Agricultural Liens Act, it was evident that Fitzgerald, had parted with his right to the wheat. He recalled N. Fitzgerald who said he had given a mortgage to Mr Freidlander to secure payment of the balance due after selling the wheat. , His’ Worship continued —The crop was absolutely conveyed by the plaintiff to the Friedlander’s, and he could not then she for it. As to the question of estoppel, plyln+iff had clearly misled the defendant. He had allowed several months to elapse after getting the license to occupy, and was aware that defendant was in the habit of working on the land and had fenced it. At the time plaintiff bought the section he could have easily found out the acreage, so that his excuse that he did not know whether his title was good or not was an ureasonable one. He would grant a non-suit on the estoppel point raised by Mr Branson, and grant costs against plaintiff, £^l9s.

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RESIDENT MAGISTRATES COURT Ashburton Guardian, 25 October 1879

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