“TEN SHILLINGS COSTS.”
To the Editor.
Sir, —By a paragraph in the Herald of yesterday I am led to understand that another specimen of Ashburton law is to be perpetrated in our celebrated R.M. Court.
The ratepayers who have turned up at the last moment to satisfy the claims upon them, having baulked some legal arrangement that had existed, are to be mulcted some special item for some individual benefit. If the lawyer was present as a servant of the Borough and he found his services were not required as no dispute hud arisen and no difficulty had to be unravelled, could he not have been content with the wages he was receiving as their servant -without trying for perquisites. Are the ratepayers to understand that because he came there on a fools errand that persons who did not even see him are to make an involuntary subscription for him to the extent of 10s. per subscriber 1 Would it not have been better if he had carried round his hat and contented himself with what the folks could afford. Is it not “ monstrous ” that those who have a difficulty to scrape together the amount of the rates for the benefit of all should be compelled to impoverish themselves for the benefit of one ? If this state of things is quietly tolerated we shall have smart persons from other townships trying to “ raise the wind ” and the majority of the people in New Zealand laughing at us for our simplicity. As the last straw broke the camel’s back, so this last bit of law should rouse the men of Ashburton to insist that the higher powers of New Zealand should be acquainted with the doings of our notorious R.M. Court. Hoping that some one more able than myself will take up the matter. —I am, Ac., “ Justice.” To the Editor. Sir, —Would you kindly inform me for what purpose the sum of LIOO per annum is paid to the Borough Solicitor out of the Council’s funds ? I presume that amongst other duties he would be required to look after the interests of the Borough Council in any cases that body may have at the R.M. Court. I noticed on perusing the Herald of last evening that the Borough Solicitor applied for half a guinea professional costs in the cases of the Borough Council against several ratepayers for recovery of rates. If the Borough Solicitor is a paid servant of the Council, and receives a salary for attending to the business, on what ground does he claim the half guinea for professional costs out the pockets of the ratepayers ?—I am, &c., Ratepayer, Ashburton, May 12, 1880.
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