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The somewhat dry and dreary civil cases heard at the hall of justice on Tuesday, wore somewhat varied by a pasiage-at-arms, between his Worship, Mr. Branson and the Clerk of the Court. Mr. Branson had asked for an explanation why a summons taken out on the 14th inst. had not yet been served. The bailiff, being questioned by his Worship, replied that the defendant lived at a considerable distance away, and he had visited the house twice, on both of which occasions the man was not at home. His Worship expressed himself as satisfied with the explanation, upon which Mr. Branson remarked “ that considerable blame ' had been attached to a former bailiff for not finding persons at home, and he had been dismissed 'on a moment’s notice.” His Worship replied that such a case had not come under his notice. A term having been fixed for the hearing of the case ih question, the Clerk of the Court suggested to Mr. Guinness that, as the bailiff had a deal of work to perform, it would he advisable to extend the time, as otherwise it would bo an impossibility for the bailiff to serve the summons. Mr. Branson objected strongly to Mr. Hurrell interfering with such matters and dictating to his Worship what he should do. Mr. Hurrell claimed that he had a perfect right to make such a suggestion, his Worship coinciding with the Clerk, and characterising Mr. Branson’s conduct as impertinent. The storm seemed to calm down, hut the Clerk of the Court, evidently overcome, and not able to control his wounded feelings, muttered something to the effect that Mr. Branson was always trying to bully everybody about the Court. The gentleman referred to heard the uncomplimentary reference to himself, and called upon his Worship to reprimand his subordinate. His Worship said he had not heard the words alleged to have been used. Mr. Branson—-Everyone else in Court heard them. His Worship said that such remarks were not proper. Mr. Branson—Then, will your Worship reprimand him. His Worship —I have done so, already. After this piece of diversion, the proceedings of the Court went on with their usual smoothness.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 117, 24 June 1880

Word Count

LIVELY SCENE IN THE R.M. COURT. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 117, 24 June 1880