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RESIDENT MAGISTRATE’S COURT., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 260, 4 February 1881
RESIDENT MAGISTRATE’S COURT.
ASHBURTON. -To-day. (Before Mr. Nugent Wood, R. M.) CIVIL CASES. Grice v. W. Saunders. —Claim L3O. Mr. Hammersley for plaintiff, Mr. Branson for defendant. This case had been adjourned several times since November, and Mr. Branson desired a further adjournment. It was, however, decided to proceed with the case in defendant’s absence. George Grice owned a paddock of 300 acres at Sealield, which was in stubble last October, and covered with self-sown oats and barley. Mr. Saunders turned three or four thousand sheep into the paddock. I gave Saunders no leave to put the sheep on my ground, and I was about to impound the sheep when I got a note from Mr. Saunders’ brother. I had sent for Mr. Saunders, and got the note instead. I gave the sheep up. The land was fenced with four ploughed furrows and two wires. The land was in self-sown oats, stubble, and grass. By Mr. Branson—The fence would be about four feet, and the only opening is the gateway, across which there were two hurdles, tied on with wire. The hurdles were thrown wide open when I came to my paddock. The main road to Seafield passes my property. R. F. Allen—ln October last I was just outside the paddock on Grice’s land. A boy and man were in charge of Saunders’ sheep, and they drove them through the gateway. Spoke to the boy, who said they were Saunders’ sheep. They said there were three or four thousand sheep. By Mr. Branson—Saw the sheep driven into the paddock. The gateway is the only opening, and the hurdles were closed.
Ben. Hampton—Lived alongside Grice’s paddock. Had a coversation with Grice, and the shepherd about the sheep. Grice was intending to impound the sheepj but the shepherd went away and brought back a letter from Saunders’ brother, and got the sheep. I would fix 3d. a head as a fair return for the damage done by the sheep, which knocked the fences down. By Mr. Branson —Was not there when the sheep went on the land. My cattle and horses were in Grice’s paddock, and to keep those in, the hurdles were kept shut. Had the,hurdles, been, down tlie hopies and cattle would have got away. William Allen, farmer, Seafield, esti-
mated the damage done by the sheep at 3d. per head. Heard a conversation between Grice and the shepherd. The latter said Mr. Saunders would suffer great loss if the sheep were impounded, and said he would pay all reasonable damages. Mr. Grice agreed to let the sheep go if a promise were given that the fences were reinstated, and the damage paid for. The sheep were taken away on that understanding. There were 3,000 or 4,000 sheep, and 3d. a head would be a reasonable charge for their keep in that paddock. I believe they were there a day and a half.
Mr. Branson contended that the land was not in cultivation, and that the fence was not a legal one. Only ordinary damages under the Trespass Ordinance could possibly bo claimed, and he submitted that in any case plaintiff was only entitled to Id. per head. After argument his Worship adjourned the case for a week for a decision. Peter v. Fergus.—Claim L 27 ss. 7d. : Mr. Branson for defendant, Mr. Scott for plaintiff. Mr, Scott applied for an adjournment in this case, owing to ■ the l difficulty of obtaining an important witness, who was residing in the back country. The case was adjourned till Friday next. Fergus v. Peter.—Claim L 27 ss: 7d. j for work done. . Mr Branson for plaintiff, Mr, Scott for defendant. i
W. Fergus, farmer, Alford Forest, entered into an arrangement in December, 1878, to cut and cart 200 acres at LI per acre. Did the .work and Mr. Peter measured it himseif. In an account received from Mr. Peter I got credit for 72 acres 1 rood 33 perches at 7s. Gd. an acre. I did all the cutting Mr. Peter allowed me to, as a nor’wester shook the remainder, and left it worthless for cutting. Have, never got the money, nor any one else for me. By Mr. Scott—l got notice from Jamie Carson when to cut. Mr. Peter sent him.
When I went to the paddock the crop was pretty green, and it had not been cut by any one else. I started with two reapers on the 18th' December. The account rendered mo by Mr. Peter I received on July 5, 1879. I remember being sued by Mr. Peter for rent) and putting in 'a setoff for what he was. owing, to me. I ; did not include the amount how sued for in that set-off. : , By Mr. Branson—l intended to sue Mr. Peter for breach of contract, and for more money, but I am not in a position to carry on an action for L2OO in the District Court, so, I simply; sue him' now; for, what he admits he owes me. George Steven, laborer, Alford Forest, was employed by Mr, Fergus in the cutting of the grass on the 18th December, and was there all the time. There were two side-deliveries at work, and two reapers standing by ready. There were all of 72 acres cut at any rate. M'Lymont and another were cutting for Peter at the time. Mr. Peter turned us off, because it would not pay to cut any more, owing to a nor’-wester. . By Mr. Scott—The two side deliveries cut all the grass. M'Lymont and M'Kenzio were cutting with similar
machines. They, came in a day or two after we came. We came at four o’clock in the afternoon, and these men were not there at that time. Patches of the crop were ripe, and patches green. It was an equal crop. We began cutting where Mr. Peter ordered. Cut for eight or nine days, and the crop being partly shaken, we had to stop. For the defence, the following evidence was given. W. S. Peter—The plaintiff began cuton the 19th December. The plaintiff arranged to cut the whole crop, and I was to send him notice when to begin. Sent him notice two or three times before he came —five or six days before he came. He didn’t come at the first message. At the time I sent first it was beautiful weather. From the 9th to the 20th it was fine weather, after which it rained occasionally. In consequence of Fergus not coming when I sent for him, I engaged two other men, as the grass was shedding. The men engaged were M'Lymont and M'Kenzie. Can’t say whether they began to cut before Fergus, but they cut about 30 acres, and were cutting at the same time as Fergus. I object to pay this money as Fergus did not do some ploughing he had undertaken to do, and because I lost a large portion of my grass seed through his dilatoriness in beginning. If he had begun at the time I wanted him, he would have had four or five days of beautiful weather. As it was, nor’-westers came, the standing grass was shaken, and the seed lost. By Mr. Branson—ln July, 1879, Iwas willing to pay the amount now sued for. One of my reasons for refusing to pay, is that Fergus did not complete his contract for ploughing. The ploughing should have been done before the account was rendered. I cannot tell when I sent the message to Fei’gus to come and cut, but it was four or five days before he came. He started work on the 19th. I turned all hands off when the nor’-wester came on. His Worship said the weight of evidence was with the plaintiff, and judgment would be given accordingly, but execution would stay until the result was known of the cross-action now pending. Bossenberg v. Fraser. —Claim Ll 6 11s. fid. Judgment for amount with costs. r Veal v. Hancock. Claim L 4 10s., balance of an account of L2O due. His Honor gave judgment for the paintiff for LI 10s. and costs. Several cases were struck out owing to non appearance of the parties.
RESIDENT MAGISTRATE’S COURT., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 260, 4 February 1881
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