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AN IMPORTANT DECISION. At the sitting of the RM. Court on November 15lh, an information laid by J. O. Bell, and charging Spencer Oompton, the son of the .A&hburton ponndkeepar, with having illegally impounded . s cow from the Bampstead Town District was heard. The Impounding cf the cow was admitted, the point m dispute being the authority of the defendant to Impound from the district. Mr Crisp for the defendant, argued that Section 104 of the Public Works Act, 1882, justified the action of hia olient. That section reads as follotts :-r-"If any animal Is found straying on a road which is fenced on both sides, or having a fence on one side and the sea on the other Bide, It shall be lawful for the Board or for any other person to cause such animal to be taken to the nearest publio pound, whether m or out of the dletrlot In which it is fenod straying, to be dealt with as In the ease of animals lawfully impounded." — Mr Purnell for the complainant contended that the Impounding Aot of 1884 super■eded all previous mensurea, and that eeotion 17 of that Aot gave the local body power to authsriee any person to Impound, without which authority the impounding was illegal. Defendant held, no authority from the Hampstead Town Board and It was contended for complainant that a breach of the Impounding Act had therefore occurred. Seotlon 17, on which Mr Pornell relied U as follows :— "Any person authorised either by the local authority having charge of the roadi, or by any person owning land adjacent thereto may impound any cattle which shall at any time of the day or night be fonnd .wandering at large, or straying In, or lying about, or tethered m any road or other plaoo of public resort, or so immediately adjoining thereto as to obstruct the same, etc." The Mag'strate reserved his decision, on the point raised till to day, when he gave judgment m the following terms ;— -" The defendant, who Is the son of the Pound"keeper at Aobbucton, ia charged with Illegally impounding a certain cow belonging to the complainant, m the Jlampstead Town District, Be had no authority from the local body to impound within the Town District, but seek* to justify it (1) nnder the provision contained In Seotion 104 of the Public Works Act, J. 882, and (2) under Section 17 of the Impounding Act. 1884. When the Aot of 1882 was passed the Impounding of cat' la for trespass, eta., waa regulated by a number of Acts and local ordinances, appl.'cible to the various ptrts of the colony, and under Section 104 any person, apparently, could impound cattle found wandering on a fenced road. The Impounding Aot of 1884 was In effect a consolidation of the law, and repealed all previous Aots, no direct reference, however, being made to Bectlon 104 of the Public Works Aot above mentioned. It seems to me that the Impounding Act, ta a comprehensive measure, containing within itself the whole of the law relating to the trespass and Impounding of cattle, and Section 17) dealing as it does with all roads, must be held lmplied'y to repeal the section of the earlier Aot relating to fenced roads, and that hence cattle wandering at large oan now only bs lawfully impounded by some person duly authorised nnder Section 11 of the Impounding Aot. I find forthei on the facts that the defendant had nc - authority to Impound the animal In question from the place where It was straying j apd that the charge cf illegal impounding has been proved. JJnder |>he oh camstances a nominal penalty of 'five shilling) will, I consider, bo fuffioleot oa thh pGOMIon."

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Bibliographic details

THE IMPOUNDING LAW., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2000, 29 November 1888

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THE IMPOUNDING LAW. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2000, 29 November 1888