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Tkadkrb within the colony have jnet cause to complain of the condition of the law as obtaining m the sereral colonies of Australia under which it is pnly necessary for a debtor to change his residence from one colony to another to render it almost impossible for his creditors to recover their own. There is, it is true, a Supreme Court process which may be resorted to, but the expense practically debars the trader from any remedy and we are glad to see that the question . has been mooted m , the columns of a Dunedin exchange (the 1 « Otago Daily Times "of the 27th ult) of the expediency of some concerted action being taken m the several colonies which may result m amendments of the law enabling the enforcement m one colony of a judgment obtained m another. The "Times" says:-—" lf the difficulties which surround the question could be successfully coped with, and a satisfactory Bill framed and passed by our own Legislature, it would be a i model for similar legislation m other colonies, and the difficulty might then be overcome. Such a Bill should provide that the judgments of B.M. Courts might be sent on other to Courts of similar jurisdiction m other colonies, the charges being fixed according to scale, and made payable at the. Court where judgment is obtained, whose officers would forward it to its destination for execution. Of course there is the preliminary difficulty of obtaining judgment at all, as it would be bardly possible to do away with personal, service ; but similar provision might be made for inferior Courts m one colony to issue the processes of those m mother colony, and sufficient time might be allowed for defence, say a month or six weeks, evidence being taken, when tendered the debtor, by the Court nearest his then residence, and returned with affidavit of service to the Court of first instance, which would then proceed to give judgment, and, if adverse to the debtor, to issue execution for service m the other colony. Qpmbrouß as this may appear, we believe it be would be far less expensive than application to the Supreme Courts of both colonies. The matter is one for the consideration of our Chamber of Commerce, and we hope the Committee will take it up. There are also the kindred cases of wife desertion and of bankruptcy, In such instances as not infrequently occur, where, before their discharge, men under the jurisdiction of our Bankruptcy Court leave the colony and trade successfully m other colonies. In Buch cases there surely ought to be some meansof compelling them to make payments to their New Zealand creditors. It is a great evil that men should be able to evade payment of their debts by simply walking on board a steamer and taking their passage to another colony j and what is our case to-day may be the case of Sydney or Melbourne to-morrow.

If oar Chamber can agree on any recommendations on the subject to the Minister of Justice, we have no doubt he will take the matter up, and by correspondence with the other colonies endeavour to arrive at some common basis of agreement, the main point being to discover a means of intercolonial collection of debts under £100 at the least possible expense." With all this we cordially concur, and, m view of the fact that the Intercolonial Conference is shortly to hold its annual sitting at Hobart, we would suggest that the Chambers of Commerce should take means to bring the subject before it, as the Conference oould not be more usefully employed than m preparing a draft Bill for. submission to the several Colonial Legislatures, providing for a remedy for what is unquestionably * serious grievance.

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Bibliographic details

RECOVERY OF DEBTS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2031, 8 January 1889

Word Count

RECOVERY OF DEBTS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2031, 8 January 1889

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