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MAGISTERIAL.

ASHBURTON—THURSDAY.

[Before 0. A.Wray Esq., R.M. DRUNKENNESS. Charles Mitchell, second appearance within six months, was fined 5s or 24 hours. BREACH OF SHEEP ACT. James Randall was charged with exposing for sale, sheep infected with lice. The Sheep Inspector, Mr W. G. Rees, who prosecuted, asked that .the lightest penalty might be inflicted in this case as the defendant was a dealer, and dealers could not always inspect every sheep they purchased. Fined 10s and costs. James Johnson, on a similar charge was fined 20s and costs.

TAMI'KKING WITH COUNTY WATEK ItACES. Charles Morrison, water ranger for the County Council v Duncan Cameron (Chines) Mr Purnell for prosecution, Mr Wilding for defendant. This was a chargo brought against Mr Cameron of tampering with the County Council's water race running past defendant's property. There were four informations laid, the alleged tampering having taken place on the 21st and 29th January, and Ist and 10th February. Charles Morrison said that a water race ran past Mr Camonm's property, which up to' three years ago Mr Cameron had maintained, but he had since refused to do so. Some time before the 21st Jan. witness saw Mr Cameron near his own house. At that time there was no water in Mr Cameron's paddock, who asked witness what he was to do for water. Witness replied that he would have to do as other people do, and apply to the Council for liberty to divert the water. On the 21st January weni along the race, and found a large boulder in it, which was causing a diversion into the paddock by an old race. Removed the stone. On the 29th the sj\nic stone- »vas ni tho race, anil witness again removed it, On the Ist February tho namo thing w . ls done, and again on the 19fch. .After the second date saw Mr Cameron and told him the race had been obstructed ; ho paid the ' water was doing no harm and none was going to waste.By Mr Wilding—The entrance of tho race into Mr Cameron's paddock was blocked when Mr Cameron ceased to pay rates and maintain the race. This was two years age. The channel inside tho yaddock became overgrown. "By tho Bench—B[ad rates been paid,

and the race maintained, witness would have allowed the water to run.

r William Baxter, County Engineer, said C race was one of the County races. Mr Cameron had not applied for liberty to diverb it. The matter had been under the Council's consideration, and all the points raised by Mr Cameron had been considered, but the Council had ordered the prosecution. The ranger had no power to grant liberty to divert races, but the Council would not have objected to Mr Cameron diverting the water had he paid rates and maintained the races.

By Mi- Wilding—Mr Cameron was | liable to pay rates for the race that ran ' past his property. Could not say why the Council did not sue for arrears of rates owing.

By Mr Purnell—The race along the railway reserve, from which Mr Cameron diverted the water x had been made by the County Council at the request of the proprietors, and under the proper conditions no objections would have been made to diversions.

For the defence, Mr Wilding called Duncan Cameron, Clunes, Methven. Was rated on 75 chains of race that ran along, the reserve. Thought the rating excessive, and unfair, as the section was a long narrow one. There had been friction between himself and the Council.

By Mr Purnell—The ranger knew that the water had been diverted. Would not swear that Mr Baxter knew of the diversion. The race through his property was one that silted up of itself. The race into the paddock from the race along the reserve had been in existence for years. The first time he heard of his not being allowed to use the water was the note from the County Engineer. So , soon: as he received this note he blocked up the cut, and gave instructions to his men that no more water was to be taken.

The Bench said it would have been better had the Council, when they cut off the water from Mr Cameron, filled up the race. There had certainly been a diversion of the water by Mr Cameron, but under the circumstances of- the case, a fine of 5s on the last of the informations j would meet the ends of justice, with costs in the case. Judgment accordingly. ; CIVIL CASES. C. W. Baker v James Taylor, 12s 6d ; P. and D. Duncan v R. Patton, £3 Is lOd; R. Alcorn vA. Rugg,; £20 Is 6d. Judgment for plaintiff in each case by default. Other cases were either settled out of Court or adjourned.

BREACH OF CONTRACT. Williams and Taylor v Bland and Humphreys claim £100, damagesfor breach of contract. Mr Cuthbertson for, the plaintiffs, stated in his opening that defendants had offered a portable engine for sale, and that his clients, flaxdressers in the North Island, —Martinborough, Wairarapa—had replied to the advertisement. Correspondence between the parties had been carried on, and a contract had been made by the defendants to sell the engine to his clients.

Mr Russell appeared for defendants, and after a lengthy discussion between him and Mr Cuthbertson on the question of stamping certain letters and telegrams to be used in evidence, the case proceeded.

Mr C. W. Purnell watched the case for Mr James Lemon.

The evidenco was wholly documentary, and comprised the evidence of plaintiffs taken at Greytown, Wairarapa, in which all the correspondence was given. The gist of the correspondence was that the defendants had undertaken to sell a portable > engine to plaintiffs at £100. The engine was the property of James Lemon, who, being disappointed in obtaining the engine that was to replace the one he was offering for sale, was not prepared to let the engine go before his threshing season was over. £20 had been offered'by defendants to Mr Taylor, who had come to Ashburton to inquire into the matter, but that sum had been refused, as insufficient to recoup the less suffered by plaintiffs by having been compelled to keep their mills standing idle. The written evidence on this point was very voluminous.

Mr Russell, for the defondants, contended that the damages claimed by plaintiffs were not such as were caused by the non-fulfilment of the contract, because another engine shculd have been bought, and the defendants could not be held to have insured plaintiffs the profits they mighthave expected to make. He quoted precedents in support of his contention, and submitted that plaintiffs should be nonsuited. No indication whatever had been given by plaintiffs to defendants at the time of making the contract that the engine was wanted for a special purpose, and that its non-delivery would entail special damages. The Bench reserved the non-suit point,; and Mr Russell called

J. R. Bland, auctioneer, one of the defendants. He remembered Mr Taylor coming down to Ashburton. The latter was introduced to Mr Lemon, who made an , offer in witness's presence of £5 to square the matter of non-delivery. Mr Taylor dei clined to accept this, and Lemon offered , £20. This, too, was declined. j ' . By Mr Cuthbertson—Messrs Hum-, phreys, Lemon, and Taylor and witness: were present at conversation. Certainly did not make an offer of £20 to Mr Taylor, but would not swear that he did not say, as a third party, " Will you take £20 f ■

Mr Russell addressed the Court on the subject of the profits alleged by plaintiffs to have been lost by them through defen-'; dants' action, contending that, in the well known position of the flax trade in Feb. and March, no damage had been shown. The Bench was of opinion that plaintiffs had failed to make good their claim for damages, and non-suited them, each party to pay his own costs. [Left sitting.]

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18900515.2.22

Bibliographic details

MAGISTERIAL., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XIV, Issue 2430, 15 May 1890

Word Count
1,321

MAGISTERIAL. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XIV, Issue 2430, 15 May 1890

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