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CLAIM FOR £95 COMPENSATION A case was partly hrard at tha Little River S.M. Court, before T. A. B. Bailey. E e q , S.M, m Tuesday last, in which plaintiff (J. H. Todd) claimed from defendant (J. 0. Coop) the sum of £95. Mr Cunningham appeared for plaintiff, and Mr Eric Harper for defendant.

Tbe evidence went to show that in March, 1913, plaintiff agreed to rent from defendant for a period of five years an orchard of four acres at Little River, and to pny the de fendant by way of renin! for the pr« trii-ws one-third patt of the profit therefrom.

Plaintiff alleged that, or, defendant's advice, he erectfd a dwelling at a cost of £100 on the property, and it was agreed defendant should repai. 'be apple house which s'oofi on tbe property. The claim was for £75 in respect to tbe building meted un rlmproperly, and £20 for the damage done to tbe fruit belonging to plain tiff, owing to the defendant not having the apnle house repaired as agreed. Plaintiff, in evidence, stated that be bad come to an agreement with Mr Coop to lent bis orchard, and by way of payment of rental he was to give defendant one-third of tbe income from the fruit. In 191213 be made £30 17=) 7J. He had ploughed the orchard several times and pruned the trees. Defendant did nothing to the apple bouse. He interviewed Mr Coop upon bis return from Australm, and tried to get some cxf.'a land for tomato growing, but Mr Coop refused this, In tbe Fecond year be only made a profit of £28. Plaintiff admitted that he bad drawn up a draft agreement, which, wi'h Mr Coop's consent, was sent to Messrs Harper, Son and Pascoe to be put in a legal form. In tbis agreement plaintiff bad agreed to rent tbe orchard for five years on tbe terms mentioned, and at tbe expiration of that time defendant was to pay for tbe cost of. the cottage erected in his orchard.

To Alt Harper: He came to Littie River on March 18, 1912. He bad bad rix months' experience in orchard work at Waimate previous to thnt time. He had been in a land agent* office in England for four years before he came to New Zealand.

Mr Harper : Was there anything in the agreement which slated tbat you could walk out at any time ?

Witness: No; but it was verbally agreed between Mr Coop and myself that I could throw up tbe orcbaid if it did not pay. Mr Harper: You drew up tbe draft agreement yourself ? ,

Witness: Yes

Mr Harper: Tberu was no clause which gave you tbe right tiv*waik out at any time before tbe five year*. Wby did you not insert such a clause ? Witness stated tbat when bad his- original conversation with MiCoop tbe term was not discussed, lift agreed to pay Mr Coop one tbird of the crop as tent. He took the orchard for five years, but he bad a verbal agreement with Mr Coop tbat, if it did not pay, be could walk out. In July be asked Mr Coop to release him from the agreement because it would not pay, He bad written to Mr Coop after he bad gone to Australia, asking (o be released from bis agreement. He admitted having gone to Kai koura, and paying £5 as a deposit purchase of an orchard there. Mr Ccop bad told him be could take the cottage away. Mr Coop had advised bim to put up a comfortable cottage for his own comfort when he sug gested building one on a sledge. James Hill, traveller for fruit trees, said be came to Little River in May, 1913. He faw Mr Coop's orchard. Th 9 orchard was in a ba.i state, and be thought it would not produce much. Mr Coon had said he would not bind Mr Todd in anyway. and he would assist bim all he couid The apple-house was in bad repair Mr Harper : He did not know of tbe arrangement about tbe cottage. H. C. Bainos, builder and con tractor, in evidence, remem bered Todd had mentioned com pensation for the erection of tbe cottage, and said ba bad written lo Mr Coop about it

S. Le Comte, sworn, said be d'd not remember discussing the cottage built by Todd in the train. He thought Mr Coop had acted veiy fairly with Todd. He had lent bim horses, tools, etc., and had given h ; m milk. Tbe rain was only comi g through in one place in the app'ehouse.

This closed the case for the plaint ff,

Mr Harper, in opening the c->sr for the defence, said Mr Coop Ud not sought out plninliff, but he Lad come to him and they had come to the agreement concernirg the orchard. They had drawn ii}< the agreero<nt together, and plaintiff must bnve known about the five years' te m. Defendant had lent plaintiff his horses and tools to work tbe orchcrd, and had agreed to pay plaintiff for the cost of erecting tbe cottage at the end of the five terms. Plaintift bad gone to Kaikoura, and bad prncti cally entered into an agreement to purchase a young orchard there. He contended tbat plaintiff bad no p>oof as to tbe grounds on which be iused bisection for damages, and he, therefore, asked for a non suit. Mr Cunningham submitted that plaintiff (Todd) had implicit faith in Mr Coop, and, after the cottage was built, he was practically in his hands.

The Magistrate said he wculd re serve bis decision as to a non suit.

It was decided not to take evidence for the defence until next Court day ■in Little River, or in Christchurch.

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Bibliographic details

AN ORCHARD DISPUTE., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXIII, Issue 4426, 4 September 1914

Word Count

AN ORCHARD DISPUTE. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXIII, Issue 4426, 4 September 1914

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