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At the Supreme Court, Wanganui, the important case of the Bank of Australasia v. the Patero Building Society (claim, L 1.229 5s sd) lasted two days. MrFitzherb'ert appeared for the plaintiffs, and Mr Barnicoatfor the defendants. In opening the case Mr Fitzherbert said a cash credit bond was the subject of dispute. The executions of claims were admitted, but the defence set forth certain legal objections. He would put in the bond and admissions, and that would close his case, except that he would have the right to call rebutting evidence. He put in the bond, and asked His Honor to note that the demand made as alleged for L 1,192 13s 3d principal, and L 36 12s 2d interest on August 13, 1888, was acknowledged to have been made, and the amount was still due and unpaid, with interest accruing. His Honor raised the point as to whether the defendant society were sued as jointly and severally responsible, and though Mr Fitzherbert claimed that he sued in both capacities, the point was not settled. Mr Barnicoat said the defence was really that the bond was obtained under misrepresentations to the sureties at the time, principally to the effect that the sureties in signing were not to incur any personal responsibility whatever, but it was usual for directors to sign because the bank required it. When this bond was signed in 1883 the bank had a bond, but apparently wanted something better. One of the then bondßtnen (William Coxon) was bankrupt, another was bankrupt, one (Hayward) had no means, Koys was dying, and one man had left the colony. Mr Norman, bank manager, had thus an inducement to get some more solvent gentlemen on the bond, and it seemed impossible that they would have signed bonds had they known what they were doing. Only one of the signatories had L 2.000 of interest in the society, the others being only nominally interested. At a meeting of the directors, Mr Norman attended and produced tha new bond, which he represented would not make them personally liable. Tho evidence of the signatories was taken as well as that of Mr Norman and Mr Webster, bank managers at Patere. His Honor took about two hours to sum up, and the jury then; retired, returning into Court with the following answers to issues:—" 1. Did Mr Norman represent to defendants (a) that they would incur no personal liability whatsoever by signing ?—Answer : Yes. (bj That the said bond was a mere matter of form ?—Answer: Yes. (c) That defendants would never be callea upon to pay any money under said bond ?—Answer: Yes. (d) That a bond in similar terms was always signed upon the change of directors of a corporate body owing money to the bank ?—Answer: Yes. (e) That if defendants signed the bond they would only do so as directors of the society for the purpose of binding said society, and not for the purpose of rendering themselves personally liable ?—Answer: Yes. 2, Were such representations untrue ?—Answer : Yes. 3. Were they untrue to the knowledge of Mr Norman ?—Answer: No. 4. Were they made with the object that they should be acted upon by the defendants by executing the said bond ?—Answer : Yes. 5. Were defendants induced by such representations to execute the said bond ?—Answer : Yes." His Honor reserved judgment till to-day.

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Bibliographic details

A BANKING CASE., Evening Star, Issue 7904, 11 May 1889

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A BANKING CASE. Evening Star, Issue 7904, 11 May 1889