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THE COURTS.-TO-DAY., Issue 7936, 18 June 1889
HUFKEME COUKT-CIMI- NiTUiW*
(Befuro Ilia Honor Mr Justice Williauiu and a special jury of twelve.) Bank oi- New Zealand v. Wii.uon, T.UNE, and Co.-In this case the bank claims L 2.507 15s lid, due on an overdraft and on bills. Thero is also a cross-action in which tho defendants claim from the bank LIO.OOO damages for injury to their credit through the bank's having dishonored their cheques for wool bought while their wool account was in funds. Tho two actions were, for the sake of convenience, heard as •ne. Mrllaggitt, with him Mr F. K. Chapman, appeared for tho bank ; Sir U. Stout, with him Mr J. Macgrcgor, for Wilson, Taine, and Co. The •witness Wilson, on hiu cross-examina-tion being continued, said that the past bills in question in the case amounted to L9OO or LI.OOO, and he thought that LSOO or L6OO of that amount had been collected by the firm, and tho bills left in the bank without the bank boing informed of their having been collected ; but that required explanation. It is the custom among stock iigents to tako three months' bills from those who buy stock from them, i and if dnriug the currency of tho bill the market h<\3 rison, tho giver of the bill frequently sends his stock in to be sold before the bill is duo. Bis account sales aro made up to him, tho surplus handed to him, and the bill if he wants it. If the bill is not risked for it is allowed to run to maturity. The bank then hold over or retire. This has been the custom for years, and hundreds of bills have been treatod in that way by tho bank; and tho bank know it. They have been asked to chargo them to our account, and they have done so regularly. The bank know perfectly well they were paid. This ■went on for years and they made no noiee about it. The firm employed a solicitor to defend an action brought by the bank on one of the bills which the firm had collected. It was a bill given by a farmer named Barron, whom the bank sued. In connection with tho rough balance-sheet supplied by tho lirin to the bank on December 8, witness said that on the 3rd of December the No. 2 account was overdrawn LUG, the No. 1 account L2,-i(H, and the bank held past due bills for LG42—making a total of L 3.192. His object in visiting Mackay at that time was to arrango for a wool account. It was not becauso of pressure brought on him by the bank. After the wool sales they reduced the account to Ll ,800. If the bank had not agreed to open the wool account, witness would probably have shifted it to another bank. Tho Bank of New Zealand would then have demanded payment, and witness's 6rm would have paid them. They could easily have got another bank to carry them on. It was to the firm's advantage and also the hank's that this account should bo opened. Ho could not say in what way it was to tho bank's advantage; but Mackay was perfectly satisfied with it, ond at once agreed to its being opened. It was opened bo that tho No. 1 account should not bo interfered with, and also for tho purpose of protecting tho wool customers. The firm had put L 3,000 into the business, and wanted to look after it. Witness did not recollect that at tho interview on tho 11th February Mackay referred to his being deceived by tho firm's statement of tho Sth December. Witness was positive that Mackay did not refer to that statemout. Ou tho 15th Taine and witness had another interviow with Mackay, when the latter used language that was anything but choice. He made all kinds of assertion?, but when confronted be could not support them at all. He wanted the firm to tako LSOO out of the wool money, and place it to the eredit of the No. 1 account, but witness refused to touch a penny of that monoy, us it was held for tho wool men. ilo believed he asked Mackay what amount of cheques there was for payment on No. 3 account, and that ho replied that there was L4OO worth altogether, and that if the film paid in L3OO ho would pay all tho cheques ; but Mackay wanted to mix up all the cheques, and witness would not allow it. In re-examination by Sir E. Stout witness gave evidence as to an.arrangement mane by tho firm with one Gnscott, who became bankrupt in 18S7. There was no concealment from the bank in connection with the matter. To his knowledge there was nothing in writing to fix the exact limit of the overdraft on the No. 1 account. Alfred Taino, another membor of defendant's firm, gave evidence relative to interviews with Mackay with respect to opening a No. 3 account in the bauk, and said that if the bank's ledger was headed "Wool account" it was right, but he did not tell the ledgerkeepcr, or authorise him or anyone else to strike it out. Witness gave evidenco corroborative of that of Wilson as to tho arrangements made with Mackay and tho various interviews with him. To Mr Haggitt : Witness generally attended to the office work of tho firm. He never wrote a single letter in reply to the letters addressed to the firm by Mackay. Witness told Mackay that the account was to be similar to tho account for the previous year. Mackay asked witness to give him a letter requesting an advance, and Btating how the advance was to be repaid. Witness was cross-examined at considerable length as to the firm's balance-sheet. Evidence as to the business of defendants over a wide district having been ruined through their wool cheques being dishonored was given by James Lindsay (farmer), James Thompson (farmer), John Russell (farmer), Frederick Augustus Prico_ (stock dealer), Henry Munro (farmer), Kenneth George M'Kenzie (farmer), Alexander M'Kenzie (farmer), Alexander Dickie (farmer), John Greenshields (farmer), John Onghton (farmer), Bavid Toolo (farmer), Georgo Curtis (livery stablekeeper), William Carpenter (farmer), William Hunter Mathieson (coachbui'der), and James Wilkie (farmer). Wilson, Taine, and Co.'s case was then closed.
Mr Haggitt recalled Alfred Taino and examined him as to a circular sent by the firm to such of their clients as had not received their account sales or had had their cheques, given them by the firm, dishonored. The circular bore reference to the dishonoring of tho wool cheques by the bank, and intimated that the firm purposed taking legal proceedings against the bank. Mr Chapman then proceeded to open the case for tho bank, stating that he would not occupy the time of tho jury long, as his side intended to call evidence to answer, so far as was necessary, tho case set up by the other side. Ho would ask the jury to notice that the bank was throughout obliged to trpat Wilson, Taino. and Co.'a account as a difficult account—the bank had to treat the firm with considerable strictness; they were, indeed, continually pressing them. "With reference to the question of tho past due bills, counsel submitted that it was a cardinal feature of the law on the case that thero was no difference between a debt duo to the bank in respect to an overdraft and a debt duo to the bank on past due bills. Counsel proceeded to comment on the evidence given on behalf of tho firm and that which would bo given for the bank, and was continuing his address when we went to press. RESIDENT MAGISTRATE'S COURT. (Before Messrs J. D. Fcraud and X. C. De Lacy, Justices). Henry Benjamin v. John Philp.— Claim, L 3 3s, on a judgment summons. Mr Stanford for plaintiff.—Defendant was ordered to pay the debt in instalments of 5s per week, in default three days' imprisonWilliam Aukland v. Fredorick Bassett— Claim, L2 7a 7d, on a judgment summons. Mr Barclay appeared for plaintiff.—Defendant, who did not appear, was ordered to pay the debt by instalments of 5s per fortnight, in default three days' imprisonment. Jamos Hutton v. Aaron Willis.—Claim, L2 la lOd, for goods supplied. Mr Sim appeared for plaintiff.—After evidence had been given, tho Bench announced that plaintiff would be nonsuited.—Mr Sim asked that their Worships should state on what ground tho judgment was based—in what respect plaintiff's case had failed—so that if he brought it again ho would know where to strengthen it. It wa3, he (Mr Sim) submitted, monstrous to nonsuit plaintiff on such evidence as had been tendered.—lbeir after further c'olirideifiticD, g&ve
a ikcifiiou in favor of plaintiff fur LL Ss -Jd mid coats. Juiiica Mutton v. Jiobcrl Doimliuwi ■■- Claim, LOUwO'.d, for t;oudu supplied. Mr Sim lor plainti'lT, for whom judgment was given, with coats. D. Douglas Macdonald v. Thomas Hunter. -Claim, L2 Is 10d, professional work done and fees paid.- Judgment by default. t James Hutton v. William Jenkins.--Claim, L2 13d lOd, for goods supplied. Mr Sim for plaintiff; Mr M'keay for defen-dant-Evidence having been given on ; plaintiff's account, Mr M'lveay submitted that there was no case for him to answer. The fact was that the wrong man had been siicd.-Mr Sim replied that defendant, when served with the account, claimed to have a aet-oir, so he had rca ly admitted that he was the person liable. If th«r Worships had any doubt on the pomt perhaps they would recall plaintiffs clerk and question hiin.-Tho Bench said that they had no doubt whatever about the case. Plaintiff had failed to prove his claim.-Mr Sim urged that they ought to have a doubt. Ho (Mr Sim) said that the witness had made a certain statement; the Bench understood him to say something else; und in fairness to plaintiff they ought to recall witness and ask what he said and what he meant. Such a practice way quito common. —Argument ensued betweeu the- Bench and counsel, which was terminated by Mr Feraud saying : It is no ufco ; we have come to the conclusion to dismiss the case.
George Wallace v. Henry Corish Bennett. —Claim, LG 10s, value of a cow the property of plaintiff', but alleged to have been converted by defendant to hi 3 own use. Mr Macdonald appeared for plaintiff; Mr Solomon for defendant.—Mr Solomon asked that the case bo adjourned for six weeks until a criminal prosecution out of which the dispute arose had been disposed of. —Mr Macdonald saw no reason why the case should not be gone on with. The cow had been sold to Bennett, who refused to give it up; and the matter could be adjudicated on apart from tho criminal charge.—Mr Feraud thought as the question was to some extent nub judkc there should bo an adjournment. Mr Macdonald objected. Tho B.'iich Bii'.l thoy would adjourn the case until the other ono was decided in tho Supiemc Court.—Mr Macdonald said that he would not consent to be humbugged in that way, and if tho Bench would not listen to him he would leave the Court. If their Worships would not try the case he would withdraw it and take out a fresh summons.—Mr Do Lacy said it came with a bid gvace from Mr Macdonald to make such remarks.—Mr Macdonald said that tho case was set down to be tried by their Worships, and if they would not try it thoy might allow it to come beforo Mr Care.w. He asked them to adjourn it to come before Mr Carew, and if Mr Carew liked to adjourn it for six weeks he could do eo. But if this Bench adjourned the case for six weeks he would withdraw it.—Mr Solomon : You cannot dothat.—Mr Macdonald replied that ho would do bo.—Mr Feraud: The Bench decide to adjourn the case for six weeks.—Mr Macdonald : Then 1 shall withdraw it. George Wallace v. Alex. Campbell.— Claim, L\ Mi tis, for goods supplied. Mr Macdonald for plaintiff; Mr Solomon for defendant.—Mr Macdonald said ho would withdraw this case also.—Mr Solomon :In that event I shall ask for costs. Mr Macdonald said that if that application were iusistcd on he would not withdraw tho case, but would abk for au adjournment to the same time as the last case.—Mr Solomon contended that there was no necessity to adjourn this case, seeing that it was altogether a different one to tho last. It was a monstrous thing to ask for an adjournment at that stage.—Mr Macdonald answered that it was a monstrous thing altogether. Would tho Bench adjourn it until the first day that Mr Carew sat?—Mr Solomon looked on this as an iusult to the Bench.—Mr Feraud : If Mr Macdonald like3totukc an adjournment for six weeks he can do so, or else go on with it now.—Mr Macdonald : I will withdraw the case. If you get a, Bench liko tho preeent ono you won't catch mo appearing beforo them again, and so far as that goes I am not astouished at anything they do.—The caso was then struck out, with coats to defendant.
THE COURTS.-TO-DAY., Issue 7936, 18 June 1889
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