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THE COURTS.-TO-DAY., Issue 7968, 25 July 1889
SUPREME COURT.-CIVIL SITTINGS
(Before His Honor Mr Justice Williams.)
John Kenyon v. Francis Dyek Rich.— Claim, L2OO 15s 3d, balance of account due. Mr Fraser appeared for plaintiff; Mr J. A, Cook for defendant. The statement of claim set forth that plaintiff, who was until recently a coalminer at Shag Point, lent on June 12, 1879, to defendant (formerly of Bushy Park, Otago, but now of Cambridge, Auckland) the sum of LSOO at 10 per cent, interest and repayable on demand ; that subsequently the rate of interest was reduced to 8 per cent. ; that on January 12, 1888, there was a balance of L2OO 15s 3d due on the account between the parties; and that this amount had not been paid and was still owing. The statement of defence set forth that defendant denied the several allegations contained in the statement of claim, and said that there is nothing due by him to plaintiff in respect of toe principal or interest moneys therein mentioned or of any part thereof respectively. John Kenyon, underground manager at the Shag Point coal-pit, stated that in 1879 he had savsd some money. Mr Rich, who was the managing director of the company, sent for him to his office and said that he had heard he had some money, and would he lend him LGOO. Witness said he would. Rich said he would pay 10 per eent. interest. A few days later Rich again sent for him to go to his house. Mr Williams, mine manager, went for witness each time. Rich said on the second occasion that he wanted to get the affair settled, nnd that Williams would go with witness to Palmerston for that purpose. Rich said he would give witness deeds over certain land as security. Witness did not suggest that any security should be given. He and Williams drove to Palmerston and witness drew LSOO out of the bank and handed it over to Williams. Witness did not give any instructions about the drawing up of deeds; Rich said that Mr Catomore would draw them up. Witness got the deeds a good long time afterwards. Witness never had the deeds read over to him. He was no scholar and was unable to read writing. He deposited the deeds in the bank. He had received interest on account of the loan; he used to get it through Williams from Rich. In February, 1888, he received a letter from Rich enclosing an account. The account showed a balance of L2OO 15s 3d. In 1882 the rate of interest was reduced by witness at Rich's request to 8 per cent, In January, 1888, Rich asked him to go to Williams's house, and then told him that he wanted to sell the land that witness had under mortgage ; that one M'Kenzie wanted to buy it, and would give L3OO for it; and that as soon as he (Rich) got the cheque he would send it to witness. He said he would also forward him some scrip, and, as to the balance, he would authorise Williams to pay the interest on it quarterly. Witness knocked off work at the time—about a year ago. He had several times asked Williams to get the affair squared up. He had been receiving interest on the balance since Rich furnished the account. In January of this year Rich telegraphed that it was quite im possible for him to pay off the balance of the account until he realised on certain property, but that meanwhile the interest would be paid quarterly. To Mr Cook : Witness thought that the land was Rich's when he lent him the money. Witness could barely write; he never wrote a cheque out in his life, but used to get them written for him. Witness did not think that he first spoke to Williams about lending the money to Rich or to the company. He did not know till long after that the tynd belonged to the company —it might be a year or two after. When he found this out he did not make any comblaint about having been given a security over someone else's land. He did not think that he saw Catomore on the day that he pinded the money over to Williams. After three or four years witness heard that Rich was tcking over the company altogether. The receipts produced were given by witness to the company for moneys received by him from them on account of the loan. He used to go up to the mine office and tell Williams he wanted some money, and he used to give it him. Witness did not look to the company for his money, but entirely to Rich. Although underground manager, he kept no record of the work done by the men; he used to tell Williams what was done and he wrote it down.
George Robertson Cheesmau, bookkeeper, at Shag Point, stated that he had prepared from the company's books the accounts for plaintiff's claim. To Mr Cook : Plaintiff used to report what work was done in the mine, but witness did not know if he did so in writipg. \¥jtness never knew till now that plaintiff could not read or wrjte. There was in the books an interest account with plaintiff, separate from his wages accounj;. That account had been carried right through in the company's name since 1679. His Honor: I see that the account is headed "F. D. Rich." Is that the way in which the account is headed in the ledger? Witness: No; it is headed "The Shag Point Coal Company," but Rich having gradually acquired practically the whole of the company, witness made out the account in bis name.
Mr Cook said that the defence was that the money was never lent to Rich at all, but that he simply negotiated the loan on behalf cf the company, with which the plaintiff always (iaijlt until recently, when it suited him to turn round and make a claim'on Rich. The latter had gradually bought out the other shareholders and gjt into jbhe habit, when speaking of the company, of saying " I" will do th ; s or that, arid so on j but it was perfectly well known that in so
doing he was not speaking of what lie personally would do, but of what the company would do It was in this strain that he wrote to plaintiff, saying that he had not got any assets with which to pay off the balance due—his meaning being that the company had no assets. Rich was unable to come from Auckland for the hearing of the case, but other evidence would be given. William Henry Williams, mine manager at Shag Point since 1878, said that there were at that time different shareholders, but gradually Rich bought them all out. Until the sale of the mining property recently the company's assets consisted of the mine, plant, railway, and the land in question in this caae. The loan from plaintiff came about in this way: Rich, Strode, and other shareholders thought it advisable to effect a loan for the working of the company, and asked witness to speak to plaintiff about his lending them some money. The money was not given by plaintiff to witness ; it was paid into the Colonial Bank. The money was paid the same day as the mortgage was executed. It was certainly borrowed for the company, and not for Rich. Plaintiff always treated with the company —he used to go to witness and ask him for money when he wanted any, and witness used to give it him. The mortgage deed produced bore the company's seal. Rich used to speak and write of the company as << j » To Mr Fraser: vVitness would not be positive that plaintiff did not hand the LSOO to him ; he might have done so, and witness then have paid it immediately in to the credit of the company. Mr Cook put in the mortgage, and said that closed his case.
His Honor said that he did not see, in face of Rich's letter of January 24, how Mr Cook could succeed, for it contained a direct admission that he was liable, and in it he also said " I will get an account made out" —and it was so made out, in account with him. It was not an uncommon thing for directors of joint stock companies to pledge their personal credit as well as that of the company. The only thing that seemed inconsistent with the plaintiff's version of the affair was that a mortgage was given over property of the company at the time ot the advance ; but it was stated that plaintiff did not Ttnow what property it was that was given him as security, nor had he instructed the solicitor who acted in the matter. The evidence seemed conclusive. Plaintiff said that he made the bargain with defendant, and defendant had not been called to contradict that statement, while his own letter admitted his liability ; and there was the further fact that he had given plaintiff security over his own private property. Judgment would be given for plaintiff for the amount claimed, with costs.
RESIDENT MAGISTRATE'S COURT.
(Before Messrs R. Hay and R. Wilson, J.P.s.)
Richard Hudson v. W. C. Braddock (Reefton).—Claim, L 6 4s 3d, for goods supplied.—Judgment for amount claimed, with costs.
Official Assignee (in the bankrupt estate of Robert Craig, of Pukerau) v. William Pinlayson (Mount Somers). —Claim, L 29 12s 9d, on a dishonored promissory note, with interest thereon. Mr W. Macgregor appeared for the Assignee.—Defendant said that he had promised to pay the amount claimed, but had found that he could not do so.—Mr Macgregor said he had no desire to press the claim, and defendant promising to pay L 3 at once, and a similar amount monthly until the debt was wiped off, an order was made accordingly by the Bench. CITY POLICE COURT. (Before Messrs E. H. Carew, R.M., and J. Logan and W. Hutchison, Justices.) Drunkenness. Elizabeth Lindsay was discharged, having complied with her promise to go into the Rescue Home.
THE COURTS.-TO-DAY., Issue 7968, 25 July 1889
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