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THE COURTS-TODAY.

RESIDENT MAGISTRATE’S COURT.

(BsforeE. H. Carcw, Esq., R.M.)

H. and L. Hayman v. Robert M'Renxie. —Claim, L 3 10s for rent, and plaintiffs also asked for an order for the possession of allotment 3, block 10, Belleknowes, Mr A. S. Adams appeared for plaintiffs,—Judgment for plaintiff's. Mollison, Duthie, and Co, v, Isaac M'Queen. —Claim, L2 6s 2d. Mr Fraser appeared for plaintiff.—Judgments by default.

Same v. A. R. Hardy.—Claim, L 7 7s 4d. —Judgment by default, William M'Beath v. Donald M'Rae (Lyttelton).—Claim, L 4 8s 3d, for goods supplied.—Judgment by default. Hugh Swenney v. John Smith (of Langlea, North Taieri).—Claim, LB, for wrongful dismissal.—Plaintiff, a ploughman, averred that defendant ordered him to pick upgorse with his naked hands, refusing to supply him with a fork, and on plaintiff demurring that the task was an unfair one, defendant discharged him on the spot in breach of an agreement.—Defendant denied that he had ordered plaintiff to handle live gorse as stated, and alleged that the gorse indicated had been previously burned,—Mr Meatyard appeared for plaintiff; Mr Sim for defendant. —A number of witnesses were examined, after which His Worship gave judgment for plaintiff for L 3 6s 8d and costa.

Neill and Co., Limited v.the Shaw, Savill and Albion Company, Limited.—Plaintiffs claimed to recover L 23 9a 4d, “ being the damages sustained through defendants having failed to deliver two cases of J uno tobacco consigned to plaintiffs by the defendants per their steamship Coptic, and by the defendants having converted to their own use the contents of such cases and having injured such cases.” Thus ran the plaint-note. —M r W, D. Stewart appeared for plaintiffs; Mr F. R. Chapman for defendants. ' — Mr Stewart said that for some time past these tobacco cases had been tampered v/ith, and l plaintiffs had been compelled pp * ta.Jfe- 1 proceedings to sheet home to the proper paptija the taking qf the tobapco out of the oases. These cases with others came out by the Coptic, and were delivered at the railway sheds in Dunedin. Plaintiffs, on having the cases weighed, found that they were short weight, and they bore evidence of having been tampered with. Each case originally contained eight boxes, and was now one box short. The cases were at the door of the Court and could be inspected. Plaintiffs wished to have the cases opened to take delivery of what was there, allowance to be made for what was missing; but defendants said that if plaintiffs accepted delivery they would have to waive all claim, so plaintiffs had no option but to claim for the entire cases. He (Mr Stewart) understood that it would be set up in defence that defendants hold receipts from the Railway Department; but they were not in any way {.inijiag op conclusive, but merely evidence fqrwhat they were worth.—John |toss, tally plerk at Port Chalmers, said that he was employed by the railway. On the 20th August there was discharged from the Coptic some tobacco marked MC in diamond. One of the cases was said by the railway authorities to be short weight. He observednothingwrong, Thecasesoutsidethe Court bore marks similar to those on the boxes discharged from the Coptic. There were thirty-four cases altogether. Later in the day there was another box said to be short. —Lawrence Dale, station-master at Port Chalmers, explained the process of delivery, and said there was no chance of the cases being tampered with from the time they left the ship’s side until they arrived in Dunedin.—S'. J. Loring, railway goods agent at Dunedin, said that as the goods were delivered in Dunedin they were checked by his men. Two of the cases were marked with a cross, indicating damage of some sort. These cases had been weighed by witness, The gross weight as stamped on in America was—of one p&se 2*)slb, and of the other 2501b. The gctqak freight now was 223J1b and 2291b, so that one case was presumably 21Jlb ahd the other 211b short. Examining the cases closely witness would' say they had been tampered with.—John Reid Bowling, tally clerk at the D shed on the 29th August, said that the men who were passing the oases out of the truck called his attention to some oases being broken and light.—William Pogson, tally clerk at the station on the 29th August, deposed that the oases were in the same state now as when taken off the railway trusk.—Janies Day, in the employ of Neill

fund Co., said ho found on handling the cases that they were light, and had them weighed. —James Bell, shipping clerk in the employ of Neill and Co., said that the National Mortgage Company, agents for the steamer, having a clean receipt from the Railway Department, would not allow the cases to be opened.—George Lyon Denniston, representing plaintiffs, said that his firm had thirty-five cases of tobacco by the Coptic. Each contained 1761b of tobacco. The gross weight of each case is marked by the maker in America, If the cases are not pillaged they are always np to weight. They do not vary more than half a pound. These two cases bore evidence of being tampered with. On one case the wire had been cut and replaced; on the other it had been wrenched off. He saw Mr Henderson, manager of the National Mortgage Company, and said that his firm had a claim against the steamer and would have to sue, as they were tired of the pillaging. Mr Henderson was quite agreeable.— James Day (recalled) said that in each case new nails had been used all round the lid.—S. J. Coring (recalled) said that so far as he knew the new nails referred to could not be obtained in the ordinary market in Dunedin.—William Mearns, delivery clerk in the D shed, said that the cases were now in the condition they were when received at the shed.—Mr Stewart recalled Mr Denniston to speak as to the value of the tobacco—ls 4d per lb in bond—and intimated that that closed plaintiffs’ case.— John Ross was called by Mr Chapman, and said that all the damage done to the cases might have been done without his detecting it.—Mr Chapman submitted that no case had been made out as against the ship. The case in form was a suit ns for failure to deliver, but it really narrowed down to a claim for the boxes short in these two cases.—Mr Stewart: No.—Mr Chapman said that if his friend persisted, after Mr Denniston’s evidence, in claiming for the whole, he (Mr Chapman) would have to call evidence. There was no wrongful conversion as alleged, and there could be no suggestion that defendants had attempted to stick to this tobacco. Mr Denniston had put the case correctly when he told Mr Henderson that the plaintiffs would have to sue the ship for pillage. Mr Chapman quoted * Leggett on Bills of Lading’ (page 206) and proceeded to say that the bill of lading in this case was not an original contract with the defendant company at all, though they were carrying under it. This bill of lading read “ Received in apparent good order and condifor, ’ etc. There was no account of these goods from the time they were said to have been received—no account whatever of their history—and so far as the evidence of some of the witnesses went, thegoods might be said to have been received here in “ apparent” good order. Some of the railway people cer. tainly did notice something suspicious, but this was not apparently noticed either by the ship or by the railway hands at Port Chalmers, and no particular notice was taken of them until the bond cooper came to weigh them. It was not a case of the defendants receiving goods from the manufacturer in London into the ship, and giving a receipt for them, and being called on to deliver them. There was absolutely no evidence to show that the shortage happened on the ship. What slight evidence there was on that subject was rather the other way ; and it looked as if it happened in some place where there was some method of doing it, It was not like the act of a sailor. It was much more likely to have happened in the dock warehouse; it was the sort of thing that might have happened on a lighter, The ship Prance, which originally conveyed the tobacco from New York, was certainly bound to London, and was hound to deliver the goods there to some other ship. There was no connecting bill of lading. It was suggested that because the cases were not damaged in the ufilvvay, therefore the ship was responsible. Rut the ship was only one step back. Necessarily these cases passed into other hands. The damage might have happened on the ship, or in a lighter, or in the New York docks, or in the river, or in the railage, or anywhere; and the evidence that had been produced was net the sort of evidence upon which the ship could be held responsible. MrStewartsaid that it was the duty of the Coptic authorities to see that the goods were in good order and condition when they were shipped on that boat. The goods were supposed to be carried and delivered in good order and condition, and they had not been so, It was impracticable to discover the exact place where the goods were damaged, and the Coptic authorities were liable, inasmuch as they had agreed to deliver these goods under the bill of lading in good order aud condition. It was an important mercantile case, and the deoiaion of His Worship was earnestly desired. He did not understand that his learned friend disputed that he was liable under the terms of the bill of lading. He did not think that the person to be sued was the person who first drew up and signed the bill of lading,— [Mr Chagman : Certainly not.l It was the only way that it was practicable in cases such as these. The Coptic should havo refused to accept thesegoods under the bill of lading while they were in the state that they now were, as they were not in good order and condition. If the Coptic authorities wished to limit their liability in any way they should have annexed their own bill of lading. It must be assumed that the goods were received in good order and condition at London, because the Coptic accepted them as being in good order and condition, and they were not in that condition when they arrived here. It was the duty of the Coptic authorities to exonerate themselves from the liability by showing that the goods had been tampered with before they were accepted by them, and had been touched in the manner alleged when on board the France. The bill of lading was to protect the defendants, not the plaintiff. In answer to His Worship, Mr Chapman said he did not admit liability under the exact terms of the bill of lading. The goods were received in “apparent” good order and condjtion on the date of the signing of the bill of lading, but that was not t|ie date upon which the goods were received by the defendants,—His Worship reserved judgment, ClfY POLICE COURT. (Before Messrs S. N. Brown and D. Baxter, J.P.s.) Drunkenness. For this offence four first offenders were dealt with in the usual manner. Alexander Cameron (one previous conviction) was fined ss, in default twentyfour hours’ imprisonment. A Bad Character.— Elizabeth Tatiersall was charged with vagrancy and with importuning passengers.—Accused pleaded guilty. —Sergeant-major Bevin said that there were thirty previous convictions against her, principally of the same description as the present one.—Accused was fined L2, in default one month’s imprisonment. Assault and Rormry, Alexander Findlay , Qeonje Myles, John Connor, and Alice Clayton were charged with assaulting William Robert Waite on the oth inst., and with stealing from him L 8 in notes, a gold watch and chain, a note book, and sundry papers, —Mr Thornton defended Myles and Findlay.—Sergeant-major Bevin said that as some of the accused were arrested late last night the police would ask for a remand until Friday, as they had had insufficient time to work up the case.—Mr Thornton objected to the remand, so far as Findlay aud Myles were concerned. The complainant had arrived from the country, had begun spending his money, and had got into a state of drunkenness, during which he had kept company that he should not have kept. Ho had lost his money, and he immediately charged accused with robbing him, and had cast a net by which about a dozen men and women had been arrested. Myles was a respectable man, and was on a visit to town, having lately arrived from the country, and there was not thp slightest tittleof evidence ugmnstcither'himor Findlay. It was hard that these men should be locked up until Friday.—Sergeant-major Bevin said it was a case of cowardly assault and robbery. Mr Thornton said that the woman Clayton had been taken by Waite to the Town Belt. Sergeantmajor Bevin said that Waite had been taken there by the woman Clayton, and the male accused violently assaulted him and robbed him there. Prosecutor’s pocket book had been found on Findlay, and a LI , note that one of the accused threw away had

been picked up.—Mr Brown : How do you connect Myles with the affair ?—Sergeantmajor Bevin replied that he had been in the company of the other accused. —Mr Thornton said he had no desire to hinder the police in the preparation of their case, but it was hard that the case, so far as his clients were concerned, should be remanded. The case against them should be proceeded with, for they were only implicated because appearances were against them. Until there was some tangible evidence brought forward to connect them with the case they should not be locked up.—The Bench remarked that they did not think that appearances should be entirely aisregarded.—Mr Thornton said that prosecutor was drunk, and could not say who robbed him. He had caused others who were innocent to be arrested. —Mr Brown said that the Bench had come to the conclusion that it would further the ends of justice if the case were remanded until Friday, If accused were innocent they would then be discharged.—Mr Thornton asked that Myles and Findlay should be allowed out on bail on their own recognisances.—Sergeant-major Bevin would oppose bail being granted. It was a most violent assault, and was premeditated. He assured their Worships that it would tend to defeat the ends of justice if any of the accused were allowed out on bail.— Their Worships accordingly refused bail.— Mr Thornton: Surely your Worships will not refuse bail if two sureties were found for a substantial amount ?—Mr Brown: You asked that accused be released on their own recognisance.—Mr Thornton : Yes ; but it is rather hard that they should be locked up until Friday.—fhe Bench remarked that the police considered there was a danger of the ends of justice being defeated if accused were released on bail, and bail therefore would be refused,

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18891007.2.20

Bibliographic details

THE COURTS-TODAY., Evening Star, Issue 8031, 7 October 1889

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2,538

THE COURTS-TODAY. Evening Star, Issue 8031, 7 October 1889

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