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Circuit No. 42.
Monday, 23rd December, 1850. SIR, Your letter, dated the 10th instant, was delivered at my chambers on Saturday, the twenty-first.
In reply to the inquiry, "in your judgment has the law which enables parties to be examined as witnesses in the County Courts worked well or ill?" I beg to state, for the information of the Council of the Society for Promoting the Amendment of the Law, that since the 9 & 10 Vict. c. 95, passed, I must have tried upwards of thirty thousand cases, in the great majority of which the parties have been examined, and, in my judgment, the law has worked well. I am, Sir, yours faithfully, HERBERT C. JONES.
To the Secretary of the Society for Promoting the Amendment of the Law.
Circuit No. 44.
In my judgment the law which enables parties to be examined as witnesses in the County Courts has worked well. I have arrived at this conclusion from experience; à priori I argued
against the enactment of the 83rd section.
I am convinced that in a very great number of the cases which come before me justice could not be administered at all without examining the parties, for their dealings take place entirely between themselves and their wives, without the employment of shopmen greatest satisfaction to reflect (and, in justice to those whom we or servants. But apart from this consideration, it gives me the call the lower orders, to proclaim,) that in my court, in which many thousand cases are disposed of every year, I have very seldom found the statements of the contending parties so irreconcileable as to drive me to the conclusion that perjury must have been committed on the one side or the other. Where no pro
fessional assistance is employed, my practice is to begin by examining the parties; and in the majority of those cases in which both plaintiff and defendant appear in person, I find that, perhaps unwittingly, they agree, as it were, upon a case for the opinion of the court. Where witnesses are examined I often find it more difficult to reconcile their evidence than the statements of their principals; this may seem paradoxical; but they generally abun-imperfect; they eke it out with zeal; they believe that to be true know less of the whole matter in dispute; partial knowledge is
West Lodge, Downing College, Cambridge, 23rd December, 1850. SIE,-In reply to your note, I beg to mention that I have published a tract expressly on the subject of your query; it may be had at Benning's, Fleet street, or Parker's, Strand.
From the experience of some thousands of cases, I am dently satisfied that the law in question has worked excellently. Prom a very slight experience hitherto of cases between 207. and 50%., I incline to think that the law will be attended with more beneficial results than in cases of smaller amount. I am your obedient servant,
Circuit No. 45.
20, Eaton Square, 24th December, 1850. SIR,-The law enabling parties to be examined has, in my opinion, worked admirably, and I am disposed fully to concur with the opinions stated by Mr. Amos in his work on this subject.
The examination of the plaintiff has been the means of enforcing a multitude of just and admitted claims which would otherwise have remained unnoticed and discharged, while the cross-examination of both parties has proved to be a most efficient and unfailing instrument for the discovery of truth.
The facility afforded for perjury is and must be the only objection, and it is one which my experience induces me to think of little, if any, weight. It is true that denials of a just claim upon oath are not uncommon, but they are generally not positive and absolute, but are merely denials moda et forma. Thus, a defendant will swear that he does not owe the money; but when called upon to explain, will say that he does not consider he owes it, because he has some claim upon the plaintiff, consisting, it is true, of perhaps only amoral obligation, an unrequited service, or an implied forgiving of the debt, but still sufficient to show that the defendant, being obliged either to admit or deny, takes the latter course, subject to explanation. My own conviction is, that the moral obliquity, not directly amounting to perjury, so often perceivable among litigants is mainly due to the system hitherto adopted in the superior courts, under which subtleties enabling men to evade their obligations have been so long substituted for the broad moral principles of right and wrong, that ultimately the power of legally resisting a just claim has been confounded with the right to do so. This spirit, fostered and encouraged by legal practitioners, is the real difficulty with which I have to contend, and it is one which I am only enabled to meet by the examination and cross-examination of the parties. I remain your obedient servant,
Circuit No. 48.
West Wickham, Kent, 26th December, 1850. SIR-I have no hesitation in answering the question put to me by the Society for Promoting the Amendment of the Law.
which they do not know to be false, and swear accordingly; and the man who swears stoutly for another is a good witness in his own eyes and in those of the bystanders. The man who swears falsely for himself can lay no flattering unction to his soul, and he has before him the fear of detection in a crowded court, in which, though many be selfish, none sympathise with selfishness. I believe, however, that with most of the parties to a cause better feelings are at a work; in many, a just horror of perjury; in more, perhaps, that point of honour which withholds worldly men from flying from their bargains, and the knowledge, almost implanted in us, that honesty is the best policy.
I am, Sir, yours faithfully,
Circuit No. 50.
Circuit No. 52.
SIR,-In reply to your letter of the 10th instant, I have to say, that I am entirely convinced of the advantage of enabling parties to be examined as witnesses in any civil court. The ordinary transactions of life do not go on upon the supposition that they are to be proved afterwards in a court of justice; and I believe that to shut the mouths of the persons who often know most of the matter is productive of the grossest injustice.
I think that persons examined in a public court of justice are very reluctant to make statements which should induce their neighbours and friends to suspect them of perjury, and in this respect the practice which results of hearing parties in a private room before an arbitrator appears to me to afford no criterion to judge by. I wish to express, in the most unqualified manner, that the hearing of parties is most advantageous, and indeed necessary to prevent injustice, and that it ought to prevail in all the courts of justice in the kingdom. I remain, Sir, your obedient servant,
C. J. GALE.
Circuit No. 53. Winkfield House, 4th January, 1851. SIR,-In answer to your inquiry, on behalf of the Society for the Amendment of the Law, whether in my judgment the admission of the parties as witnesses in the County Courts has worked well or ill, I beg to state, that I regard it as a measure subservient in a very high degree to the interests of justice, and productive of no practical evil worthy of being put in competition with its advantages.
The subject is one of which I had long felt the importance, and
to which my attention was necessarily drawn in the course of a pretty large practice as a commissioner of bankrupts, and as arbitrator, and also as chairman (during eight years) of the Bath Court of Requests. In each of these offices I had opportunities of observing the operation and results of the practice, and my subsequent experience as a judge of County Courts has fully confirmed my previous impressions in its favour.
In many cases, the examination of the partics furnishes the only attainable evidence upon the question at issue, and the alternative is either to have recourse to it or to leave the party (however just his title) without remedy. In numerous other instances this mode of proof affords direct and satisfactory evidence of the material facts, when they could otherwise only be got at imperfectly and doubtfully by the testimony of half-informed witnesses, attended by an expenditure of time and money, rendered necessary by what appears to me the irrational exclusion of better evidence.
That the examination of the parties themselves is, in a large majority of cases, the most efficacious mode of eliciting the truth, and consequently of securing a just decision, is not only a reasonable presumption à priori, but I believe will not be denied by any person experienced in both modes of procedure.
The knowledge that both parties will be openly heard and examined and cross-examined in court influences many defendants to settle their just debts without trial, and many others to appear, simply to make a frank admission of the justice of the demand, or to correct partial error, or (upon a statement of special circumstances) to claim indulgence in point of time for payment of debt and costs.
The only intelligible objection to the examination of parties as witnesses (as far as I am aware) is, that it creates the temptation and affords the opportunity to perjury. I believe the danger to be an unreal one, except in very rare instances. Speaking from my own experience, I do not hesitate to assert that wilful perjury is very seldom resorted to, and that in the face of a judge of ordinary penetration and attention to his duties it is next to impossible (in the case especially of the parties themselves) that it should succeed. Apart from the results of actual experiment, it would not (I apprehend) be difficult to show that the probabilities of the case would lead theoretically to a similar conclusion in favour of the mode of proof under discussion.
Juster views than formerly prevailed on the law of evidence have recently led to the admission as competent witnesses, in the Superior Courts, of whole classes heretofore excluded on the ground of interest. The change is known and felt to be a highly beneficial one, removing a formidable barrier to the course of justice, and productive of no evil consequences. The same principle is applicable equally to persons interested directly as parties and to persons not parties to the suit, but yet involved in point of interest in its result; and I cannot but regard the exclusion of either as a great error in jurisprudence, leading in many cases to a failure of justice. I am, Sir, your obedient servant, J. G. SMITH.
Circuit No. 54.
Cheltenham, 26th December, 1850.
SIR,-I have received your note, inquiring, on behalf of the Law Amendment Society, whether in my judgment the law which enables parties to be examined as witnesses in the County Courts
In my opinion, therefore, neither of the parties ought to be examined, either at the trial of the cause, or under section 98, &c. ; and while the commission of crime would be thus prevented, I do not think that there would often be a failure of justice. I am, Sir, your obedient servant, Arthur Symonds, Esq., ARTHUR PALMER. Honorary Secretary of the Society for Promoting the Amendment of the Law.
Circuit No. 56.
Harnham Cliff, Salisbury. SIR,-I am requested, in a letter from the Society for Promoting the Amendment of the Law, to answer the following query:In my judgment has the law which enables parties to be examined in the County Courts worked well or ill?
ANSWER: The law in the County Courts has worked well in one-third of the cases, if not more. The evidence of the parties is the only evidence; without which the injured party would be without remedy. I remain, Sir, your humble servant,
To the Secretary of the Society for Promoting the Amendment of the Law, 21, Regent-street.
Circuit No. 60.
Exeter, 27th December, 1850. SIR,-In reply to your letter of the 10th instant, requesting an answer to the query, whether in my judgment the law which enables parties to be examined as witnesses in the County Courts has worked well or ill, I beg to offer the following remarks.
I have hitherto found that the suitors in actions of debt have for the most part been small retail dealers, delivering their own goods, and keeping their own accounts, consequently the present power of examining the parties and their wives as witnesses in the County Courts has been the means of recovering an immense amount of debt, which might otherwise have been lost for want of evidence. This great advantage, however, is not without a mixture of evil, in the perjury which parties are too frequently tempted to commit in support of their own case.
In my circuit I have had occasion to warn the suitors not to rely too much on their own evidence, and that I should expect confirmatory evidence to be adduced when the nature of the case would admit of it.
actions the balance was in favour of the expediency of admitting On the whole, I should decidedly say that in all descriptions of parties as witnesses, and that the experiment may be said to have worked well in the County Courts.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
Arthur Symonds, Esq., Secretary to the Society for the Amendment of the Law.
has worked well or ill. My answer is, that in my judgment this COMMENTS ON THE COUNTY COURTS.
To the lamentable drawback from this great advantage I am not insensible, that the law often gives persons wicked enough to commit perjury opportunities, which they could not otherwise have, of being guilty of that crime. Instances of direct contradiction have frequently occurred, not to be accounted for on any other suppo sition than that of one or other of the parties being perjured. I have, however, the satisfaction of knowing that in the courts in this county cases of this sort are becoming more and more rare; and I feel confident that this great evil does not outweigh the great advantage of having the evidence of the persons most likely to know the truth, the interested parties. Arthur Symonds, Esq.
Your obedient servant, JAMES FRANCILLON.
Circuit No. 55.
Bristol, 26th December, 1850. SIR,-I have the honour to acknowledge my receipt on the 22nd of your letter of the 10th instant, wherein you state that you are requested by the Council of the Society for Promoting the Amendment of the Law to request my answer to the question, whether in my judgment the law which enables parties to be examined as witnesses in the County Court works well or ill; and in reply I beg to state, not merely as a matter of opinion but as a fact, that there is scarcely a week in which the law does not produce in the Bristol County Court the most gross perjury.
(From the Sheffield Times.)
LORD BROUGHAM AND THE COUNTY COURTS. We were among the first, when the act was passed for the establishment of the new County Courts, to hail that measure as a large instalment of good in præsenti, and as earnest of great improvements in futuro. But we certainly think the "good time coming" likely to be indefinitely postponed, and the usefulness of the County Court system in danger of being greatly encumbered in the meantime, if Lord Brougham is allowed to exercise, without check, his meddlesome propensities for law reform! His lordship has already introduced two bills this session with the object of increasing the jurisdiction of the County Courts. By the first he proposes to do away with the District Courts of Bankruptcy, and to enable the judges of the principal County Courts to exercise jurisdiction in cases of bankruptcy. To this, in principle, we do not object. The unsatisfactory manner in which the bankruptcy business at Sheffield has been transacted has often suggested to our minds the idea that a vast improvement would be effected if the learned judge of the Sheffield County Court had power to hear these cases. But we do not wish to see an undue amount of work thrown upon the shoulders of County Court judges; and one of the most pressing wants at present is some measure for better equalizing the duties of the County Court judges, those duties being now vastly dis
proportionate, while the remuneration is fixed, we believe, in all cases alike at 1,000l. per annum.
The returns which have been furnished show that the amount of business transacted in the Sheffield Court, as estimated by the number of actions tried, is exceeded by very few others; we have not the document by us, but we believe that Sheffield stands third or fourth upon the list. And by the act which transferred the jurisdiction of the Insolvent Court over country cases to the judges of the respective County Courts a very considerable increase of work was thrown upon the judge and clerks of the Sheffield Court. Mr. Walker sits at Sheffield during a part of every three weeks out of four, generally speaking. The court holds sittings for at least two and sometimes three days during those weeks; and the business is frequently protracted till a late hour in the evening. Besides these his Sheffield duties, there are the trying of actions and the adjudications in insolvency at Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster, Thorne, and Goole; so that with forensic work, and preparing his judgments, the month is pretty well filled up.
Nor, before we allude to the contrast afforded by the lighter duties of the judges in other districts, must we omit to state, as an undoubted fact, that a County Court judge, in a place of the magnitude of Sheffield, is worked even harder than a judge of the Superior Courts. Having a list of 200 cases, or more, in which justice has to be done before the close of day, and left, in the great majority of cases, without legal assistance to strip from the points at issue all extraneous matter, but having personally to interrogate the parties before him and their witnesses-to discover, as best he may, what portion of truth there is in the statements of dishonest, prevaricating, or unwilling witnesses, or to grope for it in the lowest depths of impenetrable stupidity-all these entail upon the judge of the County Court a more harassing and wearisome day's work than falls to the lot of any of the higher authorities, except occasionally during the pressure of an assize.
But in some of the rural districts one day per month for each Court, where the business is over in a few hours, is all that is called for from the judge. Nay, in some cases, the Court is held at two several places on the same day, and the mental and physical powers of the judge are refreshed and strengthened by a pleasant rural ride between the hours of labour.
One of two things therefore is necessary, or at least is but just. Either make the relative duties of the judges more equal, or make their remuneration better proportionate to the work actually done. It may be said that a better adjustment of the remuneration of the judges is, after all, a question affecting none but a small number of individuals, and in nowise concerning the people at large. But when Bull is called upon to pay a large sum for the maintenance of public functionaries, Bull likes to see that the recipients of that provision render the proper quid pro quo in the shape of work. Bull is willing-we don't mean the Treasury magnates, who, it must be confessed, often object to the smallest gimlet being inserted in the cask, while they themselves will leave the bung-hole openbut the veritable John is willing to pay his servants well and liberally, knowing that he must do so in order to be well served; but he also claims to exercise his indisputable right to see that they work up to their pay. Now, in one respect, the abolition of the District Bankruptcy Courts will do away with some anomalies, mitigate some inequalities, and accomplish some little economy; so that the learned functionary who cometh hither on a Saturday, and doeth just what any automaton (with a Registrar to move the wires) would do equally well, will no longer receive his 1,8007. a year and travelling expenses, while the more useful and much harder-worked judges of County Courts receive only 1,000l.
We must defer comment upon Lord Brougham's bill No. II, which, nevertheless opens up a wider field than No. I, and upon which a great deal will be said, if not by us, by others more compent to the task of dealing with it. The country stands committed to the County Court system, and the development of that system is a question of great importance to the public, but it must be moulded and fashioned, and expended by a gentler hand, and directed by a wiser head than that of Lord Brougham, if it is to come to good. Under the guidance of minds equally comprehensive to that of the noble lord,-but less erratic-we look forward to the establishment of a system worthy of the age we live in, and one which will obtain the confidence of this great commercial country. We hope to see the day when these courts shall be so constituted, and so presided over, that not only will all the minor disputes of every-day occurrence among a busy people be, through their instrumentality, promptly set to rights-when the estates of debtors unable to pay all their creditors may be fairly administered without serious expense-bankrupts and insolvents placed upon an equal footing, always with due discrimination between those simply unfortunate, those partially blameable, and those deserving of severe punishment, but also when the multifarious duties now discharged by dilettanti justices of the peace, will be discharged by individuals, who by proper training and education in the law and by the experience of a professional carcer, are much better fitted to administer justice with satisfaction to the
COUNTY COURT CLERK.-Mr. George Frederick Crowdy, of Farringdon, has recently been promoted by J. B. Parry, esq. Q. C. judge of the County Court of Berkshire, to the chief clerkship of the court at Farringdon, vacant by the resignation of Mr. James Nash, of Henly. Mr. Crowdy had previously performed the duties of assistant clerk.
LIVERPOOL COUNTY COURT.
MEMORIAL FOR SUPERSEDING MR. RAMSHAY.
An important duty now devolves upon our townsmen, to which
we urgently call their immediate attention. In consequence of
their memorial to the Earl of Carlisle, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, setting forth the grounds on which the removal of Mr. Ramshay has been solicited, his lordship has appointed a sitting at the Duchy Court, in London, on Tuesday week, the 3rd of June, to inquire into the accuracy of the allegations contained in that memorial. Of this step in the proceedings, as we have before announced, notice was served on the officers of the Liverpool Guardian Society on Saturday last, on which day Mr. Statham, clerk of the court, repaired express to Gillesland to serve a similar notice upon Mr. Ramshay himself.
The Guardian Society lost no time in requesting that the very natural course might be adopted of a commission being appointed to take the evidence in Liverpool, seeing that the conveyance of witnesses to London would be attended with expense, to meet which there were no available funds. The law-officer of the duchy has replied that his lordship wishes to go into the inquiry in person, and that, therefore, his public duties would render it impossible to hold the sitting in Liverpool.
It is certainly very satisfactory that Lord Carlisle proposes to undertake this duty in such a manner; but the duty, on the other hand, of substantiating the allegations of the memorial renders it necessary that a handsome subscription should be got up to meet the expenses.
Several methods of procedure have been devised, but the determination has been not to hold a public meeting, or to adopt any step that could be considered prejudicial to Mr. Ramshay, by calling forth observations on what has occurred in the court; and the proposal now is, that as the substantiation of the memorial must be fairly gone into, the public attention should be called to the one single object of furnishing funds for that important proceeding, due alike to Mr. Ramshay himself, and to the three thousand four hundred of our townsmen who by their memorial have publicly objected to his conduct as judge of the court.
Every memorialist, therefore, and every one interested in the important question at issue, ought forthwith to deposit his subscription with the Secretary of the Guardian Society, or with some member of the committee, and, to assist in what justice now demands, we shall willingly take charge of any sums which may be left at our office for the purpose.-Liverpool Mercury. THE following orders in Council, dated Buckingham Palace, 14th April, 1851, appeared in the Gazette of Tuesday, 29th April last:"That from and after the 31st day of May, 1851, the parishes and places of Rye, Winchelsea, Broomhill, Icklesham, Udimore, Peasmarsh, Iden, Playden, East Guldeford, Beckley, Northiam, and Brede, now in the district of the County Court of Sussex, holden at Hastings, shall cease be within the district of the said court holden at Hastings, and shall form the district of a County Court to be holden at Rye aforesaid; and a County Court for the after such day, be held at Rye aforesaid, by the name of the 'County purposes of the above-mentioned acts shall accordingly, from and Court of Sussex, holden at Rye,' for the said parishes of Rye, Winchelsea, Broomhill, Icklesham, Udimore, Peasmarsh, Iden, Playden, East Guldeford, Beckley, Northiam, and Brede."
And that from and after the said 31st day of May, the parishes of Brampton, Castlecarrock, Cumrew, Cumwhitton, Denton Upper, Denton Nether, Farlam, Hayton, Irthington, Lanercost, Walton, Bewcastle, Stapleton, and Scaleby, and the townships of Hethersgill and Kirklington Middle, now in the district of the County Court of Cumberland, holden at Carlisle, shall cease to be within the district of the said court holden at Carlisle, and shall form the district of a County Court, to be holden at Brampton aforesaid, and a County Court for the purposes of the above-mentioned acts shall accordingly, from and after such day, be held at Brampton aforesaid, by the name of the County Court of Cumberland, holden at Brampton,' for the parishes of Brampton, Castlecarrock, Cumrew, Irthington, Lanercost, Walton, Bewcastle, Stapleton, Scaleby, and Cumwhitton, Denton Upper, Denton Nether, Farlam, Hayton, the townships of Hethersgill and Kirklinton Middle."
WM. L. BATHurst.
COUNTY COURTS CURIOSITIES. (Under this title, we throw together some of the more remarkable cases that come before the County Courts, which do not involve questions of law or prictice, and, therefore, do not belong to The Reports.) MARYLEBONE COUNTY COURT.-BAKER V. BLACKMAN.The Queen's Hounds.-In this case the plaintiff, a farmer at Kilburn, sought to recover from the defendant, one of the members of her Majesty's hunt, the sum of 27. 10s. for damage done to his fields by some huntsmen, of whom he was a party. Bowen May, solicitor, Queen-square, Bloomsbury, by direction of Lord Bessborough, the master of the Queen's hounds, attended to resist the claim. Plaintiff stated that on the 7th ult., he saw about 30 huntsmen, with a pack of hounds, in a field of his, from which they passed through three others, and on going towards them he identified the defendant, who said he should be paid for any damage done. On giving him his account, however, he refused to liquidate it, and hence the present proceedings. He had had two farmers to estimate the damage, which they had done at ten shillings each of the four fields, and 107. for a fence which had been broken down, making the amount he now sued for. He had no witness present.' He had commenced rolling the fields, and where the horses had trodden were holes which, in consequence of the wet weather, had been filled with water. Mr. May said that Lord Bessborough and the leading members of the hunt who were with him on the occasion in question, had offered to make any fair remuneration, but they were so disgusted at plaintiff's exorbitant demand that they determined not to give him anything. He had Mr. Blackman present, who would on his oath state that he cleared the fence, and therefore for that could not be individually liable. His HONOUR observed that plaintiff was justified in bringing an action for any injury done to his fields, but it was quite clear that defendant was not answerable for damage done by 30 persons. He thought the compensation sought for excessive, and should only give nominal damages. Judgment for plaintiff―1s,
BLOOMSBURY COUNTY COURT.-CURDEN v ROPER.-A barrister pastry-cook.-This was an action brought by the plaintiff, against the defendant, hon. secretary to the Distressed Needlewomen's Society, to recover 197. 198., alleged to be due for use and occupation. Plaintiff is proprietor of the house No. 5, Rathboneplace, in which, about two years ago, he let a suite of rooms and shop to defendant, at 407., per annum, the shop being used by the latter as the office of the Distressed Needlewomen's Society. The defendant subsequently falling into difficulties became an inmate of Whitecross-street Prison, from whence, on his release, he sought the plaintiff, and was re-accepted as a tenant of the same apartments, at 1. 1s. a week, that including the use of furniture. On the 24th of July last a summons was taken out by plaintiff for the above amount, and on the 3rd of the following month his agent, named Southgate, by his direction called upon defendant for the rent due, 71. 7s.; 71. 2s. of which was paid to him. The case at this court still went on, and by its proceedings the defendant was ejected the premises and had since been again insolvent, the present being a new trial. In answer to his solicitor, the defendant caused much merriment by stating that, in addition to his practice as a barrister, the plaintiff had started the business of pastry-cook, in which line he had opened the shop in Rathbone-place. The plaintiff could not deny that he had done so, but received no benefit therefrom, he allowing the female who conducted it to keep all the profit. (Laughter.) His HONOUR observed that the transactions between the parties seemed almost inexplicable, but the plaintiff sending for 71. 7s., after summoning defendant for 197. 198. impressed him with the idea that that was all he considered due to him. His judgment would, therefore, be for 71. 7s., from which would be deducted the 77. 2s., leaving him only to receive 5s.
MARYLEBONE COUNTY COURT.-AUKLAND v GARDNER.False Imprisonment.-This was an action to recover damages of 201. for false imprisonment, under somewhat strange circumstances. The trial lasting several hours, a digest must suffice. Mr. Charnock, for the plaintiff, said his client was formerly a draper, but now travelled with pork pies and biscuits to the publicans of the metropolis. The defendant was a baker, who made these pies, and, although they were baked in London, at Warwick-place, St. John'swood, represented the dainties as being manufactured in the midland counties. To push his business, Mr. Gardner had taken a shop in Seymour-street, Euston square, in which he placed the plaintiff and his wife to sell the pies. The shop was not opened, and some serious differences arose respecting the letting of the first floor, and eventually the magistrates of Marylebone Police Court were troubled on many occasions to investigate the affair. The matter in dispute was 5s. 6d., which the defendant contended Mr. Auckland had embezzled, and for which he gave him into custody, and had him locked up in the station-house from eight o'clock on Saturday night, until one o'clock on Monday, when the magistrate immediately dismissed the case. Three police constables deposed that the neighbourhood was in a continual riot the time the parties were at Seymour-street, and that the defendant had acted in a violent manner. The learned judge observed that every latitude had been afforded the defendant, not only, it appeared, before, the police magistrate, who dismissed the charge of embezzlement, but
also in this court. It was for the jury to consider if a felony had been committed or intended. He (the learned judge) was inclined to the same opinion as the police magistrate, and the jury, if they coincided, had but to consider the damages. The jury, after a short consultation, gave a verdict for 5l.
LIABILITY OF RAILWAY COMPANIES.-HENDERSON v. The EASTERN COUNTIES RAILWAY COMPANY.-On Tuesday this case came before the Romford County Court, being an action brought by Mr. Henderson, a solicitor in London, for injury sustained by a fall from the platform at Forest Gate Station. In a dark night in December the plaintiff was proceeding along the platform, and there being no light, he mistook his footing, and fell upon the line, injuring his shoulder so severely that he was confined for some time. The damages were laid at 507. Mr. Warren, Q. C., appeared for the plaintiff; and the attorneys for the com pany, Messrs. Crowder and Maynard, were represented by a gen tleman from their office. The judge (W. Gurdon, Esq.) refused, in accordance with the rule he had laid down, to allow the clerk of the attorneys to appear; but after some consultation, a verdict by consent was taken for thirty guineas and costs. The court refused to allow the expenses of the attendance of the prosecutor, who was in the list of witnesses for examination, had the case proceeded. The action was not brought under Lord Campbell's Act, but was one of an ordinary description.
It contains a full account of the Progress of the Exhibition; Lists of the Exhibitors and things to be exhibited; the Official Gazette; the Visitors and their Accommodations, and all the Intelligence of London; the Provinces; the Colonies, and Foreign Countries; Correspondence, &c.
N.B. This is the only Journal wholly devoted to the Exhibition, and forming a valuable permanent Record of its History and Progress; of a size convenient for binding, and at a price within the means of any person taking any interest in the greatest event of our age. The back numbers, to complete sets, may still be had. London: JOHN Crockford, 29, Essex-street, Strand.
THE PRACTICAL STATUTES.
HE PRACTICAL STATUTES of SESSION 1850; containing all the Statutes required by the English Lawyer, annotated, with a copious Index, of a convenient size for carriage. Edited by EDWARD W. COX and W. PATERSON, Esqrs., Barristers-at-Law. In one volume, price 7s., to be continued annually, in numbers, at 1s., and parts at 48., as the Statutes are passed.
The following are the Statutes given entire, with Notes, &c. 1. Registrar of Metropolitan Public 27. Militia Pay Act. Carriages Act.
2. Commons Inclosure Act. 3. Brick Duties Act.
4. School Districts Contributions Act.
5. Indemnity Act.
6. Alterations in Pleadings Act. 7. Defects in Leases Amendment
8. Parish Constables Act.
9. Acts of Parliament Abbreviation Act.
10. Fairs and Markets Act. 11. Qualification of Officers Act. 12. Pirates(Head Money) Repeal Act. 13. Pirates (Head Money) Repeal Act Commencement.
14. Title of Religious Congregations Act.
31. Bills of Exchange Act.
37. Borough Bridges Act: 38. Public Libraries and Museum Act.
39. Commons Inclosure Act (No. 2.) 40. Fees (Court of Common Pleas) Act.
41. Turnpike Roads Act. 42. Abandonment of Railways Act (1850.)
43. Customs Act (Manchester.) Police Superannuation Funds
15. Sheriff of Westmoreland Ap-44. pointment Act.
16. Drainage and Improvement of 45. Public Health Supplemental Land Advances Act.
17. General Board of Health Act. 18. Court of Chancery Delay and Expenses Act.
19. Larceny Summary Jurisdiction Act.
20. Convict Prisons Act.
21. Naval Prize Balance Act.
22. Incorporation of Boroughs Con
23. Court of Chancery (County Palatine of Lancaster) Act. 24. Loan Societies Act. 25. Militia Ballots Suspension Act. 26. Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Act.
Act, 1850 (No. 2.)
49. Stamp Duties Act.
54. Copyright of Designs Act.
Act. 56. General Board of Health Act (No. 3.) 57. Friendly Societies Act. London: JOHN CROCKFORD, Law Times Office.
COURT OF QUEEN'S BENCH.
TRINITY TERM, 1851.
REG. v. ANDREW AMOS, Esq. Alleged Amendment of a County Court Judge-Practice. Upon the facts, as stated and answered, the court acquits Mr. Amos of the charge of corrupt and oppressive conduct in the discharge of his duties.
The court regrets that more frequent sittings of the County Court are not holden, so as to prevent so great an accumulation of business in one day.
It is wholly contrary to law, and the practice ought not to be allowed by the judges of the County Courts, for an attorney to practice in those courts as an advocate, taking briefs from other attorneys.
Carter moved for a rule to show cause why a criminal information should not be filed against Mr. Amos, the judge of a County Court, for misconduct in his office. He founded this application upon an affidavit made by a person named Alder, which set forth that he was a person in the service of a Mr. Yeomans; that he had a claim for some money due to him from another person, also for services, and that he instituted a suit in the County Court over which Mr. Amos presided, in order to recover that money. He took out a summons on the 11th of January, and paid the sum of 11. 4s. for the summons, and afterwards paid the sum of 27. Os. 6d. for what were called hearing fees, and he also paid an attorney to attend for him. The case came on for hearing, when the defendant's attorney applied for and obtained an adjournment, on the ground that the defendant was entitled to further and better particulars. The demand for these particulars was quite unnecessary, for the action was only to recover eight weeks' wages at 27. 10s. a-week, and the answer to the demand was a set-off which, if admitted, would reduce the claim to 167. There was no plea of set-off, but that was the answer set up when the case came before the judge. The case was, on the application of the defendant's attorney, adjourned till Friday, the 14th of February. In the meantime, particulars were delivered to the defendant. On the 14th of February, the plaintiff and his attorney again attended the court, and the plaintiff again had to pay the courtfees. There was then another attempt made by the defendant to get the case adjourned, as he pretended it was one of long and involved accounts running through a series of years. The plaintiff resisted this attempt, and endeavoured to convince Mr. Amos, the judge, that the demand was a simple one, and that the case could easily be tried; but, in spite of his efforts, the judge adjourned the cause till Friday, the 14th of March. The plaintiff then changed his attorney, and the new attorney instructed counsel on the plaintiff's behalf. Upon the parties again attending before the judge, the counsel for the plaintiff was asked for whom he appeared, and whether he was instructed by an attorney, and the counsel answered in the affirmative. The counsel then opened the case, and called a witness, and at first the judge said the case could not be gone into, as it was not pleaded. The defendant was then tendered as a witness, and was examined. He was cross-examined by the plaintiff's counsel at some length, and before the cross-examination was finished, the judge interposed, and ordered the case to be adjourned till the following Monday. The plaintiff in vain protested against this adjournment, but the judge said he would adjourn the case, though it was not then more than a quarter past one o'clock in the day. The plaintiff's counsel then requested that a different day should be named, as he must be in Exeter on the Monday, and
could not attend to conduct the cause which had been entrusted to him. The judge then adjourned the case till Friday, the 9th of May. The counsel was again duly instructed, but, from what had before occurred, and from the manner in which the judge had put the questions, he thought fit to have the attorney present, to satisfy the judge on that point. On the day appointed, the parties again attended, and the plaintiff had again to he was instructed by an attorney, and satisfied the judge pay the court fees. The counsel was again asked whether that he was so instructed. The judge then said that he should adjourn the case to the end of the day. He also put questions to the attorney, asking him whether he had himself prepared the brief. The cause was then called on, and the judge said that he had forgotten what had occurred on a former occasion, for that he had not taken any notes, and therefore had nothing with which he could refresh his memory. He therefore requested the plaintiff's counsel to recall the witness. This was done, and the evidence was given over again, when at length the judge said, "I cannot keep other people waiting: I shall adjourn this case." That was at a quarter after one o'clock in the day. He was intreated to let the case proceed; but he said he would adjourn it to the end of the list. The plaintiff objected to this; his witness had been heard; a little time would finish the case; and he protested against having it so adjourned-the more so, as there were 150 cases on the list, and he told the judge that he was a working man; that he could not afford to come there from day to day, leaving his master's employment, and that he must abandon the claim altogether, if this system of adjournment was persisted in. The judge said he could not help that, and he again adjourned the case to the 10th of June. That was an ordinary day for the hearing of causes, and the business would be the same as at any other time, and the same causes would be again put forward as requiring an adjournment. These adjournments had already occasioned the plaintiff very considerable expense, he having paid 147. in what had, up to this moment, proved to be the vain endeavour to recover less than 177. He should not be able to pay the money requisite to go on, and he should be reduced to poverty in order to meet these needless and heavy expenses occasioned by the attempt to recover, in these courts of cheap and speedy justice, a sum that was lawfully due to him. He complained that by these adjournments he had lost all the benefit of the examination of the witness, for the judge did not take down what the witness said, saying that he should recollect it, and, on being asked to put it in writing, refused to do so, and said that he knew the use that would be made of it. The judge had tried several times to force the parties to incur the expense of an arbitration. All these things, the learned counsel contended, were very objectionable, and this denial of justice, whether it proceeded from corrupt motives, or only from negligence and indifference on the part of the judge to the proper discharge of the duties of his situation, the result was equally blameable in respect of the public, and injurious to the suitor. He had now stated the substance of the affidavit of F. W. Arundel Alder, and that affidavit was fully supported by another made by Anthony Alder. The plaintiff had done nothing to require delay; he was always present at the proper time, and he had proved his own case twice over. There was nothing, on his part, to which the judge could point as justifying this vexation and expense. The judge had been particular in inquiring whether the counsel for the plaintiff was instructed by an attorney. The person who appeared for the defendant was not so instructed; he was not a member of the bar, nor the attorney for the defendant, but had been instructed by another person, who had himself been instructed by the defendant; his name was Herring, and he had taken his instructions