« ElőzőTovább »
The Amended Ecclesiastical Courts Bill-Testamentary Jurisdiction.
These printed copies may be inspected for a fee of 6d., and printed official copies may be obtained, or official extracts (ss. 50, 52).
Provisions are made as to the time of proving wills and rendering inventories, &c. (ss. 53, 56). And for entering caveats, and as to proceedings to establish wills (ss. 58, 65).
The court is empowered to appoint a representative of real estate (ss. 67, 73). And the powers of such representatives are defined (ss. 74, 82). Power is also given to appoint administrators (ss, 90, 96).
Appeals are to lie from the Probate Court to the Lords Justices, and thence to the House of Lords; or to the House of Lords in the first instance (s. 38).
The Trial of Issues on questions of fact arising in suits in the Probate Court, may be directed to take place before itself by a special or common jury, or before any judge of assize (ss. 100, 104).
Jurisdiction of the County Courts. If the personal property be under £200, the county
court of the district where the deceased died may decide all disputed questions. So where the real and personal property is under £300 (ss. 105, 106). And the clerk of the county court is to transmit to the registrar a certificate of the decision of the county court (s. 107).
The Fees of the court are to be regulated by the Lord Chancellor, and to be paid by stamps (ss. 131, 134, 137).
The Salaries are specified in Schedule F., viz. :
Principal Registrar, £2,500; Three Registrars, each £1,500; Sixty District Registrars, each £500; Ten Official Proctors, each £800. Compensations to the judges and officers of the abolished courts appear to be most amply provided; and the advocates of Doctors Commons may practise not only in the Probate Court but in all the superior courts.
The compensation to the Proctors is to be estimated by the Lords of the Treasury, and annuities granted equal to one half the net profits of each proctor in respect of testamentary causes and matters, founded on the average of five years immediately preceding the commencement of the act (ss. 145, 146).
And, as before stated, the proctors are to be entitled to admission within twelve months in all the superior courts as solicitors and attorneys.
Such are the proposed enactments in the amended bill, and we are assured there is every probability that it will be passed; yet we are now in the first week in July, and it is rumoured that the session will close before the end of the month. The measure has yet to pass through all its stages in the Upper House. If, however, the compensations have been accepted, and a satisfactory compromise
made with the former opponents of the reform, there is time in two or three weeks to steer to the haven of royal assent.
The preceding statement will have shewn several of the last alterations made in the Solicitor-General's Bill; and we subjoin the following notes, more particularly calling attention to the new clauses:
Section 23 establishes DISTRICT testamentary offices in the circuits of the county court judges, and provides a distinct registrar, clerks, messenger, &c.
Section 39 enacts that, persons desirous of proving a will or obtaining administration must apply personally or through a solicitor at the Testamentary Office, and leave the will and also a copy, with an affidavit, according to the form in schedule C. where the application is made to a district registrar the person applying may employ a solicitor or agent.*
The district registrar is to administer oaths; and by the 40th section he is directed to transmit to the principal registrar the original will, affidavit, and other papers, and the principal registrar shall the same to the district registrar, with such number thereupon cause probate, &c. to issue, and forward
of printed official copies as shall be required.
The district registrar is then to enter the probate or a note of the administration in a "district search book."
The registrar or district registrar is then to deliver or transmit a probate through the post to the person applying as his solicitor.†
But no probate or administration, according to section 43, can be granted in a district office, unless the intestate or testator had a fixed place of abode within the district, and unless the personal estate does not exceed £1,500.
The 45th section gives the option of applying either to testamentary or the district office.
Then the 46th section enacts, that a copy of the will or note of administration is to be sent to the re
gistrar, monthly, by the district registrar of wills and administrations granted during the preceding month.§
The jurisdiction of county courts is provided by the 105th section, where the personal property is under £200, in which case the county courts may decide all disputed questions. So by the 106th section, where the real and personal estate is under £300, the judge of the county court is to have the same jurisdiction as the court of probate.|| Section 107 directs the clerk of the county court to transmit to the registrar a certificate of the decree for the grant or revocation of probate.
*It should be made clear that an attorney or solicitor only can act, where the party does not apply personally. † Here the party or his solicitor (not an agent) can alone transact the business.
As there will be a probate of real as well as personal property, the real should be included,-both not exceeding £1,500.
§ The 46th clause seems inconsistent with the 40th, which provides for the transmission of the will, &c. to the registrar at the testamentary office, in order to obtain probate. The 46th clause assumes the grant to be made at the district
It does not appear why this clause varies in the power
conferred from the previous one.
New Statutes effecting Alterations in the Law.
NEW STATUTES EFFECTING ALTER- | forfeit the sum of fifty pounds, which shall be recoATIONS IN THE LAW.
19 and 20 Vict. c. 27.
The preamble recites 25 Geo. 3, c. 48; 55 Geo. 3, c. 184; 39 & 40 Geo. 3, c. 99. Persons herein described deemed to be pawnbrokers; penalty on persons declared or deemed to be pawnbrokers not taking out proper licences; penalties recoverable by summary information; power to justices to mitigate penalties.
The following are the title, preamble, and sections:
An act to amend the acts relating to pawnbrokers.
[June 23, 1856.]
Whereas under and by virtue of an act passed in the twenty-fifth year of the reign of King George the Third, chapter forty-eight, all persons using or exercising the trade or business of a pawnbroker in Great Britain are required to take out a licence annually for that purpose in the manner prescribed by the said act, under the penalty of fifty pounds for any neglect in that behalf; and such licences are chargeable with certain stamp duties granted and imposed thereon by an act passed in the fifty-fifth year of the said king's reign, chapter one hundred and eighty-four: And whereas an act was passed in the thirty-ninth and fortieth years of the said king's reign, chapter ninety-nine, for better regulating the business of pawnbrokers: And whereas attempts are made to evade the provisions of the said acts by persons who receive goods and chattels into their possession, and advance money thereon, under the pretence that the transaction is a sale and purchase of such goods and chattels, and not a receiving or taking of the same by way of pawn or pledge; and it is expedient to amend the said acts with a view to prevent such evasions and the mischiefs arising therefrom: Be it therefore enacted by the Queen's most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
1. The following shall be deemed to be persons using and exercising the trade and business of a pawnbroker within the meaning of the several aets aforesaid, and subject and liable to all the provisions and regulations thereof in relation to pawnbrokers, as well as the persons who by or under the said acts or any of them are declared or deemed to be persons using or exercising the said trade or business; (that is to say) every person who shall keep a house, shop, or other place for the purchase or sale of goods or chattels, or for taking in goods or chattels by way of security for money advanced thereon, and shall purchase or receive or take in any goods or chattels, and pay or advance or lend thereon any sum of money not exceeding ten pounds, with or under any agreement or understanding, express or implied, or which from the nature or character of the dealing may reasonably be inferred, that such goods or chattels may be afterwards redeemed or repurchased on any terms whatever.
2. If any person by or under this act or the several acts aforesaid or any of them declared or deemed to be a person using and exercising the trade or business of a pawnbroker shall neglect or omit to take out the proper licence in that behalf he shall
verable by information before any justice of the peace in the name of an officer of inland revenue prosecuting for the same on behalf of her Majesty ; and in every information or other proceeding for the recovery of such penalty it shall be a sufficient description of the offence to charge that the defendant did use and exercise the trade and business of a pawnbroker without taking out a proper licence in fendant the like proceedings shall be had for the that behalf; and upon the conviction of such delevying of the penalty or for the recording of such conviction, and for the appeal of the defendant if he shall feel himself aggrieved thereby, as are provided by law, and may be adopted with regard to any penalty incurred under the said act of the thirtyninth and fortieth years of King George the Third: Provided always, that it shall be lawful for the justice before whom any such defendant shall be convicted to mitigate or lessen the said penalty, if he shall think fit, to any sum not less than one-fourth thereof; provided also, that any proceeding authorized or directed by the said recited acts or this act to take place before a justice of the peace may, in Scotland, take place before the sheriff of the county in which the proceeding is instituted, or his substitute; but no appeal shall lie from the judgment of any sheriff to the quarter sessions of the peace, nor shall any other appeal lie, save from the judgment of the sheriff substitute to the sheriff, whose decision shall in all cases be final, and not subject to review.
PUBLIC HEALTH SUPPLEMENTAL ACT.
Certain provisional orders of the General Board of Health confirmed; power for Halifax local board to raise money for purchasing gasworks; first election of local board of Waterloo with Seaforth; constitution of West Ham local board of health; first election of local board of West Ham; first election of local board of Sowerby Bridge; first election of local board of Moss-side; act incorporated with 11 & 12 Vict. c. 63; short title.
The following are the title, preamble, and sections of this act :
An act to confirm provisional orders of the General Board of Health applying the Public Health Act, 1848, to the districts of Waterloo with Seaforth, West Ham, Sowerby Bridge, and Moss-side; for alteration of the boundaries of the districts of Rusholme and Bishop Auckland; and for other purposes. [June 23, 1856.]
Whereas the General Board of Health have, in pursuance of the Public Health Act, 1848, made, published, and deposited, according to the provisions of that act, certain provisional orders in the schedule to this act contained, and it is expedient that the said orders should be confirmed, and further provisions made in relation thereto: Be it therefore enacted by the Queen's most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, That
1. The provisional orders of the General Board of Health contained in the schedule hereunto annexed shall, from and after the passing of this act, so far as the same are authorised by the said Public Health Act, be absolute, and be as binding, and of the like
172 New Statutes effecting Alterations in the Law.-Orders in Council.-Law of Divorce.
force and effect, as if the provisions of the same had been expressly enacted in this act.
2. Whereas by the Halifax Gas Act, 1855, the local board of health for the district of the borough of Halifax having, under an act of the fourth year of George the Fourth therein recited, power to light with gas the streets within the district, were authorised and required to purchase the undertaking of the Halifax Gaslight and Coke Company, and it is expedient that the local board be authorised to raise the money required for the purchase: Therefore the local board may, with the approval of the General Board of Health, borrow on mortgage of the gasworks, and the income therefrom, and the general district rates for their district or any of them, the money required for the purchase of the gasworks, and any necessary extensions thereof, and from time to time may re-borrow such part thereof as is not paid off by means of a sinking fund; and for the purposes of this enactment the clauses "with respect to mortgages to be executed by the commissioners of the Commissioners Clauses Act, 1847, are incorporated with this act
3. The first election of the local board of health for the district of Waterloo with Seaforth, for the purposes of the said Public Health Act, shall take place on the thirtieth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred, and fifty-six.
4. Three of the members of the local board of health for the district of West Ham, to be constituted in pursuance of the West Ham provisional order set forth in the schedule to this act, and of this act, shall from time to time be delegated by the court of commissioners of sewers for the Dagenham and Havering levels; and the twelve remaining members of the said board shall be elected for the whole of the said district of West Ham by the owners of and ratepayers in respect of property in the said district.
5. The first election of the local board of health for the district of West Ham, for the purposes of the said Public Health Act, shall take place on the fifth day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-six.
6. The first election of the local board of health for the district of Sowerby Bridge, for the purposes of the said Public Health Act, shall take place on the thirtieth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-six.
7. The first election of the local board of health for the district of Moss-side, for the purposes of the said Public Health Act, shall take place on the thirtieth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-six.
8. This act shall be deemed to be incorporated with the Public Health Act, and shall be as if this act and the Public Health Act, 1848, were one act.
9. In citing this act in any other act of Parliament, or in any proceeding, instrument, or document whatsoever, it shall be sufficient to use the words and figures "The Public Health Supplemental Act, 1856."
ORDERS IN COUNCIL.
ALTERATIONS IN THE COUNTY COURTS DISTRICTS,
Ir has been ordered by her Majesty in Council, that from and after the 31st day of August, 1856, the following alterations be made in the County Court districts, viz. :—
County Court of Bedfordshire, holden at Leighton
The parish of Norton Canes, now in the district of the County Court of Staffordshire, holden at Wolverhampton, shall be in the district of the County Court of Staffordshire, holden at Walsall.
The parishes of Coleshill and Sheldon, now in the district of the County Court of Warwickshire, holden at Birmingham, shall be in the district of the County Court of Warwickshire, holden at Solihull.
The parishes of Over Whitacre and Shustoke, now in the district of the County Court of Warwickshire, holden at Birmingham, shall be in the district of the County Court of Warwickshire, holden at Atherstone.
The parishes of Holme, next Runcton, Tottenhill, Wormegay, Watlington, and Wiggenhall, St. Peter's, now in the district of the County Court of Norfolk, holden at King's Lynn, shall be in the district of the County Court of Norfolk, holden at Downham market. From the London Gazette of 27th June.
EXTENSION OF THE BILLS OF EXCHANGE ACT, 1855, TO STANNARIES COURT OF RECORD. It is ordered by her Majesty in Council, that, within one month after such order shall have been made and published in the London Gazette, all the provisions of the "Summary Procedure on Bills of Exchange Act, 1855," shall be extended and applied to the Court of Record, called the Court of the Vice Warden of the Stannaries (established under the provisions of an Act passed in the session of Parliament, held in the sixth and seventh years of the reign of King William the 4th., chap. 106, and extended into Devonshire, by another Act passed in the session holden in the eighteenth and nineteenth years of the seign of her present Majesty, chap. 32, in respect of actions upon bills of exchange and promissory notes.
And it was further directed that the powers and duties incident to the provisions of the said "Summary Procedure on Bills of Exchange Act, 1855," with respect to matters in the said Court of Record, shall and may be exercised by the Vice Warden, or his deputy for the time being; or in their absence by the Registrar, or one of the Registrars, for the time being of the said court; and that for this purpose the forms of proceeding by plaint, and by writ of summons used in the said court, shall be made conformable, as near as may be, to the forms contained in the schedules to the said last-recited Act annexed, and the sum to be fixed for costs under the said Act, should be fixed by the Vice-Warden. From the London Gazette of 27th June.
LAW OF DIVORCE.
REPORT OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE. THE Select Committee of the House of Lords on the Divorce and Matrimonial Causes Bill, and on the Law and practice of divorce, have just made their report to the House, from which we extract the following as the result of their deliberations.
That when a wife lives apart from her husband, under a decree of separation à mensâ et thoro obtained at her suit, all property which she shall afterwards acquire by her own exertions, by bequest That the parishes of Harlington, Eversholt, Ridg-gift, or otherwise, shall be held by her to her separate mont, and Tingrith, now in the district of the use.
Law of Divorce.-Judicial and Official Salaries.
It was proposed to abolish the action for damages in cases of adultery, or to substitute for it a criminal prosecution in the temporal courts against the adulterer, or against both the offenders, the punishment to be by fine and imprisonment; but these proposals were negatived by the committee, though in each case by a small majority.
The committee submit that alterations should be made in the bill in respect of the composition of the court of divorce, by adding thereto the Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas and the Chief Baron of the Court of Exchequer, and substituting the Dean of the Arches for the judge of probate and administration, and that any three of the judges, of whom the Dean of the Arches should be one, should make a quorum.
they received £2,000, or £3,000; whilst, on some circuits the fees fell far short of £1,000.
Then came the question of a fixed salary, and its amount was left to be regulated by the commismissioners of the treasury, and £,1,000 a year was the usual sum allowed. Whilst the jurisdiction of the courts was limited, according to the title of the act to "Small Debts" not exceeding £20, the salary might fairly be limited to £1,000 a year; and probably the judges themselves did not expect an increase until the jurisdiction should be extended. Then, year after year, bills were introduced to Parliament to enlarge the jurisdiction to £50, concurrently with the superior courts, and to delegate to the county courts (as they were called instead of small debt courts) matters which had exclusively belonged to the superior courts. Numerous petitions were presented to Parliament, and the newspapers abounded in praises of the manner in which the judges discharged their duties, and reiterations of the popular feeling in their favour. The sixty judges and sixty clerks, and hundreds of assistant clerks, with influential treasurers, succeeded in inducing the legislature to enlarge their jurisdiction as to amount, and confide to them matters relating to charitable trusts and other judicial or ministerial duties to a limited extent.
The county courts are now, therefore, very different tribunals from their first constitution; and we are not prepared to say that a larger salary than formerly ought not to allowed for the judge's increased labour. The bill before Parliament proposes that the judges' salaries should be paid out of the Consolidated Fund, making, in the whole, £90,000 a year. The question with the guardians of the JUDICIAL AND OFFICIAL SALARIES. public purse is now rather different than when the
SALARIES OF COUNTY COURT JUDGES AND CHANCERY OFFICERS COMPARED.
THE frequent debates in Parliament regarding the salaries of the county court judges, and the leading articles in the daily newspapers, show that the Sexagint (slightly to paraphrase Lord Brougham's name of the old bankruptcy commissioners) have many friends both in the third and so-called fourth estates of the realm. Before the "Small Debts" Act of 1846, the business of the small debt courts, whose jurisdiction extended to £5, in many places to £10, and in some to £15, was conducted by attorneys as clerks of the court, or assessors to the jury of commissioners. Their emoluments depended on the extent of the business of the court, and averaged, at the most, £500 a-year, some receiving more, but generally less than that amount. These gentlemen, who were fully competent to the discharge of their duties, were superseded by the revival of the county courts, and barristers were appointed in their stead, whose salaries it was stated would be limited to £1,000 a-year. They were, at first paid by fees, and in some populous districts,
salaries were to be paid out of the fee fund. The Sexagint are still ably supported by their friends of the press. One of them, a writer in The Daily News, differing in opinion from the Lord Chancellor in his refusal to increase the salaries from £1,200 to £1,500, has made a severe onslaught upon the amount of salaries paid to the officers of the Court of Chancery. He forgets, however, that all the salaries of those officers have been very largely reduced in recent times. For instance, the Lord Chancellor had an income arising from fees, varying from £20,000 to £30,000 a year. The present Lord Chancellor has only £10,000 and of which £4,000 belongs to him as Speaker of the House of Lords. The Masters in Chancery, from fees and copy money, had each not less than £4,000 a year; and the chief Registrar about the same. The Masters were reduced to £2,500; the senior Registrar to £2,000; and others to different amounts, down to £1,250. Some of the clerks in court, who were the taxing officers, received in fees from £5,000 to £10,000 a year. The present taxing Masters receive £2,000. The Masters' chief clerks used to receive about £2,000 a year; they were reduced to
£1,000; and the judge's chief clerks, who now perform all the duties of Masters in Chancery, till lately, received £1,200, and now £1,500.
Then look at the common law courts: the chief clerk's emoluments were about £10,000. The present Earl of Ellenborough, who was appointed to that office by his father, then the Lord Chief Justice of England, has a pension estimated on that amount. Then the masters, prothonotaries, secondaries, clerks of rules, and clerks of all kinds of proceedings, filazers, &c., &c.-all these have been reformed, reduced, and many altogether abolished. The present masters as chief officers of the court, next to the judges, receive only £1,200 a year. If comparisons are to be made between the official duties of the registrars, taxing masters, chief clerks of judges, and clerks of records in chancery, and those of the officers of other courts, we must confess that the common law masters have some reason to complain, for they are limited to £1,200 a year. They attend the court like the registrars, they tax costs like the taxing masters, and they examine witnesses, sit on references, and make special reports.
The writer in the Daily News says:
"At the risk of disturbing, in an exceedingly rude and troublesome way, the modest leisure of a very retiring and no doubt very meritorious set of public functionaries, we positively must suggest a few queries, and venture a few comments on the recently published 'Annual Account of the AccountantGeneral in Chancery.' We are not sure whether this somewhat remarkable document might not have escaped our attention, had it not been for the recent declaration of Lord Cranworth against raising the salaries of the County Court Judges from twelve to fifteen hundred a year. As our readers may remember, we had the misfortune to differ from the Lord Chancellor on that occasion, and to show cause for coming to the conclusion that whether tested by the amount of work done, the dignity and responsibility of the position, or the official emoluments of other judicial functionaries the larger salary was not a farthing too high. But althongh differing as to the application of the principle to the particular case, we of course saw much to admire in the rectitude and propriety with which the head of the law opposed what he conceived to be an excessive rate of remuneration to its subordinate administrators. It was, therefore, with some little curiosity that we returned to the paper now lying before us, in order to ascertain how far the principles of a just economy are exemplified iu the salaries of the various functionaries connected with the administration of the Court of Chancery.
"In endeavouring to communicate a few of the results of the investigation, we desire to be understood as speaking with a proper amount of doubt and hesitation. We know it is rash to apply the rules of plain sense and common arithmetic to matters which were never meant to be tried by tests so vulgar. We must, however, do the best we can, and mention the following as a few of the points on which we think some little explanation might not improperly be asked for.
"The first item that meets us is, 'Nine Masters' salaries at £2,500 per annum, £21,145 16s. 8d." We say nothing of this: we are aware that though
only five of these nine Masters are at work, yet they are all on full pay, having been abolished on those express and economical conditions.
"Two Chief Clerks to Masters' receive, we observe, as compensation' £1,879 3s. 4d. (there is a delightful precision throughout in the shillings and pence); but, as this is stated to be under the 15 & 16 Vict. c. 80, we suppose it is all right.
"Pensions to three retired Registrars' are next put down at £4,048 3s. 2d., a total which (omitting the shillings and pence) gives each 'retired Registrar' a snug little life annuity of £1,349 a year. A registrar's bag bearer' is also on the retired list, and receives in requital of past services in his somewhat Judas-like office a modest income of £183 4s. 6d. per annum.
"Passing from the retired, to the active, officers, and taking no note by the way of such small deer as 'a Serjeant at Arms,' at £579 8s. per annum, and a crowd of Train bearers,' and 'Persons to keep order,' at proportionate amounts, we pause before an item which, to the lay understanding, seems more than ordinarily obscure: Solicitor to the Suitors, in lieu of costs, £1,200." In our uninstructed fashion we had always been accustomed to think of costs and solicitors as inseparable, and are glad to find that the rule seems to admit of exceptions.
"The next entry that catches our eye is clear enough; but is it not, according to the Chancellor's standard, a little high? Salaries to eight Chief Clerks to the Master of the Rolls and the ViceChancellor's, £9,900.,' that is, if our arithmetic be correct, £1,237 10s. a year a piece. Turning to the act (15 & 16 Vic. c. 80) we find that these gentlemen, whose functions are principally ministerial, and whose qualification consists in ten years' practice as attorneys and solicitors, are entitled to a salary of £1,200 a year, with power to the Chancellor to increase it to £1,500.
"Here we seem to get a very close approximation to the Chancellors estimate of a County Court Judge. He thinks him worth the minimum salary awarded to the Chief Clerk of a Vice-Chancellor. My Lord Campbell lately took occasion to observe of an aspiring County Court Judge that he considered himself qualified to act as Chief Justice of England! It may be well for that gentleman to understand that his tariff with the Chancellor is that of a Chief Clerk in Chancery. But to proceed. There are five masters in Chancery who are still in a state of official vitality; these five masters have each a clerk -hence, we suppose, the next charge in the list, 'salaries to five masters' chief clerks, at £1,000 each £5,000.'
"We come next to the Registrars- Salaries to eleven registrars, £17,116 17s." or, discarding shillings again, £1,556 to each. Now, it may be very invidious and improper; bnt we really cannot refrain from asking, what is the nature of the duties in return for which each registrar is allowed, without comment, to draw a salary which Lord Cranworth believes to be too high for a county court judge? Unless we are misinformed (and to suppose that we are so would really be only affectation), these duties are of the very simplest and most mechanical description. The most onerous and responsible part of their functions consists in taking down verbatim the decrees which fall from the lips of the judicial oracle beneath whom they sit, or at the outside, of drawing out in a correct and methodical form the notes or heads of such decrees. Any properly trained clerk would be fully competent to execute this work,