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NEW BILLS IN PROGRESS.
136 Exchequer.—Business of the Courts.- Proceedings in Parliament.-Letter Box. Erchequer.
Friday, the 2nd—and Saturday, the 3rd days of Christie and another, assignees of Yeld, a bank- July next, hold sittings, and will proceed in dis. rupt, v. Bell and another, public officers.
posing of the business in the Crown Paper ;
and will also hold a sitting on Wednesday, the WRIT OF SUMMONS.-_AMENDMENT.-LIMI
7th July next, and give judgment in cases pre
viously argued. The court will amend a writ of summons by
inserting therein the character in which the PROCEEDINGS IN. PARLIAMENT REplaintiff's sue, or the defendants are sued,
LATING TO THE LAW. if it appear that the debt would otherwise be barred by the Statute of Limitations.
House of Lords. In this case a writ of summons issued, directed to “Robert Bell and Edward Stewart,” requiring Consolidation and Amendment of the Law them in the usual form) to enteran appearanceat of Bankruptcy. For 2nd reading. The Lord the suit of “ James Christie and Joseph Adnit,” Chancellor. in an action on promises. A declaration was Debtor and Creditor. For 2nd reading. delivered in which the plaintiffs described The Lord Chancellor. themselves as the assignees of Yeld, a bank- Repeal of Insolvency Jurisdiction of Courts rupt, and the defendants were described as two of Bankruptcy, Abolishing Court of Review, of the registered public officers of “The National and Reducing Number of Commissioners. (No. and Provincial Bank of England Banking 2.) In Select Committee. Lord Brougham.*, Company.” Alderson, B., at chambers, having Threatening Letters. For 2nd reading. set aside the declaration on the ground that it Lord Denman. varied from the writ in the description of the Clergy Offences. In Committee. parties, an application was made to amend the
thouse of Commons. writ by stating therein the character in which the plaintiffs sue and the defendants are sued,
NEW BILLS IN PROGRESS. and it appearing that the debt would otherwise City Small Debts Court. In Committee. be barred by the Statute of Limitations, Parke, Mr. Masterman. B., ordered the amendment.
Law of Railways. Mr. Strutt. The Attorney-General moved to rescind the For the Speedy Trial and Punishment of order of Parke, B., upon affidavit that the Juvenile Offenders. In Committee. Sir Jolin money sought to be recovered was received by Pakington. the banking company in the year 1840, and had Lunatic Asylums Regulation. Att.-General. been distributed among the shareholders of the
Inclosure Act Amendment. Sir F. Thesiger. bank at that time : that the company was
Health of Towns, Lord Morpeth. a fluctuating body, and now consisted of many
Towns Improvement Clauses. persons who were not shareholders in 1840. Taxation of Costs on Private Bills. In It was, therefore, submitted, that the effect of Committee. Mr. Hume. the amendment would be to change the de
Registration of Voters. For 2nd reading. fendants and to render liable those members Mr. Walpole. who have never received the money. In Ro
Highways. In Select Com. Sir Geo. Grey. bert v. Bate, 6 Adol. & E. 783, the court of
Administration of the Poor Laws. Sir Geo. Queen's Bench refused to amend a writ by Grey. adding the name of a defendant; though that
Copyhold Commission Continuance. case is at variance with the decisions in this Turnpike Acts Continuance. court. Lakin v. Watson 2 C. & M. 685 ;
Loan Societies Continuance. Brown v. Fullerton, 13 M. & W. 556; Culver
Ecclesiastical Courts. Mr. Bouverie. well v. Nugee, 4 Dow. & L. 32.
THE EDITOR'S LETTER BOX. Pollock, C. B. I consider the point as settled ; but if it were open, I think we ought not to
“An Articled Clerk ” states the following allow an amendment where the Statute of Limi- point in conveyancing practice :-“ A. grauts tations has begun to run.
a lease to B., each of whom employs a solicitor Alderson, B. When the judge allowed the in the ordinary way. A.'s solicitor attests the amendment he must have been satisfied that execution of the lease by his client, and B.'s the service was on the defendants as public solicitor attests the execution of the counterofficers, and not in their private capacity. If part, neither lessor nor lessee personally apso, what injury is done by inserting in the writ pearing. The credit of each solicitor is taken the words public officers?
by the other that the lease and counterpart Parke and Rolfe, B.s concurred.
have been duly executed by the respective Rule refused. parties.”. Our correspondent asks whether a
solicitor is justified in this course, and whether BUSINESS OF THE COURTS.
he would be liable to his client in an action,
should it afterwards be discovered that the Queen's Bench.
signature of the opposite party was not genuine.
Tacitum" inquires whether the widow of a The court will, on Monday, the 14th-Tuės- person who dies seised of a rent-charge or day, the 15th-Wednesday, the 23rd-Satur- modus, payable out of freebold lands, is entiday, the 26th—and Wednesday, the 30th days tled to dower thereout ? of June, inst.; and on Thursday, the 1st- The letter of C. F. C., shall be attended to.
The Legal Observer, DIGEST, AND JOURNAL OF
SATURDAY, JUNE 12, 1847.
“ Quod magis ad nos
OPERATION OF THE COUNTY law practice in actions of ejectment, when COURTS ACT.
the declaration has not been served on the
tenant in possession personally, but it is The diversity of decision and practice, shown to the satisfaction of the court that which was predicted as the inevitable con- it has come to his knowledge in due time, sequence of the establishment of the furnishes a clear and obvious analogy, and County Courts, without effective superin- the reported cases on this branch of practendence or appellate control, begins tice, it might be imagined, would guide the already to excite dissatisfaction. Conflict- judges of the County Courts in deciding as ing decisions are reported to have taken to the nature of the evidence necessary to place on various points of greater or less show that the service of the summons had practical importance. From a multitude of " come to the knowledge of the defendant communications received on the subject we ten clear days before the return day.” We shall refer to a few instances, selected upon have only heard of a single instance in a consideration of the extensive application which any judge of a County Court has of the principles involved in them. adopted this view. In nearly every dis
The rules of practice settled by the trict a different rule is laid down, as to judges of the superior courts, so far as they what evidence shall be necessary to satisfy apply to cases in which he summons to the judge that the summons has come to appear to a plaint has not been personally the knowledge of the defendant. Some served, would seem to admit of a great judges are satisfied, if the bailiff's assistant variety of construction.
swears that he left the summons at the deThe 6th rule provides, that “cvery such fendant's supposed residence more than summons must be served ten clear days ten days before the return day. It is before the holding of the court at which it thence assumed that the service must have shall be returnable," whilst rule 11 pro- come to the defendant's knowledge in due vides, that “ in all cases where a summons time. Other judges require, that the sumto appear to a plaint shall not have been mons-server should swear, that he reserved personally, and the defendant shall quested the person to whom he delivered not appear at the return day, it must be the summons to deliver it to the defendant proved to the satisfaction of the judge, upon his return; whilst other judges rethat the service of such summons has come quire evidence that some inmate of the deto the knowledge of the defendant ten fendant's house promised to deliver the clear days before the said return day.” summons to the defendant upon his return
Without discussing how far the latter home; and we understand one or more of regulation may be considered expedient or the judges have been so strict as to require necessary, we may venture to remark, that some evidence of subsequent declarations it does not appear to be peculiarly compli- made by the party with whom the sumcated, or to suggest any extraordinary dif- mons was left that it had come to the deficulties of construction. The common fendant's hands. If the prouf of service is
VOL. Xxxiv, No. 1,005.
Operation of the County Courts Act.
insufficient, it is the practice, we under-may bring distinct plaints in respect of stand, of many judges to dismiss the sum- each cause of action. If this construction mons absolutely, leaving the plaintiff to of the act be correct, it is evident the new commence de novo; but we have heard of courts will have a more enlarged jurisdiccases where the consideration was ad- tion than was at first supposed, and by the journed to give the plaintiff an opportunity splitting of demands in the manner sugof effecting service without requiring him gested, plaints may be multiplied to an to issue a new summons.
extent which will give the judges of the The statute declares, that all pleas of County Courts established in populous personal actions where the debt or damage districts an income derivable from fees far claimed is not more than 201., whether on exceeding the sums paid by way of salary balance of account or otherwise, may be to the judges of the superior courts at holden in the County Court;" and, a's our Westminster. An erroneous impression readers have learned, by a decision pub-prevails, that the emoluments receivable lished last week, one of the new judges by the judges of the new courts is limited conceives that this provision enables the to 1,2001. per annum, and that the clerks County Court to entertain a suit for a only receive 6001. per annum. As the portion of a plaintiff's claim, reserving to matter now stands, the judges, clerks, and the plaintiff the right of enforcing the high bailiffs, are entitled, under the 37th other portion of his claim by a second, or section, to receive and keep all the fees several successive plaints. For example, payable under the schedule marked D, and it is said, that if a plaintiff claims 1001. for although the amount of fees must vary in five parcels of goods of equal value, de- every district, as already hinted, it is said, "livered at different times, he is not bound that the fees receivable by the judges to enforce the claim by one action, but under that schedule in some districts will may enter five different plaints in the quadruple 1,2001. per annum, and in such County Court, and recover upon each to cases the fees of the clerk and high bailiff the extent of 201. So, if 601. be claimed will be in the same increased proportion. for three quarter's rent, it is held that the By the section last referred to, the Secreplaintiff may enter a distinct plaint for the tary of State, with the consent of the rent due in respect of cach quarter, and in Treasury, may diminish the amount of this manner recover the full amount due to fees, and under section 39, her Majesty, him. It was understood when the measure with the consent of her Privy Council, was before parliament, that the 63rd section may order the judges, clerks, bailiffs, and was introduced into the act expressly to officers of the new courts to be paid by prevent such a construction. That section salaries instead of fees, and in that case,
enacts, “that it shall not be lawful for any (under section 40,) the salary to be re. plaintiff to divide any cause of action for ceived by a judge is not to exceed 1,2001., the purpose of bringing two or more suits and that of a clerk 600l. per annum, exin any of the said courts, but any plaintiff clusive of the salaries to clerks employed having a cause of action for more than 201., in the business of the courts, and other for which a plaint might be entered under expenses incidental to the office, and ex'this act it not for more more than 201., may clusive of the sum that may be allowed by abandon the excess, and thereupon the the Treasury for travelling expenses, with plaintiff shall, on proving his case, recover reference to the size and circumstances of 'to an amount not exceeding, 201., and the each district. judgment of the court upon such plaint It appears to be contemplated by the act, shall be in full discharge of all demands in that the bailiff may hereafter be paid by a respect of such cause of action, and entry fixed salary instead of fees, as well as the of the judgment shall be made accordingly." other officers. From the great anxiety disIt is now contended, that effect is given to played, however, in protecting the rights the clause last cited by holding, that when of the bailiffs in respect of fees, we apprea single cause of action exceeds 201., if the hend it is not anticipated this useful class plaintiff proceeds in the County Court, he of officers are speedily to be reduced to must abandon the surplus, but that he is fixed salaries. In the schedule D, annexed not bound to include separate causes of to the act, under the title of “ High Bailiffos action exceeding 201. in one plaint, but Fees," in the first line we find, that the
high bailiff is entitled to fees, varying from 9 & 1a Vict. c. 95, s. 58.
2d. to Is. 6d., according to the amount of See vloeision in our last, p. 126.
the plaintiff's claim, for “calling any z Z
Operation of the County Courts Act.
139 It has already been ascertained sation of the judges and other officers should in the County Courts, as in every other be dependent upon fees, and the amount of court for the recovery of debts, that a large their emoluments be increased or dimiproportion of the suits which are com- nished in proportion to the number of menced do not come to a hearing, but are plaints entered. Although, in point of arranged between the parties out of court. fact, no sordid considerations should ever In such cases, the parties do not in general enter into the minds of those upon whom go through the idle form of appearing at the duty is devolved of making practical the time appointed for hearing, and if the regulations and pronouncing judicial decibailiff's fee for "calling" the cause were sions in the new courts, it may sometimes postponed to this stage, he might call upon be suggested that they have acted with a suitors for his fees as he might “call view to the multiplication of suitors, or spirits from the vasty deep,” without any with an inordinate regard to the pecuniary security that the one more than the other interests of their own officers. To be sub. would respond to his call. To obviate this ject to such an imputation, however undifficulty the practice has already been founded, must be painful and embarrassing established, we are informed, in many dis- to men of delicate and honourable feeling. tricts, of obliging the plaintiff upon enter- As it does not require the authority of paring his plaint to lodge the bailiff's fee for liament, but may be effected at the instance « calling the cause." By this prudent ar- of the executive government, by means of rangement, if the debt should be paid, or an order from her Majesty in council, we the matter in dispute amicably adjusted, hope to see the judges and officers of the before the day fixed for hearing, the high County Courts speedily relieved from the bailiff“ moults no feather.” Some persons invidious distinction of having their serare so unreasonable as to complain of this vices compensated by the payment of a arrangement, and to ask, would it be multitude of fees of small amount instead tolerated, if a suitor upon applying for a of by fixed salaries. writ of summons to commence an action in We cannot conclude this notice without one of the superior courts, was informed referring to the application made to Mr. that he must then deposit the court fees Justice Wightman, sitting in the Practice payable upon a trial ?
Court of the Queen's Bench, on the 2nd Other instances have been communi- June, and which appeared in all the daily cated where the judges of the County papers on the following day, at the instance Courts are said to have evinced a disposi- of Mr. William Ablett, who held the office tion diametrically opposed to that which of Clerk of the Court of Requests at St. prevails elsewhere, by discouraging the Albans, (under the 25 Geo. 2, c. 38,) since amicable arrangement of claims between the year 1825. It appeared that the judge parties, without the intervention of the of the New County Court for the district court, and recommending, if not personally, which includes St. Albans, had appointed at all events by their officers, that suitors Mr. Edward Gibson as clerk, and the should in every case fortify their arrange- motion in the Bail Court was for a rule to ments for payment by embodying them in show cause why an information in the an order of the court. The granting of an nature of a quo warranto should not be order in every case is preceded by the filed against Mr. Gibson for exercising the payment of certain prescribed fees, varying office of Clerk of the County Court at St. in amount from three pence to three Albans. We are informed that the rule shillings, payable as well to the judge as has since been enlarged, and is not likely the clerk; and it has been stated, that the to be discussed until Michaelmas Term, schedule of fees in this particular is so am- Without presuming to offer any opinion biguously framed as to have already occa- upon the legal question involved in Mr. sioned a diversity of practice in regard to Ablett's case, we believe we give expres the fees claimed upon “entering and draw-sion to the universal feeling which prevails ing up every judgment and order.” throughout the profession, when we state,
Whatever may be the merits or defects that in the appointments under the Small of the measure in other respects, it must be Debts Act great hardship and injustice has considered matter of regret, that when the been inflicted on individuals by disregarding experiment of the New County Courts was the claims of old and meritorious officers. resolved upon, an element of suspicion In reference to this subject, we commend should unnecessarily be mingled in their to our readers' attention the discussion constitution, by enacting that the compen in the House of Commons on Tuesday
Taxation of Parliamentary Costs.-Law of Attorneys. evening last, in reference to Mr. Drew's The bill also proposes, that the report of case, the particulars of which we published the taxing officer shall be final and without in a former number. It is satisfactory to appeal; that all costs and charges incurred know that, beyond the circle of govern- on behalf of corporations or trustees having ment retainers, it appears to be universally no pecuniary interest in opposing bills shall considered that Mr. Drew has been unfairly in all cases be compulsorily taxed; and and unjustly treated.
that any five or more shareholders of any
joint stock company may require the taxaTAXATION OF PARLIAMENTARY tion of the charges of solicitors for promotCOSTS.-LAW OF ATTORNEYS.
ing or opposing private bills in the House of Commons; and there are various other
provisions by which the right of solicitors The bill relating to the taxation of costs to recover from their clients their profeson private bills in the House of Commons sional charges for business transacted by has been for a time suspended, but at the the direction of such clients will be retime we write may be again before the stricted, and in some cases entirely taken house.
away. It is highly objectionable in principle, Under the provisions of the Attorneys and would be found injurious in practice. and Solicitors' Act there is an appeal from It seeks to establish a new board for the the decisions of the taxing masters of the taxation of costs on bills in the House of Court of Chancery to the court itself. In Commons, superseding that of the Court of the present bill this principle will be de. Chancery, and constituted of persons dif- parted from, and an inexperienced tribunal ferently qualified. It will be recollected, appointed for the taxation of costs, without that in 1842, when the Six Clerks' Office the power of appeal in case of error or was abolished, and amongst others, taxing mistake, to which all such tribunals are Masters appointed, it was provided, in practically admitted to be liable. If an effect, that the future members of that appeal is to be allowed, as in all other board should be solicitors of 12 years actual similar cases, there is no existing tribunal practice. The Attorneys and Solicitors' to which it can be so satisfactorily referred Bill was also before parliament, but did not as to the Court of Chancery which now pass till 1843, and it was of the nature of a has the jurisdiction ; and therefore, the compact between the legislature and the main objects of the bill can only be satisprofession that the taxing masters being factorily attained by extending the prosolicitors of experience, every species of visions of the Attorneys and Solicitors' costs (not before taxable) should be brought Act to the taxation of costs incurred for within the jurisdiction of the court. Not business transacted by all solicitors and only conveyancing, but parliamentary costs, parliamentary agents. were compri liended within the arrange- It is remarkable that the evidence taken ment, and it has been the practice since by the committee appointed to consider the that time to reser parliamentary costs to subject of private bills has not been one of the taxing masters, and all parties printed. have been satisfied with the result. It is The Incorporated Law Society has precompetent, not only for the client, but for sented a petition against the bill, ably third parties who may be liable to pay stating the above and other objections, costs, to obtain a taxation, not only of the and praying to be permitted to adduce costs arising in the House of Commons, (to such evidence as may appear to them newhich the bill is confined,) but those also cessary for the purpose of proving the inin the House of Lords.
justice and inconvenience which would be The proposed measure is therefore not the result of the bill if passed into a law as only uncalled for—inflicting the needless it now stands. expense of new officers—but is a violation of the arrangement by which it was provided that solicitors, as the only duly quali- The following are the reasons of the Incor. fied persons, should be appointed to fill the porated Law Society against the bill :office of taxing masters. The bill autho. Bill read 1st, 7th May; 2nd, 10th May ; went rizes the Speaker to appoint whon he through committee, 11th May. pleases.
“ The bill is founded on the recommendation
of a Report from the Select Committee on Pri• See the Bill, p. 70, ante.
vate Bills, proceeding upon some evidence