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Manchester & Milford Haven…








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BRISTOL DISTRICT BANKRUPTCY COURT.—[Before Mr Commissioner Stevenson.—Wednesday, October 1.] COKE tI. THOMAS and ANOTHER. The Commit si oner will only require sufficient evidence to satitfy himself that plaintiff has a judgment, and will not in all cases require strict formal proof of the judgment by production of the record. Where the, record of the judgment is flot produced, an affidavit from the plaintiff is required that he has recovered such a judg- ment, and that it is stilt unsatisfied. The last clause in the Act confining its operation to England, does not, by implication, exclude Wales. "'he Court teili make tin order on the defendants, with costs, where they unnecessarily required the attendance of the plaintiff on the summons. Homes appeared as counsel for the plaintiff in this case, and produced an affidavit of personal service of the summons on the two defendants, and called for the defendants. Mr. Leman, solicitor, said that the defendants were in eourt, and he appeared for them, and he required plaintiff to prove his judgment. Homes submitted that the inquiry as to the existence of the judgment was for the consideration of the Commissioner or Court, before the summons was granted, and that the summons being once granted, the only course was to hear the case ac- cording to the directions of the statute. His Honour.-I have consulted with my colleague, Mr. Sergeant Stephen, and we have agreed to assume the existenoe of the judgment on the application for the summonsps by petition in the usual form, and to perm t the defendants to dispute it, or require proof of it on the hearing ofthe summ ins. Home, then produced a certificate sigued fc C. B. Mansfield, county clerk," to the effect that the plaiutiff in this action had recovered judgment against the defendants for £ 6 debt and £ 4 4s. costs, in the county court of Glamorgan, by writ or jus tides, To this certHicate was annexed an affiùavit verifying the county clerk's signature. Homes submitted that this was sufficient evidence of the judgment to satisfy any reasonable man of its existence. Mr. Sergeant Stephen had decided on construing the Act liberally, and had not required in all cases strict formal proof of the judgment, where he was satisfied by secondary evidence that it existed. His Honour.—I shall require an affidavit from the plaintiff that he has recovered such a judgment, and that it remains in force. With such an affidavit, in addition to the present evidence, I shall consider the judgment as proved to my satis- faction, and allow the case to go on. The affidavit being handed in, Leman required that the plaintiff should be present in person. Homes.—He is here, ready to be examined. Leman.—This is a case from Wales. The Small Debts Act does not apply to Wales; the 25th section expressly enacts that it shall only apply to England. Homes.—England includes Wales as far as any Act of Parlia- ment is concerned. There is an express enactment that Act* stated to apply to England shall include Wales. His Honour.—Can you mention the statute ? In Stephen's Blackstone, vol. I, p. 88, I find that where England only is mentioned in an Act of Parliament, the same notwithstanding shall be deemed to comprehend Wales but the commentator refers to the 20 Geo. 2, c. 42, s, 3, On looking at that statute, I find there must be a mistake, for the Act referred to applies to house and window lights. Homes.—The mistake is not in Sergeant Stephen's Black- stone only, but in all the other editions. Coleridge's edition gives the same erroneous reference so does the original edition of Mr. Justice Blackstone. His Honour-—I am satisfied of the existence of the statute, and have no doubt in my own mind that the Small Debts Act applies to Wales. It was arranged that defendants should pay the debt and costs by instalments of £ l per month. Homes applied for costs. The plaintiff had been required to attend to be examined personally; the defendants might have settled the case out of court, or waived the plaintiff's attend- ance. He has come all the way from Neath. His Honour.—I have the power to give costs in all matters before me by 5 & 6 Vict. c. 122, s. 69, and shall give them in this case. The defendants should have waived the personal attendance of the plaintiff. The rule I shall adhere to at first is only to allow the bare expenses as costs in these cast's. They may be added to the amount of the judgment-debt, and included in the order for payment. The costs were taxed by the registrar accordingly, who allowed, amongst other items, the sum of £3 9s. 8d. for Mr. Coke's expenses of journey from Neath to Bristol, eighty-four miles, besides expenses, &c. These taxed costs were added to the judgment-debt, and an order made for papnent of the whole by instalments of £ I a month.

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