Welsh Newspapers

Search 15 million Welsh newspaper articles

Hide Articles List

8 articles on this Page


.dFact, dficttoit, alibi Jfacettx.


.......----! coui;^ypi)NDE;


coui;^ypi)NDE;<cE. 'V'vv, 'v, ON CHEAP LA Vf To the Jtdilor of ihe Advertiser and (hiardicai. ccs Fix:—Ainonget other grievances of wiiieh the Welnh hi'tiiers complain is tho want of cheap Law. iiis is certainly a mo:xt»w}jicii demaia; the most serious eouMvWaiioti of ihe Legislature, not only as r< ^anis tiie fees ot magistrates clerk. but as resales to practices ui the civil ami crniiiual courts of justico throughout the Principality of Wales generally, and if I take upon myself tlio arduous and bv no means pleasant ta:.k of exposing uiode.s of practice and proceedings adopted therein, which would be far more honour- able in the breach tiian in the oiso the con- fident hope (hat were needed, remedies will appiii-d that will ultimately prove bea-licial aau a;.iVRasagt;ou» to tlie people. Previous, however, to my entering sipon ;uo,;t interest- ing and aj) engrossing enquiry, I bvg. most explicify to oh- serve tiiat in ail I shall uisolo.se or say on the subject, although I firiiily adhere to your motto, i r. i'.Jitnr, 01 Tru.h against the World," I shall oeiljier descend io personal or liet down ongilt in malice, my object alone being to display to mankind abuses which have fVoni long usage and suilerence crept into practirej in s»m« courts i.i Wales, to the serious iojury not only of ihe fair and honourable practiser, but of the community at large. The magnitude of the subject will, however, necessarily compel me, with your permission, to occupy a space in your columns ill two or three of jour successive publications which I am fully aware ia not, Mr. Editor, an object with you when treating upon any matter of importance to the interest and welfare of Welshmen. I shall consequently divide my subject under different heads. Firstly, on the civil side, with regard to the County Courts of W ales, which are generally resorted to by the suitor fur the recovery of debts under forty shillings. Se- condly, as to practices adopted, and fees charged at Petty and General Charter Sensuous of the Peace; and thirdiy, with respect to pettifogging, which has, I regret to say, gained ground to nuch an alarming extent in Wales, as to merit the serious attention not only of the superior courts of West- minster, but of the magistracy generally throughout the Principality. I, of course, allude to individuals not ad- mitted attornies, but who, nevertheless, in the very face and teeth of most wholesome statutes in that case made and pro- vided, have the harJihood to set up offi.es and under one assumed pretencs or another, to conduct and carry on all the routine of an attorney's oliice, to the serious injury of the regularly admitted solicitor, and of the public in general. I will now, therefore, revert to the County Courts of Wales. Iost jourualisls have,at different periods, urged the necessity of amendment in the law, with the view of giving to the needy suitor more free and consequently a less expensive access to the civil courts of judicature, and that justice in the inferior courts should he administered with equal impartiality to the poor man as well as to the rich. That every man possessed of hOlwurable feelings must per- fectly coincide in such reasoning, there can be no doubt, hot until the Legislature becomes perfectly acquainted, aud as a consequence thoroughly disgusted with the present mode of practice adopted in the county courts for tlie recovery of s/jall debts, very little may be expected to oe effected in order to attain so desirable an object. Few men, however, take the trouble, if we except members of the legal prolession, of making themselves acquainted with the stages requisite according to tlie present system of prac- tice, to be pursued in a suit pendinK in these courts of Jaw. Even the theory, much more the practice of the law, is generally considered to be of too dry a subject to engross the attention of any but lawyers, and this accounts for the little that has been said or commented upon with regard to practice. Our learned, upright, and honourable judges have, indeed done much in the superior courts over which they more im- mediately preside, to remedy many of the evils at onc timA so justly complained of with regard to the length of leg-al pro- ceedings, and the consequent heavy expenee incurred to suitors thereby, by reducing the second step in an action, called the Declaration on a Simple Contract Debt," which used formerly to contain from eighteen to thirty-six folios to a compass of less than five folios, and by making other whole- some rules for the dispensing with useless forms, and the more speedily and less expensively ending a suit at law. Btit it caunot be denied that much reman,-s yet to be done before cheap and expeditious justice can be expected to be realized to the people, and iu this respect the County Courts of IV- ales claila our particular attention. These courts are exclusively if not wholly under the juris- diction and control ot the sheriff for the time being of the several counties throughout the Principality, and amongst otli- r privileges attached to this court, is that of holding pleas between party and party, where the debt does not exceed forty 8hilling, and these courts are generally resorted to by the public for the recovery of debts of the above description, us well as for larger sums by writs of justices. And it must be admitted, that if special pleading, and leg«d chicanery was totally abolished therefrom, the p oceediiMr.s simplified, and expeditions, cheap, and impartial justice in- variably and universally admini.iered therein, they might be rendered thereby of incalculable service 10 the people, and the establishment of local courts be rendered unnecessary. At present, !roweHr. the suitor who has a small debt to recover, must apply to all attorney who takes out a summons, and causes the alllc to be served on the defendant, who has until the second court day, uarnely, about two lunar mouths, to enter an appearance, I1pOO which being entered, the phin- tiff's attorney must file by the third court or third month from the period of service, a declaration which not as in the superior courts at Westminster, need be reduced to the smallest compass, but on the contrary, may contain as many counts as the attorney thinks proper, at the end of every one of which must be appended a nonsensical averment that the cause of action arises in a certain parish, and in the county, and within the jurisdiction, &e., all which matter tends to spin out the document to a most unnecessary and immoderate length. The defendant's attorney, after this trash is filrd, if he is desirous to procrastinate tiie suit, and thereby to liar:ass and vex the plaintiff, is ilt liberty to file on the fourth court day, t geiieral, (ir as lawyers ue:;igmoe it y sham demurrer. This delays the Slilt until a filth court day, or filth month from the period of ript coaiuieneino- the suit, by which t-me the plaiiitiif's attorney must oie a rejoinder, or answer to the sham proceeding, which prolongs the suit until the sixth mouth, and then the case may be set down for argument for the seventh court day, but as these courts in many parts of Wales are sometimes held in one part of tie county, and sometimes in another, the plaintiff is frequently put to the necessity of sending either his attorney or of employ ing an agent to attend, perhaps at a distance of forty or fifty miles from his own place of residence, to argue his case, or if he fails so to do, judgment will most assuredly be signed against ,r I him, and he may be mulct m c.tsts to twenty times the amount of the few shilling he rjny perhaps have sought to recover. The next question id before whom this hearing is to take place, who presides as judge, on the occasion, and upon this subject I will address you iu my next" lucubratipu. In the mean time, I remain, Mr. Editor, Yours fauli'nlly, December 15th, 1813. LY (J L/ 11 Cj L; s. (To be (contained.) "V'

[No title]



[No title]