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Rhyl County Court.


Rhyl County Court. J FRIDAY Before His Honour Judge Sir Horatio I jLloyd and Oliver George, Esq., Registrar. A QUESTION OF COSTS. Mr Joseph Lloyd applied to His Honour that a sum of ten shillings, witness' costs, which had been allowed to the defendant in the case of Foulkes v Pickersgill should be disallowed. This was an action heard at the last court in which the plaintiff succeeded on the claim and the defendant partially succeeded on a counter claim which he had filed. The Registraar had allowed defendant costs as witness but he contended as defendant in the action he had failed, while in regard to the counter-claim the rule provided that he should be treated as a plaintiff and as such he was not entitled to costs as a witness. The Judge upheld this contention and disallowed the costs of attendance granted to the defendant. THE METHODS OF INSURANCE COM- PANIES. HOW POOR PEOPLE ARE DUPED. Mr F. J. Gamlin said he had an application to make in respect to an action in which he appeared against the Pearl Life Assurance Company, whose head offices are in London, and who had agents ramifying all over the country getting insurance policies effected on the life of individuals, inducing parents to insure their children, children their parents, brothers their sisters, and sisters their brothers. He had as an application to make to His Honour under section 119 for extra costs to be allowed to him under the following circumstances. His client was a respectable servant girl in service at No. i Victoria Avenue, Prestatyn, and some years ago she insured I her father in the Pearl Life Assurance Company. She kept up the payments for some years and ultimately when her father died the money was paid to her. The agent of the Pearl Assurance Company went to her in tne month of June, 1900, and got her to take out a policy on the life of her brother, John Griffiths, of Ardd Ddu, Picton, Llanasa. representing that il she paid threepence a week on a little book which he gave her he would give her a policv. and on the death of her brother$he wovud be entitled to the sum of35. Everything went en as happily ts marriage bells so icng as the girl paid threepence a week which she did regularly. But unfortunately her brother was killed by being crushed by the falling cf a roof of a coal mi,e at Point of Ayr colliery on the 23rd April last. Thereupon she sent an intimation to the Assurance Company of the fact of her brother s death and claimed to be entitled and to be paid the sum oi £ lS 3s. under the policy. The agent came to see her, took away her policy and her receipt book so that she had absolutely nothing to show that she had paid anything in any shape or form. The agent told her that the Company repudiated all liability for the payment to her of any money, and therefore, could not recognize her claim at all. Her mistress very kindly interested herself on her behalf and laid the facts before him I Ir Gamlin). On the 10th of May he wrote to the Insurance people demanding payment of the claim £ l3 3s. and complaining that the agent should have taken away the policy and the premium book. They wrote in reply on the 13th of May in which they declined to acknowledge the case as a claim as the policy was a gambling one and void in law, and even if all were right his client could not give them a legal charge. If he (Mr Gamlin) considered that his client had a claim against the Company they requested him to send proof of death. This he (Mr Gamlin. did ar.d asked that the Company should send back the policy and the premium book pointing cut that they have no right to retain them. They did so stating that they had no wish to retain these documents as he seemed to suppose. He wrote to the Company stating that unless they paid the iS 3s. ha would put them in the County Court, and in reply they referred him to their letter of the 13th cf May. No doubt the position they took was a correct one in law, that was to say a sister had no insurable interest in the life of her brother, and strictly speaking they had a right to take the course they had. But he thought it was a case that ought to be made well known to people in humble circum- stances. It was the practice of this Company and he believed of other Companies to send their agents up and down the county to get relatives to insure each ether. Everything was alright so long as the premiums paid amounted to something like the claim. and the Company had enjoyed the use and the interest of the premium for all the years. But when as in this case an unfortunate accident happen- ed, and the amount payable was very much in excess cf the amount pa:d in premium the Companies turned around and stood on their strict legal rights Recognising that he could not obtain payment of claim he rut the Company in the County Court fer the sum of £2 12. I The juu5e: rer the return of the money paid in premiums ? Mr Gamlin said that was so. But he also made a statement in the claim which if the Company were mainly and straight forward they would come before H:s Honour to defend. He claimed for Z i2s. for money's received by the defendant from the plaintiff upon misrepresentations made by the defendant's agents. The Company had not the courage to come into court to meet that statement, and had five days previously paid the money into court so as to avoid publicity being given to the matter. Under section 119, the Judge could grant costs on a higher scale however small the amount in dispute provided it involved some novel question, or was of importance to some class or body of people, or was of general public interest. He thought this case was of im- portance to people in humble circumstances.— The Judge: It applies to a great many people besides people in humble circumstances. Mr Gamlin said he had some trouble in getting up the case and he asked His Honour to allow him £ 2 2s. for special costs. The Judge said he should be glad to do it as he thought it was a case under which he could do it morally. But he did not think it could be done legally. The woman had paid the money under a mistake of law and in those-circumstances was lucky to gt:t theZ2 12s. back. CLAIM FOR RENT IN ADVANCE. CURIOUS PROCEEDINGS. Messrs H. Percival Williams and D. Treahearn claimed of Mr and Mrs Pugh, of Bedford Street, Rhyl, the sum of £j ios., being three months rent in advance of No. Bedford Street, due on the tst of May. Mr H. Percival Williams was for the plaintiff, and Mr F. J. Gamlin for the defendant. Mr Percival Williams said the male defendant had obtained possession of the premises from him under false pretences. He said that as soon as he was in possession of the shop he would stock it with boots and shoe, thereby, leading him to believe that there would be goods there on which he could levy distress. He had entered into possession of the shop, and had painted the window, the shop being empty while he used the back premises for a repairing business which was, of course, not the kind of business that should be carried on in premises of this kind. Finding out that he was an undesirable tenant, they made an arrangement with a certain client of theirs who would take possession of the premises and pay the defendant the sum cf £$if he would hand over possession. He said he would consider the matter and subsequently wrote to say that as he could not find a suitable place at the present time he must continue the tenancy for the present. What they now sued him was for £ 5 ios. one quarter's rent due in advance in accordance with the terms of the agree- ment. He would take judgment for ^"5 xos. payable by instalments ofCI ics. a month in order to give the defendant a chance, and if he made default he should apply to His Hounour for an ejectment order. The bailiff of the County Court had inspected the premises to ascertain what his stock was, and he intimated that the value of every- thing on the premises would not exceed £1. Under those circumstances a distress was out of question. Mr D. Trehearn cr.e cf the plaintiffs, gave evidence in support of Mr Williams' statement. Cross-examined by Mr Gamlin He did not think he was present when the agreement was signed. Mrs Pugh was made a co-tennant because they did not consider that Mr Pugh was a good substantia! .1 tenant, and there was a letter from Mrs Pugh's solicitors showing that she had some means. Defendant would never be able to pay the rent because he had not a /"t worth of goods in the place. If he would give up possession now they would fnr°~o the rent that had accrued. '^Mr* Gamlin: I believe that \0U and your Cti<- plaintiff have been humbugging the man a great deal.—No, it is just the other Way abbtot. This is a letter from vouf solicitor and Co-plaintiff's, dated 19th May, Sir, We are in recept of yours of the 18th inst. According to the agreement made between us, you must pay us your rent in advance, and if you do cot do so jvithjn 21 days we can re-enter possession." Is^that "\rue y_I am not a solicitor and I leave that to liirn. The letter continues. So we write to inform you that if the quarters' rent be not paid by the 24th inst we shall put the bailiff in possession and seize your goods and we shall also demand the key and aject you," Did you intend to do that — Yes, if thefj was anything to seize* And to elect him ? —Yes. Mr H. P. Williams having giveh evMttce as to the signing of the agreement by the patties. Mr Gamlin said his client had been charged with obtaining the shop by false pretences, with being an Undesirable tenant, and had applied to him all sorts ot undesirable epithets. Defendant was an honest respectable man, but unfortunately for him he was poor, and there was also cast upon him the obligation cf maintaining seven little children. Plaintiffs had made full inquiries into defendant's position befefre accepting him as elant. He had meant to 3tart business in a modest and careful way. True he could not afford to liberally furnish the place and decorate it. Plaintiffs themseives had left it in a shocking condition. Mr D. Trehearn Nonsense, why don't you tell the truth. Mr Gamlin I shall ask His Honour to order you out of the court unless you behave yourself properly. Proceeding, he said the premises were only provided with one closet between the two houses and the children and attendants of the other tenant had access to it. The back was strewn with rubbbh and an accumulation of matter that required removal. but it was neither here nor there. Defendant had j not been able to furnish the place through lack of means to the satisfaction of the landlord, and as soon as he entered into possession they tried to get him out in some way or other. First ef all they offered £5 to get rid of him, because he presumed they had got a man who would pay a little more rent for the premises. Having tailed that way they threatened to put the bailiff in his house and to eject him without bringing any action at law. He characterised the letter conveying that threat as about the most extraordinary he had ever read. Now they sued him for c 5 ios for rent due in advance, having abandoned their alter- native claim for possession. In support of their claim they produced an agreement signed by the defendant which stipulated that the rent should be paid in advance. Ha would ask His Honour to say, after hearing the evidence, that the defendants were misled into signing that agreement, it being represented that the clause as to payment in advance was only a matter of form, and that he would never be asked for payment of the rent in advance. For- tunately there was an independent witness present at the time who would corroborate that. If persons were allowed to get an agreement signed in that manner and repudiate their statement two or three month" later he did not know where they would stand as business men. Evidence was given to the effect that Mr Williams stated that the defendants would not be called upon to pay the rent in advance by the defendants and Mr Warren Taylor. The Judge said that upon the evidence he could not go outside the agreement. If the defendants had any serious-objection to the clause stipulating for pay- ment in advance they ought not to have signed the agreement. There would be judgment for plaintiffs j for the amount claimed payable by instalments of 30s. a month. CURTAIN AD VERTISING IN RHYL. Harold Charles Lamb, painter and decorator, Rhyl, claimed from Messrs Brooks and Walker, of Cheapside Chambers, Bradford, the sum of 6t6 ios. for work done. Mr F. J. Gamlin for the plaintiff said that the defendants were a firm who went to different places like Rhyl, Llandudno and Colwyn Bay, and secured from the managers of theatres and halls the advertis- ing rights on the drop curtain of the theatre, paying them a certain amount for the privilege. They would then approach the various tradespeople in the town to take spaces. fhe defendants secured the advertising rights on the curtain of the Queen's Palace, Rhyl, and instructed the plaintiff to paint the different advertisements thereon. He sent in an estimate for the sum of £ "r6 ios. which was accepted. He did the work and applied for payment; and as he could get no satisfaction he instructed him (Mr Gamlin) to apply for payment. They replied on the 12 th May stating that their local agent complained of bad work, and in consequence of complaints received from their clients at Rbyl, they were deferring payment of their account until they knew what the cost of repainting would be. He did not feel disposed to allow them to dictate as to whom they should pay the money and had, therefore, sued them for the amount now claimed. The plaintiff having given evidence was cross- examined by Mr Fawcett, defendants' manager. He said he received instructions to do the work from the defendants' agent. He did not remember his name but he lived at 5 Lilly Terrace, Rhyl. Mr Fawcett: You have not got him here. Mr Gamlin You know that he is in gaol on the prosecution of your firm. Mr Fawcett said that the plaintiff had never had any communication with the defendants with respect to the matter in any shape or form, except the letter from his solicitor demanding payment. Mr Gamlin: How long have you been in their employ in Rhyl ? Mr Fawcett: I have beenlhere since Southern was taken away. Mr Gamlin: Do you swear that the plaintiff has not had direct communication with the firm ? Mr Fawcett: I do. Mr Gamlin Are you saying now what is absolutely true or what is absolutely false ? Mr Fawcett: This is my telegram from them. Mr Gamlin Never mind your telegram. Do you mean to suggest that a respectable firm has asked you to come here to perjure yourself. Here is a letter from Messrs Brooks and Walker to the plaintiff acknowledging the receipt of the estimate and giving certain instructions. Evidence was given by Mr George Bell and Mr A. Crompton to the effect that the work was excellently done, especially considering the texture of the curtain, and the price was most reasonable. His Honour gave judgment for the full amount claimed with costs.

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