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Nuisance-Electricity-Damage-Telephone Company-Tramway Com


A man who creates on his land an electric current for his own purposes, and discharges it into the earth beyond his control, is on the principle of Fletcher v. Rylands as responsible for damage caused by that current as he would have been if, instead, he had discharged a stream of water. Where the act is done in pursuance of a provisional order of the Board of Trade, it is protected to the same extent as other nuisances under statutory authority.

A tramway company, acting under a provisional order and using the best known system of electrical traction, caused electrical disturbance in the wires of a telephone company acting under license from the Postmaster-General :

Held, that the tramway company are protected from liability for nuisance.-(L. R. [1893] 2 Ch., p. 186.)




[DECEMBER 17TH, 1892.]

Common-Copyhold-Custom for Lord to make Grants of WasteConsent of Homage-Enfranchisement-Statutory Reservation of Right of Common-Copyhold Act, 1852 (15 & 16 Vict. c. 51), s. 45. Where a custom existed in a manor for the lord, with the consent of the homage, to make grants of portions of the waste, to be held on copyhold tenure, although a sufficiency of common was not left:

Held, that such a grant might be made by the lord, with the consent of the homage, as against a commoner, although his tenement had been enfranchised under the Copyhold Act, 1852, and he could therefore no longer attend the manor court.-(L. R. [1893] 1 Q. B., p. 228.)




Lands Clauses Acts-Compensation-Procedure--Notice to Treat-Determination of Amount of Compensation by Justices.

On May 14th, 1891, a railway company, empowered by statute to make compulsory purchase of certain lands, served the lessee of part


of such lands with notice to treat. At that time the lessee held under a thirty years' lease, which was terminable by the lessor under certain conditions by three months' notice. No further steps were taken by either party under the notice to treat; and on June 30th, 1892, the lessor gave the lessee notice to terminate the tenancy at the expiration of three months. On July 20th the railway company required and took possession of the land under section 85 of the Lands Clauses Consolidation Act, 1845, and took out a summons, to determine the amount of compensation due to the lessee, before a metropolitan magistrate under section 121 of that Act, which enables justices to determine the amount of compensation when the land required is in the possession of any person "having no greater interest therein than as a tenant for a year or from year to year." The magistrate considered that he had no jurisdiction to entertain the matter on the ground that the value of the interest of the lessee in the land must be considered at the date of the notice to treat, and not at the date at which the land was actually required and taken :—

Held, that since no proceedings had been taken under the notice to treat, the fact that it had been given was immaterial, and that the magistrate had therefore jurisdiction under section 121 to determine. the amount of compensation.-[L.R. [1893] 1 Q.B., p. 533.]



[JANUARY 30TH, 1893.]

Agreement to refer to Arbitration-Indorsement on Briefs by CounselArbitration Act 1889 (52 & 53 Vict. c. 49), s. 27-Agreement in Writing.

An agreement having been come to to refer to arbitration certain claims, being part of a (counterclaim in an action, the terms of the reference were indorsed by counsel representing the parties on their briefs.

Held, that such indorsement constituted an agreement to refer the claims in question to arbitration, and that it amounted to a submission within sect. 27 of the Arbitration Act 1889 (52 & 53 Vict. c. 49), which requires that the submission should be "a written agreement."(L.T., Q.B.D., vol. lxviii., N.S., p. 530.)




[JANUARY 31ST, 1893.]

Principal and Agent-Sale of Real Property-Payment of Deposit to Solicitor as Agent-Action to recover Deposit from Agent.

On the sale of premises by auction the purchaser paid a deposit to the vendor's solicitor as agent for the vendor. The sale went off through

the default of the vendor, and the purchaser brought an action to recover the deposit from the solicitor:

Held, that the payment of the deposit to the solicitor was equivalent to payment to the vendor, and that the action could not be maintained. (L. R. [1893] 1 Q. B., p. 350.)



[FEBRUARY 2ND, 1893.]

Metropolis management-New street-Building within 50 feet of the highway-Beyond general line of buildings-Building structure or erection—Garden wall or fence—Metropolis Management Act 1862 (25 and 26 Vict. c. 102), secs. 75, 98-41 and 42 Vict. c. 32, sec. 6.

The appellant erected upon his land in a new street in the metropolis a wall in advance of and at right angles to the general line of buildings without the consent in writing of the London County Council. The said wall extended 20 feet towards the centre of the roadway from the front of the appellant's house which was in the general line of buildings, and within 50 feet of the highway. The wall was 9 inches thick, and from 7 feet to 7 feet 8 inches high above the level of the pavement, and 14 inches thick and 8 feet deep below the said level.

Held, that the wall was a "building, structure, or erection" within the meaning of sect. 75 of the Metropolis Management Act 1862, and therefore could not be erected within 50 feet of the highway, and in advance of the general line of buildings in the street, without the consent in writing of the London County Council.-(L.T., Q.B.D. vol. lxviii., N.S., p. 291.)



[FEBRUARY 9TH, 1893.]

Poor-rate--Exemptions-Crown Property-Volunteer Corps-Storehouse-Volunteer Act, 1863 (26 & 27 ict. c. 65), sec. 26.

Premises occupied by a volunteer corps for the purpose of the service of the corps, and being reasonably necessary for such service, are occupied by servants of the Crown for the purposes of the Crown, and, therefore, are exempt from rates.

Therefore, premises occupied by the teer corps for the purpose of the se reasonably necessary for such service, a

manding officer of a volunce of the corps, and being xempt from rates, including

both such part of the premises as is a storehouse for the depositing and safe keeping of arms, ammunition, and stores, within the meaning of sec. 26 of the Volunteer Act, 1863, and, therefore, exempted from rates by that section, and all such other parts of the premises as are reasonably necessary for the service of the corps.—(L.R. [1893] 1 Q.B., p. 389.)



[FEBRUARY 10TH, 1893.]

Easement-Light-Prescription-Lease-Prescription Act, 1832 (2 ₫ 3 Will. 4, c. 71), s. 3.

Two tenements were held under leases from the same landlord. The lessee of the first enjoyed access of light to his windows over the second tenement for more than twenty years prior to the expiration of his lease. He continued to hold under an agreement for a lease for a term still running. The lease of the second tenement was subsequently surrendered; the landlord granted a lease to a new tenant :

Held, that the tenant of the first tenement had a right to access of light over the second tenement.

This was a motion for an interlocutory injunction restraining the defendant from erecting the back wall of a theatre he was building so as to obstruct the access of light to windows of three houses 31, 32, and 33, Lisle Street, of which the plaintiff was lessee. A question arose on the motion whether the plaintiff had a prescriptive right to the access of light to two of his houses, 32 and 33, Lisle Street, over premises No. 18, Rider Court, Cranbourne Street, which formed part of the site of the defendant's theatre. Lord Salisbury was the landlord of both the plaintiff's and the defendant's premises. In December, 1882, the plaintiff occupied Nos. 32 and 33, Lisle Street, under a lease for twentyone years, expiring on the 25th of December, 1882. He and his predecessors in title had enjoyed access of light to the premises through the same windows on the south side of his houses over No. 18, Ryder Court, for a period of more than twenty years. On the 22nd of December, 1882, the Marquis of Salisbury agreed to grant him a fresh lease of those two houses for a term of twelve years from the 25th of December, 1882, and he continued after the expiration of his lease to occupy and pay rent under the agreement. In December, 1882, No. 18, Ryder Court was held by one William Thompson of the Marquis of Salisbury, under a lease for twenty-one years, which would have expired on the 24th of June, 1888. That lease was surrendered to the Marquis of Salisbury in 1887, and he granted a fresh lease of 18, Ryder Court, for ten years from the 24th of June, 1887, to one August Neuendorff. The

defendant was assignee from Neuendorff. The premises No. 18, Ryder Court were also subject to an agreement for the building of a theatre on a site including the site of that house. This building agreement, to which the Marquis of Salisbury was party, was vested in the defendant.


NORTH, J.-As regards the legal aspect of the case, I think the matter is entirely free from doubt.

The plaintiff's father became lessee of what I will call the plaintiff's houses, Nos. 32 and 33, in the year 1862, for a term of twenty-one years expiring at Christmas, 1882. In the year 1880 the plaintiff succeeded his father, and entered into possession of the property, and the lease was assigned to him, and he became tenant of the property. At the end of that time he did not go out, because, a few days before, an arrangement had been made by written agreement, under which he was to have a renewal of the lease for a term which will expire at Christmas, 1894-that is to say, nearly two years of that have yet to run. The parties have allowed it to rest in agreement. No actual lease has been prepared, but the rent has been paid on the footing of the agreement, and the mere fact that a formal parchment-deed has not taken the place of the agreement for a lease is, in my opinion, immaterial.

The defendant is the owner of opposite property, with certain intervening property belonging to other persons, coming between the two; and 18, Ryder Court, which is the site of part of the theatre which the defendant is erecting, was made the subject of a lease by the landlord of the property to one Neuendorff in the year 1887, and in 1891 that lease was assigned to the defendant. These leases that I have mentioned (it is clearly proved as to the defendant's lease) have been leases succeeding previous leases by the landowner, and no doubt the plaintiff's father's lease had been so too, because the houses are old houses. The houses comprised in both leases are old houses, built a good many years ago-far more than twenty years since. The sites of both belong to Lord Salisbury, and are part of the Salisbury estate in London.

The question is, What are the legal rights of these parties? Assuming there was no legal right, either actual or inchoate, in 1862because that is the point at which I must begin, as I cannot fix any definite time earlier at which these houses were existing-assuming that there was no right to light in 1862, at any rate when the plaintiff's father went into occupation the time for the acquisition of a right by statute to have the light coming to 32 and 33 and 34 at the back over the adjoining lands began to run, and at the end of twenty years from that time that right became absolute and indefeasible under the 3rd section of the Prescription Act. The fact that the premises have not been in the occupation of the same person all along is clearly immaterial. It does not matter what the number of tenants may have been, because the Act says: "When the access and use of light to and for

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