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The Legal Observer,
"Stuu attorneyed at your service."-Shakespeare,
SATURDAY, APRIL 19, 1856.
SUMMARY OF COUNTY COURT
pense of 90,0001. a year, and travelling exPROPOSED AMENDMENTS. penses, had been imposed on the resources
of the Chancellor of the Exchequer when
the “Small Debts" Bill was first intro. We submitted to our readers, some weeks duced, there would have been any chance of ago, the several clauses in the Lord Chan- its passing? We cannot but believe that if cellor's Amendment Bill relating to the the truth, the whole truth, and nothing County Courts. It may be convenient
but the truth” had been advanced on the briefly to state the alterations which the
first proposal of these Courts, they would Bill proposes. Although introduced on the 11th March into the House of Lords, the
in all probability never have existed, and second reading has not yet been appointed, certainly have not been enlarged and ex
as . and it is well that time has thus been af
We believe that the clerks of the County forded to consider the subject.
Courts, or Registrars, as the Bill proposes The Judges and officers of these new Courts appear to be equally dissatisfied they should hereafter be called, are in many, with the amount of their emoluments. The
if not the majority of instances, insufficiently measure was introduced in the humble form remunerated for the duties they have to of “a Small Debts Court.” Such was the perform; and we should be glad to see this title of the first Act. It was to supersede the Court should have a just and fair allow,
grievance redressed. The chief officers of and render uniform the small local Courts called Courts of Request. The salaries of ance for their services. We understand the Judges were to be 1,0001. a year,
that many of them do not receive sufficient afterwards increased to 1,2001., -and now
to pay their subordinate clerks and the exthe struggle is to raise them to 1,5001.
pense of their offices. In the outset the salaries of the Judges, the exclusive privilege of the Bar to be ap.
It is scarcely necessary to observe that their clerks, and other officers were to be pointed to these Judgeships is continued, paid by fees, as the assessors or clerks of both as to the Judges themselves and their the Courts of Request had been. The deputies in case of absence. And now that startling amount of the County Court fees the jurisdiction of the Courts are so much and the heavy costs to the poor suitors, as compared with the fees of the Superior ferred on them, with larger salaries, there
enlarged and further powers are to be conCourts, have induced the proposers of the is but little prospect of any change in the present Bill to relieve the suitors by judicial qualification. “ Barristers of seven throwing the salaries of the Judges on
years' standing” will, of course, be excluthe Consclidated Fund to the amount of
sively appointed. about 90,0001. a year, besides travelling expenses. We cannot but admit that the State extended to the following matters :
The jurisdiction of the Courts is to be should pay the Judges of all the Courts;
Actions for malicious prosecutions may but we venture to ask whether, if this ex- be brought in the County Court.
Vol. LI. No. 1,467.
Summary of County Court Proposed Amendments. A summons may issue though the cause The districts of the Metropolitan Courts of action does not arise in the district. are to be treated as one district, so that a
Where a set-off reduces the claim to 501., plaintiff residing in the jurisdiction of one the County Court is to have jurisdiction. of the Metropolitan Courts may sue a de
Its jurisdiction is also extended by the fendant residing within the jurisdiction of present Bill in cases between landlord and any other of such Courts. tenant. The possession of small tenements In certain cases the Judge may direct the may be recovered by plaint, and if the cause to be tried in a neighbouring Court. tenant neglect to appear, or refuse to give The Judge of a Superior Court may possession, the Judge may, on proof of the direct a cause to be tried in a County Court. service of the summons, issue a warrant to Summonses to witnesses may be served enforce possession.
by th party, his attorney, or agent. Proceedings by the landlord may also be If the demand exceed 201., the defendtaken in the County Court for non-payment ant must give notice of defence, or suffer of rent.
judgment by default. Why not in all And judgment may be obtained for cases ? mesne profits.
The Judge's power to direct the payment The registrar is empowered to grant Re- of the debť by instalments is limited to plerins and assign replevin bonds. cases not exceeding 201. This limitation,
An action may also be brought for re- we submit, should apply to debts of 101. covery of possession by a mortgagee where Indeed it is a sufficient hardship on a plaina mortgage debt does not exceed 1001; and tiff in small debts to go to the Court for in ejectment by a mortgagee where the the various instalments that may be paid in. mortgagor pays the principal, interest, and costs into Court, a reconveyance will be en- The costs of Attorneys are limited to 108. forced by the Court.
where the debt or damages claimed do not So in cases of interpleader :- Where a exceed 51., and to 158. where they do not defendant alleges that the right in the sub- exceed 201., and no further or extra costs ject-matter of the plaint belongs to a third can be recovered from the client, unless the party, the Court may order such third party registrar on taxation shall be satisfied that to appear and maintain or relinquish his the client agreed in writing to pay such claim, and in the meantime stay proceed further charges. ings against the original defendant; and if
In cases under 201. the fees to Counsel such third party does not appear, the Court are not to be allowed, except by leave of may bar his claim against the original de- the Judge. fendant.
Where the claim exceeds 201. the costs In case of the death of either the plain. are to be taxed according to a scale to be tiff or defendant, the proceedings may be settled by the Judges with the concurrence continued by or against the executor or of the Superior Courts. administrator.
So neither marriage, bankruptcy, nor insolvency are to abate the proceedings.
There does not appear to be any clause Some amendment seems required in the giving the suitor the option of proceeding 45th clause, relating to the priority of exe- 201.
, and consequently he will be subjected cutions of the County Courts where there to the loss of his time in entering the plaint are also executions from the Superior and attending to support it, and applying Courts. As the clause is worded, it ap- from time to time for the instalments in pears that some preference as to time is which the debt is ordered to be paid. This given to the County Courts. This, we loss and inconvenience will often occasion presume, cannot be intended, but the frame the abandonment of claims which might be of the clause requires attention.
enforced (where there is no defence) at Amongst the improvements which the small expense in the Superior Courts, Bill effects in the course of the County where the business is done by the attorney Court proceedings, are the following :- or his clerk, and the plaintiff has no occa
As to the service of process, where the sion to leave his place of business. claim exceeds 201., the plaintiff or his at
Thus the suitors are driven into the torney may serve the summons on the County Courts nolens volens, although we defendant. This restored right should be are constantly informed that they are allowed where the claim amounts to 101., greatly esteemed and pre-eminently popular. if not still lower.
But then it is said that if this option were
New Statutes effecting Allerations in the Law.
475 permitted, the defendants would have to pay | fendant at large, and witnesses may be larger costs in the Superior Courts. Such, compelled to attend the trial ; s. 12. however, would not be the case in actions Expenses of the prosecution and rewards above 101. ; and if it were so, we think may be ordered to be paid ; s. 13. some regard should be had for the conveni. Her Majesty in Council may make rules ence and interests of the creditor, instead of to effect the purposes of this Act; s. 14. the continuance of these modern provisions No objection to be taken to any writ of which are designed to favour the negligent, certiorari, order, or other proceeding for extravagant, or dishonest debtor.
removing any indictment, &c.; s. 15.
When the indictment has been transmit. NEW STATUTES EFFECTING ALTE- ted the Central Criminal Court shall have RATIONS IN THE LAW.
the same authority as if the offence had
been committed within its jurisdiction ; TRIAL OF OFFENCES.-19 Vict. c. 16.
It shall not be necessary to prove that Power to Court of Queen's Bench to order indictments removed into that Court,
indictment has been properly removed
or transmitted ; s. 17. either before or after passing of this Act to be tried at the Central Criminal Court ; s. 1.
Verdicts and judgments to be valid ; When any such order has been made, the indictment shall be transmitted to the Cen
Any person convicted may be sentenced tral Criminal Court; s. 2.
to be punished either in the county where
the offence was committed or within the The Court of Queen's Bench may order
jurisdiction of the Central Criminal Court; any person charged with any offence committed out of the jurisdiction of the Central Criminal Court to be tried at that Court, Newgate under this Act may be taken to
Any prisoner removed or committed to and thereupon a certiorari shall issue to and from the Central Criminal Court as remove the indictment into the Central often as necessary ; s. 20. Criminal Court ; s. 3. When any such order has been made, the detained under this Act shall be deemed to
Every prisoner whilst being removed or depositions, &c., shall be returned to the be in lawful custody ; s. 21. Central Criminal Court; s. 4. When any such order has been made, the
Any defendant on bail may be bailed prisoner shall be removed to Newgate; 's. 5. again or committed to Newgate; s. 22. A defendant need not appear in person or by recognizance to appear again at the
Prosecutor and witnesses may be bound plead in the Queen's Bench ; s. 6. A defendant shall be arraigned, plead, and Central Criminal Court ; s. 23.
The Court of Queen's Bench may impose be tried in the Central Criminal Court, as if the offence was committed within the juris-defendant applying to be tried at the Cen
any terms which seem reasonable on any diction of that Court; s. 7.
tral Criminal Court ; s. 24. When a certiorari is delivered to any
Where the Crown obtains a trial at the Court to remove any indictment, such Central Criminal Court, the expense of witCourt shall bind the prosecutor and wit
nesses shall be advanced to the defendant; nesses to appear on the trial ; s. 8. Where a certiorari is delivered to any
Power to Court to order expenses of any Court to remove any indictment, such Court may bail or commit any defendant who has person acquitted to be paid ; s. 26. appeared there under any recognizance ; offence was committed shall pay the ex
The Treasurer of the county where the S. 9. All recognizances to be obligatory on penses of the prisoner's maintenance, &c.,
in Newgate ; s. 27. persons entering into them to prosecute,
An account of the expenses of any pri&c., at the Central Criminal Court, if Court of Queen’s Bench may require party ted; s. 28. notice be given of the change of Court. soner shall be delivered to the treasurer of
the county where the offence was commitapplying for a trial at the Central Criminal
Act not to affect any peer or peeress ; Court to give notice to all parties bound by
s. 29. recognizance ; s. 10.
Where a certiorari is delivered to any Court the Court shall not discharge any
The following are the Title and Sections defendant then in prison ; s. 11.
of the Act :Process may be issued against any de- An Act to empower the Court of Queen's
New Statutes effecting Alterations in the Law. Bench to order certain Offenders to be tried 4. Whenever any such order as is mentioned at the Central Criminal Court.
in any preceding section of this Act shall have [11th April, 1856.] been made, the justice before whom any person
charged with any offence by such indictment Whereas it would contribute to the better shall have been examined, the coroner before administration of criminal justice in England whom such inquisition shall have been taken, and Wales if persons charged with indictable the clerk of assize, clerk of the peace, or any offences committed out of the jurisdiction of other person having the custody or possession the Central Criminal Court were rendered thereof, shall forthwith, upon the delivery to liable to be tried in certain cases at the said him of an office copy of such order, transmit Central Criminal Court: Be it therefore en- any recognizances, depositions, examinations, acted as follows:
or informations relating to the offence charged 1. Whenever any indictment or inquisition in such indictment or inquisition which shall for any felony or misdemeanor committed or be in his custody or possession to the proper supposed to have been committed at any place officer of the said Central Criminal Court, to out of the jurisdiction of the said Central be by him kept among the records of the said Criminal Court shall have been removed by Central Criminal Court. writ of certiorari into her Majesty's Court of 5. Whenever any such order as is mentioned Queen's Bench, either before or after the pass- in any preceding section of this Act shall have ing of this Act, and it shall appear to such been made, and any indictment or inquisition Court in Term time, or to any Judge thereof shall have been transmitted or removed to the in Vacation, that it is expedient to the ends of said Central Criminal Court under the projustice that such indictment or inquisition visions of this Act, the gaoler or keeper of any should be tried at the said Central Criminal gaol or house of correction in which any perCourt, it shall be lawful for such Court of son charged with any offence by such indictQueen's Bench in Term time, or for such Judgement or inquisition shall be confined shall thereof in Vacation, to order that such indict- forthwith upon the delivery to him of an office ment or inquisition shall be tried at the said copy of such order, without writ of babeas Central Criminal Court.
corpus or other writ for that purpose, cause 2. Whenever any such order shall have been such person, with his commitment and demade, the Queen's coroner and attorney, or tainer, to be safely removed to her Majesty's other officer having the custody of the records gaol of Newgate in the city of London ; and of the said Court of Queen’s Bench shall forth- thereupon the keeper of the said gaol of Newwith upon notice of such order transmit such gate shall receive such person into his custody indictment or inquisition so removed by certi- in the said gaol of Newgate, there to remain orari as in the preceding section mentioned, until he shall be delivered by due course of together with any depositions, examinations, or Law. informations relating to any offence charged 6. Whenever any application shall be made therein which shall be in his custody to the to the said Court of Queen's Bench or to any proper officer of the said Central Criminal Judge thereof, either before or after any inCourt, to be by him kept among the records of dictment or inquisition shall have been found the said Central Criminal Court.
or taken, for an order that any person charged 3. Whenever any person shall have been with any offence by such indiciment or inquicommitted or held to bail for any felony or sition, or committed or held to bail for any misdemeanor committed or supposed to have offence, shall be tried at the said Central Cribeen committed at any place out of the juris. minal Court, under the provisions of this Act, diction of the said Central Criminal Court, and it shall not be necessary for such person to be it shall appear to the said Court of Queen's brought or appear in person before the said Bench in Term time, or to any Judge thereof Court of Queen's Bench or the said Judge in Vacation, that it is expedient to the ends of thereof, either upon the making or the deterjustice that such person should be tried for mination of such application, and it shall not such offence at the said Central Criminal Court, be necessary for such person to plead any plea it shall be lawful for such Court of Queen's to such indictment or inquisition in the said Bench in Term time, or for such Judge there- Court of Queen's Bench in any case where of in Vacation, to order that such person shall such indictment of inquisition shall be ordered be tried for such offence at the said Central to be tried at the said Central Criminal Court Criminal Court, and thereupon a writ of certi, under the provisions of this Act. orari shall be issued to the justices of oyer and 7. Whenever any indictment or inquisition terminer or of gaol delivery, or of the peace, shall have been transmitted or removed to the before whom any indictment or inquisition said Central Criminal Court, under the procharging such person with such offence shall visions of this Act, any person charged with then be pending, or before whom any such in any offence by such indictment or inquisition, dictment shall thereafter be found, or to the shall be arraigned and shall plead to such incoroner before whom any such inquisition shall dictment or inquisition, and shall be tried in have been or shall thereafter.be taken, com- the said Central Criminal Court, in the same manding them or him to certify and return manner in all respects as if such offence had such indictment or inquisition into the said been actually committed within the jurisdiction Central Criminal Court.
of the said Central Criminal Court, and as if
New Statutes effecting Alterations in the Law.
477 such indictinent or inquisition had been origi- tral Criminal Court : Provided also, that where nally presented at or returned to the said Cen- it shall appear to any Court to which any writ tral Criminal Court.
of certiorari shall be delivered, for the purpose 8. Whenever any writ of certiorari shall be of removing any indictment or inquisition from delivered to any Court for the purpose of re- such Court, that any person so bound by removing any indictment or inquisition from cognizance has been personally served with such Court, such Court shall require any per. any such notice as in this section is mentioned, son who shall be attending su Court under it shall not be necessary for such Court to reany recognizance or subpæna to prosecute, or quire such person to enter into a fresh recogto prosecute and give evidence, or to give evi- nizance, unless it shall appear to such Court dence, upon the trial of such indictment or in- that it is expedient to the ends of justice that quisition, to enter into a recognizance in such such person should enter into such recognisum of money as to such Court shall seem fit, zance. to prosecute, or to prosecute and give evidence, 11. Whenever any writ of certiorari shall be or to give evidence, as the case may be, upon delivered to any Court for the purpose of rethe trial of such indictment or inquisition, moving any indictment or inquisition from whenever and wherever the same shall be tried. such Court, and any person charged with any
9. Whenever any writ of certiorari shall be offence by such indictment or inquisition shall delivered to any Court for the purpose of re- then be in prison, such person shall not be moving any indictment or inquisition from discharged by such Court out of prison, but such Court, it shall be lawful for such Court shall remain therein until he shall be removed either to require any person who shall be at- under the provisions of this Act or otherwise tending such Court under any recognizance to discharged by due course of law. take his trial upon such indictment or inqui- 12. Whenever any indictment or inquisition sition to enter into such recognizance, with so shall have been transmitted or removed to the many sureties, and in such sum or sums of said Central Criminal Court, under the promoney, and with such condition for his ap- visions of this Act, it shall be lawful for the said pearance and taking his trial upon such in- Central Criminal Court to issue process for apdictment or inquisition, whenever and wherever prehending any person charged by such indictthe same shall be tried, as to such Court shall inent or inquisition with any offence, and to seem fit, or to commit such person to the com- compel the attendance of witnesses, as well on mon gaol or house of correction for the county the part of the prosecution as on the part of or place for which such Court shall be holden, the defence, on the trial of such indictment or there to remain until he shall be removed under inquisition, in like manner as in cases of inthe provisions of this Act or otherwise deliver- dictments found at the said Central Criinival ed by due course of law.
Court for offences committed within the juris. 10. Every recognizance which shall have diction of the said Cen'ral Criminal Court; been or shall be entered into for the prosecu- and every such process shall and may be law. tion of any person, and every recognizance, as fully executed at any place within England well of any witness to give evidence as of any and Wales. person to answer for any offence, shall, in case 13. Whenever any indictment or inquisition any such order shall be made for the trial of shall have been transmited or reinored to the such offence at the said Central Criminal Court, said Central Criminal Court, under the probe obligatory on each of the parties bound by visions of this Act, it shall be lawful for the such recognizance to prosecute and give evi: said Central Criminal Court to order such exdence, and to do all other things therein men-penses of the prosecutor and witnesses, and tioned with reference to the said trial at the such other expenses, and such of the several said Central Criminal Court, in like manner as rewards payable in pursuance of any Statute if such recognizance had been originally en- made or to be made, as to such Central Crimitered into for prosecuting such offence, appear- nal Court shall seem reasonable and sufficient, ing, or giving evidence, or doing such other to be paid by and to the same persons and in things before the said Central Criminal Court: the saine manner as if such Central Criminal Provided, that notice in writing shall have Court were holden under commissions of oyer been given, either personally or by leaving the and terminer and gaol delivery for the county same at the place of residence as of which the or place in which such indictment shall have parties bound by such recognizance are therein been found or such inquisition shall have been described, to appear before the said Central taken. Criminal Court upon the trial of the said of. 14. It shall be lawsul for her Majesty, by fence : Provided also, that it shall be lawful for and with the advice of her most Honourable the said Court of Queen's Bench in Term time, Privy Council, from time to time to make rules or for any Judge thereof in Vacation, to cause and regulations touching the said gaol of Newthe party applying for such order, whether he gate, or any other gaol or prison, and the gobe the prosecutor or party charged with such vernment and keeping thereof, for the purposes offence, to enter into a recognizance in such of this Act, and touching the alteration of any sum, and with or without sureties, as such commissions, writs, precepts, or other proceedCourt or Judge may direct, conditioned to ings whatsoever for carrying into effect the purgive such notice to the parties bound by such' poses of this Act; and all such rules and recognizances to appear before the said Cen- regulations shall be of the like force and effect