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1 correction by doug.butler - Show corrections

LAW COURTS

SUPREME COURT CIVIL SITTINGS. TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 1. [Before his Honor Mr. Justice Bundey and a special jury.] GRUNDY V. GEYER.

Mr. W. V. Smith, with Mr. Moore, appeared for the plaintiff; and the Hon. C. Mann, Q.C., with Mr. Harold Downer and Mr. M. Rowe for the defendant.

This case, which was originally a claim for wages and for damages for wrongful dismissal j from service and libel, and which had been 1 commenced on January 25, was continued. On Thursday last a nonsuit was ordered in the libel part of the action, and Mr. Smith now applied that tbe nonsuit should be withdrawn to allow the jury an opportunity of assessing damages on the alleged libel, if they thought Jit to do so, subject to the court afterwards saying whether there was a libel or not, and that he might be allowed to call evidence as to the nature of th? libel, which his Honor had previously declined to admit, to allow of damages being properly assessed. In support be quoted several autho rities. ia—lMiM?—? Mr. Mann opposed the application, conteuj ing that there was no precedent for such an unusual course being adopted. He failed to see that Mr. Smith had strengthened his cases by the authorities quoted, and pointed out the prejudicial effect the granting of the applica tion would have on bis client. His Honor was not so weak-minded that he would decline to admit he was in the wrong if he felt satisfied he was so, but he felt that the cases quoted by Mr. Smith did not conflict with the case of MiiHipm v. Cole and others on which he based the nonsuit on Thurs day last. He had not only reserved Mr. Smith a case on the nonadmis?ion of certain evidence, but also on the nonsuit, and under the circum stances be would not grant the application, which would entail the opening op of a fresh case, F. H. Molesworth, acting principal of the Agricultural College at Roseworttay, and a bachelor of science, said he was in the defen dant's employ from the end of January to May 31,1885. The plaintiff came to business every morning between half-past 9 and 10 o'clock, generally a quarter to 10, and left during week days at 5 o'clock. On Saturday he departed at 1 o'clock in the afternoon, rarely returning in the evening when witness was there. The plaintiff never returned on weekday nights. He used to be in the office, but co far as witness saw did nothing. He took money from the till sometimes twice a day, but generally once and then in the evening. Two competent men would have been sufficient to manage the business, whereas there were : three men and a boy. On the first Tues day and Thursday in Jane and in fbe weeks that elapsed from then up to Jnly 10 was in charge of the shop during the evening. Was also left to look after the premises during a portion of Sunday, and re ceived remuneration of a few shillings, and was provided with a bed to sleep in. ' A book was kept to denote what goods were required. Had frequently to send out for patent medicines, such as St. Jacobs Oil, while customers were waiting in the Bbop. Had had 16 years' experience as a chemist, and had been manager of a chemical and dyeing works where 1,500 hands were employed. Thought Mr. Grundy managed the business badly. Cross examined—Hadbeeninthe country about a month when he went into the defendant's employ. Before leaving England he was 12 months doing nothing. Prior to that he was in Sydney, where he was in a chemist's shop for six months, the longest period he bad ever been in a chemist's business. Would swear that while he was in the defen dant's shop plaintiff only dispensed two or three lames. On those occasions he questioned the witness as to where the goods required were. Alfred Bonnin, of Adelaide, solicitor, carry ing on business with Mr. Bowe, said he had acted as solicitor and confidential adviser to the defendant for a long time. Was acting on Mrs. Geyer's behalf in connection with the dif solution of partnership of the firm of Main & Geyer. Wrote on August 16,1882, to tbe plaintiff informing him that Mrs. Geyer bad not decided to enter into partnership with him and offering him £8 per week as manager. Witness then referred to interviews that had taken place between himself and the plaintiff respecting the terms of the engagement, and swore that prior to his entering into tbe service of Mrs, Geyer no agreement bad been arrived at. No formal agreement was ever drawn up or anything said about notice. Negotiations for the borrowing of £800 from tbe building society was opened up by Mrs. Gejer through witness. The money was borrowed at 7 per cent, on the lease of the premises ai>d on building society shares. The sum was obtained to enable the defendant to pay witness £750, moneys paid by him on her behalf to Mrs. Main on the dissolution of the partnership. When the business was first started he frequently went down to the shop and chatted with the plaintiff, but afterwards his vieits became fewer. He bad great confi dence in the plaintiff's integrity and ability, and had known him for many years. Fre quently met Mr. Grundy away from the shop on Saturday afternoons. Had heard that he was a cricket enthusiast. Witness then re ferred to the events which led up to the stock taking, and said that when spoken to on the matter plaintiff remarked, "My management of the bneiness had been simply nnparaUelled." In a subsequent interview witness said to Mr. Gtundy, "As you have brought the ship on the rock, bow much will yon give for the wreck?" The latter replied that ite would be very sorry for it to appear that he wished to get tbe business from Mrs. Geyer. After this, and on December 2,1558, he received a letter from the plaintiff, but on Mr. Bkkford being seen the defendant declined to sell the busi ness. In accordance with a statement con tained in a letter sent by him to Mr. Grundy on December 9 he instructed Mr. V. Lawrance to examine the books at tbe shop. Tbe report received from that gentleman was that the busi ness had considerably fallen away since 1882. At the close of an interview in July, 1886, the plaintiff voluntarily offered to take £8 a week as wages instead of £9. Cross-examined— Defendant being bis sister-in-law he was natu rally interested in her business affairs. Mrs. Main borrowed £400 from Mrs. Geyer at the ! rate of 12i per cent, interest, which was paid off at the time of dissolution in No vember, 1882. Advanced the money to Mrs. Geyer to lend to Mrs. Main. Would not swear that he had never told plaintiff that Mrs. Geyer intended to retire from business. Charles Neville, chemist, and present manager for Geyer & Co., said he had 17 years ago entered the service of Main & Geyer as an apprentice, and remained in the business ever since. Did not know the ternu of the dissolu tion of partnership of Main & Geyer, nor the terms on which the plaintiff had been engaged. Witness then corroborated the evidence given by Mr. Molesworth respecting the hours at which Mr. Grundy attended at the shop, the unnecessary size of the staff of assistants, and the shortness of stock in tbe shop. He was one of those who took stock. A quantity of unsaleable good 3 valued at the average cost was taken into consideration during the stock taking. Vinrace Lawrance, a member of the firm of Lawrance & Brook, was employed to in vestigate the books kept by Mr. Grundy. His report was a correct synopsis of bis investiga tions. The accounts furnished to Mrs. Geyer by tbe plaintiff from time to time did not indicate the state of the stock and capital, but were mere financial statements. Henry Bickford, a member of the firm of Bickford & Sons, said two of his assistants took an inventory of the goods at the defendant's shop. When he visited the premises Mr. Grundy frequently called on Mr. Neville to supply him with information respecting the stock sheets. Fixtures were included in the stock sheets at prices estimated by the plaintiff. Assuming that a druggist shop was fairly managed the turnover on £8,256 worth of goods should be 15 per cent. By reference to his books plaintiff should have known that he was encroaching on his original stock and decreas ing bis capital. Cross-examined—Since tbe failure of tbe Commercial Bank retail chemist businesses bad fallen away. R.S. Burnell and D. B. Ferris testified to   having taken the defendant's stock. The latter called over, and Burnell wrote down. Josephine Geyer, widow, living at East Adelaide, had at one time carried on business with Mrs. Main, but latterly had had no partner. She took no part in the business', but diew £t> per week and an additional £50 every year as a bonus up to 18S5. Mr. Grundy had never complained of her receiving£6 per week, although be had protested always as to the payments to the building society. Cross examined—-Had always communicated her business to Mr. Bonnin, and had told Mr. Gtundy to do tbe same. Placed implicit con fidence in her brother nvlaw, and plaintiff was aware of this. This closed the evidence for tbe defence. The plaintiff, recalled, said he did not say to Mr. Bonnin during the interview respecting the overdraft or at any time that he had told the manager of the bank " that the lease had several years to run, and that he had £2,000 or £3,000 worth of stock on hand," or anything to that effect. He had also never heard Mr. Bonnin say to him, "Now you have got the ship on the rock what will you pay for the wreck?' The case was then adjourned until the follow ing morning.

hotel, SXllta. 6d.; personal and family ?. penses, £62 6b. 2d.: insolvency ooeteTssiL. town od venation (Ship Inn). £6727J? &J debts, £16 7a. 6d.=£2.1641t5. 6d. HUtakmra have been £1,37155. 4cL Deficiency in QstatL £793 6s. Id. Causes of insolvency— Taking the Ship lan at too high a valuation, and heavy looses in consequence of pressure of creditors/ A second class certificate was awarded. In be Thomas Lctchfoed, of Kensington, Storekeeper.—Final hearing' Mr. A. Davieg for the insolvent The accountant reported that tbe insolvent had not attended at his office, and he had been informed thathehad left tbe colony. Adjonrned for a fortnight. In he J. Peabce Williams, of Fine-street, Adelaide, Livery Stablekeeper.—Final bear ing. The accountant repotted that some delays had arisen in the preparation of the schedule, and suggested two weeks' delay,. Adjourned for a fortnight. In be Fbedebick Delbaf, latejof Adelaide, Cabinetmaker. — Final hearing. Tbe ac cauntant reported:—" Liabilities—Unsecured, £62 3s. 9d.; secured. £21 10s.; cootiogent r £3=£B6 13s. 3d. Assets—Stock-in trade, &c (held under bill of sale) valued at £25. Deficiency, £61 13s. 9d. The insolvent is a cabinetmaker, and in January, 1886, was free from debt, and had plant, &c , valued at £100. Since then bis earnings are estimated at £121IGj. 3d.=£221 Ids. 3d. His expenditure has been £283 10a. Deficiency in estate, £61135. 9d. Causes of insolvency—Sick ness in family, depression in trade, and pressure of creditors." A second-class certifi cate was awarded. In be John Fennessy, of Hamilton, Hotel* keeper.—Final hearing. Ho accountant re ported :—" Liabilities—Unsecured, £111 135.; secured, £1,052 7a.=£L,164. Assets—Landed property (mortgaged), valued at £1,900; other property, unencumbered, £6 2s. Ud.=£L9oS &. lid. ApparentBurplas, £742 2s. lid. The insolvent was a licensed victualler, and on December 2,1885, had landed 'and other pro perty valned at £2,668105., leas mortgage and oilier creditors then, £1,076 la. 10s. Surplus at that date, £1,592 Bs. 2d. Since wen his takings are estimated at £130=£1,722 Bs. 2d. His expenditure has" been £980 ss. 3d. Apparent surplus in estate, £742 2a. lid. Causes of insolvency—Destruction oE hotel by fire, sickness, and depression in trade. The insolvent states that aU his books were destroyed by thefire which burnt down his hotel on December 3,1885. The insurance company reinstated the building and paid the insurance on the stock and fixtures." A first-class certificate was awarded. In bb John W. Davis, of Adelaide and Fort Augusta, Jeweller.—Mr. Stock, on behalf of the troateeg, applied for an extenaon of the time allowed for tbe winding-op of the estate, Mr. H. S. Downerand Nx. Solomon.opposed the application on behalf of tbe creditors. Tne court had allowed three months to the trustees to sell the stock by carrying cm the business. The term would expire on February 5, and the tiuutum made appplication for six months- longer with, power to carry on tbe sale in tbe interest of the creditors. Tie liabQites amounted to £17,000, and the assets were estimated at £8,000 in ex cess of the liabilities. The amount of" cash lodged with the bank as the proceeds of Bales was about £3,115 and the sales had been carried on at a cost of about 20 per cent., tbe sum shown on the balance-sheet being £939, including £15 per week paid to Mr. Acraman as manager of the business. His Honor extended the time for two months, with power to carry on the sale. He expressed the opinion that it would, be a pity to rush the £11,600 worth of stock etill remaining into the auction mart, and in view of the possibility of good sales being effected during tbe next few months granted permission to apply for an extension of time at the end of two months. He also stated that he considered £15 per week a large sum to be paid for the services of a manager who did not devote the whole of his time to the business. The costs of the day were made a charge on the estate. IN be Hbnbt Giles, of "White Hut, near Cure, Laborer. — Adjourned final hearing. Mr. J. R. Anderson for tbe insolvent, and Mr. Bright for the opposing creditors. Ad j aurned for a fortnight. In re Charles Robert Brown, late of Glan ville, steward ; George Fen, Jan., of O'Gonnell rtreet, North Adelaide, fruiterer—6rst bear ing. Nothing was done.

LOCAL COURT—ADELAIDE.

OATJBETJST. FnLijEJUSDICTJOS.

WEDHBSDAT, FeB&CAKY 2, at 10 O'dOCfc. AITLICAHON FOE ACCHONEER'S UCKSCB. C, G. Cnrr. APPKAI, FEOM FOUCB CODET, AOB'iAIDB.

AppeOuit—Hanson t. dee—Respondent. DETESBED CAUSES Coltcn—Taylor v. Hocking—Bright. Colton—Taylor v. Dean—Bright. Martin v. Amej—Wadey. Ftnn— Fan v. fryer— O. Downer. Upton—Cobb v. Wtdnnam—Hackett. B. Downer—Adcock t. Horrocta—Stock. Barllett v. Hi?, Stonie v. Atkinson. W. V. Smith—Ward v. East Adelaide Invest Co.— Ball. Stabbins v. Cefcer. Gepp—Goode v. Hermann. B. B. Cox—Tncker v, B-yaS. Thcbbdat, Febkcart 3, at 10 o'clock. Honlden— SbttersT. Babertaon— Moon.

POLICE COURT—ADELAIDE.

TCESDAT, FeBBUABY !L. [Before Mr. S. Beddome. P.M., Hon. H. E. Bright, M.L.C., and Messrs. J. Williams and M. H. Madge.]

John CKeefe and Jama Taylor were fined 10s each for drunkenness. Charlotte Warner wag ordered to pay £2 for having while drunk made use of indecent

language. TJitmta Charles Millington, charged with, being an uncontrollable ehud, was ordered to be kept at the Industrial School fox 12 months. Thomas Lynch, Charles Slyth, and George BTyth, three boys, charged with having stolen growing fruit from the grounds of the Ade laide JLunatic Asylum, were each ordered to pay 4d. to repair the damage and a fine of £1 and costs, total £15s. 4d. each. William Lowry, charged with being an un controllable child, was ordered to be kept at the Industrial School for three years, the mother of the boy to pay 3a. per week for bis support, Florence St. €Hair was charged on remand with having used indecent language. Mr. S. 6. Kingston appeared for the defendant. Fired £3. Bcbert Skarrad pleaded guilty to a charge of baying rescued from Henry Potter 10 head of cattle which had been lawfully seized for the purpose of impounding. Fined 10s, and ordered to pay 10s. costs. Elisabeth Tippett waa charged with having assaulted and beaten Margaret Beddows. James Btddotcs WB6 charged with having assaulted and beaten Sarah Baby. Mr. J. V. Saith appeared for Beddows and Mr, G. M. Evan for Baby. James Beddows was fined 10b. and Tippett 2s. 6d. Adolph Hcrtey was charged with having left his wife without adequate means of support. Mr. Fan appeared for the defendants Ordered to pay 15e. per week for a year, costs, 16b.* being allowed.

MAGISTRATES' COURT—HOR WOOD.

Monday, Jakcabt 31. [Before the Mayor, Mr. G. £. C. Stevens.] John Bennetts, charged with being drunk oa the Parade, was fined 10s. TCESDAT, FeBECAEY 1.

Richard Stephens was charged with stealing almonds from a garden at Beaumont. From the evidence it was proved that he provided himfelf with a bag, and when discovered was

in the tree, and had several pounds weight ia the bag. Fined 20s. and costs.

POLICE COURT—TEETULPA.

Saicbday, January 29, [Before Mr. H. C. Swan, S.M., and Mr. Warden Hack.l '

George Coombe pleaded not guilty to a chains of retailing a glass of whisky on January 22 to oce Percy Clarke, contrary to the provisions of the licensed Victuallers Act. Mr. McCoy

defended. The evidence of Clarke and a man named Ward ?was to the effect that they went to Cantlon's shaving saloon on the night of January 22, and obtained two nobblers of whisky, for which* they paid Is. De fecdant swore that at the time of the alleged committal of the breach of the iaw the premises, which be looped to Cantlon, were closed. Clarke, he said, called at Cantlon's on the morning of the 22d(J, and was then giwn a nobbier of whisky by a friend named Golder. who was staying at Cantlon's. Mr. McCoy objected to the word ing of the information, which set forth that Coombe retailed liquor on his unlicensed pre mises, whereas they belonged to Cantlon. The bench supported the objection and dismissed the information. They refused to grant costs. Harry Johnson was charged on the informa tion of Inspector Field, that being an un licensed person he unlawfully retailed at his unlicensed premises less than five imperial gallons of liquor, to wit, two nobblers of whieky to one Percy Clarke, the same sot being sold as gingerbeer, spruce beer, or per fumery, or administered as medicine, or for medical purposes, or tinder the direction of any known or practising physician, apothecary, surgeon, chemist or druggist. Mr. Deghen hardt defended, and made a preliminary objec tion to the information on the ground that the alleged offence was stated in tbe alternative, and was consequently not sound at law. The bench after consideration upheld the objec tion, and dismissed the information. As a number of oilier informations had been similarly worded Mr. Field, on an intimation from the bench, decided to withdraw them. Henrietta Leighton anas Johnson was charged on the information of Jama Keen with steal ing goods and moneys to the value of £8010 a. on January 27 at Tonkin's WelL Mr. McCoy prosecuted. Tbe evidence for tbe prosecution was to the effect that the defendant was a domestic servant employed by Keen, sad that on the day in question she went away, taking £1410s. in money, and'goods to the value of £6. Adjourned till Monday afternoon.

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