Extracts from the publication Justice of the Peace and County, Borough, Poor Law Union, and Parish Law Recorder
London : Saturday April 13, 1889.
The Reports in the Supreme Court of Judicature will be furnished by the following Gentlemen:- (not named here)
House of Lords, Court of Appeal, Chancery Division, Queens Bench Division, Crown and Revenue, Inferior Court Appeals, Queens Bench Division, Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division.
1839 April 13th The Justice of the Peace publication page 235
Poor Law – Order of maintenance, how enforced – Civil debt.
An order of maintenance has been made and served on a son to contribute weekly towards the maintenance of his father, a pauper in the O. union.
The son has failed to comply with the order, and there are arrears now due to the guadians. A distress warrant has been issued, and returned, marked “No effects”.
The guardians have applied to the justices for a judgment summons to imprison the son, under the 1879 act, in default of payment, but the justices’ clerk is in doubt as to the remedy, and contends that the sums ordered are not recoverable by complaint but on conviction on an information under 11 & 12 Vict. C43, s11,by virtue of 4 & 5 Will. 4,c.76, ss.78, 79, by distress, and, in default, imprisonment for not exceeding three calendar months, and quotes Oke’s Magisterial Synopsis, 13th edit., p.1546, and the case of Bancroft v Mitchell, 36 L.J.Q.B.257, there referred to, as an authority that the sums due under the order are in the nature of a conviction, and that the proceedings are of a criminal nature, and the arrears are not recoverable as a civil debt under section 35 of the 1879 act. He also hesitates to grant proceedings by either remedy, on the ground that the law, which depends on the construction of several conflicting acts of parliament, is undecided, and that if the wrong proceedings are taken the bench will be personally liable under their order as well as the guardians.
From a Country Subscriber
We are of opinion that … amended by the acto of 1879, which makes a sum of money due under an order a civil debt, and we do not entertain the slightest doubt that arrears due under an order of maintenance are now enforceable as civil debts.
Secondly. Certainly not. Even if we were wrong in the above opinion, the granting of a judgement summons could not involve any liability; for if the proceedings are criminal, the defendant may be sent to prison without proof of means, and he would be sent to prison under a judgment summons only upon proof of means, so that the latter procedure must be perfectly safe. Be we have no doubt that it is the correct procedure.
Interpretation: The son must maintain his poor father or face prison.
Highways Act 1835 s78 Riding in cart without reins – Evidence
A was summoned under section 78 of the Highway Act for riding upon a wagon without having any reins to guide the horses drawing the same, or any person on foot or on horseback to guide the same. It came out in evidence that there were three horses drawing the waggon, and a boy was on the first horse with only a bearing rein, but A. had no reins or control over the other two horses. The justices convicted A. Will you kindly inform me whether the justices were right in convicting?
The justices were right. … the only person who could be said to be guiding the horses was on the back of one of them, which is itself an offence, unless there is some other person on foot or horseback to guide the horses in the cart.
July 19 1888 The Justice of the Peace publication
A man was not unlawfully ’trespassing’ on a railway
Cole, Appellant, v Miles, Respondent
Railway – Unlawful trespass – Site of ancient highway – Claim of right – 8 Vict. C. 20s. 46; 31 & 32 Vict. C. 119, s.23
Before the railway was made, there was a public footway across the place where the railway was made, and no provision had been made for the public passage, pursuant to 8 Vict. C.20, s.46. C. crossed in assertion of the public right of way.
Held, the justices were wrong in convicting C., as the claim was made bone fide and, moreover, because the right of way had not been extinguished