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GREAT WESTERN Railway Company
ants in delivering up the plaintiff's portmanteau. The defendants are not bound to keep open the luggage and cloak office day and night, nor all day on Sunday. The accommodation afforded by that office is for passengers travelling by the defendants' railway; and all that is required is that the office should be open for a reasonable time before the departure of each train.
COCKBURN C. J. I am of opinion that there ought to be no rule. By the conditions printed on the ticket the Company have not made it part of the terms of the bailment of the portmanteau, that it should not be delivered up at any particular time on Sunday; on the contrary, articles left at the office are to be delivered up on the production of the ticket. Although there may necessarily be more delay in getting luggage from the office on Sunday than on other days, still the defendants were bound by the conditions to deliver up the portmanteau within a reasonable time, and whether they did so deliver it up was a question for the jury. I should not have been dissatisfied if the verdict had been for the defendants ; and perhaps, if they were not precluded by the smallness of the damages from having a new trial on the ground that the verdict was against the evidence, I should have been disposed to grant that rule. The question, however, whether the person who deposits his luggage gets it back within a reasonable time, is entirely and exclusively for the jury.
CROMPTON J. I am of the same opinion. There was evidence to go to the jury of unreasonable delay. The plaintiff sues the defendants on a bailment of a peculiar nature arising from the practice of railway Campanies to receive and keep luggage for their passengers, whether
they intend at a subsequent time to travel on the same railway or on some other railway. By this ticket, the defendants agree for certain reward to keep articles until they are wanted; and they must know that luggage is frequently wanted by those who deposit it for the purpose of proceeding on some other line; there was therefore an implied contract that they would be ready to deliver up the portmanteau in a reasonable time with reference to the surrounding circumstances, and of this the jury were the proper judges. It is said that the defendants were not bound to have the office open at all hours on Sunday; but the defendants invite persons to travel on Sunday, and it is notorious that persons do travel on Sunday. The practice of the defendants as to keeping open the office on Sunday for a short time only, cannot affect the plaintiff unless he was informed of it.
BLACKBURN J. The proper construction of the bailment evidenced by the ticket is, that the Company undertook to deliver up the portmanteau on a reasonable request and within a reasonable time. Therefore it was a question for the jury, whether there was a reasonable request by the plaintiff, and whether there was an unreasonable delay on the part of the defendants with reference to the surrounding circumstances; and they have found for the plaintiff. The grounds which my brother Crompton has mentioned, are such as the jury might have reasonably acted upon, and we cannot on this motion disturb their verdict. The railway Company have a simple remedy by printing on the back of the ticket that the office is open for the delivery of luggage at certain specified hours only.
MELLOR J. This was a question of fact for the jury;
though I feel bound to say, that I should have been better satisfied if their verdict had been for the defendants.
Rule refused (a). (a) See Van Toll . The Sout Eastern Railway Company, 12 C. B.
Church rate. Local Act. Jurisdiction of justices, 20 & 21 l'ict. c. 43. 8. 2.
By a local Act the restry of the parish of C. were empowered to make rates, among other things, for the maintenance of the church, and an appeal to the Quarter Sessions was given against any rate. By an amending Act every rate was to be enforced by summons before two justices, and if the person summoned should not prove to the justices that he was not chargeable with or liable to pay such rate, he should pay it. A person in that parish who was summoned for non payment of church rate proposed to give evidence to shew that the rate had not been duly made, which evidence the justices declined to hear. Held, that the justices had no jurisdiction to inquire into the validity of the rate, and therefore had no power to state a case for a superior Court under stat. 20 & 21 Vict, c. 43. 8. 2.
THIS was an application for a rule calling upon two
justices of Surrey to shew cause why they should not state and sign a case for the opinion of this Court, in pursuance of stat. 20 & 21 Vict. c. 43. s. 2.
On the 15th February, 1862, the applicant was summoned before the justices for nonpayment of 1l. 2s. 6d., being the amount assessed on him as his proportion of a church-rate for the parish of Camberwell, purporting to have been made on the 4th July, 1861, under the following local Acts : 53 G. 3. c. clxii., “ For better assessing and collecting the poor and other rates, in the parish of Saint Giles Camberwell, in the county of Surrey, and regulating the affairs thereof;" &c., and 3 & 4 W. 4. c. xxxiii., for altering and amending that Act.
By sect. 1 of the former Act every occupier is to be rated to the poor rate by an equal pound rate; and by
1862. Ex parte MAY,
sect. 2, when the yearly rent shall not exceed 201., or where any house is let to weekly or monthly tenants, or in separate apartments, the vestry may compound with the landlord for the payment of the poor rate, church rate and all other parochial rates. By sect. 51, à right of appeal to the next Quarter Sessions is given to any person aggrieved by any rate.
By sect. 11 of the latter Act, if any person rated to any rate made by virtue of either of the Acts shall neglect or refuse to pay the same, one justice of the peace for the county of Surrey is "authorized and required, on proof made before him by any one of the churchwardens or overseers of the poor of the said parish, so far as relates to rates for the relief and maintenance of the poor and all other parochial rates, except only the repairs of the church and highway, or by any one of the churchwardens only with respect to church rates," &c., of a demand and refusal, to summon the person, who shall have so neglected or refused to pay, to appear before two justices; and if he shall not prove to the justices “that he is not chargeable with or liable to pay such rate or composition, such person shall pay the rate or composition in respect of which such summons was issued, and also the costs and charges of such summons and of the service thereof; and in all cases where such rate or composition shall not be fully paid and satisfied upon the return of such summons” the justices are authorized and required to grant a warrant to levy such rate or composition and all arrears thereof by distress of the goods and chattels of the person so neglecting or refusing
It was proposed, on behalf of the applicant, to give evidence to shew that the rate in question had not been
duly carried at the vestry meeting, on the 4th July, and that therefore no rate was made on that day. The justices refused to hear that evidence, the rate being good on the face of it; and made an order for payment of the rate, and decided to issue their warrant thereon. Thereupon application was made to them to state a case under sect. 2 of stat. 20 & 21 Vict. c. 43., which they refused, on the ground that that statute did not apply, and that the applicant must appeal to the Quarter Sessions under sect. 51 of stat. 53 G. 3. c. clxii.
T. Campbell Foster, in support of the application. The right of appeal given by stat. 53 G. 3. c. clxii. s. 51. does not deprive a party summoned for non-payment of church rate of the right to shew that the rate is a nullity. [Blackburn J. The question is whether this is one of the summary proceedings to which sect. 11 of stat. 20 & 21 Vict. c. 43. applies.]
Cockburn C. J. I am of opinion that there ought to be no rule. The effect of the two local Acts is to bring this case within the rule which we have acted upon with regard to poor rates (a), viz., that the duty of magistrates when payment is sought to be enforced is to see that there is such a rate as is alleged, and that the party summoned is assessed to it, and that he has not paid his assessment: when they have ascertained these matters, the rate being good on the face of it,their duty is to enforce payment, and not to enter into the question of its legality, which is for the jurisdiction of
(a) See Reg. v. The Justices of Kingston upon Thames, E. B. & E. 256; and Reg. v. Bradshaw and others, Justices of Warwickshire, 29 L. J. M. C. 176; 6 Jur. N. S. 629.