Ballina, Mayo, Ireland
Wednesday, April 10, 1850
IMPORTANT DECISION IN CASES OF APPEAL AGAINST POOR RATES
It will be seen by a report which we give elsewhere that in all cases
of appeal against poor rates the appellant must be a party to the
recognizances which the law requires to be entered into in such cases. It
has been generally supposed that an agent, appointed in writing by a
principal, had authority, under a recent statute, to sign the notices and
recognizances in his own name; but, the question having been raised by Mr.
McAndrew, on the part of the Guardians of the poor of this union, at the
late Sessions at Swinford, upon an ejection made by him to the validity of a
recognizance signed by the agent of Sir Roger Palmer, it would now seem that
the authority of the agent merely confers upon him the right of signing the
name of the appellant to the recognizances to which, it would appear, that
the appellant himself must, of necessity, in law, be a party. We think the
Assistant Barrister has taken a very fair and a very reasonable view of the
question, for we consider that it could never have been contemplated that
the Guardians should, in such cases, lose the security of a principal for
recovery of costs to which they might possibly be unnecessarily subjected.
Besides, it is not opposing any difficulty to the bringing of appeals, nor
does it interfere with the due facility which it was intended should be
given for this purpose, to hold that the name of the principal should in all
cases be signed to the recognizances, as it is quite as easy for the agent
to sign the name of the appellant as to sign his own name. We believe the
question had not been raised before. The decision upon it is important, and,
in our opinion, reasonable, and in accordance with the spirit and true
interpretation of the law upon the subject.
SWINFORD QUARTER SESSIONS
These sessions commenced on Wednesday last. There were about 800 civil
bills entered for trial, of which there were a great many for recovery of
poor rates payable to the Guardians of the Poor of the Ballina, Killala,
Swinford and Castlebar Unions.
There were about fifty appeals against the rate in the Killala Union,
of which eighteen were brought by Sir Roger Palmer, in each of which the
valuation was reduced at the rate of from 25 to 30 per cent.
There were also 12 appeals against the rate made in this union on 11th
Dec. 1849. One of these appeals was brought by John F. Knox, Esq., of
Mountfalcon; one by Mr. Wm. Joynt, of Crossmolina; and ten by Sir R. Palmer.
John F. Knox, Appellant; the Guardians of the poor of the Ballina
In this case the appellant complained principally of being overvalued.
The Valuator, Mr. Cunningham, admitted that in some cases he had been valued
too highly, and the valuation was reduced in conformity with his evidence.
Wm. Joynt, Appellant; Same, Respondents.
In this case the appellant complained of being overvalued as occupier.
On reference to the rate book it appeared that the rate of which he
complained had been charged against him as Immediate Lessor. The appeal was
Sir Roger Palmer, Appellant; Same, Respondents.
Mr. Thomas MacAndrew, on behalf of the Respondents, said- I object to
the right of the appellant to be heard in this case. I rely for the support
of my objection upon the insufficiency of the recognizance, which I content
should have been entered into by the appellant either in person or by his
agent. The recognizance in the present case has been signed by the agent in
his own name, which I submit is bad. I refer to the 22d and 23d sections of
the act 12th and 13th Vic, cap. 164. I submit also that in respect of
property for which the appellant has been rated as occupier, he has no
authority to appoint an agent for the purpose of an appeal, but should
himself act in person.
Mr. O'Donel, on behalf of the appellant, argued in support of the
recognizance, and contended that the known agent of a party, duly appointed,
was authorized in law to sign the notices and enter into the necessary
recognizances in his own name, and that the introduction of the name of the
appellant, in such cases into the recognizances, so as to bind him therelly,
was not required by law.
Court - I think the objection raised to this recognizance is a good
one. The party appealing is required to enter into a recognizance either by
himself or his agent, and I think an agent duly appointed to bring an appeal
has authority to sign the name of the appellant to the recognizance; but
where the agent signs his own name instead of that of the principal, he
thereby releases the appellant, as far as the recognizance is concerned,
form all liability as to costs, which I think was not intended by the act,
and there is then no compliance with that part of the law which makes it
necessary, for the appellant to enter into a recognizance. I must therefore
dismiss the appeal.
Nine other cases of Sir Roger Palmer's went off upon the same point and
were accordingly dismissed.
Mr. O'Donel applied to the court to have the cause of the dismissal of
the appeals entered as a matter of record in the books.
Mr. MacAndrew opposed this application and stated that if any
particular reason were assigned upon the record for the dismissal of the
appeals, and that appellant afterwards removed the proceedings by certiorari
to the Queen's Bench, the respondents might be concluded by it, and might be
deprived of an opportunity of raising any further object to the notice or
recognizance which he stated that, if necessary, he was prepared to do.
The Assistant Barrister refused to allow the cause of the dismissal to
be inserted on the books but said that although his own opinion, on the
subject was still, in order to allow the appellant an opportunity of
referring to any decisions upon the point which he might suppose to be in
his favor, he would allow the cases to remain open until the June Sessions
of Ballina, when he stated he would confirm the dismisses if no cause were
shown to the contrary.
These cases therefore stand thus for the present.
Cathy Joynt Labath
Ireland Old News