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Colonial Cases

Jones v. Grierson, 1874

[wrongful arrest]


Jones v. Grierson

Police Court, Palmerston
Price SM, 6 June 1874
Source: Northern Territory Times and Gazette, 12 June 1874, p 3




Saturday, June 6.

(Before Mr. Price, S.M.)

Jones v. Grierson.-Claim for £20.

Mr. Smith for the plaintiff, and Mr. Rudall for the defendant.

Mr. Rudall said his client did not deny the debt, but he complained at having been arrested when he had not the slightest intention of going away.

Mr. Smith said if defendant was wrongfully arrested he might recover damages. But there was evidently reasonable ground for supposing that he was going away.

Mr. Rudall thought the Court should make some compensation for the injury done to defendant, as there was no more reason for arresting him than any other person who was on board the steamer on the previous evening.

Adjourned till Wednesday in order that defendant might be prepared with an affidavit to show that he was about to leave the colony when he was arrested.

On Wednesday the case came on, and it was shown on behalf of Mr. Grierson that it was not his intention to leave by the Gothenburg at the time he was arrested.

Mr. Grierson said that he had no intention of leaving the settlement when he was arrested. He was writing private letters in the captain's cabin from 1 o'clock to 7 o'clock the day before the Gothenburg sailed. Then came ashore, and went on board again at 10 o'clock with Dr. Ellison. Had no luggage whatever on board. Had told people publicly, after receiving his letters, that he was not going by the Gothenburg; though at one time he said he was. The plaintiff said that Mr. Moore afterwards said he (Grierson) was not going. Defendant had promised to settle the account, but did not do so. When plaintiff enquired on board, the steward, Mr. Cheese, said Mr. Grierson had brought luggage on board, and put it in the ladies' cabin.

The Magistrate said that although defendant did not intend to go away, the plaintiff had still good reason for supposing that he might be about to leave. The Court could not, therefore, award compensation.

Judgment for the amount claimed.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School