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Colonial Cases

Newspaper commentary and minor cases, Palestine 1932

The Palestine Bulletin, 24 February 1932

MOTHER WHO KILLED CHILD.

SEVEN YEAR SENTENCE UPHELD.

   Sentenced in the first place to seven years' imprisonment by the District Court of Nablus for the murder of her 18 month old child, Suriah Abdul Halim of the village of Ilut in the Nazareth District, appealed against the sentence and the Supreme Court decided to hear evidence as to the state of her mind.

   Having observed her for a period of two months, Dr. Steinberg has now testified that the prisoner, who is only 18, is not insane and understands the difference between the right and wrong.  The sentence of the Nablus Court has accordingly been upheld.

 

The Palestine Bulletin, 1 March 1932

APPEAL PROCEDURE

Interesting Judgment

   An interesting judgment bearing on Court procedure was delivered by the Supreme Court yesterday in the appeal made on behalf of Dr. Amira against the Respondent, Mr. Shpan. Represented by Mr. H. Krongold.

   The Court held that an application to the President of the District Court for leave to appeal from judgment if the District Court, as an Appellate Court cannot be made by an "ex-parte" application, and the fee for the service of the copy upon the Respondent must be paid within the period prescribed for lodging such application.

   On this preliminary point the Court accordingly dismissed the appeal of Dr. Amira as out of time.

   The Court was composed of Mr. Justice Baker, Mr. Justice Frumkin and Mr. Justice Khayat.

 

The Palestine Bulletin, 6 May 1932

J. N. F. APPEAL IN LORDS

Coming Up In June.

London, Thursday. - The appals of the Jewish National Fund, in connection with the decision of the Supreme Court that the income from Jewish National Fund securities is subject to taxation, in the House of Lords, which was due to be heard to-day, has been postponed, and will possibly come up only in June.

 

 

The Palestine Bulletin, 30 May 1932

TEL-AVIV MUNICIPAL CASE

LONG DRAWN-OUT CASE CLOSES

Shoshani  Awarded Damages And Costs

   Tel Aviv, Sunday. - Judgment has been given to-day by the Tel Aviv Magistrate, Dr. Philip Kornguen, in the case of Saadia Shoshani, Treasurer of the Tel Aviv Municipality versus the Audit Committee of the Municipality, consisting of Israel Gorfinkel, Jushuah Asgatsov and Benjamin Grosskopf.  The plaintiff, Mr. Shoshani, maintained that in the report which the defendants submitted ion March 19, 1932, to the Tel Aviv Municipal Council, they made libellous remarks against him punishable under Article 214 of the Criminal Code.

   The hearing of the case took about 2 ½ months, and occupied 16 sittings of the Court.

   The Magistrate found the defendants guilty, and imposed a nominal fine of £P. 1 on each and costs amounting to 100 mils.  Likewise they were sentenced to pay a collective indemnity of 1 mil, to Mr. Shoshani for having uttered libellous statements against him.

 

 

The Palestine Bulletin, 26 July 1932

EIGHTEEN MONTHS FOR MANSLAUGHTER

JUDGE'S ILLUMINATING REMARK

Haifa, Monday. - The District Court of Haifa to-day sentenced Jacob Nassar to 18 months imprisonment.  He was charged with knocking down a man between the Carmel Station and the City while racing with another driver.

   Judge Dajani who presided said that Nassar had caused the death of a person through thoughtlessness, and he expressed his sorrow that present legislation prevented him from imposing a much more severe SENTENCE.  In the present case the laws regarding murder did not apply.  He hoped the legislation on this subject would be amended.

 

The Palestine Bulletin, 5 September 1932

CITIZENSHIP CERTIFICATE CASE.

   For refusing to give up his certificate of Palestinian citizenship after it had been annulled by the High Commissioner, Noah Alon Lipkis was yesterday sentenced by the British Magistrate to  pay a £P. 5 fine or, in default, to go to prison for one month.  The accused is serving a one year's sentence on another charge and his added sentence will run concurrently.

   Mr. Abraham Tottenham, Inspector of the Immigration Department, who appeared for the prosecution, stated that the Polish Government had refused to return citizenship to the accused, pointing out that he had acquired Palestinian citizenship eight years ago, when his Polish nationality was automatically relinquished.

   The Magistrate, who was unable to secure a definite answer from the prisoner as to whether or not he was prepared to surrender his certificate passed sentence.  

 

The Palestine Bulletin, 13 September 1932

CONVICTED OF PERJURY

"Big Liars"

   Fines of L. 3 and L.2 were imposed upon three brothers, the Hamdan brothers who are Elders of Joura, in the Jerusalem area, who were found guilty on a charge of perjury by the District Court.

   Mr. Justice de Freitas told the elders that when they return to the village they would probably say what fine fellows they were.  But they should also tell the people of Joura that the judges of the Jerusalem District Court thought that they (the accused) were big liars!

 

The Palestine Bulletin, 17 October 1932

BILLS IN FOREIGN CURRENCY         

PAYABLE AT RATE OBTAINING ON DAY OF MATURITY

   The Jerusalem District Court reversed a judgment by the lower court the other day, when it decided against the ruling that promissory notes made out in foreign currency must be paid at par rates of exchange.

   A civil suit had been lodged by Mr. P. Aberle, of Jerusalem, against Soiriano Brothers, demanding that the sum of $236.65 be paid in the rate of exchange current on the date of maturity of a bill made out in dollars.  Messrs. Soriano contended that the sum payable should be in dollars value as lower date the bill was issued, i.e. at par.

Magistrate's Judgment

   In rendering judgment, the Magistrate said that the only currency having legal tender in this country was the Palestine Pound, and residents should make out their bills, contracts or obligations in that money.  No resident should be allowed to speculate with foreign exchange.  If the parties to the agreement undertook to issue a promissory note in foreign exchange, they must suffer the consequences, and the par rate of the dollar, namely 200 mils, must hold good.

   In other words, the judgment provided that any person who owed money by bill of exchange or any other obligation , could repay at the rate of 200  mils per dollar, no matter what was the rate on the date of maturity (290 mils approximately at present.)

District Court Rules Contrary.

   The District Court, hearing an appeal against the judgment, reversed the decision.  It stated that the provisions of the Order of December 1918 (fixing the rate of exchange) did not apply to the present case, that a promissory note written in Palestine could be made out in foreign currency, that in lodging a plaint in connection with such a bill, the amount in Palestinian currency should be mentioned, and that such amount could be demanded as was specified on the bill at the rate of exchange applicable on the date of maturity.

 

The Palestine Bulletin, 9 November 1932

THE LAST 1929 CASE.

Two Years' Prison For Attempted Murder

   Mohamed Haj Saleh el Zawari was sentenced yesterday by the Jerusalem District Court to two years' imprisonment on the charge of attempted murder of Shlomo Mizrachi in November, 1929.  Mizrachi was a lamplighter in the Old City at whom the man shot.

   The accused had been sentenced for the murder of his sister.  His sentence of death was commuted by the High Commissioner to a term of ten years' hard labour.  The new sentence is to run after the completion of the present term.

 

The Palestine Bulletin, 4 December 1932

JEWESS WHO MARRIED A MOSLEM

Stay of Execution In Peculiar Case

   The High Court of Justice composed of the Senior Puisne Judge, Frunkin and Khayat, J.J., granted a stay of execution of the judgment of the Sharia Court, in a case whereby the wife of a Moslem, who was a Jewess before her marriage, and embraced Islam while still under age, has been ordered by the Moslem Religious Court to return to her husband.  The Court adjourned the wife's petition for further hearing when important points raised by the peculiar circumstances in the case will be argued.

 

The Palestine Bulletin, 9 December 1932

IN THE COURTS.

DISTRICT COURT, JERUSALEM.

FIGHT OVER SNAILS ENDS IN MURDER

   The District Court sentenced Ahmed Ali el Yameni, a watchman, to seven years' penal servitude for the murder of Ahmed Ismail contrary to Article 174 (1).  The murder was the result of a quarrel which the accused had with the man who was collecting snails.  The accused asked the man to stop and when he refused, a quarrel broke out between them, during which he stabbed him to death.

 

MURDER WITH INTENT TO ROB

Young Man Sentenced to Death

   The Court of Criminal Assize sitting at Tulkarem on December 1, passed the sentence of death on Hussein Ali Abu Njeim, who was found guilty of murdering Hassan Khalil with the intention of robbing him.  During the course of the trial it was alleged that the prisoner was underage.  The Court, however, found as a fact that he had completed his twentieth year.

 

The Palestine Post, 11 December 1932

DEATH SENTENCE FOR YOUTH.

(From Our Correspondent)

Haifa, Thursday. - The Court of Criminal Assize presided over by the Puisne Judge Corrie, to-day passed sentence of death on Muhamad Said Khatib of Kefr Iblin near Shefr Amr who was found guilty of the wilful murder of Abed Selim of the same village on May 7.

   The case had been remanded in order to hear evidence as to the age of the accused.  Dr. Jamil Taktok, the Government medical Officer, stated that he judged the lad to have completed his eighteenth year by now but not at the time of the murder of police officer Abdul Samad.  The Public Prosecutor argued that according to the Young Offenders Ordinance 1922 the decisive factor was not the age of the accused at the time of the crime but his age at the time of trial.  This view was accepted by the Court and sentence passed accordingly.

 

SEVEN YEARS FOR MANSLAUGHTER

(From Our Correspondent)

Haifa, Thursday. - Halil Muhsma Zuhabi, who killed a Police sergeant at Beisan some time ago when the latter was trying to arrest him, was on Wednesday found guilty of murder without premeditation by Judge Corrie at the Court of Criminal Assize sitting in Nazareth.  He was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment with hard labour.

 

IMMIGRANTS FURNITURE EXCLUDED

   A Persian Jew, accompanied by his wife and small brothers who had a traveller's visa for Palestine, has been allowed to land at Jaffa on his undertaking that the furniture he had with him would be kept in Beirut.  The traveller had a sum of money with him and offered L.P. 200 as a surety that he would not remain in Palestine beyond the three months allowed by his permit.

 

The Palestine Post, 2 December 1932

Three Cases in District Court.

Two men were sentenced on Wednesday to long terms of imprisonment for murder and one to a three-month's period, in the District Court of Jaffa, by Judge Copland.

   Charged with stabbing to death his bosom friend, Abou Aafash, in a quarrel arising from friendly horse-play,  Mahmed El Musri received a twelve year sentence.

Man Who Stabbed Sister.

   Five year imprisonment was given to Ahmed Khalil Thalabi, of the village of Sheikh Mouris, who was found guilty of stabbing his sister to death.  Judge Copland explained that the sentence was lightened because the accused had confessed.  He had committed the crime in a fit of rage over his sister's admission that she had been friendly with a man who, she said, had promised to marry her.

   A three months sentence and a severe rebuke were meted out to Shukri Ousta Boushi, who, while under the influence of liquor in a cafe, attacked with a dagger and wounded an Arab Christian who is alleged to have cursed the Mohammedan religion.

 

The Palestine Post, 14 December 1932

IN THE COURTS

THE DISTRICT COURT SITTING IN BEERSHEBA

Before Judges Plunkett, Mejid Abdul Hadi and senior Magistrate Barady sitting as a member of the Court.

Attorney General v. Salim el Hamadin

   Sentence of 5 years' penal servitude was passed by the district Court on the accused for killing a bedouin, who was engaged to marry a girl with whom the accused was in love.

   Evidence was given that the accused had asked the girl's parents to give her to him in marriage.  He was refused on the ground that she was already engaged.  On the night of the tragedy the accused went into the tent of the girl's parents and was followed there by the man they had chosen for the girl.  A quarrel broke out between the rivals during which the accused stabbed his opponent to death.

 

   The District Court of Jerusalem sentenced Herzel Vexler, a young student of the Hebrew University to 3 months' imprisonment for being in possession of seditious literature.  He was also ordered to produce a bond with one surety for the sum of L.P. 50 - to be of good behaviour during the period of 3 years.

 

CHIEF MAGISTRATE'S COURT

Place of Presentment of Promissory Notes

Eleazar v. Kacheyoff.

   The Plaintiff in this case sued the defendant on a note which was given by the Defendant to the Plaintiff on the 9th of August, 1930.  At the bottom of the note was written the following: "Payable at the Anglo-Palestine Bank, Jerusalem.""  The Plaintiff, however, did not present the note to the bank, but presented it to the defendant in person.  Plaintiff refused to pay the note on the ground that it was not presented at the bank as was agreed.

   Under Section 37 (1) of the Bills of Exchange ordinance, it is provided that where a promissory note is in the body of it made payable at a particular place it must be presented for payment at that place in order to render the maker of it liable.  In any other case presentation for payment is not necessary in order to render the maker liable.  It is farther provided by Section 87 (3) that when a note is in the body of it made payable at a particular place, presentment at that place is necessary in order to render an endorser liable; but when  a place of payment is indicated by way of memorandum only presentment at that place is sufficient to render the indorser liable, but a presentment to the maker elsewhere followed by protest, if sufficient in other respects shall also suffice.

Judgment

   His Worship the magistrate held that the words "payable at the Anglo-Palestine Bank, Jerusalem" appearing at the foot of the note and beneath the maker's signature, were not to be treated as being on the body of the note, bur as mere memorandum not forming part of the contract.  He relied on the English cases. Masters v Baratto, 1849, 8 C.B. 433, and Richards v Milaignton (Lord) 1816, Holt. N.P. 364

 

The Palestine Bulletin, 16 December 1932

IN THE COURTS.

THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE.

Before the Senior Puisne Judge and Mr. Justice Khayat.

SHEIKH ANSARI v. SUPREME MOSLEM COUNCIL.

Counsel's Power of Attorney Invalid.

   The Petition of Sheikh Ansari who alleged that he had been wrongly dismissed from his post in the Mosque of Omar came up again yesterday for consideration by the high Court.

   The Supreme Moslem Council had been ordered some time ago to show cause why Sheikh Ansari should not be reinstated in his post.  Counsel appeared for the first time yesterday, for the respondents, but on the production of his power of attorney it was found that it was signed by 4 individual members of the Council only, and not by the council as a body.  The Court held that the power was not valid on the ground that before any attorney can appear on behalf of the council as a whole a special resolution must be passed to that effect by the council, and then in pursuance of that resolution the members can sign individually.  The case was then adjourned pending the production of a valid power of attorney from the Supreme Mosley Council.

   The petitioner was represented by Omar Eff. Saleh el Baroughty; the Respondents by Fakhri Eff. El Husseini.

 

The Palestine Bulletin, 16 December 1932

IN THE COURTS.

THIEF MAGISTRATE'S COURT.

Prosecutions under the Town Planning ordinance.

Maximum Penalty.

   A number of prosecutions under the Town Planning Ordinance and the Town Planning By-laws have taken place in the course of the week before the Chief Magistrate.  Most of the defendants were accused of starting building operations without permission, while some were summoned for erecting buildings which were not in accordance with the plans approved by the Town planning Committee.

   The section under which the prosecutions were made reads, "that any one carrying out work within the town planning area in connection with a building without having obtained a permit or otherwise not in accordance with any By-laws made, may., upon conviction thereof by a Civil Court, be condemned to pay a fine not exceeding L.P. 200, and shall at the same time be required to demolish the work, or pay the cost of the demolishing thereof."

   Although these prosecutions used to be made formerly in the Municipal Coutts within their restricted power to impose no fine exceeding L.P. 5, - His Worship the Chief Magistrate has decided to hear them in future in order top avoid delays usually experienced in these courts.

   In one case His Worship said that he took a serious view of these prosecutions.  Owners and contractors were in the habit of ignoring the warning notices sent to them by the Authorities to comply with the Law under the impression that nothing would happen and lackadaisical methods in the past seem to have justified owners of building sites in thinking that they could ignore these notices and flout the law almost with impunity.  As far as he was concerned, His Worship continued, he would do his best to enforce the law, as speedily as he could, and cases of this nature would in future be heard by him.  It was very important that the building public should realise that the Town Planning Authorities quite rightly insisted on the plans of any proposed building in the municipality area being submitted to them.  The object of the ordinance was to control and regulate the laying out of rapidly growing cities, and restrictions are imposed to building operations in order that Jerusalem should be built according to a well defined plan b.

   Cases like the one he had before him, therefore, should be few if the persons concerned appreciated the necessity of complying with the ordinance,.  Although the offences were not definite criminal acts, they were nevertheless quasi-criminal.  The public had to be educated in realising their civic responsibilities.  He proposed, however, to adjourn the case for 8 days in the hope that the defendants would appreciate their responsibilities under the Law and comply with the lawful requests of the Town Planning Commission.  If on the resumption of the case it was proved that the defendants had not complied with the lawful demands of the Authorities, he would inflict the maximum fine that he as a Magistrate was allowed to impose by Law, namely, L.P. 100.

 

The Palestine Bulletin, 16 December 1932

IN THE COURTS.

DISTRICT COURT OF JERUSALEM.

Before Judges Plunkett, Mejid Abdul Hadi, and Senior magistrate Barady sitting as a member of the Court.

Attorney General v. Faraj.

Murderer of Father-in-law gets 6 years.

   Sentence of 6 years imprisonment was passed by His Honour Judge Plunkett, who was presiding in this case, where the accused was charged with murder without premeditation of his father-in-law contrary to Article 174 (1) of the Ottoman Penal Code.

   Evidence was given that the murder was the sequel of a quarrel, which the accused had with his father-in-law, following religious festivities connected with the pilgrimage to the shrine of Nebi Saleh, near Ramleh.  On their return from the pilgrimage, it appeared that the wife of the accused began beating their three month old infant.  Seeing this the accused remonstrated with her, and when she argued with him struck her in the face.  The deceased, who was the wife's father, then interfered, and taking his stick he hit the accused on the head.  In self protection the accused ran away from him, but on second thought began to pelt his father-in-law with stones.  The parties then closed.  A dagger was produced with which the deceased was stabbed to death.

Testimony of Two Wives.

   Various witnesses were called for the prosecution along whom   2 of the 3 wives of the deceased.  These women gave a story to the Court, which was in compete contradiction to the one they had given to the Police.  His Honour severely rebuked them, and said that they ought to be prosecuted for perjury.  During the course of the evidence it became doubtful whether the knife used was that of the accused or that of the deceased, though it was alleged that it had been used earlier in the day to sacrifice the animals for the festivities.  The deceased immediately before his death made a statement implicating the accused, which was admitted by the Court in evidence.

Judgment

   In passing sentence his Honour said, that people in this country resorted to knives far too quickly and on the least provocation.  Although in this case there was a certain amount of provocation it was not sufficient to absolve the accused entirely.  Under the circumstances, therefore, he would pass a moderately light sentence of 6 years' imprisonment with hard labour.

   The Attorney General was represented by Police Inspector Khair Eddin Bassiso; the accused by Abcarius Bey.

 

The Palestine Bulletin, 18 December 1932

IN THE COURTS

THE COURT OF APPEAL.

Before the Chief Justice. Frumkin and Khayat J.J.

ABDO NICOLA v. ATTORNEY GENERAL

Ex-policeman Acquitted of Threatening Commandant

   The question of what is the exact significance of Article 191 of the Ottoman Penal Code, came up before the Court of Appeal for consideration on Friday.  The accused, an ex-policeman, had written a letter to the commandant of police, demanding his reinstatement in the police or in the alternative the dismissal of a certain police sergeant.  Failing this, the accused write that "I shall be obliged to Murder the said sergeant and it is not difficult for me to do so as long as I have a knife."  The accused on being arrested had on him a knife.  He was brought up before the District Court of Haifa, sitting at Acre, was convicted on two charges and sentenced to three years' penal servitude.

   The first charge was that he despatched a letter to the Commandant of Police threatening him with murder contrary to Article 191 of the Ottoman Penal Code, and the second that he had in his possession a dangerous and noxious instrument with intent to commit an offence contrary to Section 12 of the Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance, (2) 1927.

The Appeal

   On appeal the government advocate said that he did not desire to day anything in favour of upholding the conviction on the first charge.  In this the Court of Appeal agreed that the government Advocate took the proper course and held that the threat in the letter was not against the commandant but against somebody other than him and therefore did not come in under Article 191 of the Ottoman Penal Code, which reads:-

"If a person  by despatching a letter bidding another person to do something and intimidates or threatens such person thereby, declaring that if he does not supply what is demanded he will inflict harm upon such other person,. Then if the harm stated is involving the perpetrator in the penalty of death or penal servitude for life, the person who made the threat is punishable with penal servitude for a term."

   The Court therefore quashed the sentence under this charge.  It upheld, however, the second charge under section 12 of the Criminal Law Amendment ordinance, 1927, which is to the effect that any person who knowingly has in his possession any dangerous or noxious instrument or thing whatever with the intent by means thereof to commit any offence is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for 3 years.

   The appellant was represented by Shafic Eff. Asal; the Attorney general by the Government Advocate.

 

The Palestine Bulletin, 23 December 1932

IN THE COURTS

THE DISTRICT COURT OF JERUSALEM

Before the President and Magistrates Barady and Anton Atallah sitting as members of the Court.

Boy of 16 Convicted of Blackmail

"The Black Hand"

The Attorney General v Issa Humeid and Aboud Kromfel

   Sentence of 2 years' pen al servitude was passed on the first accused and 3 years' in the reformatory on the second, a boy, who had not yet completed his sixteenth year, for writing threatening letters to Jadallah el Arej, demonising money.

   Evidence was given that the letters were written by the boy, and that threats against the Complainant were used by the first accused.  The second accused admitted writing 3 letters detaining the sum of L.P. 50.  The letters were signed "the Black Hand" and were decorated with pictures of demons, bombs and pistols.  They contained threats that unless the money was forthcoming, bombs would be thrown in the house of the Complainant.

Instigated

   The second accused admitted that he wrote the letters at the instigation of the first accused but in complete ignorance of their purpose.  He wrote them because the first accused could not write himself, and had asked him to do so on his behalf, and he wanted to oblige him.

   Evidence that the second accused had not completed his sixteenth year was given and the sentence of the Court was imprisonment of two years on the first accused and 3 years in the reformatory on the second accused.  Addressing him, His Honour the President said that it was quite clear that the boy was given to criminal tendencies.  It was not uncommon to find that murderers had started their careers on the same way as he did.  He would have to be carefully watched in the reformatory, and if he proved to be of evil influence, he would be taken to prison.

   Police Inspector Mohamed el Saadi represented the Attorney General; Mr. Cattan the second accused.

 

The Palestine Bulletin, 23 December 1932

IN THE COURTS

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF JAFFA

Before the President H.H. Judge Copland and Judge Toukan

ROSE KATZ v. MORRIS KATZ.

Exequatur of American Judgment Refused

   His Honour the President (in a case before the Court last week), refused to grant the exequatur of the court under the Foreign Judgments Rules, 1928, on the ground that the rules dealing with exequatur of foreign judgments did not apply to this case as they were not supporter by any ordinance in a case of this kind.

   The Plaintiff asked the court for an exequatur to execute a judgment which she had obtained for alimony against her husband from then Supreme Court of New York State.  His Honour the President said, that in order to understand the position he must refer to the practice of the law as applied in England, because a certain amount of the legislation of this country for the enforcement of foreign judgments was based upon English Law and procedure.

Foreign Judgment Not Enforceable.

   The general rule in England was this - that a foreign judgment was not per se enforceable, that is to say, a foreign judgment could not be handed straight to the Sheriff and executed without being supporter by some other procedure.  If one wished to enforce a judgment in England and the judgment was one from a Court other than a Colonial Court, one had to bring an action on the judgment.  If it was a Colonial judgment, then there were certain powers of registering that judgment, after which it could be put to execution.  In other words, a foreign judgment other than the judgment of a Colonial Court was only of evidential and not executory value.  The action was brought on the judgment which was prima facie evidence that a debt existed, but the foreign judgment itself had no other value.

   In this country, His Honour continued, we had a mixture of procedure which he did not think was altogether very carefully thought out when compiled.  We had the Civil Procedure (Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments) Ordinance, 1922, by which judgments in any part of the United Kingdom or British Dominations may be registered in this country and could then be executed subject to certain conditions as to reciprocity.  We also had a somewhat sibilant ordinance passed in 1929 with regard to the enforcement of Egyptian judgments.  Certain special arrangements also existed with regard to judgments given by Syrian and Iraqi Courts.  But there was no other ordinance or treaty which referred to or dealt in any way with judgments of other foreign countries.

   As regards the Foreign Judgment Rules, 1928, the court had been asked to say that the rules were invalid in as much as the Chief Justice had no power to make them.  But he was not prepared to go as far as to say that they were invalid or ultra vires.  They were very good and lawful rules with regard to proceedings under the Civil Procedure (Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments) Ordinance, regarding judgments which came under the arrangements with Egypt and other specially mentioned countries.  Because under that ordinance and other arrangements, the foreign judgments when registered became Palestinian Judgments.  But the position was not quite so simple with regard to other fir feign judgments, as to which no enforcing ordinance existed.  There was a difference, and not merely a slight difference, between bringing an action on a judgment and granting an exequatur to a foreign judgment.  In the case of the exequatur, the foreign judgment itself was put to execution.  The brining of an action on a judgment meant that a judgment of the district Court had to be obtained and that judgment and not the judgment of the foreign Court was put to execution.

Rule of Court Not Law

Action on a foreign judgment could not be appalled for.  A rule of Court could not create law.  It could only apply the Law.  The Foreign Judgment Rules applied only to those foreign judgments which were made enforceable in Palestine by ordinance, Treaty, or Convention, having the force of a treaty and in the absence of such ordinance or treaty or convention, they had no application.

   The action, therefore, as it was brought failed beanies it was for the grant of an exequatur, and not on the foreign judgment.

   The Court further held that the proof of foreign judgments did not come under the Proof of Foreign Documents Ordinance, 1924, which only referred to deeds, powers of attorney, and other kinds of instruments in writing.  Further, copies of foreign judgments did not require to be stamped under the Stamp Duty ordinance, because under clause 13 of the schedule of the ordinance as amended, copies of judgments of Civil Courts did not require stamping.

   Mr. Dunkerlbloom represented the Plaintiff; Abcarius Bey the Defendant.

 

The Palestine Bulletin, 29 December 1932

IN THE COURTS

THE DISTRICT COURT OF JAFFA

Before the President and Judge Mani

NATHAN H. GORDON AND ASHER PIERCE

v.

(1) NISSAN AHARONOVITCH, AND (2) MRS. MENUCHA VALERO,

IN HER PERSONAL CAPACITY AND AS ATTORNEY FOR THE HEIRS OF THE LATE JACOB VALERO

CIVIL No. 231/32

Purpose of Notarial Notice Bills "Bon pour aval."

   The first defendant in this case had agreed to transfer to the plaintiffs some 6,000 dunams of land.  The second Defendant deposited the sum of L.P. 3500 as a guarantee for the execution of the agreement and for the return of part of the purchase price given by the Planetoids to the first Defendant, in case the agreement was not fulfilled by him.  As the transfer was not made, the Plaintiffs claimed the return of the part of the purchaser price, the retention of the bills as security for the sum due to them, and damages for breach of contract.  To this effect the plaintiffs had sent a notarial notice to the first Defendant calling upon him to effect the transfer within 48 hours or pay damages.

Judgment

   In giving judgment, the court held the following:

   The purpose of a notarial notice was to give a person a further chance to perform the terns of the contract, which he was engaged to carry out.  The time given to comply with the notice, therefore, had to be reasonable if default was to be established.  What was a reasonable time depended on the facts of each case, and although there were cased in which 48 hours' notice would be a reasonable time, there were others in which 3 or even 4 months could not be held reasonable.  In the case before the Court 48 hours was certainly not a reasonable period.  Consequently default on the part of the first defendant in the performance of the contract was not established, and, therefore, the Plaintiffs were not entitled to damages.  But as there was no transfer made to them, the Plaintiffs were entitled to the return of the purchase money advanced by them.

   As regards the bills given as security, the court held that owing to Section 57 of the Bills of Exchange ordinance, 1929, which dealt with bills guaranteed by aval, the 2nd defendant has signed them as a guarantor.  She could not claim, therefore, to be an endorser according to the provisions of Section 56, and consequently could not claim the protection of Section 95 (1) of the ordinance, which limited the right of bringing an action against an endorser to the period of 1 year.  The Plaintiffs, therefore, were entitled to keep the security given them by the bills and the 2nd defendant was liable in her personal capacity for their amount.

   Dr. Joseph and Mr. Richardson for the Plaintiffs; Dr. Smoira and Mr. Goroiskhy for the first Defendant and Mr. Levy for the second.

 

The Palestine Bulletin, 29 December 1932

THE  COURT OF APPEAL.

Before the Chief Justice, Frumkin and Khayat, JJ.

Fanny Cornue v.  Ali el Sheikh and Others.

The hearing of the appeal was continued in this case where the District Court of Jaffa had held that a certain contract of Musakat (whereby according to the Mejelle, one person supplied labour and another land and trees, the profits being divided between them) and of lease which might, under certain conditions, such as locusts, floods, etc., last for a term exceeding 3 years, came under Section 2 of the Land Transfer Ordinance, and had to be registered.

    The Court held that lack of registration rendered the whole contract void, including a clause which it contained providing for the appointment of an arbitrator in case of dispute.  The Respondents had not concluded their reply when the Court adjourned.

   Mr. Horowitz and Mr. Moyal represented the Appellants. [line missing.]

THE DISTRICT COURT SITTING IN BEERSHEBA.

 Before Judges Plunkett, Mejid Abdul Hadi and Senior Magistrate Brady sitting as a Member of the court.

Attorney General v. Salim el Hamadin.

Sentence of 5 years' pen al servitude was passed by the District Court on the accused for killing a bedouin, who was engaged to marry a girl with whom the accused was in love.

   Evidence was given that the accused had asked the girl's parents to give her to him in marriage.  He was refused on the ground that she was already engaged.  On the night of the tragedy the accused went into the tent of the girl's parents and was followed there by the man they had chosen for the girl.  A quarrel broke out between the rivals during which the accused stabbed his opponent to death.

 ...

   The District Court of Jerusalem sentenced Herzel Vexler, a young student of the Hebrew University to 3 months' imprisonment for being in possession of seditious literature.  He was also ordered to produce a bond with [line missing.]

CHIEF MAGISTRATES COURT.

Place of Presentment of Promissory Notes.

Eleazar v. Kacheyoff.

The plaintiff in this case sued the Defendant on a note which was given by the Defendant to the Plaintiff on the 9th of August, 1930.  At the bottom of the note was written the following: "Payable at the Anglo-Palestine Bank, Jerusalem."  The Plaintiff, however, did not present it at the bank, but presented it to the Defendant in person. Plaintiff refused to pay the note on the ground that it was not presented at the bank as was agreed.

   .... [line missing] note is in the body of it made payable at a particular place it must be presented for payment at that place in order to render the maker of it liable.  In any other case presentment for payment is not necessary in order to render the maker liable.  It is further provided by Section 87 (3) that where a note is in the body made payable at a particular place, presentment at that place is necessary in order to render an endorser liable, but when a place of payment is indicated by way of memorandum only presentment at that place is sufficient to render an endorser liable, but a presentment to the maker elsewhere followed by protest, if sufficient in other respects shall suffice.

Judgment.

His Worship the Magistrate held that the words "Payable at the Anglo-Palestine Bank, Jerusalem," appearing at the foot of the note and beneath the maker's signature, were not to be treated as being on the body of the note, but as mere memorandum not forming part of the contract.  He relied on the English cases, Masters v. Baratto, 1849, 8 C.B. 433 and Richards v. Milaington of (Lord) 1816 Holt, N.P. 364.

 

The Palestine Bulletin, 29 December 1932

IN THE COURTS

DISTRICT COURT OF JERUSALEM.
Sitting as a Court of Appeal.
LURIE AND OTHERS v. ATTORNEY GENERAL.

(Criminal Misd. On Appeal No. 56/32)

Before His Honour Judge De Freitas, Judge Plunkett and Senior magistrate Barady.

Froumine Case sentence Quashed.

   The appeal was granted by the District Court in this case, where the accused in conjunction with several others had been convicted and sentenced by His Worship the Chief Magistrate for assaulting several people in a dispute which arose our of the strike in the Froumine Biscuit Factory.  As some 70 witnesses were heard as to the facts in the cased, His Worship, ten magistrates, before giving judgment, refused to allow counsel for the accused to address him on the facts.  His Worship said, that he had heard enough about the facts to make up his mind and would not allow counsel to address him further, unless it was on some points of Law.

   The accused appealed.  The conviction was quashed by the District Court, and the case returned to the magistrate to reopen the trial and allow the accused or their representatives to address him in accordance with Articled 21 of the Ottoman Magistrates' Law.

 

The Palestine Bulletin, 29 December 1932

IN THE COURTS

THE DISTRICT COURT OF JERUSALEM

Before Judge Plunkett and Senior magistrate Barady sitting as a member of the Court.

ATTORNEY GENERAL v. SHLOMO AND ZVI KORLANSKY

(No. 381/32)

Imprisonment for Contravention of Trade Mark's' Ordinance.

   The accused pleaded guilty to the charge that they had used bottles bearing the trade mark of the Assis Palestine Fruit Product Company, Ltd., in order to pass off goods manufactured by themselves as those of the Assis Company.

   In passing sentence of 7 days' imprisonment and a fine of L.P. 10, His Honour Judge Plunkett said he took a very serious view of the conduct off the accused.  In a country such as Palestine, the Courts would give all the protection they could to the various industries that were growing up.  The Police and others concerned in bringing this prosecution were to be congratulated for taking the energetic measures that the case called for.  As the accused had pleaded guilty, he would pass a light sentence, but he warned them against repeating the offence in future.

   Police inspector Soffer represented the Attorney General; Mr. King the defence.  Mr. Korngold held a watching brief on behalf of the Assis Company.

 

The Palestine Bulletin, 29 December 1932

IN THE COURTS

THE CHIEF MAGISTRATE'S COURT, JERUSALEM.

ATTORNEY GENERAL v. ZION MA'TOUK

(Criminal File No. 274/32)

Pledge of Passport.

   In this case the accused was charged with parting with the possession of a passport to another person without lawful authority contrary to Section 6 (e) of the Passport Ordinance, 1925.  Evidence was given to the effect that the accused owed money and in order to satisfy his creditor of his good faith and that he was not leaving the country, he gave his passport as a pledge.

   His Worship, the Chief magistrate refused to convict the acquiesced, on the ground that the section of the ordinance in question was highly penal, the maximum penalty for which was imprisonment for a year or a fine not exceeding L.P. 100, or both penalties.  In his view the section meant to cover such cases as those where people deliberately gave their passports away in order to enable other persons to use them as their own, and not in cases of this kind, which, though not desirable, could not be called unlawful as the law stood.  Criminal intent, which was an essential element in cases of this nature, was lacking, and therefore, the accused was entitled to be discharged.  His Worship added that passports remained the property of the individual to whom they were granted and unlike certificates of naturalization they could not be demanded back by the authorities.

 

 

The Palestine Bulletin, 30 December 1932

IN THE COURTS

THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE

Before the senior Puisne Judge and Mr. Justice Khayat

IBRAHIM SAYHOUN v. GEORGE CORDAHI AND KAMEL MEDAWI

(No. 65/32)

Petition for changer of venue granted

   The High Court ganged the petition to change the venue in this case, which had formerly come up before the President of the District Court, Haifa, sitting as Chief Execution Officer, and which was due to come up again for trial before him as President of the Land Court, Haifa.

   It was argued on behalf of the Petitioner tan it was not in consonant with justice that the case should be heard by the land court, Haifa, as the president had in another capacity dealt with the case, and had made up his mind with regard to the principal matters to be decided.  The Respondent in opposing the petition argued that the Court, whose venue was desired to be change in this case was the land court of Haifa, which under the existing Law was the only Court competent to hear actions concerning land within the Haifa District.

   The High court in granting the order refused to accept the arguments of the Respondents on the ground that it would reduce to a nullity the powers expressly conferred on the high Court by section 6 (3) of the Courts' ordinance, 1924.  The objection taken to a judge hearing a case after having dealt with it in another capacity could not be met here by the appointment of another Judge to take his place, as President of the District Court is by law the only person who could serve as the President of the land Court in question.  The haring of the case, which was pending in the land Court of Haifa under No. 31/31 was, therefore, ordered to be transferred to the land court of Nablus.

   The petitioner was represented by Abcarius Bey; the respondents buy Mr. Weinshall and Kardahi Eff.

The Palestine Bulletin, 30 December 1932

IN THE COURTS

IN THE CHIEF MAGISTRATE'S COURT OF JERUSALEM.

COLLEGE DES FRERES v. GEORGE KLAT

(Civil 10/31)

Minority according to The Mejelle

   The Plaintiffs in this case claimed the sum of L.P. 21,050 with instruct, costs, and advocate's fees from the defendant, as student of the college.  The Defendant was originally placed there by the French Consul, who became responsible for his fees.  Subsequently the consul rescinded the contract with the college, and declared that he would no longer be responsible for the payment of the necessary fees.  The defendant, however, remained at the College, but refused to pay the fees for the continuing period.  Before His Worship the defence was raised that the defendant was not liable, because at the time in question he was not of age.

   The magistrate in dismissing the claim said, that the Plaintiffs had not proved a contract with or an undertaking by the defendant, implied or otherwise, to pay the fees in question.  It appeared that the defendant's mother, who had tacitly assumed the responsibility for paying the fees was the correct person to be sued.  The Plaintiffs' claim, if any, must be based on a quantum meruit, i.e., an implied promise to pay for the work performed, and not on a definite contract.  In his view the correct and equitable judgment to give on the facts, would have been a non-suit, but such an order was unknown to the Ottoman Law.

Application of Mejelle Bewildering

   As regards the question of age raised by the defence, he wished to say that it was bewildering to find out how to apply the Mejelle to present day conditions.  According to the Mejelle as translated (no doubt literally, butty nevertheless into peculiar English) Article 957 states as follows:

"The Minor, the madman and the idiot are interdicted, naturally, as a matter of fact."

Article 967 says that "a young man who is nearing puberty can enter into that kind of contract from which benefit only results to him"  Article 986 lays down the extreme limit of puberty at 15 years for both males and females.  Therefore a child ceased to be a minor on attaining that age.

   There were various other articles, which circumscribed the facts under review without affording any real assistance in arriving at a judicial determination of the question involved.  He hoped, however, that an intelligent Code of Civil Law more in keeping with the progress of the world would be given to the country soon.

   His Worship added, that he wished to enter a protest against the way pleadings were presented to him.  The lackadaisical way in which claims were permitted to be filed in Magistrates' Courts under Ottomans law, was distasteful and repugnant to any one accustomed to more methodical and modern methods.

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