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Colonial Cases

Green v. Ethel, 1876

[work and materials]

Green v. Ethel

Civil Summary Court, Shanghai
Mowat, 13 November 1876
Source: The North China Herald, 16 November 1876




Shanghai, Nov. 13th

Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq.

Mrs. GREEN v. Miss ETHEL.

   Plaintiff, a dressmaker, sued to recover $56, for work done and materials supplied. - The work done was the making of a "Princess" costume, in the fabrication of which much brocaded satin, book muslin, imitation Valenciennes lace, insertion, &c., &c., was consumed, a portion of some of which was supplied by the plaintiff, the defendant providing the remainder.

   The defence was that the $56 was much too high a price to charge, and that Mrs. Brown, another dressmaker, had previously made an exactly similar dress for the defendant, for which she had charged only $35.  Defendant, who produced a bill of that transaction, added that she had tendered $35 to the plaintiff, believing it to be the correct sum, and she now considered herself to be no further indebted.

   His HONOUR, said he was afraid Mrs. Brown would have to be called as a witness.  After questioning both plaintiff and defendant as to the quantity and value of the materials forming the dress, he said it was nearly impossible for him to decide a case of this kind without evidence of what were usual charges, and advised the parties to get Mrs. Brown to arbitrate between them, as she was acquainted with the quantity and value of such work and materials.

   Plaintiff said she would prefer it being left to an impartial person.

His HONOUR said he thought his proposal might be tried.  Let all three meet together, when both dresses could be inspected.  If the case could not be satisfactorily settled in that manner, the parties would have to attend the Court again, and he would then decide it, after hearing Mrs. Brown's evidence.

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