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Colonial Cases

Woo v. Brown, 1888

[debt recovery]

Woo v. Brown

Civil Summary Court, Shanghai
Jamieson AAJ, 28 January 1888
Source: North China Herald, 3 February 1888

Shanghai, 28th January.
Before Geo. Jamieson, Esq., Actin Assistant Judge.
  This was a claim fort $75.75 balance of account rendered.  The defendant pleaded he owed the plaintiff nothing and he considered that he had paid him too much already.  The claim was in respect of certain repairs done to a house boat, which the plaintiff agreed verbally to put in a proper condition for $100.  The plaintiff first asked Tls. 100, but eventually agreed to take the sum named, and defendant gave him $25 before he commenced work.
  The plaintiff through the interpreter said that the agreement was for $120.  A few days afterwards the plaintiff made an estimate and found that $120 would not cover the cost of materials and workmen.  Mr. Brown, he alleged, agreed to pay him over and above anything in the way of extra work in addition to the previous fittings of the boat.
  Mr. Brown, in reply to his Honour said that he would not have allowed the plaintiff to go on with the work if he had not been in his debt in respect of the advance paid before he began.  That boat was not now in proper repair and he had to get another carpenter to finish the work which cost about $70.  She was not put in proper condition by the plaintiff, and the Captain of H.M.S. Sapphire who took her up country immediately after she left plaintiff's hands, told the defendant on his return that she leaked very much.  The plaintiff was not a carpenter.
  Plaintiff in reply to his Honour, said he only received $105 altogether.
  The defendant stated that he had applied for a summons to bring the plaintiff up in the Mixed Court for not finishing his contract by which he defendant was put to further expense.  Instead of taking out the old planks and putting in new ones as agreed, the plaintiff took out bits and filled them up with small pieces of wood and putty.
  His Worship said that he was afraid unless the plaintiff had more evidence to adduce he would get nothing more, and he allowed the case to stand adjourned till Wednesday week in order that the plaintiff might have the boat examined.

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