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Times (London)
Thursday, 29 November 1888


This case, reserved from Christchurch, Hampshire, raised a question as to joint occupation of a dwellinghouse. The case stated that two claimants of the name of Hake claimed in respect of "a house and land joint." It turned out that they occupied a dwellinghouse, St. Michael's vicarage, and there was no land except the garden. The vicarage was let to both of them (the vicar residing elsewhere), and the value was far over 20, the rateable value being 72; but only one of them was rated. It was contended that the case came within the definition of a 10 qualification, a house being a tenement. It was objected that use of the claimants was already on the overseers' occupiers' list for the same house, and that the alleged joint occupation was in respect of the same house, and that two persons could not have a joint occupation qualification under 30 and 31 Vic., e. 102, a. 3. The Barrister was of that opinion and disallowed the claims. The claimants appealed.

Mr. M.J. Druitt appeared for the appellants and argued on their behalf that both were entitled to be registered, not, indeed, for a "dwellinghouse," but for a house or "tenement," if the value is sufficient. The main objection, he said, was as to the joint occupation of the dwellinghouse, though there were two subsidiary objections-one as to misdescription of the qualification and the other as to one of the claimants being already on the overseers' list of occupiers for the same house. He urged that the claimants came within the definition of the borough household qualifications in the Reform Act, the value being amply sufficient for both claims. {MR JUSTICE MANISTY.-One only of the claimants was rated.} That is not material; the rating of one is sufficient, the rates being paid by either of them; and that is not an objection taken. {LORD COLERIDGE.-What is the objection?} It is difficult to say.

Mr. ROBSON, who appeared for the respondent, said it was certainly difficult to make out from the case as stated. {LORD COLERIDGE.-What objection can you suggest?} It is impossible to rely upon the objection taken as to joint occupation. That qualification exists. {LORD COLERIDGE.-I should say so.} There is no doubt an enactment that no one shall claim is respect of the joint occupation of a dwellinghouse. {LORD COLERIDGE.-The claimants do not claim for a "dwellinghouse."} That is so, no doubt; but section 27 of the Reform Act is repealed.

Mr. DRUITT pointed out that in the 48 Vic., e. 3, a. 5, it was in substance re-enacted. {LORD COLERIDGE.-Subject to the like conditions, i.e. MR. JUSTICE MANISTY.-That would require rating, would it not?} Then in section 7 it is enacted that the borough occupation franchise shall be doomed to be that defined in section 27 of the Reform Act. And that section, coupled with section 29, confers the occupation franchise for the joint occupation. {LORD COLERIDGE.-So it should seem, certainly, what can be said against it?}

Mr. ROBSON said he confessed he hardly knew that anything could be said against it. {LORD COLERIDGE assented and asked what other objections there were?}

Mr. ROBSON urged that one of the claimants being already on the overseers' list of occupiers, both could set claim for the same qualification. {LORD COLERIDGE.-He did not put himself on the list, the overseers put him there; and that does not preclude them from making a joint claim.} There would be duplicate entries for the same qualification. {LORD COLERIDGE.-The Barrister should have struck out the entry in the overseers' list.} There is a misdescription of the qualification. {LORD COLERIDGE.-There is nothing in any of these objections. Appeal dismissed with costs.}

The Case sent to be amended, will, his Lordship said, be taken on Saturday.

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