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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An administrative history of the Supreme Court of British Columbia with particular reference to the Vancouver.. McColl, Daisy 1986

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AN ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY OF THE SUPREME COURT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO THE VANCOUVER REGISTRY:  ITS CIVIL RECORDS,  THEIR COMPOSITION, AND THEIR SELECTION FOR PRESERVATION  By DAISY McCOLL B.A., The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h  Columbia  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARCHIVAL STUDIES in SCHOOL OF LIBRARY, ARCHIVAL AND INFORMATION  We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the required  standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October  1986  (S) Daisy M c C o l l , 1986  STUDIES  In presenting  this thesis in partial fulfilment of the  requirements for an  advanced  degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and  study. I further agree that permission for extensive  copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may department  or  by  his or  her  representatives.  be  granted by the head of  It is understood  publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be  that  copying  allowed without my  my or  written  permission.  Department of History, and School of Library, Archival and Information Studies The University of British Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date 23 A p r i l  1987  Abstract  L e g a l h i s t o r y i s s o c i a l h i s t o r y , f a m i l y h i s t o r y , women's h i s t o r y , economic h i s t o r y , b u s i n e s s  h i s t o r y , and c o n s t i t u t i o n a l  h i s t o r y ; i n f a c t i t i s a growth i n d u s t r y .  Records from t h e  c i v i l d i v i s i o n o f t h e B r i t i s h Columbia Supreme Court f u r n i s h t h e b e s t p o s s i b l e p r i m a r y sources, these  t h e evidence f o r l o c a l s t u d i e s i n  fields. T h i s t h e s i s i s p u t f o r w a r d as a p r a c t i c a l g u i d e b o t h f o r  s c h o l a r s who wish t o search r e c o r d s from t h e Vancouver Supreme Court R e g i s t r y and f o r a r c h i v i s t s who need a conceptual framework f o r a p p r a i s i n g c i v i l c o u r t records.  I t traces the  o r i g i n s and common law t r a d i t i o n s o f t h e c o u r t , d e s c r i b e s  court  a d m i n i s t r a t i o n and t h e r u l e s f o r c i v i l procedure, t a b u l a t e s t h e kinds o f r e c o r d kept by t h e c i v i l d i v i s i o n , and works out f o r a r c h i v i s t s a p r a c t i c a l means o f s e l e c t i o n .  iii TABLE OF CONTENTS Page CHAPTER I  Introduction Footnotes t o Chapter I  CHAPTER I I  The C i v i l J u r i s d i c t i o n of the Supreme Court o f B r i t i s h Columbia Footnotes t o Chapter I I  8 36  CHAPTER I I I  Record-Keeping P r a c t i c e s of the Supreme Court a t t h e Vancouver R e g i s t r y Footnotes t o Chapter I I I  40 63  I l l u s t r a t i v e B r i t i s h Columbia Case F i l e s i n Bankruptcy, D i v o r c e , T o r t , and Probate Footnotes t o Chapter IV  67 86  CHAPTER V  A p p r a i s a l o f Court Records, and t h e i r A r c h i v a l Use Footnotes t o Chapter V  87 95  CHAPTER VI  Conclusion  96  CHAPTER IV  Footnotes t o C o n c l u s i o n  1 7  101  BIBLIOGRAPHY  102  APPENDICES  110  Acknowledgement  I would l i k e t o acknowledge t h e generous a s s i s t a n c e o f Vancouver Court R e g i s t r y s t a f f who p r o v i d e d "the c o n t e x t u a l environment o f t h e r e c o r d " :  C e c i l A k r i g g , M e r l e Drews, Hugh  C r i s p F u l l e r and H.A. Stephens. I thank E l i z a b e t h Edingerj  F a c u l t y o f Law, U.B.C, f o r  r e a d i n g t h e d r a f t and making many h e l p f u l suggestions.  And I  am g r a t e f u l t o Hugh T a y l o r , School o f L i b r a r y , A r c h i v a l and Information tact.  S t u d i e s , U.B.C. f o r h i s encouragement, ideas, and  1 CHAPTER I Introduction  In o r d e r t o demonstrate the v a l u e o f c i v i l r e c o r d s f o r h i s t o r i c a l r e s e a r c h t h i s t h e s i s examines the documents r e c e i v e d and generated by the Supreme Court o f B r i t i s h Columbia a t the Vancouver r e g i s t r y . record-keeping  I t d e s c r i b e s the c o u r t system and  the  p r a c t i c e s o f the r e g i s t r y so as t o b r i n g the  records i n t o proper p e r s p e c t i v e and h e l p make them a c c e s s i b l e t o scholars. Accordingly,  t h i s the f i r s t  chapter p r o v i d e s an  historical  overview, g i v e s an e x p l a n a t i o n o f the c o u r t s t r u c t u r e today, the l e v e l s of c o u r t , and p l a c e s the Supreme Court of  British  Columbia i n the h i e r a r c h y o f the j u d i c i a l system.  The  second  chapter c h r o n i c l e s the h i s t o r y and j u r i s d i c t i o n s of the p r i m a r i l y from 1858  t o 1960,  Vancouver r e g i s t r y .  The whole, somewhat c o m p l i c a t e d  court  emphasizing the e v o l u t i o n o f the chronicle  r e q u i r e d a s e a r c h of the s t a t u t e s , the s e s s i o n a l papers, and  the  debates of the l e g i s l a t i v e assembly t o get at the b a s i c f a c t s . H i s t o r i a n Hamar F o s t e r , w r i t i n g i n 1984,  says, "whereas some  work has b e e n done on t h e j u d i c i a l s y s t e m p r i o r t o  1871,  v i r t u a l l y none has been done i n the 30 years f o l l o w i n g Confederation." covered,  1  The  c o l o n i a l p e r i o d has c e r t a i n l y been w e l l  but t h e r e are no ready secondary sources  Canadian p e r i o d t h a t f o l l o w e d . a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f the c o u r t :  The  f o r the  t h i r d chapter e x p l a i n s the  the p a r t p l a y e d by the  registrar  and h i s s t a f f , the people w i t h whom the documents are f i l e d ,  who  2  empanel the j u r y , make up the c o u r t l i s t s , monitor and r e c o r d the p r o g r e s s of a cause and s e a r c h r e c o r d s on request. e x p l a i n s how  the r e c o r d s are kept b e f o r e and d u r i n g t r i a l ,  the r e c o r d s c h e d u l i n g procedures. was  It  Information f o r t h i s  and  chapter  assembled through the a s s i s t a n c e o f p a s t and p r e s e n t c o u r t  registry  staff.  There f o l l o w s , i n Chapter Four, an examination  of  i n d i v i d u a l case f i l e s taken from the p e r s o n a l a c t i o n s , probate, bankruptcy  and d i v o r c e s e c t i o n s o f the Supreme Court, which are  s t o r e d i n t h e Court Records Centre a t Vancouver. came t o the c i v i l c o u r t s of t h e i r own  accord.  Individuals  Through the case  f i l e we know w i t h immediacy what brought them and how served.  The c i v i l case f i l e s a r e unsurpassed  they were  i n giving l i f e to  the s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n s and w i d e l y d i f f e r i n g p e r s o n a l i t i e s of the past.  The  f i f t h chapter o f f e r s a p r a c t i c a l means o f s e l e c t i n g  f i l e s f o r permanent p r e s e r v a t i o n and draws c o n c l u s i o n s .  The  t h e s i s d i s c u s s e s r e c o r d s i n the B.C.  and  does not, except i n c i d e n t a l l y , other  Supreme Court only,  r e f e r t o c i v i l b u s i n e s s under  jurisdictions. To use the r e c o r d s e f f e c t i v e l y , one r e q u i r e s a knowledge of  the s t r u c t u r e and procedures o f the c o u r t s and the common law. The common law system i s a d v e r s a r i a l . r e q u i r e s t h a t each s i d e p r e s e n t a case.  Audi a l t e r a m partem The manner o f p l e a d i n g  and the r u l e s of evidence are s e t out by s t a t u t e and are p r i n t e d i n the Rules o f C o u r t .  2  There i s an element o f t e c h n i c a l i t y i n  the system due t o a b e l i e f t h a t i t i s t h e p r o c e s s t h a t p r o t e c t s . Thus, lawyers speak of "due process".  The judge d e c i d e s between  3  the l i t i g a n t s and i s n o t an i n v e s t i g a t o r as he i s i n t h e French system;  he d e c i d e s o n l y t h e q u e s t i o n s t h a t counsel r a i s e i n  argument.  The h i g h e r c o u r t s a r e c o u r t s o f r e c o r d :  they a r e  bound by t h e i r own d e c i s i o n s , s t a r e d e c i s i s , and f o l l o w precedent.  Notable c o u r t d e c i s i o n s a r e p u b l i s h e d , and go t o  make up case law. Besides t h e a d v e r s a r i a l system, t h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f t h e common law t r a d i t i o n a r e p u b l i c t r i a l s , the i n s t i t u t i o n o f t h e j u r y , t h e r i g h t t o a speedy t r i a l , t h e r i g h t o f appeal t o a h i g h e r c o u r t , and an independent j u d i c i a r y w i t h t h e power t o grant o r d e r s and e n f o r c e judgments. A r e s e a r c h e r must a l s o understand  the hierarchy of the  c o u r t s i n o r d e r t o a s c e r t a i n what s o r t s o f r e c o r d s may be f o u n d i n each and, indeed, where they may be found. of  The Supreme Court  Canada, t h e F e d e r a l Court o f Canada ( f o r m e r l y t h e Exchequer  Court, t h e A d m i r a l t y Court, and t h e Immigration Court M a r t i a l Appeal  Court a r e a l l f e d e r a l l y  Court) and t h e  administered.  T h e i r extant r e c o r d s belong t o t h e Government o f Canada and may be t r a n s f e r r e d e i t h e r t o t h e Government r e c o r d c e n t r e i n H u l l o r to  t h e P u b l i c A r c h i v e s o f Canada i n Ottawa. The a r c h i v i s t should note t h a t t h e most important  cases  civil  (as w e l l as a l l d i v o r c e s p r i o r t o 1968) were t r i e d  either  i n Vancouver o r i n V i c t o r i a , n o t i n t h e j u d i c i a l d i s t r i c t s where the d i s p u t e s may have o r i g i n a t e d , except f o r mining  cases  d i v e r t e d t o t h e County Courts a f t e r 1957 (see Chapter  II) and  those cases h e l d over i n t h e d i s t r i c t f o r t h e a s s i z e s . Ownership o f t h e o b s o l e t e r e c o r d s o f p r o v i n c i a l l y  4 a d m i n i s t e r e d c o u r t s i s shared by the m u n i c i p a l i t i e s and the province.  Of those e x t a n t from the Vancouver r e g i s t r y a few  are  i n the Vancouver C i t y A r c h i v e s , the r e s t are on d e p o s i t a t the Court S e r v i c e s Record Centres or the P r o v i n c i a l A r c h i v e s o f British  Columbia.  In p r o v i n c i a l l y a d m i n i s t e r e d c o u r t s , judges f a l l categories:  those f e d e r a l l y appointed who  into  two  s i t i n County Court,  Supreme Court, and the Court o f Appeal, and those p r o v i n c i a l l y appointed judges who  s i t i n P r o v i n c i a l Court, f o r m e r l y c a l l e d  Magistrate's Court.  (Since 1974  t h e r e have been no  magistrates.) The o l d M a g i s t r a t e s Courts had j u r i s d i c t i o n over p e t t y crime, j u v e n i l e delinquency, and s m a l l c l a i m s .  But the  new  P r o v i n c i a l Courts have expanded t h e i r o p e r a t i o n s , e s p e c i a l l y i n c r i m i n a l matters. province.  They are now  the b u s i e s t c o u r t s i n the  Since, i n the beginning, they were e s t a b l i s h e d t o  d e a l w i t h the l e s s s e r i o u s o f f e n c e s , they were not a u t h o r i z e d t o hold jury t r i a l s . County Court.  And  Still,  so most c r i m i n a l j u r y t r i a l s  are heard i n  over n i n e t y p e r cent of c r i m i n a l cases are  heard i n P r o v i n c i a l Courts.  J u r i s d i c t i o n s i n c r i m i n a l areas are  determined by express p r o v i s i o n s i n the C r i m i n a l Code - a federal statute. l e v e l of c o u r t .  But the cases are not always a l l o c a t e d t o any A drug case today,  f o r i n s t a n c e , may  be heard  i n P r o v i n c i a l Court, County Court, o r Supreme Court w i t h  little  r e g a r d f o r the s e r i o u s n e s s o f the drug o f f e n c e . P r o v i n c i a l Courts now j u v e n i l e and f a m i l y  have e x c l u s i v e j u r i s d i c t i o n i n  matters.  There are then t h r e e d i v i s i o n s  5 w i t h i n the P r o v i n c i a l Court system: Claims.  C r i m i n a l , F a m i l y , and S m a l l  F a m i l y Court judges a r e s p e c i a l i s t s i n f a m i l y matters  and do not hear c r i m i n a l  trials.  County c o u r t s have t h e a u t h o r i t y t o t r y most c r i m i n a l cases.  Those beyond t h e i r j u r i s d i c t i o n a r e homicide,  treason, i n t i m i d a t i n g p a r l i a m e n t , mutiny, s e d i t i o n ,  high  piracy,  a l a r m i n g Her Majesty, and b r i b i n g j u d i c i a l o f f i c i a l s .  In c i v i l  cases, County Courts a r e r e s t r i c t e d by t h e amount o f damages sought.  The l i m i t today i s about t w e n t y - f i v e thousand  dollars.  A c c o r d i n g t o f e d e r a l law, d i v o r c e s a r e g r a n t e d o n l y by a Supreme Court judge, but s i n c e 1968 a County Court judge can by p r o v i n c i a l l a w be a u t h o r i z e d t o s i t as a l o c a l j u d g e o f t h e Supreme Court and hear d i v o r c e cases.  A l s o , by p r o v i n c i a l law,  a County C o u r t j u d g e may be a u t h o r i z e d t o h e a r p r o b a t e and bankruptcy  cases.  The Supreme Court o f B r i t i s h Columbia  has been e s t a b l i s h e d  as a c o u r t o f u n l i m i t e d j u r i s d i c t i o n and can t r y any case. Supreme Court j u s t i c e r e s i d e s i n V i c t o r i a ,  a l l others  One  (thirty-  one i n 1985) r e s i d e i n Vancouver, hear cases a t t h e Vancouver Law Courts and go on c i r c u i t t w i c e a year, s p r i n g and f a l l , t o h o l d A s s i z e Court i n t h e o t h e r t h i r t e e n j u d i c i a l d i s t r i c t s o f the p r o v i n c e .  The C h i e f J u s t i c e o f t h e Supreme Court o r g a n i z e s  the schedule o f cases and a s s i g n s t h e s e v e r a l judges t o t h e v a r i o u s cases i n t h e Supreme Court.  The c h i e f  justice  t r a d i t i o n a l l y a s s i g n e d a balance, t o ensure t h a t not a l l one type o f case was t r i e d by any one judge. s p e c i a l i s t s i n t h e Supreme Court.  There a r e no  6  Today i n B r i t i s h Columbia,  a l l t h e Appeal Court j u s t i c e s  ( t h i r t e e n ) r e s i d e i n Vancouver and t h e appeals a r e heard i n Vancouver.  Appeal from t h e B.C. Court o f Appeal may be made t o  t h e Supreme C o u r t o f Canada, w h i c h w i l l h e a r a c a s e o n l y i f a s p e c i a l p o i n t o f l a w i s i n q u e s t i o n o r i f t h e i s s u e i s one o f public interest.  U n t i l 1949, appeals i n c i v i l cases c o u l d be  made t o t h e Lord J u s t i c e s o f t h e P r i v y C o u n c i l i n London.  Bound  c o p i e s o f t h e s e appeal books, an important r e f e r e n c e , a r e i n t h e Law  L i b r a r y a t U.B.C. The a r c h i v i s t s h o u l d a l s o be aware o f t h e r e c o r d s generated  by " b u r e a u c r a t i c " law. Regulatory boards,  administrative  agencies and t r i b u n a l s have been used i n c r e a s i n g l y t o d i v e r t l i t i g a n t s from t h e c o u r t s , and many d i s p u t e s a r e s e t t l e d by their officers.  F o r i n s t a n c e , l a n d l o r d - t e n a n t d i f f e r e n c e s have  been a d j u d i c a t e d by t h e Rentalsman, and employer-employee c o n f l i c t s by t h e Labour R e l a t i o n s Board.  Some o f t h e s e  r e g u l a t i n g boards a r e s u b j e c t t o j u d i c i a l review and some a r e not.  T h e i r powers, procedures and r u l e s o f evidence vary.  Thus, t h e Rentalsman c o u l d take submissions over t h e telephone and t h e Workers' Compensation Board w i l l a c c e p t anonymous i n f o r m a t i o n , such as, an unsigned l e t t e r from a p a r t y who saw h i s " d i s a b l e d " neighbour c l i m b a fence. covers o n l y r e c o r d s whose provenance  T h i s study, however,  i s the B r i t i s h  Columbia  Supreme Court. The f o r e g o i n g o u t l i n e o f a l l t h e c o u r t s o p e r a t i n g i n Vancouver i s t o p l a c e i n context a s p e c t s o f t h e Supreme Court now t o be examined i n d e t a i l .  7  Notes t o Chapter I  ^•Hamar F o s t e r , "Law Enforcement i n Nineteenth-Century B r i t i s h Columbia," B.C. S t u d i e s 63 (Autumn 1984), p. 25. I n f o r m a t i o n on the c o u r t s t r u c t u r e i s taken from P e r r y M i l l a r and C a r l Barr, J u d i c i a l A d m i n i s t r a t i o n i n Canada (Kingston and M o n t r e a l : M c G i l l - Q u e e n s U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1981) 2  1  8  CHAPTER I I The C i v i l J u r i s d i c t i o n o f t h e Supreme Court  What f o l l o w s i s a l o o k a t t h e g r o w t h o f t h e B r i t i s h Columbia Supreme Court from t h e days o f a s i n g l e i t i n e r a n t c o l o n i a l judge r e s i d e n t i n Langley o r New Westminster, t o a Supreme Court c e n t r e d a t l a s t i n Vancouver with, i n 1960, fourteen J u s t i c e s .  A subordinate  aim o f t h i s c h r o n i c l e i s t o  draw a t t e n t i o n t o t h e p a r t i c u l a r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f t h e B r i t i s h Columbia j u d i c a t u r e which made i t u n l i k e t h e c o u r t s i n t h e American West and u n l i k e t h e e a r l i e r c o l o n i a l / C a n a d i a n  courts  t h a t f u n c t i o n e d i n t h e M a r i t i m e s and i n C e n t r a l Canada. For when Upper Canada was severed  from the O l d P r o v i n c e o f  Quebec (because t h e new American s e t t l e r s , i n h e r i t o r s o f t h e common law, c o u l d not accept t h e French l e g a l system) t h e c o u r t s they e s t a b l i s h e d were d e c e n t r a l i z e d and i n f o r m a l , as i n t h e 1  United States.  Q u i t e otherwise  was the s i t u a t i o n i n B r i t i s h  Columbia where t h e c o u r t was c e n t r a l i z e d and s t r i c t l y  formal;  B r i t i s h Columbia's v e r s i o n was not an e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y  court  l i k e Ontario's, s e t up t o accommodate men d i s p l a c e d by t h e American R e v o l u t i o n ,  but a mid-nineteenth century c o u r t t h a t  combined a t i t s i n c e p t i o n t h e Common Law, Chancery and E c c l e s i a s t i c a l Courts f i f t e e n years  i n t o one Supreme Court  ( a n t i c i p a t i n g by  s i m i l a r r e f o r m s i n England).  In t h e West t h e g r a n t i n g o f c i v i l j u r i s d i c t i o n was consequent on t h e commercial a c t i v i t y o f t h e r e g i o n ( f i r s t , t h e  9  fur  t r a d e , then the g o l d rush).  system was growth.  colonial  c o n s t i t u t e d a t the o u t s e t t o a l l o w f o r economic  The  first  c o u r t , then,  counterpart i n Ontario, mercantile,  B r i t i s h Columbia's  and  was  more E n g l i s h than i t s  and e s s e n t i a l l y e n e r g e t i c , p r o g r e s s i v e ,  Victorian.  Before embarking upon a h i s t o r y of the B r i t i s h Columbia Supreme Court,  we  must f i r s t r e c o g n i z e t h a t a c t s t o secure  law  and order, throughout the western t e r r i t o r i e s as a whole, were i n p l a c e b e f o r e the c o l o n i e s o f Vancouver I s l a n d and Columbia were a c t u a l l y e s t a b l i s h e d .  British  This contrasts sharply with  the Western U n i t e d S t a t e s where s e t t l e r s ,  f a r from an  e n f o r c e a b l e and c l e a r a u t h o r i t y , behaved w i l d l y o r took the i n t o t h e i r own  law  hands.  By an a c t o f the B r i t i s h P a r l i a m e n t  i n 1803 , f u r t r a d e r s 2  v e n t u r i n g i n t o I n d i a n t e r r i t o r y were under the j u r i s d i c t i o n of the C o l o n i a l Courts of Upper and Lower Canada;  any  traders  a c c u s e d o f c r i m e s were t o be. s e n t e a s t t o t h e C a n a d i a n c o u r t s for  trial.  But the a c t a p p l i e d t o c r i m i n a l o f f e n c e s only.  As  the t r a d e r s i n Indian t e r r i t o r y became more numerous and o r g a n i z e d themselves i n t o companies, d i s p u t e s r e s u l t i n g from commercial c o m p e t i t i o n became more frequent, and what u r g e n t l y needed was  c i v i l law t h a t would d e a l w i t h  w i t h l i c e n c e s , debts, and  inheritance.  "for civil  was  business,  creditors, contracts, obligation,  A c c o r d i n g l y , i n 1820  an a c t was  property  proclaimed  r e g u l a t i n g the f u r t r a d e and e s t a b l i s h i n g c r i m i n a l and j u r i s d i c t i o n w i t h i n c e r t a i n p a r t s of North America":  3  10 t h a t i s , i n t h e t e r r i t o r i e s beyond Upper and Lower Canada and o u t s i d e o f t h e c i v i l government o f t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s .  The a c t  p r o v i d e d f o r a J u s t i c e o f t h e Peace a t each f u r - t r a d e r f o r t " f o r persons appointed under t h e Great S e a l t o s i t and h o l d Court o f Record f o r t h e t r i a l o f c r i m i n a l o f f e n c e s and misdemeanors and also of c i v i l  causes."  These c o u r t s were what we would  4  lower o r i n f e r i o r c o u r t s .  S e r i o u s crimes, p u n i s h a b l e by c a p i t a l  punishment o r t r a n s p o r t a t i o n , and c i v i l had s t i l l  call  a c t i o n s exceeding £22  t o be sent t o Upper Canada f o r t r i a l .  In 1821 t h e Hudson's Bay Company merged w i t h t h e Northwest Company, moved i n t o t h e "Oregon T e r r i t o r y " and e s t a b l i s h e d headquarters  a t F o r t Vancouver on t h e Columbia R i v e r .  This  company had a l i c e n c e from Great B r i t a i n f o r a monopoly o f t r a d e west o f t h e Rockies.  However, t h e d i s p u t e d "Oregon T e r r i t o r y "  was granted t o t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s , and i n 1843 James Douglas, C h i e f F a c t o r o f t h e Hudson's Bay Company, e s t a b l i s h e d a new t r a d i n g f o r t on Vancouver I s l a n d , F o r t V i c t o r i a , when t h e c o l o n y was proclaimed, A c c o r d i n g t o Blackstone,  had o n l y t h i r t y  which i n 1849, colonists!  E n g l i s h s e t t l e r s l o c a t i n g i n a country  where t h e r e i s no s e t t l e d system o f j u r i s p r u d e n c e , c a r r y t h e common law w i t h them.  These t h i r t y c o l o n i s t s then were under  the common law as w e l l as t h e aforementioned  A c t s o f George I I I  and George IV. Nevertheless, t h e B r i t i s h Government  immediately  passed, on J u l y 28, 1849, An A c t t o P r o v i d e f o r t h e A d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f J u s t i c e i n Vancouver's I s l a n d , which r e p e a l e d the o l d a c t s r e q u i r i n g s u p e r i o r c o u r t t r i a l s  t o be sent t o t h e  Canadas and gave t h e c o l o n y on t h e P a c i f i c t h e power t o s e t up  11  the machinery o f E n g l i s h Common Law:  a hierarchy of courts,  i n c l u d i n g a supreme c o u r t o f u n l i m i t e d j u r i s d i c t i o n w i t h t h e r i g h t o f appeal i n a l l c i v i l cases t o the P r i v y C o u n c i l i n England remained  (whereas the f i n a l d i s p o s i t i o n o f c r i m i n a l cases w i t h i n the colony).  The a c t gave the c o u r t e q u i t a b l e  and e c c l e s i a s t i c a l j u r i s d i c t i o n w e l l b e f o r e the J u d i c a t u r e A c t s of  1873-75 (U.K.) merged the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of law,  ecclesiastical  c o u r t s i n England.  e q u i t y and  I t declared:  The s a i d Supreme Court s h a l l have cognizance o f p l e a s , j u r i s d i c t i o n i n a l l c i v i l cases a r i s i n g w i t h i n the s a i d colony, w i t h j u r i s d i c t i o n over Her (Majesty's) s u b j e c t s and a l l o t h e r persons whomsoever r e s i d i n g and b e i n g w i t h i n the s a i d colony, and s h a l l have a l l such e q u i t a b l e j u r i s d i c t i o n and a l l such powers f o r e n f o r c i n g and g i v i n g e f f e c t t o the same as the High Court of Chancery hath i n England .... The Court s h a l l have power t o a p p o i n t and c o n t r o l guardians o f i n f a n t s and t h e i r e s t a t e s and committees o f p e r s o n s and e s t a t e s o f i d i o t s , l u n a t i c s . . . and s h a l l have e x c l u s i v e j u r i s d i c t i o n i n a l l q u e s t i o n s r e l a t i n g t o t e s t a t o r y o r i n t e s t a t o r y matters, and t o the v a l i d i t y o f w i l l s o f p e r s o n a l p r o p e r t y as f u l l y as any E c c l e s i a s t i c a l Court hath i n England and s h a l l have powers t o g r a n t probate o f w i l l s , l e t t e r s of a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . . . and j u r i s d i c t i o n t o apply, judge and determine upon and a c c o r d i n g t o the laws now or h e r e a f t e r i n f o r c e w i t h i n Her Majesty' s a i d c o l o n y . . . and j u r i s d i c t i o n and a u t h o r i t y t o review the proceedings of a l l i n f e r i o r courts of c i v i l j u s t i c e w i t h i n Her Majesty's s a i d colony, and i f necessary, t o s e t a s i d e o r c o r r e c t t h e same . . . . And  so t h e court's a u t h o r i t y began i n 1849,  when Governor  Blanshard, e s t a b l i s h i n g a lower c o u r t t o s e t t l e d i s p u t e s among a few c o l o n i a l  c o a l miners and the Vancouver I s l a n d Indians,  appointed Dr. J.S. Helmcken as J u s t i c e o f the Peace a t F o r t Rupert.  12 By 1858 t h e i s l a n d had a w h i t e p o p u l a t i o n o f 774, and two major c e n t r e s , V i c t o r i a and Nanaimo.  On the v a s t mainland,  Caledonia", t h e r e were o n l y a few whites, the f u r t r a d e .  "New  a l l associated with  But when g o l d was d i s c o v e r e d i n t h e F r a s e r R i v e r  i n t h e s p r i n g o f 1858, people poured i n t o the colony.  Iti s  s a i d t h a t t w e n t y - f i v e thousand disembarked a t V i c t o r i a b e f o r e the year's end.  James Douglas, who succeeded Blanshard as  Governor, had no l e g a l a u t h o r i t y over t h e mainland where most o f the immigrants were headed. was promptly  The mainland, o r "New  Caledonia",  p r o c l a i m e d t h e "Colony o f B r i t i s h Columbia" and S i r  Edward Bulwer-Lytton,  t h e c o l o n i a l s e c r e t a r y , appointed s i x  o f f i c i a l s t o a d m i n i s t e r t h e a f f a i r s o f t h e colony among them an inspector of police,  an a t t o r n e y - g e n e r a l and as C h i e f J u s t i c e ,  an e n e r g e t i c London lawyer who had had f i r s t - h a n d  experience  f o r t i f y i n g t h e b u s i n e s s law o f an e x p a n s i o n i s t economy i n England. Matthew Begbie a r r i v e d i n V i c t o r i a November 16, 1858. T r a v e l l i n g t o F o r t Langley he read out p r o c l a m a t i o n s Bulwer-Lytton,  from  one i n d e m n i f y i n g c o l o n i a l o f f i c i a l s f o r any a c t s  done b e f o r e they had l e g i t i m a t e a u t h o r i t y i n B r i t i s h Columbia, and t h e o t h e r p r o c l a i m i n g t h e l a w o f E n g l a n d t o be t h e l a w o f B r i t i s h Columbia.  6  S i x months l a t e r , he p r o c l a i m e d t h e  i n s t i t u t i o n o f t h e Supreme Court o f B r i t i s h Columbia, a c o u r t having j u r i s d i c t i o n i n a l l cases c i v i l o r c r i m i n a l i n t h e colony and o b s e r v i n g t h e forms and procedures England.  o f the common law o f  Adherence t o t h e E n g l i s h Law A c t , i n c i d e n t a l l y ,  remained a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f B r i t i s h Columbia's c o u r t s f o r a t  13  l e a s t a hundred and t w e n t y - f i v e years. In December 1859,  Begbie i s s u e d t h e g e n e r a l r u l e s  and  o r d e r s o f c o u r t f o r the colony and o r d e r e d t h a t the c o u r t should sit  f o u r t i m e s a year a t Langley.  He a l s o s e t down t h e  r e g u l a t i o n s a d m i t t i n g b a r r i s t e r s s i n c e i n d i v i d u a l s b e f o r e the law  ought t o have r e c o u r s e t o a competent defender  or  advocate.  H i s r e g u l a t i o n s were l e s s s t r i c t than those i n the Colony  of  Vancouver I s l a n d i n t h a t he would ( i n theory) a l l o w Americans t o be admitted 1858,  t o the bar.  H i s l e t t e r t o Douglas, 29 December,  w i t h i t s n o t i o n o f p u b l i c law expressed a theme t o which  j u s t i c e s o f the Supreme Court o f B r i t i s h Columbia would keep returning: To r e n d e r a c o u r t o f j u s t i c e u s e f u l i t i s more important t h a t the s u i t o r s should be s a t i s f i e d than t h a t s u b s t a n t i a l j u s t i c e s h o u l d be done. S u b s t a n t i a l j u s t i c e m i g h t be and o f t e n i s done by a s t r o n g despotism; i t m i g h t and w o u l d be j u s t as o f t e n as not, the r e s u l t , i f the d e c i s i o n were l e f t t o chance. But n e i t h e r a despotism nor the hazard o f d i c e would be a s a t i s f a c t o r y t r i b u n a l a t the p r e s e n t day. Absence of counsel merely i n c o n v e n i e n t i n c i v i l cases o f t e n operates w i t h extreme c r u e l t y i n c r i m i n a l cases, n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g the utmost a n x i e t y o f the Judge. During the f i r s t for  e l e v e n years, Begbie was  the o n l y judge  the c o l o n y and p r o c l a i m e d and m a i n t a i n e d the majesty of the  law throughout  the whole t e r r i t o r y ;  the b u l k of the  cases  d e c i d e d by him were c i v i l and, d u r i n g t h e g o l d r u s h p e r i o d , most of  t h e s e concerned  the ownership of m i n e r a l c l a i m s . A r t h u r  Bushby, t h e i r r e p r e s s i b l e young Englishman who r e g i s t r a r and went on c i r c u i t w i t h him,  was  h i s court  wrote i n h i s d i a r y ,  14  "There a r e heaps o f c i v i l  cases here  [Yale] - H i c k s recorded the  same p i e c e o f l a n d t o t h r e e d i f f e r e n t persons w i t h i n one week."  8  Begbie's biographer, David W i l l i a m s , w r i t e s t h a t t h e c o l o n i a l o f f i c i a l s dreaded C a l i f o r n i a n consequences,  and t h a t  the g r e a t accomplishment o f t h e g o l d mining p e r i o d was t h e i m p o s i t i o n o f a s e t t l e d , uniform, a c c e p t a b l e and accepted law.  civil  D i s p u t e s and c l a i m jumping q u e s t i o n s would be s e t t l e d  b e f o r e m a t t e r s d e t e r i o r a t e d and b e f o r e v i o l e n c e and c r i m e s resulted.  The f r e e e n t e r p r i s e s p i r i t had f l o u r i s h e d i n t h e  C a l i f o r n i a m i n i n g camps, where each camp d e c i d e d i t s own r u l e s . These American camp committees excluded Chinese from s t a k i n g c l a i m s and o f t e n b l a c k s and Indians too. rules f o r prospectors.  Here Begbie wrote the  Very soon a f t e r h i s a r r i v a l ,  d r a f t e d two e s s e n t i a l p i e c e s o f l e g i s l a t i o n : 1859  and t h e Gold F i e l d s A c t o f 1859.  Begbie  the A l i e n s ' A c t o f  The A l i e n s ' A c t gave  i n c o m e r s t h e r i g h t t o d e a l i n l a n d , and g r a n t e d them an e a s y means o f n a t u r a l i z a t i o n .  The Gold F i e l d s A c t gave d e t a i l s o f  the r u l e s governing l a n d r e g i s t r a t i o n .  The a c t addressed  time  l i m i t a t i o n s on working a c l a i m , uses o f water ( f o r s l u i c e mining), d i t c h i n g , improvements, abandonment, mechanisms f o r t r a n s f e r r i n g c l a i m s , creek boundaries, and procedures t o f o l l o w when a creek changes course. to  Gold Commissioners were a s s i g n e d  each area t o e n f o r c e t h e mining r e g u l a t i o n s , and t h e peace  was m a i n t a i n e d .  9  F o r as Judge Begbie wrote t o Douglas, t h e  miners had come t o B r i t i s h Columbia f i g h t each  other.  1 0  t o make money and n o t t o  15 The two  c o l o n i e s , Vancouver  were u n i t e d i n 1866. Westminster,  was  V i c t o r i a i n 1870.  I s l a n d and B r i t i s h  Columbia,  Judge Begbie, keeping h i s r e s i d e n c e i n New  c h i e f j u s t i c e o f the mainland u n t i l he moved t o From then u n t i l h i s death i n 1894,  c h i e f j u s t i c e o f the p r o v i n c e .  In 1870,  the  he  was  legislature  a p p o i n t e d a second Supreme Court j u s t i c e , Henry P e r i n g P e l l e w Crease.  Now  both judges r e s i d e d i n V i c t o r i a and went out on  c i r c u i t f o r the a s s i z e s . The c o u r t system had been f i n a n c e d w i t h i n t h e Colony p r i n c i p a l l y from e x c i s e d u t i e s and r e g i s t r y  fees.  When t h e  c o l o n y became a p r o v i n c e of Canada i n 1871,  British  Columbia's  economy was depressed, g o l d mining a c t i v i t i e s had slowed down and, w i t h o n l y n i n e thousand c i t i z e n s , the t a x base was  meagre.  Under t h e terms o f c o n f e d e r a t i o n , the Dominion Government a p p o i n t e d and p a i d the s a l a r i e s o f the Supreme Court and  County  Court judges, w h i l e the p r o v i n c i a l governments appointed and p a i d f o r the support s t a f f — officials,  the r e g i s t r a r s ,  r e p o r t e r s , ushers and j a n i t o r s .  sheriffs,  court  And the p r o v i n c e had  a l s o t o b u i l d the courthouses - a heavy load. A f t e r c o n f e d e r a t i o n , i n 1872, the Dominion Government a p p o i n t e d a t h i r d judge t o the B.C. Supreme Court, John Hamilton Gray, the  a former speaker o f the New  Brunswick l e g i s l a t u r e ,  "Fathers o f Confederation", and a member o f the  Canadian P a r l i a m e n t .  1 1  The judges were a l l w e l l  one o f  first  qualified.  Matthew Begbie had a degree from Cambridge i n mathematics and classics,  was  a s u c c e s s f u l lawyer i n Chancery and a s p e c i a l i s t  i n t h e law o f p a r t n e r s h i p .  Crease, l i k e Begbie, was  a graduate  16  o f C a m b r i d g e and a member o f t h e E n g l i s h b a r .  B o t h were men  u n f a i l i n g i n d u s t r y w i t h a genuine z e s t f o r p u b l i c s e r v i c e . attended t o a l l the d e t a i l s of the c o u r t s , went on ( t h e i r s u p e r v i s i n g a s s i z e s were almost an arm o f and d i d whatever e l s e was  of They  circuit government),  e s s e n t i a l f o r the o r d e r l y  administration of j u s t i c e .  Indeed, Begbie, w r i t i n g t o S i r John  A. Macdonald i n Ottawa, d e c l a r e d , "I never consented t o become a d i s t r i c t judge, much l e s s a county c o u r t judge or Gold Commissioner, though c a p a c i t i e s when I saw  I have not h e s i t a t e d t o a c t i n these any  necessity."  1 2  There were t h r e e Supreme Court judges, and t h e o n l y appeal from t h e i r d e c i s i o n s even a f t e r C o n f e d e r a t i o n was t h e P r i v y C o u n c i l i n London.  To make h i g h c o u r t appeals e a s i e r ,  the  p r o v i n c i a l l e g i s l a t u r e passed the " J u d i c a t u r e A c t o f 1 8 7 9 "  13  a u t h o r i z i n g an appeal procedure t o the " F u l l Court" i n V i c t o r i a . The F u l l Court comprised t h r e e judges of t h e Supreme Court s i t t i n g t o g e t h e r and r e c e i v i n g f u r t h e r evidence on q u e s t i o n s o f f a c t or law;  t h a t i s , the a c t p r o v i d e d f o r a r e - t r i a l ,  an appeal on a q u e s t i o n o f law.  not j u s t  Appeal t o the Supreme Court  f r o m t h e S m a l l Debt C o u r t , on t h e o t h e r hand, was m e r e l y on a question of  law.  The main i n c e n t i v e f o r C o n f e d e r a t i o n had been the promise of a t r a n s c o n t i n e n t a l r a i l w a y .  By 1885,  the CPR had  completed  i t s l i n e t o t h e P a c i f i c Coast, unexpectedly e x t e n d i n g i t f i f t e e n m i l e s so t h a t Vancouver,  not P o r t Moody, became the terminus.  " W i t h i n weeks o f i t s i n c o r p o r a t i o n (1886)", Margaret Ormsby  17 w r i t e s , "the c i t y had population  o f 2000."  800  business  The  14  Miller,  The  town, but  two  file  designated  Court.  the Maple Tree Square f i r e d e s t r o y e d  a s s i z e s t h e r e a f t e r the f i r e .  Burrard  Jonathan  a l s o served as C l e r k o f the  not the "Court House".  kept t h e r e ;  a  l o g c e l l s , so i t was  C i t y of Vancouver's policeman,  l i v e d t h e r e and  In June 1886,  and  f i r s t government b u i l d i n g on  I n l e t , the Custom House, had a c o u r t house.  establishments  the  Judge Begbie h e l d the  fall  No Supreme Court r e c o r d s were  i t d i d not have the o f f i c e s o r c o u r t r e g i s t r y t o  documents. When t h e c i t y was  i n c o r p o r a t e d the f i v e c l e a r l y d e f i n e d  j u d i c i a l d i s t r i c t s i n the p r o v i n c e were: Yale, Cariboo  and New  c o u r t judge and  V i c t o r i a , Nanaimo,  Westminster, each w i t h a r e s i d e n t county  court registry.  Westminster J u d i c i a l D i s t r i c t .  Vancouver was I t had  i t s own  p a r t o f the magistrate's  c o u r t t o d e a l w i t h p o l i c e charges, by-law i n f r a c t i o n s and debt cases,  but  the c i t y ' s development was  the l a c k o f a c i v i l court. the sum  not s u f f i c i e n t . $1,500 more.  small  no county c o u r t r e g i s t r y o r l a n d r e g i s t r y .  From i t s founding,  granted  New  The  hampered by  P r o v i n c i a l L e g i s l a t u r e had  o f $5,000 f o r a c o u r t house; however, t h a t In 1889,  was  the aldermen p e t i t i o n e d V i c t o r i a f o r  They needed the e x t r a money because the  initial  grant d i d not extend t o . . . [a] r e g i s t r y o f f i c e , and o t h e r s u i t a b l e n e c e s s a r y o f f i c e s f o r the o f f i c i a l s r e q u i r e d i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h the s a i d c o u r t house and r e g i s t r y o f f i c e . . . T h e r e i s no Land R e g i s t r y o f f i c e i n t h e s a i d c i t y o f Vancouver, and i n consequence the c i t i z e n s and p u b l i c c o n t i n u a l l y are put t o g r e a t  18 inconvenience and expense, by h a v i n g t o go t o New Westminster t o r e g i s t e r a l l t h e i r conveyances o f Real and P e r s o n a l E s t a t e s , and search t h e t i t l e s t o t h e same. 15  I t was a t a x i n g j o u r n e y t h i r t y m i l e s s o u t h t o New Westminster.  By then Vancouver was t h r i v i n g ,  h a v i n g a growing  p o p u l a t i o n o f 11,000 persons, 2,700 b u i l d i n g s ,  three chartered  banks, and a need f o r a p l a c e t o conduct o r d i n a r y business.  civil  But t h e aldermen's hopes were d i s a p p o i n t e d .  The unaugmented c o u r t house a t Cambie and H a s t i n g s the  s i t e o f V i c t o r y Square) was  (now  opened i n October 1890.  A.E.  Beck was r e g i s t r a r o f t h e County Court, c l e r k o f t h e peace and r e g i s t r a r o f b i r t h , deaths and marriages.  The Inns o f Court  B u i l d i n g h o u s i n g the l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n was next door t o i t on Hamilton S t r e e t . D i s t r i c t o f New New  S t i l l Vancouver remained p a r t o f t h e J u d i c i a l Westminster, even though the c i t y had surpassed  Westminster i n p o p u l a t i o n and was o n l y s l i g h t l y s m a l l e r than  Victoria.  1 6  Lawyers, now  o r g a n i z e d i n t o the Vancouver Bar A s s o c i a t i o n ,  j o i n e d the aldermen, businessmen and Vancouver MLA's i n p r e s s i n g the  l e g i s l a t u r e f o r a s u p e r i o r c o u r t judge.  The  legislature  a t l a s t gave way and passed the Supreme Court A c t Amendment A c t of 1 8 9 2  17  c r e a t i n g the Vancouver J u d i c i a l D i s t r i c t .  The A c t  d e f i n e d i n d e t a i l g e o g r a p h i c a l boundaries of t h e D i s t r i c t and p r o v i d e d t h a t "the r e g i s t r y  f o r the J u d i c i a l D i s t r i c t o f  Vancouver be t h e C i t y o f Vancouver."  But such was not t o be,  and t h e case o f Vancouver's Supreme Court Judge p r o v i d e s a l e s s o n i n t h e u n r e l i a b i l i t y o f s t a t u t e s as evidence i n  19  h i s t o r i c a l reconstructions.  F o r t o have a j u d i c i a l  district  t h e r e must be a r e s i d e n t judge. On the Supreme Court bench were Begbie,  Crease, J.F.  McCreight, Montague W i l l i a m Tyrwhitt-Drake, and George Walkem ( r e p l a c i n g Alexander Robertson).  Both McCreight and t h e l a t e  Alexander Robertson had been b r i e f l y r e s i d e n t i n the w i t h unhappy and,  i n the case o f Robertson,  interior  tragic results.  The  arrangement known as " d i s t r i c t i n g " , which sent a Supreme Court judge t o r e s i d e i n an a s s i g n e d j u d i c i a l d i s t r i c t , was experience f o r the p r o v i n c i a l a t t o r n e y - g e n e r a l . Begbie had r e s i d e d i n New exceptional;  Westminster  a testing  I t i s true that  f o r twelve years.  He  was  the o t h e r s were r e l u c t a n t t o l e a v e V i c t o r i a .  T h e o r e t i c a l l y , t h e judges were t o d e c i d e the placement  among  t h e m s e l v e s , b u t t h e y w o u l d n o t s e n d one o f t h e i r own t o t h e Cariboo o r Kootenays away from the p l e a s a n t a m e n i t i e s o f V i c t o r i a , the p r o t o c o l o f Government House, b a l l s , p a r t i e s and r e g a t t a s .  Vancouver was  garden  j u s t as remote s p i r i t u a l l y .  The p r o v i n c i a l c a b i n e t d i d not have the courage t o p i c k out one judge and send him o f f .  The A t t o r n e y - G e n e r a l , Theodore  Davie, wrote t o the M i n i s t e r o f J u s t i c e i n Ottawa g i v i n g t h e reasons f o r r e q u i r i n g a second r e g i s t r y on the  mainland:  . . . the amount o f l e g a l b u s i n e s s t r a n s a c t e d i n V a n c o u v e r was e q u a l t o i f n o t g r e a t e r t h a n t h a t t r a n s a c t e d i n New Westminster, and i s c o n s t a n t l y i n c r e a s i n g , and g r e a t inconvenience has been o c c a s i o n e d n o t o n l y t o members o f t h e Bar b u t a l s o t o every b u s i n e s s man who had o c c a s i o n t o r e s o r t t o the c o u r t s by the n e c e s s i t y o f a t t e n d i n g Westminster f o r every p e t t y matter which might a r i s e i n the course o f an a c t i o n .  20  Davie added, I t a p p e a r e d t o me t h a t b e f o r e i t w o u l d be p o s s i b l e t o a d v i s e t h e p r o c l a m a t i o n o f the A c t i t would be n e c e s s a r y f o r you t o t a k e t h e m a t t e r i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n , i n view o f t h e f a c t t h a t u n l e s s t h e r e i s some u n d e r s t a n d i n g as t o who s h a l l p e r f o r m t h e j u d i c i a l d u t i e s w i t h i n t h e new D i s t r i c t [Vancouver] any attempted c r e a t i o n o f t h e D i s t r i c t would be futile . . . 1 8  He asked t h e m i n i s t e r t o a s s i g n a judge t o t h e d i s t r i c t .  The  r e p l y from t h e Canadian deputy asked t h a t Davie " k i n d l y p o i n t out any machinery g i v i n g t h e Government t h e power t o a s s i g n judges t o d i s t r i c t s " and t h a t he knew n o t how under f e d e r a l l e g i s l a t i o n t h e matter c o u l d be remedied. c o n c i l i a t o r y r e p l y t o t h e deputy, he s a i d  existing In Davie's  t h a t t h e c a r r y i n g out  o f t h e a c t "seems t o be a m a t t e r o f a r r a n g e m e n t b e t w e e n t h e judges themselves, but, f a i l i n g such an arrangement,  i t seems t o  me t h a t t h e Dominion Government can u s e f u l l y i n t e r v e n e , " he r e f e r r e d t o t h e "Thrasher C a s e . "  20  1 9  and  Davie wrote, "The  D i s t r i c t i n g o f t h e Judges a t t h a t time, as i t has always done, gave much t r o u b l e so t h a t t h e Dominion Government i n t e r v e n e d then and s h o u l d now."  21  The s i t u a t i o n was so d i f f i c u l t f o r  D a v i e t h a t he went t o O t t a w a t o d i s c u s s t h e q u e s t i o n w i t h t h e Minister himself.  2 2  deputy, a f f i r m e d h i s  A note from Davie t o S i r John Thompson, t h e compromise w i t h t h e m i n i s t e r :  t h e New  Westminster County Court Judge Bole's j u r i s d i c t i o n as a l o c a l j u d g e o f t h e Supreme C o u r t h a d been e n l a r g e d t o a l l o w h i m t o s i t in  Vancouver.  23  S i n c e Judge Bole's t i m e would be taken up d i s c h a r g i n g h i s  21  d u t i e s i n New  Westminster i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g t h a t such an  arrangement d i d not s a t i s f y t h e people o f Vancouver. put t o t h e l e g i s l a t u r e by Vancouver MLA's i n 1894, 1896 demanding a r e s i d e n t judge a l l p a s s e d .  2 4  Motions  1895,  and  Four Supreme  Court Judges r e s i d e d i n V i c t o r i a , but none i n Vancouver, i n s p i t e o f t h e volume o f l e g a l b u s i n e s s t r a n s a c t e d t h e r e .  When  Mr. J u s t i c e P e l l e w Crease r e t i r e d i n 1896, Vancouver MLA's broached t h e matter i n the l e g i s l a t u r e once again.  Member  W i l l i a m s s a i d t h a t doubts e x i s t e d as t o t h e e f f i c a c y o f t h e House's l e g i s l a t i o n :  the L e g i s l a t u r e s h o u l d r e q u e s t t h e  Dominion Government (as Davie had done f o u r y e a r s e a r l i e r ) t h a t any judge appointed t o f i l l  t h e vacancy "should be compelled t o  r e s i d e a t t h e C i t y o f Vancouver, or i n t h e neighbourhood t h e r e o f . "  2 5  immediate  However, Angus John M c C o l l ( l a t e r  C h i e f J u s t i c e ) when appointed, s t a y e d i n V i c t o r i a . The P r o v i n c i a l Cabinet seems t o have backed away from t h e 1892 A c t which made p r o v i s i o n f o r a Vancouver r e g i s t r y .  "A  P e t i t i o n from the Vancouver Bar A s s o c i a t i o n " t a b l e d i n March 1901 makes t h e r e q u e s t a g a i n t h a t "one o f the judges a s s i g n e d t o the mainland should r e s i d e i n t h e C i t y o f Vancouver, and i t i s expedient t h a t a s e c t i o n t o so p r o v i d e be r e - i n s e r t e d i n t h e S.C. A c t . "  2 6  But t h e r e was  still  no a c t i o n .  Drake r e t i r e d i n 1904, Lyman Duff was  When T y r w h i t t e -  e l e v a t e d t o t h e bench.  In  h i s biography o f Duff, W i l l i a m s w r i t e s t h a t Duff was "expected t o r e s i d e i n Vancouver, but though he may  have commuted between  Vancouver and V i c t o r i a f o r s e v e r a l months, he kept h i s home i n  Victoria."  2 7  F i n a l l y , i n the f a l l  o f 1904, when t h e c o u r t had been  e n l a r g e d t o f i v e , Aulay MacAulay M o r r i s o n ,  t h e L i b e r a l MP f o r  New Westminster, who a l r e a d y l i v e d i n Vancouver, became t h e f i r s t r e s i d e n t Supreme Court Judge f o r a c i t y which was i n t h e m i d s t o f one o f i t s g r e a t e s t growth p e r i o d s seaport, w i t h a r a i l w a y l i n e t o S e a t t l e ,  2 9  2 8  as an  important  and as a m a i n  s u p p l i e r f o r the hinterland. Much o f t h e l e g i s l a t i o n passed d u r i n g t h i s t i m e was t o ease the i n d u s t r i a l and commercial development o f t h e p r o v i n c e .  The  d i s c o v e r y o f t h e S u l l i v a n Mine a t K i m b e r l y i n 1892 prompted r a i l w a y a c t s and r a i l r o a d b u i l d i n g t o Nakusp, S l o c a n and on Vancouver I s l a n d .  The development o f mining was f a c i l i t a t e d by  an A c t f o r t h e Promotion o f t h e M i n i n g  Industry  (1894),  c r e a t e d a Government Bureau o f Mines.  I n 1895, because o f t h e  30  which  g e n e r a l p r o s p e r i t y , and i n o r d e r t o accommodate i n c r e a s e d l i t i g a t i o n , t h e monetary l e v e l f o r s u i t s i n t h e county c o u r t s was r a i s e d t o a thousand d o l l a r s .  3 1  F o r many y e a r s t h e r e had  been t o o much l e g a l business on h o l d , a w a i t i n g t h e a s s i z e s because t h e l a r g e damages s o u g h t meant t h e c a s e had t o be t r i e d i n t h e h i g h e r c o u r t . What was needed i n 1895 was a r e s i d e n t Supreme Court Judge a t Vancouver.  R a i s i n g the f i n a n c i a l  j u r i s d i c t i o n o f t h e County Court d i d l i t t l e  t o r e c t i f y the  situation. As h a s been n o t e d , an a p p e a l f r o m a d e c i s i o n o f t h e Supreme Court t o t h e F u l l Court had been a u t h o r i z e d i n 1879. e i g h t e e n y e a r s t h e c o u r t had s a t o n l y i n V i c t o r i a .  32  For  To make i t  23  more a c c e s s i b l e , t h e l e g i s l a t u r e  ruled  J J  t h a t t h e F u l l Court  would h o l d s i t t i n g s i n Vancouver and New Westminster, i n Vancouver i t would h o l d f i v e s i t t i n g s a year. Courts" (Vancouver  and New Westminster),  and t h a t  I n t h e "Away  two judges would make a  quorum, an unusual allowance s i n c e t h e Appeal Court was c o n s t i t u t e d t o s i t w i t h an odd number so t h a t a m a j o r i t y o p i n i o n c o u l d emerge.  I f t h e two a p p e a l j u d g e s were u n a b l e t o c o n c u r i n  a d e c i s i o n , t h e appeal would stand d i s m i s s e d and go t o V i c t o r i a . The p l a i n t i f f had t h e o p t i o n , o f course, o f a p p e a l i n g d i r e c t l y t o t h e F u l l Court a t V i c t o r i a and thus a v o i d i n g t h e p o s s i b l e expense o f two appeal t r i a l s .  The l e g i s l a t i o n was but a h a l f -  h e a r t e d accommodation t o mainland b u s i n e s s .  The next  a d m i n i s t r a t i o n would a l t e r i t . The K l o n d i k e Gold Rush i n 1898 had had l i t t l e e f f e c t on Vancouver;  t h e g o l d rush t r a f f i c was from S e a t t l e t o Skagway.  Q u i t e o t h e r w i s e was t h e New Westminster f i r e o f 1898. d e s t r o y e d t h e whole b u s i n e s s s e c t i o n o f t h e c i t y ,  The f i r e  including  G.W.  Grant's Court House (see Chapter I I I ) and, as a consequence o f the d i s a s t e r , Vancouver was g i v e n precedence Westminster.  S e c t i o n 14 o f t h e 1899 A c t  3 4  over New  declared that the  F u l l Court was t o s i t i n V i c t o r i a and Vancouver (at t h e V i c t o r y Square Court House) and t h a t t h e New Westminster r e g i s t r y w r i t s would appeal t o Vancouver, Nanaimo r e g i s t r y w r i t s t o V i c t o r i a , and o t h e r r e g i s t r i e s throughout t h e p r o v i n c e t o whichever was p r e f e r a b l e .  city  Three judges now c o n s t i t u t e d a F u l l Court, i n  Vancouver as w e l l as i n V i c t o r i a .  24 At the t u r n o f the century, Vancouver was metropolitan business:  area of the p r o v i n c e ,  insurance  the c h i e f  w i t h a l l the  attendant  companies, r e a l e s t a t e , t r u s t companies,  banks, s h i p c h a n d l e r i e s , i r o n works, heavy equipment manufacturers, e n g i n e e r i n g canneries,  firms, wholesale groceries,  manufacturers o f mining equipment, r e g i s t r a r s of  j o i n t s t o c k companies, c o n s t r u c t i o n companies, and a r c h i t e c t s . There was  expansion throughout the p r o v i n c e  i n d u s t r i a l development and m i n i n g . p r e m i e r and m i n i s t e r of mines. business  R i c h a r d McBride  3 5  The  i n railway building, was  i n c r e a s e d revenues from  enabled the government t o spend money on the  judicial  system. The McBride a d m i n i s t r a t i o n made a major r e - o r g a n i z a t i o n of the c o u r t system, which i n c l u d e d an attempt a t d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n , when i t p a s s e d t h e Supreme C o u r t A c t o f 1 9 0 4 . for  The c o u r t t e r m s  the q u a r t e r l y d i v i s i o n of the y e a r were a b o l i s h e d ( H i l a r y ,  Michaelmas, day  3 6  etc.).  f o r the t r i a l The  Act  Instead,  one  r e s i d e n t judge had  t o s i t each  of c i v i l causes f o r as l o n g as they l a s t e d .  added t o the Supreme Court's j u r i s d i c t i o n  d e c i d i n g o f c o n s t i t u t i o n a l questions Lieutenant-Governor i n C o u n c i l .  r e f e r r e d t o i t by  As i n o t h e r cases,  the the  decisions  had t o be made i n open c o u r t w i t h r e a s o n a b l e n o t i c e t o i n t e r e s t e d persons.  D i s s e n t i n g o p i n i o n s o f the c o u r t  and  reasons f o r judgment i n c o n s t i t u t i o n a l m a t t e r s were t o be published  i n the B.C.  constitutional Now  Gazette.  37  There was  a r i g h t o f appeal i n  questions.  the A c t d i v i d e d the p r o v i n c e  i n t o seven j u d i c i a l  25  districts:  V i c t o r i a , Nanaimo, Vancouver,  Cariboo, and Kootenay.  One  I t r e i t e r a t e d t h a t the S u p e r i o r Court judges would  3 8  f o r t h e appointment  judicial districts. was  now  The A c t a l s o p r o v i d e d  o f county c o u r t judges as l o c a l j u s t i c e s o f  the Supreme Court of B.C.,  Vancouver.  Yale,  one i n Nelson, and t h r e e i n  take c i r c u i t s f o r f o u r a s s i z e s p e r year.  District  Westminster,  o f t h e judges (Mr. J u s t i c e MacAulay  Morrison) would r e s i d e i n Vancouver, Victoria.  New  3 9  except i n the V i c t o r i a o r Vancouver  The wording suggests t h a t New  Westminster  f o r m a l l y conceded t o be l e s s important than  I t r e a s s e r t e d t h a t the F u l l Court had the power t o  hear appeals, whether f i n a l or i n t e r l o c u t o r y judgments, o r d e r s , or decrees both from the Supreme Court and from the County Court.  Any t h r e e judges of the Supreme Court c o n s t i t u t e d a  quorum o f t h e f u l l C o u r t , e x c e p t when t h e c a s e c o n c e r n e d a person h e l d i n custody;  then two judges might hear the case  immediately  trial".  f o r "speedy  The a c t s e t out a w i d e r a n g e o f d i v e r s e i t e m s :  some  c o n c e r n i n g t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f the c o u r t s (see Chapter I I I ) , some p e r t a i n i n g t o p r o p e r t y and c r e d i t .  R a i l w a y promoters  had  e f f e c t i v e l y l o b b i e d the l e g i s l a t u r e f o r c o n c e s s i o n s , and o b t a i n e d them.  The c o n s t r u c t i n g of l i n e s was  not t o be  r e s t r a i n e d "unless i r r e p a r a b l e damage [would] e n s u e . " even then,  40  And  i n s t e a d of a l l o w i n g an i n j u n c t i o n t o stop the r a i l w a y  work, t h e j u d g e m i g h t o r d e r t h e company t o pay i n t o t h e c o u r t enough money "to compensate the a p p l i c a n t f o r the i n j u n c t i o n a g a i n s t a l l l o s s , damage and c o s t s which may  be m a i n t a i n e d by  him by reason of the works or o t h e r a c t s complained Railway b u i l d i n g and expansion was  the p r i o r i t y .  of."  4 2  As t h e p r o v i n c e d e v e l o p e d t o keep up w i t h t h e g r o w t h o f litigation,  the County Court A c t of 1905  t o n i n e and extended the judges'  increased the counties  jurisdiction.  4 3  They heard  cases i n v o l v i n g sums under one thousand d o l l a r s and had e q u i t a b l e j u r i s d i c t i o n i n matters r e g a r d i n g c r e d i t o r s , f o r e c l o s u r e s , l i e n s , performance,  trusts,  c a n c e l l i n g agreement o f s a l e ,  purchase o f l e a s e , maintenance or advancement o f i n f a n t s , d i s s o l u t i o n o r winding-up water r i g h t s ,  o f any p a r t n e r s h i p , s u i t s r e l a t i v e t o  appointing receivers, granting injunctions,  i n t e r i m o r d e r s , s a l e o f r e a l e s t a t e , the I n t e s t a t e E s t a t e Act, and r e l i e f a g a i n s t f r a u d or mistake.  The r e c o r d s o f t h e s e  t r a n s a c t i o n s were f i l e d and kept i n the l o c a l county c o u r t registries.  T h e i r j u r i s d i c t i o n i n probate was  bounded by the  t e r r i t o r i a l l i m i t s of each c o u r t , not by monetary l i m i t s ,  and a  copy o f e v e r y w i l l p r o v e d was f i l e d i n t h e r e g i s t r y o f t h e County Court w h i l e the w i l l i t s e l f and o r d e r s g r a n t i n g l e t t e r s o f a d m i n i s t r a t i o n were sent t o the r e g i s t r y o f the Supreme Court at V i c t o r i a .  The A c t ended the p o l i c y o f Supreme Court judges  p r e s i d i n g over both l e v e l s of c o u r t a t the a s s i z e s , an expedient the j u s t i c e s from Begbie on had  disliked.  There had a l s o been a c u r i o u s amendment t o the Supreme C o u r t A c t i n 1905, w h i c h s t a t e d t h a t t h e w e a r i n g o r u s e o f t h e customary province. motion  o f f i c i a l wig was p r o h i b i t e d i n any c o u r t i n the 4 4  R i c h a r d McBride,  the "people's Dick", had backed  i n t h e l e g i s l a t u r e banning the wigs.  Although many of  a  27  the judges  and b a r r i s t e r s objected, Mr.  enforced the r u l i n g ,  C h i e f J u s t i c e Hunter  perhaps because J u s t i c e M a r t i n was  on the more f o r m a l a p p a r e l .  Hunter and M a r t i n d e t e s t e d each  other, o n l y communicating by w r i t t e n messages through registrar.  the  N e v e r t h e l e s s , M a r t i n c o n t i n u e d t o wear h i s wig when  he s a t i n A d m i r a l t y , Hunter's  so keen  a f e d e r a l l y a d m i n i s t e r e d c o u r t beyond  jurisdiction.  4 5  The Court House i n Vancouver, designed by F r a n c i s Rattenbury  (see Chapter  I I I ) , was  begun i n 1906.  The c i t y  with  a p o p u l a t i o n o f 50,000 had l o n g outgrown t h e H a s t i n g s S t r e e t court:  p l a n s f o r a new  Rattenbury  by  t o the P u b l i c Works Committee of the L e g i s l a t u r e t e n  years e a r l i e r , allow a  c o u r t house had been s u b m i t t e d  i n 1896,  a w a i t i n g a t i m e when revenues would  start.  The Vancouver Stock Exchange had been i n c o r p o r a t e d i n T h e r e was now  a boom on.  The c i t y was b u r g e o n i n g ,  warehouses, f i r m s of c h a r t e r e d accountants c o n t r a c t o r s , h y d r a u l i c engineers,  and  w i t h docks,  architects,  f i n a n c i a l brokers,  loan  agents, e l e c t r i c a l engineers, s t e e l and w i r e companies manufacturers  of mining  equipment o f a l l s o r t s .  were busy a t the Rattenbury l a n d conveyancing,  1907.  The  Court House w i t h matters  and  justices concerning  c o n t r a c t s , negligence, performance bonds,  payment o f debts, and fraud.  Meanwhile, the Law  S o c i e t y had  been u r g i n g the a t t o r n e y general's o f f i c e f o r a second s u p e r i o r court of record. a Court o f A p p e a l  E n a b l i n g l e g i s l a t i o n passed 4 6  i n 1907  authorized  ( r e p l a c i n g the F u l l Court) t o c o n s i s t of the  28 c h i e f j u s t i c e and t h r e e o t h e r j u s t i c e s t o have t h e same powers as t h o s e v e s t e d i n t h e Supreme C o u r t , and t o have t h e same r u l e s of c o u r t .  The A c t a l l o w e d f o r f o u r s i t t i n g s a y e a r and s p e c i a l  s i t t i n g s as needed.  The Court Appeal was n o t i n f a c t  c o n s t i t u t e d u n t i l November 30, 1909,  when t h e p r o v i n c i a l  Liberal  l e a d e r , James Alexander Macdonald, was named C h i e f J u s t i c e o f the Court o f Appeal, twenty-eight  a p o s i t i o n he h e l d u n t i l March 1937,  years.  The S u p e r i o r Court j u s t i c e s tended t o be l o n g l i v e d and long i n o f f i c e , providing continuity.  S i r Matthew Begbie  served  f o r t h i r t y - s i x y e a r s , Crease f o r t w e n t y - s i x , Hunter twentyseven, Denis Murphy t h i r t y - t w o , and A r c h e r M a r t i n from 1898 t o 1940,  f o r t y - t w o y e a r s , each o f t h e l a s t t h r e e as C h i e f J u s t i c e  of B r i t i s h  Columbia.  In 1910,  t h e l e g i s l a t u r e passed an A c t t o p r o v i d e f o r t h e  establishing of Juvenile Courts,  4 7  an o f f - s h o o t o f u r b a n i z a t i o n ,  f o r i n t h r e e y e a r s t h e c i t y ' s numbers had more than doubled.  It  became n e c e s s a r y t o e n l a r g e the new Rattenbury Court House, and the Hornby S t r e e t Annex, designed by Thomas Hooper, was added i n 1912.  48  Other measures were taken t o cope w i t h l e g a l work. f o r admission t o t h e l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n were extended. women had t h e v o t e and b e f o r e World War I opened up  Grounds  Before appointments  f o r women, Mabel Penery French, a q u a l i f i e d b a r r i s t e r from New Brunswick,  was admitted t o the bar o f B r i t i s h Columbia  a f t e r the  p a s s i n g o f a s p e c i a l a c t , an A c t t o remove t h e D i s a b i l i t y o f Women a s f a r as r e l a t e s t o t h e Study and P r a c t i c e o f t h e L a w .  49  29  Some i n d u s t r i a l d i s p u t e s were d i v e r t e d from the c o u r t s as a r e s u l t o f t h e Workers* Compensation Act o f 1917.  This Act  s u i t e d both the employer and the employee, s i n c e workers c o u l d s c a r c e l y a f f o r d l e g a l f e e s on t h e one hand, and on the other, worker's  s u c c e s s f u l a c t i o n c o u l d r u i n a company.  The A c t  a  was  w r i t t e n a f t e r c o n s u l t a t i o n w i t h r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of the employers' group, o r g a n i z e d labour, insurance companies, and medical p r o f e s s i o n .  The  the  employers assumed the c o s t s o f t h e  compensation board, and the c l a i m s were taken out o f t h e c o u r t s . Further,  still  more l e g a l b u s i n e s s was  d e l e g a t e d t o county  c o u r t j u d g e s , when by t h e Supreme C o u r t A c t o f 1918, designated  l o c a l judges o f the Supreme Court w i t h r e g a r d t o the  A d m i n i s t r a t i o n Act, the B i l l Act. for  5 0  t h e y were  In p o s t - W o r l d War  the c o u r t .  of S a l e Act, and the Companies  I days, t h e r e was  The p r o v i n c e was  little  s h o r t o f money.  revenue I t had  taken  over the f i n a n c e s of the P a c i f i c Great E a s t e r n Railway, and automobile was terrain;  r e q u i r i n g new  roads, expensive  but more s i g n i f i c a n t ,  i n d u s t r i a l slowdown.  the  i n the mountainous  w i t h the war over t h e r e was  an  Army v e t e r a n s d i s c h a r g e d i n Vancouver  found t h e r e were not enough j o b s t o go round. widespread i n d u s t r i a l unrest.  There  was  S o c i a l i s t p a r t i e s were growing.  In sympathy w i t h the g e n e r a l s t r i k e i n Winnipeg, workers i n Vancouver l e f t t h e s h i p y a r d s , houses.  factories,  printing  For n e a r l y a month Vancouver had no major newspaper.  The Supreme Court's j u r i s d i c t i o n was War  s t r e e t c a r s and  R e l i e f A c t o f 1920.  51  increased to administer  the  30 The economic downturn continued t o take i t s t o l l . went unpaid.  By the Supreme Court A c t o f 1922  Bill  judgment debtors  c o u l d be j a i l e d up t o f o r t y d a y s f o r f a i l u r e t o pay t h e ordered or a t l e a s t i n s t a l l m e n t s o f t h e sum.  sum  To h e l p r e l i e v e  52  the l o a d on the s u p e r i o r c o u r t , the County Court A c t was  again  amended t o i n c r e a s e t h a t court's monetary j u r i s d i c t i o n t o $2,500, and t o a l l o w i t concurrent j u r i s d i c t i o n w i t h the Supreme Court i n a l l q u e s t i o n s r e l a t i n g t o t e s t a c y and i n t e s t a c y . J u r y t r i a l s i n c i v i l c a u s e s were a t t h i s t i m e common. A c t of 1 9 2 2  5 3  The J u r y  d e f i n e d "person" t o mean someone o f e i t h e r sex  5 4  and  women ever s i n c e have been w e l l r e p r e s e n t e d on j u r i e s (the one e x c e p t i o n t o the otherwise male dominated law). In the mid-twenties the economy recovered. was  the most prosperous  Indeed,  year i n the p r o v i n c e ' s h i s t o r y .  5 5  1926 The  mines, f i s h e r i e s , h y d r o - e l e c t r i c b u s i n e s s and s h i p p i n g flourished.  The s t o c k exchange was  were busy too.  Vancouver was  v e r y busy and the c o u r t s  the t h i r d l a r g e s t c i t y i n Canada.  An A c t r e g u l a t i n g N o t a r i e s P u b l i c showed the growing need f o r legal  officers. In 1929  5 6  t h e r e were e i g h t y - t h r e e m i l l i o n a i r e s i n Vancouverl  Then came t h e g r e a t depression.  As the bad t i m e s took h o l d , the  l e g i s l a t u r e passed the Companies A c t o f 1929,  an A c t t h a t r a n t o  150 pages, d e f i n i n g and s e t t i n g out i n g r e a t d e t a i l of  shares, promoters, l i a b i l i t i e s ,  securities, and  5 7  debentures,  definitions  mortgages and  d e f i n i t i o n s needed f o r l i q u i d a t i o n ,  winding-up,  bankruptcy. A g o v e r n m e n t change i n V i c t o r i a l e d t o t h e p a s s i n g o f a  31  good d e a l o f s o c i a l l e g i s l a t i o n between 1933 and 1939. Conservatives Pattullo.  The  had been r e p l a c e d by t h e L i b e r a l s under T.D.  Furthermore, Tolmie's C o n s e r v a t i v e  d i s c r e d i t e d t h a t t h e Cooperative the o f f i c i a l o p p o s i t i o n .  p a r t y had been so  Commonwealth F e d e r a t i o n became  The d e p r e s s i o n having taken i t s t o l l  i n Vancouver, t h e l e g i s l a t u r e passed an A c t i n 1935 g r a n t i n g t h e c i t y o f Vancouver powers and c o n d i t i o n s under which i t c o u l d sell  land f o r t a x e s .  5 8  S t a t u t e s o f B.C. f o r 1936 c o n t a i n such  l e g i s l a t i o n as t h e H e a l t h Insurance Act, Male Minimum Wage A c t and E d u c a t i o n  o f Dependent C h i l d r e n Act.  t r a n s a c t i o n s w i t h working The  The emphasis was on  people.  Court o f Appeal A c t 1938 gave t h a t c o u r t  t o hear appeals  from d i v o r c e and m a t r i m o n i a l  a c t cannot have come i n t o f o r c e .  jurisdiction  causes,  but t h i s  5 9  Begbie had r u l e d i n 1891 t h a t  the p r o v i n c e c o u l d not c o n f e r j u r i s d i c t i o n t o hear appeals divorce decrees, this, 1965  6 0  and h i s r u l i n g stood.  from  Williams writes of  "Begbie's o p i n i o n , o f t e n r e f e r r e d to, remained law u n t i l . . . ."  6 1  While t h e r e were few d i v o r c e s d u r i n g  tenure and d u r i n g t h e e a r l y p a r t o f t h e century,  Begbie's  divorce  cases  rose s h a r p l y a f t e r World War I and have continued t o r i s e . When t h e colony p r o c l a i m e d  t h e laws o f England as t h e laws  o f B r i t i s h Columbia, t h a t i n c l u d e d t h e M a t r i m o n i a l 1857  Causes A c t o f  (U.K.), which had taken d i v o r c e p e t i t i o n s from t h e  e c c l e s i a s t i c a l c o u r t s and/or p a r l i a m e n t the Upper Courts.  and p l a c e d them b e f o r e  The E n g l i s h d i v o r c e a c t d e f i n e d  c a t e g o r i e s o f marriage break-up:  three  annulment, j u d i c i a l  32 s e p a r a t i o n , and d i v o r c e .  D i v o r c e p e t i t i o n s were g r a n t e d on  grounds of a d u l t e r y added t o a second o f f e n c e such as d e s e r t i o n or  cruelty.  (Canada)  62  T h i s was  changed i n 1925  when the D i v o r c e A c t  a l l o w e d the grounds o f a d u l t e r y only.  As the d i v o r c e  r a t e grew, so grew the movement t o broaden the grounds f o r divorce.  But the Court Rules P r a c t i c e A c t of 1941-2 r e f e r r i n g  t o t h e D i v o r c e R u l e s r e p e a t e d t h a t t h o s e o f 1925 were v a l i d and binding.  6 3  As would be expected, c i v i l Second World War,  l i t i g a t i o n s l a c k e n e d d u r i n g the  l e s s e r t r o u b l e s fading i n face of the  e f f o r t and f u l l employment.  war  Many n o t a b l e f u t u r e judges,  men  l i k e Sherwood L e t t , T.G. N o r r i s , D.R. V e r c h e r e and J.C. Bouck s e r v e d overseas w i t h d i s t i n c t i o n .  The j u d i c a t u r e a t home  was  s t r o n g f o r i t i n c l u d e d the acknowledged f o u r g r e a t judges o f the post-colonial period:  Denis Murphy, James Coady, J.O.  and C o r n e l i u s O'Halloran.  Coady, a graduate  Wilson,  o f St. F r a n c i s  X a v i e r , had come west t o t e a c h s c h o o l a t Vernon.  Murphy,  O'Halloran and W i l s o n were a l l born and r a i s e d i n s m a l l communities i n the i n t e r i o r  (Murphy and O'Halloran i n the  Cariboo, W i l s o n i n the Kootenays).  O'Halloran and Coady were  Roman C a t h o l i c s , Wilson, A n g l i c a n .  Reputedly,  over the years,  they were a l l g r e a t l y r e s p e c t e d by t h e i r b r o t h e r judges,  who  would f r e e l y r e f e r t o them w h i l e d e l i b e r a t i n g over t h e i r  own  judgments. Post-war, the Supreme Court was to  i n c r e a s e d from s i x j u s t i c e s  seven w i t h the appointment o f J.V. C l y n e  y e a r s l a t e r the c o u r t was  6 4  t o t h e bench.  i n c r e a s e d t o e i g h t w i t h the  Two  33  appointment  o f H e r b e r t W. Davey.  Davey never attended  u n i v e r s i t y but, l i k e Wilson, l e a r n e d h i s law by p r a c t i c e , h a v i n g a r t i c l e d w i t h a V i c t o r i a law f i r m a f t e r g r a d u a t i n g from high school.  He s a t on the Court o f Appeal from 1954  and served as C h i e f J u s t i c e of B r i t i s h Columbia 1972. of  to  from 1967  1973 to  These men's c a r e e r s i l l u s t r a t e a g a i n t h e E n g l i s h nature  the c o u r t :  the j u s t i c e s appointed from the ranks o f the bar  r a t h e r than from the law f a c u l t i e s o f u n i v e r s i t i e s . The growth and development of the f i f t i e s brought more and more l i t i g a t i o n t o the c i v i l d i v i s i o n o f the Supreme Court and thence t o t h e Court of Appeal.  Vancouver had been f o r some time  t h e m a i n c e n t r e o f l i t i g a t i o n and t h e 1955 C o u r t o f A p p e a l A c t split or  t h a t c o u r t i n t o two d i v i s i o n s t o s i t e i t h e r i n Vancouver  V i c t o r i a or b o t h .  6 5  In 1957  l o n g i n d u s t r i a l cases g o i n g t o  appeal and d e l a y i n g c o u r t work r e s u l t e d i n the i n c r e a s e t o seven (from f i v e ) j u s t i c e s of a p p e a l .  6 6  C o r r e s p o n d i n g l y the number of  Supreme C o u r t j u s t i c e s had more t h a n d o u b l e d i n a span o f t e n years;  t h e r e were s i x i n 1949  and f o u r t e e n i n 1959.  Indeed the f i f t i e s had seen another tremendous growth i n t h e p r o v i n c e , s t a r t i n g w i t h the Kemano and K i t i m a t p r o j e c t s . 1953  t h e transmountain o i l p i p e l i n e was under way,  In  and i n 1956  t h e b u i l d i n g o f the West Coast T r a n s m i s s i o n n a t u r a l gas p i p e l i n e to  Vancouver.  The  forest  i n d u s t r y was  flourishing.  The P.G.E.  r a i l w a y had completed i t s l i n k between Squamish and Vancouver and between P r i n c e George and Dawson Creek. e x p l o r i n g f o r o i l and gas i n the Peace R i v e r .  Texaco had been Japan wanted  34 minerals i n great quantities.  T h i s was t h e f i r s t movement o f  c a p i t a l i n a b i g way i n t o t h e p r o v i n c e s i n c e t h e McBride years. W.A.C. Bennett's  government b u i l t Peace R i v e r Hydro and  e x p r o p r i a t e d t h e B.C. E l e c t r i c :  t h e r e s u l t a n t s u i t was t h e  l o n g e s t c a s e h e a r d i n t h e c i v i l d i v i s i o n o f t h e Supreme C o u r t o f B r i t i s h Columbia, when Mr. J u s t i c e Sherwood L e t t handed down h i s decision i n July,  1963.  C o m p e t i t i v e e n t e r p r i s e generates l i t i g a t i o n . t h i s t r u e r i n B.C. than i n t h e mining  industry.  Nowhere i s Both t h e  M i n e r a l P r o p e r t y T a x a t i o n A c t 1957 and an A c t t o Amend t h e M i n e r a l A c t 1957 ( B i l l 91) had g r e a t i m p a c t i n t h e m i n i n g industry.  6 7  To keep up w i t h mining cases, t h e County Court was  granted c o n c u r r e n t j u r i s d i c t i o n w i t h t h e Supreme Court w i t h i n the t e r r i t o r i a l l i m i t s o f t h e county c o u r t s i n a l l p e r s o n a l a c t i o n s a r i s i n g out o f t h e b u s i n e s s o f m i n i n g mining);  (other than c o a l  t h a t i s , i n the actions r e l a t i n g t o supplies,  t r e s p a s s , m i n e r a l c l a i m s , f o r e c l o s u r e s , l i e n s on m i n e r a l c l a i m s or  mining p r o p e r t i e s , performance, mining p a r t n e r s h i p s , and  s u i t s r e l a t i n g t o water r i g h t s .  In such cases, a p l a i n t i f f  c o u l d f i l e h i s s u i t s i n t h e d i s t r i c t County Court f o r speedy trial,  always a l l o w i n g t h a t any defendant  who o b j e c t e d t o being  h e a r d i n t h e c o u n t y c o u r t m i g h t a p p l y t o a j u d g e o f t h e Supreme C o u r t i n Chambers f o r an o r d e r t o t r a n s f e r t h e a c t i o n t o t h e Supreme C o u r t .  6 8  M i n i n g d i s p u t e s kept both l e v e l s o f c o u r t  busy. Problems o f f a m i l y law, d i v o r c e and m a t r i m o n i a l cases were accelerating;  t h e B.C. Supreme Court A c t 1960 changed t h e  35  procedures.  Henceforth,  d i v o r c e and m a t r i m o n i a l causes would  commenced by a w r i t of summons i n s t e a d o f a p e t i t i o n and  be  the  p r a c t i c e and procedure would be the same as f o r o t h e r a c t i o n s so commenced i n the c o u r t provinces  (see Chapter I I I ) .  6 9  By 1965  the  c o u l d empower county c o u r t judges t o hear d i v o r c e  cases. The  p e r i o d 1858  t o 1960  can be taken as a u n i t ;  for,  a l l o w i n g t h a t cases v a r i e d i n r e a c t i o n t o l e g i s l a t i o n and times,  the  the procedures and g o a l s o f the c o u r t were v i r t u a l l y  unaltered: evident.  the i n f l u e n c e of the B i b l e and the Mosaic The  guardianship,  c i v i l business  o f the Supreme Court,  whether i n  probate, bankruptcy, d i v o r c e or p r i v a t e wrongs i n  t o r t , c o n t r a c t , and p r o p e r t y ebbed and commercial and  law  flowed w i t h  the  i n d u s t r i a l development of the p r o v i n c e .  While  t h e a s s i z e s and t h e c o u n t y c o u r t s h e a r d t h e same k i n d s o f c a s e s (the documents f i l e d at t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e r e g i s t r i e s ) , the more i m p o r t a n t ones were t r i e d a t the c e n t r a l i z e d Supreme Court sitting The was  i n V i c t o r i a or, l a t t e r l y ,  Vancouver.  background and dynamic o f each o f the c o l o n i e s i n Canada  different;  counterpart.  each i n t u r n d i f f e r e d from i t s American In order t o do a c c u r a t e  s t u d i e s on  local  a p p l i c a t i o n s o f the common law t h e r e must be a c a r e f u l examination o f s i g n i f i c a n t numbers of  records.  36  Notes f o r Chapter I I  ^•R.C. R i s k , "The Law and the Economy i n Mid-Nineteenth Century O n t a r i o : A P e r s p e c t i v e " , i n Essays i n the H i s t o r y o f Canadian Law, ed. D.H. F l a h e r t y , 2 v o l s . (Toronto: U n i v e r s i t y o f Toronto P r e s s , 1981, v o l . 1, p. 91.  1864  2  43  George I I I , c. 38  (U.K.).  3  A c t s 1 and 2, George IV, c. 66  4  Ibid.  5  12  (U.K.), c i t e d i n F a r i r .  and 13 V i c t o r i a , c. 48 (U.K.), c i t e d  i n Farr.  P r o c l a m a t i o n s and Ordinances o f B r i t i s h Columbia, No. 7, 20.  1858-  P r o v i n c i a l A r c h i v e s o f B r i t i s h Columbia ( h e r e a f t e r PABC). Begbie C o l o n i a l Correspondence 1858-1859, f i l e 142 A. 7  D o r o t h y Blakey Smith, ed., "Diary o f A r t h u r Thomas Bushby", B r i t i s h Columbia H i s t o r i c a l Q u a r t e r l y V o l . XXI, 58):149. 8  D a v i d W i l l i a m s , ". . . The Man f o r a New Grays P u b l i s h i n g L t d . , 1977), pp. 64-66. 9  10  PABC. Begbie C o l o n i a l Correspondence  (1957-  Country" (Sidney:  1858-1859,  file  142B. G r a y was the author o f C o n f e d e r a t i o n : The P o l i t i c a l and P a r l i a m e n t a r y H i s t o r y o f Canada from the Conference a t Quebec i n October, 1864, t o the Admission of B r i t i s h Columbia i n J u l y 1971. i:L  1 2  Williams,  The Man,  p.  171.  S t a t u t e s o f B r i t i s h Columbia s. 5,6,7. 1 3  1879  ( h e r e a f t e r SBC), c. 12,  M a r g a r e t Ormsby, B r i t i s h Columbia: A H i s t o r y . (Vancouver: M a c m i l l a n o f Canada, 1958), p. 297. 1 4  V a n c o u v e r A r c h i v e s . C i t y Clerk's S e r i e s 1. Special Committee F i l e s . Correspondence Outward 1889, f i l e s 1513, 1514. 15  In 1891, t h e p o p u l a t i o n o f the t h r e e c i t i e s was v e r y close: New Westminster 17,886; Vancouver 18,229; V i c t o r i a 18,538. 1 6  37 S t a t u t e s o f B r i t i s h Columbia 1892, c. 12, s. 3  1 7  (f).  A t t o r n e y - G e n e r a l ' s Correspondence July-November 1892, r e p r i n t e d i n t h e B.C. S e s s i o n a l Papers 1894, pp. 1195, 1196. 18  Ibid.  1 9  I n t h e "Thrasher Case" (1882) 1 BCR a r e found t h e f a c t s o f t h e t e r m s o f t h e J u d i c a t u r e A c t 1879 (B.C.), i . e . , t h a t t h e l e g i s l a t u r e h a d t h e power t o make t h e R u l e s o f C o u r t and a s s i g n judges t o d i s t r i c t s , not t h e j u d i c i a r y . 2 0  2 1  B r i t i s h Columbia S e s s i o n a l Papers, p. 1196.  2 2  Ibid.  C o u n t y Court Judges were d e s i g n a t e d l o c a l judges o f the Supreme Court t o a t t e n d t o c e r t a i n i n t e r l o c u t o r y m a t t e r s and Chambers matters. A q u e s t i o n was asked i n t h e l e g i s l a t u r e about Judge Bole's a u t h o r i t y t o hear c r i m i n a l cases i n Vancouver. The J o u r n a l o f L e g i s l a t i v e Debates, 1984-95, p. 10 2 3  2 4  T h e J o u r n a l o f L e g i s l a t i v e Debates,  1894-95, p. 10.  0 p . C i t . 1896, pp. 113, 125. The members from Kootenay wanted t h e new j udge t h e r e . 2 5  2 6  92.  J o u r n a l o f t h e L e g i s l a t i v e Debates, 1901, app. l x x v i i ,  D a v i d R. W i l l i a m s , Duff: A L i f e i n t h e Law. Vancouver: U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia Press, 1984), p. 56. 2 7  G.W. T a y l o r , B u i l d e r s o f B r i t i s h Columbia: An I n d u s t r i a l H i s t o r y ( V i c t o r i a : M o r r i s s P u b l i s h i n g , 1982), p. 20. 28  B e f o r e 1892 one went from S e a t t l e t o V i c t o r i a by boat, and then on t o Vancouver. 2 9  3 0  3 1  S B C 1894 C  12 S . 32.  S B C 1895 C  11 S . 2.  S B C 1896 c. 11 s. 5. C i v i l appeals from County Court d e c i s i o n s where t h e amount concerned exceeded $100 c o u l d be made t o t h e F u l l Court i n s t e a d o f t h e Supreme Court. 3 2  3 3  S B C 1897 c. 12 s. 5  3 4  S B C 1899 c. 20 s. 14.  38 H e n r y Boam, B r i t i s h Columbia: I t s H i s t o r y , People, Commerce, I n d u s t r i e s and Resources (London: S e l l s Ltd., 1912), pp. 168-178. 3 5  S B C 1903-4 C . 15.  3 6  S B C 1903-4 C . 15 S . 3.  3 7  S B C 1903-4 C . 15 s. 11-18.  3 8  S B C 1903-4 C . 15 S . 26.  3 9  S B C 1903-4 C . 15 S . 20 (22).  4 0  S B C 1903-4 C . 15 S . 20 (23).  4 1  T h e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f two new branches o f t h e CNR, t h e Canadian Northern and t h e Grand Trunk P a c i f i c , added t o t h e prosperity o f the province. 4 2  4 3  S B C 1905 c. 14 s. 3. S B C 1905 C . 20 s. 112.  4 4  Alfred 405-406. 4 5  4 6  Watts,  "Wigs", The Advocate, V o l . 4, J u l y 1984,  S B C 1907 C . 10 S . 2. S B C 1910 C . 10 S . 2.  4 7  T h e Vancouver C i t y C o u n c i l o f 1981 p r e s e r v e d one o f these courtrooms o f Hooper's f o r p o s t e r i t y . Less s u b l i m e than Rattenbury's, i t i s now p a r t o f t h e A r t G a l l e r y Complex. 4 8  4 9  S B C 1912 c. 18 s. 1.  5 0  S B C 1918 C  S B C 1922 C . 16 S . 2.  5 1  5  2  5 3  5 4  21 s. 2.  SBC 1922  C.  38 s. 2.  S B C 1922 C . 38 S . 2. S B C 1922 C . 38 S . 2.  55  0 r m s b y , p. 426.  5 6  S B C 1926-27 c  5 7  49.  S B C 1929 C . 11.  39 58 SBC 1935  51  S.  4(c).  59SBC 1938 c. 11  S.  2.  C.  60S c o t t v S c o t t  (1891) 4 BCR, p. 136. C i t e d i n W i l l i a m s .  6 1  Williams,  6 2  S C . 1925 c. 41.  63,SBC  C.  56  p. 166.  S.  4  64SBC 1950 c. 14 6 5  6 6  S B C 1955 C  2. 2.  14  S B C 1957 C . 15 S .  3.  A c c o r d i n g t o Mr. E l l i o t (B.C. Chamber o f Mines), t h e Deputy M i n i s t e r o f Mines, J . Walker, a g e o l o g i s t , made changes t h a t g r e a t l y annoyed t h e m i n i n g i n d u s t r y . For instance, f i n d i n g f a u l t w i t h t h e s u r v e y p o s t s t h a t had up t i l l t h e n b e e n t h e manner o f m a r k i n g a c l a i m , he demanded a r e - s u r v e y o f t h e l a n d s . As w e l l as t h e m i n e r a l r i g h t s , t h e c l a i m e r s had owned t h e t i m b e r used f o r working c l a i m s . He r u l e d they had no r i g h t t o t h e timber, which was managed by f o r e s t l i c e n c e s . 6 7  68SBC, 1957  C.  15  s.  4.  69SBC Supreme Court A c t , 1960 c. 11 s . 3.  40  CHAPTER I I I Record-Keeping P r a c t i c e s o f t h e Supreme Court  U n t i l t h e n i n e t e e n t h century,  t h e r e c o r d s o f t h e common law  c o u r t s were kept permanently so t h a t precedent c o u l d be f o l l o w e d and t h e o l d r e c o r d s e x h i b i t e d t o demonstrate t h e law's consistency,  o r i f new precedents were s e t , t h e c i r c u m s t a n c e s  t h a t l e d t o t h e new r u l i n g s . The Supreme C o u r t was a c o u r t o f r e c o r d f r o m i t s i n c e p t i o n . The  County Court  1885,  the Family  i n B r i t i s h Columbia became a c o u r t o f r e c o r d i n Court  i n 1943.  The Coroner's Court,  Supreme Court was always a c o u r t o f r e c o r d . the n i n e t e e n t h century j u r i s t ,  Halsbury,  makes a d i s t i n c t i o n between c o u r t s  o f r e c o r d and c o u r t s not o f r e c o r d : to fine or imprison  Giffard  l i k e the  "The former have t h e power  . . . and i n t h e c a s e o f c i v i l t r i a l s , t o  hear and determine a c t i o n s i n which debt, damages o r v a l u e o f t h e property claimed The  i s f o r t y s h i l l i n g s , o r above."  1  King's c o u r t h e l d a t Westminster and l a t e r a t a s s i z e s i n  t h e c o u n t i e s was one "where t h e k i n g a s s e r t s t h a t h i s own word as t o a l l t h a t has taken p l a c e i n h i s presence i s i n c o n t e s t a b l e . T h i s p r i v i l e g e he communicates t o h i s own s p e c i a l c o u r t ; h i s testimony  as t o a l l t h a t i s done b e f o r e i t i s c o n c l u s i v e . "  2  Thus  S i r Edward Coke, t h e common law defender o f S t u a r t England says, " I t i s c a l l e d a record, f o r i t recordeth o r beareth the t r u t h  witness t o  . . . i t hath t h i s sovereign p r i v i l e g e that i t i s  proved  by no other but by i t s e l f . "  i n f a l l i b l e and permanent.  The  J  f o r m a l r e c o r d s are  Halsbury w r i t e s , i n t h i s regard, "a  r e c o r d i s a w r i t i n g on Parchment."  4  The d e l i b e r a t i o n s o f the  o t h e r Courts, such as A d m i r a l t y , S t a r Chamber and  the  E c c l e s i a s t i c a l Courts, were not on parchment and presumably d i d not have t o be r e t a i n e d . But t h e r e c o r d s o f t h e h i g h c o u r t came t o be c o n s i d e r e d as "a p a r t o r a ground o f the law o f England."  5  They formed the  p r e c e d e n t s o f t h e law and i n an age b e f o r e p r i n t i n g had t o be permanently kept;  hence the need f o r parchment.  The people p r e f e r r e d the King's c o u r t because i t seemed t o be more o b j e c t i v e , and f r e e from the i n f l u e n c e o f l o c a l personalities.  W r i t s were o f t e n f i c t i t i o u s l y framed w i t h i n a  formula t o make sure the a c t i o n would q u a l i f y f o r t r i a l the King's Court, the upper c o u r t . b r i n g i n g concerns  6  before  But the grounds f o r  t o the upper c o u r t have expanded over  the  centuries. I n t h e c i v i l d i v i s i o n o f t h e Upper C o u r t o r Supreme C o u r t o f B r i t i s h Columbia t h e r e are (a) c i v i l causes or p e r s o n a l a c t i o n s in torts bankruptcy procedures  (wrongs),  c o n t r a c t , p r o p e r t y , and  (3) probate  (4) d i v o r c e  civil  rights  (5) g u a r d i a n s h i p  (2) and  conferring status.  A p e r s o n a l a c t i o n , Smith v. Brown a r i s e s out o f the t r a n s g r e s s i n g of a b a s i c p r i n c i p l e o r r i g h t r o o t e d i n the common law.  The b a s i c p l a i n t s i n such causes have t h e i r o r i g i n s i n the  M i d d l e Ages and can b r i e f l y be e x p l a i n e d as f o l l o w s :  42  n o v e l d i s s e i s i n - I have been e v i c t e d from my  customary o r  l a w f u l tenements. assumpsit  - You undertook t o mend my dyke, now  the f i e l d i s  flooded. morte d'ancestor - T h i s was  f a m i l y p r o p e r t y , I s h o u l d be i n  possession of i t . debt - I l e n t him a sum  and he i s f o r g e t t i n g about i t .  d e c e i t - E v e r y t h i n g looked good enough on the s u r f a c e but wheat underneath was  the  mouldy.  To s t a r t an a c t i o n , t h e w r i t i s i s s u e d f r o m t h e r e g i s t r y t o the defendant  summoning him  answer the a l l e g a t i o n . example, "The  i n the Queen's name t o appear and  The defendant  f i l e s h i s answer;  p l a i n t i f f l e t the sack of wheat l i e o u t s i d e i n the  r a i n as t h i s a f f i d a v i t of h i s neighbour In c i v i l matters  c o u r t s what are not "causes" are "matters".  Most proper  A "matter" might be c a l l e d "In r e Smith":  affidavits.  - I have l o s t a l l means o f p a y i n g my b u s i n e s s  and simply cannot be hounded any probate - When I d i e my  further.  i n s t r u c t i o n s and these are the  executors I e l e c t t o a d m i n i s t e r my lunacy - The  debts  p e r s o n a l and r e a l p r o p e r t y i s t o be  d i s p o s e d o f a c c o r d i n g t o my  h i s own  shows."  are f i l e d as b i l l s of p e t i t i o n supported by the  bankruptcy  for  terms.  s u b j e c t i s non compos mentis and cannot l o o k a f t e r  a f f a i r s , nor i s he capable o f f i n d i n g an a t t o r n e y t o  l o o k a f t e r h i s business.  The c o u r t w i l l have t o appoint a  43 person t o do so. custody o f i n f a n t s - I make a p p l i c a t i o n t o be guardian unprotected  of t h i s  infant.  d i v o r c e - We have been j o i n e d i n h o l y matrimony b u t can no l o n g e r endure t h e bond.  trial  These p l a i n t s and m a t t e r s a r e t r i e d i n open c o u r t ;  the  i s supported by documents f i l e d i n t h e r e g i s t r y ,  which  are kept as a r e c o r d . Lord Denning s t a t e s : The r e c o r d must c o n t a i n a t l e a s t t h e document which i n i t i a t e d t h e proceedings, t h e p l e a d i n g s , i f any, and the a d j u d i c a t i o n , but not t h e evidence, n o r t h e reasons u n l e s s [the c o u r t ] chooses t o i n c o r p o r a t e them. 7  Documents i n i t i a t i n g proceedings i n t h e c i v i l then, e i t h e r w r i t s o r p e t i t i o n s . not been t h e c o m p l i c a t i o n  division  are,  I n B r i t i s h Columbia, t h e r e has  o f d i f f e r e n t k i n d s o f w r i t o r "form o f  a c t i o n " ( t r e s p a s s a g a i n s t t h e peace, t r e s p a s s on t h e case), as t h e r e had been i n Ontario.  In both t h e colony and t h e p r o v i n c e ,  a common w r i t h a s a l w a y s been used.  The "one s c h e d u l e f o r m " i s  r e f e r r e d t o i n t h e B.C. Supreme Court Rules o f 1880, "Personal a c t i o n s whether o f debt, damages, p e r s o n a l  c h a t t e l , contract,  t o r t , t a k i n g o r d e t e n t i o n , e j e c t i o n , o r i n any m a t t e r ecclesiastical,  a l l such p e r s o n a l a c t i o n s s h a l l be commenced by  a w r i t o f summons i n accordance w i t h t h e one schedule form c o p i e d from t h e 1852 E n g l i s h A c t . . ."(the a c t which Begbie had invoked i n 1858) and "every such w r i t o f summons . . . s h a l l c o n t a i n a t r u e and s u c c i n c t statement o f t h e p l a i n t i f f ' s cause  44  o r c a u s e o f a c t i o n . . . ." F u r t h e r ,  "particulars of the  p l a i n t i f f ' s demand s h a l l be endorsed i n t h e w r i t . " manner o f f i l i n g  9  And so t h i s  a w r i t was u s e d t o s t a r t c i v i l c a u s e s i n t h e  Supreme Court o f B r i t i s h  Columbia.  For hundreds o f y e a r s j u s t i c e s o f t h e King's Court went out on a s s i z e t o g e t h e r w i t h a c l e r k (an o f f i c e r o f t h e Court) who drafted the writs, Cockburn w r i t e s ,  and who made up and kept t h e records.  J.S.  "As e a r l y as 1285, b e f o r e t h e a s s i z e system  i t s e l f had reached a f i n i s h e d form - i t was l a i d down t h a t i t i n e r a n t a s s i z e j u s t i c e s s h o u l d be accompanied by t h e c l e r k s responsible  for enrolling pleas."  accountable f o r h i s records, assize.  1 0  To make t h e c l e r k  he was made an a s s o c i a t e j u s t i c e o f  Cockburn says t h a t by t h e f o u r t e e n t h  century c l e r k s  were u s u a l l y b a r r i s t e r s , younger sons o f t h e gentry, g i v e n t o s e r v i c e , who c o n s i d e r e d  the p o s i t i o n of c l e r k of the assize a  d e s i r a b l e one, and n o t merely a s t e p p i n g  stone t o h i g h e r o f f i c e .  T h e i r d u t i e s were t o c o l l e c t t h e fees, w r i t e t h e records,  read  the commission a t t h e opening o f a s s i z e s , make up t h e r e c o r d s during t r i a l ,  keep t h e cause books, t h e g a o l book (noting t h e  p l e a s and t h e d i s p o s a l o f t h e cases), draft writs of the peace.  keep t h e hanging book, and  11  I t was t h i s p r a c t i c e t h a t Judge Begbie f o l l o w e d i n s t i t u t e d t h e Supreme Court o f t h e c o l o n y o f B r i t i s h  when he Columbia.  I n h i s f i r s t y e a r B e g b i e h e l d h i s c o u r t a t L a n g l e y and went on c i r c u i t t o t h e i n t e r i o r w i t h h i s c l e r k o f a s s i z e Thomas Bushby,  12  who c a r r i e d t h e c o u r t volumes:  t h e Cash Book, t h e  45 Cause Book, the Gaol Book and o t h e r necessary documents. The next y e a r Begbie moved h i s c o u r t t o New  Westminster,  c a p i t a l of t h e mainland c o l o n y from 1859 t o 1866.  the  A building,  one and a h a l f s t o r i e s , c o n s t r u c t e d o f board w i t h a canvas c e i l i n g , housed the accommodation o f C h i e f I n s p e c t o r o f P o l i c e , C h a r l e s Brew.  I t had a courtroom, a j u r y room, and a l i t t l e  o f f i c e space, but was  c l e a r l y not adequate f o r Begbie's court.  He w r o t e t o C o l o n e l Moody, i n c h a r g e o f P u b l i c Works, on M a r c h 4,  1861: Dear S i r , I have the honour a g a i n t o address you i n r e s p e c t t o the c o n t i n u e d absence o f any accommodation f o r a judge and r e g i s t r a r o f the Supreme Court. There i s not y e t (to my knowledge) any p l a c e i n t h i s c o l o n y where I have a r i g h t t o p l a c e t h e s e a l o f the r e c o r d s o f my c o u r t f o r s h e l t e r , o r t o go t o w r i t e a l e t t e r , o r t o a t t e n d t o any m a t t e r s a t Chambers. . . . What i s now p r i n c i p a l l y wanted i s some accommodation e q u i v a l e n t t o judge's chambers and r e g i s t r a r ' s o f f i c e a t home w i t h t a b l e , s h e l v e s , etc. 1 4  The two, Begbie and h i s c l e r k , soon got t h e i r o f f i c e s a t Westminster,  e q u i v a l e n t t o those "at home".  i n having Bushby as r e g i s t r a r . son" E n g l i s h gentleman who  Bushby was  Begbie was  New fortunate  the s o r t o f "younger  f i l l e d such p o s t s - eager, honourable,  and, important on the l o n g c i r c u i t s ,  companionable.  The f o r m a l r e c o r d s o f the s u p e r i o r c o u r t are, as has been s t a t e d , i n f a l l i b l e and permanent.  W i l l i a m s noted Begbie's  i n s i s t e n c e on h i g h standards f o r r e g i s t r a r s :  once when the  46  C o l o n i a l S e c r e t a r y put f o r w a r d t h e name o f an u n s u i t a b l e character,  one i n Begbie's words, "not f i t t o be an o f f i c e r o f  the Queen's Court", Begbie t h r e a t e n e d t o r e s i g n i f t h e man was appointed.  The a t t o r n e y - g e n e r a l (Crease) d r a f t e d an  15  accommodating s t a t u t e f o l l o w i n g t h e i n c i d e n t , s t a t i n g "The judge s h a l l appoint, remove, and r e p l a c e persons t o a c t as D i s t r i c t Registrars,"  1 6  and n o t t h e C o l o n i a l S e c r e t a r y .  C.E. Pooley, he respected.  The replacement,  He ensured t h a t Pooley had a good  horse f o r t h e c i r c u i t s and l e f t him h i s books and m a n u s c r i p t s •  when he d i e d .  17  A f t e r t h e Colony became a Canadian P r o v i n c e ,  Bushby thought r e g i s t r a r s s h o u l d be f e d e r a l o f f i c e r s and so, l i k e judges, u n a f f e c t e d by p r o v i n c i a l patronage. o r g a n i z a t i o n and a d m i n i s t r a t i o n remained  But t h e  provincial.  Here  Begbie d i d n o t g e t h i s way. Court procedure i s complex, and c i v i l procedure more c o m p l i c a t e d than c r i m i n a l procedure.  Begbie had been a  Chancery b a r r i s t e r and, l i k e Dickens, had earned e x t r a money as a shorthand r e p o r t e r a t t h e law c o u r t s .  Dickens, w i t h h i s own  f l a i r f o r m a k i n g a c o u r t an a s s , d e s c r i b e d a s c e n e l i k e many Begbie would have been p a r t y t o : On such an a f t e r n o o n , some s c o r e o f members o f the High Court o f Chancery b a r ought t o be - as here they a r e - m i s t i l y t r i p p i n g one another up on s l i p p e r y precedents, g r o p i n g knee-deep i n t e c h n i c a l i t i e s , running t h e i r goat h a i r and h o r s e h a i r warded heads a g a i n s t w a l l s o f words . . . ranged i n l i n e i n a l o n g m a t t e d w e l l (but y o u m i g h t l o o k i n v a i n f o r t r u t h a t t h e bottom o f i t ) , between t h e r e g i s t r a r ' s r e d t a b l e and t h e s i l k gowns, w i t h b i l l s , c r o s s - b i l l s , answers, r e j o i n d e r s , i n j u n c t i o n s , a f f i d a v i t s , i s s u e s , r e f e r e n c e t o masters, masters' r e p o r t s , mountains o f c o s t l y nonsense p i l e d b e f o r e  47  them. Begbie,  although not hidebound  f o r t h e t e c h n i c a l i t i e s and forms. e x t e r n a l and enduring p r i n c i p l e s . "  by r e g u l a t i o n s , had r e s p e c t Forms and procedures " p r o t e c t 1 9  The B.C. Reports g i v e many  examples o f h i s manner and method, h i s modus operandi, and h i s style.  Here i s one:  In r e A Gway, ex p a r t e Chin Su, i s a case c o n c e r n i n g an a p p l i c a t i o n f o r guardianship o f a f i f t e e n year o l d g i r l .  A Gway  argues t h a t Chin Su's f a t h e r (deceased) wanted h e r t o f o s t e r Chin Su i n s t e a d o f t h e f a m i l y Chin Su had chosen. as evidence an a f f i d a v i t ,  A Gway had produced  t r a n s l a t e d from Chin Su's language.  T h i s i s not a d m i s s i b l e . I am t o l d t h a t t h e c o n t e n t s were t r a n s l a t e d t o h e r b e f o r e she swore t o t h e i r truth. That i s not a t a l l t h e p r o p e r method, she b e i n g q u i t e unacquainted w i t h t h e E n g l i s h language. The a f f i d a v i t should be w r i t t e n i n Chinese and read t o o r by her, and sworn so; then a sworn t r a n s l a t i o n o f t h a t w i l l be used i n t h e a p p l i c a t i o n t o me. O b v i o u s l y by t h e i n v e r s e method now proposed t h e deponent may be made t o swear t o m a t t e r s she never intended, and i t would be v e r y d i f f i c u l t t o m a i n t a i n an i n d i c t m e n t f o r p e r j u r y i n case o f f a l s e statements. The a p p l i c a t i o n may be renewed. 20  I t i s important an a r c h i v i s t understands such s i t u a t i o n s because t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f t h e law was n o t unreasonably t e c h n i c a l i n B r i t i s h Columbia.  A s l i g h t misnomer i n a w r i t  (John X Brown i n s t e a d o f John Y Brown) d i d n o t v i t i a t e t h e w r i t , but " v a r i a t i o n between a l l e g a t i o n s i n t h e a f f i d a v i t and t h e endorsement i s f a t a l " 1904  a c t states,  2 1  (e.g., d i f f e r e n t d a t e s ) .  But again, t h e  "no appeal s h a l l be d e f e a t e d by reason o f t h e  48 e x i s t e n c e o f any  i r r e g u l a r i t y o r the t a k i n g o f any p r e l i m i n a r y  o b j e c t i o n r e l a t i n g t o a matter of p r o c e d u r e . " be i n r e a c t i o n t o the l o a d of t e c h n i c a l cases, r e p o r t e d cases,  22  This rule a third  of  concerning procedure and "forms o f a c t i o n " i n  the n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y  O n t a r i o law  of the O n t a r i o  2 3  courts.  c o u r t s , d e l a y i n g the  C i v i l procedure i s a p r o v i n c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and l e g i s l a t u r e appoints J u s t i c e Tyrwitt-Drake 1888  may  business  the  j u s t i c e s t o r e v i s e the r u l e s p e r i o d i c a l l y . wrote t o the a t t o r n e y - g e n e r a l about the  rules. Sir: I have the honour t o r e p o r t t h a t the r u l e s of c o u r t are complete, w i t h the e x c e p t i o n of the index, which i s a t e d i o u s t a s k , and w h i c h c o u l d n o t be commenced u n t i l t h e r u l e s were f i n i s h e d . I s h a l l p r e s s the m a t t e r on w i t h the utmost e x p e d i t i o n , but cannot get i t f i n i s h e d by the 14th. s  6. Sept. 1888  M.W.  Tyrwitt-Drake  2 4  Some o f the judges and lawyers were angry over " i n n o v a t i o n s " proposed by the r u l e s , such as t h a t a f f i d a v i t s were t o be a t t h e same t i m e as t h e w r i t .  The S e s s i o n a l P a p e r s f o r t h a t y e a r  r e p r i n t e d t h e w r i t t e n o b j e c t i o n s of the Law is,  filed  Society.  Of  interest  " O b j e c t i o n #3 - t h e r u l e s i n t h e m a i n a r e c o p i e d f r o m t h e  E n g l i s h R u l e s of 1883  and the O n t a r i o Rules of 1888,  which  supposes the e x i s t e n c e of a competent s t a f f of c o u r t o f f i c e r s such as do not e x i s t i n the T h i s i s probably pique.  province."  2 5  a genuine complaint  and not j u s t lawyer's  Throughout the e a r l y years o f the c o u r t , Begbie, h i s  49 s u c c e s s o r s , and t h e l e g a l p r o f e s s i o n , had appealed  to the  p r o v i n c i a l government t o i n c r e a s e r e g i s t r y s t a f f .  For instance,  in  1889 t h e r e were a t t h e New Westminster R e g i s t r y , o n l y t h e  r e g i s t r a r o f t h e county c o u r t and a c l e r k - d e p u t y ;  while at  V i c t o r i a t h e r e was a r e g i s t r a r o f t h e Supreme Court, a deputy r e g i s t r a r o f t h e Supreme and County Court, an usher and a shorthand  reporter.  (The shorthand  reporter incidentally  r e c e i v e d more than t w i c e t h e s a l a r y p a i d t o t h e " c l e r k - d e p u t y " i n New  Westminster.)  C e r t a i n l y the f a c t o f b e i n g  26  short-staffed  was p a r t o f t h e problem. Gouge, w r i t i n g on c o u r t procedure,  seems t o assume t h e  c o u r t r e g i s t r y s t a f f was not competent, f o r he w r i t e s ,  "Crease  mentions 'the d i s o r g a n i z e d s t a t e o f t h e e a r l y r e c o r d s o f t h e mainland c o l o n y ' . " conveyancing  27  But Crease's  reference i s t o land  not t o c o u r t o f f i c e r s i n t h e r e g i s t r y ,  and here,  a c c o r d i n g t o t h e Law Reports,, i s what he s a i d , "In t h e e a r l y days, i.e., a t and b e f o r e 1858 and subsequently, of  the land  titles  t h e c o l o n y were i n a most confused and c h a o t i c s t a t e . "  2 8  Bushby had n o t e d i n h i s d i a r y t h e l a r g e number o f l a n d t i t l e s u i t s Begbie and he had on t h e i r f i r s t  c i r c u i t and p o i n t e d t o  the d i s h o n e s t y o f the l a n d agent, Hicks.  Crease goes on, "the  mainland pre-emptive laws a l l o w e d every c o n c e i v a b l e form o f s q u a t t i n g under t h e s u g g e s t i v e name o f 'occupation'."  29  The  r e a l i t y was t h a t , "the p o p u l a t i o n was scanty, s c a t t e r e d and t h e land i t s e l f  of l i t t l e value."  3 0  But once t h e Torrens Land A c t  (1870) had been passed, g i v i n g i n d e f e a s i b l e t i t l e , t h e d i f f i c u l t i e s ceased.  Crease s a i d , "there have been no s u i t s  50  s i n c e . I n e i g h t e e n y e a r s working o f t h a t a c t no l i t i g a t i o n as t o a registered t i t l e  has taken p l a c e . "  The Land  3 1  Registry  o f f i c e s were much b e t t e r s t a f f e d than t h e County Court r e g i s t r y a t New W e s t m i n s t e r .  But i t i s n o t the s t a t e o f the c o u r t  3 2  r e c o r d s t h a t Crease  criticized.  As t h i s study has i n v e s t i g a t e d t h e o r i g i n s o f t h e Vancouver Supreme Court r e g i s t r y , attention. in  The Vancouver Court House (at V i c t o r y Square) begun  1890, had i t s o f f i c i a l opening, and f i r s t  1892. in  i t s f u r t h e r development now deserves  I t was a f o r m a l a f f a i r ,  full  court attire.  3 3  a s s i z e November 17,  t h e Vancouver lawyers a t t e n d i n g  The s h e r i f f ,  3 4  presented Mr. J u s t i c e  M c C r e i g h t w i t h " t h e u s u a l p a i r o f w h i t e g l o v e s as he h a d t o report a blank d o c k e t , "  35  a s i g n t h e r e were no c r i m e s t o t r y .  There were, as we c o u l d expect, many c i v i l ones pending:  County  Court Judge Bole, g i v i n g t h e main address, touched on case l o a d • n i n e h u n d r e d c a s e s on t h e l i s t f o r V a n c o u v e r i n 1892 i n w h i c h $147,000 was i n v o l v e d . In  3 6  And Vancouver was t h e j u n i o r c o u r t .  1893 t h e V i c t o r i a Court r e g i s t r y had e i g h t employees,  New Westminster  four, Vancouver t h r e e .  3 7  The probate d i v i s i o n s  were v e r y b u s y and c o u l d n o t keep up w i t h t h e work.  The  f o l l o w i n g y e a r t e n c l e r k s f o r copying w i l l s j o i n e d t h e V i c t o r i a o f f i c e , where o r i g i n a l w i l l s were r e g u l a r l y forwarded r e g i s t r i e s throughout t h e p r o v i n c e . t h r e e new c l e r k s and Vancouver o n e .  New Westminster 38  Court s t a f f i n g  from took on remained  at  t h i s l e v e l u n t i l 1898 when two a d d i t i o n a l c l e r k s were engaged  at  t h e Vancouver r e g i s t r y  3 9  t o meet t h e rush o f b u s i n e s s caused  51 by the New  Westminster f i r e  the f i r e of September, 1898,  (see Chapter I I ) . New  Westminster r e g i s t r y w r i t s  t o be p r o c e s s e d a t the Vancouver r e g i s t r y  4 0  courthouse c o u l d be planned and c o n s t r u c t e d , s t a f f had  For, d a t i n g from  been reduced t o a p a r t - t i m e  .  Until a the New  r e g i s t r a r and  Many Supreme Court r e c o r d s were l o s t i n the New f i r e o f 1898.  The  had  new Westminster  janitor. Westminster  Columbian newspaper r e p o r t e d t h a t the papers  were "smoldering i n s i d e the v a u l t " but by the use o f c h e m i c a l grenades and  a " p e r f e c t system of organized  assistance"  f i v e percent  o f the Land R e g i s t r y papers were s a v e d .  ninetyThe  4 1  prompted measures t o p r o t e c t the m a t e r i a l i n f u t u r e .  In  fire  1899  the l e g i s l a t u r e passed an a c t which made V i c t o r i a the c e n t r e f o r s t o r i n g Supreme Court records,  "an a c t t o p r o v i d e  for setting  a s i d e c e r t a i n v a u l t accommodation i n the P a r l i a m e n t B u i l d i n g f o r the use  o f the Supreme Court."  Sec.  1  A v a u l t o r p o r t i o n o f v a u l t s h a l l be p l a c e d under e x c l u s i v e c o n t r o l o f the D i s t r i c t R e g i s t r a r o f such c o u r t f o r V i c t o r i a .  Sec.  2  The Lieutenant-Governor i n C o u n c i l may d i r e c t t h a t any documents, books, o r papers which under any law, usage or custom are d e p o s i t e d o r kept i n any R e g i s t r y o f the Supreme Court s h a l l be d e p o s i t e d and kept i n s a i d v a u l t o r p o r t i o n of a v a u l t . 4 2  The  manoeuvre was  i n vain.  A note i n the Inventory of  the  Attorney-General's Department a t the P r o v i n c i a l A r c h i v e s B r i t i s h Columbia concerning t h a t a f i r e on June 10, 1917  and  1939  of  the correspondence 1872-1937 r e v e a l s burned a l l the l e t t e r b o o k s o f  t h a t a d d i t i o n a l documents were destroyed  1872-  by f l o o d i n g i n  52 the basement of the main P a r l i a m e n t B u i l d i n g . F o r t u n a t e l y , the p r a c t i c e o f sending Supreme Court from Vancouver t o V i c t o r i a was  files  r e v e r s e d by the 1904 A c t which  declared: Each r e g i s t r y s h a l l be the proper p l a c e f o r the d e p o s i t and s a f e keeping o f a l l r e c o r d s , books, and documents connected w i t h any proceedings i n the c o u r t commenced and pending i n such R e g i s t r y and f o r any books, papers or documents d i r e c t e d by any law or Rule o f Court t o be d e p o s i t e d t h e r e i n ; and the D i s t r i c t R e g i s t r a r appointed t o such R e g i s t r y s h a l l have charge of, and be r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the books, r e c o r d s , and documents so d e p o s i t e d . 4  The D i s t r i c t R e g i s t r a r was  now  r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the books,  r e c o r d s , and documents d e p o s i t e d i n the r e g i s t r y .  Before the  f i r e , the p r e s t i g e o f the o f f i c e o f r e g i s t r a r had s u f f e r e d when two men  were d i s m i s s e d i n 1896  James C. Prevost, who  f o r embezzlement o f t r u s t funds:  had been r e g i s t r a r o f the Supreme Court a t  V i c t o r i a s i n c e 1885  and the c h i e f r e g i s t r a r of the p r o v i n c e a t  the t i m e o f the Law  S o c i e t y ' s w r i t t e n c o m p l a i n t t o the  legislature,  and W.H.  F i e l d i n g of New  Westminster who,  as  Supreme Court r e g i s t r a r f o r the j u d i c i a l d i s t r i c t , had been p r e s e n t a t the ceremony opening the Vancouver Court House i n 1892.  Mr. P r e v o s t would seem t o have been e s p e c i a l l y c l e v e r or  devious.  The  Fielding's,  amount of h i s d e f a l c a t i o n was  $1,416.27.  an accountant,  45  An  a c t was  Mr.  q u i c k l y passed t o appoint  "as an o f f i c e r o f the Supreme Court t o have  charge of a l l funds p a i d i n t o c o u r t . " days had a c t e d as accountant, assizes.  $22,596.14;  4 6  Begbie i n the e a r l y  c h e c k i n g the f e e book a t the  Cash books a t the P r o v i n c i a l A r c h i v e s of B r i t i s h  53 Columbia  show h i s c e r t i f i e d c o r r e c t i o n  o f sums.  47  B r i a n Halsey T y r w i t t - D r a k e took over Prevost's p o s i t i o n .  He  was t h e son o f t h e Supreme C o u r t j u d g e , b o r n i n V i c t o r i a b u t s e n t t o s c h o o l a t Charterhouse  i n England.  He had a r t i c l e d w i t h a  V i c t o r i a lawyer and p r a c t i c e d f o r f i v e y e a r s b e f o r e h i s appointment as r e g i s t r a r . classic style. of England,  T y r w i t t - D r a k e was  a gentleman i n the  He belonged t o a V i c t o r i a regiment,  was  Church  a member of the c r i c k e t club, yacht c l u b , g o l f  t e n n i s c l u b , an oarsman and a f o o t b a l l p l a y e r .  4 8  The  and  Law  S o c i e t y p r e s e n t e d him w i t h a s e t o f b i n o c u l a r s when he went "to the f r o n t "  i n 1916.  49  The r e g i s t r a r i s a person o f s t a t u s .  I t would appear t h a t  Judge Cameron, t h e f i r s t c o l o n i a l judge of t h e Supreme Court of Vancouver I s l a n d , a c t e d as h i s own  r e g i s t r a r , and  indeed  r e c k o n e d h i s r o l e as r e g i s t r a r t o be w o r t h as much as h i s j u d i c i a l one,  f o r a copy o f the b i l l  o f c o s t s shows i n  Judge's Fee estimated a t R e g i s t r a r ' s Do. estimated a t By 1904  the r e g i s t r a r s  the same remuneration, the l a r g e s t  L5.00_ £5.00  5 0  o f V i c t o r i a and Vancouver r e c e i v e d  and a f t e r 1907  s t a f f i n the p r o v i n c e .  which began doing b u s i n e s s i n 1908, 1911.  1854:  the Vancouver r e g i s t r y  The Rattenbury  Court House,  had i t s f o r m a l opening i n  The opening became an o c c a s i o n f o r c i v i c p r i d e ,  the  c e r e m o n i a l scene r e - c r e a t e d i n a l l i l l u s t r a t e d h i s t o r i e s o f Vancouver:  the Governor-General  (HRH  the Duke o f Connaught),  m i l i t a r y bands, bunting, f l a g s , crowds of people.  had  A Cordova  54 S t r e e t g r o c e r had a d i s p l a y of the Union Jack made of apples, b l u e plums and e g g s .  51  B u i l t o f stone and g r a n i t e w i t h G r e c i a n  columns, s c u l p t u r e d l i o n s "couchant",  and an a r r e s t i n g  entrance, t h e Georgia S t r e e t Court House was  central  designed i n the  n e o c l a s s i c a l s t y l e d i s p l a y i n g a m a g n i f i c e n t i n t e r i o r of marble, carved c a b i n e t wood and ornate s t a i n e d g l a s s , and h a v i n g l a r g e b a l c o n i e d g a l l e r i e s i n the major c o u r t s ; f a c i l i t a t e d a p u b l i c system  of l a w .  a l l p r o c l a i m e d and  5 2  Business a t the Vancouver Court House grew. c o m p l e t i o n an annex was  added on Robson S t r e e t .  The year of i t s And  i n s p i t e of  the d e p l e t i o n i n the ranks o f the c i v i l s e r v i c e d u r i n g World  War  I, the Vancouver R e g i s t r y had a s t a f f o f t w e n t y - s i x ( V i c t o r i a a s t a f f of 10.5). County Court  The r e g i s t r a r r e c e i v e d t h e same s a l a r y as a  judge.  53  The r e g i s t r a r has both a d m i n i s t r a t i v e and j u d i c i a l  duties.  He i s empowered t o swear oaths, take a f f i d a v i t s , and examine w i t n e s s e s under oath.  He may  take q u e s t i o n s f o r i n q u i r y r e f e r r e d  t o him by t h e j u d g e and h i s o r d e r s a r e e n f o r c e d i n t h e same way as a j u d g m e n t o f t h e c o u r t .  Thus we w i l l see i n d i v o r c e f i l e s a  r e g i s t r a r ' s i n t e r i m o r d e r f o r maintenance payments t o a w i f e , w h i l e the case i s pending  (see Chapter IV).  In the n i n e t e e n t h century, the r e g i s t r a r d r a f t e d the w r i t s and o t h e r documents t h a t now a l a w y e r d r a f t s f o r h i s c l i e n t . the r e g i s t r a r i s s u e s these documents. is,  He taxes the c o s t s ;  But that  he goes over, i f asked, the lawyer's b i l l t o h i s c l i e n t ,  appeal from  the r e g i s t r a r ' s d e c i s i o n on those c o s t s i s t o the  and  55  judge.  He  sees t h a t  minutes of proceedings are kept, a note o f a l l p l a i n t s and summonses, and of a l l o r d e r s , and o f a l l judgments and e x e c u t i o n and r e t u r n t h e r e t o , and o f a l l f i n e s and o f a l l other proceedings o f the c o u r t , t o be f a i r l y e n t e r e d f r o m t i m e t o t i m e i n a book b e l o n g i n g t o the court, which s h a l l be kept a t the o f f i c e o f the court, and such e n t r i e s o f the s a i d book, o r a copy t h e r e o f b e a r i n g the s e a l o f the c o u r t and p u r p o r t i n g t o be s i g n e d and c e r t i f i e d as a t r u e copy by the R e g i s t r a r o f the Court, s h a l l a t a l l t i m e s be admitted i n a l l c o u r t s and p l a c e s whatsoever as evidence o f such e n t r i e s and o f the p r o c e e d i n g r e f e r r e d t o by such e n t r y o r e n t r i e s and of the r e g u l a r i t y o f such proceeding, without any f u r t h e r p r o o f . 5 4  He has the a u t h o r i t y of a c o n s t a b l e d u r i n g the h o l d i n g of c o u r t and he swears i n the new service. 1916  A.G.  t o 1926,  Smith was  clerks.  R e g i s t r a r s give long  D i s t r i c t R e g i s t r a r a t Vancouver from  J.F. Mather from 1926-1945;  L o u i s Mendez, 1945  to  1960. The  deputy r e g i s t r a r has the same powers as  registrar. He may  5 5  He  then go  some have been p r o m o t e d f r o m c h i e f  they take on the p o s i t i o n f o r the  registrar,  the c h a i n of command then i s  deputy r e g i s t r a r , c h i e f c l e r k , and s e n i o r c l e r k s ,  documentation c l e r k s and j u n i o r c l e r k s . attended 1  experience  into private practice.  A t the Vancouver r e g i s t r y ,  clerks  registrar.  For some deputy r e g i s t r a r s t h a t are l a w y e r s i t i s a  stepping-stone; and  does most of the r o u t i n e work o f the  n o t be a l a w y e r ;  clerk.  the  t o personnel,  i n t e r v i e w e d new  The  chief clerk  applicants (male)  5 6  p o s i t i o n s , and d e a l t w i t h s t a f f problems when they  for  56 arose.  He s o r t e d t h e correspondence, d i r e c t i n g t h e l e t t e r s t o  the s e c t i o n s  - cashier,  divorce,  and e s p e c i a l l y probate because  r e q u e s t s f o r c o p i e s o f w i l l s made up a m a j o r p a r t o f t h e correspondence.  Sometimes as many as twenty c o p i e s were  requested and then he, t h e c h i e f c l e r k (as l a t e as 1945) would r e a d t h e w i l l a l o u d , t h e s e v e r a l c l e r k s c o p y i n g as i n a m e d i e v a l scriptorium.  Some o f those copying were World War I v e t e r a n s  s e r v i n g as j u n i o r c l e r k s . off-hours  Poorly p a i d ,  one drove a t a x i i n h i s  t o make ends meet.  There were s i x s e n i o r c l e r k s each heading a s e c t i o n : Appeal C o u r t ; Divorce;  Criminal  5 7  Court;  Probate and Bankruptcy.  Cashier;  Chambers;  C i v i l and  The procedures were s t r i c t l y  regulated. The  documentation c l e r k ( s ) a t t h e counter would take t h e  w r i t f r o m t h e s o l i c i t o r o r t h e p l a i n t i f f and a s s i g n i t a number. There was a stamping machine whereby w r i t f o l l o w e d w r i t numbered.  The c a s h i e r ,  serially  upon payment o f t h e fee, would put t h e  o r i g i n a l w r i t and one copy under s e a l (that i s , w i t h a handpressed seal).  Thus t h e w r i t was "issued".  kept i n t h e f i l e  (Brown v Smith).  One s e a l e d copy was  The o r i g i n a l went t o t h e  l a w y e r who, h a v i n g made t h e number o f c o p i e s he needed ( i f 2 0 defendants, 20 copies) served each defendant a copy and showed him  the o r i g i n a l . N o n - l i t i g i o u s documents may be d e p o s i t e d a t t h e r e g i s t r y  for  safe-keeping.  required  the b i l l  R e g u l a t i o n s under t h e B i l l  of Sale A c t  o f s a l e t o be f i l e d , as w e l l as c h a t t e l  mortgages, t h e c o l l a t e r a l i n t h e f i n a n c i n g o f loans,  and t h e  57  assignment wicket.  o f debts.  These were r e g i s t e r e d a t the c a s h i e r ' s  The c a s h i e r a l s o r e g i s t e r e d c i t y by-laws  and  registered  partnerships. The f e e s c h e d u l e s e t down t h e c o s t o f each t r a n s a c t i o n a t the flat  registry.  Today i n the c i v i l d i v i s i o n the p l a i n t i f f pays a  f e e o f $50.00 t o s t a r t an a c t i o n and t o cover a l l  subsequent  document-processing  fees.  Nowadays the chambers s e c t i o n i s v e r y busy.  During 1983-84  t h e r e were 40,000 chamber a p p l i c a t i o n s i n the Vancouver registry. system:  One  judge each week i s a s s i g n e d t o chambers on a r o t a  g e n e r a l l y he c o n s i d e r s uncontested m a t t e r s -  g u a r d i a n s h i p , f a m i l y maintenance, adjournments, summons). list  estate,  injunctions,  s u b s t i t u t e s e r v i c e (permission to p u b l i s h a  The judge t r i e s t o answer everyone a p p l y i n g on the  f o r t h a t day,  i f not then the next day.  A court c l e r k  sits  w i t h the judge t a k i n g notes o f proceedings on a b i g sheet, 15" x 8".  A t the end o f the chambers s e s s i o n , 4 o'clock, the c l e r k  w i l l w r i t e up t h e r e s u l t s i n t h e c a u s e book, f i n d t h e a c t i o n s u c h as S m i t h v S c o t t and make a n o t e o f t h e change i n t r i a l date, o r note the volume number of an order. are  The Chamber sheets  kept i n a l a r g e f o l d e r i n t h e r e g i s t r y and a r e bound every  t h r e e months.  Some Chamber o r d e r s might get i n t o the  Law  Reports. The d e t a i l s o f the case a r e i n the case f i l e - t h e w r i t , statement o f c l a i m , statement o f defence, c o u n t e r c l a i m , r e p l y , t h i r d p a r t y proceedings, e x h i b i t s , t r a n s c r i p t o f examination f o r  58 discovery, notice of t r i a l ,  judgment, g a r n i s h e e o r o t h e r c o u r t  o r d e r s t o e n f o r c e the judgment.  The a c t i o n f i l e g e t s a number  t a k e n f r o m t h e w r i t and a name.  B o t h t h e name and number have  been e n t e r e d i n an index.  The a c t i o n o r case f i l e  (except  adoptions o r j u v e n i l e matters) i s open t o be seen by anybody on request, w i t h o u t e x p l a n a t i o n , and the searches are not noted. However, one cannot l o o k a t the e x h i b i t s t h a t are i n a s e a l e d envelope i n the f i l e w i t h o u t a judge's a u t h o r i z a t i o n . In  the c i v i l d i v i s i o n the r e c o r d volumes (cause books, or  p l a i n t books as they are sometimes c a l l e d ) were kept on s h e l v e s i n the r e g i s t r y . summary.  They c o n t a i n i n f o r m a t i o n o f each case i n  Every document i s s u e d i s noted i n the cause book and  e v e r y p r o c e s s t o do w i t h t h e a c t i o n : litigants, of  t h e names o f t h e  t h e nature of the cause, the lawyers' names, a change  lawyer, t h e date of t r i a l ,  t h e judge's name;  any o r d e r i s  noted and any e f f e c t , the judgment, the t a x i n g o f c o s t s , the appeal.  P u b l i c searches are not i n the cause book, nor  subpoenas. There were separate cause books f o r d i v o r c e p e t i t i o n s starting  i n the 1950s, r e d ones, when d i v o r c e became separated  from o t h e r c i v i l  actions.  Both were l a r g e , heavy volumes about  two f e e t w i d e by two and a h a l f f e e t l o n g .  I n 1974, t h e y were  r e p l a c e d by a system of automated index c a r d s t h a t , w i t h the p r e s s o f a button, move t o f a c e the c l e r k .  T h i s system  has  speeded up searches s i n c e , p r e v i o u s l y , o n l y one c l e r k a t a time, n a t u r a l l y , c o u l d c o n s u l t a r e c o r d volume. "pending c a r d " system,  P o i n t i n g t o the  new  one c l e r k remarked t h a t nobody ever l o s t a  59  cause  book. The t r i a l  the o f f i c i a l  itself  i s w e l l documented by the c o u r t c l e r k ,  stenographer,  by  and by the judge i n h i s bench book.  The " m i n u t e s h e e t " , w h i c h t h e c l e r k has w i t h h i m i n t h e courtroom, monitors the p r o g r e s s f o r he w r i t e s down each event, the names o f w i t n e s s e s sworn, examined by c o u n s e l , c r o s s examined, e x c e p t i o n s of counsel; times noted.  a l l are r e c o r d e d w i t h the  Each j u d g e has a m i n u t e book w h i c h c o v e r s a l l t h e  t r i a l s he hears.  The minute sheets are f i l e d  i n t h i s book or  f o l d e r under the p l a i n t i f f ' s name, year, a c t i o n number; as the case c o n t i n u e s the days are counted - Brown v S c o t t #4  (day  four). The o f f i c i a l  stenographer r e p o r t s , i n the main, the  evidence, t h e o r a l testimony, the r u l i n g s , the e x c e p t i o n s , and the judge's charge t o the j u r y .  By s t a t u t e  he:  s h a l l r e p o r t examinations f o r d i s c o v e r y , the v i v a voce evidence g i v e n a t the t r i a l and a l l r u l i n g s o f the judge d u r i n g the t r i a l , and a l l e x c e p t i o n s by counsel, and i f the case be t r i e d by a j u r y t h e summing up o f t h e j u d g e and t h e e x c e p t i o n s o f counsel, but i t s h a l l not be necessary t o r e p o r t the addresses o f counsel t o the judge o r j u r y . 5 7  A f a i r copy may  be made, c e r t i f i e d  s e p a r a t e l y as a r e c o r d i n the case.  by the judge, and  filed  A t r a n s c r i p t o f a case can  be v e r y expensive and a l l or p a r t o f one o n l y s u r v i v e s as a c o u r t r e c o r d i f the matter goes t o appeal. or more l i k e l y h i s attorney, who  I t i s the  r e q u i r e s a copy.  litigant,  The  stenographer's l o g s and paper tapes (untranscribed) a r e  60 d e s t r o y e d a f t e r f i v e y e a r s i n accordance w i t h t h e r e c o r d schedules.  58  (See Appendix B)  J u d g e s make t h e i r own n o t e s i n t h e i r r e c o r d books o r "bench books" o f t h e evidence, marking the s a l i e n t p o i n t s , on the r e l i a b i l i t y o f w i t n e s s e s , n o t i n g t h e i r own of  commenting  deliberations  the cases a t t h e i r l e i s u r e o u t s i d e the courtroom.  These  p r o v i d e good source m a t e r i a l f o r r e s e a r c h e r s . The j u d g m e n t s and o r d e r s o f t h e c o u r t a r e r e c o r d e d i n a judgment book.  An o f f i c i a l  i n the r e g i s t r y checks the order  a g a i n s t the c l e r k ' s r e c o r d and sends the o r i g i n a l and t h r e e c o p i e s t o t h e judge f o r i n i t i a l l i n g .  One i s p u t i n t o t h e  judgment book, one i n t o t h e a c t i o n f i l e lawyer.  and one i s g i v e n t o each  Both p a r t i e s ' names a r e l i s t e d as e n t r i e s i n t h e index.  The c a u s e book t e l l s what v o l u m e number t h e o r d e r i s i n . Judgment books a r e open t o search; to the  c r e d i t o r s o r banks needing  know the f i n a n c i a l p o s i t i o n o f a c e r t a i n l i t i g a n t w i l l peruse judgment book.  As the c o u r t judgment i s p a i d , c o r r e s p o n d i n g  memoranda a r e entered i n t h e book. Reasons f o r judgment a r e kept i n the judge's f i l e . a l s o i s r e s e r v e d f o r t h e judges' l i b r a r y , p u b l i s h e r s o f Law Reports. Sherwood  and one goes t o the  Such r e p o r t s can be lengthy.  L e t t ' s reasons f o r judgment i n the B.C.  e x p r o p r i a t i o n case  A copy  Thus,  Electric  (1961) r a n t o 309 pages.  The r e c o r d - k e e p i n g p r a c t i c e s a t t h e Vancouver r e g i s t r y have been on the whole good, although one c h i e f c l e r k o f the 1960s complained t h a t , i n t h e past, adoptions had been i n t e r f i l e d orders.  with  However, the c l e r k s i n the main have been c o n s c i e n t i o u s ,  61  and the i n e f f i c i e n t o r l a z y ones were "chased p r e t t y t h o r o u g h l y by the c h i e f c l e r k o r t h e i r s e c t i o n heads."  When asked i f they  were more c a r e f u l w i t h important cases than w i t h s m a l l e r ones, a former c l e r k answered: The b i g c o r p o r a t i o n cases demanded more work from t h e c l e r k than t h e minor ones but the l a t t e r were more i n t e r e s t i n g and gave the c l e r k an o p p o r t u n i t y t o observe and see o t h e r s i d e s of a case. The b i g a c t i o n s were u s u a l l y v e r y t e c h n i c a l and b o r i n g . The l a w y e r s were Q.C.'s and t h e r e was g r e a t money a t stake. I t was p r e f e r r e d t h a t the same c l e r k remain on t h e c a s e t h r o u g h o u t i t s t e r m , b u t t h i s was n o t always p o s s i b l e and t h i s a l l o w s f o r mistakes, as d i f f e r e n t c l e r k s do not take the same i n t e r e s t i n some o t h e r c l e r k ' s t r i a l and may f o r g e t or o v e r l o o k making a c e r t a i n e n t r y i n the cause book. H e r e i n l i e s the i n t e r e s t f o r the c l e r k i n s e e i n g a case through. 5 9  1  The r e t i r e d c o u r t c l e r k added, "There i s no c h i e f c l e r k more, no cause book.  The o l d system was  any  perfect."  The a r c h i v i s t should keep such views i n mind;  the manner of  r e c o r d - k e e p i n g had not changed s i n c e the t i m e o f Begbie whose c o u r t was  t y p i c a l of a l l t h e h i g h c o u r t s here r i g h t up t o  1977.  Evidence supports the c o n t e n t i o n t h a t the Supreme Court r e c o r d s were c o n s c i e n t i o u s l y f i l e d and kept, the common law r e c o r d s permanent and  infallible.  At t h e Rattenbury Court House an accumulation of r e c o r d s ( i n c l u d i n g ones from t h e Cambie S t r e e t Court House) had been s t o r e d i n huge underground v a u l t s , v a u l t s t h a t extended  well  under Georgia S t r e e t , u n t i l r e l e a s e d by the judges' move t o the Robson S t r e e t Law  Courts.  In accordance w i t h the p r o v i n c i a l  government's r e c o r d s management p r o j e c t two c o u r t r e c o r d s  62  c e n t r e s , one a t Vancouver, established.  the other a t V i c t o r i a ,  were  I n a c t i v e r e c o r d s from a l l t h e j u d i c i a l  districts  go t o one o f t h e s e r e p o s i t o r i e s . For  a c t i v e r e c o r d s , today's government r e c o r d managers  p r e f e r t h e f i l i n g by type system t o t h e case f i l e  system.  63  Notes f o r Chapter I I I  ^•H.S. G i f f a r d Halsbury, The Lavs o f England Butterworth P r e s s , 1912), pp. 346-347.  (London:  W.S. Holdsworth, The H i s t o r y o f E n g l i s h Law (Cambridge: Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y Press, 17 v o l s . 1903-72), V o l . V, No. 2, p. 157. 2  H o l d s w o r t h , V o l . V, n. 5, p. 158 q u o t i n g S i r Edward Coke, Second I n s t i t u t e . 3  4  H a l s b u r y , Laws, p.  348.  5  H o l d s w o r t h , H i s t o r y , p.  6  W i l l i a m s , The Man,  159.  p. 3 04.  R V. Northumberland. Stroud's J u d i c i a l Sweet & M a x w e l l L t d . , 1974) s.v. " r e c o r d " . 7  Dictionary  S e e M i l s o n , The Foundation o f t h e Common Law Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1970). 8  (London:  (Cambridge:  J e s s e F. Gouge, " C i v i l Procedure i n t h e S u p e r i o r Courts: the B.C. I l l u s t r a t i o n 1849-1880" U.B.C. Law Review (1979), 13, pp. 338-379. 9  J . S . Cockburn, "Seventeenth-Century C l e r k s o f A s s i z e s Some Anonymous Members o f t h e L e g a l P r o f e s s i o n " , The American J o u r n a l o f L e g a l H i s t o r y 13 (1964), p. 316. 1 0  i : L  I b i d . p.  317.  P o s t m a s t e r General o f t h e U n i t e d Colony (when t h e r e was a d e f i c i t he made i t up h i m s e l f ) County C o u r t J u d g e a t New Westminster i n 1867. L e g i s l a t i v e C o u n c i l o f B.C. 1868-1870. He had been f i r s t r e c t o r ' s warden a t Holy T r i n i t y Church, 1860. A f t e r h i s death i n 1875 t h e c o n g r e g a t i o n d e d i c a t e d a s t a i n e d g l a s s window a t Holy T r i n i t y Church, w i t h the i n s c r i p t i o n "The Memory o f the J u s t i s Blessed." The Church and window were d e s t r o y e d by t h e f i r e o f 1899. 1 2  S m i t h , Dorothy Blakey, ed. " J o u r n a l o f A r t h u r Thomas Bushby, 1855-59", BCHQ V o l . XXI (1957-58)1:83-198. In h i s j o u r n a l Bushby g i v e s a most l i v e l y and d i v e r t i n g account o f h i s c i r c u i t s and adventures. 1 3  64  C i t e d i n The Court House o f New Westminster, H e r i t a g e P r e s e r v a t i o n Foundation o f New Westminster. C l o v e r d a l e , B.C. D.W. F r i e s e n & Sons L t d . n.d., p. 16. 1 4  1 5  W i l l i a m s , p. 60.  1 6  T h e Laws o f B.C. r e v i s e d - c o l o n i a l 1865, s e c . 2.  1 7  W i l l i a m s , p. 278.  C h a r l e s Dickens, Bleak House (London: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1962), p. 2. 1 8  S.M. Wexler, M a t e r i a l s on L e g a l I n s t i t u t i o n s U.B.C. F a c u l t y o f Law, 1975). 19  2 0  (Vancouver:  I n Re Gway. 2 B.C. Reports, p. 343.  B a k e r v D a l b y (1894) 3 BCR, p. 289. C i t e d i n J . Kaworsky and H.A. Stephens, B r i t i s h Columbia P r a c t i c e (Vancouver: Commercial S t a t i o n e r s , 1968). 2 1  22  Supreme Court A c t 1903-04 c.2 s. 94.  R . C. Risk, "The Law and t h e Economy i n Mid-Nineteenth Century O n t a r i o : A P e r s p e c t i v e " i n Essays i n t h e H i s t o r y o f Canadian Law, ed. D. F l a h e r t y , V o l . 1 (Toronto: The Osgoode S o c i e t y , 1981), p. 94. 23  24  B . C . S e s s i o n a l Papers,. 1888, p. 237.  25  B . C . S e s s i o n a l Papers, 1888, p. 237.  2 6  Estimates.  27  G o u g e , op. c i t . , p. 340.  2 8  B.C. S e s s i o n a l Papers, 1890, p. 335.  I n Re S h o t b o l t  (1888), 1 BCR, p. 343.  2 9  S h o t b o l t , p. 343.  3 0  S h o t b o l t , p. 345.  3 1  S h o t b o l t , p. 345.  3 2  Estimates.  B.C. S e s s i o n a l Papers, 1890, p. 335.  A n account w r i t t e n f o r t h e "News A d v e r t i s e r " by L.G. M c P h i l i p s K.C. was r e p r i n t e d i n The Advocate, V o l . 1-2, 194344, pp. 189-191. 3 3  65  B.C. S e s s i o n a l Papers 1892 have s h e r i f f s a t V i c t o r i a , Westminster, Cariboo, and Y a l e but not Vancouver.  New  34  3 5  M c P h i l l i p s , p.  3 6  Ibid.  37  38  39  4 0  189.  B.C. S e s s i o n a l Papers,  56 V i c t o r i a ,  B . C . S e s s i o n a l Papers,  57 V i c t o r i a 1874,  B.C. S e s s i o n a l Papers,  61  S . B . C , 1899  C  p.  579. V o l . 1, p.  T h e Columbian Sept. 21, 1898. Westminster, op. c i t . , p. 25.  1898.  C i t e d i n The Court House of  42  S . B . C . 1899  4 3  I n v e n t o r y A t t o r n e y - G e n e r a l ' s Department, PABC.  4 4  S B C 1963-4 C. 15 s.  4 5  D e b a t e s of the L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly, 59 V i c t o r i a  15. 4 6  749.  20 s. 7.  4 1  New  Victoria  p.  C. 21.  B . C . S t a t u t e s 1899  34.  c.  1899,  21.  P r o v i n c i a l A r c h i v e s of- B r i t i s h Columbia, Cash Books, 1866-1871. 4 7  S c h o l e f i e l d , B r i t i s h Columbia B i o g r a p h i e s V o l . 11, (Vancouver: C l a r k e P u b l i s h i n g Co., 1914), S.V., p. 1081. 4 8  A l f r e d Watts, Q.C. Lex Liborum Rex: H i s t o r y o f the Law S o c i e t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia 1865-1973. West Vancouver, 1973, p. 19. 4 9  " U n a u t h o r i z e d A d m i r a l t y Court", L i o n e l H. Laing, Washington H i s t o r i c a l Q u a r t e r l y , V o l . XXVI, p. 13. 50  5 1  I n f o r m a t i o n from Judges' L i b r a r y , Vancouver Law  Courts.  T h e b u i l d i n g , r e c y c l e d t o become the home o f the Vancouver A r t G a l l e r y (Oct. 1983) was c o m p l e t e l y g u t t e d t o accommodate an a r t c o l l e c t i o n v a l u e d then a t f i v e m i l l i o n d o l l a r s . 5 2  5 3  A t Vancouver R e g i s t r a r , Supreme and County Court 12 mos. Deputy R e g i s t r a r $178 2 C l e r k s ea 102  @  $310  66 6 C l e r k s ea Clerk 10 C l e r k s 2 Junior Clerks Junior Clerk Stenographer Stenographer 54  5 5  96 92 40 80 65 65 60  S B C , 1903-4 C . 15 S . 30. S B C 1903-4 C . 15 S . 31.  T h e f i r s t woman c o u r t c l e r k a t the Supreme Court i n Vancouver was Sandra Hanson, appointed i n 1971, from t h e Kamloops r e g i s t r y . 5 6  T h e Appeal Court s i n c e 1982 has had i t s own w i t h J e n n i f e r Jordan i t s f i r s t r e g i s t r a r . 5 7  5 8  S B C 1903-4 C . 15  registry,  S . 74.  I n t e r v i e w by t h e author w i t h Hugh C r i s p F u l l e r , c o u r t c l e r k , Vancouver, February, 1984. 5 9  retired  67  CHAPTER IV I l l u s t r a t i v e B r i t i s h Columbia Case F i l e s i n Bankruptcy, D i v o r c e , T o r t , and Probate The f o c u s o f t h i s s t u d y now s h i f t s t o an e x a m i n a t i o n o f case f i l e s which were taken from s e r i e s s t o r e d a t t h e Court Records  Centre, Vancouver (see Appendix C):  Bankruptcy  from t h e 1930s and 1940s, D i v o r c e from t h e 1940s, C i v i l 1950s, and m i c r o f i l m e d Probate r o l l s  files Causes,  from t h e 1950s. F o r  i l l u s t r a t i o n , t h e b e s t method o f d e s c r i b i n g t h e f i l e  contents  seems t o be s i m p l y t h e a n e c d o t a l one. L e t us t a k e i t as an a r c h i v a l d i s p l a y o f wares. At  t h e Vancouver r e g i s t r y , t h e documents were  case f i l e o r d o s s i e r system, litigants  and h i s t o r i a n s .  kept i n t h e  a system convenient f o r both I n c o n t r a s t , i n j u r i s d i c t i o n s where  the o r g a n i z a t i o n o f m a t e r i a l i s by type - w r i t s w i t h w r i t s , appearances difficult,  w i t h appearances,  a f f i d a v i t s with a f f i d a v i t s - i t i s  i f not i m p o s s i b l e , decades a f t e r t h e event, t o  assemble t h e p a r t s and r e c o n s t r u c t t h e case. system has a d m i n i s t r a t i v e advantages.  But t h e type  F o r one t h i n g , i t makes  i t p o s s i b l e t o d i s p o s e e a s i l y o f a b u l k o f r e c o r d s (praecipes, for  i n s t a n c e ) t h a t a r e o f no value. A t y p i c a l case f i l e i s l i k e l y  t o contain the following  t y p e s o f document. 1. W r i t o f Summons The w r i t o f summons b e g i n s a c i v i l a c t i o n . c o u r t communications,  Like other  i t i s printed i n elaborate c a l l i g r a p h i c  68  lettering. E l i z a b e t h t h e Second, By Grace o f God o f t h e U n i t e d Kingdom, Canada, and h e r o t h e r Realms, Head o f t h e Commonwealth, Defender o f t h e F a i t h To:  (name) (address)  We command y o u t h a t , w i t h i n e i g h t d a y s o f . . . The o r d e r i s made s t i l l more i m p r e s s i v e by b e i n g emblazoned w i t h c o u r t s e a l s and c o l o u r e d l a w stamps. writ i s the p l a i n t i f f ' s claim: injuries."  On t h e b a c k o f t h e  " s u f f e r e d from p e r s o n a l  Indeed t h e w r i t alone s u p p l i e s a good d e a l o f  information.  I t s u p p l i e s t h e r e g i s t r y number, t h e date f i l e d ,  the p l a i n t i f f ' s s o l i c i t o r (s), t h e type o f case, and t h e c o u r t where t h e w r i t was f i l e d . Bankruptcy  cases b e g i n w i t h a p e t i t i o n , not a w r i t .  actions, too, u n t i l  Divorce  1960 began w i t h a p e t i t i o n .  2. A f f i d a v i t s These a r e t h e w r i t t e n d e c l a r a t i o n s d r a f t e d under oath.  A  l a w y e r w i l l s i g n an a f f i d a v i t t h a t J o h n Doe i s t h e p e r s o n referred t o i n the w i l l .  3. Appearance In m e d i e v a l t i m e s a c a s e c o u l d n o t be t r i e d i n t h e defendant's  absence and he would make attempts  summons as today a defendant  t o dodge t h e  might t r y t o a v o i d b e i n g served a  69  summons, hoping i f not t o stop, a t l e a s t t o d e l a y proceedings. Hence the appearance,  the document s t a t i n g someone w i l l appear t o  answer the a l l e g a t i o n , was  instituted.  I t has the date, the  name o f the a c t i o n , the name o f the defendant's s o l i c i t o r his  and  address. Essoins,  excuses f o r non-appearance,  notes i n the Chamber's  4. Statement  are i n the c l e r k ' s  file.  o f Claim  The statement o f c l a i m i s more d e t a i l e d than the w r i t o f summons and must be f i l e d w i t h i n a f i x e d term a f t e r the d e l i v e r y of  appearance.  to  frame h i s defence.  5. Statement  I t g i v e s the p a r t i c u l a r s t h a t a l l o w a defendant  o f Defence  The s t a t e m e n t o f d e f e n c e has t o be f i l e d w i t h i n a f i x e d term o r the defendant w i l l l o s e by d e f a u l t . defence i s sometimes accompanied  The statement o f  by a c o u n t e r - c l a i m .  each a l l e g a t i o n i n the statement o f c l a i m had t o be denied. claim.  Now  t h e new  Until  1970  specifically  r u l e s allow f o r a general d e n i a l of the  Commonly, p l e a d i n g s t e r m i n a t e w i t h the statement o f  defence. B.C.  Court s t a t i s t i c s  f o r 1970  show t h a t t h i r t y - s e v e n per  c e n t o f a l l the w r i t s f i l e d had no appearance rest,  entered.  For the  f i f t y - s i x per cent o f the cases became dormant a t some  t i m e b e t w e e n t h e f i l i n g o f t h e w r i t and t h e t r i a l . I f the a c t i o n continues, papers i n the d o s s i e r accumulate amendments t o the p l e a d i n g s , r e q u e s t s f o r p a r t i c u l a r s ,  counter-  claims, r e p l i e s , rejoinders, surrejoinders, rebuttals, surrebuttals, examination  change of s o l i c i t o r ,  t h i r d party pleadings,  f o r d i s c o v e r y , p r e - t r i a l conference,  a jury t r i a l ,  t r i a l date, t r i a l  r e s u l t s , c o s t s , n o t i c e of  t a x a t i o n o f c o s t s , garnishee orders, appeal order,  and  so on.  application for  from  garnishee  For Divorce, Bankruptcy, C i v i l ,  and  Probate  S e r i e s t h e u n i t i s the f i l e and not the i n d i v i d u a l papers. file,  The  i t i s s a i d , c o n t a i n s the m a t e r i a l (documents and e x h i b i t s )  which enables  a n e u t r a l person t o f o l l o w the m a t t e r under  deliberation.  Bankruptcies There i s a good d e a l o f h i s t o r i c a l data i n the e a r l y bankruptcy f i l e s . a row  In a box  of 1931  bankruptcies,  four f i l e s  in  were i n t e r e s t i n g . The 1.  c o v e r p r o v i d e s the i d e n t i f y i n g  information  In the Supreme Court of B r i t i s h Columbia.  In Bankruptcy  50/31 In the matter o f the Bankruptcy A c t and I n t h e m a t t e r o f t h e E s t a t e o f George J o h n Gerrard, J u n i o r ; A u t h o r i z e d  Assignor  71 Mr. G e r r a r d i s a m o v i n g - p i c t u r e p r o j e c t i o n i s t a t the C a p i t o l Theatre, Vancouver, six  e a r n i n g a s a l a r y o f $75 a week.  c h i l d r e n and an i n v a l i d w i f e .  He  has  Before September 1930 he had  been a s u p e r v i s i n g p r o j e c t i o n i s t w i t h Famous P l a y e r s , e a r n i n g $155  a week, and t r a v e l l e d " a l l through B r i t i s h  Columbia,  i n s t a l l i n g t h e t a l k i e s , which o c c u p i e d anywhere from 3 weeks t o 6 weeks i n each town." Columbia  C o n v e r t i n g the " t h e a t r e s " i n B r i t i s h  t o sound o c c u p i e d a l i t t l e  over two y e a r s .  meantime I s t a r t e d t o b u i l d t h i s house. intended t o b u i l d was  "In the  The e x t e n t t h a t I  $6,000, C i t y H a l l can v e r i f y . "  His  account, t e n pages o f v i v a voce t r a n s c r i p t , deserves t o be published.  He t e l l s h i s s t o r y w i t h a l l t h e f r e s h n e s s o f the  v e r n a c u l a r , as he r e c a l l s w i t h a happy h e a r t h i s p r o s p e r i t y b e f o r e events brought him t o the bankruptcy court. h i s t o r y o f a h i g h order.  I t i s oral  In a d d i t i o n t o the t r a n s c r i p t ,  the  f i l e c o n t a i n s o t h e r documents-required by the Bankruptcy Act, and the a f f i d a v i t o f a c h a r t e r e d accountant w i t h the c l a i m s o f c r e d i t o r s and l i s t s of a s s e t s and l i a b i l i t i e s ,  running t o seven  pages. 2.  The next one i n the box,  the  Mackinnon Canning Company.  f i n a l i z e d u n t i l 1938  Bankruptcy 40/31, i s a p e t i t i o n by The proceedings were not  so t h a t one wonders why  company has taken seven years.  winding up the  Of i n t e r e s t are the minutes o f  the  meeting o f the company d i r e c t o r s .  the  company's n i n e t y - f i v e c r e d i t o r s ,  There i s a l o n g l i s t  of  i n c l u d i n g the A n g l o -  Canadian Warehouse, Alexander Grocery, American  Can Co.,  Canada  72 Box Co., Eastman A d v e r t i s i n g , Sunday Growers L u l u I s l a n d , Wiggly - names s t i l l 3.  Piggly  f a m i l i a r t o p r e s e n t day V a n c o u v e r i t e s .  Bankruptcy 39/31, t h e t h i r d one i n the box, was J a n e t  Pendleton, " t r a d i n g as Orpheum H o s i e r y " who,  t o the question  "What i s t h e cause o f your i n s o l v e n c y ? " answers "High r e n t and depressed b u s i n e s s c o n d i t i o n s . "  What i s o f i n t e r e s t i s t h a t her  h o s i e r y s u p p l i e s come from companies  i n O n t a r i o , but she has a  b u s i n e s s l o a n from the F i r s t N a t i o n a l Bank, E v e r e t t , 4.  Bankruptcy 38/31  Washington.  i s a p e t i t i o n of Perfect Ladies,  a business  e s t a b l i s h e d i n 1926 w i t h a s s e t s of $10,000 by Mrs. Sabo and her f i r s t husband.  The examination of Mr. Sabo and h i s bookkeeper  V i l a Papp r e v e a l s a p a i r o f incompetent rogues (See Appendix D).  The p e t i t i o n i s dropped when t h e i r t e s t i m o n y i s shown t o be  a t i s s u e of l i e s .  Mrs. Sabo's c i v i l a c t i o n a g a i n s t Mr.  Sabo  r e f e r r e d t o i n t h e q u e s t i o n i n g would p r o v i d e t h e ending t o the story.  The l o c a l newspapers may  have r e p o r t e d t h e shenanigans  too. Of bankruptcy f i l e s  spot checked from t h e f o r t i e s and  f i f t i e s n e a r l y a l l were i n t e r e s t i n g . instance,  In Bankruptcy 13/40, f o r  Lucky J i m Lead and Z i n c Company (N.P.C.), o l d ghost  towns a r e brought t o l i f e .  The f i l e c o n t a i n s a copy o f the  r e p o r t o f a s s e t s and l i a b i l i t i e s ;  the t r u s t e e ' s statement o f  r e c e i p t s and disbursements; auctioneer's commission  and  expenses; p r e f e r e n t i a l c r e d i t o r s f o r wages and r e n t ; c o n t i n g e n t or  other l i a b i l i t i e s ;  and t h e f i n a l d i s p o s i t i o n .  There i s  73 e x c e l l e n t documentation of the o p e r a t i o n s of t h i s companyt h r o u g h t h e 1930s, and t h e f i l e w o u l d p r o v i d e a good model f o r students w i s h i n g The  t o observe procedure i n a company bankruptcy.  t r a n s c r i p t of discovery,  j u s t t h i r t y - o n e questions,  demonstrates the b u s i n e s s l i k e approach: the cause o f your i n s o l v e n c y ? "  Reply:  Question "No  31, "What i s  cash t o pay  debts."  Divorces P e t i t i o n s f o r d i v o r c e come from a l l s o c i a l c l a s s e s and r e c o r d s b e f o r e 1968 case f i l e s ,  can be p a i n f u l l y e x p l i c i t .  In a l l these  the i n v e s t i g a t o r f i n d s and reads e v e r y t h i n g ,  r e v e r s e o r d e r t o t h a t i n which they were f i l e d - the document f i r s t , as the most r e c e n t l y added, and the last,  as the f i r s t paper f i l e d .  Thus the appeal  the  in  final petition  from  the  d i v o r c e s e t t l e m e n t w i l l come t o hand b e f o r e the decree,  which i s  b e f o r e the a f f i d a v i t s ; the answer b e f o r e the summons and petition.  As  i n a P i n t e r p l a y , the i r o n i e s work out i n an  a f f e c t i n g , o f t e n d i s t u r b i n g manner. A l l d i v o r c e f i l e s w i l l p r o v i d e the b a s i c f a c t s of the union:  the p l a c e of marriage, date of marriage, the number o f  c h i l d r e n and  o f t e n t h e i r education,  s t y l e of l i v i n g ,  the type o f house, household expenses,  savings, a s s e t s , investments,  and  c o n t a i n both o r d i n a r y f a c t s and unobtainable  the f a m i l y ' s standard  income.  The d o s s i e r  their may  a l s o i n f o r m a t i o n t h a t would be  were i t not f o r the d i v o r c e a c t i o n .  p s y c h i a t r i c r e p o r t s , medical  and  Thus,  r e p o r t s , o r r e p o r t s o f the D i r e c t o r  74 of Venereal Disease, which i n a l l o t h e r c i r c u m s t a n c e s a r e s t r i c t l y confidential,  become p a r t of the p u b l i c r e c o r d when  f i l e d as evidence i n a d i v o r c e a c t i o n .  I t i s t h i s kind of fact  the a r c h i v i s t must keep i n mind when a d v i s i n g a r e s e a r c h e r as t o procedure. A d i v o r c e f i l e may  a l s o t u r n up unexpected  i n f o r m a t i o n about the times.  Thus a f u e l d e a l e r responding t o a  p e t i t i o n f o r i n c r e a s e d maintenance e x p l a i n s why comply: his  miscellaneous  he  cannot  i n the e i g h t month p e r i o d ending August 31, A.D.  b u s i n e s s had l o s t  $5,318.58.  The l o s s was  1958  caused by the  d e c l i n e of sawdust b u r n i n g h e a t e r s , the p r e v i o u s m i l d w i n t e r , and s a w m i l l s c u t t i n g t i m b e r which d i d not produce  burnable  sawdust. All  the d i v o r c e f i l e s perused a t the Court Records Centre  had s o c i a l i n t e r e s t .  L e t us l o o k a t two  of them, D & M 585-48  and D & M 585-49. 1.  H v H There i s a s t i c k e r on the A c t i o n no.  file. 585/49  Supreme Court Date of T r i a l T r i a l Judge  Manson  Judgement E x h i b i t no. 1 t o (e.g. Remarks  adjourned t o 17/10/49)  75  The p e t i t i o n e r i n t h i s a c t i o n i s u n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y a man and h i s p e t i t i o n "That your P e t i t i o n e r , then a b a c h e l o r , l a w f u l l y m a r r i e d a t the c i t y o f Regina . . . "  ,  was  begins the a c t i o n .  There f o l l o w s (each marked w i t h 585/49) an a f f i d a v i t o f s e r v i c e w i t h e x h i b i t D, "a p h o t o g r a p h i c r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f the person whom I served"; the death c e r t i f i c a t e ,  ( e x h i b i t no. 5), o f the  co-respondent; t h e marriage c e r t i f i c a t e ,  (ex. 2); a s e a l e d  envelope c o n t a i n i n g o t h e r e x h i b i t s ; the a f f i d a v i t o f s e r v i c e t o the  co-respondent, the r e g i s t r a r ' s c e r t i f i c a t e "re p l e a d i n g s and  proceedings", t h e p e t i t i o n f o r d i v o r c e p e t i t i o n , " I , A.H., d e f e n c e , " I , C.H., for  (ex. A), the a f f i d a v i t o f  window d r e s s e r . . ."; t h e s t a t e m e n t o f make o a t h and swear . . ."; chamber summons  c o s t s ; appointment  t o t a x c o s t s ; b i l l o f c o s t s ; the o r d e r t o  c o n f i r m the r e g i s t r a r ' s recommendation f o r i n t e r i m d e t a i l s o f t h e husband's f i n a n c e s :  alimony;  weekly s a l a r y , bank account,  bonds and s e c u r i t i e s , p r o p e r t y ; the p e t i t i o n f o r maintenance; the  respondent's answer.  the  file.  In a l l t h e r e a r e f i f t y - t h r e e pages i n  A p i c t u r e of t h e i r l i f e  emerges.  The p e t i t i o n e r i s a  window d r e s s e r a t t h e Army and Navy and i s p a i d $89 a week.  He  owns a M e r c u r y a u t o m o b i l e v a l u e d a t $1750.00 and s a y s he i s t h e s o l e owner o f a $5000 house. ownership.)  (His w i f e had c l a i m e d p a r t  He had moved some t i m e b e f o r e from the f a m i l y home,  l e t t i n g i t t o h i s daughter and son-in-law who,  instead of paying  r e n t , were t o p r o v i d e room and board f o r h i s w i f e .  In h i s  p e t i t i o n , he accuses h i s w i f e o f an a d u l t e r y t h a t took p l a c e i n  76 a Cordova S t r e e t h o t e l .  She has denied i t i n h e r defence.  The  death c e r t i f i c a t e shows t h e a l l e g e d co-respondent d i e d a few weeks l a t e r i n a  Cordova S t r e e t h o t e l .  The p e t i t i o n e r has  assumed t h e c o s t o f t h e d i v o r c e and p a i d $248 i n t o c o u r t a s surety. While t h e d i v o r c e a c t i o n i s pending, h i s w i f e p e t i t i o n e d for  i n t e r i m alimony.  The r e g i s t r a r hears h e r p e t i t i o n and,  o r d e r i n g t h e husband t o p r o v i d e s e r i o u s need o f p e r s o n a l  f o r her, s t a t e s t h a t she " i s i n  clothing."  The husband answers t h a t he  has been p a y i n g h i s w i f e $2 0 a month " p u r s u a n t t o an o r d e r o f the F a m i l y Court" and t h a t he has purchased v a r i o u s a r t i c l e s o f c l o t h i n g f o r her.  The r e g i s t r a r orders him t o p r o v i d e  $72.00  c r e d i t a t t h e Army and Navy f o r c l o t h i n g , t o c o n t i n u e room and board f o r her, and t o pay $50.00 a month on t h e 9 t h o f each month until trial. prostitution,  H i s w i f e , who may have been reduced t o i s found g u i l t y - o f a d u l t e r y .  He i s granted h i s  d i v o r c e , b u t t h e maintenance payments stand.  I t i s the kind of  d e t a i l which makes t h e a r c h i v i s t f e e l i t i s important t h a t documents be p r e s e r v e d  social  i n a form which ensures they remain s o c i a l  documents and n o t mere h i s t o r i c a l s t a t i s t i c s .  For the t r i a l  judge i s t h e severe and c h i l l y Mr. J u s t i c e Manson, one o f t h e l e s s respected 2.  World War I I Supreme Court j u s t i c e s .  R v R Case f i l e D & M 585/48 seems t o i l l u s t r a t e t h e X - f a c t o r i n  d i v o r c e which N e i l Fleishman d e f i n e s as a p s y c h o l o g i c a l f l a w i n a woman who s e t s o u t t o m a r r y and d e s t r o y a " f a m i l y man."  3  As  77 i s t y p i c a l i n such cases, a c c o r d i n g t o Fleishman,  the man  being  sued cannot go t o c o u r t t o c o n t e s t the d i v o r c e o r the terms: m a i n t a i n s t h a t any c o n t a c t w i t h her i s t o o u p s e t t i n g . case, the man's w i f e does, i n f a c t , r u i n him, at  l a s t he i s t o o i l l t o work.  pay $500 a month i n 1948  He,  he  In t h i s  p u r s u i n g him  until  a p h y s i c i a n , had agreed  to  and t h e f i r s t document i n t h e f i l e i s a  Chambers o r d e r r e d u c i n g the amount of maintenance t o $300 i n 1950,  $200 i n 1955;  What had happened?  and then, on Christmas  Eve 1962,  to  $50.  At the time of the d i v o r c e s e t t l e m e n t he  had  p a i d o v e r s e e m i n g l y a l l he owed t o h i s f o r m e r w i f e - a house i n Shaughnessy, the car, as w e l l as o t h e r a s s e t s . inheritance,  Even h i s  f o r much of h i s property, t h e lawyer s t a t e s ,  been d e r i v e d from the e s t a t e of h i s f a t h e r and mother, surrendered t o her, and he was  had  was  sent a n o t i c e t o produce h i s  i n s u r a n c e p o l i c i e s , a n n u i t i e s , bonds, and any Dominion of Canada bonds he might have. his  In her p e t i t i o n f o r i n c r e a s e d maintenance,  w i f e i t e m i z e s her domestic  utilities,  fuel,  expenses, food, housekeeping,  laundry, c l e a n e r s , and c a r expenses.  There had  been a d o l e s c e n t c h i l d r e n a t t h e t i m e o f t h e d i v o r c e b u t by she had no one t o support but h e r s e l f .  She had an income and  s u b s t a n t i a l c a p i t a l f o r her maintenance on a h i g h standard, domestic  help.  p r o p e r t y and was home.  with  Yet he s t i l l had t o pay the taxes on t h e home o r d e r e d t o pay f o r t h e f u e l o i l t h a t h e a t e d h e r  Meanwhile he had r e - m a r r i e d  and had h i s new  1955  w i f e to support.  (his receptionist-bookkeeper)  As a r e s u l t o f t h e m a i n t e n a n c e  h e a r i n g , the d e t a i l s of h i s p r a c t i c e are r e v e a l e d - h i s c h a r i t y cases  (before u n i v e r s a l medicare),  the s p e c i a l f e e s he r e c e i v e d  78  for  t r e a t m e n t s then c u r r e n t and l a t e r d i s c a r d e d , t h e d i m i n i s h i n g  amounts he e a r n e d as an a n a e s t h e t i s t ($200 t o $250 a month i n 1948; and i n 1955, one month when h i s h e a l t h was only $40.00 ). t h a t my His  poor, he earned  A l s o he " l o s t p r a c t i c e through some statements  former w i f e made about my a b i l i t y and conduct." f i n a n c e s were c l o s e l y examined because h i s former w i f e  heard he had bought a piano and r a d i o t o f u r n i s h h i s apartment. The t r a n s c r i p t o f the c r o s s - e x a m i n a t i o n runs t o a heavy one hundred and s e v e n t y - f o u r l e g a l s i z e pages.  Indeed,  the deputy  r e g i s t r a r , g e t t i n g i m p a t i e n t w i t h her lawyer, says half-way through, " T h i s i s dragging out and dragging out."  Nevertheless  they go through h i s bank statements, b u s i n e s s accounts, income tax  r e c o r d s , l i f e i n s u r a n c e premiums, and even the matter o f  " h o l i d a y money" (paid f o r from h i s h e a l t h insurance p o l i c y when his  second wife's h e a l t h had broken under the s t r a i n . ) There a r e ninety-two documents i n the f i l e and the whole  f i l e i s n e a r l y t h r e e hundred pages. i s the lawyer's v e r y f i r s t  The l a s t paper we  come upon  l e t t e r on b e h a l f o f the d e f e a t e d  Respondent and Intervener, the one answering the o r i g i n a l p e t i t i o n , "We  have f i l e d  appearance  and answer h e r e i n but do not  i n t e n d t o appear o r defend." These a r e examples o f the sense o f s o c i a l ambience t h a t can be d e r i v e d from the dry f o r m a l i t y o f two d i v o r c e f i l e s ,  u s i n g no  more than t h e same r e g i s t r y number but a d i f f e r e n t year, 585/48 and 585/49. to  follow.  The n a r r a t i v e l i n e i n both d i v o r c e f i l e s  was  D. & M. 585/49, the window dresser's case, was  easy a  79 much t h i n n e r f i l e : t h e r e were no t r a n s c r i p t s but t h e s t o r y , coming s t a r k l y through t h e e x h i b i t s , a f f i d a v i t s , p e t i t i o n s , r e p o r t s and o r d e r s ,  Civil  had g r e a t  impact.  Files Civil  causes seem on t h e s u r f a c e t h e l e a s t i n t e r e s t i n g , and  by t h e 1950s t h e r e a r e a l o t o f them. discontinuance the  i s the f i r s t  Often a n o t i c e o f  document t o meet t h e eye on opening  dossier. For example,  1.  1140-59 Lance Egan vs. Robert G i l l i e s ,  c l a i m i n g damages f o r p e r s o n a l  a s s a u l t and b a t t e r y  i n j u r i e s ; t o w i t , a b r a s i o n s and  nervousness. T h e r e i s some i n t e r e s t i n t h e p a r t i c u l a r s o f l o s s and damages - l o s t wages, h o s p i t a l and doctor's charges, and a new suit. 2.  Harry Rankin acted  f o r the p l a i n t i f f .  1093-59 was t h e case o f K e l v i n S e c u r i t i e s Ltd. vs. A r n o l d  Davis and A l e x Petersen.  There was an endorsement o f t h e w r i t ,  statement o f c l a i m , statement o f defence, n o t i c e o f t r i a l . p l a i n t i f f sought damages f o r t r e s p a s s and conversion.  The  He owned  a t r u c k w i t h a T9 P i o n e e r F r o n t a l Log L o a d e r , w h i c h he s t o r e d a t 100 M i l e House.  Davis,  a sheriff,  had i t s e i z e d and s o l d .  T h e r e i s some i n t e r e s t i n t h i s s i n c e t h e a c t i o n i n v o l v e d an official,  t h e s h e r i f f , and we c a n i n f e r t h a t t h e r e was some k i n d  of d i s h o n e s t y come t o t r i a l :  i n respect to the bids.  However, t h e case d i d not  i t was s e t t l e d out o f court.  Perhaps t h e  80 s h e r i f f was 3.  charged i n c r i m i n a l c o u r t .  The n e x t f i l e was  C. Slack.  1094-59, O. E. W e l l s v s . J . S l a c k and  J . S l a c k was  O. E. W e l l s .  a t r u c k e r owing house mortgage money t o  The f i l e c o n t a i n e d o n l y an appearance,  writ,  and  statement o f c l a i m . Civil  a c t i o n s range from l o n g t e c h n i c a l cases t h a t t i e up  t h e c o u r t s f o r months and generate mountains o f paper t o p e r s o n a l a c t i o n s l o d g e d i n t h e h e a t o f t h e moment, t h a t a r e n o t pursued. In  t h e box examined t h e r e were s i x t y - s i x case f i l e s ,  t h r e e of which had gone t o t r i a l . worthwhile  dossiers.  While conceding t h e r e are  s t u d i e s t o be done on why  and a t what stage, i t i s d i f f i c u l t The l a w y e r s  1  only  some cases are abandoned  t o j u s t i f y s t o r i n g a l l these  f i l e s would f u r n i s h more substance,  e s p e c i a l l y i n a case l i k e the one i n v o l v i n g the s h e r i f f .  Such  i n f o r m a t i o n f u r n i s h e d by the o t h e r d i s c o n t i n u e d cases would perhaps be b e t t e r got from the Cause Books. (See Chapter V.)  Probate There a r e geographic j u r i s d i c t i o n s which l i m i t m a t t e r s i n any c o u r t r e g i s t r y ; t h a t i s , a bankruptcy p e t i t i o n of a company d o i n g b u s i n e s s s o l e l y i n B r i t i s h Columbia B.C. for  w i l l be f i l e d i n the  Supreme Court r e g i s t r y a t Vancouver o r V i c t o r i a ; d i v o r c e p e t i t i o n s and t o r t s .  and so too  But probate f i l e s c r o s s  p r o v i n c i a l boundaries and f r e q u e n t l y extend t o o t h e r c o u n t r i e s . They may  c o n t a i n m a t e r i a l f i l e d i n o t h e r r e g i s t r i e s , when the  81 c o u r t attempts t o prove a w i l l , t o i d e n t i f y l o c a t e and s a t i s f y l e g a t e e s .  property, or t o  Hence, through the i n v e n t o r i e s  we  can compare t h e a t t i t u d e s t o money matters, as w e l l as t o worth, of  a C a l i f o r n i a n and a B r i t i s h  Columbian.  Probate i n v e n t o r i e s w i l l s e t out the v a l u e and k i n d s of p e r s o n a l p r o p e r t y t y p i c a l l y h e l d by a l l s o r t s and c o n d i t i o n s o f men  and women, t h e i r o b l i g a t i o n s , t h e i r schedule o f debts and  t h e i r areas o f investment. of  t e s t a t o r ' s death, w i l l  occupation, immediate There i s one  Each f i l e ,  b e s i d e s the date and p l a c e  o r d i n a r i l y give h i s residence,  f a m i l y , extended f a m i l y , and  friendships.  i n v e n t o r y f o r p r o p e r t y and one f o r b e n e f i c i a r i e s .  "Inventory X" c a t e g o r i z e s the e s t a t e as f o l l o w s : (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)  (7) (8)  Real estate Moneys secured by mortgage o r agreement o f s a l e Cash and g r o s s amount o f l i f e i n s u r a n c e w i t h names o f beneficiaries Book debts and p r o m i s s o r y notes, etc., i n c l u d i n g i n t e r e s t t o date o f death S e c u r i t i e s f o r money, bonds, s t o c k s , and shares Other p r o p e r t y Household goods and f u r n i t u r e P i c t u r e s , p l a t e and j e w e l l e r y Farming implement Horses Horned c a t t l e Sheep, swine, and o t h e r domestic animals and b i r d s Farm produce o f a l l k i n d s Stock-in-trade, i n c l u d i n g good-will of business Other p e r s o n a l p r o p e r t y not b e f o r e mentioned D e t a i l s o f debts and l i a b i l i t i e s f o r which allowance may be made under s e c t i o n 4 g "Probate Fees A c t " Schedule o f debts - name and address o f c r e d i t o r s , nature o f c l a i m , amount o f debt, reasons f o r nonpayment of debts not p a i d .  82 "Inventory (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) 1.  Y"  lists  names o f the b e n e f i c i a r i e s r e l a t i o n s h i p t o the deceased date o f b i r t h of l i f e t e n a n t s and a n n u i t i e s share o f p r o p e r t y p a s s i n g (e.g. o n e - t h i r d ) v a l u e of p r o p e r t y p a s s i n g  Probate 61327 - 56 i s a f i l e o f f o r t y - f o u r pages.  D i d o v i c h , an American c i t i z e n ,  r e s i d e n t o f Los  Marie  Angeles,  C a l i f o r n i a h e l d the mortgage on a house i n Vancouver; a c c o r d i n g l y the Los Angeles probate estate  (valued a t $40,020.54) had  Columbia Supreme Court r e g i s t r y . between h e r s i s t e r  d o s s i e r i n v e n t o r y i n g the  t o be  filed  i n the  The e s t a t e was  (the executor), who  h e r deceased brother's daughter, who  good c o l l o q u i a l English.)  d i v i d e d evenly  l i v e d i n San Pedro and l i v e d i n I t a l y and I n d i a .  (The niece's l e t t e r s r e the e s t a t e , i n c i d e n t a l l y , in  British  The probate  was  were w r i t t e n  c o m p l i c a t e d by  s i s t e r ' s d y i n g b e f o r e the c o u r t s had r e s o l v e d the matter. s i s t e r ' s i n t e r e s t s went t o her husband i n Mexico. correspondence attempting from  the  The  There i s  ( u n s u c c e s s f u l l y ) t o evoke a response  him. Here a r e some noteworthy f a c t s gleaned  k i n d we  from the f i l e of the  would expect an a r c h i v i s t t o deduce.  First,  the  o r i g i n a l w i l l had been d e p o s i t e d i n t h e Los Angeles Supreme Court r e g i s t r y f o r safekeeping.  In 1956,  in British  t h e w i l l i s drawn up and k e p t by t h e s o l i c i t o r , who n o t i c e t o t h e Department of V i t a l S t a t i s t i c s . c o u r t s , those wills.  Columbia sends a  Some Canadian  i n Ontario, f o r i n s t a n c e , do s t i l l keep o r i g i n a l  Secondly,  t h e r e was  a caveat i n t h e w i l l i n t e n d i n g t o  83  f o r e s t a l l l i t i g a t i o n t h a t seemed by i t s p h r a s i n g common form. . . . i f [anyone] s h a l l c o n t e s t t h i s w i l l , ' I h e r e b y b e q u e a t h t o s u c h p e r s o n o r p e r s o n s t h e sum o f One D o l l a r ($1) only, and a l l o t h e r bequests, d e v i c e s , and i n t e r e s t s . . . s h a l l be f o r f e i t e d . T h i r d l y , the inventory l i s t s pocket  h e r j e w e l l e r y , "2 g o l d v e s t  watches," and shows t h a t she p a t r i o t i c a l l y bought U n i t e d  S t a t e s War Bonds d u r i n g World War I I , t w e l v e bonds between 1942 and  1945.  She had s i z a b l e savings accounts  i n a number o f  neighbourhood banks, e x h i b i t i n g t h e legendary penchant f o r Americans  t o hedge a g a i n s t bank f a i l u r e s .  Fourthly, i n the  document t h e s i s t e r signed a p p l y i n g f o r l e t t e r s o f administration,  a f a c t a l s o e x h i b i t i n g a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c American  sentiment: I.do s o l e m n l y swear t h a t I w i l l s u p p o r t t h e C o n s t i t u t i o n o f t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s , and t h e C o n s t i t u t i o n o f t h e S t a t e o f C a l i f o r n i a , and t h a t I w i l l f a i t h f u l l y perform, a c c o r d i n g t o law, t h e d u t i e s of a d m i n i s t r a t r i x o f t h e E s t a t e o f M a r i a D i d o v i c h , aka M a r i e D i d o v i c h , aka Mary D i d o v i c h aka M. D i d o v i c h , deceased. 2.  Probate 61318 - 56 i s a f i l e o f t w e l v e pages.  John  H a m i l t o n S h a i r p was a boat b u i l d e r and r e s i d e n t o f Vananda, B.C. The b u l k o f h i s e s t a t e c o n s i s t e d o f t h e f a m i l y home, r e c r e a t i o n a l p r o p e r t y on Texada I s l a n d , and a s a v i n g s T h e s e t h r e e were h e l d i n j o i n t t i t l e w i t h h i s w i f e .  account.  The g r o s s  v a l u e o f t h e e s t a t e $4099.24 ( r e p r e s e n t i n g h i s h a l f ) passed t o his  widow.  estate.  F u n e r a l s and b u r i a l s were an expensive  charge on an  Mr. Shairp's Ford Coupe was v a l u e d a t t w e n t y - f i v e  84  dollars. 3.  H i s f u n e r a l c o s t s were $353.00.  Probate 61319  - 56 i s a f i l e o f t w e l v e pages.  William  C o l e s Gunn had h i s w i l l drawn up a t t h e age o f t h i r t y - s e v e n when he was  l i v i n g t e m p o r a r i l y i n C a l i f o r n i a , a t which t i m e he made  his wife sole beneficiary. $8,067.36. estate.  4.  H i s a s s e t s a t the t i m e o f death were m a i n l y i n r e a l  H i s w i f e owned h a l f the house and they had j o i n t bank  accounts. which  The g r o s s v a l u e o f h i s e s t a t e i s  cost  There were a few d e t a i l s o f the f u n e r a l  arrangements,  $572.00.  Probate 61323 - 56; twenty pages.  his forthright will,  Pete Beko, a c c o r d i n g t o  Pete " a l s o known under the name o f Pero  Beko, Restauranteur and Fisherman," l e a v e s an e s t a t e o f $16,170.93 gross.  To ensure the terms a r e c a r r i e d out he  w r i t e s , "I hereby appoint my  good f r i e n d s Theodore L u c i c h and  Janko G u r a t o v i c h both cooks and both o f t h e c i t y o f Vancouver . . . t o be E x e c u t o r s and T r u s t e e s o f t h i s my w i l l . " d i e d a t Campbell  4  He had  River.  From the probate i n v e n t o r y we l e a r n t h a t Pete Beko was e n t e r p r i s i n g man.  He was  an i n v e s t o r .  an  H i s share o f "boat  p r o f i t s " from the Canadian F i s h i n g Co. was  $1,000.  He  m i n i n g s t o c k i n t h r e e d i f f e r e n t companies worth $2,340. owned two p i e c e s o f r e a l e s t a t e i n Vancouver:  acquired He  one v a l u e d a t  $4,800 i n which he had an e q u i t y o f $2,000, the other, v a l u e d a t $10,752.76, he owned o u t r i g h t . He had two s m a l l bank accounts, one i n Vancouver;  the  85 o t h e r was  i n Kemano, t h e s i t e o f a power d e v e l o p m e n t i n t h e  e a r l y 1950s.  Perhaps he had been a cook i n the Kemano  c o n s t r u c t i o n camp. was  a way  Working long hours i n t h i s i s o l a t e d p l a c e  f o r a s i n g l e man  Mr. Beko was  t o make h i s s t a k e .  a n a t i v e of Y u g o s l a v i a ; he bequeathed h i s  p r o p e r t y i n f o u r equal p a r t s "share and share a l i k e " t o h i s mother, s i s t e r ,  and two  brothers i n Yugoslavia.  And  so h i s  new  w o r l d r i c h e s went back t o a v i l l a g e i n Y u g o s l a v i a where a l l h i s f a m i l y had  lived.  Probate f i l e s , w h i l e g i v i n g some sense o f p e r s o n a l i t y , are a c c o r d i n g t o form; they are g e n e r a l l y homogeneous and l e n d themselves t o q u a n t i t a t i v e a n a l y s i s .  The  fact that  probate  f i l e s are permanently preserved means, too, t h a t q u a n t i f i e r s w i l l have a continuous d i s c e r n trends.  s e r i e s t o t a b u l a t e changing p a t t e r n s  and  Crime h i s t o r i a n J . A. Sharpe c a l c u l a t e d f o r h i s  study u s i n g q u a n t i t a t i v e a n a l y s i s t h a t he needed a run of a t least sixty years.  5  The P r o v i n c i a l A r c h i v e s o f B r i t i s h  Columbia  has Vancouver r e g i s t r y probate f i l e s on r o l l s o f m i c r o f i l m from 1893  t o 1946.  The years 1947  t o 1966,  m i c r o f i l m e d , are s t o r e d  a t the Court Records Centre i n Vancouver and are open t o search. S o c i a l h i s t o r i a n s should f i n d a l l these r e c o r d s , which have been c i t e d from the c i v i l d i v i s i o n , usable. the wealth  Indeed, i n view of  o f p o s s i b i l i t i e s s e l e c t i n g case f i l e s f o r a r c h i v a l  p r e s e r v a t i o n poses c o n s i d e r a b l e  difficulty.  86  Notes f o r Chapter IV  P e r r y M i l l a r and C a r l Baar, J u d i c i a l A d m i n i s t r a t i o n i n Canada (Kingston and M o n t r e a l : McGill-Queen's U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1981), n. 27, p. 229. x  D i v o r c e lawyer N e i l Fleishman s t a t e s t h a t n i n e t y p e r cent o f h i s c l i e n t s a r e women. 2  3  1986).  N e i l Fleishman, The X-Factor (New  York:  Vantage Press,  The s o l i c i t o r h a n d l i n g the e s t a t e was J . J . V o l r i c h , mayor o f Vancouver, 1977-1980. 4  J . A. Sharpe, Crime i n Seventeenth-Century England: A County Study (Cambridge: Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1983), p. 8. 5  87  CHAPTER V A p p r a i s a l of  Court Records, and  their Archival  Use  The c o u r t a d m i n i s t r a t i o n through i t s r e c o r d s c h e d u l i n g (see Appendix B) has a d e c i d e d p o l i c y of s y s t e m a t i c s e l e c t i v e r e t e n t i o n f o r indexes and appeal books, both volumes the most obvious c h o i c e f o r permanent p r e s e r v a t i o n . case f i l e s  The c h o i c e o f which  t o p r e s e r v e i s not so c l e a r cut.  The G r i g g Report i n 1954  avoided a l t o g e t h e r d i s c u s s i n g  p r o c e s s e s f o r the a p p r a i s a l of c o u r t r e c o r d s :  "In view of the  c o m p l e x i t y o f the s u b j e c t we have f e l t unable t o make an a u t h o r i t a t i v e s u b m i s s i o n on l e g a l r e c o r d s . " the Denning Committee (1966), comprehensive of  several  That study f e l l  whose Report was,  i n essence, a  r e c o r d schedule f o r a l l l e v e l s and  jurisdictions  1  c o u r t i n t h e U n i t e d Kingdom.  thought,  2  to  While f u r n i s h i n g food f o r  i t i s not a s a t i s f a c t o r y guide f o r a r c h i v i s t s f o r reasons.  Denning recommended t h a t specimens o f h i s t o r i c a l ,  social,  economic or p r o c e d u r a l i n t e r e s t be s e l e c t e d by the r e g i s t r a r s and preserved.  He made a case f o r s e l e c t i v e sampling, i n  e f f e c t , a c o l l e c t i o n o f "plums" and thought random sampling, t o be advantageous o n l y f o r homogeneous s e t s o f m a t e r i a l , such as bankruptcy f i l e s . As f o r the o r d i n a r y run o f c i v i l  cases, once  the p r o c e e d i n g s had come t o an end, he recommended t h a t the papers s h o u l d be destroyed.  Cases of any importance,  he  88 reasoned, were w r i t t e n up i n the Law  Reports, and h i s r e p o r t  c a l l e d f o r the r e t e n t i o n o f the case papers o f those a c t i o n s t h a t were noted i n the Law  Reports,  We c a n see what L o r d D e n n i n g means.  3  civil  a debatable point.  The law r e p o r t s r e p r i n t a t  most no more t h a n t h e g i s t o f t h e a r g u m e n t s o f c o u n s e l and reasoning  and  r u l i n g s of the judges, whereas the f i l e s have the  documents and  exhibits that provide  arguments and  the judgment.  the evidence f o r the  However, Denning's p o l i c y would  r e s u l t i n a d u p l i c a t i o n of i n f o r m a t i o n ,  f o r the evidence can  i n f e r r e d from the argument, and the argument can reconstructed  from the documents.  under d i s c u s s i o n , the law references was  Society.  n o t a b l e cases i n The  be  case, f o r the  P u b l i c a t i o n of the  t o w e l l a f t e r 1960  I t was  4  In any  period  B.C.  Reports  because o f c o m p l a i n t s  deemed s u f f i c i e n t t o p u b l i s h  Weekly Western Reports, where they  contended f o r space w i t h cases from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta.  B.C.  cases were not  case notes have been p u b l i s h e d j o u r n a l o f the Law  fully  reported,  a d m i n i s t r a t i v e and  although  t h e i r own  brief  Denning's r e p o r t  l e g a l r a t h e r than s c h o l a r l y values,  s c h o l a r l y values  do not always c o i n c i d e .  Researchers u s u a l l y need examples o f the mundane and w h i l e some may  ordinary;  seek out c e r t a i n kinds o f evidence t o support  theories.  However, the a r c h i v i s t a b i d i n g by  the  p r i n c i p l e o f i m p a r t i a l i t y must stand between a d m i n i s t r a t i v e "interest"  and  academic  and  i n the Advocate, the p r o f e s s i o n a l  S o c i e t y s i n c e 1949.  r e f l e c t s a d m i n i s t r a t i v e and and  be  r e p o r t s have t h e i r shortcomings as  i n legal history.  suspended from 1949  of the Law  the  "pressure".  5  89  A landmark study i n the a p p r a i s a l o f i n a c t i v e r e c o r d s was prepared by t h e Massachusetts J u d i c i a l Records Committee under the c h a i r m a n s h i p o f F.M.S. Hindus. note;  6  Indeed,  t h e r e are p o i n t s t o  however, the s i t u a t i o n i n Massachusetts  analogous t o ours.  For i n s t a n c e , the common law and e q u i t y  c o u r t s had been combined i n B.C. the 1859  i s not r e a l l y  ab i n i t i o when Begbie announced  P r o c l a m a t i o n c o n s t i t u t i n g the Supreme Court.  Furthermore,  Hindus would have a f a r g r e a t e r b a c k l o g o f r e c o r d s  than c o u l d be found i n B r i t i s h Columbia.  And though,  i n some i n s t a n c e s , the s e v e r a l r e c o r d s e r i e s may  perhaps,  not have been  adequately i d e n t i f i e d , our Supreme Court r e g i s t r i e s had d i s t i n c t sections: Bankruptcy  their  C r i m i n a l , C i v i l and D i v o r c e , Probate  (see Chapter I I I ) ,  an o r d e r l y r e c o r d system,  f i l e c l e a r l y marked w i t h r e g i s t r y number and year.  and each  But, i n the  Hindus o p e r a t i o n i t seems t h a t the r e c o r d s i n i t i a l l y had t o be s t r a t i f i e d by s e p a r a t i n g the c i v i l cases from the c r i m i n a l cases! Hindus next s t r a t i f i e d the c i v i l  f i l e s by decades,  taking a  p r o p o r t i o n a t e l y l a r g e r sample f o r the e a r l y y e a r s i n o r d e r t o make an a l l o w a n c e f o r i n c r e a s e d l i t i g a t i o n as the c e n t u r y advanced.  F o r h i s p r o j e c t he wanted a combination o f both  random and s p e c i a l l y s e l e c t e d case f i l e s ;  the s p e c i a l l y  s e l e c t e d ones were s t r a t i f i e d by the e v e n l y spaced y e a r s .  The  f i l e s s e l e c t e d randomly were chosen a c c o r d i n g t o t h e r e g i s t r y numbers generated by a computer, and t h e o r e t i c a l l y c o u l d f a l l i n any y e a r o r even a l l i n one y e a r .  90 For the f i l e s s e l e c t e d by decade, the t e n year span might seem t o be t o o l o n g t o c a t c h t h e c o n s i d e r a b l e c h a n g e s i n B r i t i s h Columbia d u r i n g the f i r s t hundred years.  There i s , f o r  i n s t a n c e , a marked c o n t r a s t i n l i f e i n 1915 1935,  1945  and  1955,  with that of  1925,  and i t seems u n l i k e l y t h a t randomly  s e l e c t e d f i l e s would c l a r i f y t h e d i f f e r e n c e s . To analyse h i s s t r a t a , Hindus c o d i f i e d h i s cases t o t h r e e broad c a t e g o r i e s :  according  t o r t , c o n t r a c t , and p r o p e r t y .  Like  L o r d Denning, he was d o u b t f u l t h a t t h e r e can be much o f g e n e r a l i n t e r e s t i n most common and g e n e r a l c a t e g o r i e s o f t o r t l i k e Rankin's case c i t e d above) and case  cited).  He  o f c o n t r a c t (the mortgage  rated trustee, deceit, l i b e l ,  compensation, and c o n v e r s i o n o f p r o p e r t y cited  (ones  workmen's  (the l o g - l o a d e r case  above) higher. A more important  s i t u a t i o n and  d i f f e r e n c e between the Massachusetts  ours i s t h a t the B.C.  Supreme Court r e c o r d s cannot  be d i v i d e d c o n v e n i e n t l y i n t o c o n t r a s t i n g c o u n t i e s (one urban, one  regional).  Although  i n B.C.  The  r e c o r d s are not o r g a n i z e d t h a t  way.  the judges on c i r c u i t c e r t a i n l y do hear Supreme  Court cases i n each j u d i c i a l d i s t r i c t a t the a s s i z e s , and although county c o u r t judges a c t as l o c a l j u s t i c e s o f t h e Supreme Court i n s p e c i f i e d m a t t e r s (see Chapter I I ) , the papers o f those t r i a l s w i l l be f i l e d i n the o r i g i n a t i n g county c o u r t registries.  The B r i t i s h Columbia Supreme Court system i s a  c e n t r a l i z e d one.  In f a c t a l l t h e major c i v i l cases, w i t h  e x c e p t i o n of mining, r e g a r d l e s s of t h e i r geographic  the  origins i n  the p r o v i n c e , were t r i e d e i t h e r i n Vancouver o r V i c t o r i a  (see  91  Chapter II). The o l d c o u r t record-keepers regarded the cause book as the most v a l u a b l e r e c o r d .  Indeed Lord Denning s e t down t h e "green  books", the h i g h c o u r t cause books, f o r permanent p r e s e r v a t i o n . Every document and happening,  every process (except searches  subpoenas) a r e r e c o r d e d t h e r e i n b r i e f by the c l e r k s . Hindus Committee, however,  regarded these books o f  and  The  little  v a l u e , because t h e e n t r i e s " g i v e no t r u e sense o f the case."  7  Granted a n a r r a t i v e cannot be f a s h i o n e d from the e n t r i e s as i s p o s s i b l e w i t h a case f i l e ,  they n e v e r t h e l e s s are v a l u a b l e t o  those whose i n v e s t i g a t i o n s r e q u i r e data from a v e r y l a r g e numbers o f cases. It  i s t h e cause book t h a t g i v e s r e s e a r c h e r s an i d e a o f the  type of a c t i o n s f i l e d i n the Supreme Court r e g i s t r y ;  they show  how  Searchers  the type o f a c t i o n v a r i e s from p e r i o d t o p e r i o d .  w i l l be a b l e t o m o n i t o r t h e p r o g r e s s o f t h e a c t i o n , f i n d a t what stage the case was  abandoned, or, when s u i t s come t o  observe the outcome.  trial,  The e n t r i e s w i l l s u r e l y show i n t e r  alia  t h a t l a r g e companies can pursue a case t h a t many o t h e r persons cannot.  From these, r e s e a r c h e r s may  i d e n t i f y i n g p l a i n t i f f s who  assemble data f o r  t y p i c a l l y g i v e up a s u i t , those  who  s i m p l y do n o t have t h e money o r t h e n e r v e t o keep g o i n g i n a g r i e v a n c e a g a i n s t a p o w e r f u l defendant an i n s u r a n c e company. t h a t r a r e person who  l i k e a h o s p i t a l board or  On the o t h e r hand, the data may  identify  i s an " h a b i t u a l " l i t i g a n t .  U s i n g j u s t t h e case f i l e s ,  Hindus had hoped t o c o l l a t e h i s  92 sampled o r s e l e c t e d f i l e s from a l l t h e s e c t i o n s i n t o subgroups such as "women", "technology", "business".  " p u b l i c c o r p o r a t i o n s " , and  But he found t h a t h i s technique  numbers l a r g e enough t o be o f any use t o  d i d n o t produce  quantifiers.  subgrouping he c o u l d have used t h e cause books. "Jones v. B.C. Hydro - damages t o fence",  For  Entries like  f o r i n s t a n c e , would go  i n t o t h e " p u b l i c c o r p o r a t i o n s " subgroup. J.A.  Sharpe f e l t he needed f o u r p i e c e s o f i n f o r m a t i o n t o  complete h i s q u a n t i f y i n g o f c r i m i n a l cases:  the indictment,  presentment, recognizance,  The elements i n a  and d e p o s i t i o n .  8  c i v i l a c t i o n f o r a s i m i l a r study a r e a c c o r d i n g l y t h e s t y l e o f cause, t h e statement o f c l a i m , t h e statement o f defence, and t h e outcome, o r judgment —  a l l stages noted i n t h e cause books.  These r e c o r d books a r e c e r t a i n l y l a r g e and cumbersome, so it  i s understandable t h a t i n many j u r i s d i c t i o n s r e c o r d  a d m i n i s t r a t o r s have s e t them down f o r d i s p o s a l . pages a r e l e g i b l e and i n reasonable  However, i f t h e  c o n d i t i o n they a r e j u s t t h e  s o r t o f r e c o r d s most s u i t a b l e f o r f i l m i n g , because they have been kept i n r e g i s t e r s o r r e c o r d volumes i n n u m e r i c a l o r chronological As  sequence.  f o r case f i l e s , c e r t a i n l y t h e most v a l u a b l e a r e i n t h e  divorce section.  According  o t h e r s e r i e s o f case f i l e s :  t o Lord Denning, who  discounted  "We c o n s i d e r i t d e s i r a b l e t h a t a  s u f f i c i e n t p e r i o d i c sample o f complete case f i l e s i n m a t r i m o n i a l a c t i o n s be p r e s e r v e d  t o p r o v i d e adequate m a t e r i a l f o r s o c i a l and  s i m i l a r research."  The Hindus Committee agrees and would keep  all  divorce  9  cases.  1 0  93  In B r i t i s h Columbia t h e d i v o r c e numbers between 1900 and 1945 w i l l n o t be g r e a t ;  i t may be p o s s i b l e t h a t a l l o f them  c o u l d be r e t a i n e d t o p r e s e r v e t h e i n t e g r i t y o f t h e s e r i e s . C e r t a i n l y v e r y l a r g e samples from 1945 up t o 1968 s h o u l d be kept.  The b u l k o f m a t e r i a l w i l l f a l l between 1968 (when t h e  grounds f o r d i v o r c e were broadened) and 1986.  For that period  t h e f i l e s may be s e l e c t e d on t h e same b a s i s a s o t h e r c i v i l cases.  D i v o r c e f i l e s should not be e x t e n s i v e a f t e r 1986, s i n c e  the 1986 " n o - f a u l t " D i v o r c e A c t w i l l presumably r e s u l t i n decrees b e i n g g r a n t e d i n uncontested  d i v o r c e s v i r t u a l l y by  request.  I t was t h e a d v e r s a r i a l element i n d i v o r c e t h a t  accounted  f o r much o f t h e documentation.  Bankruptcy,  Probate  and Divorce f i l e s have been d i s c u s s e d .  For s e l e c t i n g t h e o r d i n a r y c i v i l cases we s h o u l d modify t h e Hindus technique. spans:  First,  l e t us have a team take two t h r e e - y e a r  1948-1951 and 1958-1961  s a v i n g some i n t a c t ,  11  and go through  o f defence,  affidavits,  file  d i s c a r d i n g the " n o n - s t a r t e r s " , and s t r i p p i n g  o t h e r s (whether d i s c o n t i n u e d o r decided) statement  every  examination  f o r statement  of claim,  f o r discovery, substantive  c o u n t e r - c l a i m , and judgment.  Save as many o f these  documents a s a r e i n t h e f i l e , t h e most u s a b l e b e i n g t h e statement  o f c l a i m , t h e d i s c o v e r y m a t e r i a l s , and t h e judgment.  When once t h e team has a p e r s p e c t i v e on t h e s e r i e s , t h e members c a n come t o a d e c i s i o n on t h e d i s p o s i t i o n o f t h e v e r y l o n g and t e c h n i c a l c o r p o r a t i o n / i n d u s t r i a l cases. bulk,  For the r e s t of the  take a s t r a t i f i e d sample every f i v e y e a r s and random  94 samples from the universe of records using r e g i s t r y numbers that are computer generated.  The randomly selected f i l e s should then  be kept intact, even i f they are technical cases.  This method  should r e s u l t i n a balanced archive, redressing the p i t f a l l s of conscious selections.  NOTES FOR CHAPTER V  •"•Report o f t h e Committee on Legal Records (Denning (London: HMSO, 1966. Cmd. 3084)  Report)  R e p o r t o f t h e Committee on Departmental Records (Grigg Report) (London: HMSO, 1954. Cmd. 9163), p. 94. 2  3  Denning, p. 19.  4  S e e A l f r e d Watts, H i s t o r y o f the L a v S o c i e t y , p. 49  ff. F e l i x H u l l , "The A p p r a i s a l o f Documents: Problems and P i t f a l l s " . S o c i e t y o f A r c h i v i s t s , ( A p r i l 1980), p. 289. 5  H i n d u s , M.S., T.M. Hammett and B.M. Hobson. The F i l e s o f the Massachusetts Supreme Court, 1859-1959: An A n a l y s i s and P l a n f o r A c t i o n . (Boston: G.K. H a l l & Co., 1979). 6  7  H i n d u s , p. 37.  8  S h a r p , pp. 9-12.  9  R e p o r t o f t h e Committee on L e g a l Records  1 0  H i n d u s , p. 83.  i : L  F o r a c h o i c e o f y e a r s see Chapter I I .  (1966), p. 27.  96  CHAPTER VI Conclusion  We have been l o o k i n g p r i m a r i l y a t t h e p e r i o d 1858 period of r e l a t i v e s t a b i l i t y . unsettled. 28, 1973,  February  r e p o r t e d t h a t c r i m i n a l o f f e n c e s i n B r i t i s h Columbia  i n the c i v i l  and  1970.  1  The  s t r i f e begets  As the L a t i n proverb strife.  Supreme Court o f B r i t i s h Columbia A c t of 1960  the proceedings  had  r e c o r d s of a c t i o n s i n c r e a s e  r e g i s t r i e s proportionately.  l i s l i t e n s generat, The  From then on s o c i e t y became more  Thus the Task Force on C o r r e c t i o n s S e r v i c e ,  doubled between 1962  says,  t o I960, a  f o r d i v o r c e hearings,  and  i n 1968,  altered  the  new  f e d e r a l d i v o r c e a c t brought a f l o o d o f d i v o r c e s u i t s t o the Supreme Court.  As a r e s u l t the number of d i v o r c e s granted  the Supreme Court t r e b l e d between 1959 1420  decrees t o 4229.  and 1969,  t h a t i s , from  2  J u d e o - C h r i s t i a n e t h i c s had been unquestioned by pioneering generations.  The  men  Christian.  And  the  on the bench of the Supreme  Court o f B r i t i s h Columbia from 1858 exception  by  t o 1960  were  without  the j u s t i c e s (predominantly  Anglican  or Roman C a t h o l i c , r a r e l y P r e s b y t e r i a n or U n i t e d Church) were a c t i v e C h r i s t i a n s , h o l d i n g o f f i c e i n t h e i r l o c a l churches, t e a c h i n g Sunday s c h o o l , o r working w i t h boys c l u b s .  The  value  system seemed as secure t o the a d m i n i s t r a t o r s of the 1950s as i t had t o James Douglas, who,  w i t h f u l l confidence  i n 1859,  had  p r i n t e d on the c l a i m s forms f o r miners going out i n t o the l o n e l y  97  hills: I t i s e n j o i n e d t h a t a l l persons i n t h e g o l d f i e l d s m a i n t a i n a due and proper observance o f Sundays. The d i v o r c e lawyer N e i l Fleishman speaking of h i s a t t o r n e y father  said:  F o r my f a t h e r , the b a s i c r e q u i s i t e f o r the p r o f e s s i o n was a t h o r o u g h g r o u n d i n g i n t h e t o t a l c u l t u r e o f o u r Western World and i n what he saw as the c o r n e r s t o n e of t h a t c u l t u r e , the B i b l e . I remember as a t e e n ager i n t h e t e r r i b l e t h i r t i e s b e i n g taken t o hear the g r e a t e v a n g e l i c a l preachers, one every Sunday, w i t h o u t f a i l . The word o f God was t h e word o f Law, he f e l t . 4  W r i t i n g i n 1973,  he added:  In t h e l a s t 5 y e a r s t h e q u e s t i o n o f m i n i s t e r s o f t h e g o s p e l n e v e r came up i n c o u r t - 25 y e a r s ago? i t was commonplace f o r couples t o mention h a v i n g seen t h e i r pastor or t h e i r priest. Nowadays, even p r a c t i c i n g R.C.'s s i m p l y do not mention h a v i n g d i s c u s s e d t h e s e matters with t h e i r p r i e s t . Does r i s i n g l i t i g a t i o n i n the c i v i l d i v i s i o n p o i n t t o divisions i n society?  On the whole, c i v i l r e c o r d s have been  n e g l e c t e d by s c h o l a r s , who more important.  wrongly  f e l t t h a t c r i m i n a l cases are  David K e l l e y w r i t e s :  No c a t e g o r y o f human a c t i o n has been s t u d i e d i n as much depth, o r from as many angles as crime. So we  can understand why  c r i m i n a l r e c o r d s have been c o n s i d e r e d  by a r c h i v i s t s l i k e M i c h a e l Hindus t o be more v a l u a b l e than ones.  civil  Yet K e l l e y m a i n t a i n s t h a t a l l t h i s i n t e n s i v e study has  98 e l i c i t e d o n l y t h r e e undisputed  facts:  t h a t young men  are  d i s p r o p o r t i o n a t e l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r c r i m e s o f v i o l e n c e and p r o p e r t y , t h a t c r i m i n a l s e x h i b i t a d i s r e s p e c t f o r a u t h o r i t y , and t h a t they have a d i m i n i s h e d c a p a c i t y f o r empathy.  7  Can we n o t c o n c l u d e t h a t c i v i l c a s e s g i v e a b e t t e r p r o f i l e of  s o c i e t y than do c r i m i n a l ones?  Certainly i n British  Columbia the crimes t h a t have come b e f o r e the h i g h e r c o u r t s are o f t e n more a s t u d y f o r p s y c h o l o g y t h a n f o r e i t h e r law o r history. abuse  8  From 1858  t o 1958  the f a c t s o f murder and  sexual  are p a i n f u l l y s i m i l a r , more a l i k e indeed than  circumstances  the  o f d i v o r c e , the v a l u e s o f p e r s o n a l p r o p e r t y ,  r e l a t i o n s h i p s between employer and employee.  and  C i v i l law i s the  branch o f law t h a t most commonly a f f e c t s most people. c r i m i n a l r e c o r d s document h i s t o r y from below, c i v i l  If  ones  document the h i s t o r y of community because a l l segments o f s o c i e t y , a l l e t h n i c groups, both men  and women, w r i t e w i l l s ,  all  s o c i a l c l a s s e s p e t i t i o n f o r d i v o r c e , seek g u a r d i a n s h i p ,  for  bankruptcy,  civil  and b e g i n an a c t i o n f o r p r i v a t e wrongs.  r e c o r d s can p r o v i d e r e s e a r c h e r s w i t h t h e  and file  Only  evidence.  D e s p i t e the l o g i c of t h i s view, the o r d i n a r y c i v i l causes are not n o t i c e d by the media. of  The j o u r n a l i s t s ,  old, r e l a t e l o c a l sensations:  t h e l i b e l l i n g of a c e l e b r i t y .  l i k e the c h r o n i c l e r s  a doctor's n e g l i g e n c e t r i a l  or  They n e g l e c t the commonplace,  which i s the r e a l i t y of h i s t o r y . C r i m i n a l r e c o r d s may  show the c o n n e c t i o n between t h e f t  economic c o n d i t i o n s , arson and p r o t e s t , a s s a u l t and instability.  social  But c i v i l r e c o r d s are b e t t e r i n d i c a t o r s o f  and  99  economic c o n d i t i o n s , s o c i a l s t a b i l i t y , and p u b l i c sentiment than c r i m i n a l records.  Thus J.A.  Sharpe c i t e s r i s i n g l i t i g a t i o n  in  E n g l i s h c o u r t s o f the e a r l y seventeenth-century as an i n d i c a t i o n o f "the g e n e r a l l y h o s t i l e human r e l a t i o n s h i p s o f the At the end  o f the century,  period."  a more s e t t l e d p e r i o d , those wronged,  he s a i d , p r e f e r r e d a p u b l i c apology r a t h e r than a c o u r t and  9  action  p e c u n i a r y damages. R.C.  Risk  nineteenth  states that i n Ontario  cases i n the  mid-  century c i v i l c o u r t s were d r a m a t i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t from  cases coming b e f o r e researchers  judges a hundred y e a r s l a t e r .  So,  1 0  too,  w i l l f i n d t h a t i n B r i t i s h Columbia t y p i c a l cases i n  the e a r l y days had  t o do w i t h l a n d conveyancing, m i n i n g  l i c e n s e s , t i m b e r l i c e n s e s , l e a s i n g and settlements,  r i g h t s o f way,  railway  e n f o r c i n g c o n t r a c t s , c o l l e c t i n g debts.  o f the century,  At the  as l e g i s l a t o r s passed the laws n e c e s s a r y f o r  i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n and the development of the r e g i o n s , a r i s i n g out o f i n c o r p o r a t i o n , insurance, r i g h t s o f way  cases  f i n a n c i n g , performance,  f o r the t e l e g r a p h and f o r ever more r a i l w a y  c o m p a n i e s came t o t h e f o r e . social legislation,  T h i s p e r i o d gave way  i n t e r v e n t i o n grew;  t o one  of  laws r e g u l a t i n g standards i n i n d u s t r y ,  employer-employee c o n t r a c t s and p u b l i c h e a l t h .  Government  persons d i s p u t i n g e x p r o p r i a t i o n  and  marketing-board r e g u l a t i o n s took t h e i r cases t o court.  During  the 1930s, the b u i l d i n g i n d u s t r y f a l t e r e d , t i m b e r markets c o l l a p s e d , salmon canneries bankruptcies  turn  increased.  f a i l e d , and p e r s o n a l  A f t e r World War  and  II divorces  company rose  100 s h a r p l y and have continued t o r i s e .  In r e c e n t t i m e s , t h e  Supreme Court hears environmental i s s u e s and questions;  lifestyle  i t makes d e c i s i o n s on c o l l e c t i v e r i g h t s  corporate l i a b i l i t i e s .  B.C.  and  What would one o f our n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y  j u s t i c e s have thought of a man's s u i n g a tobacco company over his  poor h e a l t h ?  Probably he would have c o n s i d e r e d t h e s u i t o r a  f o o l and h i s case f r i v o l o u s and v e x a t i o u s .  And so i t goes.  S y b i l l e Bedford w r i t e s : The law, the working of the law, the d a i l y a p p l i c a t i o n o f the law t o people and s i t u a t i o n s , i s an e s s e n t i a l element i n a country's l i f e . I t runs through e v e r y t h i n g ; i t i s p a r t of the p a t t e r n l i k e the a r c h i t e c t u r e . 1 1  Here i s a complementary thought from R i s k : Our understanding of h i s t o r y cannot be complete w i t h o u t some understanding of i t s l e g a l elements. The study of l e g a l h i s t o r y r e q u i r e s knowledge of l e g a l d o c t r i n e s , s t r u c t u r e , and p r o c e d u r e . 1 2  The raw  m a t e r i a l s e x i s t . • Such p r i m a r y sources as c o u r t  documents and the p u b l i s h e d law r e p o r t s can be s t u d i e d over t i m e because common law r e c o r d s were c u s t o m a r i l y kept f o r v e r y l o n g periods.  The reasons were a d m i n i s t r a t i v e :  c o n s i s t e n c y by r e f e r e n c e t o precedent;  t o ensure the  law's  t o document the s t a t u s i n  p a r t n e r s h i p , adoption, d i v o r c e , i n s o l v e n c y , and i n h e r i t a n c e ; to  and  ensure t h a t o r d e r s o f the c o u r t i n the p a y i n g o f damages,  maintenance,  o r f i n e s were c a r r i e d  through.  The s c h o l a r i s f o r t u n a t e i n having, a t hand, case  files,  probate r o l l s , bench books and cause books p r e s e r v e d from t h e B.C.  Supreme Court r e g i s t r i e s through which he can d i s c o v e r the l e g a l  elements and p e r s o n a l i t i e s and d i s c e r n the p a t t e r n s o f the p a s t .  NOTES FOR CHAPTER VT  P e r r y M i l l a r and C a r l Baar, J u d i c i a l A d m i n i s t r a t i o n i n Canada (Kingston and M o n t r e a l : McGill-Queen's U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1981), p. 78. 2  S t a t i s t i c s Canada I n f o r m a t i o n .  3  1858 Papers R e l a t i n g t o B r i t i s h Columbia: 19.  F l e i s h m a n , N e i l , Counsel f o r t h e Damned S.J. Douglas, 1983), p. 30. 4  5  (Vancouver:  I b i d . p. 157.  K e l l e y , David, " S t a l k i n g t h e C r i m i n a l Harpers (August 1985), p. 55. 6  Mind",  7  Ibid.  8  S e e R v Iman Din, XV BCR pp. 476-491 (1910).  ^J.A. Sharpe, "Such D i s p u t e s Betwixt Neighbours" i n Disputes and S e t t l e m e n t s , ed. John Bossy (Cambridge: Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1983), p. 170. 10  R . C . 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(1975/76):147-154.  110  APPENDICES  Ill APPENDIX A  CHIEF JUSTICES OF BRITISH COLUMBIA  NAME  FROM  TO  S i r Matthew B a i l l i e Begbie  March 29, 1870  June 11, 1894  Theodore Davie  February 23, 1895  March 7, 1898  Angus John M c C o l l  August 23, 1898  January 16, 1902  Gordon Hunter March 4, 1902 March 15, 1929 (Also C h i e f J u s t i c e of the Supreme Court of B r i t i s h Columbia throughout h i s incumbency.) James Alexander Macdonald March 16, 1929 A p r i l 1, 1937 (Also C h i e f J u s t i c e of Appeal from November 30, 1909 t o March 15, 1929) . Archer Martin  A p r i l 2, 1937  May 6, 194 0  Malcolm A r c h i b a l d MacDonald  May 15, 1940  October 13, 1941  David Alexander McDonald  January 5, 1942  April  Gordon McGregor Sloan  October 3, 1944  December 31, 1957  Alexander Campbell DesBrisay  May 12, 1958  June 27, 1963  Sherwood  August 1, 1963  J u l y 24,  Henry I r v i n e B i r d  August 20, 1964  January 8,  H e r b e r t W i l l i a m Davey  May 12, 1967  September 30, 1972  John Lauchlan F a r r i s  February 8, 1973  December 31, 1978  N a t h a n i e l Theodore Nemetz  January 1, 197 9  Lett  10, 1944  1964 1967  112  THE COURT OF APPEAL FOR THE PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA JUSTICES OF APPEAL  NAME  FROM  TO  Paulus A e m i l i u s I r v i n g  November 3 0, 1909  A p r i l 9, 1916  Archer M a r t i n Chief J u s t i c e of B r i t i s h Columbia  November 30, 1909  April  A p r i l 2, 1937  May 6, 1940  William A l f r e d G a l l i h e r  November 30, 1909  May 1, 1933  A l b e r t Edward M c P h i l l i p s  September 20, 1913  January 24, 1938  David MacEwan E b e r t s  May 1, 1917  May 20, 1924  Malcolm A r c h i b a l d MacDonald Chief J u s t i c e of B r i t i s h Columbia  May 27, 1924  May 14, 1940  May 15, 1940  October 13, 1941  W i l l i a m G a r l a n d McQuarrie  September 6, 1933  May 30, 1943  Gordon McGregor Sloan Chief J u s t i c e of B r i t i s h Columbia  A p r i l 2, 1937  October 2, 1944  October 3, 1944  December 31, 1957  C o r n e l i u s Hawkins O'Halloran  January 29, 1938  September 9, 1963  David Alexander McDonald Chief J u s t i c e o f B r i t i s h Columbia  September 11, 194 0  January 4, 1942  January 5, 1942  April  Alexander Ingram F i s h e r  January 13, 1942  December 10, 194 3  Harold Bruce Robertson  J u l y 5, 1943  September 17, 1955  Sidney Alexander Smith  March 18, 1944  September 18, 1960  Henry I r v i n e B i r d Chief J u s t i c e of B r i t i s h Columbia  October 3, 1944  August 19, 1964  August 2 0, 1964  January 8, 1967  September 1, 1954  October 15, 1973  May  September 30, 1972  Herbert W i l l i a m Davey Chief J u s t i c e of B r i t i s h Columbia  12, 1967  1, 1937  10, 1944  113  THE COURT OF APPEAL FOR THE PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA JUSTICES OF APPEAL  NAME  FROM  TO  Herbert W i l l i a n Davey Chief J u s t i c e of B r i t i s h Columbia  September 1, 1954  October 15, 1973  May 12, 1967  September 30, 1972  James Moses  September 1, 1955  March 1, 1961  October 14, 1955  November 10, 1965  Thomas Grantham N o r r i s  January 16, 1961  September 13, 1968  Charles W i l l i a m  March 15, 1961  February 1, 1973  Coady  F r e d e r i c k Anderson  Sheppard  Tysoe  John Owen W i l s o n Chief J u s t i c e of the Supreme Court  January 22, 1962  J u l y 31, 1963  August 1, 1963  November 6, 1973  Norman W i l l i a m Whittaker  August 1, 1963  November 6, 1973  A r t h u r Edward Lord  October 18, 1963  December 31, 1967  Harry Joseph S u l l i v a n  May 20, 1964  August 4, 1965  Ernest Bolton B u l l  November 5, 1964  August 23, 1982  Hugh A l a n MacLean  November 23, 1964  September 15, 1978  Meredith M i l n e r McFarlane  September 1, 1965  April  Angelo E r n e s t Branca  January 15, 1966  March 21, 1978  27, 1983  114  CHIEF JUSTICES OF THE SUPREME COURT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA  NAME  FROM  TO  Gordon Hunter March 4, 1902 March 15, 1929 (Also C h i e f J u s t i c e o f B r i t i s h Columbia d u r i n g h i s incumbency.) Aulay MacAulay M o r r i s o n  A p r i l 9, 1929  February 27, 1942  Wendell Burpee F a r r i s  May 6, 1942  June 17, 1955  Sherwood L e t t  September 1, 1955  J u l y 31, 1963  John Owen Wilson  August 1, 1963  November 6, 1973  Nathaniel Theodore Nemetz  November 7, 1973  December 31, 1978  A l l a n McEachern  January 1, 1979  115  THE SUPREME COURT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA PUISNE JUDGES  NAME  FROM  TO  S i r Henry P e r i n g Pellew Crease  March 11,  John Hamilton Gray  J u l y 3,  John F o s t e r McCreight  November 26,  1880  December 17,  Alexander Rocke Robertson  November 26,  1880  December 1,  1881  George Anthony Walkem  May  December 1,  1903  Montague W i l l i a m T y r w h i t t Drake  August  1870  1872  23,  June 5,  1882 14,  1889  Angus John M c C o l l Chief J u s t i c e of B r i t i s h Columbia  August 23,  Paulus A e m i l i u s I r v i n g  December 16,  Archer Martin Chief J u s t i c e of B r i t i s h Columbia  September 12, A p r i l 2,  Lyman Poore Duff  February 26,  Aulay MacAulay M o r r i s o n C h i e f J u s t i c e o f the Supreme Court  September 28, A p r i l 9,  W i l l i a m Henry Pope  December 7,  F r a n c i s Brooke  Clement  Gregory  January 21,  October 13,  1896 1898 1897 1898  1937  1904  1929  1889 1897  August  14,  1904  August  22,  1898  January 16,  1902  November 29,  1909  November 29,  1909  May 1904  1896  6,  1940  September 26, A p r i l 8,  1929  February 27,  1906  May  3,  1909  A p r i l 1,  Denis Murphy  November 30,  1909  December 1,  W i l l i a m Alexander MacDonald  September 24,  Alexander Ingram F i s h e r  A p r i l 9,  H a r o l d Bruce Robertson  September 6,  1929  1933  January 1,  1941 1934  January 13, 1933  J u l y 4,  1942  1922  November 30,  1913  1906  1943  1942  116  THE SUPREME COURT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA PUISNE JUDGES  NAME  FROM  TO  F r e d e r i c k George Tanner Lucas December 3, 1934  September  Alexander Malcolm Manson  November 27, 1935  February 28, 1961  Sidney A l e x a n d e r Smith  September  March 17, 1944  James Moses Coady  January 5, 1942  August 31, 1955  Joseph Nealon E l l i s  January 16, 1942  September  Henry I r v i n e B i r d Chief J u s t i c e o f B r i t i s h Columbia  January 15, 1942  October 2, 1944  August 20, 1964  January 8, 1967  A r t h u r Douglas MacFarlane  J u l y 5, 1943  March 1, 1961  John Owen W i l s o n Chief J u s t i c e of B r i t i s h Columbia  March 18, 1944  January 21, 1962  August 1, 1963  November 6, 1973  Andrew M i l l e r  October 3, 1944  September  H e r b e r t Spencer Wood  September  15, 1947  January 1, 1957  Norman W i l l i a m Whittaker  September  13, 1947  J u l y 31, 1963  John V a l e n t i n e Clyne  J u l y 10, 1950  December 31, 1957  H e r b e r t W i l l i a m Davey Chief J u s t i c e of B r i t i s h Columbia  March 5, 1953  August 31, 1954  May  September  H a r o l d Walker Mclnnes  September  A r t h u r Edward Lord  October 8, 1955  October 17, 1963  Harry Joseph S u l l i v a n  February 9, 1956  May  Thomas W i l f r e d Brown  June 14, 1956  March 31, 1970  John Graham Ruttan  June 14, 1956  Narch 31, 1970  Harper  26, 1940  12, 1967 1, 1954  24, 1935  28, 1942  9, 1947  30, 1972  August 11, 1966  19, 1964  117  THE SUPREME COURT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA PUISNE JUDGES  NAME  FROM  TO  Hugh A l a n MacLean  February 1, 1957  November 22, 1964  F r a n k l i n Kay C o l l i n s  January 28, 1958  December 31, 1966  Thomas Grantham N o r r i s  J u l y 21, 1959  January 15, 1961  David Robertson Verchere  J u l y 9, 1959  March 3, 1981  James Gordon Hutcheson  January 16, 1961  Seotenber 14m 1965  Robert Alexander Burnie Wootton  March 1, 1961  March 1, 1976  Frederick  March 1, 1961  March 29, 1983  John Somerset Aikens  February 1, 1962  May 31, 1978  V i c t o r Leonard Dryer  August 1, 1963  December 25, 1983  N a t h a n i e l Theodore Nemetz C h i e f J u s t i c e o f the Supreme Court Chief J u s t i c e of B r i t i s h Columbia  October 18, 1963  February 15, 1968  November 7, 1973  December 31, 1978  January 1, 1979  December 21, 1978  Angelo E r n e s t  October 18, 1963  January 14, 1966  Armstrong  C r a i g Munroe  Branca  118  APPENDIX B  RECORDS RETENTION AND DISPOSAL SCHEDULE: 78/01 SUBJECT GROUP  SUBJECT  RETENTION PERIOD AND REMARKS  DESCRIPTION  A  BOOKS  APPEALS  COURT JURISDICTION: Appeal Court  D  M  Micro Ret.  Total Years  Remarks  Index and Record Books  7  33  No  40  Sel. Ret. By Arch.  Appeal Books and Factums  7  33 Yes  40  Sel. Ret. By Arch.  40  Sel. Ret. By Arch.  Judgements, orders, decrees, and reasons therefor. General  3  Correspondence, vouchers, receipts, cancelled cheques, etc.  Court Recorders Log Books and tapes of court proceedings Judge's Bench  Personal property of Judge  10  Yes  30  No  or 2 yrs. since last gov't audit  No  or 2 yrs. i f transcribed  No  10  transfer with permission of Judge. - transfer to Arch.  119  RECORDS RETENTION AND DISPOSAL SCHEDULE: 78/01  SUBJECT GROUP  SUBJECT  DESCRIPTION  COURT JURISDICTION: Supreme and County Court RETENTION PERIOD AND REMARKS  M  CIVIL  Writs, summons, petitions, other originating & subsequent materials  Includes exhibits, correspondence (other than partnership, probate, adoptions, bankruptcy, or lunacy) where action, cause concluded or terminated by dismissal, discontinuance, court order, and no appeal pending, excluding judg- . ments, orders, decrees, reasons therefor and transcripts  Judgments, orders, decrees, reasons therefor, and transcripts Other writs, orders, decrees, and reasons therefor.  Where cause not concluded but no proceedings f i l e d . No other steps (no judgment, etc.)  Micro Ret.  No  Total Years  Remarks  10  Yes  30  40  Sel. Ret. By Prov. Archives  Yes  30  40  Sel. Ret. By Arch.  120 RECORDS RETENTION AND DISPOSAL SCHEDULE: 78/01  SUBJECT GROUP  DESCRIPTION  SUBJECT  RETENTION PERIOD AND REMARKS  A  Partnership, probate (other than w i l l s ) , adoption, lunacy, and bankruptcy Wills  COURT JURISDICTION: Supreme and County Court  (Probated) After Probate  D  M  7  3  1  9  General correspondence, receipts, cheques, etc. B i l l s of Sale Chattel Mortgages  CRIMINAL  Court Recorders  Log books & tapes of court proceedings  Judge's Bench Books  Personal property of Judge  Proceedings in a l l criminal matters, including charges,  Yes  Yes  Micro Ret.  Total Years  Remarks  30  40  Transfer Archives  30  40  Transfer Archives  No  7  Where no appeal 7 pending, no bench warrant outstanding, no stay of proceedings entered, no probation order outirKiictments, standing and warrants, summons, etc. excludes judgments, orders, reasons therefor, decrees, etc.  3  No  or 2 yrs. since last gov't audit 10  or 2 yr. transc.  No  10  Archive Sel. rep.  No  10  121 RECORDS RETENTION AND DISPOSAL SCHEDULE: 78/01 SUBJECT GROUP  SUBJECT  COURT JURISDICTION: Supreme and County Court  DESCRIPTION  RETENTION PERIOD AND REMARKS  A  Judgments, orders, reasons therefor, decrees record books, transcripts and certificates of conviction, N.B. (information and indictments on which f i n a l disposition i s recorded, considered same as a conviction order)  7  D  M  3  Yes  Micro Ret.  Total Years  30  40  Remarks  Sel. Ret.  General Correspondence  Returns of fines, jury lists, requisitions, calendars, vouchers, receipts, cancelled cheques, cheque stubs  No  or 2 yrs. since last gov't audit  Court Recorders  Log books & tapes of court proceedings  No  or 2 yrs. i f transcribed  Judge's Bench  Personal property of Judge  10  10  Archives Se. Ret. with pension of judge  122 APPENDIX C SELECTED SERIES FROM THE BULK LISTING SHEET, VANCOUVER, CRC, 1984  Temporary Box No.  1-7  1  Type of File  Year  Sequence  Supreme Court Judge Record Books  Record Centre Box No.  Pallet Storage  1-13  Supreme Court Chamber Lists  1965-74  Pallet Storage  14-23  Supreme Court Chamber Lists  1974-78  Pallet Storage  1-6  Supreme Court Record Books  1951-67  Pallet Storage  1-3  Supreme Court Divorce Record Books 1954-63  Pallet Storage  4-5  Supreme Court Divorce Record Books 1964-67  Pallet Storage  1-18  Supreme Court Judgments Divorce  Microfilm  1-6  Partnership Books  Vol. 1-18  P.A.B.C.  7-8  Partnership Books  Vol. 19-24  P. A.B.C.  1  Divorce Clearance  04691-08201 06.06.00.1  1-25  Supreme Court Chamber Lists  1-9  Supreme Court Judge's Record Books  1-28  Pallet Storage  1-8  Supreme Court Judge's Record Books 1964  1-346  01.02.00.1 01.04.00.2  581  Supreme Court Judge's Record Books 1961  2811(Pt.l)  04.12.07.6  582 Supreme Court Judge's Record Books 1961 (oversize)  2811(Pt.2)  04.12.08.1  591 Supreme Court Judge's Record Books 1966 (oversize)  3201  04.12.09.4  645  Railway Men's Acts & Oaths  01-62 375-713  04.19.08.4  646  Railway Men's Acts & Miscellaneous 1953-69  641-1062  04.19.08.5  647  Supreme Court Act Oversize  911  04.19.08.6  1969-75  1920-63  1916-41 1942-55  1958  Pallet Storage  123  SELECTED SERIES FROM THE BULK LISTING SHEET, VANCOUVER, CRC, 1984  Temporary Box No.  652  Type of F i l e  Supreme Court Act  Year  Sequence  Record Centre Box No.  1920--63 1920--29  Misc. Assessment Appeals Creditors' Relief Act  04.19.09.5  Supreme and County Court  04.19.09.6  653  Supreme Court Act  1927--56  04.19.09.6  694  Supreme & County Court Creditors' Relief Act  1957--60  694  Supreme & County Court Creditors' Relief Act  1962 1968  1-4 1-2  04.19.10.1 04.19.10.1  695  Supreme Court Oversize  1961--62  1056-2530  04.19.10.2  696  Divorce  1968  1-25  04.19.10.3  717  Divorce  1968  740-769  04.20.03.6  720  Divorce  1968  840-869  04.20.04.3  721  Divorce & Matrimony 5936  1968  00001-00030 04.20.04.4  722  Divorce & Matrimony 5936  1968  00031-00060 04.20.04.5  732  Divorce & Matrimony 5936  1968  00287-00316 04.20.06.3  742  Divorce & Matrimony 5936  1968  00567-00590 04.20.08.1  752  Divorce & Matrimony 5936  1968  00870-00904 04.20.09.5  762  Divorce & Matrimony 5936  1968  01171-01206 04.21.01.3  772  Divorce & Matrimony 5936  1968  01448-01480 04.21.02.6  775  O f f i c i a l Receiver  1923  1-13  Pallet Storage  775  O f f i c i a l Receiver  1924  1-30  Pallet Storage  04.19.10.1  124  SELECTED SERIES FROM THE BULK LISTING SHEET, VANCOUVER, CRC, 1984  Temporary Box No.  Type of File  Year  Sequence  Record Centre Box No.  775  O f f i c i a l Receiver  1925  1-53  Pallet Storage  775  O f f i c i a l Receiver  1926  1-46  Pallet Storage  776  O f f i c i a l Receiver  1927  1-52  Pallet Storage  777  O f f i c i a l Receiver  to 1943  779  O f f i c i a l Receiver  Pallet Storage  1944-46  Pallet Storage  780 to 798 Bankruptcy  1920-31  Pallet Storage  799  Bankruptcy  1931  Pallet Storage  800  Bankruptcy  1931  21-50  Pallet Storage  801  Bankruptcy  1932  1-29  Pallet Storage  802  Bankruptcy  1932  30-51  : l l e t Storage  803  Bankruptcy  1932  52-70  Collet Storage  804  Bankruptcy  1932  68 only  Pallet Storage  sos--817  Bankruptcy  1933-48  sis  Bankruptcy  1948  6-22  Pallet Storage  819 to 828 Bankruptcy  1948-56  23-41  Pallet Storage  829  O f f i c i a l Receiver  1946,1948 77-11,1-30 Pallet Storage  830--837  O f f i c i a l Receiver  to 1959  Pallet Storage  838-•839  M.P.R. Act  1942-48  Pallet Storage  840--848  Trustee f i l e s of W.A. Schramm  1963-67  Pallet Storage  849--850  Trustee f i l e s of W.A. Schramm, Misc. Check-books  1963-67  Pallet Storage  Pallet Storage  125  SELECTED SERIES FROM THE BULK LISTING SHEET, VANCOUVER, CRC, 1984  Temporary Box No.  Type of F i l e  Year  Sequence  Record Centre Box No.  849-850  Trustee f i l e s of W.A. Schramm, Misc. Correspondence  1963-67  851  Trustee f i l e s of W.A. Schramm, Misc. Correspondence  1963  852  Trustee f i l e s of W.A. Schramm, Misc. Correspondence and to Corporate Seals  Pallet Storage  853  Trustee f i l e s of W.A. Schramm, Misc. Files and Correspondence  Pallet Storage  854  Trustee f i l e s of W.A. Schramm, Misc. Bankrupt Files  Pallet Storage  855-875  Trustee f i l e s of W.A. Sdhramm, Bankrupt Files  Pallet Storage  876-881  Trustee f i l e s of W.A. Schramm, Bankrupt Files  Pallet Storage  882  Notice of Motion Chandlers Files and Partnership Act Files  1976-77  Pallet Storage  885  Supreme Court 1954 Extradition Act F i l e s & Partnership Act  1960-61  Pallet Storage  H-17  Supreme Court  1941  H-34  Record Book Justice Bird  13.07.01.7  H-35  Record Book Justice Manson  13.08.01.1  H-36  Record Book Justice Bird  13.07.02.8  Pallet Storage  103/63 103/63  Deposit Date 1985  Pallet Storage  13.06.10.6  126  SELECTED SERIES FROM THE BULK LISTING SHEET, VANCOUVER, CRC, 1984  Temporary Box No.  Type of F i l e  Year  Sequence  Record Centre Box No.  H-37  Record Book Justice Bird  13.07.03.7  H-37  Record Book Justice Sergent 3 Chamber Books  13.07.03.1  H-38  Record Book Justice Sergent 2 Chamber Books  13.07.03.2  H-42  Record Book DesBrisay C.J.  13.07.03.6  H-43  Record Book J. Hutchens  H-44  Record Book Lett C.J.  13.07.04.8  H-45  Record Book Lett C.J.  13.07.04.8  H-46  Record Book Lett C.J.  13.07.04.2  H-47  Record Book Whittaker  13.07.04.3  H-49  Record Book Manson  13.07.04.4  H-50  Record Book Sullivan One Chamber; One Divorce  13.07.04.5  H-52  Record Book Hunter C.J. Bench Book  H-53  Record Book MacLean Volume 1-6  13.07.04.8  H-58  Record Book Brown Volume 10, 19-22  13.07.05.5  H-60  Record Book Whittaker  13.07.05.7  H-61  Record Book Collins  13.07.05.8  H-63  Record Book Lett C.J.  13.07.06.3  H-67  Record Book Coady  13.07.06.7  H-67  Record Book Coady  13.07.06.8  Volume 1 of Chamber Book  1912-21  13.07.03.7  13.07.04.7  127  SELECTED SERIES FROM THE BULK LISTING SHEET, VANCOUVER, CRC, 1984  Temporary Box No.  Type of F i l e  Year  Sequence  Record Centre Box No.  H-68  Record Book Smith  13.07.07.1  H-69  Record Book Lord  13.07.07.2  H-70  Record Book Lord  H-71,72  Record Book E l l i s , Fake, Shultz  13.07.07.4  H-74  Record Book MacDonald  13.08.01.4  H-75  Record Book Hunter  13.08.01.5  H-78  Record Book Nemitz C.J. Chamber Book  13.07.07.7  H-79  Record Book Nemitz C.J. Chamber Book  13.07.08.1  Chamber Book  13.07.07.3  H-80 to 84 Record Book Gregory  13.07.08.2  H-85  Record Book Gregory Volume 26-27 Chamber Book  13.07.08.7  H-86  Record Book Gregory  13.07.09.1  H-90  Record Book Innes  13.08.01.9  H-92  Record Book Clement  13.07.09.5  H-93  Record Book Collins Chamber Book  13.07.09.6  H-94  Record Book MacDonald  13.07.09.7  H-95  Record Book Sebenisky  13.07.09.8  H-96  Bench Books Smith  13.07.10.1  H-97  Bench Books Hunter  13.07.10.2  H-99-104  Bench Books Wilson C.J.  13.07.10.4  H-105-108 Bench Books Wilson C.J. C i v i l Chambers Book  13.08.02.2  H-109  13.08.02.6  Bench Books Wilson C.J. and Lord C.J.  128  SELECTED SERIES FROM THE BULK LISTING SHEET, VANCOUVER, CRC, 1984  Temporary Box No.  Type of F i l e  Year  Sequence  Record Centre Box No.  H-114  Bench Books Mclntyre  H-119  Bench Books White, Green  13.08.04.1  H-121  Bench Books Manson, Volume 1-8  13.08.04.3  H-122  Bench Books Norris, Admiralty & Chambers  13.08.04.4  H-123  Bench Books Morrison  13.08.04.5  H-124  Files Wilson  13.08.04.6  H-125  Bench Books Howay, Grant  13.08.04.7  13.08.03.4  H-127  13.08.01.8  H-128  Supreme Court  1946-53  2876,2418  H-129  Supreme Court  H-135  Supreme Court  1959-60  13.08.05.7  1-1  Divorce  1946 deposit date 1979  10.07.03.2  1-2  Divorce  1950  10.07.03.3  1-3  Divorce  1952  10.07.03.4  1-4  Divorce  1955  10.07.03.5  1-5  Divorce  1956  10.07.03.6  1-6  Divorce  1956  10.07.03.1  1-7  Divorce  1956  10.07.04.2  1  Supreme Court Act  1965  18.8.3.7  6  Supreme Court Act  1965  18.8.4.5  23  Supreme Court Act  1965  18.8.7.4  13.08.05.1 13.08.05.2  129  SEIECTED SERIES FROM THE BULK LISTING SHEET, VANCOUVER, CRC, 1984  Temporary Box No.  Type of F i l e  Year  Sequence  Record Centre Box No.  44  Supreme Court Act  1967  18.7.1.1  8  Supreme Court Act  1961  17.3.4.1  46  Supreme Court Act  1961  17.3.8.8  51  Supreme Court Act  1961  17.3.9.5  130  Supreme Court Act  1962  17.04.09.4  151  Supreme Court Act  1962  17.05.02.1  229  Supreme Court Act  1963  17.06.01.7  280  Supreme Court Act oversize  1963  17.06.08.2  1  Bench Books Justice Aikins  1962  01.04.08.1  6  Bench Books Justice Aikins  1970  01.04.08.6  F-141  Supreme Court  1959  05.11.01.2  F 158  Supreme Court  1959  05.11.04.1  E 66  Supreme Court  1955  08.22.01.6  1  Partnership  1926  17.6.8.8  12  Partnership  34  Mechanics Liens  1905-08  17.7.3.1  35  Mechanics Liens  1912  17.7.3.2  36  Mechanics Liens  1912  17.7.3.3  38  Mechanics Liens  1919-22  17.7.3.5  39  Mechanics Liens  1919-22  17.7.3.6  40-48  Mechanics Liens  17.6.10.4  17.7.3.6 t o 13.7.4.7  APPENDIX D  In the matter of "Perfect Ladies". Excerpts from the examination for discovery. The examination of V i l a Papp, 2nd September, 1931. Mr. Sugarman asks Miss Papp about her salary. Q.  $20 a week?  A.  No, a month. I d i d not get paid. I took a $250.00 c h a t t e l mortgage for my wages and gave $500.00 cash to the company as a loan.  Q.  Where did you get the money for the loan?  A.  I brought the money from the old country, from Budapest. I gave i t t o Mr. Sabo as I got i t . Mrs. Sabo wouldn't l e t me work i n the store anymore. I did the books at home. The chattel mortgage I sold to Mr. Sabo and got his property at Steelhead.  Q.  A farm?  A.  No, a forest, 40 acres  Q.  When did t h i s happen?  A.  I don't remember  Q.  Just about the time a receiver was put into the business?  A.  No.  Q.  Ever any cash?  A.  Yes, this year after the fire. I got i t i n April or March, $30.00. I t was money from the old country, cash i n envelopes, from people I had sold things to, furniture, etc.  Q.  How was i t ? English money?  A.  No, dollars  Q.  What money was taken i n by the f i r e sale?  A.  I don't remember  I t was before the receiver.  Q.  Where did you get this; Auction sale, $2,318.75?  A.  From the Auction book.  Q.  A l l one sum?  A.  I t would be too much to write i n a l l of those.  Q.  Did you deposit any of that money i n the bank account?  A.  I guess I did.  Q.  Where i s the record of the deposits i n the bank account?  A.  We have not got them here.  Q.  The old book was i n the place where the f i r e was?  A.  . . . books, shelves [were i n the] f i r e  Q.  I t was November 1929 when Mr. Nettle resigned or was fired?  A.  I don't know  Q.  Did you take the 1929 books out of the safe?  A.  . . . nothing to do with me  Q.  They are very important right now  A.  I don't know why  Q.  Mr. Nettle was Mrs. Sabo's friend and he was the bookkeeper i n 1929  A.  . . . [no answer]  Q.  And there i s not a record l e f t of the business done i n 1929 i s there?  A.  . . . [no answer]  Q.  Will you get a copy [of your bank book] for me?  A.  I w i l l but I haven't got i t  Mr. Sugarman: Then we w i l l excuse you until [this afternoon]  The ccaTtinuation of examination of V i l a Papp, 2nd September, 1931. Q.  Now, deposit December 19, $1,500, who did you get that from?  A.  Mr. Sabo  Q.  Cheque, December 23, $503.70. You have that Mr. Sabo, I want i t f o r a moment - payable Royal Bank  Q.  And you got a mortgage for how much money?  A.  $750.00  Q.  Why did Mr. Sabo give you $1,500?  A.  That and the $800 he just put into my account because of a quarrel with Mrs. Sabo. Mrs. Sabo fired her f i r s t husband twice - thought he w i l l lose everything. I came over on Mr. Sabo's responsibility here and i f he lost his store he cannot support me.  Q.  Why should he support you?  A.  Because I was working for him.  Examination of Alexander Sabo, 2nd September, 1931 Q.  How long have you been the only director?  A.  Since January 1930  Q.  Do you have a l l your books?  A.  Except f o r cheques re. Mrs. Sabo's action  Q.  A l l the bank books?  A.  I have not turned over the bank book of the Royal Bank  Q.  What about the records of the business before 1930?  A.  Nothing  Q.  Is i t not the fact that you kept your books i n the safe?  133  A.  The new ones  Q.  As a matter of fact, this f i r e just took place on the table i n the back of the workshop?  A.  Yes, the table was burned and same cases burned and damaged.  Q.  But i s i t not the fact that there were about fifteen dresses on the mezzanine floor?  A.  I don't know  

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