Long day in the court

April 11, 1892
Yesterday, at the Chancery Court, St George’s hall, the vice-chancellor (Mr F.W.Taylor) had before him a motion – Houlding v Mahon and others – for an injunction to restrain the committee of the Everton Football Club from removing certain fixtures from the ground at Everton.

Mr. Maberly and Mr. Lawrence were for the plaintiff, Mr. Houlding and Mr. Hughes.

Mr. Maberly said the object of the application was to obtain an injunction to restrain the defendants from removing certain fixtures which were upon ground belonging to the defendants club, and which fixtures as he contended formed part of the soil and parts of the landlord’s property.

The defendants, who were the representatives of the club were now about to pull down and remove the fixtures.

Under these circumstances the action was launched and the application for an injunction was made.

Mr. Hughes appeared for the defendants, and submitted to an injunction until the trial of the action, and with the usual undertaking as to damages.

Beyond that, in order to provide for the preservation of the status-quo, they purposed to take an order somewhat in these terms, that in case the court should hold that the fixtures in question, or any of them to removable by the tenants the latter to be at liberty to enter and remove the same subject to the right of the plaintiff as landlord.

That preserved to his friend (Mr. Hughes) the right to go and remove in case the court held with him.

Mr. Hughes said his friend had forgotten to mention that the tenancy expired on the last day of the month; consequently of course their rights would be very much prejudiced if they were dealt with except on these specials forms.

Mr. Maberly said that as regarded the particulars the notice of motion and the writ also mentioned some particulars, amongst others certain turnstiles and sheds.

On behalf of the landlord, the club put forward a claim to then they were not disposed to press what they conceived to be their extreme right in regard to them.

They were willing and desired to deal as liberally as they could with the defendants in this matter so long as their rights in the main were protected and preserved.

Therefore he withdrew the claim as regard the turnstiles and the sheds. His friends might remove them if he though fit, but as regarded all the rest they stood upon their rights as landlords.

Mr. Hughes:-There is one point which, on behalf of the committee of the club I think ought to be mentioned, and to which I think my friend will ascent. I ask that after the expiration of the tenancy, as he is keeping possession, which may prejudice us, he will undertake that no damage shall be done to the property in question.

Mr. Maberly:. My friend has got an undertaking as to damages, and it covers all that.

Mr. Hughes said the undertaking would not cover such damages as might be caused to him by the granting of the injunction, and all he wanted his friend to undertake was the safe custody of the property after the expiration of the tenancy.

Mr. Maberly said he could not do that. If the court acting on the representation, prevented the taking away of these things, and they were delivered up in a worse condition than they were at present. Then the undertaking as to damages covered that.

His Honour Are you for the landlord, Mr. Maberly?

Mr. Maberly .-Yes; and I decline to be put on any special terms as to safe custody after the tenants’ right have expired.

His Honour said the undertaking as to damages covered that.

Mr. Hughes said he was content, he wished to say further that they were anxious to have the point disposed of as soon as possible, and desired that it should be tried at the next sitting of the court. He had suggested certain dates which he though Mr Lawrence, who was the junior counsel on the other side would assent to.

Mr. Maberly said he could not pledge his side as to particular dates.

Mr. Hughes said if he would assure him that he would bring it on at the next sitting he would be satisfied.

Mr. Maberly – I cannot do that.

Mr. Hughes – I shall have to oppose that motion, if you don’t assent.

Mr. Maberly – We are anxious to have the question disposed of, but I decline to be put on any special terms as to the date.

Mr. Hughes -it is very important that the matter should be disproved of promptly, and I shall have to oppose the motion if my friend will not give me an undertaking.

His Honour – Then I am afraid the proceedings must come on as opposed.

Mr. Maberly – Submitted that the order should provide that the defendants defended the action on behalf of the committee of the club.

Mr. Hughes said he did not take any technical objection to that.

Mr. Maberly said he should like to have it expressed on the face of the order.

Mr. Hughes – it my friend won’t oblige me in a reasonable way I am not quite sure that I shall oblige him.

Mr. Maberly – Very well, we will take it as opposed.

Subsequently Mr. Maberly said his friend Mr. Hughes was now quite satisfied with regard to his point. They, therefore proposed to take the order in the term he had stated.

The vice Chairman – I think you and Mr. Lawrence and Mr Hughes had better sigh the minutes.

Mr. Maberly , – Very well; that would be the best course.

Mr. Hughes – My friend and his client have given me an assurance, which satisfies me that we shall get the matter disposed of promptly.

The order agreed upon was in the following terms:-
On undertaking to be responsible for damages, an injunction in terms of notice of motion excluding turnstiles and sheds, and in case the court (including court of Appeal) shall hold the particulars in question (other than that excluded items) to be removable by the defendants as tenants within terms of their tenancy.
The defendants
To be at liberty within such time as the court on the trial shall direct to remove the same, but the right to removal (if any) to be subject to all rights (if any) of the Planitiff, landlord to distrain, the said particulars so seceded to be removed costs to be costs in the action.

Plaintiff approves of the defendants defending on behalf of the Everton Football Club and the Members thereof.
(Source: Liverpool Courier: April 12, 1892)

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