1 Haw. 66 (Haw.Super. 1852), Ewing v. Janion

Citation:1 Haw. 66
Opinion Judge:LEE, CHIEF JUSTICE
Party Name:A. ORR EWING AND WILLIAM MILLER v. R. C. JANION.
Attorney:Mr. Harris for complainants. Mr. Montgomery for defendants.
Case Date:April 03, 1852
Court:Superior Court of Hawai'i
 
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Page 66

1 Haw. 66 (Haw.Super. 1852)

A. ORR EWING AND WILLIAM MILLER

v.

R. C. JANION.

Superior Court of Hawai'i.

April 3, 1852

Syllabus by the Court

On a bill of discovery, in a matter of account, filed in the equity side of the Court, Held: that the bill would be entertained, notwithstanding the case was one cognizable at law; and the equity Court having rightful jurisdiction, for the purpose of discovery, would also give relief.

Mr. Harris for complainants.

Mr. Montgomery for defendants.

LEE, CHIEF JUSTICE

The complainants doing business in Glasgow, Scotland, allege in their bill that they shipped certain goods at various times to the defendant to be held in trust for them by the said defendant, that the goods were duly received by the defendant, that the said defendant has been requested to account for the same and the proceeds of such of them as may have been sold, which he refuses to do, and conclude with the prayer that this Court compel the defendant to account for the disposition he has made of the said goods, & c. In other words, as we understand the bill, though it cannot be denied that it is informal and somewhat vague, they seek from the defendant a discovery of the facts as to the receipt, sale and proceeds arising from said goods, and upon such discovery, the necessary relief.

The defendant's counsel demur to the bill, on the ground that the complainants have not stated such a case as entitles them to the relief prayed for, inasmuch as they have not alleged in their bill that they are remediless at common law, and, inasmuch as the subject matter of said bill is only properly cognizable in a court of law, and not in a court of equity, whose jurisdiction does not extend thereto.

Because a party is entitled to a remedy at law, it does not follow that he is not equally entitled to relief in a court of equity. Especially is this so in cases of account, where, in many cases, if a court of law can afford any remedy at all, it cannot give so complete a remedy as a court of equity. In a court of law, the plaintiff may, from various causes, be unable to offer legal proof of his rights sufficient to enable him to obtain effective redress. In a court of equity he has a wider field. There he is entitled to a discovery of books, papers, and the defendant's oath. There he may draw out proofs from the defendant's own conscience, which were...

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