DIRECTOR   Nanook Peña


Do they mean to say that the usual fees taken in the county of Middlesex are illegal ? They have themselves shown the usage of that county; and all we want at present is an opportunity to counteract their testimony by showing the usage of other counties. We wish to sh«w that the charges complained of are not peculiar to the county of Middlesex. Will they say that the usage of all the regular Probate Courts is illegal? If so, we know not what to answer. We know not, for we have no means of knowing, what are the legal fees. The Hon. Managers have furnished us with no means of ascertaining. We cannot tell where we are to meet the Hon. Managers. We cannot discover or conjecture, what ground they mean to take. We only know what they have proved, and we wish to meet their evidence, so far as we can at present perceive its bearing, with similar evidence. Here is a charge of maladministration and corruption 'in office by the taking of illegal fees. Do they mean to say that the Courts were illegally holden ? If so, it has been argued, and perhaps justly, that the taking of any fee was illegal. But we cannot discover and the Hon,Managers have not condescended lo tell us, wherein the illegality of these Courts consists. We assert and believe that these special Probate Courts were, for aught we can see, as legally holden as any other Probate Courts. It may turn out otherwise; but so we all think after a very diligent examination. Were the fees taken excessive then ? Do they prove corruption ? If they mean to say that there was an excess above law, we ask whether the Respondent has, or has not, a right to take any compensation for services not enumerated in the fee-bill, and which are not regulated by law ? I believe we shall not be answered in the negative. We must at least be allowed to consider it a doubtful question ; and if so, we may surely be permitted to inquire what has been the uniform practice in other counties? What is the construction which other Judges of Probate have put upon the law. If they have put a different construction upon it from the Respondent, it would go to show that he has at least been mistaken in his notion of the law ; but if their construction should happen to have been the same with his, it is surely proper evidence to rebut the charge of wilful corruption.