Thursday, 15 November 2007

Christie v Davey: Must read!

This is one hilarious case our study group leader came across. He read it aloud to us, and before he was done, all of us were already cracking up! Now, anytime someone mentions the area of law the case deals with, (private nuisance with malice), it's the first case that pops into our minds. It's cases like these that make studying law fun. ROFL!!!

Unfortunately, I cannot find the entire case online because it's an english case, and I can only access Australian cases. But I do have an excerpt of the case in my text book.

These are the facts of the case which occurred in 1893:

Mr and Mrs Christie and the defendant lived side by side in semi-detached houses. Mrs Christie was a music teacher, and the rest of her family were also musical. Throughout the day, sounds of music pervaded their house and were heard in the Defendant's house. The defendant did not like the music he heard, so he decided to pen a letter to his neighbours.

The letter read:
"During this week we have been much disturbed by what I at first thought were the howlings of your dog, and, knowing from experience that this sort of thing could not be helped, I put up with the annoyance. But, the noise recurring at a comparatively early hour this morning, I find I have been quite mistaken, and that it is the frantic effort of someone trying to sing with piano accompaniment, and during the day we are treated by way of variety of dreadful scrapings on the violin, with accompaniments. If the accompaniments are intended to drown the vocal shrieks or teased catgut vibrations, I can assure you it is a failure, for they do not. I am at last compelled to complain, for I cannot carry on my profession (the defendant was an engraver) with this constant thump, thump, scrap, scrap, and shriek, shriek, constantly in my ears. It may be a pleasure or source of profit to you, but to me and mine it is a confounded nuisance and pecuniary loss, and, if allowed to continue, it must most seriously affect our health and comfort. We cannot use the back part of our house without feeling great inconvenience through this constant playing, sometimes up to midnight and even beyond. Allow me to remind you of one fact, which must most surely have escaped you--that these houses are semi-detached, so that you yourself may see how annoying it must be to your unfortunate next door neighbour. If it is not discontinued, I shall be compelled to take very serious notice of it. It may be fine sport to you, but it is almost death to yours truly."

ROFLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love this case! :D Well, in case you are wondering if the neighbours took his note seriously, no they did not.

So by way of retaliating, the defendant took to making noises himself. He began beating trays, rapping on the wall in malice. The Christies' grew irritated at this and began to make even more noise. In return, the defendant created even more noise. What a peaceful english village.

Finally, the Christies got fed up and took the matter to court. The court ruled in favour of the Christies.

My favourite line of the note is the last sentence. "It may be fine sport to you but it is almost death to yours truly." lol!

1 comment:

  1. I've heard several takes on that story - all of them fun!

    Hope you don't mind, but I've quoted the letter in a related post here:


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