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Read v. Coker

Common Bench
13 C.B. 850, 138 Eng. Rep. 1437 (1853)


Read (plaintiff) was a paper-stainer who rented premises from Coker (defendant). After Read fell 16 weeks behind in rent, Coker employed Holliwell to obtain the past-due amount. Because Read did not have the amount due, he suggested that Holliwell purchase most of the fixtures Read used in his trade as collateral. Holliwell agreed and subsequently sold the items to Coker. Thereafter, Read and Coker came to an agreement by which Read would be able to continue using his trade fixtures in his employment and Coker would pay Read’s rent. Coker became dissatisfied with the arrangement and ousted Read. Days later, Read came back to the premises and refused to leave when ordered by Coker. Coker and some of his workmen surrounded Read, rolled up their sleeves, and threatened to break Read’s neck if he did not leave. Fearing that the men would injure him, Read left and subsequently filed an action for assault against Coker. The trial judge left it to the jury to determine whether Coker had an intent to assault Read. The jury found for Read and Coker appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Talfourd, J.)

Dissent (Jervis, C.J.)

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