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Clouden moving to send PS Clarke to prison for money owed to Dorset Charles

Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Patricia Clarke is now the target of the Dorset Charles lawsuit

Attorney-at-law, Anslem Clouden is planning his next move to force the Keith Mitchell-led government to pay over E C$1 million due to South St. George resident Dorset Charles whose water sports business was bulldozed on the Grand Anse beach shortly after the ruling New National Party (NNP) government came into office in 1995.

In an exclusive interview with THE NEW TODAY, Clouden said that he is preparing legal papers to take to court to commit the person holding the post of Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Patricia Clarke to the Richmond Hill prison if the payment is not made to Charles.

The attorney on Friday got high court judge, Raulston Glasgow to dismiss an attempt by the government to block a move by Clouden leading to file judicial review proceedings seeking an order of mandamus to send PS Clarke to prison for non-payment of the money.

A similar move was executed by late Queens Counsel, Derek Knight against former Finance Minister Anthony Boatswain in connection with non-payment of monies owed to late Prime Minister sir Eric Matthew Gairy.

The Clouden action is targeted at PS Clark who currently occupies the top job in the Ministry of Finance.

The Mitchell-led government sent in a bulldozer to clear the spot where Charles had his water sports business on lands that were given to him for the business by the 1984-90 NNP regime of late Prime Minister Herbert Blaize.

When the Mitchell-led NNP took office in 1995, it decided to take the land to erect a Vendor’s Market with financial assistance from the Government of Canada which reportedly pulled out of the deal.

As a public service, THE NEW TODAY reproduces in full the judgment of Justice Glasgow on the issue:

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF GRENADA

AND THE WEST INDIES ASSOCIATED STATES

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE (CIVIL)

CLAIM NO. GDAHCV2018/0229

BETWEEN

Appearances:

DORSET CHARLES AND

                                    Claimant

THE PERMANENT SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF FINANCE

                                    Defendants

Mr. Anslem Clouden of counsel for the claimant Mr. Adebayo Olowu of counsel for the defendants

            2020:            June 15, 17
                                  June 26.

JUDGMENT
[1] GLASGOW, J .: On this application the defendant has asked the court to set aside its order granting permission to the claimant (Mr. Dorset) to file judicial review proceedings seeking an order of mandamus. The defendant wishes the court to set aside the order granting permission because Mr. Dorset –

(1) requested permission to file judicial review proceedings to obtain an order of mandamus without providing evidence that he demanded payment of the moneys due to him and without providing evidence of a refusal of that demand; and

(2) filed the application seeking permission after an inordinate period.

Background
[1]  The defendant’s set aside application was filed on 21s1 September 2018. It is supported by the affidavit of ‘the then’ Attorney General who helpfully relates a history of the claim. In 1996, Mr. Dorset filed Claim No. 1996/0477 against the defendant and the Attorney General of Grenada (the defendandantd) He obtained judgment on 19th January 1998. The defendants were dissatisfied with that outcome and filed an appeal against the same. Mr. Dorset and the defendants reached consensus on the appeal which was reduced to a consent order dated 17th July 1998.

[1] Mr. Dorset thereafter utilised section 21(1) of the Crown Proceedings Act, Cap. 74 of the revised laws of Grenada (the Act) and was granted a registrar’s certificate dated 16th September 1998. Section 21 of the Act reads:

(1) Where in any civil proceedings by or against the Crown, or in connection with any arbitration to which the Crown is a party, any order (including an order for costs) is made by any court in favour of any person against the Crown or against a Ministry or Government department or against an officer of the Crown as such, the proper officer of the court shall, on an application in that behalf made by or on behalf of that person at any time after the expiration of twenty-one days from the date of the order or; in case the order provides for the payment of costs and the costs require to be taxed, at any time after the costs have been taxed, whichever is the later, issue to that person a certificate in the prescribed form containing particulars of the order:

Provided that, if the court so directs, a separate certificate shall be issued with respect to the costs (if any) ordered to be paid to the applicant.

(1) A copy of any certificate issued under this section may be send by the person in whose favour the order is made upon the Attorney-General.

(1) If the order provides for the payment of any money by way of damages or otherwise, or of any costs, the certificate shall state the amount so payable, and the Permanent Secretary (Finance) shall, subject as hereinafter provided, pay to the person entitled or to his or her solicitor the amount appearing by the certificate to be due to him or her together with the interest, if any, lawfully due thereon:

Provided that the court by which any such order as aforesaid is made or any court to which an appeal against the order lies may direct that, pending an appeal or otherwise, payment of the whole of any amount so payable, or any part thereof, shall be suspended, and if the certificate has not been issued may order any such directions to be inserted therein.

(2) Save as aforesaid no execution or attachment or process in the nature thereof shall be issued out of any court for enforcing payment by the Crown of any such money or costs as aforesaid, and no person shall be individually liable under any order for the payment

(3) by the Crown, or any Ministry or Government department, or any officer of the Crown as such, of any such money or costs.

(6). The judgment debt (the debt) remains largely unpaid. Mr. Dorset filed an application on 11th June 2018 seeking permission to bring judicial review proceedings for an order mandating the Government to pay him the sums due to him. The application seeking permission named the defendants as parties. On 27th June 2018, this court granted Mr. Dorset permission to bring judicial review proceedings against the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and not against the Attorney General. Judicial review proceedings are brought to review the process by which decisions are made by public officials or bodies or individuals performing public functions.

There is no evidence in this case that the allegations in this case concern decision(s) made by the Attorney General. Rather, the complaints turn on the inaction of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance in respect of the failure to pay Mr. Dorset the fruits of his judgment.

[1] Upon receiving and reviewing the application for permission the court was concerned that Mr. Dorset was asking the court to grant him permission to file judicial review proceedings that concerned a judgment that was granted to him since January 1998. In accordance with CPR 56.4(3) I ordered Mr. Dorset to serve the defendants with the application for permission so that the court can conduct an inter parties hearing. The defendants did not file a response or appear at the inter parties hearing. Permission was granted to Mr. Dorset to file judicial review proceedings against the defendant. The defendant has applied to the court to set aside the grant of permission for the reasons I have outlined previously.

[1] Mr. Dorset attached to his application for permission 2 letters; one dated 3rc1 February 2004 and the other dated 5111 January 2018. The 2004 letter was addressed to ‘the then’ Minister of Finance and the 2018 letter was addressed to the-then Attorney-General. In both letters Mr. Dorset lamented the delay in payment of the judgment debt due to him. On the set aside application, the defendant complains that these letters are insufficient to demonstrate that Mr. Dorset demanded payment prior to approaching the court for an order of mandamus. The defendant also resists the view that Mr. Dorset acted promptly when he sought the court’s permission to bring judicial review proceedings. It is contended that Mr. Dorset waited for close to 2 decades before bringing the permission application and that a delay for so long is unreasonable. The permission to bring judicial review proceedings after such a lapse of time is detrimental to good administration as it may affect Government’s ability to meet its obligations to pay sums due to more recent judgment creditors and may additionally affect the general financial affairs of the Government. The defendant concludes that Mr. Dorset has proffered no good reason for the delay. Permission to proceed with judicial review proceedings ought to be set aside

(To be continued)

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