Case details

Philip (Appellant) v Commissioner of Police and another (Respondents) (T & T)

Case ID: JCPC 2017/0045

Jurisdiction: Court of Appeal of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

Case summary

Issue(s)

Whether the Court of Appeal were correct to dismiss the appeal without following the procedure in Civil Proceedings Rules rr.26.3, 24.13 or 64.13, in circumstances when the order with which the appellant failed to comply did not specify a sanction for non-compliance.

Facts

The appellant claims that on 21 September 2007 he was unlawfully physically evicted from his home by his sister, her husband, a bailiff and others in the presence of a uniformed police officer. He maintains that his sister had purported to purchase the property from him but that the transaction was not, and could not be, completed. He maintains that the eviction was facilitated by the police officer.

In December 2008, he brought a claim against his sister for ejectment. The court permitted the appellant to withdraw that claim in April 2010. On 11 July 2013 the appellant brought a claim against either one or both of the respondents, seeking relief under s.14 of the Constitution on the basis of the police officer's alleged facilitation of an unlawful eviction as a result of which the appellant allegedly suffered loss and damage. At a hearing on 11 October 2013 Rajkumar J dismissed the claim on the basis of "undue delay" and because, in order for the claim to succeed, "it would have needed to be determined…that the eviction was actually unlawful" which "would normally be achieved by succeeding in a claim against the claimant's sister or her servants/agents." That claim had been withdrawn.

In further written reasons the judge expressed doubts as to the strength of the evidence relied on by the appellant. At the hearing of the appeal, the appellant asked the Court for a retrospective extension time for the filing of written submissions which had been filed belatedly. That was refused. In the absence of written submissions, the appeal was then dismissed without the Court hearing the substantive arguments.

Parties

Appellant(s)

Philip

Respondent(s)

Commissioner of Police and another

Appeal

Justices

Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Briggs, Lord Sales, Lord Hamblen, Lord Leggatt.

Hearing start date

19 Oct 2020

Hearing finish date

19 Oct 2020

Watch hearing
19 Oct 2020 Afternoon session