Case details

Dass (Appellant) v Marchand and others (Respondents) (Trinidad and Tobago)

Case ID: JCPC 2019/0038

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

Case summary

Issue(s)

  1. Whether, in allowing the Respondents’ claim to have the sale of a property to the Appellant set aside on the basis that it was procured through trickery or undue influence, the High Court erred in its assessment and evaluation of the facts (or of certain mixed questions of fact and law) and/or in its approach to the evidence.
  2. Whether the Court of Appeal erred in its assessment of the Appellant’s appeal. (3) Whether, in the light of these issues, the judgments below should stand.

Facts

In 2006 an attorney, Mr Hosein, registered a deed said to have been executed by the First Respondent and the Second and Third Respondents (who are her two adult children) for the sale to the Appellant, for $320,000, of a property in which the First Respondent had lived for many years.

In 2007 the Respondents brought a claim against the Appellant and Mr Hosein seeking to set aside the sale on the basis that it had been procured through a trick or through undue influence. The Respondents contended the following. The First Respondent had been pressured by the Appellant to sell the property but had refused. The Appellant had proceeded to invent a tale that the property had been mortgaged to a bank, which had then sold it. The money subsequently paid to the Respondents was, so they were told, the residue from this sale. The Appellant had introduced them to his lawyer, Mr Hosein, who was complicit in the trick and who had given them the execution page of the deed to sign having told them it was a receipt for that money. The Appellant and Mr Hosein (who died before the trial) denied the claims.

The Appellant asserted that Mr Hosein had acted for the First Respondent, not him, and that there had been no trickery on his part. The High Court upheld the Respondents’ claim, concluding that the sale had been procured through a trick or, alternatively, through undue influence. It ordered that the deed be set aside and that the $307,800 be repaid, and it awarded damages to the Respondents. The Appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal, which dismissed the appeal, concluding that the judge’s findings on the evidence were sufficient.

The Appellant now appeals against that decision.

Parties

Appellant(s)

Dass

Respondent(s)

Marchand and others

Appeal

Justices

Lord Reed, Lord Hodge, Lord Kitchin, Lord Sales, Lord Burrows.

Hearing start date

01 Dec 2020

Hearing finish date

01 Dec 2020