Case details

Lares (Appellant) v Lares and others (Respondents) (Trinidad & Tobago)

Case ID: JCPC 2019/0048

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

Case summary

Issue(s)

Whether the Court of Appeal was wrong to uphold the High Court’s decision that the Appellant was not in exclusive possession of the upstairs of the two-storey house and land at 21/23 Padmore Street, San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago (the "Property") and whether it is possible to have adverse possession of part of a building in Trinidad and Tobago.

Facts

This is a property dispute. The Appellant has a one-ninth legal interest in the Property. The Respondents, along with two other defendants to the proceedings below, each have a one-ninth legal interest in the Property.

The Respondents sought partition and sale of the Property. The Appellant counterclaimed that she had been in adverse possession of the Property for over sixteen years and/or that she had been in adverse possession of the upstairs of the Property since 1990.

The High Court decided in favour of the Respondents and dismissed the Appellant’s counterclaim on the basis that the Appellant did not exclusively occupy the Property and/or the upstairs. Persons downstairs had access to the upstairs portion of the Property and the upstairs could not be considered as a flat that could be severed horizontally from the downstairs. The Appellant and the Defendants appealed to the Court of Appeal, which dismissed the appeal. The Appellant appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

Parties

Appellant(s)

Alfonsia Lares (also called Alphonsia Lares)

Respondent(s)
  1. Leo Lares
  2. Damiana Lares
  3. Bernadine Abraham
  4. Clothilda Joan Mohammed
  5. Theodota Theodora Lares
  6. Camilla Alexander

Appeal

Justices

Lord Hodge, Lord Kerr, Lady Arden, Lord Kitchin, Lord Leggatt

Hearing start date

08 Jun 2020

Hearing finish date

08 Jun 2020

 
Watch hearing
08 Jun 2020 Afternoon session

Judgment details

Judgment date

13 July 2020

Neutral citation

[2020] UKSC 19