Flora Moses (administratrix pendente lite of the estate of Jude Moses aka Julie Moses, deceased) (Respondent) v Selwyn Moses (Appellant) (Trinidad and Tobago)
Case ID: JCPC 2021/0043
Jurisdiction: Court of Appeal of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
Whether the Court of Appeal was justified in: (i) reversing the decision of the trial judge in the High Court; and having found that the disputed deed was executed, and the land transferred by mistake, (ii) imposing the type and amount of remedy it did.
This appeal concerns a family dispute about the transfer and ownership of three acres of land at Mausica Road D’adabie, Trinidad (“the land”). The Appellant is the son of the Respondent, Jude Moses (also known as Julie Moses, now deceased) and the brother of Flora Moses, the representative Respondent who represents the Estate of their deceased mother.
The land was originally owned by Milton Moses, the Respondent’s husband, and the Appellant’s father, and formed part of the residue of his estate which was bequeathed solely to his wife on his death in 1982. In October 1984, the Respondent executed the deed, which is the subject of the current dispute, transferring the land to her son, the Appellant. This conveyance was not communicated to the Appellant at the time and the Respondent maintains that the transfer was made by mistake and should be set aside in equity. A year later, in 1985, the Respondent executed a Deed of Assent by which she assented and conveyed the same land to herself.
Around 1999–2000, the Respondent put the land up for sale. The Appellant wanted to buy the land and, upon making inquiries at the Land Registry, discovered for the first time the existence of the disputed deed conveying the land to him. Believing himself the owner of the land, the Appellant sold the land under two deeds of conveyance in 2001. The land was developed, subdivided into lots, and sold to various buyers. In 2009, one of these subsequent buyers commenced proceedings against the Respondent seeking confirmation of his legal title. Upon that dispute being settled, the Responded joined the Appellant to the proceedings, claiming various forms of relief against him, including setting aside the disputed deed in equity on the basis of mistake.
After a hearing, the High Court found that the disputed deed had not been made as the result of any mistake on the part of the Respondent. The Respondent’s claim was therefore denied. The Respondent appealed to the Court of Appeal of Trinidad and Tobago. The Court of Appeal reversed the decision of the High Court and found that in executing the disputed deed, the Appellant acted under a mistake of fact and the disputed deed should be set aside in equity. The Appellant now appeals to the JCPC.
Flora Moses (Adminixstratix Pendent Lite of the Estate of Jude Moses)
Lord Kitchin, Lord Sales, Lord Burrows, Lady Rose, Lord Lloyd–Jones
Hearing start date
21 July 2022
Hearing finish date
21 July 2022
|21 July 2022||Afternoon session|
10 November 2022
 UKPC 42