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Case details

Phyliss Rampersad and another (Appellants) v Deo Ramlal and 3 others (Respondents) (Trinidad and Tobago)

Case ID: JCPC 2021/0090

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

Case summary


Whether the Court of Appeal was correct to: (i) hold that the Appellants’ substantive appeal was hopeless and therefore not genuine; (ii) hold that the Appellants required leave to appeal in respect of the costs order; (iii) not grant leave to appeal the costs order; (iv) find that there had been an abuse of process; (v) not hold that the judge was wrong in making the costs order she did.


The Appellants were owners of a plot of land on the island of Trinidad. In 2005, they entered into a written agreement to sell part of that land to the First Respondent. The Appellants argued that they were induced to sell the land by the First Respondent’s fraudulent representation that permission to sub–divide the land would be obtained by him from the relevant authority when he had already been told that that permission would be refused, or he would have known it would be. The Appellants further denied they had entered into a conveyance to transfer the part of the land to the First Respondent and that their signatures on the deed of conveyance relied on by the Respondents were forgeries.

In September 2011, the Appellants filed a claim against the Respondents seeking, amongst other things, an injunction restraining the Fourth Respondent from dealing with the land, an order setting aside the deed between the Appellants and Respondents and rescission of the sale agreement, as well as damages and costs. The claim was heard in March and April 2015. In May 2016, the judge dismissed the Appellants’ claim and ordered that the Appellants pay the Respondents’ costs as quantified by the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Trinidad and Tobago. The Appellants appealed the judge’s order. The Appellants subsequently discontinued their appeal so far as it related to the judge’s substantive decision, but sought to continue the appeal in respect of the judge’s costs order The Court of Appeal held that the Appellants’ costs appeal was an abuse of process and would be dismissed with costs. This was because the Appellants’ appeal notice did not include a ground of challenge against the costs order. Any , an appeal against costs would therefore have to been brought with a substantive appeal, however the Appellants’ substantive appeal was hopeless and not genuine. The Court of Appeal declined to rule on the correctness of the judge’s costs order. The Appellants now appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.



Phyliss Rampersad and another


Deo Ramlal and others



Lord Briggs, Lord Kitchin, Lord Hamblen, Lord Leggatt, Lord Burrows

Hearing start date

10 October 2022

Hearing finish date

10 October 2022

Watch hearing
10 October 2022 Morning session Afternoon session

Judgment details

Judgment date

8 December 2022

Neutral citation

[2022] UKPC 50