All except two of the summonses brought against eight individuals by Arawak Homes Limited in land disputes were dismissed by Justice Neville Adderley recently because the cases were not clear enough to rule for the plaintiff (Arawak Homes).
In Adderley’s ruling he found that after reviewing the law relevant to those land disputes, a clear determination of who is the true owner of the Pinewood Gardens and Nassau Village (Sir Lynden Pindling Estates) land in question, could not be determined.
Having regard to the facts and the law as outlined above, in my judgement the admissions are not so clear that I can give judgement in favor of the plaintiff, Adderley said.
Therefore… I exercise my discretion to dismiss the summonses against the defendants in each case with costs to be taxed if not agreed.
In Adderley’s decision he explained that litigation over the land in Pinewood Gardens and Nassau Village sub-divisions, which have been claimed by Arawak Homes, has continued for the last two decades. The individuals listed in the court document have laid claim to properties in those areas and in each of those cases Arawak Homes has declared ownership of those properties by virtue of the court based on a past ruling in a separate matter. It is based on the ruling in the case Arawak Homes Limited versus Horizon Systems Limited, which was won by Arawak Homes and appeared to give the company clear title to the land in question. Arawak Homes subsequently declared the defendants mentioned in Adderley’s decision trespassers.
However, Adderley found that some defendants’ claimed to be bona fide purchasers of the land, that in some cases was sold while Arawak Homes sought an injunction in its dispute with Horizon.
In the ruling, it was noted that at the time the properties were handed over to several of the defendants by Horizon, a certificate granted by the court existed that made the land transfers valid.
The statute provides that it (conveyance) is only void against persons who are not BFPS (bona fide purchasers), Adderley said. So if (a defendant) was a BFPS it is immaterial that about 13 years later the certificate was declared void because by that time title had already passed to them.