A decade-old land dispute has been settled by the Court of Appeal which has ruled against two women who sought to recover a parcel of land in Diego Martin once owned by one of their relatives.
In their ruling delivered on Tuesday, Chief Justice Ivor Archie and Justices Andre des Vignes and Charmaine Pemberton held that a person claiming title through paper must have evidence to sustain the claim, such as a deed, and must do it within the 16-year limitation period allowed to do so.
The judges were asked to determine the ability of a paper titleholder to sue for rent or recovering of possession of a piece of property at Vanderpool Lane, Diego Martin.
Filing the appeal were Constance Webb and Rufina Watson, relatives of Annisette Mitchell, who owned the property.
In 1954, Mitchell rented the land to Mable Honore, and when she died her son, Kevin Henry, took possession of the house she and her husband built on it. Henry was the respondent in the appeal.
In 2006, Webb and Watson, who were not Mitchell’s heirs, applied for a waiver of state rights, and a warrant of authority was issued to transfer the property to them.
In the judgment, Pemberton held that at the time of the grant of letters of administration, the 16-years to bring an action for possession, in accordance with provisions of the Real Property Limitation Act, had expired.
She said there was no right or title left to distribute to any person who could have benefitted, adding that by this time, there was no legal title that could have been passed on to Webb and Watson under the warrant of authority and the deed of transfer.
“Therefore, Constance and Rufina had no locus standi to bring this action against Kevin. Kevin has successfully resisted the claim,” she said as the judges dismissed the women’s appeal.
Webb and Watson were represented by Senior Counsel Stanley Marcus while attorneys Farai Hove Masaisai and Jennifer Farah-Tull represented Henry. The women were also ordered to pay Henry’s legal costs. If they do not agree on the sum to be paid, and since court hearings remain suspended because of the covid19 pandemic, parties are to file and serve their statements of costs.