Traffic Court moves to GT Town Hall

Additional court space needed for scheduled coroner’s inquests

Arrangements were made on Saturday for Traffic Court to be conducted in the George Town Town Hall beginning Monday, 8 October, for the rest of the month, if not beyond. 

“We will be working over the weekend to make it ready,” Clerk of Court Tabitha Philander said Friday. Use after October will depend on the demand for other court facilities, she said.  

The town hall, across Fort Street from the Law Courts Building, was in use as a courtroom for years before Hurricane Ivan hit in September 2004. It has since been refurbished and used for special events. 

One reason the judiciary needs another courtroom at present is the scheduling of numerous inquests this month. Ten are set this week alone. For the week of 15 October, seven are scheduled. The Coroner’s Law requires an inquest to be held when there is reason to believe a person has died either a violent or an unnatural death or has died a sudden death of which the cause has not been medically determined. 

Attorney Eileen Nervik has been appointed acting magistrate to assist with the court loads. She served in that capacity earlier this year, before the arrival of Magistrate Kirsty-Ann Gunn. 

There are three courtrooms in the Law Courts Building and three more in Kirk House across Albert Panton Street. 

The Grand Court list for 8 October shows Justice Andrew Jones in Court 6 with matters from the Financial Services Division; Chief Justice Anthony Smellie in Court 5 (as chambers) in a civil matter slated to last two days; Justice Alexander Henderson and a jury in Court 1 with a new criminal trial; and Justice Charles Quin with a continuing judge-alone criminal trial in Court 3. 

The schedule leaves just Courts 2 and 4 to accommodate the Coroner’s Court and the two Summary Courts to be presided over by Magistrate Gunn and Magistrate Valdis Foldats.  

Monday is the main mention date for traffic matters and Chief Magistrate Nova Hall usually presides. The list for 8 October shows 25 defendants whose matters are being mentioned and 14 defendants whose matters are set down for sentence. Twenty-three other names are listed as having summons reissued. 

The schedule leaves just Courts 2 and 4 to accommodate the Coroner’s Court and the two Summary Courts to be presided over by Magistrate Gunn and Magistrate Valdis Foldats.  

Town Hall George Town Cayman Islands

The George Town Town Hall. – Photo: Carol Winker

Philander Tabitha

Ms Philander

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