First court challenge to WB Road closure fails

Cayman Islands Grand Court Justice Charles Quin on Friday rejected an application for Judicial Review of the closure of the West Bay Road, saying local activist Rupert Ackermon had delayed too long to challenge plans by the Dart Realty-government partnership.

In a 55-page, 129-paragraph decision, Justice Quin scolded Mr. Ackermon, saying “there were so many compelling reasons to apply promptly and urgently for leave to apply for Judicial Review. They failed to take the one necessary step, which was to file the application for leave, promptly.”

Mr Ackermon initially filed his Grand Court application through Campbells law firm on 11 March after a Legal Aid grant. The suit challenged the 15 December, 2011, “NRA Agreement” between developer Dart Realty, the Cayman Islands government and its statutory National Roads Authority, to close as much as 4,000 feet of the West Bay Road between Public Beach and Yacht Drive.

Claiming that the agreement was flawed and should be voided, Mr. Ackermon and his attorneys asked the court to quash the decisions of the partnership, keep West Bay Road open and prohibit formal vesting of government land in the developer.

The Cayman Islands constitution, subsidiary laws and natural justice, he claimed, had been violated.

While the law stipulates a three-month window to apply for Judicial Review of any decision, Mr. Ackermon said his 15-month delay had been due to confusion about the dates of the initial December agreement and subsequent amendments and additions; a failure of Dart Realty to give him information about the project; and problems with securing funding for the suit.

Rejecting the claims, Justice Quin wrote: “:The court has no difficulty in finding as it has, that the applicant [Mr. Ackermon] has failed to file his application for leave to apply for Judicial Review promptly”, citing the complexities of ongoing construction, a variety of contracts among builders, suppliers, employees and developers.

The information required by Mr. Ackermon to file his application, Justice Quin wrote, came in April, 2011, when the partnership closed access points on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway, then again two months later when Dart announced closure of the northern end of the highway, then again in December when the partners initialed the formal agreement.

“I find that if the relief sought by the applicant were granted, at this very late stage, it would cause substantial hardship and prejudice to the respondents {Dart Realty and government], and would be detrimental to good administration,” Justice Quin said.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Im happy we need the road i hope people understand that people against the road are just for politics and the little .most people with the project and dart doing good job in support our economy ..god bless the dart group and dart family
    Jordanian ambassador

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  2. Mr Ackermon initially filed his Grand Court application through Campbells law firm on 11 March after a Legal Aid grant.

    Where did these funds come from? When legal aid is granted is it taken from public purse?

    Mr Ackermon,

    If so, please just let this rest and stop wasting our contry’s moeny merely because you cant drive and see the ocean on WBR anymore! That money could have been left in the middle of town and put to way better use!
    I’m glad Justice Quin shot you down

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  3. It’s great to know we have some brains making rulings in our court house. If anyone does not care to live in a country of fair legal decisions , move to Zimbabwe and Robert Mugabe will be the presiding judge.

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