Court filing claims fiddling with status application

A woman claiming her application for Caymanian status was denied because no one liked the lawyer she chose to represent her in the matter is now asking the Cayman Islands Grand Court to review her case.

In an application for judicial review filed last week, Elizabeth Frederick-Chavez, alleged that – despite having close Caymanian family connections – her application seeking Caymanian status on that basis was continually denied or held up over the course of the past 18 months.

In March of this year, the judicial review application states that Ms. Frederick-Chavez was informed that her appeal of the initial decision denying her Caymanian status had been dismissed because she had “failed to prove” that she was entitled to that status on the ground of family descent. Ms. Frederick-Chavez’s grandfather is a Caymanian, according to the application filed with the Grand Court.

“This came as a shock to her, particularly since her uncle and brother were granted this right on the basis of [the grandfather’s] birth certificate,” the judicial review application states. “[Ms. Frederick-Chavez] was subsequently told by a member of the board [referring to the Immigration Appeals Tribunal] that the result she got was because of who her lawyer is because nobody in there likes [Dennis] Brady because he pretends he knows it all and that if she got a different lawyer she would have got her status ‘long time’.” Mr. Brady, a former senior immigration official, is now a licensed attorney in the Cayman Islands specializing in immigration-related matters. He filed the judicial review application on behalf of Ms. Frederick-Chavez.

It was not known by press time if the Grand Court had decided to accept the request for judicial review.

According to documents filed in the case, Ms. Frederick-Chavez, who was born in Nicaragua, first applied for Caymanian status in February 2013. She sought to be granted that status via descent since her grandfather, Carl Randolph Frederick, was a Caymanian. A copy of his birth certificate was not included on the initial application.

The judicial review application stated that the Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency board was asked to delay hearing Ms. Frederick-Chavez’s application until she could obtain copies of her grandfather’s birth certificate. However, it states the hearing was not delayed and that the initial application to the board was denied.

The case was appealed to the Immigration Appeals Tribunal which was supplied with the birth certificate, according to the judicial review application. She was allowed to remain in the Cayman Islands in order to appear before the tribunal on appeal. Several months later, Ms. Frederick-Chavez was told that several documents, including her birth certificate and her grandfather’s birth certificate had gone missing from the appeal records.

According to the judicial review application, the matter was taken to representatives of the premier’s office and that, later on, a notarized copy of Ms. Frederick-Chavez’s grandfather’s birth certificate was then handed to the clerk of the Immigration Appeals Tribunal.

The matter was set for a hearing before the tribunal on Nov. 15, 2013, but due to changes in the Immigration Law passed by the legislature in October, Ms. Frederick-Chavez was unable to attend the hearing or remain in the Cayman Islands under her resident status – which resulted in her having to obtain visitor extensions through the Immigration Department.

It wasn’t until March 2014, after she called the Immigration Department, that she was informed her appeal had been dismissed and privately informed about the comments regarding her lawyer, according to the judicial review application.

“Needless to say, she found this information shocking and unfair that her rights were being denied … because of who her lawyer was,” the judicial review application states.

Further enquiries revealed that Ms. Frederick-Chavez’s status application was denied because her grandfather’s birth certificate had not been produced for the appeals tribunal’s file, even though she argued it had been hand-delivered to the clerk of the appeals tribunal.

Ms. Frederick-Chavez claimed that a “significant bias” was shown towards her during the entire immigration application process.

The judicial review application seeks relief on a number of points, including an Immigration Department order that she depart the islands by April 15, 2014. Her application also seeks a judge’s review of the Immigration Appeals Tribunal’s refusal of her appeal on the Caymanian status application on the grounds that it was unreasonable.

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