Ruling on West Bay Road lawsuit heads to appeal

An appeal has been filed following the Grand Court defeat of a lawsuit that sought to overturn the transfer of crown land and a section of West Bay Road to Dart Realty Cayman Ltd.  

Anthony Akiwumi, attorney for the four Caymanian women who brought the suit, confirmed Wednesday that notice of appeal had been filed with the Court of Appeal, although he said a date for the hearing had not been set.  

The initial lawsuit was brought against the Cayman Islands governor, attorney general, minister for works and the National Roads Authority challenging the transfer of several parcels of land, including 4,290 feet of West Bay Road along the Public Beach – the lawsuit claimed – to the Dart group. Dart Realty later joined the lawsuit as a defendant.  

The writ filed by West Bay residents Alice Mae Coe, Annie Multon, Ezmie Smith and Betty Ebanks claimed land swaps between government and Dart violated due process, were “unconstitutional,” “irrational” and “ultra vires,” or outside the law.  

Grand Court Justice Alexander Henderson’s ruling on the case stated that none of the women were said to have an interest in land adjacent to West Bay Road or even land anywhere near it.  

“Most importantly, the women missed the deadline to file their lawsuit, and this formed the basis for the court’s decision,” Justice Henderson’s ruling stated. “The plaintiffs have not asked for any extension of time under section 26(4) of the Constitution. I am satisfied that this is for good reason: any such request would fail.  

“The plaintiffs have always been well informed about the proposed road closure and can be taken to have possessed all the information necessary to advance the present claim a few days after December 15, 2011 at the latest. There is nothing before me which justifies or even explains the 14-month delay before this action was started.” 

There was no response from Dart Realty representatives to the notice of appeal when the Cayman Compass contacted them Wednesday.  

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A portion of West Bay Road was intially closed to traffic in March 2013. – PHOTO: FILE
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