Eviction day nears for Evans family

Tresspassing-L

Tempers flared at residences in George Town on Tuesday as the family of missing landfill worker Anna Evans were again served with eviction notices by court officials. They are being ordered to leave the property because the land on which their homes sit has been sold. 

A court bailiff escorted by police placed padlocks on the doors and stapled “No Trespassing” signs and a writ of possession on the house of Lucy Ebanks, where Ms. Evans’s children currently live with the missing woman’s sister Noreen Dixon. 

The family has been given until Wednesday, Oct. 15 [today] to vacate the premises because landowner Kent Rankin wants to take possession of the property. 

Kevin McCormac, court administrator of Judicial Administration, confirmed that the writ of possession was executed on Tuesday following an order of the court made in October 2012. He said that the court order was made following proceedings in which the occupants were legally represented and the court had ensured that those living in the accommodation were given considerable notice of the need to make alternative arrangements. 

The next step will be for the property owner to determine now that the writ has been executed. 

But residents, including Ms. Dixon, who has been looking after the five children since their mother disappeared, are refusing to budge. 

“I said it before and I am saying it again, I am not moving. They have to do what they have to do,” said Lucy Ebanks, one of the occupants named on the eviction notice and the grandmother of Ms. Evan’s children.  

Ms. Evans disappeared on Jan. 27, 2011. The Department of Environmental Health worker was last seen at her workplace at the George Town Landfill.  

After the court bailiff padlocked doors on Tuesday and attached the eviction notices and “no trespassing” signs, residents removed the padlocks and replaced the signs with ones of their own. One sign, signed by Lucy Ebanks, stated, “My father bought this property from the late Mac Rankine. Judges, when you dig one hole, make sure you dig two because someone else in going in the other one.” 

Family members, gathered under a cabana at the front house on Shedden Road across from Archie’s Bar, said they understood bulldozers are scheduled to demolish homes on the property. 

It has been more than a month since a writ of possession issued by the court was stapled to several doors on the homes at the back of the 0.6-acre property. 

When Mr. Rankin was contacted by a Cayman Compass reporter on Tuesday, he said he had no comment to make. 

Ms. Dixon said she had been trying to find a new home for her and her sister’s children but had no luck finding accommodation she and the family could afford. 

“Children and Family Services keep calling to see if I have found a place and I keep telling them I cannot find anywhere for under $800 – everything is $1,350 or above for a three-bedroom [premises],” said Ms Dixon. 

“I am a single parent and do not mind raising my nephews and nieces, but my sister went missing on government work and the government is only halfway doing what they have to do, so I have to look out for the five of them, plus myself, [my] son and my mother,” she added. 

So far, more than 20 people in six families, including the five children of Ms. Evans, have been served with writs of possession to leave the property.  

Tresspassing

Lucy Ebanks stands outside her home holding up a no trespassing sign that a bailiff had earlier affixed to the building. – PHOTO: JEWEL LEVY

6 COMMENTS

  1. Compass, it would be interesting to know the whole story of how property become owned by someone else if her father purchased it..Can you provide any details on how it changed hands so we will have a better understanding of their situation.

  2. I would also like to know the story behind the ownership of this property. I don’t understand how any of the residents can claim that their father ‘bought this property from the late Mac Rankine’ if they don’t have some form of evidence to support this claim. I am also somewhat concerned that the department of Children and Family Services keep calling to see if they have found a place instead of working directly with the residents to find somewhere else to live. If nothing else, the minor children should have been in a proper home by now and I was very disappointed to see that this has not yet been accomplished.

  3. The one thing I’d say is that I find it hard to believe that the owner would be able to get a court ordered writ of possession if he didn’t actually own it nor would the court tell them to leave. I have yet to see where any proof of purchase by her father has been presented. The court order was issued over 2 years ago so they had plenty of notice and they also had legal representation on that date. So there has to be more to the story of her father’s ownership. I have also heard stories of people building houses on private property that they do not own. In this case it sucks but the property owner does have the right to remove the buildings unless there is a legal claim like a lease on the property which no one seems to have presented.

  4. It seems to me that the fingers are being pointed in the wrong direction.

    The owner of the land waited almost 2 years before going to court and that process itself has taken 2 years, I commend him for his patience and given the circumstances he has clearly exercised restraint.

    I don’t see how the claim that their father purchased the land could work – that would imply that they would be receiving rent from the other houses on the site? Cayman has a land registry and deeds for properties. There may have been a gentleman’s agreement to purchase but until the money changed hands it’s not a transaction – at that point it becomes easy to prove.

    My real concern is the CIG – As an employee she (her family) should be entitled to a lump sum for ‘death in service’ this is typically 4 times annual salary – many policies would also provide ‘pension’ payments for minor children until 18. Seems like someone is falling short of their legal obligations and way short of their moral ones.

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