A conference room at the Marriott Resort will serve as a courtroom for six days, starting Monday, Nov. 7.

Justice Nicholas Segal is presiding. The trial, scheduled for six days, is in the Financial Services Division of the Cayman Islands Grand Court.

Yasmin Ebanks, listing officer of the Grand Court, confirmed that lack of space in the usual court facilities necessitated the use the conference room in the Seven Mile Beach hotel as a “special designated court.”

The two-storey Law Courts Building in downtown George Town has three courtrooms. The four-storey Kirk House across the street has four courtrooms. They are referred to by numbers one through seven.

Ms. Ebanks explained that the Court of Appeal is currently in session and using Court 1. The ongoing jury trial of Paul Ebanks for obtaining property by deception is in Court 2.

This week’s Grand Court cause list shows that Court 3 is being used on Nov. 7 as a family court and on the morning of Nov. 8 for a civil matter. That afternoon Justice Charles Quin will use the room for two criminal sentencings and then start a judge-alone trial on Wednesday.

Court 5 is where Chief Justice Anthony Smellie is hearing the AHAB v. SAAD matter that began in July and was anticipated to last seven months.

Court 6 is where Justice Andrew Jones is hearing another Financial Services Division matter, this one scheduled to last six weeks.

A conference room at the Marriott Resort will serve as a court room starting Monday. - Photo: Matt Lamers
A conference room at the Marriott Resort will serve as a court room starting Monday. – Photo: Matt Lamers

That leaves only Court 4 and Court 7 for three magistrates to deal with Summary Court criminal matters. Traffic Court is usually held in the George Town Town Hall when the need arises. The notice board in the Law Courts lobby will advise the public where to go.

Grand Court judges not assigned a court room will be working in their chambers. On Thursday, Nov. 10, however, Justice Robin McMillan will be in Court 4 for a winding-up petition.

When he needed that room last Thursday for Grand Court, a Summary Court trial had to be moved. Magistrate Angelyn Hernandez was in Court 2 that day and said she was prepared to hear the matter after her own list, but the Drug Rehabilitation Court needed the room in the afternoon.

“We are limited in court room space,” she told the defendant and witnesses who had attended. “I sincerely apologize, but we just cannot get to the matter today.” The trial was adjourned to another date.

In 1999, the first year Chief Justice Smellie presided at the ceremonial opening of Grand Court, he referred to “the crunch on space” and the need to expand court facilities. The topic has been raised every year since.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Up stairs and down stairs the central court house has much space that can be modified into at least two good spaces for court room procedures. Public does not need to gather upstairs, there should be a small waiting room outside above the steps closed in area with speakers, so when a person name is called they can be directed which court room to go to. Instead we have persons gathered up top, some not even going to court and just peeping inside the doors and taking up space, and will busses transport accused persons to this area.
    We need to stop wasting money and put what we have to a long term use instead of renting more space.

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  2. Yes this issue with Cayman needing more than 7 Court Rooms for a population of the size of Cayman is a crying disgrace . I think that Cities here in the USA with millions in their population don’t have this many Court Rooms .
    I really don’t know what this sounds like. But I know it a big waste of Taxpayers / people’s money .

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