Courthouse runs out of rooms for day’s work

Magistrate’s chambers used as open court

The George Town Town Hall at times doubles as a courtroom because all the rooms in the courthouse are being used. - PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY

Seven courtrooms and the George Town Town Hall were not enough to accommodate all of the case work scheduled for Monday.

In the Law Courts Building, Court One was used to select juries for a murder trial and a wounding trial, both of which were scheduled to start on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

Court Two was used by the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal, as it has been throughout the current session.

In Court Three, Chief Magistrate Nova Hall, serving as an acting judge of the Grand Court, presided over a civil matter. Across the street, at Kirk House, Magistrate Angelyn Hernandez sat as Queen’s Coroner in Court Four, holding an inquest that was expected to last three days.

In Court Five, Justice Robin McMillan heard matters in the Financial Services Division, while Justice Raj Parker dealt with another Financial Services Division matter in Court Six.

According to lists posted on the bulletin board in the lobby of the Court House, Magistrates Grace Donalds and Adam Roberts were to have presided over their lists in Court Seven. Instead, Magistrate Roberts did both lists; while back in the courthouse, Magistrate Donalds used the chambers of Magistrate Valdis Foldats to deliver a verdict in a drug trial.

Meanwhile, Magistrate Philippa McFarlane conducted Traffic Court, which had a six-page list, over in the George Town Town Hall.

At this year’s official opening of the Grand Court in January, Chief Justice Anthony Smellie said the need for additional court space was more urgent than ever. He stated at the time that a push for a new courthouse has been ongoing for 27 years and the current facilities had been described as “shoddy, cramped and wholly inadequate.”

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