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Caribbean Court resolves land dispute between brothers in Guyana

The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on Thursday said it resolved a family dispute involving lands in Essequibo, Guyana.

In 2002, Mr. Kowsal Narine filed a claim against his brother, Mr. Deonarine Natram, claiming that their father, Mr. Nateram, had been in possession of the lands since 1959 and had therefore acquired prescriptive title to the lands.

Mr. Kowsal Narine also claimed that he had acquired prescriptive title to the lands. The CCJ allowed the appeal and declared that Mr. Kowsal Narine had been in sole and undisturbed possession of the land since 1 June 1991 and that any title, right or interest of Mr. Deonarine Natram had been extinguished.

In 1959, Mr. Nateram entered into an agreement to purchase the lands from Mr. Ashbourne Chan and Mr. Foster Chan, who were also named as defendants.

Payments were made to the Chans but Mr. Nateram never paid the full purchase price although the Chans permitted him to take possession of the lands. The last payment was made to the Chans by Mr. Nateram in August 1965.

In 1989, Mr Nateram signed an agreement by which he gifted the land to Mr. Deonarine Natram. Mr. Deonarine Natram then approached the Chans and they agreed to sell the land to him for $9950 on the same day, but transport was not passed to him by the Chans until the year 2002.

Mr. Deonarine Natram instituted a claim against Mr. Kowsal Narine and another brother, Mr. Narine Nateram, in which he sought damages and an injunction restraining them from using the land. He also asked for an order that they yield possession of the land to him. This claim was discontinued in March 1990.

In May 1990, Mr Nateram made a will giving the lands to Mr. Kowsal Narine. Mr Nateram died on 31 May 1991.