Court rejects Royston King legal challenge, moves ahead with parking meter case

Last Updated on Thursday, 2 March 2017, 17:24 by Derwayne Wills

Justice Brassington Reynolds

Justice Brassington Reynolds ruled this afternoon against an application made by Georgetown Town Clerk Royston King disputing the High Court’s power to continue hearing legal challenges against the parking meter regime.

The Court can now move ahead with the challenge brought by Mohendra Arjune, who is represented by Attorney Kamal Ramkarran.

Additionally, Justice Reynolds heard another request today, which would effectively put the parking meter project on pause until the judicial review is complete.

That request was brought by Ramkarran, who told the Court that the Order Nisi granted by then-acting Chief Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards a short while ago, should have acted as a stay against the Mayor and City Council moving ahead with the parking meter project.

Ramkarran told the Court his client’s challenge is against the Georgetown municipality entering into a contract with Smart City Solutions (SCS).

The attorney said if the project is allowed to continue, and the Court rules against it, then all the monies collected while the project was under judicial review would be unlawful.

Attorney Roger Yearwood, representing the Town Clerk, told the Court the Order Nisi does not allow for interim or interlocutory relief.

He said these proceedings were crown-side proceedings and not civil proceedings. Yearwood noted that for an injunctive order to be granted, this would have to occur upon the commencement of the Judicial Review Act.

Justice Reynolds cautioned Yearwood against the use of the word ‘injunction’ since although Ramkarran’s request for a stay would effectively pause the parking meter project from proceeding, an injunction constitutes an entirely different remedy.

Attorney Stephen Fraser, representing Smart City Solutions, told the Court an Order Nisi does allow for a stay of proceedings and not a stay of executive orders.

Ramkarran attempted to interpret the stay of proceedings as a stay of the contract, which meant charging and fining motorists parking in Georgetown. Fraser, on the other hand, interpreted the stay of proceedings as meaning a halt against proceedings of the matter in any inferior court.

Justice Reynolds told the Court he will rule on Monday whether interim relief should be granted to the extent of putting the parking meter project on pause until the judicial review is complete.

Meanwhile, he put to the Court again whether both sides would agree to having a conference, possibly considering the relief for citizens pending a decision of whether the High Court should quash the parking meter project altogether.

Attorney Fraser told the Court that since Mohendra Arjune is but one complainant, the company would be willing to allow him relief from the project. Justice Reynolds questioned whether such a decision wouldn’t open up such relief for other motorists, to which Fraser responded in the negative.

Fraser emphasised that the legal challenge is not a class action suit, but one of a single citizen, Mohendra Arjune, who has undergone personal hardship.

Meanwhile at City Hall midday today, the Movement Against Parking Meters organised its fifth successful protest against the parking meter regime.

Protesters rallied today around a music push-cart bellowing Dave Martin’s “postpone,” a newly released song calling for Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan to rescind the parking meter bylaws he approved.