Court shuts down request to pause parking meter project

Last Updated on Monday, 6 March 2017, 16:34 by Derwayne Wills

Justice Brassington Reynolds today turned down an application made by attorney Kamal Ramkarran to put the parking meter regime on pause until the judicial review is complete.

Reynolds read the decision today after Ramkarran made the application at the last hearing for interim relief from the parking meter project.

At that hearing, the Court rejected an application by attorney Roger Yearwood, who disputed the jurisdiction of the Court under the new civil procedure rules. Yearwood represents the Georgetown Town Clerk, Royston King.

Reynolds told his Court today that the procedural applications will continue under the old civil procedure rules, since there was concern of conflict during the hearings of the case of Mohendra Arjune v Mayor and Town Clerk of Georgetown.

Ramkarran had told the Court before 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.

Justice Reynolds ruled today that Orders of Rule Nisi do not extend or operate as a stay of the proceedings of the operations of the parking meter project between the Georgetown Municipality and the company, Smart City Solutions. Reynolds said the substantive matter of Mohendra Arjune’s complaint will continue on March 20.

Arjune’s challenge was against the Georgetown municipality entering into a contract with Smart City Solutions (SCS).

Ramkarran had told the Court before that 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 last time that the Order Nisi does not allow for interim or interlocutory relief.

He had 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 had cautioned Yearwood last time 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 during his earlier submissions that 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. Reynold’s ruling sides with Fraser’s position.

Attorney Fraser maintained today that since Mohendra Arjune is but one complainant, the company would be willing to allow him relief from the project.

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