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Nov 7, 2017

Registrar Asked to Replace Lost Progresso Heights Certificates

Two foreign ministers, the current and the former, were going at it in court today going back to a case when Wilfred Elrington was also the Attorney General. In July, the Caribbean Court of Justice ruled that principal of Pitts and Elrington firm, Wilfred Elrington, must return all the conveyancing documents that Progresso Heights Limited sent from Florida to Elrington’s wife between September 2009 and June 2010, together with title certificates that had been issued in respect of eight of those documents. Elrington entered an agreement with a father and son from Florida. He would provide legal services to Lawrence and Adam Schneider to build the community known as Progresso Heights.  Duties and fees were paid to the Lands Department, but the title certificates had not been delivered. In 2010 dueling lawsuits were filed, the latter being the genesis of this case. Having won the initial rounds in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, Elrington lost the final round and today, still unable to produce the certificates, the Court prescribed an alternate remedy that would leave Elrington out of pocket. But the government minister, represented by Senior Counsel Fred Lumor, still contends that as far as he knows he was never personally responsible for the documents and does not even remember the contract with the Schneiders. Nonetheless, he told News Five that he must abide by the judgment of the court.

 

Wilfred Elrington

Adrian Saunders, Judge, Caribbean Court of Justice

“We order and do declare that the fourteen certificates in question are deemed lost. The firm of Courtenay Coye LLP is entitled to apply to the Registrar pursuant to section thirty-seven-one of the Registered Land Act on behalf of the proprietors for the issuance of new duplicate certificates of title in the name of the proprietors. The Registrar has decided to issue the appropriate notice, given three weeks’ notice; the Registrar decided to issue duplicate certificates at the expiry of the three week period, to the firm Courtenay Coye LLP. The respondents will ultimately assume responsibility for reimbursing the appellants the cost incurred in procuring the certificates. It is further ordered that the respondents refund the appellant the sum of thirteen hundred and sixty-two [U.S.] dollars and eight cents and costs to the appellants are awarded here and in the courts below on this matter, to be taxed if not agreed.”

 

Wilfred Elrington, Co-Defendant

“I maintain that I was never, never, entered into the contract on which the case was based – never. I also maintain that no such evidence was before the court; I maintain that. The court found differently, but I think an examination of the record will show that in fact no contract was entered into between me and the other side and we have evidence in court that can establish that too. But the legal system is not perfect, and to the extent that it is not perfect and it is man-controlled, one has to go along with the decision that was taken. Am I happy with it? No. But life is real.”

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