From the Courts
March 23, 2018
Chief Magistrate chides crown follow-up procedure

The Chief Magistrate has expressed her displeasure at adjournments for cases because of procedural oversights, asking that the crown ‘follow up’ properly.

Rechanne Browne-Matthias chided the prosecution after a matter before the court could not move forward because disclosure had not been made to the defence attorney, and because a summons of the court had not been served.

When a matter was called to be heard in the court this Wednesday, before any witnesses were called, defence attorney Roderick Jones indicated to Browne-Matthias that there had been no disclosure to him.

Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche also rose to indicate that although a summons had been issued, a call on the morning of court revealed that the summons had not moved from a desk at the Mesopotamia Police Station. The prosecutor stated that his heart went out to the virtual complainant in the matter, who went through the legal process, did the right thing, but in the end the summons was not delivered.

In response, the Chief Magistrate highlighted the effect that the lack of readiness in matters had on the court’s schedule, and cited it as “nothing new.”

“How could you be ready if these things are not done?” she said, referring to the lack of disclosure and summons.

“This is really upsetting,” she continued.

A cursory call and a follow-up would have corrected the situation wherein the summons had not been delivered to the individual, she said. “When are you going to next check? The day of court?

“When you have a responsibility to ensure that something is done, you just don’t leave it alone; you delegate and you pass it on,” the Chief magistrate stated in a raised voice.

“You cannot say ‘I sent these summons to Mespo’ – Follow up that they are executed.”

She advised that the prosecution ensures that what needs to be done is done because, “at the end of the day you have to come to report.”

The defence attorney rose to say that he appreciated the Chief Magistrate’s stance on the matter, saying, “When you have to leave your chambers to come and the prosecutor isn’t ready,” that it also wastes the defendant’s time.

The case was pushed back to April 18.(KR)