By way of judgment dated the 13th day of April 2017 in the matter of Bank Crozier Limited (in Liquidation) (through Garvey Louison Liquidator of Bank Crozier Limited (in Liquidation)] and RBTT Bank Grenada Limited in claim number GDAHCV2010/0520 Madame Justice Gilford ruled that:
The claim is struck out for failure to comply with the order of the Master.
In light of the ruling of the court, the court does not see the need to address its mind to the application of the claimant for lifting of the stay.
The effect of this judgment is to strike out the Liquidator’s claim leaving only a possibility of an application to the Court of Appeal.
By way of background RBTT bank transferred the sum of USD $2,000,000.00 out of the account held by Garvey Louison, Liquidator for Bank Crozier Limited at its Branch in Grand Anse, St. George’s, Grenada.
At that point the Bank’s only defense was that a consent agreement signed between the Liquidator and BCIL St. Lucia (in Liquidation) in 2005 had provided them the authority to release the money from the Liquidator’s account without his signature or knowledge.
This defense broke down when it was revealed that there was a stay on the consent agreement clearing the way for the Liquidator to lodge a claim before the court.
The claim number GDAHCV 2008\0361 was brought by Garvey Louison, Liquidator for Bank Crozier Limited (in Liquidation) on the ruling of Madame Justice Price-Findlay, that:
The Liquidator of Bank Crozier Limited (In Liquidation) Mr. Garvey Louison is hereby authorised to institute a claim in the name of Bank Crozier Limited (In Liquidation) against RBTT Bank Grenada Limited of Grand Anse, St. George’s, Grenada for:
Damages and Losses, interest and cost and such further and other relief sustained as a result of its release, disbursement, and/or transfer of the sum of US $2,000,000.00 from its account held therein to BCIL (St. Lucia) (in Liquidation) in breach of the orders of the court dated 29 November 2005 and 21 December 2005.
The Bank’s second line of defense was that the Liquidator should lodge US$ 50,000.00 as security for costs in the event that the court rules against him.
The liquidator lodged the security for cost one minute late. RBTT applied that the claim be stuck of for the failure of the liquidator to comply with the order of the court. The court struck off the claim.
Legal luminaries are shocked by the stance taken by the court. They cite the principle of “de minimus non curat lex”. Under this principle, the court has a duty to examine the breach by a party and to weigh its sanctions against the substrata of the case. This latin maxim roughly translated means “the law cares not for small things”.
Under this legal doctrine a court refuses to consider trifling matters.
According to the current legal thinking in considering striking out a claim the court considers the parties pleaded case. No additional evidence is considered by the court. The pleaded facts are presumed to be true.
The court would only strike out a claim where the statement of case discloses no reasonable cause of action or in the words of the learned Chief Justice “is plainly bad in law”
In striking out the claim, the learned Judge refused to consider the likelihood of success of the underlying claim. It would appear that the Liquidator has ground for filing an appeal.