Hewitt fights cost order over 2013 election challenge

| 27/09/2017 | 31 Comments
Cayman News Service

John and Velma Hewitt

(CNS): John Gordon Hewitt, who was bankrupted by his efforts to unseat Tara Rivers after the 2013 election and have his wife, Velma, installed as the elected member, is back in the courts trying to overturn an order that left him liable for all of the costs for the case. Hewitt is claiming that the costs order was unreasonable and unfair because the election challenge was perfectly legitimate. Brought to their knees by the case, which the couple said was meant to be funded by the entire UDP party, Hewitt has argued in the latest filing that two more recent election cases demonstrate how unfairly he has been treated.

In an application for a judicial review filed in court on 8 September, Hewitt said that in the recent case regarding Alric Lindsay, who was challenged by the Elections Office after he was nominated for the 2017 poll, a cost order was made against the Elections Office because Chief Justice Anthony Smellie said the case challenging Lindsay’s right to stand should never have been brought. But Hewitt said that in his own case against Rivers, the chief justice had commented about the need to settle election questions that were ambiguous.

Hewitt also argued that in the recent election cases the chief justice had said he was still sympathetic to the supervisor of elections seeking clarity “on real matters of doubt as to qualification or disqualification to stand for election”. He said it was “inconsistent, unfair, unreasonable” that he, as a petitioner in a case where there were real matters of doubt, should have to pay all the costs.

In his claim Hewitt accuses the chief justice of acting in “a discriminatory and arbitrary manner” and had failed “to provide the Petitioner with any rational or fair basis or reasons for awarding costs against him”.

Tags: , , ,

Category: Politics

Comments (31)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Can anyone answer me this: if Mrs Hewitt had been successful in court and took the seat from Tara, would McKeeva have been able to form a government?




    0



    0
  2. Anonymous says:

    Lay down with dogs…




    1



    2
  3. Anonymous says:

    are they kidding? the court of appeal wouldnt e en hear the case? time to pay up man….you made a mistake…9




    7



    15
  4. Anonymous says:

    for a lower level judge to go against the chief justice decision….nay! na going happen




    13



    7
    • Anonymous says:

      Someone should go against this decision. This was just a made up judgement. Does anyone really even believe that the case was fairly tried.? The woman was/ is an American and she was away working and not studying. How hard is that to prove or understand?The things these people can and do and get away with is mind boggling. How long are we going to accept this kind of crap?




      19



      4
  5. Anonymous says:

    Anybody seen Renard…?




    7



    2
    • Jah Dread says:

      8:14 what does Mr. Moxam have to do with this matter? stop calling people name




      8



      4
      • Anonymous says:

        Bingy Man, if you dont know that the reason the Hewitts are in this dire financial mess is because of Renard and McKeeva, you should read the back story.




        6



        1
  6. Observer says:

    I am still of the opion that the chief justice was wrong in his ruling and Tara shouldn’t have been allowed to remain




    30



    13
  7. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t Rivers American?




    23



    8
  8. Anonymous says:

    A big difference is that Hewitt filed for personal gain…..to get his wife a job. You play, you pay.




    57



    16
  9. Anonymous says:

    What is shocking is the absence of a right to appeal, especially from such a clearly wrong substantive decision.




    39



    15
    • Anonymous says:

      I do not understand why there is no right to appeal since the decision was clearly flawed.




      14



      8
    • Anonymous says:

      I agree. The whole reason you have a right of appeal is to enable you to ask the courts to reverse a wrong decision. Where there is no right of appeal, as here, the judge has an even greater responsibility than usual to ensure that his/her decision is sound in the first place.

      To this day lawyers here still laugh at that decision. But it’s no laughing matter for the people on the wrong end of it, who have been driven to bankruptcy for bringing a case which at the very worst was still arguable, and at best was pretty convincing. It can shake your faith in relying on the courts in the first place if this is what is going to happen to you if you fail, even when you have a plausible chance of success.




      20



      7
    • Jotnar says:

      If you have rights of appeal on electoral decisions – including both court of appeal and Privy Council – you could have uncertainty over the election outcome for months or even years. That’s a major public policy problem. Its an understandable compromise.

      That being said, in this case irrespective of your view on the merits of the initial judgment, its not as if the plaintiffs didn’t understand there was the potential of them being found liable for costs – and if they were not they should be suing their lawyer! The real problem appears to be that they trusted certain people who told them the costs would be taken care of, who then reneged on the deal.




      7



      1
      • Anonymous says:

        We all understand WHY there’s no right of appeal here: electoral questions need to be decided swiftly and decisively. But that wasn’t my point.

        I agree though that if they were promised that their costs would be met and those making the promise reneged on it, then that is dreadful behavior.

        There’s also the question why they had costs awarded against them and others didn’t. It’s not as if their case was more frivolous or vexatious or devoid of merit than the others’: the opposite, I’d say.

        I think that the law should be changed so that where statutorily there is no right of appeal, each party bears his/her own costs.

        By the way, what ‘initial’ judgment? There was only one (that’s my point!) and yes, it was questionable. Under any other circumstances it would probably have been successfully appealed.




        3



        1
        • Jotnar says:

          In the other cases thought the other side was the government, whereas in this case the CJ couldn’t force Rivers to bear her own costs when she had won the case.




          0



          2
          • Anonymous says:

            That may be so.

            I thought that cost orders are always in the discretion of the judge. Could be wrong though.

            Look over here, people: a civilised discussion! It can be done! Nice to talk to you, Jotnar.




            1



            1
      • Anonymous says:

        In emergency cases one can get to the Court of Appeal in a week and even the Privy Council within a month, or less.




        3



        1
  10. Anonymous says:

    Way to go Mac. Hope you are “helping” your bankrupt supporter. Other blinkered supporters should take note how how much they mean to The Man.




    60



    5
    • BELONGER says:

      Mac throwed the Hewitt’s and the Powery clan under the bus a long time ago.

      None of his “double dipping funds” will go towards their legal fees or buy gas for their Benz……… but will be spent up North on you know what.




      16



      2
  11. Unison says:

    Thanks to Capitalism –
    No Money = No Justice

    Rediculous! 😑




    17



    26

Please include your email address in the form below if you are using your real name. You can use a pseudonym, with or without leaving an email address, or just leave the form blank to be "Anonymous". All comments will be moderated before they are published. Please read the CNS Comment Policy at the top of this page.