Christian Catholic Church in B.G. v Jeffrey

JurisdictionCaribbean States
CourtFederal Supreme Court (West Indies)
JudgeMr. Justice Wylie
Judgment Date20 Jul 1959
Docket NumberAppeal No. 4 of 1959

Federal Supreme Court

Archer, C.J. (Ag.); Wylie, J.A.; Lewis, J.A.

Appeal No. 4 of 1959

Christian Catholic Church in B.G.
and
Jeffrey
Appearances:

Mr. C.L. Luckhoo, Q.C., instructed by Mr. Carlos Gomes for the plaintiff

Mr. J.O.F. Haynes, instructed by Mr. O.M. Valz for the defendant.

Practice and procedure - claim for declaration that the respondent had ceased to be superintendent of the local church — Whether the local church was a branch of the American church and subject to the bye-laws of that church — Paucity of evidence — New trial ordered — Interim injunction granted until the determination of the new trial.

JUDGMENT OF THE COURT:
1

In 1937 the respondent founded a church at Bartica, British Guiana, under the name of the Bartica Holiness Tabernacle of which he became the first minister. During the year 1941 the name of the church was changed to the Christian Catholic Holiness Tabernacle and from the 29th December, 1941, the respondent began to receive financial assistance from the Christian Catholic Church, Zion, Illinois, in the United States of America (hereinafter referred to as the American Church), a church incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois. In 1945 there was a further alteration in the name of the respondent's church and it became the Christian Catholic Church. On the 15th December, 1950, the respondent as Superintendent of the Christian Catholic Church and his successors in that office were created a body corporate with perpetual succession by the Christian Catholic Church (Incorporation) Ordinance, Chapter 226 of the Laws of British Guiana. On the 27th August, 1958, Carl Q. Lee, Attorney of the American Church and of Michael J. Mintern, General Overseer of that church, notified the respondent by letter that he would cease to be Superintendent and Overseer of the Christian Catholic Church in British Guiana (hereinafter sometimes referred to as the local church) from the date of his receipt of that letter and called upon him to deliver up all transports, leases and documents of title to all immovable property, and all moneys and funds movable and immovable property belonging to, and owned by, the local church, to Samuel Harrichand of Anna Catherina, West Coast, Demerara, whom, by a letter of even date, Carl Q. Lee, acting in the aforesaid capacity, purported to appoint as Superintendent of the local church, the — appointment to take effect from the date of the removal of the respondent from office The respondent ignored this supposed letter of dismissal. On the 27th August, 1958, the date of these two letters, the writ in the action out of which this appeal arises was issued. The writ is in the name of the Christian Catholic Church in British Guiana as plaintiff and was taken out by Samuel Harrichand, who is described in the writ as Superintendent of the Christian Catholic Church in British Guiana. The claim is for a declaration that the respondent had ceased to be the Superintendent of the local church and that Samuel Harrichand had become the Superintendent in his place, an...

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