Gayadin et Al v Republic Bank (Guyana) Ltd

CourtCaribbean Court of Justice
Docket NumberCCJ Application No. GYCV 3 of 2014; GY Civil Appeal No. 43 of 2012
JudgeNelson, J. CCJ.
Judgment Date25 Jul 2014
JurisdictionCaribbean States

Caribbean Court of Justice

Nelson, J. CCJ.; Saunders, J. CCJ.; Anderson, J. CCJ.

CCJ Application No. GYCV 3 of 2014; GY Civil Appeal No. 43 of 2012

Gayadin et al
and
Republic Bank (Guyana) Limited
Appearances:

Mr. Timothy M Jonas for the applicants.

Mr. Kamal Ramkarran for the respondent.

Statute - Interpretation — Jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal — Special Leave to appeal — Whether the Court of Appeal had jurisdiction to entertain the Borrowers' application under section 6 of the Court of Appeal Act — Appeal against interlocutory order — Finding that the Court of Appeal had jurisdiction to hear the claim.

Civil Practice and Procedure - Summary Judgement — Whether the trial judge erred in finding that there were not serious questions to be tried and whether the case should be remitted to a Commercial Court judge — Appeal allowed and pursuant to section 11(6) of the Caribbean Court of Justice Act remitted the case for trial afresh.

1

The appellants (the ‘Borrowers’) benefited from overdraft facilities and loans secured by promissory notes from the respondent (the ‘Bank’). Individual Borrowers also signed various guarantees to repay the debt of other Borrowers, each giving various forms of security for the respective debts. In June 2008 the Borrowers failed to honour their obligations under the loan agreements and guarantees so the Bank initiated proceedings in the High Court of Guyana to recover the sums owed and to enforce the securities.

2

The trial judge struck out the Borrowers' affidavit of defence as disclosing no triable issue and awarded summary judgment in favour of the Bank. The judge ordered that the Borrowers pay their debts in full and allowed the Bank to proceed to enforce the securities. The Borrowers appealed the decision of the trial judge to the Full Court. The Full Court found that the case did raise triable issues, reversed the trial judge's decision and ordered that the case be remitted for trial afresh. However, it went on to determine some aspects of the case and gave directions to the trial judge on the approach to other aspects. Dissatisfied with the Full Court's handling of the matter, the Borrowers applied to the Court of Appeal for leave to appeal the decision of the Full Court.

3

By majority the Court of Appeal dismissed the application for leave on the ground that it, the court, lacked jurisdiction to entertain the application. It found that the order made by the Full Court was not a final order and section 6 of the Court of Appeal Act does not confer on the court jurisdiction to hear an appeal from an order of the Full Court that is not final. Justice Cummings-Edwards dissented and took the view that the Court of Appeal had jurisdiction to hear the appeal. Again dissatisfied, the Borrowers sought special leave of the Court to appeal the majority's decision.

4

The CCJ heard the application on written submissions. The Court examined section 6 of the Court of Appeal Act, particularly the relationship between sub-sections (2) and (4). The Court ruled that sub-section (2) outlines four broad instances in which a litigant has a right of appeal to the Court of Appeal, including where his matter is one in which a judge of the High Court or the Full Court made a final order that was not one of four kinds of orders specified in the sub-section. However, a litigant who wished to appeal from an interlocutory order may do so under sub-section (4) which also outlines instances in which the Court of Appeal may hear appeals with leave of the Full Court or the Court of Appeal.

5

The CCJ held that the Court of Appeal was correct to find that there was no right of appeal afforded to the Borrowers by virtue of section 6(2). It was found, however, that section 6(4) gave the Borrowers a right to seek leave to appeal either from the Full Court or the Court of Appeal. The Court concluded that Cummings-Edwards, J.A. was correct to take the view that there was jurisdiction in the Court of Appeal to entertain the application before that court for leave to appeal.

6

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