St. Ford Paul Caveatee/Claimant v Aldith Paul Midora Bontiff Caveators/Respondents [ECSC]

CourtEastern Caribbean Supreme Court
Docket NumberCivil Appeal No. 4 of 1970
JudgeLEWIS, C.J., GORDON, J.A., CECIL LEWIS, J.A., Chief Justice
Judgment Date24 Mar 1971
JurisdictionCaribbean States
Neutral Citation[1971] ECSC J0324-1
[1971] ECSC J0324-1

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL

Before:

The Honourable the Chief Justice

The Honourable Mr. Justice Gordon

The Honourable Mr. Justice P. Cecil Lewis

Civil Appeal No. 4 of 1970

Between:
St. Ford Paul
Caveatee/Claimant
and
Aldith Paul

and

Midora Bontiff
Caveators/Respondents

F.E. Degazon and E. Francis for Caveatee/Claimant

J. Armour and B. Alleyne for Caveators/Respondents

LEWIS, C.J.
1

This is a claim for the decision or direction of the Court of Appeal under section 170 of the Title by Registration Ordinance Chapter 222. It concerns an application for a certificate of title to a portion of land containing 30.275 acres situate at Thibaud in the parish of St. Andrew made by the claimant now the caveatee, St. Ford Paul. Against the grant of the certificate requested, the caveators filed separate caveats on the 4th March, 1970. The matter in due course came before the learned judge in Chambers under sections 13 and 17 of the Ordinance. Evidence was given by both caveators and witnesses on their behalf and also by the claimant and witnesses on his behalf.

2

The caveators objected to the grant of the certificate on the ground that they are the legal owners of the land and intend to apply at the appropriate time for the issue of a certificate of title in their favour. A number of testamentary documents were put in evidence. These showed that the land originally belonged to one Euphrazine Soubrian and that in due course a portion was left to the children of one Severin Augustine and the remainder to one Eugenia Figaro. Eugenia Figaro was the mother of the two caveators. Their case was that they had occupied the whole land, first of all along with their mother, and then with one Virginia Letang who was one of the children of Severin Augustine; that Virginia Letang was the last of Severin Augustine's children to die, and that they had continued in possession of the whole land since her death in 1952. They had, they said, cultivated the land together with their mother and Virginia Letang mainly in coconuts, and also in vanilla and bananas and a little coffee. They gave evidence that two cases had been brought against them to recover the land, one by the claimant and the other by one Bruney who purported to represent the estate of Virginia Letang. Both cases had failed, and from 1954, after the second case, the claimant had made no attempt to enter into possession of the property.

3

The claimant, Paul, said that he had first gone...

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