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UTech's lawyer says student won't be allowed to access facilities

Published:Friday | November 28, 2014 | 12:00 AMBarbara Gayle

The University of Technology (UTech) has indicated that the law student who took it to court last week, claiming he was delisted because he did not pay 80 per cent of the tuition fee within the specified time, will not be able to access the library facilities or take exams this semester because the injunction has ceased.

Duke St John Paul Foote had obtained a seven-day injunction last week Tuesday, barring UTech from delisting him. He, however, paid the full fees of $245,000 a day before the deadline of October 31.

Foote said he was told on November 7 that he was in arrears and was being delisted.

On Tuesday, Foote, who represented himself, discontinued the suit because he said UTech had complied with the injunction.

Attorney-at-law Gavin Goffe, who is representing UTech, told The Gleaner this week that contrary to reports, Foote was not deregistered or delisted as a student.

Goffe said Foote failed to complete the enrolment process, which required payment of a minimum of 80 per cent of his tuition fees by September 30, 2014 (which was later extended to October 15, 2014). He said Foote was, therefore, never a registered student for the current semester.

Goffe said "that is the reason that he was unable to access resources in the library or the online portal".

He said the October 31 deadline for payment of 100 per cent of the fees was only applicable to registered students who have paid the 80 per cent by October 15, 2014.

"Without notice to the university, Foote applied for and obtained an interim injunction that restrained the university from barring him from attending classes, using the library facilities and accessing the online portal to prepare for exams in December," Goffe said.

The injunction was for seven days only and expired Tuesday when the matter was scheduled for further hearing before a Supreme Court judge.

Goffe said UTech duly complied with the order while instructing its attorneys, Myers, Fletcher & Gordon, to oppose the action.

Goffe said Foote discontinued the action without appearing before the judge or seeking permission from the court as required by the rules of court.

"The injunction has now elapsed and has ceased to have effect. Mr Foote will not be allowed to access the library facilities or take exams this semester," Goffe said.

Foote, having discontinued the court action, is liable to pay UTech's legal costs, Goffe added.

When Foote was contacted yesterday, he said it was a matter of academics.

He said he still had access to the facilities at UTech and had received a printed timetable for the exams.

"I am now concentrating on my exams which start on December 2," Foote said.