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‘Justice is not for old people,’ bemoans senior citizen

Published:Sunday | November 29, 2020 | 12:12 AMBarbara Gayle - Contributor
The 10-year journey for a senior citizen to get her case decided by the Supreme Court is far from over.
The 10-year journey for a senior citizen to get her case decided by the Supreme Court is far from over.

The 10-year journey for a senior citizen to get her case decided by the Supreme Court is far from over.

All 72-year-old Doril Barclay is seeking is for the court to hear the case she has brought for restoration of the right of way to her home in Lawrence Tavern, St Andrew, but she doubts it will happen in her lifetime.

“We must have a compassionate system which takes into consideration the age of a litigant like Barclay, so there is a reasonable expectation that you will live long enough to see justice,” stated senior attorney-at-law Bert Samuels.

“So just like how we have a bus lane, we should have a fast trial lane for such cases.”

Barclay has lived on the property all her life and said the diagram for the property shows she has an eight-foot walkway from the parochial road to her home, which is the pathway she has used from childhood and is the only way to her home.

The property was owned by her grandparents, who willed it to their children. She said her mother inherited a quarter-acre of the property, which she willed to Barclay.

When Barclay noticed in April 2010 that relatives were building a house in the walkway, she said she told them the building was blocking the entrance to her home. They ignored her and she reported the matter to the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC). She related that representatives from KSAC came and issued a stop order in June 2010, but it was disobeyed and her relatives continued to build.

“Someone told me to seek legal advice and the case was brought before the Supreme Court in August 2010. My first appearance in court was September 7, 2010, and since then there have been countless adjournments,” Barclay shared with The Sunday Gleaner last week, as she bemoaned the fact that the justice system had failed her.

“I could never imagine that such a simple case could have taken so long to be completed because it is my view that such a case should have finished in six months.”

OUT OF MONEY

Barclay continued, “The case was set for hearing for November 16 and 17 this year but it has been put off and the next trial date is in July next year, but I don’t believe that there will ever be a trial in my lifetime. When the case was brought to court, I got a surveyor’s report and this month I am being told that a new surveyor’s report will have to be presented to the court.

“I am a senior citizen, I am not in the best of health, so where am I going to find money to survey the property again.”

Barclay said she can’t even afford to pay a lawyer to represent her in the case.

“The way I feel right now is that justice is not for old people because there is no way my case should be limping along for such a long time,” she added.

Explaining how she is able to access her home since the building breach, Barclay said, “I actually have to turn sideways and push my way through by the side of the building, and while doing so, the dogs from the premises are always attacking me, and when I try to ward them off, abuses are hurled at me.”

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