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Delisted law student secures Supreme Court injunction against UTech

Published:Wednesday | November 19, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator

A fourth-year law student has obtained a Supreme Court order barring the University of Technology (UTech) from delisting him because he did not pay his 80 per cent tuition fee at the specified time.

Duke St John-Paul Foote, who brought the claim in person, produced documents to show that although he had paid the total fees of $130,000 a day before the October 31 deadline for the fees, he was delisted on November 1 as a "student in arrears".

The 80 per cent of the tuition fee was due on October 15, but Foote paid the full amount on October 30.

Justice Audrey Lindo, after hearing an ex parte application yesterday, granted a seven-day injunction barring UTech Registrar Elaine Wallace from preventing Foote from attending classes and using the facilities to prepare for his written examination next month.

The matter has been adjourned to November 25 for the parties to be heard.

The defendants are UTech; the institution's chancellor, Edward Seaga; the acting president, Burchell Whiteman; and Wallace.

Foote is seeking a declaration that Wallace wrongly delisted him as a penalty for non-compliance with UTech's payment plan. He is contending that by paying $130,000 on October 30, he had complied with the settling of all outstanding balances before October 31.

Foote states that the under-graduate student handbook states that "students on this part-payment plan are required to settle all outstanding balances by Friday, October 31, 2014".

He wants the court to rule that UTech wrongly penalised him by delisting him as a student in arrears when he made all the expected payments a day before the due date in accordance with the requirement of the terms of his payment plan.

Foote, who is representing himself, is asking the court to declare that delisting him for failure to comply with his part-payment plan is in breach of the terms of the student handbook for 2014-2015.

barbara.gayle@gleanerjm.com