Thu | Jul 29, 2021

Portland Parish Court lawyers threaten to withdraw service

Published:Monday | May 10, 2021 | 12:10 AMGareth Davis Sr - Gleaner Writer -

Normal operations at the Portland Parish Court at Bryan's Bay, Portland, could be disrupted this week after several attorneys threatened to withdraw their service at that courthouse.

The lawyers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, argued that their frustrations have reached boiling point and that they simply cannot continue to carry out their duties at a facility where the air conditioners has been broken down for almost three months.

“There is no ventilation inside the courtroom as the A/C unit has not worked for a prolonged period,“ one attorney told The Gleaner last Friday.

“The building was designed in such a way that the windows cannot be opened to allow air to pass through and, as such, the condition inside is extremely humid. We are sweating profusely and with the wearing of mask, which is a part of the protocol to mitigate against COVID-19, breathing is rather difficult inside the courtroom," the attorney added.

Another attorney, who resides in the Buff Bay area, pointed out that litigants are also having a difficult time coping with the humid condition inside the courtroom, especially at a time when the intense heat is taking its toll throughout the parish.

It is against that background that the attorneys are appealing to the Ministry of Justice to intervene, so as to speedily address the plight being faced by them, which, if left unattended, could cause a delay in court cases, resulting in a backlog.

It is the second time in five years that the attorneys have threatened to withdraw their services against broken-down air conditioners at that courthouse.