Brighter Law

Court of Appeal Summary

The following are the past month’s summaries of civil decisions in the Court of Appeal for the Turks and Caicos Islands. 

In Tropical Finance Corporation Ltd v YM Holdings Inc & Paragon Securities Ltd [2022] TCACA 7, the first respondent YM Holdings Inc. (“YM”) made an application for security for costs of the appeal being heard in October 2022. YM submitted that it was entitled to an order for security for costs on the basis that appellant in the appeal and respondent to the application, Tropical Finance Corporation Ltd (“Tropical”), was ordinarily a resident outside the jurisdiction and without means to satisfy an award of costs if unsuccessful. Tropical opposed the application and submitted the was inordinate delay in making the application with no explanation was sufficient reason for the application for security for costs to be dismissed. The Court of Appeal held: (1) the delay of YM was not determinative of the application; (2) taking all of the relevant factors into account and giving weight to the insufficiency of assets and the inability of Tropical to satisfy an award of costs if unsuccessful, this case was appropriate for an order for security for costs; and (3) Tropical shall pay US$200,000 as security for costs of the appeal. The decision is important as it demonstrates that inordinate delay in bringing forward an application for security for costs will not be dispositive and the Court shall take into consideration all other factors and circumstances.

 In (1) Turtle Cove Hotel Residences Ltd v Tides Development Project; (2) Phoenix Development Ltd v Tides Development Project Inc [2022] TCACA 8, the Appellant, Phoenix Development Ltd (“Phoenix”) appealed Orders of the Supreme Court on the grounds that, among other things, the judge hearing the matter at first instance failed to give reasons which resulted in the denial of a fair hearing, due process and justice to the Appellant. In response to the primary grounds argued by Phoenix, the Respondent, Tides Development Project Inc (“Tides”), submitted the reasons given by the judge were sufficient and need not be in writing. The Court of Appeal held that while the reasons provided by the judge were clear to him, they were not communicated in any oral or written judgment, which prevented the Court of Appeal from performing its appellate function. The Court of Appeal therefore allowed the appeal and remitted the case back to the Supreme Court. The decision is important as it highlights the need for reasons in the exercise of judicial authority and that those reasons be reduced to writing as soon as possible. 

By Murray Snider  

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