QUESTION: Dear Legal Wiz,
For the past three years I have been experiencing turmoil with a Redevelopment Foundation company over my property in Jamaica. The property is in a developed area of rural Jamaica.
To cut a long story short I recently received some kind of demand letter from them. I don’t recall ever giving them my property to sell or otherwise and I certainly do not know how they came by the monies they claim I owe them. I was forced by their representatives to sign some Agreement document for even less sums than what they are claiming I owe them. So, to avoid legal action, I paid something, and yet to date they can’t tell me how they came by the huge sum they are demanding.
The company through the demand letter and supporting documents have indicated that they will be mortgaging my property. I do not want to hire any Jamaican lawyer because the ones I contracted already and spent huge sums with never did me any good and additionally I have no money. Lawyers in this country are unscrupulous. How do I go about restraining them from acting according to what they promised, to sell my house for example?
Your dilemma and financial challenges is understood. You cannot avoid relying on the services of a lawyer, even in a minor way, whether you address the situation yourself or not. Simply put as a layperson, you are not armed with sufficient information on procedures, and instruments such as language, cases, statutes to properly present your case, and any legal argument by the other side may present a challenge for you. Its also very likely that you will need an attorney to be present at the hearing if your case is successful in being heard before a judge, even if you single-handedly research and study material and proceedings necessary.
In a nutshell, the steps you need to take will involve action at the Supreme Court level. Getting an attorney as coach, in preparing or reviewing your material and documents can’t hurt.
The steps you need to take at least to begin are:
Respond in writing to the demand letter
Apply for an injunction to stop the sale of your property, public or otherwise through the supreme court
File a Lawsuit against the company
The documents you will basically need are:
– Application for Injunction (Ex-parte)
– Order for Interim Injunction
– Application for Extension on Interim Injunction
– Claim Form
– Notice of Defense
– Particulars of Claim
– Acknowledgement of Service
Acquiring samples of each for guidance, along with efficient legal advise on preparing these documents and any relating procedures are also a good steps to take.
Once again, there are numerous lawyers in Jamaica and they can’t all be bad. You may need to equip yourself with information, so you can be up to date with what to expect from the attorney and how to assist in the success of your case. One can be recommended or sourced for you through the legal leg work team. All the best.
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