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Disgusting | Woman gets case thrown after continuous adjournments

After being made to consistently come before the court for several months without any meaningful progress in her traffic matter, an unrepresented woman successfully had her case thrown out of the Magistrate’s Court last week.

Sherene Valencia-Baptiste’s October 2016 matter of driving without due care and attention has seen a series of back-to-back adjournments since her first court arraignment.

And prior to her latest appearance, the court had instructed the police prosecutions department that they were to be prepared to start the trial at the beginning of September.

But when the September date rolled around last week, police prosecutor Roger Williams told the court he was on his final week in the department and would not be taking up the case.

He told the court another prosecutor would receive conduct of the matter because it would be counterproductive if he (Williams) should start a case that he would not be able to complete.

He then said the case would have to be pushed to another date.

Throw it out

But a seemingly frustrated Valencia-Baptiste called for the court to have the matter dismissed.

She said she first appeared in court on February 22 this year when she pleaded not guilty. A trial date was then set for May 3 but police prosecutors did not come prepared on that day so the matter was again adjourned to June 19.

When she came to court for that June date, the Crown did not have the woman’s court file and their witness was also absent.

The matter was subsequently pushed to September 3 on a final adjournment order.

“I am disgusted to be coming here time after time and the last time I nearly bust my tail in the mud coming to court to get the same thing all the time,” Valencia-Baptiste said.

“I work at the hospital … I am putting aside my patients. I am on call for the doctors and I come here every time to get the same thing. I would like this case to be dismissed.”

Magistrate Giselle Jackman-Lumy – who had considered adjourning the matter for another time – subsequently agreed to dismiss the matter.

Why police aren’t prepared 

The court was told that the underlying cause of police prosecutors coming to court unprepared is that many officers do not have a diary with the dates they are to appear in court.

But Magistrate Jackman-Lumy said that rationale was not acceptable.

“Even if they [police officers] don’t have a diary, pharmacies give free calendars when it’s Christmas time. Go and buy a pack of sweeties and keep the calendar and write it in. This can’t be good enough,” she said.

Police should do better

Magistrate Jackman-Lumy, who is one of the newest magistrates to this jurisdiction, urged the police to do better.

“I don’t know how things are done in the RVIPF but even me as an attorney, I can’t hand in an application for vacation unless I indicate what arrangements will be made for the matters that I have within that period – who will be reassigned, who will go to court, who will deal with the trials and the submissions and I think the same standards have to be for the police officers as well.”

She said when a matter shows up on the court’s list and the investigating officer is absent or on leave, it clogs the judicial process.

She further said if the court is informed prior to any vacation dates, court matters could then be properly scheduled.

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17 Comments

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  1. GEZZZ says:

    FINALLY A JUDGE WITH SENSE.TOO MANY CASES WHERE PEOPLE EITHER HAVE TO WAIT YEARS UNTIL THE CASE COME UP OR KEEP COMING BACK HEARING “ADJOURNED”

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  2. Reply says:

    What the hell is this? Some third world country? It is ridiculousness that they had this woman back and forth multiple times to the court house over a traffic violations despite the other side apparently could not get their act together.

    How often does this happen? This is incompetence and shameful all wrapped into one!

    The case was rightfully dismissed. IMO, I wish this woman could be compensated for all the time she wasted missing work going back and forth to the courthouse.

    The court should routinely dismiss these kind of cases on the very first instance if the other side does not show up or have a good reason for an adjournment.

    That lady apparently did everything expected of her, but the other side was MIA. If you are going to give someone a ticket and accuse them of something, for God sake have the decency to at least show up in court prepared to defend it. How hard can that be?

    21
    • Hmm to Reply says:

      “What on earth is this? Some third world country?” With the bad roads,water outages,power outages,running sewerage in the streets and mind you these things were happening before September 6 2017, we always had traits of third world countries. And how can I forget good old price control and consumer protection. Alleged corruption from Government ministers. Yes we are moving just like the third world countries. So you should expect Wasteage of People’s time in the courts also

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  3. LOL! says:

    Go and buy a pack of sweeties and keep the calendar and write it in. This can’t be good enough,” she said.

    LMAO! I nearly spit out my afternoon coffee!!!!

    15
  4. Retired says:

    I think the Governor needs to overhaul the entire RVIPF from the top ranks down to the PC’s on foot and vehicle patrol. Obviously there are many problems with the entire force as highlighted by cases such as this that are dismissed for lack of simple prosecutor preparation.

    13
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  5. Brad Boynes says:

    This is straight up laziness and incompetence. Simpleattests running throughost the court for two years is bull nonsense.

    10
  6. Alwin says:

    they are running the force like a boy scout there are a number of senior officers who taking the force for a personal gain. IT ONLY GETTING WORST. Standby NEXT………

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  7. Ex COP says:

    I am very embarrassed as a ex Police Officer. This could never happen when I was a serving Officer in the RVIPF, what is really going on. Those incharge of the Police Force needs to be held accountable for this ongoing emberrasing disgusting situation. COP Matthews, DCP James and Supt Vanterpool what is really going on in the Force.

    10
  8. BTW says:

    I can only hope that other defendant’s will use Mrs. Valencia-Baptiste as a guideline to help them get their cases thrown out too.. Pure nonsense.

  9. resident says:

    why are we so incompetent

  10. Well saw says:

    Think that bad. One stopped me told me to pick up the ticket at the station the next day because she doesn’t have a ticket book. Told her go home and come back tomorrow when is she prepared to work effectively and efficiently.

  11. Worst COP ever says:

    Have RBVIPF become entirely dysfunctional? Kudos for a few high profile murder arrests but the entire system, including traffic (except Robocop) seems to have vanished.

  12. tys says:

    The courts are dis-organised. If she had representation the lawyer have earned a big fee for doing nothing and most probably advised to plead to get the case out of his books.

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