Politics — 30 May 2014 — by Kareem Clarke
Court costs paid with pillowcases full of shillings

Attorney, however, says he was shortchanged and demands full payment in 5 days

While it may have been comical to some, confounding to others and just plain cumbersome for the carriers, Trevor Vernon, an unsuccessful claimant whose lawsuit was thrown out by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin last Monday, May 19, yesterday chose to pay the first half of his court costs using a heap of twenty-five cent coins, otherwise known as “shillings”, which were stacked in two old pillowcases.

Denys Barrow, SC, the attorney and recipient of the payment, has indicated, however, that when the two bags stuffed with coins were tallied, the total amount paid wasn’t enough.

Amandala understands that the sum of money received was $2,489.50, which is $10.50 short of the $2,500 that was due and thus, today, a Supreme Court marshall and a representative from Barrow’s law firm showed up at Vernon’s home in Burrell Boom to demand full payment immediately, based on a writ of execution for payment of costs to Barrow.

When Vernon could not produce payment, the marshall allegedly proceeded to mark off (crow foot) household appliances to the value of the balance of $2,500 to ensure that the debt owed can somehow be collected if Vernon is unable to pay the rest of the money.

Vernon now has 5 days to come up with the other half of the money plus the fees associated with the writ of execution – a total of $2,710.50 – and in the event that he cannot pay, the court will auction off his belongings to recover the debt.

Yesterday morning, Vernon and a companion arrived at Barrow’s law office on Coney Drive carrying two pillowcases full of what Vernon claimed to be half of a $5,000 fine which was owed to Barrow to cover costs for defending Belize Rural North’s area representative, Hon. Edmond Castro, who won a court challenge over Vernon, who is one of his constituents.

In late February of this year, the Belize Rural North resident filed a case against Minister of State Edmond Castro, claiming that Castro had violated the Cabinet code of conduct when he (Castro) received checks from the Belize Airports Authority purportedly for his political and personal gain; however, Castro’s attorney, Denys Barrow, managed to get the case struck out on the technicality that Vernon made an error when he started a public law claim instead of going the private law route, and Vernon was subsequently ordered to pay Castro’s $5,000 legal fees.

After handing over the payment, Vernon was granted a temporary receipt which stated that the $2,500 is “to be verified”, and as it turned out, he was short of some shillings.

Vernon promised to make the next half of the payment by next week; however, Senior Counsel Barrow does not seem to be in the mood to sit around and wait for Vernon’s next payment, hence his application for a writ of execution for payment of costs.

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