Advertisements are expected to be published in the daily newspapers inviting those persons whose cases were left in abeyance when former Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar resigned her position to intervene in the interpretation summons filed by the Attorney General.
The decision was taken at the first hearing of the interpretation claim before Justice Carol Gobin in the Port of Spain High Court. The claim filed by AG Faris Al-Rawi asks the court to determine how to conclude the unfinished cases, pronounce on whether Ayers-Caesar is still a magistrate and if any of the cases can be continued by her or whether they can be restarted afresh (de novo) before Acting Chief Magistrate Maria Busby Earle-Caddle.
The court has also been asked to say whether the Indictable Offences (Preliminary Inquiry) Act and the Summary Offences Act permit pending matters to be continued or completed by any other magistrate. Ayers-Caesar is seeking to have the interpretation summons struck out against her.
She is named as the fourth defendant in the legal proceedings. The other defendants include the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Judicial and Legal Services Commission and Earle-Caddle.
All the parties were represented in court yesterday except for the Acting Chief Magistrate.
It is expected that attorney for the AG, led by Senior Counsel Gilbert Peterson, will write to Earle-Caddle to provide a list of those cases affected since some may have been restarted either before her or another magistrate. On June 1, she aborted some of the cases and ordered that they be restarted de novo (from the beginning.) This was objected to by DPP Roger Gaspard,SC, who sought to ascertain the status of Ayers-Caesar.
He also wrote to Chief Justice Ivor Archie seeking clarification but has received no response. Subsequently Earle-Caddle said she exercised her powers as a magistrate in her own right in ordering that the cases be restarted. It was also suggested that those persons whose cases were still before the court could ask for a stay of their magisterial proceedings pending the hearing and determination of the interpretation claim. The claim before Justice Gobin will again be heard on December 6.