State sued after Judiciary fails to pay $.5m for security paper

Hall of Justice, Port of Spain
Hall of Justice, Port of Spain

A SAN Juan-based business is accusing the Judiciary of refusing to pay over $.5 million owed for special security paper used for the printing of probate grant forms.

To recover its money, Bricha Ltd has filed a breach of contract claim against the Attorney General under the State Liabilities and Proceedings Act.

The company’s claim came up for hearing on Wednesday before Justice Frank Seepersad who extended the time for the AG to file its defence against the claim.

The State now has until October 30 to defend the claim which alleges that the Judiciary owes Bricha Ltd $525,560.40.

The company’s claim alleges the Judiciary refused to pay for the paper and has unjustly enriched itself by doing so.

Apart from full payment, Bricha wants interest on the amount.

In documents filed in support of the claim, Bricha said it was approached by the Judiciary’s office manager in 2016, and was told the previous supplier of security paper was no longer in operation and paper was needed urgently to deal with the backlog of grant forms for the probate registry.

Bricha provided paper samples, one was chosen and an invoice for 81,105 sheets of paper was sent to the Judiciary. The company admitted the invoice gave the wrong cost of the paper, and amended the invoice to include the cost of ocean and air freight, cutting, storage and transport of the paper.

The Judiciary wrote to Bricha saying it would proceed with the transaction on the revised invoice. The paper was ordered from the United Kingdom. The lawsuit also said the Judiciary was exempt from customs duties, and declaration forms were submitted for exemptions.

The paper was delivered to the Judiciary in two batches in August 2016, and accepted. In September, an invoice was sent requesting payment. The lawsuit contends that the Judiciary had accepted the terms of the agreement, particularly the price of the paper but has refused to pay despite repeated requests.

It also says by accepting the security paper it has received the benefit of the goods without providing compensation and “as such, the defendant has been unjustly enriched” and Bricha is entitled to claim the value of the paper.

Bricha is represented by attorneys Emily de Silva and Krishna Deva Sukdeo.


"State sued after Judiciary fails to pay $.5m for security paper"

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