A HIGH COURT judge has dismissed an application by the State to strike out a lawsuit filed by a used car dealership seeking the return of several vehicles seized by the police in 2015.
In 2022, Jean Pierre’s Auto Supplies filed a lawsuit against the State for the release of the vehicles. The State applied to strike out the lawsuit claiming it was statute-barred since the demand for the vehicles’ return was made in 2016 and the action failed to show the dealer was the legitimate owner of the 29 vehicles.
However, in dismissing the application, Justice Frank Seepersad rejected the State’s contention the lawsuit was statute-barred. He pointed to correspondence between the dealer and the police up to October 2021, for the release of the vehicles and an explanation.
Seepersad said the position that the dealer was not the owner of the vehicles so it was an abuse of process to bring the action, the judge said that argument was “devoid of merit.”
He said there were receipts and certified copies for the 29 vehicles to purport evidence of ownership and payment for the vehicles.
“Based on the pleadings, the defendant proffered no position to demonstrate that any other party has/ had a better title to the detained vehicles.
“The court also takes judicial notice of the fact that a regrettable practice does exist whereby people buy vehicles and do not transfer same to obviate transfer charges or where used car dealers would buy vehicles and only transfer them when they are resold.
“As a consequence, in many instances, the only evidence to establish proof of ownership or an interest in such a vehicle is a receipt.”
In dismissing the application, the judge ordered the State to pay the dealer’s costs. As a result of the court’s ruling, the matter will now proceed to trial.