(CMR) Wilson Mendoza was jailed for seven days for being in contempt of court in an ongoing civil land dispute on Lissa Lane, West Bay. Justice Walters told Mendoza that ignoring court orders was “very serious” and should not be ignored and any continued breach would result in a longer jail sentence.
The judge opted to not jail his wife, Deaven Ann Mendoza, at this time despite her being a no-show for the Notice of Motion. She had appeared at the earlier hearings and it was unclear why, as a named person to the proceeding, she was not in attendance on Tuesday morning.
The interparty injunction was issued in February after a five-year dispute over a prescriptive access way that has existed for over 40 years. Attorney for the Adam family, Waide DaCosta argued that Mendoza was fully aware of the implications of his actions and was refusing to adhere to the terms of the injunction.
The judge eventually agreed with this position.
DaCosta shared that vehicles were left in the easement to purposely obstruct the Adam family's access to their home through the prescriptive easement. He also informed the court that a stone wall further prevented their peaceful and unobstructed enjoyment of the indefeasible access to their property.
DaCosta informed the court that the injunction was very clear in what needed to be done and it was obvious that Mendoza had no desire to adhere to the requirements laid out by the court.
The court also learned that Mendoza had erected a sign coaming that his land was being stolen “for a former government minister”. DaCosta called the statement defamatory and opined that it further provided his intent to deliberately “frustrate and circumvent the orders of the court.”
He noted that his clients wanted the wall and pallets of blocks removed and asked for the parties' committal to jail for 28 days or whatever the court deemed appropriate.
He also stressed that despite the fact that Mrs. Mendoza was not there she was also a party to the injunction and the court could rule against her as well.
Mendoza represented himself and had very little to say. He admitted to creating an alternative access point that he was attempting to force the family to use. In an unusual twist, he partly blamed the adjoining landowners Crosby Ebanks and Gomez Ebanks for being the ones the placed the pallets in the way and were also responsible for the signage. He claimed that his wall had been there since the house was built.
The judge responded by asking him, “is that all you have to say?” he replied with a simple “Yes, your honor”. He then added that the National Roads Authority (NRA) had attempted “to take our land to put in a public road”. Speaking of his unsuccessful attempts to challenge the NRA's acquisition of the easement.
He noted that he “disagreed with most of the points (made by DaCosta) as mentioned in my affidavit”.
The judge made it very clear that on the last two occasions, he stressed the injunction had to be adhered to and Mendoza had agreed that a legal registered right of way existed.
He ordered him to go to jail for 7 days and remove any obstructions or he would be sentenced to a longer term for any ongoing breaches.