QUESTION: Dear Legal Wiz,
I have been taking care of a lady who was married to my uncle (who died), in Jamaica since I was about 14 years old. She gave me a Power Of Attorney document when I grew older. I am now in my 30s. The Power Of Attorney document was created by the National Land Agency, but was filled in by a lawyer and stamped by a Justice of the Peace. In it she outlined that the Title was to be transferred to me, as an arrangement for my pay. I have lived in the house for a good while now, and all my things are there.
Last week, my cousin told me that the young man who I met some time ago as the woman’s son, told her to tell me that he went to Sutton Street Court, and got a Court Order for me to leave the premises or be evicted. I found out it was true, and he used a Power Of Attorney document that I knew nothing about and was never discussed with me. I cannot find the woman who moved out about two months now.
The house is mine as they havent paid me. What can I do?
RESPONSE: Dear Marsha Williams,
I took out some of the personal details you included. The Legal Aid clinic lawyer who started to assist you should be contacted, and unless you really cant get a hold of her, you should not try to complicate the issue going to all those persons you have been relying on to advise you. You are only confusing yourself.
You should as quickly as possible and ask the Clerk of Court to assist you in applying for a hearing to set the Judgement made against you aside. They will give you documents that have to be given to the young man who got the Court Order against you within a certain time. The challenge you have is to find him as you say he may be off the island. If he is difficult to locate and you cannot get anyone such as his lawyers who represent him, you will need to go to the hearing on the date you get and explain to the Judge. A Postal Order can be prepared for you to be sent to the young man.
At best, you do need an lawyer as your situation is complicated for you, based on all the issues you presented. There is the matter of the monies which would be owed to you for example, and a lawyer can assist you in making a proper defense against the young man claiming that you owe him and his mother for rent.
You said you do not know the whereabouts of the lady who gave you your Power Of Attorney document and you have never seen the Power Of Attorney document you heard that the young man used in Court. A lawyer can assist you in getting the Court to ensure that the lady’s whereabouts is revealed, and, even to get her to come to Court where necessary.
All the best! Write again. Contact us if you need further assistance from our team.