QUESTION: Dear Jamaicans Legal Wiz,
My question is the man I sued for my money (outstanding rent) didnt show up in court. He told me he would have come to tell the Judge a payment plan, as he is willing to pay off the bills he incurred on the property.
But when I went to Jamaican Court, he didnt come at all. I don’t know where he lives now, but I know where he works and I don’t want to go to his workplace.
RESPONSE: Dear Aneita,
You didnt say why you wanted to go to the man’s workplace.
In addressing the real issue, here are things you should know. If you sue someone and the person did not turn up in Court, a new date for the hearing will be set. If he still does not turn up you can win your case against that person by default judgement, provided you can prove he was served correctly. By the term ‘serve’ the court needs to be satisfied that the summons was given to the person who is to come to Court in accordance with the rules of the court or laws of the land to be more specific.
The said summons also needs to be returned according to the guidelines set.
You do not need to do anything once you have ensured your summons is served unless the Court instructs you to act further. In some cases the prevailing Judge or Resident Magistrate issues instructions for a Notice of Adjournment to be drafted and served and this must be done in accordance with the set guidelines.
There is no need to contact the man once he is served.
However, you must continue attending all court sessions set, and allow the staff to assist you. When a judgement is given in your favour, you will be advised on how to go about ensuring that the man pays up. If he can pay you, and insists on being negligent in doing so, he can be locked up.
So please, do not visit the man’s workplace making any demands or discussing the court case as this can turn negatively against you.
If light bill is one of your issues, you need only to worry if it was in your name and you didnt state if it was, so feel free to write again.
You are most welcomed to contact us again.