Court denies Wathey-heirs speedy handling of appeal

POSTED: 05/14/12 12:37 PM

St. Maarten – The Common Court of Justice rejected a request by the Wathey-family to cut the terms for handling their appeal against an April 13-court ruling from two weeks to one week and to plead the case within two weeks. The court ruling is part of the ongoing controversy between the Wathey-family – heirs of the late Norman Chester Wathey – and their father illegitimate son Norman Chester Wathey II, formerly known as Leopold Hughes.

In the April 13 ruling the court banned Wathey II from further defaming the heirs in the media, but it did not impose the obligation on him to keep confidential information about the Wathey-companies he will receive through the description of his father’s estate.

The court rejected the request to shorten the terms for the appeal. The urgent interest in a court decision is in itself insufficient to justify a shortening of the terms, the court ruled. In case of extreme urgency the court’s president has the discretionary authority to shorten the terms, but he is under no obligation to do this.

The Wathey-heirs wanted a speedy handling of their appeal, arguing that the April 13 ruling contains legal mistakes and that there are extremely high penalties at stake that could result in execution disputes.

The court ordered the Wathey-heirs on April 13 to provide information about their father’s estate within thirty days to Wathey II under threat of a 20,000 guilder per day penalty for non-compliance. The maximum penalty is 25 million guilders (almost $13.9 million).

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