Rolling Systems withdraws lien on salary MP Laveist

POSTED: 03/13/11 8:46 PM

St. Maarten / By Hilbert Haar – Parties in the conflict between National Alliance MP Louie Laveist and Rolling Systems have agreed to lift the third party lien on Laveist’s salary after a hearing in summary proceedings on Friday. The MP failed to live up to his obligations to the company for years after they had installed the shutters in 2005. Laveist paid nothing until 2007, when he signed an agreement to pay in eight monthly installments. But after a $10,000 payment in June of that year, the payments stopped again.
In January Rolling Systems put a third party lien on Laveist’s salary. Under the conditions of this lien, the government’s paymaster withheld 3,860 guilders ($2,144) from the January and February paycheck.
Laveist did not appear in court and left the handling of the procedures to his attorney Reynold Groeneveldt.
“The agreement of 2007 was signed under pressure and is therefore not valid. On behalf of Laveist I have offered Rolling Systems a reasonable amount, but that has been turned down,” he said.
Apart from the principal Rolling Systems demanded payment of interest and legal and collection costs. The company’s attorney Cor Merx calculated that Laveist still owes $16,000, but when parties studied the paperwork in the courtroom yesterday, it actually appeared that Laveist had already paid too much.
Groeneveldt said that the lien on Laveist’s salary has to be lifted.
“Normally, not more than one third of a salary can be withheld, but the lien takes 3,860 guilders of his salary. He is not able to meet his other financial obligations. He does not have enough to make ends meet.”
Laveist maintains that the debt has been paid. The original invoice in 2005 was $38,678. In 2007, Laveist signed off on an agreement to pay $42,755. This amount included a ten percent fee for a collection agency as well as legal interest.
Merx said that Laveist had failed to live up to his promises.
“I started inviting him on September 22nd of last year. Every time I heard, I am on my way, but he never came. I sent him text messages and emails, I called him and he did not pick up the phone. I travelled several times to Simpson Bay to meet him. Then he told me, I am going to pay. I am going to make a down payment, but it never happened. On December 15th he told me, I am on my way with the check. The next day I told him that it was over.”
On January 11th, Rolling Systems put the lien on Laveist’s salary, claiming a total amount of a bit more than $46,000. On February 7th of this year, Laveist finally paid $30,000, leaving a claim of around $16,000.
With the lien taking $2,144 out of the salary, Merx said, it will take another eight months before the debt is paid off. He also contested the MPs claim that the lien takes too much out of his salary.
“Few people have such a generous salary as Mr. Laveist. It is around 23,000 guilders; one third of that would be around 7,500 guilders and only 3,860 guilders is actually withheld.”
Judge Mr. D.M. Thierry pointed out that the 2007 agreement between Laveist and Rolling Systems was signed with a French legal entity (Rolling Systems SA), but that the party in the summary proceedings is Rolling Systems NV, a Dutch-side legal entity.
This became a moot point though, once Merx agreed to withdraw the lien and to await the outcome of the standard legal procedure.
“My client does not want to pay interest and costs that disappear into the pockets of an attorney. He wants to pay, but not too much. He told me, I have to pay for my mistake, but this is overdone,” Groeneveldt told the court.
This is when Judge Thierry, examining the paperwork, discovered that the numbers did not add up to $30,000 but to something in the region of $23,000. It is therefore possible that MP Laveist has already paid too much.

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