Civil Law Court “B” Resident Judge, Kennedy Peabody over the weekend denied government lawyers’ motion of dismissal in the ongoing legal battle on a 53.3 Carats of Diamond found in Smithtown, Gbarmah District, Gbarpolu County in June of this year.
According to Judge Peabody, it is the considered opinion of the Court that there was only one petition filed before the Court on the 26th day of June AD 2023, which was withdrawn by voluntary discontinuance and subsequently a new petition filed on the 11th day of August AD 2023 which is currently before the Court something he said undetermined therefore placing a motion to dismiss is overruled and denied and the Resistance thereto sustained.
The Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy, through government lawyers invoked Revised Section 11.2(d) and filed a 5-count motion to dismiss, by praying to the Honorable Court to deny and dismiss the Petitioners/Respondents’ petition for Judicial review on grounds that there is another action pending between the same parties for the same cause in the Republic of Liberia.
In count three (3) of the five-count motions, the government lawyers argue that on May 26, 2023, the petitioners filed a petition for judicial review which they returned on July 5 AD 2023.
While the petition was still pending and undecided, the Petitioners again filed another petition while the first one was never withdrawn hereby constituting a multiplicity of actions.
“Our argument in count three of the motion stated that on May 26, 2023, the Petitioners/Respondents filed a petition for judicial review to which they filed its return on the 5th day of July AD 2023 and that a second petition for judicial review had neither withdrawn the first set of pleadings before filing and serving the second petition for judicial review.
They further argued that it is already under the jurisdiction of the Court, as such, the second pleading along with the Writ of Summons is a legal nullity and should not be entertained adding that the pleadings have already rested consistently with the Administrative Procedure Act of Liberia.
On November 1, 2023, Cllr. Moses Paegar, Cllr. Sayma Syrenius Cephus, and Cllr. Wilkins Wright of the Wright and Associates Law Firm in resistance to a submission made by the Respondents for consolidation of both the Motion and the main action of the case, filed three separate and distinct petitions for judicial review and therefore brought to the attention of the Honorable Court that the three petitions had not been withdrawn.
They said that they did not know which of the three separate petitions the Respondents wanted the Court to consolidate with the Motion to dismiss; stressing that if any of the three petitions had been withdrawn, would have been stipulated and signed by the parties but the same was never done, and being party to the notice of withdrawal and discontinuance should have been denied and dismissed and this Court should only hear the motion to dismiss that the submission was confusing, vague and indistinct, it should be and not to consolidate both.
At the same time, the Respondents filed a 4-count resistance to the Motion to dismiss on September 1, 2023, in which they relied upon proof”, and challenged Movant to produce a Revised-Civil Procedure Law Section 25.5, titled “burden demonstrate to the effect that the clerk’s certificate to Respondents did not withdraw and discontinue their previous action.
The Petitioners however furthered that the first petition for judicial review was withdrawn and discontinued on August 11, 2023, and a formal notice of voluntary discontinuance without prejudice was duly approved by this Honorable Court as in keeping with the law, thereby withdrawing and discontinuing the previous petition.