Magisterial Court Abandoned in Grand Bassa Co.

By Reuben Bier Grand Bassa Co. Email: reubenbier@gmail.com

Grand Bassa County, Liberia – The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Justice is said to have abandoned the only Magisterial Court located in Compound 4, Grand Bassa County.

According to information gathered by our reporter who visited the area, the court has since been closed due to reasons yet to be established.

The Magisterial Court was built by the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Justice to provide Justice for citizens residing in that part of Grand Bassa County.

Magisterial Courts are authorized to exercise exclusive original jurisdiction of petty larceny and no other misdemeanor, as well as of all offenses and violations of the Traffic Law, except another court is given exclusive original jurisdiction. The Magisterial Courts also have jurisdiction; hence they are considered Court of “First Instance”.

Appeals from the decisions of Magisterial Courts lie before the Circuit Court in the county in which they sit, if outside of the jurisdiction of the Provisional Probate Courts. However, the First Judicial Circuit Court has the mandate to hear appeals only in criminal cases arising in Montserrado County and the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court hears appeals other than criminal cases.

Appeals from the decisions of the Magisterial Courts in actions to obtain payment of debt lie before the Debt Court in the County.

But as it stands, the entire building of the court is currently in a deplorable condition despite calls made by residents of the area for its reconditioning and activation of services.

Grand Bassa County has five Electoral Districts and district five is where the court has been abandoned is the district of Representative Thomas Alexander Goshua and it is home to thousands of Liberians who reside in that part of the country.

As one may be aware, mob violence comes into play in the absence of a functional magisterial court in an area that has a huge population.

Mr. Emmanuel Monceegar, Commander of the Liberia National Police in Compound #4, Electoral District 5,  Grand Bassa County where the court is situated said they are finding it difficult to transfer cases since the abandonment of the court.

Mr. Monceegar explained to Our Grand Bassa Correspondent who visited the area that in order to transfer cases for court proceedings and for residents to seek the justice they will have to walk for hours before reaching a magisterial court located at the Equatorial Oil Palm Plantation area.

He mentioned that several calls have been made to local authorities in Grand Bassa County as well as at the National governmental level by residents of the area, but to no avail.

“Already we lack of mobility, and the court is no longer functional, we have spent our own money and resources just to have cases transferred in Palm Bale or Buchanan. It is a completely difficult situation and posing threat to our operations day by day, Mr. Monceegar narrated to our Correspondent.

However, residents, state security as well as citizens who aspiring for Representative Positions in the district in the pending October 10 Presidential and Legislative elections have described the inactiveness and abandonment of the Magisterial Court as alarming and called on the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Justice for swift intervention for the reactivation of the Court.

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