By C. Winnie Saywah-Jimmy
The Supreme Court has suspended the Judge of the Monthly and Probate Court for Montserrado County, J. Vinton Holder, for a period of one calendar year from presiding as judge over the said court and any other court within Liberia.
The court’s decision follows a reverse of several actions and decisions detailed in the opinion as actions committed by Judge Holder in the handling and disposition of the proceedings of the case, Priscilla Gibson-Flomo, co-administratrix of the intestate of the late Velma Gibson-Ajavon versus Ms. Roselyn Swaray, co-administratrix of the intestate Estate of the late Velma Gibson-Ajavon all of the city of Monrovia.
Hear the observation of the Supreme Court; “Having listened to the arguments and contentions advanced by the parties, reviewed the facts and circumstances presented in the records, and examined the laws controlling in the case; and being satisfied that egregious errors and gross irregularities were committed by the Judge of the Monthly and Probate Court for Montserrado in the handling and disposition of the proceedings in the case.”
“Firstly, in not only granting the motion to dismiss due to a want of jurisdiction by the Monthly and Probate Court; secondly, by proceeding without jurisdiction to go into the bill of information and to do so without a hearing to ascertain the truthfulness of the factual allegations; thirdly, by granting the appellee’s patently inappropriate prayer to cancel the lease agreement and thereby ordering the cancellation of the lease; fourthly, by entering Judgment against a party who was never served with any precepts and who therefore was never brought under the Jurisdiction of the court; and fifthly, the showing of deliberate and numerous violations of the law, especially the law governing decedent estates, warranting the reversal of his said actions.”
From these observations, the high court ruled that because of the several actions and decisions detailed in the Opinion and enumerated above, committed by Judge Holder, all decisions rendered were hereby reversed.
The Supreme Court further said that the motion to dismiss is an order granted and that the judgment entered against Roselyn Swaray’s reversed while the bill of information is dismissed and that new proceedings should begin by the Monthly and Probate Court consistent with law.
To Judge Holder, the Court’s judgment were contained as follow; “That given the clear and manifold abuses of the Judicial processes by Judge J. Vinton Holder, of the Monthly and Probate Court for Montserrado County, his flagrant and deliberate violations of and disregard for the laws, both in this case and others, and his unceasing infliction of injury on the Liberian Judicial and justice system, and his open, repeated and unrelenting display of callous disregard for the Canons of Judicial Ethics, this Court, in consonance with Judicial Canons Nos. 35 and 39, hereby suspends His Honor J. Vinton Holder from presiding as Judge over the Monthly and Probate Court for Montserrado County.”
The Clerk of the Supreme Court has been mandated to inform the lower court that the judge presiding therein resumes jurisdiction over the case and to give effect to its judgment for the resumption of the matter.
Edited-August 9, 2015-FAS