Islander facing eviction raises Clameur de Haro

Royal Square. Caroline Powell leaving Royal Court after a hearing regarding her raising the Clameur de Haro yesterday. With L>R Deputy Montfort Tadier, Deputy Mike Higgins (hidden) and Nick Le Cornu Picture: ROB CURRIE

Caroline Powell appeared before the Royal Court on Friday, having raised the Clameur de Haro, a rarely used injunction of restraint implemented by those who believe they have been wronged.

Advocate Marcus Pallot, acting on behalf of the owner of the property, who wants her to leave, said that Mrs Powell had been given a two-month period of indulgence in late November, as well as having been able to remain living at the property for almost an additional month.

The court heard that the issue related to a dégrèvement, a process when banks or businesses apply to take over ownership of a property or a piece of land owned by a person or business who is unable to pay their mortgage.

Advocate Pallot said the Clameur had been raised on Thursday after officers from the Viscount’s Department attended the property and served paperwork on Mrs Powell requiring her to leave within two weeks.

The Clameur had been wrongly raised, Advocate Pallot asserted, because it could not be used in cases where officers of the court were seeking to enforce an order of the court.

St Brelade resident Mrs Powell, who did not have legal representation at the hearing, told the court that the short time between the Clameur and the hearing had meant she had been unable to read the documents, which she said included at least one error.

The court heard Mrs Powell say that she had ‘been through hell in the courts since 2007’ as a result of the proceedings and had lost her material possessions, her reputation and her health during this time.

Mrs Powell said she was pleading for an adjournment ‘on the grounds of wanting a fair trial’.

Deputy Bailiff Robert Macrae, sitting with Jurats Elizabeth Dulake and Jane Ronge, granted an adjournment until Tuesday but warned Mrs Powell that she must be ready and to understand that the court would proceed with the hearing at that point.

The court heard that the Clameur de Haro was believed to have last been raised in 2000.

To enact the Clameur the aggrieved party must go down on one knee in the location of the offence and then, with hands in the air and in the presence at least two witnesses, must call out: ‘Haro! Haro! Haro! A l’aide, mon Prince, on me fait tort.’ This translates as: ‘Hear me! Hear me! Hear me! Come to my aid, my Prince, for someone does me wrong.’ The offending activity must cease. The individual then needs to put the grievance down in writing and lodge it with the Judicial Greffe within 24 hours.

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