Body 2000 Owner Wins Civil Case
In 2020, Mark Neal, owner of Body 2000, Gabriel Pou, Kiandra Pow, and Berisford Hauze were arrested by police officers after having been found inside Body 2000 during a period of lockdown related to the COVID-19 pandemic. All four were charged and prosecuted with COVID-19-related infractions. The charges were dismissed by the Chief Magistrate. Claimants filed a claim against the defendants, seeking damages for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution, as well as special damages and costs. The allegations of false imprisonment were filed out of time under the Limitation Act. That part of the claim is statute-barred. The claimants sought general, aggravated, and exemplary damages for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. They also claim $5,000 in special damages, interests, and costs. In her judgment on March 29, Justice Geneviève Chabot ruled that the defendants pay the claimants general and aggravated damages of $12,000 each and $5,000 in special damages. Representing the claimants was attorney Nazira Myles.
Nazira Myles, Attorney-at-Law: “It was always my client’s position one Mr.Neal the owner wasn’t even at the location, two the gym was closed and this was admitted by the police while the hearing was taking place and then the others had an explanation as to why they were at the gymnasium. The case really dealt with the issues as to false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and whether the action by the police were proper in the circumstances and the court found that the arresting officer who was PC Leal did not have probably and reasonable cause to arrest them and of course the decision goes into the detail explaining that really and truly it was a directive that was given from ranks higher above him and he was simply following directives and did not arrest them based on an honest belief by himself.”
Reporter: So you clients won that civil suit.
Nazira Myles, Attorney-at-Law: “Correct. The court ruled in favor that they were malicious prosecuted, that there was no basis by PC Leal to have arrested and charged them when they did, in fact Mr.Neal as you will see in the judgment was not even there he reached at the police station when he was informed of what happened, wasn’t even given a chance to explain and was immediately arrested and charged there. So the court did find that PC Leal did not have the necessary requirements to prosecute the matter and that in fact he waited for over ten to twelve adjournments, keep going to Magistrate’s court and then on the day of trial that is when he took the stand and gave an explanation he was simply following directives from higher above him and that is why he made the arrest so the court found in favor of my clients.”
Reporter: So that’s general and aggravated damages in the sum of $12,000 to each claimant.
Nazira Myles, Attorney-at-Law: “Correct. Each claimant received $10,000 in general damages for the malicious prosecution and then $2,000 is for the aggravating factors where you would have to read the judgment to understand that there were various degrees of breaches by these police officers starting from the Commanding Officer of the Police Station to the actual persons who went and did the arrest and then she also awarded $5,000 in special damages where they had to seek representation at the Magistrate Court level and we also obtained court cost.”