MONROVIA – The Civil Law Court of the Temple of Justice ordered the detention of bailiff Arthur C. Morris for ten days for interfering with the jury in open court during the trial.
Judge Yamie Gbeisay on Thursday September. 15, m2022 also mandated the disbarment of juries in the case for lacking independence.
By Victoria G. Wesseh, Contributing Author
Justice Gbeisay made this disclosure in his decision involving the Modern Development Management Corporation (MDMC) through its Managing Director, John S Youboty, Musa Kamara and Netty Nyanneh of Johnsonville Township 16.5 Acres.
Judge Gbeisay said that juror Rita F. US$100.00 to be paid to government revenue and the receipt thereof to be brought to the sheriff of court failing which the clerk is ordered to issue a writ of arrest and detain her in the Monrovia Central Prison until the said sum is paid.
The jurors who were involved in the said case include Silas S. Frazier, Sereplona L. Fayiah, Jostina Topaye, Rita F. Baokai,
Princess K. Slocen, Henry P. Cleyeh,
Florence Crayton, P. Josephns N. Gonkpala and Joseph Dickserl
The judge also similarly ordered bailiff Arthur C. Morris to be stripped naked and held in Monrovia Central Jail for 10 days for interfering with the jury.
“Consequently, the matte is ordered dismissed pending further warrant from the Court. And so ordered,” Judge Gbeisay said.
“In view of the embarrassment caused by the jury and the bailiff who has the power to interfere with the trial, this court had no choice but to strike out the entire jury and declared that the jury is hereby ordered expunged and a new trial granted under a separate jury during another term of court.
The court reported that a trial of an eviction action filed by MDMC against multiple defendants began with the participation of a special jury and progressed for 12 days.
The court said both parties had preserved evidence and submitted their respective parties to the court for closing arguments. On the eve of said pleading, a bailiff assigned to this court by the name of Arthur C Morris allegedly overheard the trial jury and the secretary of the trial jury discussing the case in public and he alarmed with the aim of silence both jurors.
During the change of court, the pleading which ensued one of the defendants’ lawyers in the person of Cllr. Swaliho Sesay heard the argument and therefore filed a complaint against the forewoman and other jurors claiming that they consistently and continuously conducted themselves contrary to the rule governing jury service.
“The trial was aborted and the investigation condemned in the chamber of jurors. The investigation further revealed that the forewoman opened a chat room where all the jurors of the trial are recorded there and in said chat room they discussed the case which she admitted during the survey they go to the chat room to discuss everything they do. not understood during the trial.