I’m in the process of filing a formal complaint against a judge in Jamaica. She is one of a many in the Supreme Court system, and surely the other courts within Jamaica. My case was one of custody of my children. I was awarded custody in November of 2016 of both my children. Their mother was found to be incapable of properly caring for them. This was after kidnapping them and taking them out of the country in 2015 and my pursuing her for months before finding them in Canada (where I and my children are citizens and her a resident by my application years before). The court in Canada returned them to me; and I brought them back to Jamaica where I was working.
From their return to Jamaica (where she is a practicing attorney) it was apparent that I would not get a fair day in court. There passports were seized on her application as I was suddenly a flight risk despite her being the one who removed them from their lives in Jamaica to Canada where she had no plans for them and nowhere to live (unless you call her friend’s apartment in public housing and eventually living with her husband of a few days in his basement somewhere to live). I was unable to see them from June 26th, 2015 until February 19th, 2016 by the order of the presiding judge. She was given supervised visitation on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 3pm and 6pm. They were expected to do homework after visitation (my son was only three initially and didn’t have the homework issue, of course; but he started school in September). They had to eat after coming home and prepare for the next day; and go to bed at 9pm. This was considered fair.
The first Judge found in my favour after having us all evaluated by a psychologist, teacher & caregiver reports and the numerous affidavits filed. All of the affidavits filed against me claimed abuse and abandonment. The allegations were found to be questionable, but the judge did not call them outright false; and gave sole custody to me with the same limitations placed against me with a twist. The mother claimed she still lived in Canada despite being in Jamaica since March of 2016 when the children were returned. A long story short, she was no longer admissible to Canada for reasons unknown. She was given electronic access to the children under supervision.
In October of 2016, I applied for a job outside of Jamaica (as I only worked in Jamaica for two years in my life and the salary was a joke) and was successful in March of 2017. She immediately filed an appeal and for a variation of the order at the same time in January (believing that I had been employed already due to people knowing both of us telling her that I was employed elsewhere). My children spent the Christmas of 2016 in Toronto with my parents and were returned to Jamaica in January (shows I had no intent of leaving Jamaica without first making their departure legal and amicable (mind you, she claimed to be living in Canada). She never actually left Jamaica. They placed an injunction on the Children, seizing their passports. She dropped the appeal and continued with the variation of order (even though a variation cannot change the substantive ruling of custody). I moved to my new country of work in May after ensuring their care and education was cemented until they were able to leave and be with me. Her application was thrown out as there was no evidence to show any change of circumstance (apart from me being apart from them due to her injunction barring them from leaving the country). They filed the exact same application the same day. Injunction was held and they chose their judge.
This new judge immediately asked (in my absence) why the mother cannot have custody and I visit. The judgment was there but she claimed to not be able to read the parts that show exactly why the abusive mother could not have custody. We went back and forth for months where she ordered a social enquiry, another psychological report and statements from teachers, parents and caregiver (AGAIN). It was all in my favour. The judge delayed each time to give judgment after promising judgement eight times from August until January. Reasoning behind this was she couldn’t find a way to give the mother custody. She eventually gave custody to the mother and my attorneys made it clear that an appeal would be filed. The judge said her written judgment would be ready in two weeks. It took until Monday to receive that written judgement after writing to the registrar numerous times, writing to the chief justice who has yet to read anything as he is friends with the judge; and after seeing reading communication between her and the mother’s attorney in reference to the case, which is a breach of conduct and the law. I wrote a scathing letter (email to be exact) to the judge informing her that I have taken the matter up with not only the Jamaican authorities but also the Canadian authorities and I would be filing a formal complaint against her. She was scared stupid after reading my email and sent it around the judiciary, called attorneys and judges (including my own attorneys) and claimed I threatened her and that she had given the judgment to her legal assistant the week prior. My attorneys were called on Monday morning to pick up the judgment.
Met, why would the judgment be ready so quickly, only after her receiving that email from me? Does it not show you what is really taking place? I have every bit of my case here with me as soft and hard copy as I have promised that I will have her removed from the bench and they know I am serious. We have previously spoken on the issue of the missing girls in Nigeria. What I have told you only scratches the surface of what has taken place. I would like for us to not just look into my case, but I know there are many other cases like this. I put my wife through school as a solid family and foundation cannot be one sided, both the man and the woman should be able to come together and make their family better. There is a game that is played in Jamaica. Men are vilified once a woman claims abuse. Many times, the men are the victims and remain silent. I remained silent for many years to a cheating, verbally and emotionally abusive wife. She abused my children as well and I left my job as a manager in an airline to remain in Jamaica and ensure my children would no longer suffer at her hands.
This is not over and I would like to know what we can do to highlight these and many other injustices in Jamaica. The legal system is set up in the interest of only a few people. It is only when they see that they are of equal footing that they decide to be fair and this must stop.