25 June 2019

Liberia: Court Hunts African Tiles, Blocks Company's Manger

... Over US$3,710 unpaid debt

A hunt is underway for Washington Paye, managing director of the African Tiles, Blocs and Water Exploration, who is said to have been hiding after the Debt Court ruled against him on May 6, 2019, demanding that he pay US$3,710 as settlement of the court's judgment.

In his May 6 ruling, Judge James E. Jones, declared that defendant Paye was guilty to one Mohammed Prosper, the managing director of Prosperity Incorporated (plaintiff) in the amount of US$3,500, plus 6 percent (US$210) legal interests and the court costs of the proceedings totaling US$3,710.

Immediately afterward, Paye's lawyer Alfred B. Holmes, committed him to the judgment by signing a bill of cost to that effect, which the court and the plaintiff lawyer Lavela B. Walker also affixed their signatures.

But since the signing of the bill of cost, defendant Paye is nowhere to be found, which action has prompted the court to begin searching for Paye, though his lawyer Atty. Holmes has been seen around the court.

The case grew when Prosper, on February 22, 2019, filed a complaint against Paye claiming the amount of US$3,500 as balance due for the construction of two bore holes in Yekepa, Nimba County.

In Prosper's complaint for Summary Judgment, the plaintiff argued that the cost of the two bore holes was US$14,000, and that defendant Paye had paid the total of US$10,500, leaving an unpaid balance of US$3,500.

In counter argument, Paye's lawyer Holmes claimed that the plaintiff was its sub-contractor by virtue of bore holes contract he obtained from ArcelorMittal Steel Company.

However, Judge Jones' ruling said there was no evidence or agreement entered into that revealed the involvement of ArcelorMittal, who Paye has claimed rejected the bore holes of which, he was not willing to pay Prosper's the balance of US$3,500.

Paye further alleged that when Prosper (plaintiff) turned over the bore holes, he intended turning the bore holes over to ArcelorMittal and that ArcelorMittal, the owner of the bore holes, had found problem with the bore holes, which have to be corrected before the plaintiff (Prosper) can receive his balance payment.

Before Judge Jones' ruling, during the trial, the judge asked Paye's lawyer: "What is yet to be done with the bore holes?"

Atty. Holmes, in response, said: "There was no clear documentation of any wrong regarding the borne holes to be corrected by the plaintiff (Prosper).

Despite Atty. Holmes' response, Paye maintained that Prosper's work was not acceptable and so he was not going to make the balance payment.

Further to the court ruling, Judge Jones said that it was agreed with Prosper's lawyer Walker, that the plaintiff was entitled to summary judgment because, firstly, inspection of the agreement entered into revealed no involvement of the ArcelorMittal Steel, who Paye claimed rejected the bore holes.

"There is no evidence whatsoever before this court regarding the special wrong that Prosper (plaintiff) committed or the special correction to be introduced," Judge Jones's judgment said.

Adding, Judge Jones declared "the motion for summary must be and it is hereby granted, and the defendant is hereby ruled and adjudged to plaintiff in the amount of US$3,500 plus legal interest and cost of court of these proceedings."

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