Cllr. Milton Taylor’s decision to change the date on a ‘letter of administration’ from November 10, 1991, to May 10, 2004, based on which he filed an “ejection lawsuit” in favor of his client, Cyril E. Murray, was enough for the 13th Judicial Circuit Court in Margibi County to dismiss the case.
Judge Yamie Quiqui Gbeisay dismissed the lawsuit without hearing its merits and demerits on Thursday, June 29. The judge, however, did not punish Cllr. Taylor for the act.
The letter allegedly made Murray the authorized representative of 400 acres of land belonging to the intestate estate of the late Konneh Nyojah in Towel Town along the RIA (Roberts International Airport) highway.
Taylor sought the court’s intervention to eject several defendants, including George B. Kailondo, who is occupying six acres of the property.
The case started when Taylor realized that the document he had used to file his lawsuit against the defendants was dated November 10, 1991, for which he cleverly filed another motion, this time in 2014, to amend his lawsuit, and changed the date on the document from November 10, 1991, to May 10, 2004.
Before that, Taylor had allegedly convinced then Judge Boimah Kontoe about changing the date, which the judge approved, thereby making it legitimate for the amendment, according to court records.
It was after Kontoe affixed his signature to the ‘letter of administration’ dated May 10, 2004, that Taylor on October 22, 2014, filed the lawsuit against the defendants.
On May 26, 2017, Murray paid L$800 to the court and simultaneously withdrew and filed the amendment. Taylor included a court decree of sale among others as evidence that was not included in his original ejection lawsuit.
Dismissing the case, Judge Gbeisay said “the Supreme Court is in sympathy with Murray, and there is no other alternative but to dismiss and deny the amended complaint and the original complaint of 2014, having been withdrawn, there is no case left to this court for its determination. While it is true that any party may withdraw at any time and re-file any pleading previously filed, it is mandatory that such withdrawal of an amendment should be within 19 days from the date of the last pleading of the court.”
Before Gbeisay’s judgment, Cllr. Jonathan Massaquoi had argued that there were no courts functioning in the country in 1991 because of the civil war; and therefore, Taylor could not claim that it was the court that issued Murray the ‘letter of administration.’
It may be recalled that in 2015, Commercial Court Judge Eva Mappy Morgan sent Taylor and another lawyer, Cllr. Viama J. Blama, to jail at the Monrovia Central Prison for a month each for allegedly falsifying a document indicting her for a criminal transaction.
Cllr. Taylor and Cllr. Blama were accused of crafting another letter incriminating Judge Morgan. Part of that letter said: “Rental proceeds or money due shall be paid to Oumou S. Hage’s authorized representatives, Mr. Toni T. Hage, Bashiir M. Hage and Mr. Cooper B. Yallah, who are party to matter.”
As a result of the alleged communication to indict Commercial Court Judge Morgan, the two lawyers, Cllr. Taylor and Cllr. Blama, filed a six-count motion for Judge Morgan’s recusal from the trial on grounds that she had compromised her neutrality in the case. However, the court discovered that the letter was allegedly falsified by the two lawyers in order to indict the judge.
The lawyers informed the court that they obtained the letter from court officers, who they did not identify, which angered Judge Morgan enough to hold them in contempt, giving them a 30-day prison sentence, as provided for by law.