Judge Paegar’s Delayed Ruling Questioned

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The delay by Judge Chan-Chan Paegar, on the three judge panel at the Commercial Court, to make available his final ruling on trademark infringement of “pop drink” has caused one of the parties to write a complaint against his behavior to his colleagues.

Judge Paegar, without a written document, on August 5, 2016, gave a three minute ruling in the case against H.K. Enterprise, a Lebanese owned business by BAF Trading Corporation, and promised to have hardcopies available on Wednesday, August 10.

However, when he spoke with the Daily Observer on Tuesday, August 23, he admitted to the delay saying that it happened as a result of a serious medical situation.

BAF’s lead lawyer, Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe, has complained about the delay to the other judges on the panel.

The release of the final ruling document would have enabled BAF to file its ‘Bill of Exception’ to the Supreme Court within ten days to announce an appeal against Paegar’s decision.

Without that instrument, H.K. Enterprise could take the opportunity to communicate with the Supreme Court to dismiss any appeal filed to it on the matter on grounds that the ten-day period had expired.

In his client’s letter of complaint, Cllr. Gongloe said he requested for a copy of Judge Paegar’s written ruling and final judgment pronounced on Friday, August 5, when the Judge informed the parties that the written ruling and judgment would be ready on Wednesday, August 10.

The letter dated August 15, further read: “Monday, August 15, was the tenth day since Judge Paegar announced the judgment against the petitioner, BAF, yet the record of this case showed that Judge Paegar’s written ruling and judgment is not ready.”

The letter asked Judge Paegar to do everything humanly possible to make available his ruling and final judgment in order to enable his client to file a ‘Bill of Exception’ as required by law.

Judge Paegar ruled that both BAF and H.K. Enterprise did not have the legitimate right to import the product into the country, because they don’t have permission from the Liberia Industrial Property Office (LIPO), a party to the case.

He said the parties did not obtain licenses from LIPO for the trademark to import pop drink for the Liberian market – although BAF was licensed in 2010 for ten years to import the product, while H.K. Enterprise also obtained a license from LIPO in 2014 to import the same product.

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