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JIS News

The first sitting of the Portmore Municipal Court was held yesterday(July 21), at the Portmore Family Court building in Greater Portmore, St. Catherine.
Thirteen cases were presented to the presiding Judge, Resident Magistrate Simone Maddix, for offences ranging from building breaches to illegal garages and car washes.
“It’s a start, a good move and it will facilitate us getting our cases heard and people will know you are serious, because we are,” Mayor of Portmore, George Lee told JIS News.
“In the past we served them (the people) notice, but when it expired, we didn’t go further because of the court system. Now if you get a notice, we are going to proceed, so you have two options. You can come into the office to regularize and make amendments or face the prospects of being taken to court,” he said. He noted that only 13 cases were presented to the Court, because persons who received notices had visited the Municipality to regularize their activities. The Revenue Enhancement, Compliance and Enforcement Manager at the Portmore Municipality Council, Vaughan Miller, told JIS News that he welcomed the court as a long awaited first step in solving the problem of delinquency within the Municipality. He said that a number of persons were still not complying with regulations under the Town and Country Planning Act and the Solid Waste Act.
“We are having a number of problems with people complying. We have the swales that are blocked, a breach as far as the building code is concerned, and people leaving debris on the street, and dumping in open areas,” he said. Other problems, he mentioned were illegal garages and nurseries.
According to Mr. Miller, the court would be in session on the last Tuesday of each month, and approximately 20 cases would be presented by the Municipality for hearing. He said that cases brought before the court should be dealt with more speedily than in the Spanish Town Resident Magistrate court.