Court Of Appeal Ruling Protects Government Assets From Garnishee And Execution Orders By Creditors

PR – The Government of Grenada has won its  appeal to prevent State creditors from garnishing the State’s accounts and using other  similar execution methods when enforcing money judgments against the State.  

The ruling was delivered in the appeal, The Attorney General of Grenada v Shorn  Braveboy and Letisha Lessey-Braveboy. The Court of Appeal has reserved the reasons  for its decision on the Appeal. 

The Court of Appeal’s ruling sets aside the July 2019 decision of Hon. Justice Smith  which, declared Section 21(4) of the Crown Proceedings Act (CPA) and rules 50.2(3) and  59.7 of the Eastern Caribbean Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) unconstitutional. This  effectively restores them as part of the laws of Grenada. 

The aforementioned section and rules relate to creditors enforcing money judgments  against the State of Grenada and restricts the methods of enforcement that may be used  by State’s creditors. 

Section 21(4) of the CPA also provides that no person within the public service shall be  individually liable for the payment of such money or costs that may be ordered for  payment by the Crown, or any Ministry or Government department. This essentially  means that the assets of Permanent Secretaries or other Government officials cannot be  garnished as part of any attempt to enforce a legal judgment against the State. 

Further, these important provisions within the law, determine what is permissible under  the Constitution as it relates to monies in the Consolidated Fund, which is the fund where  all of Government revenues and receipts are lodged and from where Government  spending is approved. 

The ruling is significant for Government because if creditors are allowed to garnish the  State’s accounts, this will hinder the ability of the State to properly manage public  resources for the purposes of development, recurrent expenditures, payment of debts  and other such associated matters.