Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh has agreed to a request from Member of Parliament for St Peters, Hon. Asot Michael that she withdraws from a civil matter in which he is the defending claim from Chuka Lewis.
Michael acted on the belief that the Chief Magistrate acted unlawfully and “in excess of jurisdiction… in circumstances that suggest the executive is interfering with the administration of justice” when she issued a warrant earlier this month compelling him to attend court even though he was certified sick by a Medical doctor.
The letter from Michael’s lawyers, Marshall and Company, requesting recusal dated September 14th, 2020, states: “it appears that you have confused the powers available to you in civil proceedings with those available to you in criminal proceedings. This is plainly wholly incompatible with your continuing to act as the tribunal in this case”.
The letter dated September 14th, 2020 asked the Chief Magistrate to immediately recuse herself from the proceedings since “it is no longer appropriate for you to now continue to exercise any judicial functions in this matter going forward”.
The Chief Magistrate has agreed and the matter which was adjourned to September 21, 2020, will now be heard by another Magistrate.
Michael categorically denies the Chief Magistrate’s claim that he threatened her.
“All I did was indicate via WhatsApp message that I would send a written complaint to the Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court seeking to have her removed from the bench which I will substantiate with incontrovertible evidence”.
And that, Michael says, is not a threat. “It is a promise to act in the interest of the integrity of our system of justice”.