Liberia: Associate Justice Wolokollie Lifts Stay Order Placed on Institution Involving 8th Graders
Monrovia – Associate Justice Jamesetta Howard Wolokolie has lifted the stay order placed on an action of damages involving Levi C. Williams High School and parents of eight students of the institute who were expelled for allegedly smoking prohibited substances on campus.
Victoria Wesseh, Staff Writer
“By directive of Her Associate Justice presiding in Chambers, you are hereby mandated to resume jurisdiction and proceed in keeping with laws, as the Justice has declined to issue the writ prayed for by the petitioner. Meanwhile, the stay order of May 24, 2022 is lifted,” the Justice mandate stated.
The Associate Justice had earlier on May 24, 2022 mandated Civil Law Court Judge J. Kennedy Peabody to placed a stay order on the case and cited the parties to conference on June 1, 2022.
Prior to Justice Wolokolie’s decision, the Sixth Judicial Circuit, Civil Law Court Judge J. Kennedy Peabody on May 19, 2022 ordered the Principal of Levi C. Williams in person of Mr. Yhoji P. Kai to reinstate the eight eight students with immediate effect.
Judge Peabody also ordered the defendant to file answer or respond to the complaint on or before May 29, 2022.
He warned that failure of the defendant to appear or answer to the lawsuit; judgement by default would be rendered against the school.
Levi C. Williams on May 24, 2022 asked the Justice Wolokolie for the issuance of a Writ of Prohibition against Judge Peabody’s action to reinstate the expelled students to the school.
The Levi C. Williams, as a Liberian domestic not-for profit organization authorized to operate a school in its petition, told the High Court’s Justice that the case at the Civil Law Court arose from the expulsion of the students from its high school session for smoking prohibited substances on the campus, especially during school hours.
The school informed Justice Wolokolie that the decision to expel the students was based on an internal investigation conducted by the school consistent with the fundamental due process requirements and admissions made by the students during said investigation.
The school said on the May 19, 2022, based on a complaint filed by the students’ parents against Levi C. William for the expulsion of their children, a writ of summons and a Court Order were served on the school simultaneously.
The Court Order issued on the same date of the filing of the complaint, requesting the clerk of court to issue the Judge’s provisional order directing the sheriff to order the defendant (school) to with immediate effect reinstate all the students who were expelled.
The school, through its lawyer, said that under the law, a party seeking an order of court to undo an act, is required to move the court to order the issuance of an injunctive relief.
The order of Judge Peabody which is in effect an injunctive did not follow the law for the granting of an injunctive relief.
The defendant (school) said the actions and procedures which have been adopted by Judge Peabody in ordering petitioner to reinstate the expelled students was unlawful and illegal as the school was not granted any opportunity to be heard as provided by the organic law of the land, the Constitution.
The school lamented that the complaint was filed and served on the same day, and was never heard before the issuance of the Court Order on the same time day of the service of the Court’s Order.
Those who dragged the school to court for allegedly expulsion of their children are Messrs. Darlington Duoe, Gregory Walker, Daniel Ochiche, Romeo Morris, Synnove Nagbe, Abraham Barry and Diamond Carter, all aggrieved parents of the expelled students.