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AZARD ALI Saturday, July 15 2017

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IN THE winter of his life, grandfather Claudius Rodney, 72, wants to spend mornings in his garden and to play with his grandchildren in the yard of his Battoo Boulevard, Marabella home. But a relative has made life miserable for Rodney, rendering him partially paralyzed after beating the elderly man with an iron manhole cover while ordering him to get out of his own house.

The relative subsequently engaged the elderly man in a legal battle all the way to the Appeal Court, for the property. Rodney however, faced the battle headon and defended his right to live in his own property.

He was victorious both in the High and Appeal courts with the relative being told by the courts to get out.

Rodney’s troubles began in 2009 when the relative began acting aggressively towards him in the house where Rodney once lived with common-law wife Rajanie Ramgattie, 63. Rodney grew up as a child in that house which his parents left him as a gift. In an interview yesterday, Rodney said he was attacked with an iron manhole cover by the relative and beaten on both feet. So bad was the licks, Rodney said, that he was warded at San Fernando General Hospital.

Rodney, in a lawsuit filed in the High Court, San Fernando, stated that he took out a Protection Order against the relative who disconnected the electrical breaker to the house and cut the water line to a toilet. Rodney stated that he and Ramgattie were forced to leave the house.

He could not even retrieve his washing machine, ring-stove, gas tank, couch, television, wardrobe, wares, clothes and shoes.

Rodney went with officers from the Marabella Police Station but were greeted with signs nailed to coconut trees in the yard and nailed on the front of the house which read, ‘No Trespassing’ and ‘Private Property’.

Frustrated and with nowhere to live, the elderly couple stayed at an incomplete house in Penal.

Rodney went to the Legal Aid and Advisory Authority and attorney Soraya Nanan took up his plight and sent several notices to the relative to quit the property on the basis that the grandfather is the sole owner by Deed of Gift handed down by his deceased parents.

Rodney and wife Ramgattie began to wander from place to place and he became ill and could not walk without the aid of a cane. Rodney said yesterday that Ramgattie gave him strength to not only carry on but also fight for his right to live in the house.

She stood by him, he said, even when they were to the point of being destitute.

“I always told him, there is a God. God is everywhere even in the courtroom,” Ramgattie told Newsday. Attorney Nanan filed a lawsuit in 2015 against the relative and on June 8, 2016, Justice Charmaine Pemberton ruled that the relative did not file a defence in the proceedings.

She ordered him to restrain from entering Rodney’s property. Further, the relative was to cease assaulting, harassing, threatening and verbally abusing Rodney. In fact, the judge ordered him to pay costs to the grandfather.

The relative filed an appeal on the ground that the judge erred in law and her orders should therefore be set aside. Faced with a fresh battle at the Appeal Court, Rodney again turned to the Legal Aid Authority and again found a saviour in attorney Nanan.

She defended Rodney before Appellate judge Nolan Bereaux in the Hall of Justice, Port of Spain. “I used to take the bus on the Wharf. Me and Rajanie. We go up to Port of Spain for the case everytime it called and we come back down.” When the case came before Justice Bereaux, he dismissed Rodney’s relative’s appeal of Justice Pemberton’s ruling. Rodney will therefore be allowed to go in the house, but yesterday, he told the Newsday that he made an attempt to enter the property, it was guarded by people he did not know.

“I went to take back my house, but imagine he is still living there. I am ailing now and at least I want to live out the rest of my life in peace and with a little happiness,” Rodney said. Attorney Nanan said that she would take steps to enforce the Court of Appeal judgment

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