Ex PC takes legal action against CoP

| 28/10/2013

(CNS): Yet another former police officer is taking legal against the RCIPS after he was sacked from the service without explanation. According to court documents, John Morrison, who became a Caymanian status holder while serving as a police officer in June 2011, was sacked in December 2011 without warning and two months after he had received a letter in October 2011 stating that his contract would be renewed for another three years. Although the commissioner has the right to kick officers out of the RCIPS if he deems it is in the public interest, he is supposed to give reasons. Morrison claims no explanation has ever been given to him.

This is one of a number of mounting court actions that have been filed against the commissioner over the termination of officers without explanation and the way police have been treated.

Despite filing an appeal through the internal processes for public servants in the wake of his dismissal, two years later Morrison has had no word on his fate and has made a decision to have his dismissal examined by the courts. He has now filed for a judicial review against the commissioner and the deputy governor seeking damages and back pay.

According to the application for judicial review filed by local attorney Charles Clifford on Morrison’s behalf, after he was thrown out of the police he began preparing an appeal without resorting to legal action. Through the channels established for such matters, he appealed what he believed was the commissioner’s unlawful decision on 2 February.

Then, having heard nothing, he wrote to the deputy chief officer in the Portfolio of the Civil Service asking for an update on that appeal. On 28 September he wrote to the deputy chief officer again after a meeting with crown counsel from the Attorney General’s Chambers saying he was willing to accept any of the suggestions which they had offered to settle the issue. 

However, in January of this year, instead of a settlement he was given a date for his appeal, which he attended in May, but more than five months after that hearing and nearly two years after he was dismissed, there has been no decision made in his case.

As a result, Morrison says he has been forced to seek the judicial review and is seeking his back pay as well as pension and other entitlements from December 2011 until October 2014, when his contract would have run had he not been dismissed, as well as damages relating to the impact on his reputation, financial loss, hardship and emotional distract by what Clifford describes as “a grave injustice”.

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