Goods seized by bailiffs were taken from wrong people, Supreme Court rules

Na’e tu’utu’uni ‘e he Fakamaau’anga Lahi’ ko e koloa ia ‘a e kakai hala ne puke ‘e he kau peilifi na’a nau ngāue ma’a e Pangikē Fakalakalaka ‘a Tonga’. Ko e keisi ‘eni ne kamata ‘i he ta’u 2016 he taimi ne ma’u ai ‘e he pangikee’ ha tu’utu’uni fakafakamaau’anga ke puke koloa ‘a e kautaha ko e Young Farmers Ltd, Talosia Seluini mo Siosifa Seluini ke huhu’i e mo’ua pa’anga ‘e $86,526.19 fakataha mo e tupu. Pea ‘i Mā’asi ‘aho 9 ‘o e ta’u ni’ na’e ‘ohofi ai ‘e he peilifi’ ha ‘api ‘i Kolomotu’a na’e nofo ai ‘a e ongo Seluini. Ne nau puke ai ‘a e ‘aisi, sitou kasa mo e naunau fale. ‘I Mā’asi ‘aho 20 na’e ‘oatu ai ‘e Crystaline Seluini, Daniel Seluini, Tupou Seluini mo Manavahe Seluini ha fakatokanga ki he peilifi’ ko e koloa ne nau puke koe koloa ia ‘a kinautolu. Ko kinautolu ne nau fakatokanga atu ko eni ki he pangikee’ ko e fānau ia ‘a Talosia Seluini mo Siosifa Koloti Seluini pea na’e ‘ikai ha’anau kaunga ‘e taha ki he mo’ua ne ‘eke ‘e he pangikee’ ki he kautaha’. Na'e tui 'a e fakamaau'anga ki he taukapo 'a e fānau' ni pea' ne tu'utu'uni ke fakafoki 'enau koloa'.

The Supreme Court has ruled that bailiffs working for the Tongan Development Bank seized goods belonging to the wrong people.

The case had its origins in 2016 when the bank obtained a judgment against the Young Farmers Federation Ltd, Talosia Seluini and Siosifa Koloti Seluini for TP$86,526.19 along with interest and costs.

Last November the Supreme Court issued a writ of distress commanding the bailiffs to seize any property of the judgment debtors and to sell the same by public auction. The total amount to be levied was TP$87,733.19.

On March 9 this year bailiffs raided a property in Kolomotu’a where the Seluinis live.

They seized furniture, a refrigerator and a gas stove.

On March 20 Crystaline Seluini, Daniel Seluini, Tupou Seluini and Manavahe Seluini gave notice under the Bailiffs Act claiming ownership of the  goods seized.

The claimants are all children of Talosia Seluini and Siosifa Koloti Seluini, but have no responsibility for the judgment debt.

Prior to the hearing the claimants provided documents to support their claim to ownership of the goods.

Crystaline Seluini gave evidence on behalf of the claimants. She identified each item seized as owned by the claimants and explained how and when it was acquired.

Lord Chief Justice Paulsen said he  found  Miss. Seluini to be  an entirely honest and plausible witness.

“I am satisfied to the require standard that the claimants, and not the judgment debtors, own all of the items seized,” Mr Justice Paulsen said.

“There shall be a  declaration that they  are  the owners of the goods seized on 9 March 2018 pursuant to writ of distress 11 of 2017.

“The bailiffs special seizure of the goods along with the third judgment debtor’s undertaking  are  discharged.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here