Judge finds Daxon claims ‘frivolous, vexatious’

MARIA Daxon outside court during a previous appearance.

MARIA Daxon outside court during a previous appearance.


Tribune News Editor


A JUDGE tore apart and struck out two lawsuits Maria Daxon brought against police and other public bodies, finding her claims frivolous, vexatious and abusive of the judicial process with no real prospect of success.

In one case, Supreme Court Justice Lorien Klein said her pleadings were “embarrassing”.

“The pleadings are deficient in every which way, and no party should be vexed with having to plead to them nor any court saddled with having to discern what is the real case that is being put for determination,” he wrote in one of his two rulings, adding: “I am also of the view that the claims cannot be saved by amendment and would have to be essentially repleaded.”

 Ms Daxon, the deputy leader of the Coalition of Independents, took legal action against the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

 One action came after police interviewed, arrested and charged her with two counts of intentional libel after she, on August 26, 2016, wrote a Facebook post titled “STOP STEALING THE JUNIOR OFFICERS FUNDS.” The post made allegations against the police commissioner and his executive team, claiming they were not paying junior officers their entitlements.

 Ms Daxon’s writ included multiple causes of action, including unlawful arrest, malicious prosecution, misfeasance in public office, defamation, and breaches of fundamental constitutional rights.

 The defendants in the matter, including former Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade, applied to have her writ and statement of claim struck out.

 Justice Klein said nothing in Ms Daxon’s claims could sustain her unlawful arrest claim.

 “For example, there are no allegations that there was a lack of lawful authority or reasonable grounds for the arrest, or that the arresting officer could not and did not suspect, reasonably or at all, that the plaintiff was guilty of any offence, or that any of the procedural safeguards were not followed,” he wrote.

 He added that the particulars of her malicious prosecution claim “are rather unorthodox and clearly lacking”.

 Regarding her defamation claim, the judge said, “there is very little to detain this ruling”, adding there was no specific assertion of defamation.

 “As to the breaches of fundamental rights, it is almost inescapable not to conclude that these have been tossed in as a kind of a ‘top-up’,” he wrote.

 He added that her constitutional claims were pleaded in a “convoluted and incoherent manner”.

 Ms Daxon, a former police officer, also sued the commissioner of police, the Department of Public Service, and others, claiming that during her police career, she was unfairly denied study leave, denied promotion opportunities given to men and was treated unfairly and in a discriminatory manner based on her sex.

 She alleged that her treatment breached her contractual, statutory and constitutional rights.

 She further alleged that the defendants failed to employ competent employees and to supervise their employees.

 “I accept the defendants’ submissions that the plaintiff has not pleaded any causes of action fit for trial,” Justice Klein wrote. “The plaintiff might feel aggrieved at what she says is the treatment meted out to her by the police force and the other defendants, and it might be that there are matters there that might form the basis for a legal claim.

 “They are not pleaded or properly pleaded in the statement of claim.”

 He added that the pleadings “are embarrassing in that they contain vague and incoherent statements which would leave the defendants in considerable doubt as to the case they have to meet, and the court unsure of the issues it has to decide”.

 He said: “The writ and statement of claim transgress virtually all of the rules and conventions of pleadings, and it does not require any painstaking analysis of the pleading to come to this conclusion. Overall, the statement of claim is trot out in a most unusual form and structure. The pleadings are discursive, disjointed, confusing and difficult to unravel.”

 He said the pleadings “completely betray and subvert the basic requirement for pleadings” to be concise and clear enough for defendants to respond to.

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