PHILIPSBURG–The hearing of summary proceedings filed by 37 detainees at the Pointe Blanche prison against Country St. Maarten, which was scheduled to be heard in the Court of First Instance on Friday, March 20, has been adjourned until further notice.
The hearing will be rescheduled when travel restrictions in the Dutch Caribbean in connection with the outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19 have been lifted, the Court announced on Wednesday.
Through these legal proceedings the litigating detainees seek to force Country St. Maarten to transfer them to correctional facilities elsewhere in the Kingdom as soon as possible.
According to the detainees, the government of St. Maarten cannot guarantee their security in the Pointe Blanche prison.
“Although the case meets the criteria for urgent cases, the Court does not consider it responsible to proceed with the hearing in the context of developments concerning the coronavirus. Allowing the hearing to proceed leads to too much interpersonal contact between employees, police, lawyers and plaintiffs, which is not advisable under the current circumstances,” the Court said in a statement.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/inmates-injunction-on-hold-indefinitely