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It took many years of sweat and tears and appeals in the courts. But there is more trouble ahead for Jacqueline Theodore, the personal representative of the Estate of Ferdinand R. Theodore. She recently won a large sum from the Government of Dominica but she is now embroiled in another court battle, this time with her daughter Farah Jackie Theodore who wants 1/6th of the amount as her share.

"She is entitled to her 1/6th share and that is denied to her and that cannot be right. So she is fighting the matter in court," a source associated with the disagreement told the Sun.

The dispute began in1997 when the Government seized forested lands belonging to Ferdinand Theodore for constructing a road. The Government paid no compensation for the property, nor did it offer to pay. The Government then authorized Island Timbers Company Limited to construct a road on Theodore's property to provide access to government's land for the extraction of timber and to accommodate farmers' cultivation. During the process of constructing the road, Island Timbers cut down and extracted a considerable amount of timber from Theodore's land which it sold as lumber on the local market.

Eventually, the land was registered in the name of Jacqueline Theodore in her capacity as personal representative of the Estate of Ferdinand Theodore. She took the matter to court and on April 2, 1998 the High Court ruled that the taking of possession or acquisition of the land was not in accordance with the law. The Court further ruled that Mrs. Theodore was entitled to be compensated and that compensation should be determined in accordance with the Provisions of the Land Acquisition Act with cost to be taxed. Later, the Court of Appeal reaffirmed the judgment of the High Court and dismissed the appeal of the Government of Dominica.

Mrs. Theodore was not willing to give details when she was contacted by the SUN.

"The matter has been in the media for years, pay your $5 and go to the court and search the files for details. I have nothing to say on the matter," she said.

The court documents show that the Court of Appeal awarded compensation payable to Mrs. Theodore as follows: loss of timber $1,377,600; cost of reforestation $169,950; crop damage $21,500.00; total $1,569,050. Eventually, the Government agreed to pay the amount plus interest.

Meantime, a legal battle is ongoing between Farah Jackie Theodore, the daughter of the later Ferdinand Theodore and Jacqueline Theodore as personal representative of Ferdinand Theodore. Farah Jackie is asking the court for an "injunctive and other interim relief". She wants Jacqueline Theodore, as personal representative of Ferdinand, to pay over to her "the sum of $100,000 as an interim payment towards her 1/6th share of the estate/trust money that the respondent has in hand, that is to say monies received for and on behalf of the Estate of the deceased Ferdinand R. Theodore.

She also sought an order thereafter freezing all bank accounts held by the respondent for the Estate of Ferdinand R. Theodore if existent and in her own name until full account of the entire Estate is given.

That Order was granted and filed on January 31, 2014. The court ordered that Farah is to be paid immediately 1/6th of $1,210,757 received by the executor and trustee, i.e. $201,792.83. Mrs. Theodore has since appealed.

Copyright © 2014 Sun, Dominica


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