Cayman court clarifies principles applicable to stay of execution pending appeal
In the recent decision of Beck v MV Cayman Ltd, Justice Ramsay-Hale clarifies the relevant principles on which the court may grant a stay of execution pending appeal.
The defendant is appealing the decision against it following the court granting the plaintiff’s application for an order for specific performance of a contract for the repurchase of property and payment of the repurchase price. In deciding the applicability of the relevant principles on which a stay of execution may be granted, the court analysed the Court of Appeal’s decision in The Deputy Registrar of the Cayman Islands Government v Day and Another 2019 (1) CILR 510. In particular, the Court of Appeal held that by virtue of s.19 (3) of the Court of Appeal Act (2011 Revision), a stay may be granted for a ‘good cause’ and that there must be a good reason for the court to prevent a successful litigant’s entitlement to the fruits of his success.
In this case, the defendant argued that there was a risk of dissipation of the funds by the plaintiff if it was paid before the appeal was heard and that they would be unable to recover this if the appeal was successful. Justice Ramsay-Hale refused the stay on the basis that neither of the grounds of appeal presented by the defendant had a real prospect of success.
The decision clarifies that in deciding whether to impose a stay, the court must consider the grounds of appeal, their likelihood of success on appeal and the balance of convenience, having regard to the interests of both parties. This was also recognised in Heriot African Trade Finance Fund Limited v Deutsche Bank (Cayman) Limited 2011 (1) CILR 34 where Justice Jones held that the applicant must show good cause for the imposition of a stay pending appeal and that the court must consider all circumstances of the case, including whether the appeal would be rendered nugatory if a stay is not granted.