Judiciary responds to viral social media video and DRMA finesThursday, September 23, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Judiciary, in a statement released Thursday, sought to clarify what it said are inaccuracies stated in a video circulating on social media in which a member of the public is expressing concern about a 17-year-old boy being fined $200,000 for breaches under the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA).
"I wish to indicate that the report is false. He was not fined $200, 000. Minors are not ordinarily listed before the Criminal Court; this only occurs in instances where they are charged with an adult, and in those circumstances a parent or guardian is present,” Acting Director of Client Services, Communications and Information Kadiesh Fletcher said.
She added that, “The minor in question was charged and brought before the court as an adult. When his age was brought to the attention of the judge, he was admonished by the judge and the matter transferred to the Children's Court, where he is to appear today (Thursday, September 23, 2021).”
Fletcher also added that the public should also know that all other children who were charged with adults for breaches of the DRMA were admonished and discharged.
Meanwhile, the Judiciary is also aware of concerns about fines issued by the St Thomas Parish Court for breaches of the DRMA on Wednesday, September 22, 2021. To provide clarity, Section 52 of the DRMA establishes the offences and penalties under this law, the maximum fine of which is one million dollars.
The maximum fine issued (for adults) at St Thomas Parish Court was $200,000. The Sixth Schedule, which accompanies the Act and outlines the fixed penalties for various breaches of the law, applies only in instances where tickets are issued by the police. Once a person is brought before the court, this Schedule does not apply and the judge is guided by the statute only.
The judiciary implored the public to abide by the COVID-19 protocols as the country continues the fight against the virus.