Notary Parisius liable for damages: Court declares auction Pelican Resort void

POSTED: 08/14/14 11:43 PM

St. Maarten – The Court in First Instance has declared the auction of the Pelican Resort that took place in December 2010, invalid. In a ruling published on Tuesday, Judge Koen Luijks concluded that the buyer, Belize-based Quantum Investment Trust Ltd. failed to deposit the purchase price of $30.5 million into an account at notary Henry Parisius. Instead, Quantum balanced the purchase price against the outstanding claim it had on the Pelican Resort Club the Owner Company NV.

The court ruled on Tuesday however that the law does not allow balancing the purchase price against outstanding debts. The candidate-notary at the office of notary Parisius – the late Lars de Vries – wrote in an email dated December 21, 2010 to the foundation that represents the interests of the Pelican Resort Club and to the American stakeholders Roberto Russo and Frank Biddar, that is would be “nonsensical to have the purchase price deposited with us by the buyer, to transfer it back to the same buyer one minute later.”

The court ruled that the purchase price should have been deposited in an account indicated by notary Parisius. By not doing this, the notary violated the conditions of the auction, the court ruled. “Quantum only is entitled to payment of the purchase price if this purchase price has been deposited with the notary in line with the applicable auction-conditions,” the court ruled.

The ruling furthermore states that Quantum and Simpson Bay Resort the Owner Company are still bound to deposit the purchase price at an account indicated by the notary.

The court ruled that the notary was not allowed to issue a certificate of payment. But instead, Parisius filed a deed that creates the impression that the purchase price has been paid, while this was not the case at all. “Therefore the purchase price remains unpaid,” the court concludes in its ruling.

Because there is no certificate of payment, all other deeds have become null and void. The transfer of the resort to its new owner therefore never took place, and the “new owners” cannot be added to the public registers. Pelican Beach Resort the Owners Company is therefore still the owner of the property, the court concludes in its ruling. Roberto Russo and Frank Biddar are now able to submit a written request to the court to put a lien on the resort, the ruling states.

The court furthermore ruled that notary Parisius acted wrongfully towards the claimants and that he is liable for the damages Russo and bidder suffered.

The court ruled that the conditions for the auction of December 16, 2010, were not followed and that the transfer of the resort from Quantum to Simpson Bay Resort the Owner company never took place. It furthermore sentenced notary Parisius to pay damages to the foundation and to Russo and Biddar.

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