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A mother of eight from east Port-of-Spain, who was left stranded abroad for almost six months on her first trip outside of T&T, last year, will have to wait a week to learn the fate of her appeal against the dismissal of her lawsuit over the continued closure of the country’s borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.Appellate Judges Nolan Bereaux and Mira Dean-Armorer reserved their decision in Takeisha Clairmont’s procedural appeal to next Tuesday after hearing submissions from her attorneys and those for the Office of the Attorney General, yesterday morning.The appeal centres around High Court Judge Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell’s handling of the case in a rolled-up hearing, in which she determined whether Clairmont should be granted leave to pursue it and the substantive issues raised by her, simultaneously.In her judgement, delivered in late March, Donaldson-Honeywell ruled that Clairmont should not be granted leave as there was delay in bringing the lawsuit. She also rejected Clairmont’s substantive complaint that regulations, passed by the Government under the Public Health Ordinance 1940, were illegal and unconstitutional.During yesterday’s hearing, the appeal panel first dealt with an application by the AG’s Office to dismiss the procedural appeal.Senior Counsel Reginald Armour, who led the State’s legal team, said that Clairmont could not pursue the procedural appeal as Donaldson-Honeywell dealt with the substantive issues in the case.“She (Donaldson-Honeywell) dealt with the case properly and it ought not to be sent back,” Armour said.However, Armour did not deny that Clairmont had a right to challenge Donaldson-Honeywell’s judgement but said she had to do so in a less urgent substantive appeal, at a later date.He also claimed that the case should be considered by a full panel of three Court of Appeal Judge as opposed to just two judges as it dealt with similar legal issues as a case brought by a group of men, who were arrested at a guest house for gathering in a group of more than five.That case was dismissed by both the High Court and Court of Appeal and is set to be heard for a final time by the United Kingdom-based Privy Council.Clairmont’s lawyer Anand Ramlogan, SC, strongly disagreed as he claimed that his client would only be limited to a substantive appeal if Donaldson-Honeywell had granted initial relief by giving her leave to pursue her application for judicial review of the regulations.Ramlogan also pointed out that there was public interest in having the case decided as there are citizens, who still remain stranded abroad due to the closure of the borders.“We are dealing with the closure of the country’s borders for possibly the first time. It is an important issue to be determined,” Ramlogan said.Ramlogan also claimed that the case dealt with different legal issues that the similar case before the Privy Council.According to the court filings, Clairmont’s legal team was claiming that the Government was required to amend the country’s immigration laws in order to effect the change as opposed to using the regulations, which are executed without Parliamentary scrutiny.They claimed that the policy breached Clairmont’s constitutional rights to liberty, protection of the law, freedom of movement, and freedom from arbitrary detention, imprisonment or exile.In addition to compensation for Clairmont’s pain and suffering, they were also seeking an order declaring the regulations, which deal specifically with the closure of the borders, null and void.In an affidavit attached to the case, which was also obtained by Guardian Media, Clairmont sought to recount the harrowing details of her experience.Clairmont claimed that in January, last year, her brother, who lives in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) bought a ticket for her to come to help take care of him after undergoing kidney surgery.Clairmont attempted to get a return flight before the closure of the borders but was unsuccessful.Faced with the prospect of being separated from her family for an inordinate period, Clairmont, who was three and a half months’ pregnant suffered a miscarriage in the airport toilet.She was hospitalised and her brother was forced to pay over US$2,000 in medical bills. Clairmont was then forced to stay with her brother and his wife while frequently making requests to the Ministry of National Security to facilitate her repatriation.During that time, she claimed she suffered from severe depression. Clairmont claimed that she only received a favourable response in late August after her plight was first highlighted by Guardian Media’s CNC3 News and then other media companies.As Clairmont could not afford to charter a flight to Barbados, fellow stranded citizens, who communicated with her via social media, started a GoFundMe account in order to raise the $33,000 that was required.Clairmont claimed that when she reached Barbados she had to highlight her plight on social media and contact former national security minister Stuart Young in order to be placed on a repatriation flight instead of having to secure another charter.When she arrived, Clairmont was quarantined at the Home of Football in Couva for almost a week before she was released.The part-time Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) worker from East Dry River claimed that the situation did not only affect her emotionally but financially as her husband had to leave his job as a security guard in order to care for their children in her absence.She also claimed that furniture she had purchased for her home on hire purchase had been repossessed.Clairmont is also being represented by Renuka Rambhajan, Che Dindial, Alana Rambaran, and Ganesh Saroop. Vanessa Gopaul, Raphael Ajodhia, Savitri Maharaj and Kadine Matthew also represented the AG’s Office.