Last April, just hours after another group of youngsters were left stranded at the MIA in Gudja, an official letter presented to the law courts by Frankie Ciantar as representative of Pieta Hotspurs, Noel Debattista on behalf of Hamrun Spartans Nursery and Jonathan Barbara on behalf of Birkirkara FC Youth Academy, as well as on behalf of the youngsters participating in the football tournament, the Dana Cup in Denmark, and the adults who were to accompany them on their travels, demanded that flight operator Joffrey Mallia and all those involved in this case to comply with the obligations of the contract they had entered into.
This following the events of earlier that week, when flight operator Joffrey Mallia, allegedly left 280 people including children from three football nurseries stranded at M.I.A., after paying for chartered flights to Denmark, led to the Law Courts issuing a garnishee order against the same Joffrey Mallia. Mallia had contested the garnishee and the matter was referred to the First Hall of the Civil Court, presided by Mr. Justice Grazio Mercieca.
Earlier this week the same Mr. Justice Mercieca has revoked the €160,000 garnishee order, stating that he had to first determine whether the garnishee in question was valid. Making reference to the Code of Organisation and Civil Procedure, he noted that every judicial act has to be presented by the parties themselves, in their own names, unless the person is abroad, in which case a representative would be appointed.
In the case at hand, the judge said that it appeared that all the plaintiffs lived in Malta and could not, therefore, be represented in court by a mandatary. This apart from the fact that no one may present judicial acts in the name of other people’s children unless specifically authorised, for example, as a curator.
The judge further pointed out that the plaintiffs were not named and indeterminate in number. They were not identified individually, and neither was their number established. Handing down his decision, Mr. Justice Mercieca has stated that therefore, the garnishee, insofar as it being made in representation of children in the respective clubs and the accompanying adults was null.