Outcomes - Selected Case Summaries



Unnecessary Delay in Landlord and Tenant Dispute

Investigation | 12 February 2020
Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS)

The police response to an ongoing landlord–tenant dispute in this case led to allegations by the landlord of unprofessional conduct by a RCIPS officer.

The original dispute came to a head in September 2018, when the landlord attempted to evict his tenant, an incident that ended in threats of violence and property damage. The police were called, but the matter was settled when the landlord agreed to compensate his tenant for damages to certain property that occurred during the dispute. No arrests were made, or charges filed, in connection with the incident. 

Several days after the incident, the landlord learned that a police officer, whom he believed to be a friend of his tenant, was looking for him. After some unsuccessful attempts to meet and discuss the situation, the landlord stated that during a conversation in December 2018 the police officer informed him that he should have been arrested on the night of the incident and that the landlord was being formally warned about his conduct. In March 2019, the same police officer, acting on instructions from a supervisor, contacted the landlord to obtain his signature on a document confirming the conversation with police of December 2018, as required by police procedure, to close the case file.

It was this March 2019 request that led the landlord to contact the Ombudsman with a complaint of police misconduct, alleging that the officer involved was biased against him and was acting unprofessionally.

The Ombudsman found that it was unreasonable for the officer involved, and his RCIPS supervisor, to wait six months from the date of the original incident to issue the warning and to obtain a formal signature on the document. It seemed unlikely that this complaint would have been made if this issue had been handled in a timely manner. The Ombudsman found that the officer was unprofessional in his interactions with the landlord and had failed to keep a timely and accurate record of his actions.