Woman sues state over paternity test to prove dead man is her father

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A CARAPICHAIMA woman who was told to get a paternity test to prove she was the daughter of a man who died almost two decades ago has filed a judicial review application against the registrar of the Supreme Court.

Mary Nandrani Harrylal-Hazel filed the action through her attorney Richard Jaggasar complaining of a breach of statutory duty by the registrar by asking her to obtain a paternity test to prove Harrylal Mahadeo, who died on May 13, 2003, was her father.

The application says the decision was unreasonable since Mahadeo died and was cremated 19 years ago and has no living siblings.

“There is no conceivable way for the applicant to obtain a paternity order and therefore she cannot satisfy the query.

“The applicant is unable to identify a male relative to satisfy ‘the sibling test’ and, therefore, a paternity order cannot be obtained.

“In any event, the applicant has obtained the consent of all of her siblings and the estate is a mere $55,000 and that is only the value of a parcel of land occupied by the deceased at the time of death and there is no title ownership associated with it,” the application said.

It also said the request for the paternity order was unfair, unreasonable, irrational and meant to cause delay in an already stagnant system.

Harrylal-Hazel applied for a grant of letters of administration on February 1, 2022. In the application, she said why there was a delay in filing. That application also said her father had three other children who had each consented to the application.

The lawsuit said Mahadeo’s only asset was a parcel of land he used to cultivate crops. The land was not owned by him and there is no deed or certificate for it. It explained that she made the application for the grant of letters of administration so that she could cultivate the land as her father did and there are no caveats or objections to her application for the grant of letters of administration.

The lawsuit said for six months there was no progress on Harrylal-Hazel’s application until July 7, when the registrar issued a notice with three queries; two of which were complied with and the third being the paternity order.

Harrylal-Hazel’s attorney wrote to the registrar seeking clarification and was told a paternity order was required since her father’s name was not on her birth certificate.

“The applicant has attempted to obtain a paternity order but requires a DNA sample from her deceased and cremated father. That is not possible,” the lawsuit said.

It also noted a“sibling test” was also not possible since there are no surviving male relatives of her father.

“The applicant has therefore exhausted all options and simply cannot obtain a paternity order which she is told is a requirement.”

The lawsuit also questions the 42-day deadline given to Harrylal-Hazel to provide the paternity test results when it took six months to process her application.

“Finally, the applicant shall contend that the respondent is simply not operating in a fair manner nor in good faith, it approaches applications with a degree of malice and an intent to delay, prolong and frustrate the system as opposed to granting applications.

“In this case, no harm can come from the grant however the respondent has made the most unbelievable and unreasonable request of the applicant knowing such a request cannot be satisfied,” the lawsuit contends.