NASSAU, BAHAMAS – A woman who discovered she was married after attempting to register the birth of her child has had the record voided.
In a judgment dated January 26, Supreme Court Justice Carla D. Card-Stubbs ruled the 2019 entry of marriage between Talia Destiny Duncombe and Myrtho Noel be deleted from the Register of Marriages.
She granted Duncombe the liberty to pursue damages, costs, and interest.
“This Court finds that there was no marriage performed by Assistant Registrar Dellereese M. Grant on 12th July, 2019 between Myrtho Noel and Talia Destiny Duncombe at the Office of the Registrar General Department, New Providence, The Bahamas,” the ruling read.
“The court finds that, in this matter, the Registrar General had no authority to make the entry complained about, there being no marriage ceremony having taken place. There was no solemnization of marriage between the Plaintiff and Myrtho Noel.”
Duncombe stated that when she attempted to register her daughter, she could not get a birth certificate using the Affidavit of Birth because it did not indicate that she was married.
“I was told that the records showed that I was married on 12th July, 2019 to Myrtho Noel, Bridegroom and that the ceremony was held at the Office of the Registrar General performed by Assistant Registrar Dellereese M. Grant,” read Duncombe’s affidavit.
“I do not know Myrtho Noel and I never went to the Office of the Registrar General on 12th July, 2019. In fact, the first time I went to the Office of the Registrar was in October, 2020 to register my daughter.
“I continued to question this marriage and I spoke with Camille Gomez- Jones, the Registrar General and First Defendant named herein. It was revealed that there is no entry on the Marriage Register of the Marriage Book of the said Assistant Registrar Dellereese M. Grant and that there was no Marriage Licence or Marriage Licence Application on record with the office of the Registrar General.
“Further, I did not know and could not recognize the Assistant Registrar Dellereese M. Grant when she entered the room. There is now shown and produced by me as exhibit TD-2 a copy of a Letter dated 15th August, 2022 from the Registrar General indicating they could not provide the documents requested.”
The defendants, Registrar General Camille Gomez-Jones and Attorney General Ryan Pinder, did not enter a defense or contest the facts.
The Registrar General offered no explanation for the marriage entry dated July 12, 2019 with no application for a marriage license, no marriage license, and no supporting documentation. A copy of the Marriage Register of Assistant Registrar Dellereese M. Grant was also “inexplicably” unavailable, the judge noted.
Card-Stubbs said it was not necessary to put Duncombe through the expense of a futile search for Noel as the court was satisfied that there is no evidence of a marriage and that Duncombe did not know the alleged bridegroom.