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Navette Broadcasting Awaits Day in Court; Granted Extension in March 2020

Claims closure of Sportsradio 103(FM) is “unlawful and unconstitutional”

March 11: The Commonwealth of the Bahamas Appeals Court has granted Navette’s application for an extension of time as of March 4. According to court documents, “Navette has leave to file its Notice of Appeal within 14 days of this judgement. We make no order as to costs.”

We reported in May 2019 that URCA, The Utilities Regulation & Competition Authority in the Bahamas, had shuttered Sportsradio 103(FM), owned by Navette Broadcasting.

At the time, the broadcaster claimed that the decision was “unlawful and unconstitutional,” and that it was “eager” to have a date in appeals court to defend itself and prove its “rightful claim” to the 103.5 FM radio license. There is a question now, however, about whether that day will ever arrive.

In recent developments, Kahlil Parker, Navette Broadcasting’s attorney, said to the appellate court that the decision to close its client’s broadcast company was a “unilateral decision” and “without due process of law.”

The company had originally filed two appeals but then requested to begin judicial review proceedings. Navette ended up withdrawing the first two appeals, but then the court dismissed Navette’s application for the judicial review proceedings.

Parker said he subsequently — and tardily — filed a notice of appeal against that decision. He did so late, he said, because he erroneously thought the judge’s verdict was a final judgment and that he couldn’t appeal it. When he realized however that he was mistaken, he belatedly requested the appeal.

Now, according to reports, URCA’s lawyer argues that Navette shouldn’t be granted time to appeal due to its “continuous refusal” to “abide” by the appeal process.

As a result, Navette Broadcasting still does not know whether it will be sanctioned for unintentionally not carrying out the appeal process correctly, or if it will be granted more time to state its case.