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Ex-helper loses bid to stop eviction

10 November 2018

A former domestic worker has failed in her last-ditch bid to stop her deportation after the Court of Appeal threw out her attempt to challenge a High Court judge’s dismissal of her leave to apply for judicial review.

The CA upheld on Oct 18 a decision by Judge Bruno Chan to dismiss the application of Wyllenn M. Maniboy, who claimed she would be harmed by her abusive husband if she was sent back to the Philippines.

The High Court, where the Court of Appeal is located.
Maniboy, who came to Hong Kong to work as a domestic helper but overstayed after her work visa expired on Sept 5, 2005, was arrested by police on Oct 7, 2016. She applied for non-refoulement, or against being sent back, 10 days later.
She said that apart from her abusive husband, her former employment agency could also get her harmed for not repaying a loan.

The Immigration Director rejected Maniboy’s claim, saying there was a low risk of harm from her husband or the debt collectors.
She appealed to the TCAB, but it was dismissed on Dec 1, 2017. The board said her case was doubtful as she failed to raise the non-refoulement claim on time and her “unconvincing and inconsistent” evidence on the debt issue and her husband’s threats.

On Dec 13, 2017, Maniboy sought leave to apply for judicial review of the Director’s and the TCAB’s decisions, citing procedural impropriety and error in law.
But Judge Chan refused to grant leave, saying the grounds she cited were all “very broad and
vague assertions… without any particulars or specifics or elaboration as to how they applied to her case or how the Director or the Board had erred in their decision.”

Undeterred, Maniboy filed a Notice of Appeal on June 19 against the judge’s ruling, saying it was unfair, and again insisting that her life was in danger.
She also told the court that despite the 12 years that elapsed since she had an “abusive relationship” with her husband, the psychological impact on her remained.

CA Vice President Wally Yeung and Justice of Appeal Aarif Barma upheld Chan’s findings that the TCAB was entitled to rule that Maniboy’s row with her husband was a family matter and her debt problems, a private one.

They ruled that there was no ground to justify a challenge to the lower court’s decision. – Vir B. Lumicao

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