Feuding neighbour returns to court over driveway

A LONG-RUNNING feud over a driveway north-west of Murwillumbah is back in the courts with a man accusing his neighbour of contempt.

Stephen Viavattene was ordered in March to stop initiating court cases that claimed an access track adjoining his Chillingham property encroached on his land after the road was realigned in 2010.

In his latest legal bid, Viavattene claimed his motion for contempt was unrelated to the previous ruling, which therefore did not apply.

He was involved in 14 separate legal proceedings between November 2010 and May 2011, five of which were applications for apprehended violence orders against his neighbours.

The remaining nine appearances were for AVOs against Viavattene and his subsequent breaches, including common assault, theft, vandalism and resisting arrest.

He sought another AVO in 2013 against his neighbours who used the realigned driveway, claiming northern NSW police had been "paid off" and refused to investigate his complaints.

His effort failed, but on appeal his neighbours were ordered not to "approach, contact, assault, molest, harass or otherwise interfere" with him in any way.

The current case relies upon NSW Supreme Court Justice Stephen Campbell believing Viavattene's land was being encroached upon - the argument he was banned from making after a previous judge found he had been vexatiously launching cases "repeatedly over the last four years".

"As I have already remarked I am concerned that the appeal, in any event, and, quite apart from the operation of the act, is incompetent," Justice Campbell said.

Viavattene was given until December 4 to show cause why his appeal should not be dismissed.


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