North Coast driveway feud dismissed from court

A NEIGHBOURHOOD feud over a driveway near Murwillumbah has ended with the NSW Supreme Court dismissing a contempt case as incompetent.

Stephen Viavattene was involved in 14 separate legal proceedings in 2010 and 2011, including five applications for apprehended violence orders against his neighbours.

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

The courts had ordered Viavattene to stop vexatiously launching cases claiming his neighbours had been illegally using an access track he wrongly believed was on his Chillingham property.

But he initiated another case, this time for contempt, against his neighbours earlier this year.

Justice Stephen Campbell last month gave him until December 4 to show why his case should not be dismissed as incompetent.

Viavattene appeared in court but failed to prove his proceedings should go ahead.

He argued his neighbours' failure to turn up to court to provide a defence meant he should be entitled to a default judgment in his favour.

"They don't even have the decency to turn up and show respect..." he claimed.

Justice Campbell disagreed.

"The defendant's failure to appear in court or provide a defence does not, in any way shape or form, affect the competency of his appeal," he said.

"Or, in other words does not show cause as to why Mr Viavattene's appeal should not be dismissed as incompetent."

-APN NEWDESK



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