Man ordered to leave home of 11 years after court fight

13th October 2017 6:48 AM
A man has been ordered by the court to leave a property he has lived at for 11 years.
A man has been ordered by the court to leave a property he has lived at for 11 years. Campbell Gellie

BLOOMSBURY man Maxwell Scott Duncan has been ordered to leave his home of 11 years after losing a legal battle against his four brothers and mother.

When his father died in 2008 the will was split equally among the Duncan brothers and their mother. When everyone other than Maxwell wanted to sell the home things became heated.

The four brothers claimed that Maxwell had agreed in 2015 that if Maxwell paid them $120,000 he could have the property. They claimed Maxwell refused to sign the agreement and negotiations had to start again.

The brothers Stuart, Douglas, Wayne, Ross claimed negotiations became impossible when Maxwell was "aggressive and hostile" and threatened to hurt them if they entered the property, District Court Judge Paul Smith's decision read.

"It has also been difficult to get Max to contribute to his share of the costs of the property such as council rates and insurance," the decision, which was handed down on October 10, read.

Maxwell claimed the other brothers were given money from his father's estate and he wasn't.

"He alleges he was never asked to move from the property where he is currently residing," the decision reads. But after almost two months in court with adjournments and orders being agreed to by Maxwell and then not signed, Judge Smith lost his patience and threw out Maxwell's request for yet another adjournment.

"This estate matter has been going on since 2009 (and) the application has now been before the court for almost two months now and (Maxwell) has not sought legal advice," the decision read. "(Maxwell) has had more than enough time to issue proceedings and has failed to do so."

So, without legal advice or submitting an application, Maxwell was ordered to leave the property by December 10 and hand over the keys. Once the property is sold the money will be shared between the brothers and their mother.

Both parties were approached for comment but declined.

Estate disputes are something many families go through. There have been 46 cases heard at Mackay Courthouse in the past 10 years. Eight are ongoing.