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Appeals court sends New Harbour land dispute back to trial division

Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court of Appeal
Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court of Appeal

NEW HARBOUR — The provincial Supreme Court is best suited to rule on a matter concerning a couple from New Harbour and Service NL, according to an appeals court's decision.

Karla Penney and James Penney have been fighting Service NL's decision to grant permits to a neighbour, Pleman Higdon, for over three years.

According to a decision filed April 13 in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal, Higdon initially built a retaining wall and later started work on a shed along the boundary of the Penney and Higdon lots, lacking the proper permits. After the Penney's complained to Service NL, Higdon applied for and received the permits in December of 2013. New Harbour is an unincorporated local service district located in Trinity Bay.

The Penneys challenged Service NL's decision through the Eastern Regional Appeals Board, launching an appeal that was ultimately dismissed a few months later. Another appeal was launched, this time through the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador.

On the date that matter was set to be heard, the judge questioned whether it was within the court's jurisdiction to hear the appeal. Lawyers for all parties adjourned and later applied to have the appeal transferred to the appeals court. After the jurisdiction issue came up again, the appeals court agreed to hear submissions on the matter.

The appeal was heard Dec. 14, 2016. The decision from the three appeals court justices to send the case back to the trial division was a unanimous one.

Service NL and the Eastern Regional Appeals Board are the two defendants in the case, while Higdon is deemed an intervenor.

editor@cbncompass.ca

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