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Judge to rule in death cert home battle

A JUDGE hopes to give his decision later this month in the case of a brother and sister who claim they thought their stepmother was dead when they sold off the former family home.

Maureen Moore (71), Laburnum Square, North Road, Drogheda, Co Louth, has sued the two children of the late John G Moore over the €254,000 sale of the house at Mount Tallant Avenue, Harold's Cross, Dublin.

Mr Justice Roderick Murphy, after legal arguments yesterday, said he hoped to deliver judgment before the end of the month.

In her action Mrs Moore claims that her stepchildren had unjustly and fraudulently enriched themselves by selling the property. They deny her claims and said that they genuinely believed that she was dead as they heard nothing from her after she left the family home in 1982.



VIOLENT

Mrs Moore alleges, following the death of Mr Moore in 1996, she was entitled to be the registered full owner of the property. Her proceedings are against John Moore (43), of Woodstock Park, Knocklyon and his sister Maria Byrne (41), of Oakdale Crescent, Ballycullen, both Dublin, over the sale of the property.

Mrs Moore is also seeking an order requiring Nadine Chetty, who bought the property in October 2002 and who is living in the Middle East, to deliver up the property to her.

The defendants have denied Mrs Moore's claims.

Maureen and John G Moore married in 1971 and she claims she had to leave him because of threats and violent behaviour.

She moved to Belgium but returned after many years to discover her husband had died and the house had been sold.

The court heard a death certificate for Maureen Moore, obtained by the defendant stepchildren in 2000, was for a Maureen Moore, Kilmacud, Dublin, who died in January 1995. Mrs Moore claims that certificate was obtained to defeat her title to the house.

Mrs Moore claims her husband's children wrongfully converted the title deeds of the property for their own use and benefit and did not pass good title to Ms Chetty. The Moore siblings deny fraud and that they knew, or ought to have known, that the death certificate was not that of their stepmother.

They said they searched for Mrs Moore, but were unable to locate her, and genuinely believe she was dead. They also plead Mrs Moore's claim is statute barred and contend her rights to an interest in the property have been extinguished.

They claim she left the house in 1982 but was not forced out.

Ms Chetty also denies the sale of the property to her was wrongful.

hnews@herald.ie


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