After eviction, court disputes he finally allowed to return to Ha’amea to his late father’s land share

A Supreme Court judge has signed an affidavit allowing a son to return to his late father’s share in a family block of land in Ha’amea, Liahona.

Douglas Wight selfie taken in Ha’amea. Photo/Supplied

Judge Laki Niu signed the affidavit in November 2020 showing that a Letter of Administration was submitted by Douglas Wight’s late mother Kalolaine Wight.

Douglas said he took the affidavit to the Ministry of Lands and Survey before he met the Minister Lord Ma’afu about it. He claimed the Minister told him the affidavit has allowed him to occupy his late father Fred Wight’s land.

A copy of the affidavit seen by Kaniva News appears to show that at the time of Kaloliane’s death she “properly entitled to own” Lease number 2984 C (one quarter share) and a Letter of Administration.

The block of land at Lord Lasike’s estate has been the subject of a recent family dispute after Douglas and his cousin Raymond Wight were at odds. Douglas was evicted from the land after Raymond took him to court.

Douglas claimed he lost the court case because he did not have his late mother’s Letter of Administration at the time.

But after contacting Lord Lasike recently he was given a copy of his mother’s Letter of Administration in which he submitted it to court.

He told Kaniva News this week he has moved in with his family and now staying in Ha’amea.

“We are so happy that finally I had fought a good fight”, he said.

“I let go everything that happened to me in the past”.

Four brothers

His father Fred died in April 1992 in Ha’amea, eight years before his wife Kalolaine died in East Palo Alto, San Mateo in May 2020.

As Kaniva News reported previously, the original right to the block of land had been passed into the hands of four brothers. They were William Wight (William), Charley Wight (Charley), Fred Wight (Fred) and Harry Wight (Harry).

The lease was then transferred to Charley, Fred and Harry. Charley and Fred died before Harry. On their deaths no one applied for Letters of Administration or claimed their interests in the lease.

Throughout their lives the four brothers were close and there was no evidence of any disagreements arising between them. Each brother had a roughly equal area of Ha’amea for his use, a court document said.

On Harry’s death one of his sons, Raymond Wight was granted Letters of Administration of Harry’s estate and he claimed the lease and the right to occupy the land.

Eviction order

However, Douglas, Fred’s only child, occupied the land.

Raymond sought an order evicting Douglas from the land and also for the payment of damages for unlawful occupation.

In 2012, Douglas was deported from the United States and returned to Tonga.

He asked Harry for permission to live on Ha’amea and did so for a time in what was known as the Hut. Douglas said that he told Harry that he had a claim to Ha’amea. Harry rejected the notion. Disagreements arose between them and Douglas was told to leave.

In late 2014, Harry needed medical treatment in the United States. On about 10 October 2014 he signed an authority to his nephew Sione Fatu Wight (Sione) to care for Ha’amea and the cattle that were on the land.  Sione is a son of William.

Harry went to the United States in late 2014. Douglas returned to Ha’amea and again lived in the Hut.

In July 2015, Harry signed what purported to be a will in which he expressed a desire to leave all of Ha’amea to Raymond, a court document said.

About October 2015, Raymond realised that Harry was not going to return to Tonga and gave Douglas permission to move into the main house.

Harry died on April 12, 2016 in the United States. No application for Letters of Administration of his estate was made at that time.

Change in attitude

There was then a significant change in Douglas’s attitude towards Raymond and Sione. Without permission, Douglas cut down trees and slaughtered cattle on Ha’amea.

In February 2017, Raymond came to Tonga and started legal action to evict Douglas from Ha’amea, but he withdrew that action because he had not applied for Letters of Administration.

He returned to the United States but returned in June 2017 when another cow went missing and Douglas disconnected the water lines.

Raymond has established a right to administer Harry’s estate and therefore he ordered that Douglas must leave Ha’amea immediately.

Douglas was also ordered to pay Raymond TP$100 damages and his legal costs.

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