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26 December 2012

The 1950 Supreme Court case of Goodna's wandering ducks



I was taking a stroll down memory lane through the digitised Trove newspaper library when I came across a story from Goodna 62 years ago.
 
The Courier-Mail sombrely reported on 2 September 1950 that John Sydney Egan and Helena Cecilia Egan of James Street Goodna (now Lower James Street) had claimed unspecified damages in the Queensland Supreme Court for trespass by their neighbour's wandering ducks owned by H. V. Davies of Woogaroo Street Goodna. 

They also sought an injunction to stop any further trespass by the ducks.
 
Talk about neighbourhood disputes. 
 
It never has been - and never will be - dull in Goodna!
 
 


The Courier-Mail Saturday 2 September 1950
 
Straying ducks bring writ

Ducks, said to be straying at Goodna, resulted in the issue of a Supreme Court writ yesterday. John Sydney Egan and Helena Cecilia Egan, of James Street, Goodna, claimed unspecified damages from H. V. Davies, of Woorgaroo* Street. Goodna, for trespass on their land by permitting his ducks to stray there or by failing to prevent them from straying there.
 
They also claimed an injunction to restrain Mr. Davis, or his servants, workmen, or agents, from permitting the ducks to stray on the Egans' land. Messrs. Morris Fletcher and Cross acted for the Egans.

 
* misspelt by The Courier-Mail
 



 
The sequel to the story was a week later when the Acting Chief Justice granted the injunction - with costs - against Mr Davis to stop his ducks straying on Mr ands Mrs Egan's land. 
 
 
 
The Courier-Mail Friday 8 September 1950

Ducks no more to go a'roaming

THE Acting Chief Justice yesterday gave his decision against a flock of Goodna ducks.

He granted an injunction against their owner to restrain him from allowing his ducks to stray on a neighbouring property.
 
John Sydney Egan and his wife, Helena Cecilia Egan, of James Street, Goodna, applied for an injunction against Harold Vivian Davis, co-operative manager, Woogaroo Street, Goodna, to restrain him from allowing his ducks to stray on the Egans' property.
 
They claimed that the ducks were fouling a waterhole and were damaging the pasture.
 
Wire shortage
 
Mr. Graham Hart (for Davis) said that Davis did not claim that the ducks had a right on the Egans' land, but he was hampered by the shortage of wire netting. Since September 4 he had restrained the ducks from straying.
 
The Acting Chief Justice said that the damage caused by the ducks would not be of a large amount. However, Davis had written to the Egans stating that, after having received legal advice, he would continue to allow his ducks to stray. It appeared that since September 4 Davis had kept his ducks locked up and there had been no further trespass by them, but that was not an answer to the Egans' claim.
 
His Honour granted the injunction with costs against Davis. Mr. C. G. Wanstall (Instructed by Messrs. Morris. Fletcher and Cross) appeared for the Egans and Mr. Graham (by Messrs. R. G. Smith and Smith) for Davis.
 
26.12.12

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