Giri Menang Religious Court Decision No. 142 of 2013: Estate Claim Dismissed

H.M. Saleh bin Amaq Melah passed away on 30 December 2006, and was survived by his wife (first defendant). The deceased had six relatives, all of whom had also passed away, five of whom were survived by their own children. Some of those children were plaintiffs in the proceeding, others co-defendants.

The plaintiffs claimed that, while married to the first defendant, the deceased acquired a 31-acre rice padi in Orong Lapan, as well as a 32-acre property in Lemokek on which was situated a house. The rice padi was now in the possession of the second defendant, after the first defendant had sold it to the second defendant in 2007 for IDR 40 million to discharge debts of the deceased. With regard to the 32-acre property, 29 acres and the house had remained in the possession of the first defendant, while the remaining three acres had been sold by the first defendant to the third defendant for IDR 18 million. The plaintiffs and co-defendants maintained that, as the deceased and first defendant did not have any children, they were entitled to a share of the property, after the first defendant had been provided with her share of what was deemed a joint asset of the first defendant and deceased. The plaintiffs also asserted that the court should place a caveat on the property to prevent it changing hands while the case was on foot.

The first defendant submitted the following objections with the court:

  1. That the plaintiffs' claim failed to include Ilah (the wife of one of the deceased relatives of the deceased);
  2. Prior to embarking on the hajj, that the deceased and first defendant had arranged for one of the co-defendants to divide the property as necessary to ensure the daily needs of the deceased and first defendant were met; and
  3. That the proceeds of the sale of the rice padi were not used to discharge any debts of the deceased as he had none.

The court acceded to the first defendant's first objection, concurring that the plaintiffs' claim was incomplete in that it failed to include one beneficiary. Accordingly, it dismissed the claim on those grounds and ordered the plaintiffs to pay court costs (IDR 1,276,000).

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