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Clementi resident fined for not paying court-ordered damages to neighbour over noise dispute

SINGAPORE — A 42-year-old stall assistant was fined S$1,000 on Wednesday (Nov 3) for failing to fully pay damages to her neighbour, who had obtained a court order against her over excessive noise.

Clementi resident fined for not paying court-ordered damages to neighbour over noise dispute

Esoof Jesmin was ordered to pay a fine of S$1,000 arising from a long-standing dispute with her neighbour over noise.

SINGAPORE — A 42-year-old stall assistant was fined S$1,000 on Wednesday (Nov 3) for failing to fully pay damages to her neighbour, who had obtained a court order against her over excessive noise.

Esoof Jesmin, a permanent resident from India, also failed to comply with one part of the order requiring her to put rubber stoppers on her furniture and replace them if necessary.

She pleaded guilty to one charge of breaching a special direction under the Community Disputes Resolution Act 2015. Two other similar charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.

The court heard that for several years before 2016, Jesmin’s 64-year-old neighbour Lee Mei Mei, who lived one floor below her, had been complaining about noise coming from Jesmin’s unit.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Hidayat Amir told the court that the two women still live in the same Housing and Development Board block along West Coast Drive in Clementi.

In 2016, Madam Lee filed a claim with the Community Dispute Resolutions Tribunal in the State Courts, which hears disputes between neighbours, for a court order against Jesmin.

Under the order, which was granted in November 2016, Jesmin had to:

  • Not unreasonably interfere with Mdm Lee’s enjoyment or use of her residence by causing excessive noise
  • Use a gunny sack that was at least 5cm thick beneath the equipment she used for chopping, grinding and pounding
  • Put rubber stoppers on all furniture in her home, and replace them as and when necessary owing to wear and tear
  • Not shift furniture from 10pm to 8am
  • Not hang any item on the parapet wall outside her unit
  • Pay Mdm Lee damages of S$1,833, which includes S$1,500 for a partition in Mdm Lee’s unit, in monthly instalments of S$300

Jesmin paid damages to Mdm Lee for a month before stopping, which prompted the other woman to apply for a special direction on a breach of the court order.

She successfully obtained the special direction in March 2017, which meant that Jesmin had to pay the remaining sum as well as S$209 in disbursements.

Jesmin then made two tranches of payments, but as of Jan 20 this year, she had not paid S$933. She has since forked out most of the money required, save for S$1.80.

Court documents also showed that in August last year, she failed to comply with the directive to put rubber stoppers on her furniture and replace them if necessary.

In sentencing Jesmin, District Judge Jasbendar Kaur told her that she had breached the special direction for at least four years. But the judge noted that she had decided to plead guilty and made the effort to pay up.

Those who breach a special direction can be fined up to S$5,000 or jailed for up to three months, or punished with both.

Offenders can also be fined up to S$1,000 for every day or part of the day during which the offence continues after they are convicted. The total fine must not exceed S$10,000.

Related topics

court crime neighbour HDB dispute noise

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