New Brunswick

Moncton family feud heads to Supreme Court

A family feud in Moncton over the sale of an apartment building is heading to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Schelew family fighting over sale of building they owned

The Schelew family purchased the six-storey apartment building at 99 Joyce Ave., in 1985, but most of them wanted to sell it in 2000. (Marc Genuist/CBC)

A family feud in Moncton is heading to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Schelew family — four brothers and their mother — are fighting over the sale of a six-storey apartment building they used to own in the city's east end.

Most of the family accuses one of the brothers — Alan Schelew — of blocking the sale of the building at 99 Joyce Ave., for $2.5 million.

They say they had two offers of $2.5 million, but Schelew, who managed the building for a fee, prevented the prospective buyers from inspecting it and the deals fell through.

The family ended up selling the building to Schelew for $2.2 million, but they've asked the courts to make him pay the difference.

Trial judge, Court of Appeal agree

The Supreme Court of Canada will try to settle a dispute between four brothers and their mother. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Both the trial judge and the New Brunswick Court of Appeal have ruled the family would have made more money and been able to sell sooner if Schelew hadn't caused so much trouble.

During a 20-month period, he launched arbitration proceedings, registered documents affecting the property's title, and prevented any inspections, the trial judge noted.

The family purchased the building in 1985 and split themselves up among three companies in order to own and run the apartment complex.

Three of the brothers and their mother decided they wanted to sell the building in 2000, when it was assessed at $2.2 million.

Schelew eventually bought them out in 2002.

The family had a syndication agreement which stipulated that if the majority decided to sell, the minority would have the right to purchase the building at its appraised value. Otherwise, the property could be marketed to the public.

But the majority argue the sale was two years later than expected and that the building was sold for a lesser amount than they could have gotten from a third-party purchaser.