Features — 29 November 2013 — by Adele Ramos
Williams vs Yearwood before Justice Olivette on Monday

The land dispute between the family of Rodwell Williams, Sr., and the Yearwood family of Cemetery Lane is scheduled to go before Supreme Court Justice Rita Joseph Olivette on Monday, when the judge is expected to hear an application from the Williams family for the court’s intervention, so that they can build on what the Yearwoods contend is their family property.

Amandala understands that Rodwell Williams, Sr., who is being represented by his son, Rodwell Williams, Jr., a Senior Counsel, has submitted a claim against Sharette, Keith, Elaine and Gary Yearwood.

Both families have purported to hold title documents to the property, originally owned by Richard Young of Gracie Rock, but deeded collectively to his descendants in perpetuity back in the 1930s. (The Yearwoods say they are descendants of the Youngs.)

In late October, Williams, Jr., reportedly had a gacho shop, owned by a businesswoman who had been using another property of his, moved to the premises for which he steadfastly claims that his father, Rodwell, Sr., holds title.

Williams claimed that his father received title to the land “decades ago,” and he told us that he had gotten an injunction against the Yearwood/Young family and is suing them.

However, one of Young’s descendants told us that it was their grandfather, Young, who allowed Williams’ grandfather to set up a home on the property when they didn’t have anywhere to live. The Williams family stayed on the land for three generations.

Audrey Matura-Shepherd, attorney for the Yearwoods, said that the Williams family got the property by “prescription”—indicating that after occupying the land, they later sought “squatters’ rights”.

For his part, Williams told our newspaper that he was raised there, on Cemetery Lane, and after Hurricane Hattie blew off the top of their two-storey house, they went back and lived in the downstairs. He said that his grandmother, Egzene Williams, last lived there.

Williams, Jr., told us that he was relocating the gacho shop to the property so that the businesswoman could use it, because he doesn’t have any use for it.

Williams also said that for years, his father has been paying property taxes for the land they are claiming.

The Young’s family have, too, presented property tax documents.

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