Parents bankrupted over school principal defamation case

TWO parents accused of defaming a Queensland school principal on Facebook were this morning bankrupted after they failed to pay the principal's legal costs.

Nurse Donna Baluskas and her husband Miguel, from Robina, were not in the Federal Circuit Court today when Registrar Murray Belcher officially ordered they be bankrupted on a creditor's petition filed by Tamborine Mountain State School Principal Tracey Brose.

Ms Brose was seeking $32,968.56 from Mrs Baluskas and $24,000 from Mr Baluskas.

Tamborine Mountain State School Principal Tracey Brose brought a defamation case against Donna and Miguel Baluskas.
Tamborine Mountain State School Principal Tracey Brose brought a defamation case against Donna and Miguel Baluskas.

The debt related to court costs ordered to be paid on July 19 after the couple lost pre-trial legal scuffles related to their defence pleadings.

The couple refused to take copies of the creditor's petition when they were handed to them by servers acting for Ms Brose, the court heard.

The sequestration order comes less than a week after Southport District Court Judge Catherine Muir retired to consider her decision in the defamation case after a month-long trial.

Bankruptcy trustees Mark Pearce and Andrew Heers, of Brisbane, have been appointed to manage Mr and Mrs Baluskas' estates.

Mr and Mrs Baluskas were sued by Mrs Brose over comments they made on Facebook and a Change.org petition in March 2016, two years after their son Harrison, then aged 12, was expelled by Mrs Brose from TMSHS.

Mrs Baluskas is alleged to have called Mrs Brose an "evil, nasty, horrible women (SIC)" on Facebook.

Mrs Brose had initially sought to sue the couple for a total of $440,000 in damages for defamation but last week she offered a revised damages figure, which was "considerably" less than the original amount.

The exact figure was not revealed in open court.


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