Resolving A Dispute Over A Cemetery Entrance Still Alive.

Resolving dispute over a cemetery entrance ins still alive. The parties in the Rock Bluff Cemetery dispute agreed to a last-minute stipulation on access to the cemetery while the case moves toward trial.

(The full report on the court filing is in the June 11th, 2014 Cassgram available in the Archives.) To sum up the core issues briefly: The Rock Bluff Cemetery Association filed suit against Larry L. and Lauri A. Cunningham, the owners of property adjacent to the cemetery property. To get to the large gate to the cemetery you must cross onto the Cunningham property.

The Cassgram reports the Cunninghams roped off the access. The cemetery association’s suit asks Cass County District Court to declare an “easement by prescription”—an easement that arises through use of land. The cemetery association says use of the property now owned by the Cunninghams has been ongoing and open for over 100 years.

In their response, the Cunninghams are asking for a permanent injunction against the trespassing and for a declaratory judgment in their favor. The Cunninghams say there could be access for visitors through other cemetery pedestrian gates along a road vacated by the county a few years ago but a cemetery association board member, Charla Knapp of Beaver Lake, keeps the road gate locked. An LLC of Knapp family members owns property along the vacated road across from the cemetery.

In court yesterday during what was scheduled to be a temporary injunction hearing, Dave Chebatoris, the attorney for the cemetery association, said there is temporary agreement that the larger gate accessed from the Cunningham property can be used for funerals, grave digging, head stone placement and cemetery maintenance.


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