MARTINSBURG - A Berkeley County woman filed a suit against her neighbors and a construction company for trespassing on her property and destroying trees and shrubbery while inserting a new sewer line.

Sharon E. Crook-Hanna filed the complaint Jan. 3 in Berkeley Circuit Court against Joseph Thompson, Mary Thompson, Robert Kerns, Kerns Hauling and Excavating, Rick Mann and Marta E. Mann. The suit alleges the defendants waited until she left the country to trespass on her property to install a sewer line.

The Manns rent property adjacent to Crook-Hanna from the Thompsons. Kerns Hauling and Excavating was hired to install the sewer line to the Berkeley County Public Service Sewer District main, which is located on Crook-Hanna's property.

The suit says the defendants knew where the property line between the two lots was located, "as there were trees clearly marked with blue lines."

Between May 22 and June 4, 2005, while Crook-Hanna was in England, she claims her property was trespassed on, the trees and shrubs were destroyed and a sewer line was dug.

The suit claims the defendants knew they were trespassing because they waited until Crook-Hanna had left the country before they started the work.

When Crook-Hanna returned from her trip, she confronted the Thompsons, "who refused to acknowledge liability" unless Crook-Hanna obtained a survey to prove they had trespassed, the suit says.

Crook-Hanna hired a surveyor, who confirmed the property lines. Once the surveyor's opinion was made aware, the Thompsons removed the sewer line. However, the suit states Crook-Hanna sustained more than $95,000 in damages.

She seeks compensatory and punitive damages totaling $95,450.

Crook-Hanna is being represented by Michael L. Scales. The case has been assigned to Judge David Sanders.

Berkeley Circuit Court case number 07-C-29

More News