CHARLESTON – An Elkview couple says their former neighbors are blocking access to property they are trying to sell and want a judge to order them to stop.
Bridget and Keith Smith filed a lawsuit March 31 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Mary Pansy Reed, David Reed and Greta Reed.
When the plaintiffs were looking at buying the land off Aaron's Fork Road, they claim that Mary Pansy Reed orally expressed to them they she wanted them to have a right of way through her property to the plaintiffs property from the public road.
The plaintiffs claim Mary promised to execute the necessary paperwork on the right of way.
Based on this promise, the plaintiffs say they bought the land in 2000 and lived there for years. They used the right of way as a driveway to their property, the complaint says.
In September 2008, the plaintiffs claim they bought another piece of property and home and planned to move. They claim they discussed this with the defendants and offered to sell them the property.
According to the lawsuit, the defendants said they would buy the property, but then didn't return the plaintiffs' telephone calls and ultimately did not buy the property.
After learning of the plaintiffs' plan to sell the property, Mary started cursing and harassing prospective buyers who would come out to view the property and tried to use the right of way, the complaint says.
The defendants told the plaintiffs that they could use the right of way, not "outsiders," the complaint says.
On Jan. 14, 2009, the plaintiffs received and accepted an offer from another couple to buy the property in question for $25,000. On Feb. 20, the plaintiffs and the prospective buyers formally closed on the sale, the complaint says.
On the same day, the defendants locked a gate across the right of way, preventing access, the plaintiffs claim.
Then on Feb. 23, the prospective buyers withdrew their offer because of the obstruction, the complaint says.
Now, the plaintiffs have been unable to find another buyer.
They want a judge to order the defendants to remove the gate and to pay for damages, including the amount of money loss in the failed sale.
Kevin W. Hughart is representing the plaintiffs. The case is before Kanawha Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey Walker.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 09-C-572