The City of Mullinville has filed a civil lawsuit in its ongoing dispute with Elm Street property owners.
The nine-page suit, signed by Mullinville Mayor Andy Kimble and authored on behalf of city officials by attorney Janice Jorns, is asking the court to grant a quiet title on two disputed stretches of land along Elm Street and asks for a restraining order and injunction on the property.
The city filed the suit at 1:31 p.m. on July 25 at the Kiowa County Courthouse and names Mullinville artist M.T. Liggett and Mullinville property owner Wynaka Miller as defendants, though Kiowa County Sheriff’s Officer Zane Huffman confirmed on Tuesday that he had recently purchased Miller’s property.
Liggett owns the property along the west side of Elm Street north of U.S. 400 and Miller owns property along the east side of Elm Street north of Washington Street.
City officials and Liggett have been in disagreement over who actually owns the land since earlier this year.
Elm Street had been vacated by resolution more than 100 years ago. County records show that city ordinances which reopened a number of streets, including Liggett’s stretch of Elm Street, were not properly filed with the county (“Mullinville street plan is still a mystery” Kiowa County Signal – March 21, 2012).
In the complaint, city officials claim the land is city property and a city street.
They claim a number of city ordinances reopened the street. They also reference a 1969 ordinance that classifies Elm Street as a “main traffic way.”
They claim that the road has been a public roadway “for more than 50 years” and is asking a judge to grant them a quiet title.
The city sent quiet titles to a number of Elm Street property owners.
Liggett and Miller were the only property owners who did not sign.
Huffman said, as of Tuesday, he hadn’t been contacted by any city official in regards to a quiet title.
City officials are also asking for a restraining order and injunction.
Liggett has moved large trailers onto the property and, according to the complaint, has dug holes in the disputed property.
The city is asking a judge to stop Liggett from digging more holes or placing more trailers and to remove the existing trailers from the property.
The city is also asking a judge to rule that Liggett pay for the damage to the street, the “cost of suit” and restitution.
The case has been reassigned by 16th Judicial Court Chief Judge Daniel Love to be heard in Clark County by Judge Van Hampton. A date for the hearing has not been set.
Mayor Kimble declined to comment on the suit.
Reached for comment Liggett said “this is ain’t my first rodeo.”