Property owners want deer hunters off road

Kelly Holleran Feb. 3, 2010, 3:35pm

Two Harris County residents claim two Jefferson County residents cut timber from a roadway and failed to repair damage to the road despite an agreement prohibiting such behavior.

John Nathan Gilbert III and Brenda Gilbert filed a lawsuit Jan. 28 in Jefferson County District Court against Esther Ruth Hudson and Cardell Deleon.

The Gilberts say Hudson's son, Charles D. Deleon Jr., obtained a 20-foot wide portion of land owned by Griffin Land and Timber in 2000 under a road use agreement.

After becoming successors-in-interest to Griffin Land and Timber, the Gilberts now own the land where the road is located, according to the complaint.

In 2005, Charles D. Deleon Jr. transferred his interest in the road use agreement to Hudson, who is supposed to use the passage on a non-exclusive basis for ingress and egress and roadway purposes only, the suit states.

Hudson "is prohibited from cutting any timber on the road without authorization, is to provide maintenance to the road and/or is to fully repair damage to the road caused by use to the road," the complaint says.

However, since she obtained an ownership interest in the road use agreement, Hudson has failed to maintain the road, has built or allowed a deer stand to be built on the road, has placed a deer feeder on the road, has cut trees on the Gilberts' property, has trespassed on the Gilberts' property and has allowed third parties to use the road with the intent to hunt, the Gilberts claim.

The Gilberts allege breach of contract, trespass, conversion, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress and civil conspiracy against the defendants.

They seek the reasonable costs to repair the road, the fair market value of the timber cut from the road, damages for mental anguish and emotional distress, exemplary damages, attorneys' fees, court costs and pre- and post-judgment interest.

They also want the court to prohibit the defendants from intentionally damaging the road, from placing deer stands or other structures on the road, from placing deer feeders on the road, from cutting trees on the road and from trespassing and hunting on the Gilberts' property.

Marc P. Henry of Henry and Fuller in Beaumont will be representing them.

The case has been assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: B185-819.

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