Wedding venue accused of encroaching on government property

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Jul. 21, 2010, 3:40pm

SHERMAN-The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has filed a lawsuit against a wedding and special events venue on Lake Texoma for encroaching and trespassing on government land.

The United States of America, on behalf of the Department of the Army U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, filed suit against Kenneth W. Youngblood, Jolynn Nichols, Youngblood Holdings and Cedar Rock Castle on July 15 in federal court in Sherman.

Cedar Rock Castle is advertised as a lakefront wedding and event venue, bed and breakfast and salon and spa on Lake Texoma.

The defendants acquired the land in March 2009 and at the time of purchase the government property line was bounded by an iron fence.

The Corps of Engineers states that defendants have a flat rock patio behind their home, featuring a small wooden memorial with a cross that is intruding over the government line. According to the court records, the Corps has visited the site and spoke with the defendants several times about the encroachment.

Further, the Corps claims it has advised, in writing, that the unauthorized structures on public property must be removed.

The defendants are accused of trespass, unauthorized structures on Corps of Engineers project land, alteration of public property and unauthorized commercial activities on Corps project land.

The Corps is asking the court to order the removal of any structures on Corps property, restoration of Corps property to its pre-construction condition, to order the defendants to cease entering the Corps property and stop all commercial activity, cease removal or cutting of any tree, grass or plant and cease violation of any Corps rules.

U.S. Attorney John M. Bales and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin McClendon are arguing the case on behalf of the Corps.

U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider is assigned to the case.

Case No. 4:10cv00354

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