Brothers in litigation over access to property

Kelly Holleran Nov. 22, 2010, 5:46am

Two brothers are in a legal dispute over one brother's attempt to build a road on the other's property.

Eugene Lacey Martin claims his brother, Lloyd Thomas Martin, has made multiple attempts to build a road on Eugene Martin's land.

He states Lloyd Martin is so determined to put in the road that he has cut down fences Eugene Martin constructed, according to the complaint filed Nov. 10 in Jefferson County District Court.

The family feud began after the Martins' mother divided her land into six tracts and willed it to her five living children and three grandchildren upon her death, the suit states.

In her will, the Martins' mother included a 60-foot easement on each portion of land, providing an entrance and exit, the complaint says.

According to the complaint, the Martins have all been using an 80-foot strip of land that lies adjacent to each of the tracts of land to access their properties.

Earlier this year, a majority of the Martins met and agreed to forgo their 60-foot easements and have their brother, Lloyd Martin, build a road on the 80-foot wide strip of land on which they all drive, the suit states. However, when they attempted to convince their brothers George and Lloyd Martin to sign the family agreement, they refused to do so, the suit states.

Instead, Lloyd Martin announced his intentions to build a roadway on the 60-foot easement crossing Eugene Martin's property, the complaint says.

In an attempt to prevent his brother from constructing the road, Eugene Martin claims he erected a fence along his property. However, Lloyd Martin cut the fence down, placed culverts in a ditch adjoining Eugene Martin's property and announced his intentions to bring in heavy equipment and build a road, according to the complaint.

Eugene Martin says his brother has no right to build a road on his property.

"At most, Defendant has the right to travel on that property, but not the right to build any facilities on that property; nor does he have the right to remove Plaintiff's fences if he installs them," the suit states.

In his complaint, Eugene Martin wants the court to enter an order restraining Lloyd Martin from entering his brother's property to build a road and preventing him from putting culverts on his sibling's tract of land. He also is seeking attorney's fees and other relief the court deems just.

H.P. Wright of Wright and Pitre in Port Neches will be representing him.

The case has been assigned to Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court.

Case No. E188-772

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