06/30/04 — Town responds to alley lawsuit

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Town responds to alley lawsuit

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on June 30, 2004 1:59 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The town's lawyer says he had hoped a disagreement over an alley downtown had been resolved.

"But apparently not," said Mount Olive Town Attorney Carroll Turner Tuesday afternoon, shortly after learning that Rick Kraft filed a complaint against the town over the alley beside his photo studio. "We'll let the court decide."

Turner said the complaint is not the type of lawsuit seeking damages, but asking the court to determine the legal owner.

Kraft wants to close the alley. The town says the previous owner gave the alley to the town on the stipulation that it remain a public right of way.

Kraft is asking the court to make the town pay his legal expenses, but Turner said he's confident the town will ask Kraft to pay its expenses.

"Somebody will win, and somebody will lose," said Turner. "That's what they built courthouses for."

Turner said the town's position is that the alley is a public right of way and a public alley, "and we're keeping it open for use of the public."

But Kraft and his wife, Debbie, say the building is not safe from motorists who still try to drive through the alley and sometimes bump into it the building. They say they're afraid someone is going to get hurt.

"Nobody likes to sue, and we especially don't like suing the town," said Kraft this morning. "But we feel the alley was never dedicated, and it's our personal property. We have to go through this procedure. All we're trying to do is clear up the title."

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