- Associated Press - Monday, April 11, 2016

ROCK BLUFFS, Neb. (AP) - A two-year legal battle over a shared driveway in Rock Bluffs has ended after an attempted takeover of a cemetery association and a bitter fight between neighbors.

The Lincoln Journal Star (https://bit.ly/1TMuxP3 ) reports that the driveway was the only access route to Rock Bluffs Cemetery after Queen Hill Road was deemed unsafe and barricaded in 2010. Funeral processions, gravediggers, maintenance crews, visitors and teenagers looking for a haunt all used the drive to enter the cemetery.

Homeowners Larry and Lauri Cunningham became fed up with the traffic and blocked the driveway with a rope in 2014.

Larry Cunningham complained to the county attorney and the chairwoman of the cemetery association, Charla Knapp, but didn’t get any relief. In fact, Knapp, threatened to sue if Larry Cunningham blocked his driveway. Knapp owns the land to the east and south of the cemetery.

After Larry Cunningham blocked his driveway, the cemetery association, led by Knapp, sued him, demanding the right to use the driveway. Larry Cunningham countered with his own lawsuit, saying the cemetery’s three trustees didn’t have authority to represent the cemetery because they hadn’t been elected.

When a cemetery association trustee resigned, Larry Cunningham planned to get himself elected to the board. After a hostile public meeting, the crowd, which included many of Larry Cunningham’s supporters, elected three new cemetery association commissioners, who voted to dismiss the lawsuit against Larry Cunningham.

In November, a judge ordered Larry Cunningham and Knapp to mediate their dispute. After two years of legal disputes, the pair filed a consent decree with the court in February.

Larry Cunningham is allowed to put a gate in front of his driveway that can be opened with a code, which he will give to cemetery trustees so they can access the grounds. The trustees will have to let him know when they need to use the gate.

Knapp, her attorney and the cemetery association’s attorney didn’t return messages from the newspaper seeking comment about the agreement.


Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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