Twiggs Land Dispute Still Unresolved

10:15 AM, Aug 15, 2012   |    comments
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In Dry Branch, homeowners are still waiting on a court ruling that will decide whether they can keep their own land.

A Colorado man, Allan V. Evans is claiming that his family history entitles him to 400 acres of land in Twiggs County, including almost 40 homes, a church, and a training range for the Sheriff's Department.

Evans and the homeowners were in court last Thursday presenting evidence in front of Special Master Jim Nelson, who will present his findings to a judge sometime after September 1st.

But the waiting game has taken its toll on the residents, who are not only tied up in legal fees, but until the matter is settled can not borrow money, sell their homes, or make any home improvements.  

Kay Shipes has brain cancer, and in addition to her chemotherapy treatments and medical expenses has been forced to attend meetings and legal hearings as well as pay legal fees.

We spoke with Allan Evans on the phone from his Colorado home, and he says he expects to win the case, and says Georgia law would require current homeowners to leave within 7 days.

When asked if that would affect his conscience, he said he was fine with that and said "maybe it's time they get a new perspective on the world."

He says if he wins, he plans on moving to Georgia, but worries about his safety.  He says residents might be angry with him and is worried he might "have a shotgun pointed to my face."

Many of the residents have been living on their property for years, but Evans contends that doesn't matter to him.  Evans calls them "occupiers" and said "I'm glad they've enjoyed my family property rent-free all these years."

Although he claims family lineage from the 1800's, Evans himself only first visited the area last November, prompting residents to question his motives, asking where he was when they were building their communities and raising their families.

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