It has now been more than a month since more than 40 Twiggs County residents appeared in court to face Allan V. Evans, the Colorado man filing suit to take possession of their properties.
Evans has argued that despite having no physical deed to any of the properties, his family history entitles him to more than 400 acres of land in the county, which today includes more around 40 homes, a church, and a sheriff's firing range.
Now, Evans has recently sent in more petitions to the court, including one to have James Nelson of Dublin, the special master appointed to hear the case thrown off because of what Evans considers a conflict of interest. In the document, Evans complains that Nelson denied a request for serve two additional neighbors to be added on to his suit.
Although Evans says he has "the most deepest respect for Mr. Nelson's character which is beyond reproach," he argues that Nelson should be taken off the case because of his past work as a lawyer for the Oconee EMC. He says it would be a conflict of interest because Oconee, an electric company, has easements on some of the properties involved in the lawsuit.
Evans also filed a motion to attempt to re-obtain the deed he claims belonged to his family that he says was destroyed in the fire at the Twiggs County Courthouse in 1901. He says "despite 111 years," the deed should be re-registered to him at no cost.
He also says current residents should make sure and pay their total of more than $26,000 in annual property taxes by November 1st should he win. He says "the petitioner (Evans) does not have this money currently, and if property taxes are not paid by the occupants this year, the petitioner would face an immediate tax lien even before he could rent out any of the houses on the property to pay for property taxes the following year."
The motion goes on to ask for measures that would "seek damages for any willful neglect or damage to the buildings, structures, and land on the property from the occupants done by the occupants upon their vacancy." He also says he if wins, he expects residents to leave their keys and clean house when vacated, because otherwise "the petitioner would have to call a locksmith or cleaning services."
Evans also wants septic tanks to be removed or emptied for those with mobile homes to avoid extra property taxes on septic tanks. He says the reason for these measures "is to hopefully prevent willful destruction of the property in retaliation for having to vacate."
Evans is also requesting that residents pay his court costs, travel costs, and "other necessary costs related to the proceedings to the Court within 90 days if the judge rules in his favor.
13WMAZ spoke with Evans by phone from Colorado, and he says he has no comment on the motions he sent to the Twiggs County Superior Court. Special Master Jim Nelson said he was still waiting for court transcripts from last month's hearing before giving his opinion to Judge Jon F. Helton, who will make the final ruling in the case.