Judge won’t issue temporary restraining order in Homer Smith Road case

Ralph and Carleen Greslin placed barricades on Homer Smith Road to stop others from crossing over their property. A judge Tuesday said he would not order the barricades taken down because it does not pose any immediate danger. Pioneer file photo

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STURGIS — Fourth Circuit Judge Kevin Krull said he would not issue a temporary restraining order in a civil case concerning Homer Smith Road is southwest Meade County.

Krull said that although a barricade placed on Homer Smith Road and marked as private property by Ralph and Carleen Greslin is an inconvenience for neighbors, it does not constitute immediate and irreparable injury, loss or damage.

Krull, appearing via video because he is under COVID-19 quarantine, said he didn’t believe removing the barriers was an emergency situation.

“After reading the supporting affidavits from the plaintiffs, it appears there is a lot of inconvenience, but there is not immediate or irreparable injury to the plaintiffs,” he said.

More than a dozen of the neighbors who object to the barricade, were in the courtroom at the Meade County Courthouse Tuesday. Many were visibly upset with Krull’s ruling and said following the hearing they wished Krull could see for himself what a dire situation closing the road has had for the neighbors.

James Pulaski, who lives up the hill from the Greslins with his parents, Mary Ann and Sid Pulaski, said he doesn’t believe others not close to the situation understand the severity.

“They are not actually living what we’re living,” he said. “This is a terrible inconvenience for a lot of senior citizens and veterans who live in our neighborhood.”

Another concern is the arrival of winter weather.

“I just think about what happens when the snow flies. It’s going to create a real dangerous situation for people,” he said.

In court papers filed last week, Homer Smith Road residents’ attorney Nathan R. Chicoine asked the court for a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order after barricades went up blocking access to part of the road that leads to the plaintiffs’ homes.

Chicoine requested that the court enter a preliminary injunction and/or a temporary restraining order against Ralph and Carleen Greslin and Paul and Kay Holst from continuing to block any portion of Homer Smith Road.

Chicoine also said that the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed Oct. 14, are asking specifically for the immediate removal of the barricades and from interfering with their access and use of the roadway pending final determination of the civil lawsuit.

In his objection to Chicoine’s request for a preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order, the Greslin’s attorney, Courtney R. Clayborne, said the neighbors claim that the need for an injunction arises out of the fact that access to their property, over the Greslin’s property, is more convenient than accessing it on other roads.

“Nowhere in any of the statutes (listed in the objection) does convenience of the parties give rise to the ability to issue a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction,” he wrote. “Plaintiffs’ inability to show any authority for the grant of an injunction would prohibit this court from imposing the same.”

Krull did agree to schedule a hearing on a preliminary injunction. That hearing, at which the neighbors would be allowed to testify, is scheduled for 2 p.m. Dec. 15, in Fourth Circuit Court in Sturgis.

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