CHRISTIAN COUNTY, Mo. — The first day of the civil trial over the Lindenlure access to the Finley River took place in Christian County Monday, May 24.
A property owner placed concrete barricades to block public access to a popular swimming spot along the river in March 2020. These barricades have caused a dispute among property owners in that area.
The issue is whether Canyon Road, which leads to the Lindenlure access to the Finley River, is public or private.
Plaintiffs in this case are nearby property owners who said they haven’t been able to access their land in over a year. However, defendants are saying they are tired of the public parking and littering along Canyon Road.
Eight witnesses, a mix of men and women who used to frequent the river for recreation, claim since at least the 1940s, the area has been open to the public. Former Christian County Sheriff Joey Kyle testified he remembers the county maintained and patrolled Canyon Road in the last 10 years.
Defendants argue Canyon Road and part of the river is all private property and always has been.
On Tuesday, May 25, it will be the defendant’s turn to call witnesses in hopes of proving part of Canyon Road runs through the river bed and takes an excessive amount of county resources to patrol the area to prevent illegal activity.
The court will likely reconvene at 9 a.m. on May 25, but it is unclear if the judge will decide by the end of the trial or take the issue under advisement.
- Fundraising and blockades: Why Lindenlure has become a closed battleground
- Lawsuit filed to reopen Lindenlure access in Christian County
- Judge rules to keep gate up at Lindenlure access until next court date in 2021
- MoDOT: Gate at Lindenlure access is partially on MoDOT property