A Rural Minnesota Family Awaits Decision as to Whether Their Access Road Exists
The Crisman family is in a continuous four-year battle with local officials located in Hillman Township over their access road to their property. The road has been completely wiped off the map and the Crisman’s don’t know if mail or packages will be delivered to them. Furthermore, they are not even sure if their daughters will be able to be picked up by the school bus.
The only access to the family’s property is through his neighbor’s property, who isn’t a fan of the Crisman’s. There appears to be a stigma around people who move from the cities to the country. The Crisman’s neighbor, Mr. Schmoll, is tempted to shut down their road but says he won’t because of the children.
It all began in 2017, when the Crisman’s went to a town hall meeting and asked for the road to be plowed and maintained. This stirred up controversy and required township electors to vote. The vote did not end up in the Crisman’s favor. The Crisman’s took matters into their own hands and spent tens of thousands of dollars fixing the road. When they did so, the sheriff was called three times to the family’s property to warn them they couldn’t plow on public roads.
The Crisman’s officially lost legal access to their road when the court applied the 40-year rule. This rule declared that the township had lost its rights to the road and the land reverted back to the Schmoll’s.
Now, the Crisman’s have officially lost legal access to their home. The township has provided a not-so-great other option, to build a 600-foot driveway at their own expense on the far side of their property through pastured land with swampy spots. As of now, the Crisman’s requested the judge re-examine and amend his order. However, currently, they will have to continue to live in a town surrounded by individuals who readily acknowledge they don’t like them and do not have legal access to their property.