Your Fence, My Land: Neighbors Fight Over Property - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Parma, MO

Your Fence, My Land: Neighbors Fight Over Property

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Your Fence, My Land: Neighbors Fight Over Property
By: Kathy Sweeney

PARMA, Mo. - Three local families draw the line, pitting neighbor against neighbor.

Do you know where your property ends and your neighbor's begins?

You're going to want to check after you see what Heartland News found in one New Madrid County town.

Parma, Missouri sits quietly along Route 153, east of New Madrid and just south of the Stoddard County line.

But just inside the town limits, there's a battle brewing between three neighbors.....the Freemans, the Fraziers, and the Browns.

It's led to shouting matches, tears, and one pending court case so far.

And after talking to all three families, I quickly realized the battle boils down to "your fence, my land."

Small town life is ususally where neighbors are friends and the living is easy.

"We all help each other out," said Lydia Cackowski.

Kim..."All of us together.. We all look out for each other" said Kim  

Wayne...."When you move down here, you think everyone will be nice and agree to do what's right," Wayne Freeman said.

But on Parma's north side, nothing is easy.

"We all get along, except for him," Kim Frazier said. 

"I feel like they're being harassed," Cackowski said. 

"It's very frustrating for the city," said Randall Ramsey, Parma's mayor.

Wayne Freeman feels he's been treated unfairly.

He's the man in the middle, and many say at the center of Parma's three-way property dispute.

"It's like being between a rock and a hard spot and it keeps getting tighter," Freeman said. 

Wayne Freeman's family contacted me complaining about the city's unfair treatment when it came to his backyard.  But, after talking to Wayne, I discovered the problems actually started with his neighbors next door, Kim and Dale Frazier.

"The property line is at the telephone pole," said Freeman. He says a fence "is totally on my property."

Freeman's been fighting with the Fraziers over adjoining property line.

"I don't like arguing and fussing and fighting," Freeman said. 

But, that's not what Kim Frazier says. In fact, she started crying when she told me just how bad it's been.....all the shouting and cussing.....all over less than three feet of land.

In the corner of Kim Frazier's yard you can really see what's going on between the Fraziers and the Freemans.  Kim says the fence shows where her actual property line is.  A fencepost represents a fence that stood there for some 20 years until the fraziers say Mr. Freeman tore it down.  Then, a county officer came out and both sides agreed to split the 30 inch tract. Fifteen inches for the Fraziers and 15 for the Freemans.  But, if that verbal agreement was broken, the case would head to court.  That's what the Fraziers say happened so they are taking the Freemans to court to get their original property line back.

"He wanted us to go to court over the Fraziers. We told them no and that's when they started on us," Amy Brown said. 

Amy Brown lives right behind the Freeman's, separated by a fence and their own brewing property battle.

"My property goes five feet behind this fence,"Freeman said. 

But, Parma Mayor Randall Ramsey had Freeman move his fence back because it covered up the buried utility lines.  So, he wants to know why the Browns get to use his five feet, when he can't.

"All I want is for them to abide by the rules and get off my utility right of way," Freeman said. 

"As you can see, my gate is here, and they can come back here and access the lines any time they want," Brown said.

"His fence would have interfered with the utility lines.  The Brown's fence did not," Mayor Ramsey said. 

"Everything was fine, until the last six months," Brown said. 

But Wayne Freeman disagrees and has made that opinion abundantly clear to his neighbors and city leaders.

"That's what the mayor told me.  I'm nothing but a complainer, a problem causer.  Nothing but trouble," Freeman said.  "I just stand up for my rights and what I own."

"All I can do is make sure everyone is being treated fairly and it seems to me they are being treated fair," Mayor Ramsey said. 

Freeman's positions have become so unpopular, some of his neighbors even signed a letter to the council accusing him of scaring their kids, filing false police reports against them, and making every meeting a confrontation.  

I asked neighbor Lydia Cackowski why she signed it.

"Because I feel they're being harassed.  It's kind of sad, isn't it?  Yes, life is hard enough, you don't have to add to it."

But life in Parma has become so hard, both the Browns and the Fraziers installed cameras on their property.

"You feel like they're watching you," Freeman said.  "That's not a good feeling.

"I have cameras, yes I do.  They are not pointed on his property.  There's no law against having cameras, "Brown said. 

And there's no law against challenging your property lines, but why would someone battle both of his closest neighbors to the point that everyone feels angry, upset, and cheated?

The man in the middle, Wayne Freeman, puts it this way.

"If you let them have that property, they're going to keep taking and keep taking."

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