Blyn resident Eloise Kailin is suing the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe to reassert ownership of a 30-foot-wide septic easement she says is necessary for her septic tank's drain field.
Craig Ritchie, attorney for Kailin and the Harvey Kailin Trust, filed the lawsuit in Clallam County Superior Court.
The lawsuit seeks to remove any and all obstructions and to prohibit the tribe from maintaining any obstruction on the easement.
The permanent 30-foot-wide septic easement was granted to Eloise Kailin and her late husband, Harvey, on April 29, 1985, according to documents submitted with the lawsuit. It is located at 801 Old Blyn Highway near where that road intersects with Snow Creek Road northeast of the Longhouse Market & Deli.
Ritchie said the lawsuit was filed "in reim" - to establish ownership - and the tribe was sued only because it permitted the Olympic Discovery Trail section that blocked the easement.
Who owns what?
"We sued the property (to settle ownership), but it was the tribe that permitted the trail. The concern is with the property, not the tribe. We want the court to declare who owns the easement," Ritchie said.
Kailin obtained the easement from CMC Real Estate Corporation, (the Milwaukee Road railroad company after emerging from bankruptcy in 1985), before the tribe got an interest in the property, he said.
"We've been unable to get it resolved for a while. It seems easy to resolve."
The easement is partially covered by an Olympic Discovery Trail section although its ownership is "pretty clear" in the legal documents, he said. Ritchie said he is working on alternative locations for the trail.
Jamestown S'Klallam tribal chairman Ron Allen disputed Kailin's allegations.
"Obviously we don't agree at all," he said.
"This property is ours, we own it."
Kailin has an easement for a drain field, and the tribe was acquiescing to the county to site the Olympic Discovery Trail, Allen said.
The tribe agreed to run a sleeve under the trail to another site on its property and exchange that easement site for the one the trail goes over, he said.
"It's the most logical location. We put the sleeve under the trail at our expense. It's the same property, 50 feet away.
"The percolating capacity also is the same, so there's no lost opportunity. We also agreed to not contend that her drain field extends beyond her easement.
"We're the good guys. She's trying to take our property from us. We won't stand for it; it's not acceptable."
The tribe's attorneys from Seattle law firm of Miller Nash formally acknowledged the lawsuit but included the disclaimer "without waiving objections as to improper service, jurisdiction, and as to the Tribe, sovereign immunity."
Reach Brian Gawley at email@example.com.
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