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A lengthy land battle between Timm and Maria Smith over their property at 1031 S. Holly Rd. and Holly Township has taken a new twist now that a judge has ordered the township to give the property back. The township plans an appeal.

The land battle between Holly Township and Timm and Maria Smith, which has been ongoing for several years, appears to be over.

 According to a Nov. 19 Michigan Court of Appeals decision, Holly Township did not violate the Land Division Act.

 The decision further states that the trial court did not make a mistake when it adopted Holly Township’s proposed land division. Because the land division was proper, the decision states the trial court properly dismissed one count of the Smith’s amended complaint.

 On May 6, Holly Township filed a complaint in Oakland County Circuit Court, asking the court to order that the Smiths bring the property at 1031 South Holly Rd. into compliance. Alleged blight on the property and the Smiths continuing to live inside a travel trailer on their wooded 10 acres of property between South Holly Road and the Shiawassee River, were among the township’s complaints.

 On June 12, the Smiths filed a counter complaint in the Oakland County Circuit Court in response to the township’s complaint.

 For three years, County Commissioner Bob Hoffman advocated for the Smiths.

 Hoffman and the Smiths have said numerous times that they believe that the township was illegally trying to take the Smiths’ property that has frontage on the Shiawassee River.

 Five years after the Smiths filed their original lawsuit with Holly Township regarding the ownership of a 10-acre portion of the 20-acre South Holly Road property the Smiths once entirely owned went under re-appeal.

 The Smiths claimed a legal land split of the parcel was never performed. Additionally, the entire 20-acre parcel is landlocked, and is unable to be legally split, the Smiths argued.

 Karin Winchester, clerk for Holly Township, said she never had a doubt that the township would win.

 “The truth always prevails,” she said.

 According to Winchester, the township’s suit to abate the zoning ordinance violations will proceed. The suit was filed in May, but because the Smiths filed a countersuit, and the judge ultimately assigned to the case retired, they had to wait until another one was appointed.

 “That just happened,” said Winchester.

 The Smiths could not be reached for comment.

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