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Motion Filed On Legion Park In Culbertson

American Legion Post No. 81 in Culbertson filed a motion April 24 asking Judge David Cybulski with Montana’s Fifteenth Judicial District Court to hold Knudsen Family Limited Partnership, which includes local residents and state house candidates Rhonda and Miles Knudsen, in contempt.

The Legion is asking the court to compel KFLP to “re-establish and re-build” an easement road laid out in a ruling from the Montana Supreme Court issued in July, 2022, which found that a historic access road through property owned by the Knudsens to the 40-acre American Legion Park in Culbertson “has and shall continue to provide access to the Legion Park Parcel for the Legion, its invitees and the public.” Many felt the ruling would be an end to a decades-long dispute preventing veterans and youth groups from using the park.

In an affidavit filed with the motion, the Legion’s Peter Olson said that KFLP destroyed “approximately 1,000’ of the easement road” and erected several obstacles, including gates. The Legion contends that KFLP altered the route laid out in the ruling, clouding legal and unfettered access to the park.

The Knudsens provided a tour of the disputed area April 25. At that time, no obstacles remained to physically block access but the original easement road did appear to be altered. Several additional dirt roads allowed for clear access to the park entrance, which was blocked by an unlocked wire gate maintained by the Legion. The Knudsens say no one has tried to use it.

Miles Knudsen told the Northern Plains Independent that the timing was suspicious and implied that it was a political move by Olson and the Legion. “The access is open according to the court document and it seems like the timing is politically motivated,” he said. “Rhonda Knudsen added, “We’ve complied with the court order to the best of our abilities. I thought this was over.”

Rhonda Knudsen is a member of the Montana House of Representatives, representing District 34, and is running for election to the Montana State Senate to represent District 15. Miles Knudsen is running for election to the Montana House of Representatives to represent District 29.

Contacted for comment, Olson said that the timing of the filing was related to the scarcity of attorneys in Northeast Montana and said the Legion has been moving forward in earnest. “This is not a political issue,” he said. “The is an issue for the Legion, veterans, the public and the community.”

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