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E-M:/ 3 sons buy Delene property

3 sons buy Delene property

THE MINING JOURNAL - miningjournal.net, Wednesday, June 29, 2005

L'ANSE (AP) - Three sons of Richard and Nancy Delene, who battled the state over development of their Upper Peninsula property in the 1990s, have purchased the disputed land.

William, Joseph and Michael Delene paid $168,300 for the property during an auction last week.

The proceeds will be used to pay off a $164,000 judgment lien against the Delenes filed on behalf of Haywood Harrison, P.C., a Lansing law firm that represented the Delenes for 15 months in the mid-1990s, The Daily Mining Gazette of Houghton reported.

The firm entered the only other bid in the auction, opening at $168,297.51.

Richard and Nancy Delene began restoring wetlands on the property near the Sturgeon River in the 1980s. The troubles began in 1990, when they applied for a permit through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and claimed it was awarded by default when the agency failed to respond within 90 days.

The state eventually sued the Delenes for violating the Wetland Protection Act. A judge ruled against them when their attorney failed to file an appeal.

At one point, the Delenes were involved in a standoff with police at their residence. They eventually left Michigan.