WEST WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Following a five-year legal battle, a roadblock of boulders that prevented a landscape construction company from accessing their West Warwick property were removed Friday.
4N Properties, a company owned by former state Rep. Jared Nunes and his family, lost its appeal with the R.I. Supreme Court, according to the ruling that was handed down Thursday.
Nunes’ company must now remove the boulders that Reads Landscape Construction claims is blocking access to Nunes Lane, which provides direct access to their business.
“It’s very relieving, it’s like a weight taken off of my shoulders,” owner of Reads Landscape Construction John Read said.
Read’s company, which purchased land from Nunes in June 2016 to expand his business, sued 4N Properties in September 2017. In the lawsuit, Read claimed Nunes committed fraud by altering the deed to illegally block off access to Nunes Lane as a private right-of-way.
“This turned into a political game, which is sad,” Read said. “I’m very happy that I won, but a state rep, how does he get away with doing this? If I did it, I would be paying fines.”
Nunes previously claimed access to Nunes Lane was never part of the deal, but Read argues he never would’ve bought the land without the right-of-way in place.
Read said now that he has access to Nunes Lane, he plans to expand his business as he intended to when he initially purchased it.
But the million-dollar question, according to Read, is why Nunes wouldn’t allow him access to Nunes Lane in the first place.
“Why are we wasting the courts time and money?” Read questioned. “Why are wasting my money for something that is simple? I want to build a building on a piece of land and this has cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses. I’ve paid more in legal fees than I have for the lot.”
Read tells 12 News the judge also ordered Nunes to remove a massive pile of rocks and gravel. He said Nunes has until Monday to move it, but he doesn’t think that is going to happen.
In that case, Read said he plans to head back to court.