An April court date has been set for a descendent of the historic Dangberg family and Douglas County to agree on the remainder of personal property at the Dangberg homestead.
A settlement hearing will be April 2 at Douglas District Court. Deborah Palmer, the attorney for Steve Achard, the surviving son of one of the original sisters deeded the historic H. F. Dangberg Home Ranch, is confident her client will prevail.
"We all want things, but if you are not legally entitled, you just can't come in and take it," she said. "I am very confident that when we go before a judge he will rule that Mr. Achard is entitled to his property."
At the Jan. 23 Douglas County Commission meeting, the district attorney's office was directed to "fight for as much as you can."
The county, through the district attorney's office, filed papers in district court Tuesday to formalize an agreement with the Glide Estate for a quit-claim deed. Milos Terzich, representing the Glide Estate, told county commissioners they want out of litigation and offered the quit claim on all other personal property to resolve the matter.
The county also filed papers stating an agreement between the Katrina Glide Estate and Achard is invalid and not legally binding.
Achard and the Glide Estate have a signed agreement from September 2000 on items of personal property to be returned to Achard.
The county claims the agreement was "never approved by the court and not binding."
"Our position is that it is a valid contract," Palmer said.
Douglas County has until Dec. 31, 2006, to establish a museum on the Home Ranch through the quit-claim settlement, or the real and personal property will be returned to the estate.
The county plans to create a museum on the grounds open for two days a week for nine months.
Katrina Glide, who died in the mid-1990s, was the granddaughterof H.F. Dangberg, who settled the home ranch west of Minden off State Route 88. A 1978 decree between H.F. Dangberg's three granddaughters, including Achard's mother, stated the women could live out their lives at the ranch, with the home ranch offered as a living-history museum after they died.
The ranch has been sold several times. Dangberg attorneys said they weren't bound by the 1978 decision, which prompted Douglas County's lawsuit.
At a Jan. 10 hearing, visiting Judge James Hardesty ruled that jurisdiction would remain in district court instead of sending the issue back to probate court.
At issue is a list of personal items that were left to all three granddaughters from the grandparents of the founding family.
"The county is taking a position (Achard) should get nothing else," Palmer said. "What the county has already received is very valuable. Mr. Achard has given them furniture, art, all voluntarily.
"He's been extremely generous, and now the county wants more."