Court of Appeals to decide case of man who sawed garage in half

Photo: Mark Beseman

The Minnesota Court of Appeals is now considering the case of a man who sawed his neighbor’s garage in half in a property dispute.

Roger Weber of Nashwauk, a former candidate for the Legislature, sawed Mark Besemann’s garage in half in April 2013. Besemann had purchased the house from Weber’s sister, unaware that a family feud was raging over the location of the garage. So Weber took a chainsaw to the portion of the garage he insisted was on his land.

A district court judge said he had a right to do so and yesterday the Minnesota Court of Appeals heard Besemann’s claim that he didn’t, the Duluth News Tribune writes.

Weber and his attorney, Brian Bengtson of Grand Rapids, argued that Anderson [the sister] and Besemann had no right to the property in the first place.

Bengtson said his client has known the location of the property line since he was a young child, asserting that Robert Weber was only allowed use of the adjoining land by family agreement.

Bengtson argued that the family had planned to remove the dilapidated garage as early as the 1980s, and that the only reason Weber left part of it standing was to salvage some doors.

But the judges questioned his motive in destroying the garage just days after the land was sold, without the benefit of an official survey.

“He knew that someone else allegedly owned that property other than him,” [Court of Appeals Judge Larry] Stauber noted. “So, whoever it was, he should’ve contacted that person and said let’s talk about this before I do something stupid and take down this garage with a chainsaw.”

Besemann sought $20,000 for the chainsaw attack but the News Tribune said the Court of Appeals seems unlikely to embrace the idea, given that he paid only $15,000 for the property.