Friday, March 11, 2016

Scam Artists Use 10-Page Sovereign Citizen 'Manifesto' To Temporarily Hijack Possession Of Vacant Home For Sale; Befuddled Cops Initial Response To Complaining Homeowner: 'Take A Hike - It's A Civil Matter!" Four Ultimately Get Pinched After Authorities Wake Up & Come To Their Senses

In New Orleans, Louisiana, The Times-Picayune reports:
  • When New Orleans police responded last month to reports of squatters taking over a house for sale in Bywater, officers said there was nothing they could do because the newly installed residents had legal documents laying claim to the property.

    Fred Hines, the true owner, was told by police that it was a civil matter and he would have to take it up with a judge if he wanted them out. That was despite Hines having shown them a deed, bank documents and tax records for the property all with his name on them.

    The squatters' claims have been declared false — four of them now face felony burglary charges — but they were able to stay in the house for several days after police spoke with Hines. What exactly had they shown the officers that was so convincing?

    It wasn't a falsified deed, a forged court order or some other official-looking filing that would seem to give the squatters a legitimate legal claim to the North Rampart shotgun house. It was a nonsensical 10-page manifesto full of claims to legal immunity.

    Squatters espousing allegiance to an esoteric black nationalist movement have staked a claim to a Bywater house up for sale and remain there more than a week after neighbors complained to police about the apparent trespassing.

    In explaining why the squatters were not immediately turfed out, the Police Department said that it wasn't reasonable to expect a beat officer to parse seemingly official documents on the fly. The department, as Superintendent Michael Harrison put it, had to do its due diligence.

    The document is full of legal jargon and court citations, but there are some clues that its bearers may not have had sound judicial footing.

    The first paragraph introduces the self-declared "lineal heir" of the property as an "authorized representative of the Washitaw Nation," who, as a "natural person" and an "indigenous American National," is "part and parcel with the land."

    The document was printed on the homespun letterhead of "The Mu'ur National Republic, Mu'ur Divine and National Movement of the World."

    The Washitaw Mu'ur Nation, sometimes spelled Washitah, is a sovereign-citizen group that sprung up in the mid 1990s in north Louisiana. It takes its name from a native tribe that lived in the area prior to European invasion. Several place names, including a parish, bear the tribe's French name, Ouachita.

    It's unclear how the document, even if it were valid, would have applied to the squatters, as it doesn't bear any of their legal names, at least none of those who were later arrested.

    Lawyers who specialize in real estate said the claims outlined in the manifesto are farcical.

    "In a way, the Washitahs' document is clever because it includes a legal description of the Bywater house, citations to legal cases and federal statutes, mysterious Latin words, and a whole lot of misused legal jargon," said lawyer Ryan McCabe, of the Steeg Law Firm. "But when you look at what it actually says, it's completely incoherent. It's as if the author put a legal dictionary into a blender and then randomly rearranged the pieces. It makes no sense."
For more, see Read the Washitah Nation manifesto that squatters used to flummox the NOPD.

Go here for the full, nonsensical 10-page manifesto used by these scam artists that inexplicably left the local cops befuddled, causing them to initially conclude that the possession-hijacking of the home from the true owner was not a crime, just a civil matter.

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