A tenant who claims he has a $500-a-year lifetime lease at Princeton-area resort was tossed out of court Monday by a B.C. Supreme Court justice.
B.C. Supreme Court justice Dev Dley asked sheriffs to forcibly remove Darwin Sorenson after he would not properly identify himself and appeared to espouse so-called Freeman principles.
"I am a declared sovereign," said a man who stood in the public gallery in a courtroom. "My name is Darwin."
Sorenson is being sued by Dollie and Peter Duttenhoffer in an attempt to have him removed from a lot at Kennedy Lake resort, where he has built a cabin and taken up permanent residence.
He refused, however, to step forward to the court area where civil litigants must appear before the justice.
"If I enter this area of the courtroom, do I have a contract with the court?" he asked in the bafflegab familiar to anyone who has listened to former mayoral candidate Brian Alexander.
"I'm not prepared to go into that kind of discussion," Dley warned him.
People claiming to be "Freemen" have appeared in Kamloops courts on matters ranging from traffic tickets to civil suits. In general, they claim to never have given their consent to be governed, putting them above man-made laws.
They typically fail to recognize their own surnames and aggressively assert they are free from any laws because they have not consented to them.
Each time they have failed to successfully advance those claims.
When Dley warned he would have him removed, Sorenson threatened that would cost the justice a $30,000 fine.
At that point, Dley ordered sheriffs to remove Sorensen.
The legal matter proceeded in his absence. The Duttenhoffers' lawyer, John Drayton, told Justice Dley that Sorenson is living on the property with no running water, sewer or electricity. The cabin he constructed has a declared value of $100,000.
The 320-acre resort was divided into sections by owners and rented seasonally. Drayton said, at some point, Sorenson began living there full time.
"Sorenson says… sometime in the late '90s he was granted a lifetime lease of site No. 5. It was to be $500 until his death," Drayton said, adding Sorenson has recently stated that right extends to his daughter.
But Drayton said the owners rented the lot only on an annual basis. Lifetime agreements were never in discussion.
"My clients say we had a two-year agreement and we have treated that as a year-to-year lease."
Drayton said Sorenson is now on the land without permission. The owners are seeking an order that he be removed as well as award of legal costs.
The matter is adjourned until Tuesday, when it is scheduled to resume.
ALEXANDER'S APPEAL DISMISSED
The city's most famous Freeman failed to show up Monday in the same courtroom where his fellow Freeman was forcibly removed.
B.C. Supreme Court justice Dev Dley ordered Brian Alexander's appeal dismissed after he failed to appear for his own appeal.
Alexander filed an appeal of a June 8 justice of the peace's decision earlier this year finding him guilty of failing to produce a valid driver's licence, an offence under the Motor Vehicle Act.
He was given the standard $276 fine.
Alexander, a former mayoral candidate who operates a chimneysweep business, filed an appeal July 6 claiming the court had "no jurisdiction."
He was ordered in August to provide a copy of a written argument by Oct. 30, which he failed to do.
Dley said the $276 fine will stand.