From the September 2001 Idaho Observer:
Do Americans have the right to own property?
This seems like a silly question until you find out that we do not own anything. Ownership implies that property belongs to you and that nobody but you has the right to sell or otherwise transfer that ownership to another party. We used to be able to own property in America; the right to do so was perhaps the most important of protections built into our Constitution. However, somewhere along the line ownership of our property was conveyed to government. We are allowed to live on their property until we stop paying taxes, at which time government has given itself the right to sell it and move you out by force, if necessary. The ability to dispose of property is the ultimate test of who really owns it. Idaho county disposed of the Cain family's Kamiah property for back taxes at public auction. The Cain family owns one acre of Bo Gritz's covenant community Almost Heaven and has taken a stand. The Cain's determination may prove whether or not Americans have the right to own property.
By Don Harkins
KAMIAH -- Regardless that the Cain family believes it has provided ample proof that it has allodial title to its real property (not real estate) to Idaho county officials, the county sold their property at public auction last April 30 to Russell and Peggy Matsen for back taxes.
The legal owner of the property is Vanessa Marie Doan. Her response has been to file a Declaration of Ownership and Intent to Defend with the Idaho County court clerk. The notice itemizes the process whereby ownership of the property was conveyed to Doan and how the deed describes her right to, grant, bargain, sell, convey and confirm unto her heirs and assigns forever, all that certain parcel of real property, and was recorded with the Idaho County Recorder's office May 24, 1996.
Rather than allow the property's new owners to take possession of the property, Doan stated that, I, Vanessa, and all my heirs and assigns, will continue to adversely claim and defend, with word and sword, said Lot #8, its improvements and possessions thereon, perpetually as our Land of Inheritance with ownership in allodium, against all governments, principalities, churches, trusts, individuals, partnerships, corporations or secret combinations thereof.
The Notice concluded by stating, SEALED in the name of Jesus Christ, while renouncing war, declaring peace, freedom and prosperity through righteousness but forsaking all evil with awful determination.
Can they take your real property for non-payment of taxes? asked Mike Cain who lives on the property in question. According to Idaho tax code, there is no law that says taxes are mandatory, he added.
Cain acknowledges that government needs revenue to provide roads, bridges, schools, libraries and garbage collection and he is not against paying his fair share for the services he uses.
Cain believes that the source of the controversy is contained in the county's justification for disposal of the property under the auspices of Title 63, Section 1126 (A,B,C,D). Though Idaho county commissioners Harry Owens, Lewis Ulmer and George Enneking signed off on the auction, 63-1126 (A,B,C,D) do not seem to exist in Idaho code.
I wonder how many people in Idaho have lost their property under the authority of this code which does not seem to exist? Cain queried.
Cain said that he talked to Scott Mealor of the Idaho County Sheriff's Department about this mysterious code. Cain said that Mealor will not show him the code.
Cain believes that the property, of which he has an interest, was illegally disposed of by the county under the authority of a law that is either a secret or a fraud. His attempts to find out what 63-1126 (A,B,C,D) led to his August 19, 2001 filing of a criminal complaint against commissioners Enneking, Ulmer, and Owens and Idaho County Clerk Rose Gehring et al, with Idaho County Sheriff Larry Dasenbrock. Cain alleges fraud, extortion and insurrection in his complaint.
When public servants seek to change our form of government, a state of insurrection exists....Extortion is the unlawful taking of money or property from another... Cain explained
Sheriff, there is more than sufficient evidence contained in the above numbered document to warrant grand jury investigation into this matter, wrote Cain.
So far there is no indication that the county will attempt to forcibly remove Cain and his family from the property, that is eight miles up a road that leads to the homes of many families that purchased property in the covenant communities of Bo Gritz and Jack Mclamb because of their pro-freedom beliefs. I think they are confused, Cain commented.
Cain also commented that he appreciates the constructive dialogue that has been encouraged by Sheriff Dasenbrock who appears genuinely committed to using his authority to bring about an intelligent and lawful solution to this potentially precedent-setting property rights issue.
The Constitution says we have the right to own property. Do we still have the right to own property? I moved up here to be left alone, not to fight for my right to own property with my state and county government. But, I believe in that right and am willing to defend that right, Cain concluded.
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