Sovereign Citizen Wingnut Trying to steal land through Bogus ‘Land Patent’
Some of these Sovereign citizen land disputes have ended in shoot outs simply because wingnuttery knows zero bounds.
This debate caught former Casper resident Dennis Thome in a legal crossfire in Natrona County District Court.
In 1974, he and his wife, Gloria, bought a house at 1004 Saint John St. for $9,400.
They moved to West Virginia three years later, and gave Gloria’s brother, Ed Corrigan, the opportunity to rent out the house, pay the mortgage and taxes, provide maintenance, and pocket any profits.
A year ago, Gloria Thome died, and her husband found a prospective buyer for the house
But in September, a title company put the brakes on the deal when it found Corrigan had filed a “declaration of land patents” lien in the Natrona County Clerk’s Office in May 2006, which meant Thome’s house did not have a clear title.
Liens — claims on properties for a debt — often are filed to recover back taxes or payment for contracting work before a sale.
But this “declaration of land patent” lien stunned Thome and his attorney, Marvin Bishop III.
“I’ve practiced law for 50 years and never heard of a patent lien,” Bishop said.
Corrigan filed it because he believed he owned the house.
Thome then sued Corrigan, claiming the land patent lien was frivolous.
This lawsuit added to Corrigan’s reputation for being the most visible face of the local sovereignty movement after his years-long dispute with Natrona County over health and safety code violations on his property east of Casper. He was found guilty in district court in March, sentenced with a $143,840 fine and a clean-up order in May, and found in contempt of court in October.