This article is one of a series of editorial articles that express personal
opinions and views. They are written with no pretensions to be error free. I
will gladly correct substantial errors of fact. My opinions can change,
depending upon my awareness and understanding of changes in factual
information. It is my intent to remain focused on specific public issues,
regarding the personalities involved. For all I know, all the characters are
saints, concerning their private lives and other public business...
Changes may be requested by e-mailing the details to firstname.lastname@example.org
Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law
Main Entry: sei·zure
Function: noun: the act, fact, or process of seizing: as A : the seizing of property that involves meaningful interference with a person's possessory interest in it
When I wrote the early part of this editorial, I failed to note, consistently, the distinct difference between the words "maintain" and "modify". It is the difference between the meaning of those two words, and the impact of that difference, in the context of the reported circumstances surrounding Mr. Burns' property, that forms a basis of Burns' complaint against the City of Manistique. Hopefully, my recent review, and editing, removes most ambiguity from my writing, regarding my erroneous use, at times, of "maintain" and "modify" as synonyms for each other.
N.B. An historic right-of-way may meet the definition of a public highway, i.a.w. (Michigan Compiled Laws) MCL 221.20, and "... shall be deemed (a) public highway(s), subject to be altered or discontinued according to the provisions of this act..." Call it an historical right-of-way, a highway-by-use, a private road, a public road or public highway, it is still "subject to be altered or discontinued according to the provisions of this act". The act is Act 283 of 1909, and the provisions are plural. The "shall be" and "provisions" insures that no one ignores or chooses, with impunity, any provision(s) out of the context of the remaining provisions.
Most of what I wrote, below, was based upon my premise that, due to some unknown gross element of my ignorance, misunderstanding, or incomprehension regarding the issues, that the persistent clamor from City of Manistique officials, and the media, of the city's vindication by the courts, had a substantial element of truth that Burns and I had yet to understand. That premise was totally false. The city, or some other government entity yet to be identified, had illegally seized and converted Burns property, and the city lied about the rectitude and legality of its involvement, for seven years. Consequentially, I apologize to the courts for my early voiced troubled view regarding their decisions, based upon my mistaken premise that they had vindicated the city, as proclaimed by all, but the courts, Burns, and I. In retrospect, the courts dismissed the city's lies, in their way, as Burns and I have, in our way.
Thank you, Judge Charles H. Stark, and Judges Griffin, P.J., and Markey and Meter, JJ., of the Michigan Court of Appeals. Your decisions were based, mostly, upon the facts as presented you, and the law as considered by you, and not the fiction, whims, politics, and arguments from ignorance and faith, before and after your decisions.
Today, I start adding the latest additions to this saga at the beginning, in deference to those used to blog formats and those with slow internet connections that wish to stop the download after the latest additions are downloaded.
On 03/06/08, I attended the failed appeal of a traffic ticket that Al Burns received during the incident of 10/29/07, when he resisted the successful attempt of the City of Manistique to steal and convert more of his property, under color of law, with the use of police force to remove him, and his vehicle, from a private road across his private property.
Burns was convicted, on 12/14/07, in 93rd District court, for violating the Michigan Motor Vehicle Code, by parking on his private property, over which is located a private road, over which the cited portion of the Michigan Vehicle Code does not apply. On 03/06/08, 11th Circuit Court Judge Stark upheld 93rd District Court Judge Luoma's conviction of Burns.
Even if Prosecutor Hollenbeck could prove that the "Lakeside Road" in question was a "highway", i.a.w. MCL 257.672, and not a private road, i.a.w. MCL 257.44(2), it would be impossible for such road to be other than "under local jurisdiction", and Burns could not have violated any law other than MCL 257.606, or MCL 257.675, MCL 257.675(6), and Burns' "disabled plate" relieves him from liability for a violation with respect to parking.
Like Manistique City Attorney John Filoramo, Assistant Michigan Attorney General Stacy Erwin-Oakes, 93rd District Court Judge Mark Luoma, and 11th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Charles Stark, Schoolcraft County Prosecutor Peter Hollenbeck had no problem dismissing applicable Michigan Compiled Law, and federal law, regarding property and due process rights, supposedly ensured by the constitutions of the State of Michigan and the U.S.A. They substituted personal opinion and whim for the existing laws that applied, secure in their knowledge that Burns would likely die of frustration, old age, and poverty, - unwilling to spill blood before any appropriate justice was achieved, if ever; while they are paid to abuse him, and retire with accolades, for their tireless efforts to act like chimpanzees.
To make the situation even more Kafka-esque, Judge Stark ignored all that he wrote in his decision of 2001, regarding ownership of, and jurisdiction over, private property and a road upon it. I watched him manipulated, like a small, bewildered and fearful child, by Hollenbeck's baseless arguments, and then make a decison that, as far as I am concerned, indicated his true chimpanzee nature, or the effects of mental defect due to advanced old age.
This is a 4MB MP3 recording of Alfred Burns' parking ticket appeal . Stark spoke very low, and did not use the p.a. system microphone, as if he tried to hide his apparent confusion and dementia from those that wished to witness and understand the appeal process. Hollenbeck's baseless pleadings argument against Burns' appeal was "...Mr. Burns did park and leave a vehicle upon a "highway", in a way that violated (MCL) 257.672, as alleged." and that, since, in his baseless personal opinion, it matters not who owns a road, or right of way property, then the Michigan Vehicle Code applies to the private road across Burns' private property because he, Hollenbeck, called it a highway, subject to MCL 257.652, and Judges Luoma and Stark agreed with him.
What no one, but Burns and I, will consider is the obvious difference between the generic term "highway", that includes all roadways available to public travel, including private roads, historic highways-by-use, limited access highways, etc. compared to "public highways" owned by, and under the jurisdiction of governmental entities, and subject to the Michigan Vehicle Code. The difference is as obvious, to humans, as the application of law regarding spitting on a public sidewalk compared to spitting on a private sidewalk, of a private residence. That difference is incomprehensible to chimpanzees, that claim, and enforce, ownership rights to all they can reach, take, and hold, by force.
On 10/29/07, I witnessed Mr. Burns park and attend a vehicle, with "disabled plates", upon his private property, upon a private road; an action that violated no part of Act 300 of 1949, pursuant to MCL 257.607. I witnessed and photographed the event, and Burns subsequent arrest for that failed attempt to prevent the imminent further theft and conversion of his property by the City of Manistique, aided by the forceful removal of Burns and his vehicle from the property seized and converted, that same day.
Nothing like having to defend yourself from those that steal your property, and then have to deal with broken attorneys and judges that condone the theft by punishing the victim for a failed attempt to defend his property! The religion of law has, at least, two less believers in Schoolcraft County.
To date, a simple explanation of the existing "Lakeside Road" dispute is this. The public has an historic legislated right to traverse an historic road right-of-way, for transportation purposes, across part of Burns' private property. Against Burns explicit, publicized and recorded lawful directions, and claims of lawful titled ownership rights of the right-of-way property, "secured" by numerous state and federal laws, and upheld in a mountain of case law, and the documents of two previous court decisions, the City of Manistique moved, widened, improved, and paved the travelled portion of the road right of way, as if they owned it.
At no time has any government entity taken the first lawful step to acquire lawful ownership of the property. It was seized and converted, with the educated adults' understanding that, in the United States, no government has the right to steal property, and prosecute the victim for failure to assist the theft.
On 10/29/07, the City of Manistique enlisted the help of local and state police, to forcefully size and convert more of Burns property, by widening and paving more of the travelled portion of the road. During that time, Burns attempted to physically block the attempts of the city to steal and convert more of his private property, and refused to assist those stealing his land by removing himself, and his vehicle, from his private property.
The Michigan Department of Transportation Bureau of Finance and Administration Director, Myron Frierson, had no qualms about providing state and federal dollars to finance the unlawful conversion of property that the City of Manistique stole from Burns, and, thus, provide additional impetus for the theft of the property. As he told Burns, in so many words, "If you don't like it, get a lawyer!"
Consequentially, Burns is charged with two offences for refusing to assist the police in their efforts to help The City of Manistique steal and modify his land. In subsequent court hearings, two courts decided that his titled ownership and due process rights, secured by state and federal statutes, mean nothing, and the City of Manistique has the legal right to steal and convert Burns' property. Additionally, Schoolcraft County Prosecutor Hollenbeck has exercised his discretion, with 93rd District Court Judge Luoma's formal sanction, to prosecute Burns for his failure to aid and abet the theft and conversion of his land!
Local "public" officials are learning well from the uncivilized, ignorant, stupid, or self-serving religious and political zealots of those Third World countries that feature so often in world news. I can only wonder what prevents local "leaders" from brandishing, and using, AK-47s.
In a document of unmitigated speculation, regarding a pretrial "hearing", Prosecutor Hollenbeck remarks that Burns wants to "perfect a civil law claim" against the city or county. From my perspective, Burns has perfected, already, a "slam-dunk" federal case, for a professional attorney.
From the 93rd District Court's Register of Actions of 02/19/08, regarding Burns' alleged "Assault PO" count, a "Notice to Appear" was generated on 02/14/08 associated with a miscellaneous action filed by an attorney Donald LeMire. I understood, from my previous conversations with Burns, about hiring an attorney, that he felt forced, by an apparent conspiracy of thieving and lying public officials, to try and protect himself from the false criminal charges, documented previously.
If Prosecuting Attorney, Peter Hollenbeck, is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer for Schoolcraft County, and is the legal authority of the decision to arrest Burns, as stated in the Manistique Public Safety Incident Report, page 5, then Hollenbeck has a direct vested professional and personal liability interest in prosecuting and convicting Burns for the charge he invented. I understand that, assuming Burns' "criminal" trial results in his conviction, the conviction will give court sanction to the criminal acts and intent, of Hollenbeck, and other public officials, to foster the public's false perception of the "rectitude" of all those that have abused Burns, stolen his property, and denied him due process, under color of law.
If Burns' is acquitted, it might prompt those with an appreciation of ethics and law to consider the likelihood that many of the public officials in Schoolcraft County are seriously bent, or broken.
If the pending trial is, to a significant degree, as much, or more, about Prosecutor Hollenbeck's involvement, as it is Burns', then I suspect there is a distinct conflict of interest if Hollenbeck is the attorney representing, in trial court, his professional conduct as represented in the documented basis for the false and contrived "Peoples" case against Burns.
Another questionable wrinkle has been added to the perverse legal process. 90 days after Burns' arraignment, additional information was added to the Manistique Public Safety incident report to provide further false justification for the charge against Burns, and the amended incident report was backdated to the date of the original, 90 days earlier, and included in the court record as the testimony of the incident report of that date! I do not know at what point an incident report becomes or begats perjury, but I am curious.
Along with the details of the "amended" incident report provided Burns, were "copies" of hazy, over exposed, and unfocussed photographs of some old maps, obtained from the Schoolcraft County Historical Society, that, I assume, Prosecutor Hollenbeck thought, three months after Burns' arraignment, would provide some sort of jurisdictional justification for his action of 10/29/07, contrary to:
Act 51 of 1951, 247.669 Roads, streets, and alleys taken over as county roads. Sec. 19. The board of county road commissioners in each of the several counties shall, within 1 year from the effective date of this act, complete the taking over as county roads of all roads, streets and alleys heretofore required to be taken over as county roads by the provisions of Act No. 130 of the Public Acts of 1931, as amended, being sections 247.1 to 247.13, inclusive, of the Compiled Laws of 1948. Said board of county road commissioners in each of the several counties shall take over as county roads all streets and alleys lying outside the limits of incorporated cities and villages and dedicated to the public in recorded plats approved by said board of county road commissioners, within 30 days after the recording of the plat or the effective date of this act, whichever may be the later. Such dedicated streets and alleys, when taken over by the county road commission, shall be county roads in all respects and for all purposes and shall be classified as county primary roads or county local roads pursuant to the provisions of this act. History: 1951, Act 51, Eff. June 1, 1951 Popular Name: McNitt Act Popular Name: Michigan Transportation Fund Act © 2007 Legislative Council, State of MichiganIt requires no mastery of "rocket science" for the Schoolcraft County Prosecutor to realize that fanciful "maps" have no relevance after 1 year from the effective date of the act. Either the road across Burn's property became a road under county jurisdiction, i.a.w. the act, or by petition, dedication, acceptance, purchase or donation, after, i.a.w. the provisions of Act 283 of 1909 221.20a-h, or it is a private road, over which a host of government officials have exerted theft, control, and conversion by criminal action, under color of law.
Beyond pure speculation, I have no idea of how Schoolcraft County Prosecutor, Peter Hollenbeck, concluded that Alfred Burns had committed an assault related crime that should be pursued in court.
Beyond pure speculation, I have no idea what Schoolcraft County Prosecutor, Peter Hollenbeck was thinking, if he made out the following "People v Burns" pretrial hearing form. Burns signature is nothing more than his acknowledgement of that meeting, and has NOTHING to do with the apparent nonsense recorded thereon, by Hollenbeck or Judge Luoma.
I can say, as one that witnessed the incident of 10/29/07, and as one that has witnessed, and made it his business to understand the road related issues involved, it was never Burns' intent to "perfect a civil law claim" against the city or county. From my perspective, there is nothing to substantiate that idiotic claim, and any suggestion to the contrary is nothing but fantasy.
From the first time that Burns spoke to Hollenbeck, almost two decades ago, it was Burns intent to motivate those that are supposed to enforce criminal law, against criminal trespass, committed by the City of Manistique. He was told, at that time, "It sounds like a civil matter to me."
As a consequence of Schoolcraft County Prosecutor Hollenbeck, and Manistique City Attorney Filoramo, choosing to sanction criminal trespass, by the City of Manistique, Burns attempted to sue the City for damages, due to criminal trespass, with a civil action, dismissed by the 11th Judicial Circuit Court.
Ever since Burns' "failed" civil law attempts, in 2000-2001, Burns has attempted nothing more than motivate those whose sworn and paid duty it is to enforce the laws of the land, to do nothing more, or less, to defend him from the continuous criminal actions of those associated with the continued unlawful taking and conversion of his property. Burns asked for nothing more than would be expected of a victim of armed robbery, by drug addled street thugs.
It is nothing but Hollenbeck's or Luoma's baseless theory that Burns is facing trial for a felony/misdemeanor/whatever for "attempting" to assault/resist/obstruct/whatever, as an attempt to perfect a non-existent civil law claim. The historic background to the "parking ticket" and "assault/obstructing/resisting/whatever is a series of criminal acts, by public officials of the City of Manistique, to the Michigan Attorney Generals' office. It is not a civil matter, and never was.
Burns is facing trial for a felony/misdemeanor/whatever for "attempting" to assault/resist/obstruct/whatever during his attempt to prevent the City of Manistique from stealing and paving more of his property. Others chose to manufacture a parking infraction and assault related charge, to redirect attention from the equivalent of sanctioned armed robbery, by the City of Manistique, to an alleged "crime" by the victim, Alfred Burns, for attempting to defend his property from forcible trespass, theft and conversion.
From the pretrial hearing document, and subsequent documents, I infer that Prosecutor Hollenbeck concludes that Burns has chosen to perfect a civil suit, by committing an unspecified "criminal act", with no "probable cause", against which he must defend himself, in court. Pure crap! There has been more than enough basis for a civil and criminal suit since 2001, if Burns had the money to buy the legal representation to force others to enforce the laws they are sworn and paid to enforce; laws designed to prevent the whimsical victimization of taxpayers by tax-paid bureaucrats and their tax-paid legal representatives.
MICHIGAN VEHICLE CODE (EXCERPT) Act 300 of 1949 257.20 “Highway or street” defined. Sec. 20. “Highway or street” means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel. History: 1949, Act 300, Eff. Sept. 23, 1949.
Most folk, consciously or otherwise, understand the requirement of defined technical jargon regarding any objective communication, whether it be seeking a sexual partner, designing a space station, or prosecuting Alfred Burns for defending his property and due process rights that no one else cares about.
If a private road has no defined line of travel, no surveyed boundaries, and is maintained, paved, and moved at will, by trespass of the Manistique D.P.W., how does it meet the definition of a "highway or street" as considered by the Michigan Vehicle Code Act 300 of 1949, 257.20?
If a private road has not become a public road, under the legal jurisdiction of some government entity, i.a.w. MCL 221.20a-h, where does Schoolcraft County Prosecutor Hollenbeck, and Michigan 93rd District Court Judge, Mark Luoma, find the substantiation for unspecified "probable cause", and worse, they claim exists in incident reports and the complaint to prosecute Alfred Burns for "illegal parking" and "attempting forceful" "resisting, obstructing, opposing", i.a.w. MCL 750.81d(1)?
If a complaint must have the specifics of an alleged act that constitutes either a misdemeanor under MCL 750.92, or a felony under MCL 750.81d(1), what specific action of Burns qualifies as a crime under either law? How can he defend himself against a charge that does little but quote the text of the cited laws, and names the "victim" of his unspecified "criminal act"?
On 01/18/08, Michigan 93rd District Court Judge, Mark Luoma, told Burns, in so many words, "Schoolcraft County Prosecutor, Peter Hollenbeck, has the discretion to charge you with a crime, without stating what action you took that qualifies as a crime under both laws, and if you do not understand the substance of the charge, get an attorney." and subsequently let stand a charge that states,
STATE OF MICHIGAN, COUNTY OF SCHOOLCRAFT The complaining witness says that on the date and at the location described, the defendant, contrary to law, COUNT 1: ATTEMPTED POLICE OFFICER - ASSAULTING/RESISTING/OBSTRUCTING did attempt to commit the following listed offense and in the attempt did act towards the commission of that offense, but failed in the perpetration or was prevented in the execution thereof; contrary to MCL 750.92: resist, obstruct, or oppose, Trooper Rick VanEffen, a police officer of Michigan State Police - Manistique Post that the defendant knew or had reason to know was performing his or her duties; contrary to MCL 750.81d(1). MISDEMEANOR: 1 year and/or $1,000.00; upon conviction of an attempted felony, court shall order law enforcement to collect DNA identification profiling samples.
Beyond my logical assumption that Prosecutor Hollenbeck and Judge Luoma have a corrupt "understanding" of some sort, Burns and I have yet to understand how a completely peaceful resistance to the planned, publicized and imminent criminal theft and conversion of Burns' property has resulted in an unspecified and unsubstantiated bogus criminal charge against him. For me, it is a "no brainer" to understand that the public issues surrounding the ownership of Burns property have nothing to do with the "illegal parking" and "resist, obstruct, or oppose, Trooper Rick VanEffen", and everything to do with politics, personal agendas, corruption, and incompetence.
If any member of the community can provide me with the documented and substantiated specific "probable cause" against which Burns can formulate a specific defense, we would appreciate your help. As it stands now, the Michigan 93rd District Court has said little more to Burns than "Be prepared to defend yourself, at trial, against the Schoolcraft County Prosecutor's unspecified allegations that you committed a crime by violating MCL 750.92 and MCL 750.81d(1)!", that sounds like more "Third World due process", to me, based upon the illegal theory of "Guilty, until proven innocent".
Burns is forced, once again, to disprove that which does not exist. In this case, if he fails, it means more wasted life, and possible jail time, a fine, and a "record" attached to it, for his failed attempts to motivate others to ensure his property rights and rights of due process by enforcing laws for which they are sworn and paid.
For those that discount Alfred Burns and I as little more than "noise makers", consider the following quote from "Michigan Court Rules" as merely one instance of many, regarding denial of due process, that I have little doubt has snared many a Schoolcraft County resident, and will, most likely, snare many more.
CHAPTER 6: CRIMINAL PROCEDURE MICHIGAN COURT RULES OF 1985 Subchapter 6.000 General Provisions ... Rule 6.101 The Complaint (A) Definition and Form. A complaint is a written accusation that a named or described person has committed a specified criminal offense. The complaint must include the substance of the accusation against the accused and the name and statutory citation of the offense.This is the complaint against Al Burns, filed in Michigan 93rd District Court, Schoolcraft County. Can you tell, from the complaint, the substance of the act upon which the complaint is based? Burns cannot, and Judge Luoma would not tell him. The victim of the next prosecutorial and judicial whimsy may be your child, tomorrow, charged with manufacturing and distributing, because of a maple leaf in his pocket.
From the public record Register of Actions, filed in Michigan 93rd District Court, Schoolcraft County, I read and assumed that Burns was some irrational violent wacko. Would you expect an employer to hire your spouse with a Register of Actions like this? I 'spose he could always dig ditches...
As far as my understanding of law enforcement is concerned, it has been quite apparent, first hand, since 2001, that criminal law is, generally, subservient to political whim, as much at the local level as at the national; which, until recently, I was loathe to admit, in a public manner. The impact of political whim upon criminal procedure is amplified by a defacto conspiracy of understanding among those in the business of justice, to, generally, accept any assertion as true, made by anyone in the justice system. With this form of whimsical law enforcement, that fosters incompetence and corruption, anything goes, and the onus of consequence is born by the defendant and general public.
Given the "gambling aspect" of a costly adversarial relationship between defendant, Burns, with limited means vs. "People" with infinite means; political, financial and professional; it doesn't take a genius to understand why most defendants accept a plea offer, with, or without, legal councel. Even if an innocent defendant can afford competent and dedicated legal councel, there is no guarantee of an innocent defendant's acquittal, when the "rules of law" are considered and applied in a whimsical manner, by the incompetent, or those motivated and corrupted by agendas beyond civilized justice.
The concept of "justice for all" has no relevance to chimpanzees. Chimpanzees know, inately, that justice comes from brute force, motivated by primal "needs".
The " Assault PO" hearing of 01/18/08, (2MB mp3 intermittent microphone file), went as I expected, consistent with the court's prior reasoning and process exhibited in Burn's hearing regarding the "illegal parking" ticket. Facts, context, history, and laws, had little or nothing to do with the process, beyond that required to further the political goal of silencing Burns with the implied threat of conviction and punishment for the non-existent felony crime of defending his property rights, and rights of due process; the laws ensuring which, others chose not to enforce.
The hearing started off with Michigan 93rd District Court Judge, Mark Luoma, stating that the hearing had been set to consider a motion to dismiss or quash the complaint and he "...did receive correspondence from the defendant, and another party, in this matter, and I have reviewed that correspondence...and I want to try and focus on what the issue is...the issue Mr. Burns, that you are raising, is that the arrest was illegal, therefore you had the right to resist it or obstruct it, is that right, because it was on private property, as opposed to public property?..." Burns agreed with Luoma's statements.
After a few following introductory statements regarding his sworn duty to consider and uphold the law, Luoma proceeded to tell Burns that the court had done some research on the issue... the "issue", with no context, regarding that which he had just elicited an agreement from Burns. Luoma then proceeded to tell Burns about a 2004 Michigan Appeals Court decision, People v Ventura, that indicates that even if Burns' arrest was illegal, resisting that illegal arrest, as cited by MCL 750.81d(1), was illegal because the Michigan Court of Appeals "adopted a rule that a person may not use any type of force, passive or otherwise, to resist an arrest made by one he knows, or has reason to know, is performing their duties..." as decided in the apellate court's decision regarding People v Ventura.
Subsequently, Burns told Judge Luoma, he had no idea of what he did that substantiated a misdemeanor, or a felony charge, assuming that "the law" requires basic facts and context to be applied to any particular "probable cause" issue. I deduced, from Luoma's lack of response to Burn questions, beyond referring to the incident reports and charges, outside of all documented historical context, contrary to legal documentation and court records, and contrary to the responsibility of his position to ensure a defendant's right to know and understand the charges against him, he didn't care.
THE MICHIGAN PENAL CODE (EXCERPT) Act 328 of 1931 750.81d Assaulting, battering, resisting, obstructing, opposing person performing duty; felony; penalty; other violations; consecutive terms; definitions. Sec. 81d. (1) Except as provided in subsections (2), (3), and (4), an individual who assaults, batters, wounds, resists, obstructs, opposes, or endangers a person who the individual knows or has reason to know is performing his or her duties is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 2 years or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both.
750.92 Attempt to commit crime. Sec. 92. Attempt to commit crime—Any person who shall attempt to commit an offense prohibited by law, and in such attempt shall do any act towards the commission of such offense, but shall fail in the perpetration, or shall be intercepted or prevented in the execution of the same, when no express provision is made by law for the punishment of such attempt, shall be punished as follows: ... 3. If the offense so attempted to be committed is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for a term less than 5 years, or imprisonment in the county jail or by fine, the offender convicted of such attempt shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison or reformatory not more than 2 years or in any county jail not more than 1 year or by a fine not to exceed 1,000 dollars; but in no case shall the imprisonment exceed 1/2 of the greatest punishment which might have been inflicted if the offense so attempted had been committed. History: 1931, Act 328, Eff. Sept. 18, 1931 ; -- CL 1948, 750.92Notice that MCL 750.81d(1) is not concerned with "attempting" anything. The statute states clearly that it concerns the felony of actual committing the acts listed. I have no idea what MCL 750.81d(1) has to do with a false and unspecified charge of "attempting to resist", beyond the intent to terrorize Burns, so he would accept the theft of his property and denial of due process, by pleading to the lesser false and unspecified charge cited with MCL 750.92.
The People v Ventura appeals case and decision is good reading, full of situation, facts, context, and rational consideration that bears little to no resemblance to the historical and current situation, facts, context and irrational consideration that I witnessed and documented, up to and including the hearing of 01/18/08. The People v Ventura appeals case has no real relevance that I see, beyond political, to the written MCL 750.81d(1) cited charge from Schoolcraft County Prosecutor that Judge Luoma now interprets to sanction the legal theory that Burns committed a felony by resisting, with "force, passive or otherwise,", what he knew to be a policeman's duty, when, in fact, he did nothing more than fail in his peaceful attempt to protect his property from theft and conversion by the City of Manistique, in another failed attempt to elicit some form of appropriate and relevant due process, that everyone else cared little to nothing about.
The decision by Judge Luoma to allow Hollenbeck to pursue a felony charge, based upon MCL 750.81d(1), in 93rd District Court, belies Luoma's "arraignment" statement and Hollenbeck's written statement, the "attempting resisting" charge was a misdemeanor. I infer, from Judge Luoma's decision, that because Burns would not cop a plea to a false misdemeanor charge, then it was time to pursue a felony charge, consistent with political whimsy, malice, and the implied denial of previous statements by Judge Luoma and Prosecutor Hollenbeck, that said the charge was a misdemeanor. It is not a misdemeanor to violate MCL 750.81d(1), the law allegedly violated by Burns and cited in the complaint filed by Prosecutor Hollenbeck. The law is clear and precise in language, and intent.
I definitely understand why Burns asked Luoma, "What am I charged with?". To Burns, and I, the charge is "subject to" just about any false claim or vague interpretation that representatives of "The People", and the Michigan 93rd District Court, can fabricate, as the "legal" process continues.
Within the context of People v Ventura, the appeals decision concluded, "A person may not use force to resist an arrest made by one he knows or has reason to know is performing his duties regardless of whether the arrest is illegal when charged pursuant to MCL 750.81d." What I read of the decision conclusion, and the prior reasoning, had nothing to do with a court "adopted rule" that "...a person may not use any type of force, passive or otherwise, to resist an arrest..." Maybe that information was in Luoma's version, and not mine, but, regardless, Burns and I have no idea of the probable cause that lead to a rational consideration of MCL 750.81d(1) as a cited felony law that Burns is charged with violating.
At the moment, I am mystified by Judge Luoma's opinion that Burns' violated MCL 750.81d(1) due to the Michigan Appeals Court decision that dealt with a case of forceful resistance, and referred to, specifically, in the details of its decision, and conclusion, the public safety aspects and dangers of forceful resistance. I cannot guess how Judge Luoma reached the conclusion that it was the appropriate legal discretion of Schoolcraft County Prosecutor Hollenbeck to charge Burns with a felony committed by Burns using "passive force", in his failed attempt to save his property. The concept of Burns committing a felony by "passive force", in lieu of the actual force he never used, strikes me as little more than sophistry based upon an oxymoron, with no basis in fact or concept, regarding MCL 750.81d(1) and the appeal decision of the People v Ventura case upon which Luoma based his decision, on 01/18/08, to allow Hollenbeck to pursue a previously disavowed felony charge against Burns.
It might be time for me, as a point of interest, to seek some clarification of the legal theory of "felony by passive force", a new stick thrown for Burns to chase, that has no relevance to the incident of 10/29/07, regarding Burns' property and due process rights, and right to self defence, denied by all concerned, to date. I hope that Burns ignores the stick, with the understanding of its false nature.
On 01/18/08, at 1PM, another hearing will take place at the 93rd District Court, in Schoolcraft County, Michigan, for the court to determine the next step of what I consider to be as corrupted an historical "legal" process as I would expect in any "Third World" country.
The following is the documentation of the complaint investigation concerning the incident of 10/29/07, upon the roadway that crosses Alfred Burns' property, filed by Kenneth Golat, Director of Manistique Public Safety.
Among the details of a well written and specific report, in the first two paragraphs that set the stage for all that followed, the stated concerns by the origin of the complaints, Superintendent of Manistique Department of Public Works, Nicholas Bosanic, and Manistique City Manager, Sheila Aldrich, are about Burns interfering with the planned imminent paving of his property, by agents of the City of Manistique. The original concerns of the complaints were NOT about illegal parking, and changing the complaint to one of illegal parking and attempted assault is nothing more than another attempt to get Burns to "Fetch the stick", instead of dealing with the issues.
The origin of the complaint was not about new "sticks" named "illegal parking" and "assaulting/obstructing/resisting a police officer". The complaint had one origin and purpose. The complaint was from the City of Manistique, with the purpose of removing Burns and his vehicle from his property so that the City of Manistique, and its agents, could steal and convert it to its own purposes, regardless of Burns' attempts to defend his property and due process rights, even if he was prepared to die in an attempt to defend those "inalienable rights".
As I have documented elsewhere, in these pages, both Aldrich and Bosanic are documented liars regarding issues of road jurisdiction and ownership. I have little doubt that, had not those two individuals complained, in the manner they did, Manistique Public Safety would not have been drawn into the continuing web of corrupt behavior regarding a vehicle with disabled plates parked upon a roadway, closed to the public.
The complaint investigation includes, under the "Case History" heading, the statement, "The Director (of Public Safety) has also received legal opinions from the City Attorney (John Filoramo) that the Lakeside Road has existed for years in this area and that it is a public road."
From mid 2000, after wasting a great deal of my life seeking some proof of an official public mantra that claimed the road that crosses Burns' property is a public road, I found only reasons to conclude that those that made such claims were little different from religious zealots, on other shores. There are no recorded documents at the office of the Schoolcraft County Clerk that indicate any entity, other than individual citizens, own any part of the road that crosses Burn' property. I concluded, years ago, that any claim that the road is a public road, is a malicious lie.
To the best of my current knowledge, there is no defined line of travel of the road that crosses Burns property. There has been no contract with Burns to use, modify, pave, or maintain his property. There has been no public need determined, or petitions filed, or public hearings held, to start any legal process required for any government entity to gain legal ownership of, or jurisdiction over, any part of the road that crosses Burns property. There is no certified survey of the road that crosses Burns property. There has never been a dedication and acceptance, by any government entity, of the road that crosses Burns property. Consequently, there is no government entity, that I know of, that has jurisdiction over the road across Burns' property, beyond that acquired at the point of a gun, with 93rd District Court blessing; and any claim of legal jurisdiction over the road, by any governement entity, is false.
Regardless of how many "sticks" of deliberate misdirection are thrown, by those with the sworn and paid duty to enforce and uphold the law, no entity, other than Alfred Burns, owns the property upon which he was ticketed and arrested in his failed attempt to prevent the further planned, publicized and imminent theft and conversion of more of his property, under the color and hired guns of the law.
There is, today, only one entity that has recorded title to, and jurisdiction over, that part of a road that crosses Burns' property, and that is Burns. In short, the road that crosses Burns private property, and the private property of others, is not a public road, and never was, regardless of all the lies and religious arguments and beliefs espoused by various Manistique, Schoolcraft County, and State of Michigan officials.
The provisions of the Michigan Vehicle Code, Act 300 of 1949, that Prosecutor Hollenbeck claims gives police officers the rights of search and seizure, without a warrant, are based upon the Prosecutor's ludicrous premise that search and seizure, without a warrant, is appropriate on a road over private property, that no government entity ever tried to acquire, beyond theft, over which no government entity ever acquired legal jurisdiction, or obtained owners' written permission to maintain, or enforce certain provisions of the Michigan Vehicle Code, and, therefore, maintained, moved, modified, paved, and regulated by trespass!
It takes no lawyer to understand that most of the provisions of Michigan Vehicle Code of 1949 apply to highways of different classifications, determined to be under the jurisdiction of a government entity i.a.w. the provisions of Public Highways and Private Roads, Act 283 of 1909.
By law, the legal nature of a highway has to be determined, first, before anyone upon it is subject to the Michigan Vehicle Code, or search and seizure without a warrant, or specious claims of illegal parking and assault/obstructing/resisting a police officer. The basic process that applied in 1949, applies today.
The Vehicle Code laws of the State of Michigan, apply to public highways, under the legal jurisdiction of local and State entities, i.a.w. MCL 221.20a-h. On 12/14/07, Burns was convicted, in the 93rd District Court of Michigan, for parking, illegally, on his private property, that the City of Manistique seized for a paved road, over which it never had jurisdiction, prior and subsequent to the incident of 10/29/08.
According to my understanding, on 12/14/08, I witnessed 93rd District Court Judge, Mark Luoma, accept, with no documented substantiation, Prosecutor Hollenbeck's verbal, baseless, and false opening statement, that the issue at hand was not about property. Burns stood before the judge and told him that he owned the property on which his vehicle was parked, and had, with him, all the documentation to prove his ownership. Burns also said that short of using a rifle to defend his property, he had no other civilized choice, but to resist an unlawful process that had the sole purpose of seizing his property, without due process, in direct violation of various state and federal laws, and the provisions of the state and federal constitutions, by those whose sworn duty it was to ensure he would not be victimized by the political expedience of deceit.
Requesting no substantiation of statements made by Hollenbeck, or Burns, Judge Luoma found Burns guilty of a parking infraction. I could only conclude that verifiable facts, truth, and context, have no relevance in enforcing law in Schoolcraft County, by those born with the "Wisdom of Solomon" and not a care for the due process for which they are paid.
Subsequent to various documented city and county officials' criminal acts, Michigan's 93rd District Court accepted Schoolcraft County Prosecutor Hollenbeck's baseless verbal claim that the case was not about relevant property issues and jurisdiction, but about a traffic ticket on a public highway, and fined Burns $100, including court costs.
My understanding of the legal ploy of "Fetch the stick.", as it applies to Burn's historical road issues, is the reprehensible legal tactic of beating down a victim of a corrupted legal or political process by using a continuous and changing barrage of contrived and irrelevent legal procedures and/or claims, with the sole purpose of wearing down the target of that barrage, by leading the victim to try to disprove each new false claim, individually, instead of focussing on the basic false premise that belies all the false claims and claimants, at once.
As I understand Burns' case, all he need do, at his pending trial, is ask his tormentors for the legal documentation, of a lawful process, whereby the private property he, and others, own by recorded title, is either owned by a government entity or that the private property he parked on became a public road i.a.w. MCL 221.20a-h, or some government entity acquired jurisdiction over the property by seperate contracts with the individual owners. From my perspective, without lawful ownership of, or lawful jurisdiction over the road, by some government entity, all charges against Burns are false, and criminal in nature, and any jury should understand that.
The following simple english definition describes a significant part of what took place on 10/29/07, the peaceful opposition to which earned Alfred Burns a felony charge, or misdemeanor, depending what content of the "Peoples'" charge applies.
"forcible entry n. the crime of taking possession of a house or other structure, or land by the use of physical force or serious threats against the occupants. This can include breaking windows, doors, or using terror to gain entry, as well as forcing the occupants out by threat or violence after having come in peacefully."
It is unconscionable to defend a series of crimes by public officials, committed at the expense of the victim, by victimizing the victim further, with a fabricated charge of assaulting-resisting-obstructing-whatever, the "law" enforcement personnel facilitating the seizure of private property of the victim by intimidation and force, under the color of law. It does not take a lawyer to know that, just a civilized human being. It takes nothing but a chimpanzee to be unconcerned.
Prosecutor Hollenbeck's choice to file and pursue a vindictive and deceptive case against Burns does not justify the City of Manistique, and its agents, stealing a road right of way from Burns, and others, to replace the public property they allowed Manistique Rentals Inc. and Manistique Area Schools, to seize and convert. In historical context, there is far more reason for me to believe that the trumped-up charge against Burns is an inappropriate favor for owners of Manistique Rentals Inc., than a legitimate charge against Burns.
There is no justification for, or substantiation of, claims of various local and state officials, that through some form of unspecified legal legerdemain, title and/or jurisdiction to a 1/2 mile strip of private property from Wilson Street to Tannery Road was, somehow, transferred to the City of Manistique, creating a public road, because Manistique City Attorney Filoramo says so, contrary to the details of two court decisions, and a ream of public documents and legislation. From my perspective, there is nothing but gross criminal misconduct by those whose sworn duties are to uphold and enforce state and federal laws, sanctioned by an amoral, cowardly, or politically motivated electorate that fosters illegal and predatory behavior in its community.
According to Golat's incident report, he helped the City of Manistique to steal and convert more of Alfred Burns' property, because he chose to believe deliberate unsubstantiated misrepresentations of Manistique City Attorney Filoramo, over the recorded legal documents that Burns had with him, when he was arrested. This situation is what Schoolcraft County Hollenbeck dismisses as a "civil matter", in Par. 6 of his "People's Answer to "Defendants Statement of Facts"" regarding the circumstances of Burns defense of his private property that resulted in allegations against him for blocking traffic on a public road and assault/resisting a Michigan State Police trooper.
Why the equivalent of armed robbery by public officials is a civil matter, only God and corrupt public officials know. Why an individual's defense of his private property, property rights, and due process is a criminal matter, only God and corrupt public officials know. Why seizure of public rights of ways property by Manistique Area Schools and Manistique Rentals Inc. is lawful desirable behavior, only God and corrupt public officials know. No one but Burns and I care enough to ask, "Why?".
The following was submitted by Alfred Burns to the 93rd District Court, as transcribed, below:
Defendant' Written Statement, Submitted at the Scheduled Pre-Trial Hearing of 12/17/07, for the 93rd District Court Case # 2007000245, Regarding a Cited Felony Charge, based upon Unspecified Allegations Unknown to the Defendant. Michigan State Police Officer's Violations of Various State and Federal Statutes Designed to Ensure the Defendant's Constitutional Rights as Described in the Constitutions of the State of Michigan and the United States of America After years of documented attempts to motivate various local, state, and federal officials to act in accordance with, and enforce a variety of statutes regarding property rights and due process, the defendant was forced to defend his rights, personally, under the legal theory of self-defense, for the following reasons, and others documented over a period of seven years. 1. Local and State police officers intentionally trespassed upon defendant's private property, 10/29/07. 2. Manistique City Attorney John Filoramo, representing the interests of the City of Manistique, trespassed on defendant's private property pursuant to "joint trespass", "trespass on the case", "trespass to chattels", "trespass to land", "trespass to title", "trespass from the beginning". 3. Police officers, by way of unlawful trespass, conducted a search of plaintiff's private property, without a search warrant, violating defendant's constitutional rights expressed in the State and Federal Constitutions. 4. Defendant used his "right of self defense" to peacefully resist police officers' attempts to seize defendant's private vehicle, and remove it and defendant from defendant's land, so that the City of Manistique could seize and pave more of defendant's land in direct violation of various state and federal statutes, and in violation of defendant's constitutional rights expressed in the State and Federal Constitutions. 5. A Michigan State police officer arrested and seized defendant, restraining defendant from stopping the subsequent City of Manistique's criminal trespass upon defendant's private property and the consequential criminal damage to defendant's private property. 6. As a direct result of police officers' unlawfull actions, the City of Manistique was able to criminally trespass upon defendant's private property and cause further criminal damage to defendant's private property. 7. As a consequence of the Defendant's attempt to defend his private property from further historical and unlawful seizure and conversion by the City of Manistique, he was arrested and imprisoned, unlawfully. On 10/29/07, a Michigan State Police officer, Rick VanEffen, arrested defendant and immediately transported him to the Schoolcraft County Sheriff Department for subsequent booking and fingerprinting. No hearing before any court to determine probable cause was ever afforded the defendant, therefore violating the Defendant's right to due process described by Michigan state law and the State and Federal Constitutions. To this date, over 6 weeks later, beyond an unsubstantiated cited felony charge, the defendant is completely unaware of what he is alleged to have done to earn a trial for a charged felony offence punishable by imprisonment for not more than 2 years or a fine of not more than $2,000, or both.The following was "The Peoples'" answer to Burns statement of facts, quoted above:
STATE OF MICHIGAN IN THE 11th CIRCUIT COURT FOR SCHOOLCRAFT COUNTY PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, Plaintiff, vs Case No. 07-10-207-SM ALFRED JAMES BURNS, SR. Defendant, Peter J. Hollenbeck P26450 Schoolcraft County Prosecutor 300 Walnut Street, Room 209 Manistique, MI 49854 Tel. 906-341-3691 Alfred James Burns, Sr. In Pro Per 7059W Tannery Rd. Manistique, MI 49854 Tel. 906-341-6350 PEOPLE'S ANSWER TO DEFENDANT'S "STATEMENT OF FACTS" (and in opposition to any motion to dismiss or quash filed) The People hereby give answer to Defendant's "Statement of Facts" as follows: 1. With reference to Defendant's paragraph #1, the People deny same, and affirmatively assert that no search warrant was required in that the Defendant was arrested on a highway or street, as defined by Michigan Motor Vehicle Code, MCL 257.20, regardless of who is the titled owner of the property upon which that highway rests; the Defendant could have no reasonable expectation of privacy in the property on which he was arrested, the location was outside the curtilage of the Defendant's residence and was in an area of "open view", for purposes of a search warrant; People v Smith 420 MI (1984); People v Smola 174 MA 220 (1988); Florida v Riley 109 S Ct 643 (1989), Oliver v U.S. 466 US 170, 104 S Ct 1735, 80 LEd2d 214 (1984); US v Dunn 480 US 294, 107 S Ct 1134, 94LE2d 326 (1987); Katz y_U5 386 US 347, 88 S Ct 507, 19 LE2d 576 (1962). 2. That with regard to Defendant's paragraph 2, the People neither admit nor deny, said allegation being irrelevant to the criminal charge now pending; 3. That with regard to Defendant's paragraph 3, the People deny same and affirmatively assert no unlawful trespass occurred, no unlawful search or seizure occurred, nor was a search warrant required, for the reasons stated in paragraph one (1); 4. That with regard to Defendant's paragraph 4, the People deny same, and affirmatively assert, as it relates to MCL 750.8Id (1), and 750.92, the Defendant has no right to resist a police officer who he knew, or had reason to know, was performing his duties. See CJI2d 13.1, and People vs Ventura 262 MA 370 (2004); 5. With regard to Defendant's paragraph 5, the People deny same, and affirmatively assert that the Defendant was lawfully arrested for attempting to resist lawful authority of the Trooper who was seeking to remove the Defendant's vehicle from the highway or street, pursuant to MCL 257.672, .673, which vehicle the Defendant had purposely left there; the Defendant was repeatedly given the opportunity to move the offending vehicle and when a wrecker was summoned to remove it, the Defendant tried to prevent the towing, specifically indicating that he wanted to be arrested; the Defendant attempted to resist or oppose the trooper, he was arrested for that offense committed in the trooper's presence; and the Defendant was properly arrested, without a warrant, pursuant to MCL 764.15; 6. With regard to Defendant's paragraph 6, the People deny same, and affirmatively assert that if the Defendant's property was in some way damaged, he has had various civil remedies to prevent such damage, and continues to have civil remedies, if, in fact, compensable "damage" has occurred to property owned by the Defendant. 7. A. That with regard to Defendant's paragraph 7, the first paragraph thereof, the People deny same, for the reasons asserted in paragraphs one (1) through six (6) above. B. With regard to Defendant's paragraph 7, second paragraph thereof, the People deny same, and affirmatively assert that the Defendant, following his arrest, was immediately afforded bail, consistent with State law, including MCL 765.1, et seq., once finger- printing/processing was accomplished; C. That with regard to Defendant's paragraph 7, third paragraph thereof, the People deny same, and affirmatively assert that the Defendant is not charged with a felony offense, in this case, and never was, instead he was arrested for attempted resisting on October 29, 2007, as indicated on the citation ticket issued him and on the interim bond form the Defendant signed on that date, and on October 31, 2007 a complaint was filed with the Court charging the misdemeanor offense of attempted resisting and opposing a police officer, contrary to MCL 750.81d(l) and MCL 750.92; the Defendant was arraigned in District Court on that misdemeanor charge; according to Court records, on October 31, 2007, the Defendant pled not guilty to the misdemeanor of attempted resisting and opposing a police officer. Wherefore, the People request that this Court, after any hearing that may be required in this matter, where a motion to dismiss or quash the complaint is considered, that same be denied, in so much as the Defendant's constitutional and statutory rights have not been violated by his warrantless arrest for a misdemeanor committed in the trooper's presence on the street or highway known as the Lakeside Road. Dated: January 3, 2008 Respectfully Submitted, Peter J. Hollenbeck P26450 Schoolcraft County Prosecutor CERTIFICATE OF DELIVERY I certify that on the 3rd day of January, 2008, a copy of this document was served upon the Defendant by ordinary mail addressed as indicated above. Robin A. Barker, Legal SecretaryMy understanding of "The People's" answer to Alfred Burns, filed by Schoolcraft County Prosecutor, Peter Hollenbeck, based upon the historical and documented context of my related web pages, is one of disgust and disbelief. From my perspective, either Hollenbeck, or Burns, are gross liars, assuming that both have an obligation to deal with the historical facts relevant to an ongoing property and due process dispute, and neither have a legal option to lie, at will.
As I have witnessed, or been an active participant in many of the related incidents, I have more than a passing familiarity with who is likely to be the liar of record. It is interesting to note, that in 2000, when I first came to understand the background of Burns' property dispute presented to Manistique City Council, Burns told me that Schoolcraft County Prosecutor Hollenbeck told him, years before, that the City of Manistique's trespass upon, and consequential gradual seizure and conversion of his property, "Sounds like a civil matter, to me." I did not believe Burns, at the time. Almost two decades later, as indicated in Par. 6. of the "People's Response", I have documented reason to believe Burns, as Hollenbeck states that opinion, and intends to pursue his fabricated felony charge against Burns, based upon that opinion, and petitions the court to ignore any attempt by Burns to dismiss or quash the felony charge. "...(and in opposition to any motion to dismiss or quash filed)"
I spent a less than merry Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, trying to draft the contents of a comprehensive witness affidavit regarding Burns' actions during the continuation of the "Lakeside" road property dispute I witnessed on 10/27/07. The draft is of my statement, as I witnessed and understand the events to date, for better or worse, essentially as quoted below:
"1. I have no vested family, political, monetary, social, fraternal, economic, religious, or any other interest in testifying on the behalf of Alfred Burns Sr., beyond the evident self-interest in promoting lawful and civilized behavior among the residents of the community and country in which I live. 2. On 12/17/07, after six weeks of failed efforts to determine the reasons for Alfred Burn's arrest, that I witnessed on 10/29/07, I became aware that Burns was arrested because a Michigan State Police trooper, Rick VanEffen, was advised, at the scene of the incident, by the Manistique Public Safety Director, Ken Golat, "...that the City had an ongoing problem with ALFRED BURNS believing that a portion of the roadway on Lakeside Street was his property and at this time was attempting to block the city from paving the street." 3. Within the context of my knowledge and understanding, for more than seven years, CITY OF MANISTIQUE officials have "an ongoing problem", choosing to believe and act, contrary to law, as if that part of a road it calls "Lakeside Road" is city property, including that part of the road that exists outside of the city limits, and crosses Burns' property. 4. To the best of my knowledge and understanding, Manistique Public Safety Director, Ken Golat, chose to enforce the City's unlawful and unsubstantiated claim, with a reasonable person's knowledge and understanding, that it was far more likely that the City of Manistique was acting in a criminal manner, than Alfred Burns. Consequently, I conclude that he was motivated to enforce the City's will for political reasons, and not lawful reasons. 5. Since witnessing a road related complaint brought by Alfred Burns before the Manistique City Council, on August 7 and 21, 2000, I have used a significant part of my life to document the events and circumstances, and my evolving understanding, of many associated issues concerning a road crossing Alfred Burns property. 6. I have published, since 2000, on the Internet, my well documented and referenced understanding of the history of the "Lakeside" road issues known to me, at: http://www.manistique.org/quarry.html 7. At the Manistique City Council meeting of 08/07/00, I heard Manistique City Manager Housler and Manistique City Attorney Filoramo admit their long term knowledge of Mr. Burns' claim against the City concerning a road on his property. 8. At the Manistique City Council meeting of 08/21/00, I deduced, from statements at that meeting, made by City Manager Housler and City Attorney Filoramo, that the City did not own the road, and had no more right to, or jurisdiction over, the road right-of-way than any other member of the public that used it. At that meeting, the City Attorney's unsubstantiated claim emphasized the history of the road as a public right-of-way for more than 10 years, that justified the City's position that it would take the property from Mr. Burns, in court. 9. Within the period of 08/21/00, to 12/25/07, I have made requests for, or about, the legal documents that indicate some government entity has gained legal ownership of, or jurisdiction over, the road and real property upon which Alfred Burns was arrested. Those requests were addressed to various government officials, verbally or in print, in private and public, with or without F.O.I.A. requests, in City Hall, at City Council meetings, of the Manistique Area School Board, of Schoolcraft County Road Commission personnel, of the Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners, of M.D.O.T. personnel, of the Michigan Attorney General's Office, and the U.S.D.O.J. 10. Subsequent to my requests, or inquiries, I never received or saw a legal document, or copy thereof, that indicated any government entity ever acquired, or took the first lawful step to acquire legal ownership of, or jurisdiction over, any part of the approximately 1/2 mile of road that extended from the City of Manistique's Main Street right-of- way to Schoolcraft County's Tannery Road, including that part of the road that crosses Alfred Burns' private property, outside of the corporate limits of the City of Manistique. 11. From 08/21/00 until 12/24/07, I have documented Alfred Burns' failed attempts to motivate various local, state, and federal government officials to act according to various state and federal laws, and to enforce various state and federal laws, regarding road ownership and jurisdiction, property rights, and due process. 12. On 10/29/07, I witnessed and photographed Alfred Burns' failed effort to prevent the City of Manistique from trespassing, seizing, and paving more of HIS property. During that failed attempt to protect HIS property, I witnessed Alfred Burns coerced, by armed police, to remove his car parked upon what I understand to be HIS property, and, at that same approximate time, I witnessed his arrest, and removal from the incident site, by a Michigan State Trooper. 13. Within the context of my extensive knowledge, and understanding, regarding the road issues and circumstances, at no time have I ever had a substantiated reason to suspect, believe, or know that Alfred Burns ever intended to commit, or committed, a crime regarding those issues and circumstances surrounding the road across his property. 14. Within the context of my extensive knowledge and understanding, regarding the road issues and circumstances, I have substantiated reasons to believe that various local, state and federal officials have committed a variety of crimes, regarding a deliberate and unlawful process to deprive Alfred Burns of his property, property rights, and due process, including the use of armed police that were aware of, and understood, Burns' substantiated claims regarding the violation of his property and due process rights. 15. It is my understanding that a complaint was filed by a Michigan State trooper, that states, falsely, Alfred Burns acted "contrary to law". Regarding all the issues surrounding the road, it is my understanding that Alfred Burns acted consistent with law, within the context of the public record and local officials' knowledge of the details and history of the City of Manistique's false and unsubstantiated claim to the road upon which the incident of 10/29/07 took place. 16. To summarize this statement, within the context of Burns' knowledge and actions, that I know of, understand, and/or witnessed, and within the context of my personal knowledge and understanding, I believe that Burns, on 10/29/07, did nothing other than exercise his legal right to defend his property, property rights, and rights of due process, that had been denied him, deliberately, by local, state and federal officials, from 2000 until 10/29/07, the continued denial of which led to the subsequent criminal trespass, seizure and conversion of more of Burns property, on 10/29/07, by the City of Manistique, and its agents, using, unlawfully, the coercive force of armed police to achieve the political goals of local government officials, in their attempt to steal from Alfred Burns, and other private property owners, a road to replace that which they allowed Manistique Area Schools and Manistique Rentals Inc., to seize and convert to their own purposes."
My statement did not include my awareness that Director Golat requested assistance, from the Michigan State Police, because Burns was "...blocking the roadway." of a road that the City of Manistique had closed to the public; meaning that Burns' was not impeading public traffic, but only trying to block the City of Manistique's agents from stealing and converting more of his property. My statement did not include my later awareness that there is a law that allows a disabled Burns, with "disabled" plates on his vehicle, to park that vehicle on a roadway, legally. My statement did not include information about my attendance at Burns' "parking ticket" hearing, before 93rd District Court Judge Luoma, began by Prosecutor Hollenbeck's extensive opening statement claiming that the hearing was not about property issues, but about a parking infraction!
On 12/05/07, after wasting more of my life, again, with telephone attempts to find a warm body at the U.S. Department of Justice, that was willing to admit they had received, "lost", or filed in a trash can, my formal certified mailed complaint received 08/27/07 by a U.S.D.O.J. stamp named "Ernest L. Parker", I decided to give the Marquette F.B.I. office a call.
Over a month ago, Burns had tried to coax some interest from that federal law enforcement agency, and had been told, in so many words, that violation of constitutional rights, and associated federal and state laws was no concern of theirs, and he should hire a lawyer. After Burns' failure to generate anything more than a "It ain't in our jurisdiction. We ain't interested. We don't care. Get a lawyer." response, I had considered, at that time, to repeat his effort, but decided against it because, after several failed efforts, I thought I might have found someone at the U.S.D.O.J. that might provide me some assurance that there is some federal agency with the responsibility to enforce federal laws designed to ensure constitutional and civil rights. I was wrong.
Yesterday, in another failed attempt to locate someone, with responsibility for action, regarding my received 08/27/07 certified mailed complaint to the U.S.D.O.J., the circle of bureaucratic buck passing ended, once again, at the voice mail of a mysterious, absent, and possibly brain-dead, "Jenny Graves", whom I would have cheerfully vaporized, along with her voicemail device, had I a "Remote Vaporizer" function built into my computer.
After my wasted calls to "Jenny Graves", my telephone call to the Marquette, Michigan, F.B.I. office turned out to be somewhat more successful than Burn's previous attempt, only because I had learned by Burn's recounted failure to elicit any constructive response with his calls. In the face of determined attempts by two F.B.I. employees to tell me that none of the Lakeside Road issues are within the the F.B.I.'s jurisdiction, I maintained my position that I wanted to know the requirements for filing a written complaint, that required a written response, based upon my understanding and documentation. I stated that what had taken place was the equivalent of deliberate armed robbery by the City of Manistique, and denial of the robbery victim's rights of due process and property, under color of law, sanctioned by numerous government officials from the City of Manistique, to the State of Michigan.
Only after holding my position against the two nay-sayers, in the context of my documented claims and implication, that whether the F.B.I. liked it, or not, the issues were criminal, and not civil in nature, and that I would file a written complaint, did Agent Clint finally relent and provide the information that I requested, from him and his boss.
To paraphrase Clint's eventual answer to my inquiry, "Yes, Petey, after all our evasion and resistance to your request, if you file a written complaint with us, we must forward it to the U.S. Attorney's office, who will then determine if there is sufficient criminal substance to warrant legal action." No guarantees were given or implied that another documented complaint, sent by certified mail, would not become lost in the landfill of corrupt bureaucratic options.
The major difference between a written complaint to the Marquette office of the F.B.I., and previous similar complaints to the Michigan Department of Transportation, Michigan Attorney General's Office and the U.S. Department of Justice, is it will not disappear into a bureaucratic black hole of ineptitude, apathy and corruption, in a distant galaxy beyond the reach of wretched mortals living among the cedar swamps of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. If a local complaint to a local office of the F.B.I. disappears into a bureaucratic black hole in my local galaxy, it means that Burns and I can afford, if necessary, to inquire, in person, at both the F.B.I. and U.S. Attorney's "local" offices located in Marquette, some 90 miles away, instead of having to deal with the long distance evasion and deceit of faceless bureaucrats insulated by the knowledge that their jobs and paychecks are secure, regardless of what they do, or not.
First, some court action was necessary. Some six weeks after I witnessed Burns arraigned before Schoolcraft County's 93 District Court Judge Luoma, on 10/31/07, for an offense stated by the judge to be a misdemeanor charge, Burns and I finally got to read, on 12/17/07, the actual complaint, and the "subtantiating" details of the complaint, that neither Burns nor I had seen for the past six weeks, and which did not exist in the 93rd District Court's record on 12/13/07, when I requested to read the allegations and subsequent charge.
After I read the details, I had some serious doubts about the charge being a misdemeanor since the written charge document cites a specific law that clearly defines part of the the charged offense(s), as a felony, with up to 2 years in prison and a $2,000 fine, or both. What takes precedence? Is it a misdemeanor charge as Judge Luoma stated during Burns' arraignment, or is it a felony charge? A cited law, within the complaint document, clearly identify Burns' alleged "crime" as a felony. That complaint was filed by one who was no part of the incident I witnessed on 10/29/07, a Michigan State Trooper Giannunzio.
There is little doubt, in my mind, that Burns resisted the unlawful coersion of law enforcement officers to remove him and his vehicle from his private property, so that the City of Manistique could seize and convert more of his property. Given all the knowlegable witnesses, and participants, with vested interests in the incident, I have little doubt that most knew and understood why Burns resisted the attempts of the City of Manistique to remove him from his property.
There is no doubt, in my mind, that Burns did fail in the perpetration or commission of his intent to defend his property and legal rights, that no one else cared about. The failure of his intentions was evident when the City of Manistique had him arrested, and subsequently trespassed, seized, and paved a new ~3 feet wide slice of his property.
I witnessed the Mayor of Manistique watching the incident, and talking with various public safety folk, including the Director of Public Safety, prior to Burn's arrest. I know that Mayor Peterson, like Director Golat, knew the details of Burn's public battle with Manistique City officials, if, for no other reason than both were present at most Manistique City Council meetings at which Burns and I spoke of the issues.
As I have said before, nothing in this saga of corrupt public policy is accidental, or done in ignorance. From my detailed and substantiated perception, it is done due to gross stupidity and/or malice.
Why Mayor Peterson did not keep his distance from the police action, as I did, I do not know. As the mayor of Manistique, he chose to involve himself in a police "criminal law enforcement" matter, in which he had no reason to participate, beyond the obvious political reasons to see Burns' property seized and Burns silenced.
I speculate that, to me, given my historical knowledge of the issues, and the nature of the officials involved, it was likely that Mayor Peterson was "coaching" the captain of "his team", Director of Manistique Public Safety, Ken Golat, with the likely goal of limiting the City's liability by having Burns arrested and removed from his property, by a Michigan State Trooper, relatively naive and ignorant of the history of City officials' deceit and unlawful behavior, regarding the road.
I find it difficult to accept that a State Trooper, and County Prosecutor, would, knowingly, have any part of the stinking political mess created by local political hacks, if they had a reasonable understanding of the situation. Then again, I find it hard to accept that the various knowledgeable public officials involved still try to maintain their fiction with a criminal trial, of an innocent person, instead of pursuing those now squatting on, or converting, public property they seized from the City!
By the complaint, and context, I infer that it is either a felony or misdemeanor charge, with the intent to convict, or coerce a plea, from one that is innocent of the charge, who cannot afford competent professional legal councel, and who made it his business to inform everyone, in public, of the legal nature and basis for his claims and action. It strikes me, again, that what I have witnessed to date, should be part of a novel describing life in some Third World country. In his own country, a citizen of the U.S.A. is forced to confront armed men, and their masters, all of whom have sworn to enforce the laws of the State of Michigan, and the rights enumerated in the U.S. and Michigan Constitutions, as they apply to the interests of the victim, citizen Burns.
Kafka would be proud of the evident pretzel bureacratic logic used to deny the protection of the law due Burns, as City of Manistique officials continued in there efforts to deceive everyone, and seize more of Burns' property, while forcing him to defend himself and his property from those sworn to protect him and his property! Meanwhile, folks representing Manistique Area Schools and Manistique Rentals Inc., among others, are laughing as they continue to profit from their seizure and conversion of adjacent public city streets rights-of-ways property! Strange days, indeed.
A complaint that alleges nothing more than Alfred Burns committed a crime. I defy anyone to tell me, from Burns' "arraignment" and this "complaint", what Burns did that qualified as "probable cause", or a crime. It could be you, or your family member, next.
I defy any reasonable person to read this public record "Register of Actions" and conclude that Burns is much better than a baby raper. It could be you, or your family member, next.
THE MICHIGAN PENAL CODE (EXCERPT) Act 328 of 1931 750.81d Assaulting, battering, resisting, obstructing, opposing person performing duty; felony; penalty; other violations; consecutive terms; definitions. Sec. 81d. (1) Except as provided in subsections (2), (3), and (4), an individual who assaults, batters, wounds, resists, obstructs, opposes, or endangers a person who the individual knows or has reason to know is performing his or her duties is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 2 years or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both. ... History: Add. 2002, Act 266, Eff. July 15, 2002 ;- - Am. 2006, Act 517, Imd. Eff. Dec. 29, 2006 © 2007 Legislative Council, State of Michigan
THE MICHIGAN PENAL CODE (EXCERPT) Act 328 of 1931 750.92 Attempt to commit crime. Sec. 92. Attempt to commit crime—Any person who shall attempt to commit an offense prohibited by law, and in such attempt shall do any act towards the commission of such offense, but shall fail in the perpetration, or shall be intercepted or prevented in the execution of the same, when no express provision is made by law for the punishment of such attempt, shall be punished as follows: ... 3. If the offense so attempted to be committed is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for a term less than 5 years, or imprisonment in the county jail or by fine, the offender convicted of such attempt shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison or reformatory not more than 2 years or in any county jail not more than 1 year or by a fine not to exceed 1,000 dollars; but in no case shall the imprisonment exceed 1/2 of the greatest punishment which might have been inflicted if the offense so attempted had been committed. History: 1931, Act 328, Eff. Sept. 18, 1931 ;-- CL 1948, 750.92 © 2007 Legislative Council, State of Michigan
Lakeside Road incident report
Note the statement from Golat that "... the City had an ongoing problem with Alfred Burns believing that a portion of the roadway on lakeside street was his property..." To the best of my knowledge, the City owns no part of the road that crosses Burns' property, and has never produced a legal title, survey, or any other proof of legal ownership of, or jurisdiction over, the road, for over seven years that I know of. Golat knows that, because he has been present at just about every Manistique City Council meeting that Burns and I have asked for them. I conclude Golat represents his masters interests, and not the interests of the victim he has the responsibility to protect.
From my perspective, the irrefutable evidence and public record indicates, clearly, that Manistique City officials have an ongoing problem, believing that they can deceive, steal and convert private property, with impunity, including that part of 1/2 mile of road that crosses Alfred Burns' property.
The incident report mentions nothing of Burns extensive effort to explain to Manistique Public Safety officers, and showing his legal documents of property ownership and explaining to the Michigan State trooper, before he was arrested, booked and housed at the Schoolcraft County jail. As I have said before, there is nothing about this continued series of events that is not layered in obvious and serious deceit.
I can only wonder how much of the conversation, at the site of the incident, between Director of Public Safety, Ken Golat, and, in the truck, Manistique Mayor, Dave Peterson, Golat's ex-boss and ex-Director of Manistique Public Safety, influenced the content of the incident report and the subsequent complaint filed with the court.
Burns shows a Michigan state trooper the legal documents that prove his ownership of the property they stand on, then he is arrested for committing a crime.
There was no intent to commit a crime, and no crime committed, as Burns tries to save three more feet of his private property.
The consequences differ markedly, between a misdemeanor and felony, running from ?, to two years of hard time with "Bubba", and a $2,000 fine. The difference is significant to Burns, who, to this date, has been little more than a reluctant whipping boy for those that refused to enforce a ream of legislation designed to prevent the abuse heaped on him, and who, to this date, is the only one involved with this mess that I would consider innocent of any crime.
I do not know why the Schoolcraft County prosecutor sanctioned a felony assault charge filed by a Michigan State Police trooper, regarding the incident of 10/29/07, documented in these pages. From my perspective, Burns was arrested, booked, and charged with a felony offense, because he had no reasonable choice but to resort to his right of self defense, and defend his property, with his body, because every one else, from the Manistique City Council, to the U.S. Department of Justice, refused, deliberately, to do their respective jobs and enforce the well established relevant legislation they had the responsibility to enforce.
If a crime requires intent, who are the criminals? If it is a crime to ignore or break laws, for those whose sworn responsibility it is to enforce laws, before and after citizens are victimized, then who are the criminals? When a citizen has to resort to unarmed physical confrontation with armed men because others with the responsibility to care, do not, then who are the criminals?
A documented loose conspiracy of various public officials now have Burns' old and scrawny butt in a sling, greased and ready for his pending bunk-buddy, "Bubba", in some yet to be identified prison. But, before Bubba gets his turn, it is the responsibility of Schoolcraft County Prosecutor Hollenbeck to substantiate the Michigan State Troopers' charge of a felony or misdemeanor and to substantiate the City of Manistique's claims of ownership and jurisdiction over land owned by local residents. It is now time for various public officials to prove their claimed jurisdiction over a road that the city has never admitted to having made the first statutory legal effort to acquire.
Either Burns had no legal right to defend his property, and property rights, and intended to commit a crime for some unidentified ill conceived gain, or the criminals are those well informed local, state, and federal officials that refused to enforce state and federal laws to defend Burns and his property and due process rights.
It appears that the road and land ownership issue must be dealt with in trial court, as it is the basis for Burn's resistance to years of official abuse, including the current cited felony "assault" charge against him. Public officials must prove the legal viability of their claims that the City owns approximately 1/2 mile of paved road, by court decision, or by some other legal process they have refused to disclose, since 2000, that I am aware of.
If the Schoolcraft County Prosecutor chooses to pursue the charge in court, I suspect that he will have to prove that the City of Manistique's claimed ownership of, and jurisdiction over, Burn's property is legitimate, and by implication its ownership of all of ~1/2 mile of paved road. If it cannot prove ownership and jurisdiction over Burns property, it cannot prove ownership or jurisdiction over the rest of the road.
Law, or mysticism, will prevail. If law prevails, Bubba will be disappointed, and, hopefully, Burns will be made whole, in the civilized sense. If mysticism prevails, Burns might be "Bubba's" new playmate.
At the last Manistique City Council meeting I attended, City Manager Aldrich stated that the "Lakeside Road", would be paved November 8, 2007. It appears that the paving contractor has a different view of the schedule. Yesterday, I was told that Al Burns Jr. had spoken to a Payne and Dolan employee, recently, and was told that the paving of the north end of the road would commence Monday, October 29. The employee was made aware that the painted lines on the existing road pavement represented a good approximation of the boundaries of Al Burns' private property.
Had Burns acted upon the false publicized date from City Mnager Aldrich, more of his property would have been seized and paved, while he was absent, in exactly the same manner as the last time. I doubt that it was a coincidence, given the deliberate deception that I have documented since 2000.
I took some photographs of the north end of the road, yesterday, and was told by a local resident, Thomas St.Pierre, that he was glad to see the road paved. I told him that I was glad that he was glad. He then told me that Burns' property did not extend under the road. I then asked him if he had a certified survey that substantiated his claim. He did not answer my question. He then claimed that Burns' claims were too late. I then told him that he had not paid attention. The conversation ended.
It took a great deal of self-control to remain civil to someone that had no problem excusing and sanctioning the theft and conversion of his neighbor's property.
Below, an STS Consultant's map of apparent fiction with a good estimate of what property belongs to Burns, marked in violet, based upon his recorded deeds, and those of others. The S.W. corner of the orange pavement markings in the photo, above, correspond with the S.W. corner of Burns' property as described in his deed, and as he marked in violet on the STS Consultant' map. The hand written writing and lines are Burn's work on the STS Consultants' drawing. That STS drawing represents falsely, to the best of Burns' and my knowledge, the western boundary of Burns' property, and the eastern boundary of the City of Manistique, and consequently, the location of a constantly shifting roadway known as Lakeside Road. Other drawings authored by STS Consultants, included on this web page, represent similar apparent deliberate deception.
The City of Manistique and STS Consultants have never produced a certified survey of the adjacent Manistique city limit line, or the roadway outside of the city limits, known as the Lakeside Road, contrary to the documented claims made in public record Circuit Court transcripts and Manistique City Council minutes, and the requirements of Michigan law. Regarding the numerous F.O.I.A. requests that Burns and I have filed, the City of Manistique, Manistique Township, the County of Schoolcraft, STS Consultants, and the Michigan Department of Transportation have never produced a legal document that gave any entity jurisdiction over the property described in the recorded deed of Al Burns. To the best of my knowledge, beyond Al Burns, no one, representing any public interest in the contested property, has taken the first legal step to obtain legal owner ship of, or jurisdiction over, most of the roadway as Lakeside Road.
To the best of my knowledge, every public record representation of jurisdiction that I am aware of, other than Burns', is little more than deliberate and transparent deception.
10/29/07, 10:26 - Schoolcraft County road known as Lakeside Rd. closed to public traffic, so that the City of Manistique could pave that road over private property, over which it has no legal jurisdiction or ownership.
10/29/07, 06:47 - As the "Lakeside Road" was closed to the public, for paving, Burns posted his property and parked his vehicle on it.
10/29/07, 06:55 - A Manistique Public Safety policeman showed up.
10/29/07, 07:35 - Al Burns, Manistique Public Safety, Michigan State Police and the Mayor of Manistique wait for a decision to be made.
10/29/07, 08:11:08 - Burn's refused to accept the ticket and allow his vehicle be towed from his own property, without a warrant. He resisted the use, by unknown persons, of state and local police power to enforce the continued unlawful taking, conversion and denial of use of his property.
10/29/07, 08:11:48 - Al Burns Sr. was arrested by an officer of the Michigan State Police.
10/29/07, 11:46 - Private property, seized, modified and paved by the City of Manistique using state, federal and local funding, acquired with deliberate false claims, qualifications and pretenses, as described in detail, below.
10/29/07, 12:30 ...
Late this morning, Al Burns stopped by to discuss his current perspective of the predicament he found himself dealing with the consequences of his decision to resist the unlawful taking and conversion of his property. He was as depressed as I have ever seen him, considering facing prosecution and a one year prison term for resisting a police officer, in an attempt to assert the denied ownership of his property, in a peaceful manner. He told me that for most of his 67 years of life, he had believed in the law, but now realized, in the closing years of his life, that the concept and enforcement of law was more the empty promises of confidence men and women, than it was a reality.
At the time he arrived at my house, I was editing some of the language of my current web update, concerning the circumstances of his arrest, and, pointing to what I had on the screen, he stated "That just convicted me." That statement almost knocked me out of my chair, with a rush of subsequent guilt.
Recovering a degree of self-confidence, I pointed out, that in the context of what had happened to date, and the wholesale deceit involved, it would be more difficult for anyone to make of his action any more than civil disobedience regarding his refusal to accept the false legitimacy of the seizure and conversion of his property by the City of Manistique, contrary to the details of the 11th Judicial Circuit Court Decision, File # 00-3048-NZ, Pages 30-31, Para. 4.
Judge Charles Stark's words from the court transcript:
"... therefore we have a highway by use. Now, this does not -- A highway by use does not give the City the right or the jurisdiction or the title to the roadway. It doesn't give it to the state. It is an easement that is directed at the public at large that it has become a public highway. And Mr. Burns would continue to own whatever property he does to whatever description he can establish, but that it -- wherever that line may be is subject to this overarching easement for public use. In other words, Mr. Burns may use that area of the property as long a it's not in derogation of the public's use and right to -- to traverse that -- that property."
By no stretch of the imagination is the City of Manistique's seizure, grading, and paving of Burns' property, carried out under the gun barrels of armed men, synonymous with "traverse". That is what Burns resisted, and I witnessed and documented, here.
The City of Manistique had already closed the road to the public, to widen and pave it, with no legal ownership or jurisdiction over it, repeating what it had done following Judge Stark's decision, in 2000. 10/29/07 was a good time to take a stand, as the City had chosen to deny the public's right to traverse the road while it widened and paved it, and, consequentially, deny Al Burns the right to use more of his property.
If one looks at the photographs, above, any concerns for public safety were completely bogus, considering that all the vehicles, other than Burns', created far more of a hazard and blockage to traffic on a closed road, than Burns' vehicle. While I witnessed the documented obscene use of "law" enforcement, I watched two huge asphalt hauling tractor trailer combinations thread their way around the vehicles.
There was only one reason to arrest Burns. He, and his vehicle, had to be removed from his property, so that the City of Manistique could pave it. Had he left, when asked, it would have been de facto acceptance of the right of the city to steal and convert his property, using its police powers to enforce its will. I witnessed Burns' courage, confidence and civil behavior in the face of psychological and physical coercion by armed police, to deprive him of his legal rights and property.
Burns did not resist a Michigan State trooper's "lawful authority" as a consequence of being given a civilized and lawful choice. After seven years of serious resistance to the continued seizure and conversion of his property, that he had started decades ago, within his remaining lifetime Burns had no civilized, or lawful choice, without substantial financial resources to bet against the deep tax funded pockets and conspiracy of deceit, of those that stole and converted his property.
Within our limited awareness, over seven years of documented government wrong-doing, at multiple levels, had convinced he and I that hocking his soul to hire legal representation was a poor bet, assuming that he could find and afford a qualified attorney to represent him. Michigan state government sanction of documented unlawful official behavior, from Michigan State Governor Jennifer Granholm's office, down, supported by almost limitless tax paid legal resources and liability insurance, coupled with the lack of official accountability and the conspiracy of perjury, deceit and relative silence behind which all were hiding, made any option to hire legal help an open invitation to the poor house, from which it was very unlikely he would leave.
Add the fact that many of his abusers were collecting paychecks to abuse him, and had mortgage payments, health bills, car payments, etc., meant that no one was likely to risk losing their positions or employment, and the good life, if they could lie, with impunity, to retain their tax paid booty. From my perspective, short of picking up a gun, and forfeiting his remaining life to motivate future civilized behavior, Burns had no other likely effective option.
Burns was told, by an armed man with the authority to use his weapon, to remove himself, and his vehicle, from his property, so that the City of Manistique could commence with the unlawful grading and paving of that property it had seized from him. His choice was to resist, or not, the unlawful taking and conversion of his property, by those that chose armed men to do their bidding to achieve their goal.
Burns denied his approval and acceptance of the false claims of the City of Manistique, the State of Michigan, STS Consultants, and others, to take and modify his property, and deny him due process, under the color of law. I suspect that in other times, and similar circumstances, when the religious belief in the rule of law was non-existent, some relative innocent would have died. This time, Burns was the victim of an unlawful confidence game, that he came to understand, completely, before he visited me, this morning.
Burns was carrying no weapon, but those that served at the whim of government were men with guns, enforcing that whim.
With no qualified legal representation that I am aware of, Burns arraignment is scheduled for 0930, 10/31/07, at the Schoolcraft County Courthouse.
I visited Burns at his residence, this afternoon, to make sure that our difference of opinion, this morning, would not get in the way of pursuing our mutual interests, together. With his prior black mood set aside, he assured me that he realized that as long as I stuck to substantiated fact based editorial writing, it was highly unlikely that I would do him any harm, and, in the face of the conspiracy of official deceit and unsubstantiated claims he had to deal with, it was far more likely that my documentation would help him, rather than hurt him.
In a lighter mood, he mentioned that he had passed the S.U.V. of Manistique City Manager Sheila Aldrich, on Maple Street, today, and all he could see was a toothy smile. I could only wish, to myself, that she had crashed and burned, at that happy moment.
Regarding his resistance to the incident of the unlawful and forceful seizure and conversion of his property, by the City of Manistique, documented above; this morning, Burns stood before 93rd Judicial District Court Judge Luoma. The judge read one charge against Burns; filed by Schoolcraft County Prosecutor, Peter Hollenbeck. The charge alleges that Burns unlawfully resisted, or attempted to resist, the legal authority of a Michigan State Police officer, a misdemeanor, the conviction of which could be punishment of up to one year in jail. The judge then spoke of certain legal rights due Burns, and requested Burns sign an "advice of rights" form.
Subsequently, after baring his financial soul to the judge, Burns learned that, because he did not qualify as indigent, he must pay for a professional legal representative. Then, given the choice of pleading or not, Burns chose to plead not guilty, and requested a jury trial, which the judge granted.
Shortly thereafter, the arraignment proceedings completed, I exchanged a few word with Burns in the courthouse lobby. His mood was markedly changed from yesterday morning. To paraphrase him, with a painful grin on his face, "It mighta been worse. At last I get the jury trial I requested, seven years ago."
There has been more than one spark of humor in this painful continuing saga of human nature vs. the law, that I have kept silent about, deliberately. It is my awareness of the anonymous entities that have downloaded the content of my web pages, from the U.S. Department of Justice, to the Michigan Department of Transportation, to WLUC-TV. Of particular interest to me, over the past six months, has been the obvious, sometimes daily concerns of those associated with the likes of this address:
Michigan State Government DMB Office of Information Technology Lewis Cass Bldg Lansing MI 48933 United States EXT-DNS1.STATE.MI.US EXT-DNS2.STATE.MI.USRegarding the quoted address, I assume that Burns and I, paying dearly to do the homework of those that are paid well to lie about theirs, have generated more than a little unofficial official concern, or interest. If the visits mean nothing else, they provide a record that indicates that what has been done by State of Michigan officials was not accidental, or done in ignorance. A trial by jury will allow full documentation of a process by which Burns was forced to risk his life, health, and welfare to resist a deliberate official procedure to deprive him of his legal rights, and property, contrary to a ream of quotable legislation.
As far as I am concerned, if laws are unenforceable, or those with the responsibility to follow or enforce the laws may choose to do otherwise, based on little more than personal whim, then the rule of law becomes little more than a wishful myth, and, to one degree or another, human nature will assure that violence and anarchy will prevail. The recent histories of places like Rhwanda, Bosnia, Iraq and Darfour, provide graphic illustrations of extreme cause and effect, without having to consider the potential consequences of similar local policies that incite and encourage consideration of similar lawless behavior.
Under the documented circumstances, Burns' chose to take a civilized stand against those that stole his property, denied him his civil rights and due process, and then enforced their will with a gun, after ignoring or perverting the words and spirit of the law to meet their personal ends.
This morning, after browsing the online edition of the Escanaba Daily Press at:
I was prompted to reflect upon the following statements attributed to Manistique City Manager Sheila Aldrich. Needless to say, there is more to the article than Aldrich's quoted statements, and I encourage the reader to visit the site and consider the details, in the context of the quote from Judge Stark's 2000 decision, above, and the consequences of the mounting pile of deceit built upon the explicit and implicit false claim of City of Manistique officials, that the city owns the road "Lakeside Road", outside of the city limits.
The first question that I considered was... "Who is the liar; Manistique City Manager Aldrich, or 11th Judicial Circuit Court Judge, Charles Stark? The second question I considered was when did a road outside of the city limits become the reserved city street named Lakeside Road, referred to in Manistique's 1959 deed to Miller, as recognized in the Michigan Court of Appeals decision, in 2001? The third question I considered was when did the philosophy of "The ends justify the means." become the cardinal rule of a supposed "democratic" government based upon the sanctity of individual rights and the rule of law? The fourth question I considered was who was served by a newspaper article that quoted only one side of a serious dispute?
Manistique City Manager, Sheila Aldrich, was quoted as saying:
"Burns has maintained that a portion of the Lakeside Road runs through his property, and that the city has no right to improve the road. “The Lakeside Road is listed by the Michigan Department of Transportation as being in the city’s inventory of Major Streets,” said Manistique City Manager Sheila Aldrich, “which means the city not only has the right to maintain and improve the road, but the obligation.”" “The whole purpose in improving the Lakeside road from a gravel surface to asphalt is for the safety of our kids. That road is the main bus artery for the new Emerald Elementary School, which is going to open next week, Aldrich said. “The location of the road is a non-issue. The courts have ruled, and we are following that ruling.”Since Burns' side of the dispute wasn't expressed, I spoke for him in an editorial letter to the Press. I appreciate the newspaper's choice to publish the letter in their online edition, because there was no "Attaboy!" for anyone, other than Burns.
Letter: City doesn’t own disputed road EDITOR: Regarding the Daily Press page 1A news story of Nov. 2 titled “Man arrested in road battle with city,” it appeared, to me that the “man,” Alfred Burns, was not interviewed or quoted for the article. What follows is my view of the issues, referred to in that article, by City Manager Sheila Aldrich, City Manager Aldrich’s quoted statements were little more than than a pack of lies, and in the context of an influential local newspaper reporting a one- sided argument from a voice of authority, hired to know better, the report was seriously biased. To the best of my knowledge, having enough detailed documents and knowledge of the issues to write a doctoral treatise concerning local government anarchy, what the reporter failed to state was at no time has the city of Manistique ever produced any legal document that granted it ownership or jurisdiction over the property, and at no time has the city of Manistique ever taken the first step to acquire such jurisdiction or ownership of the property, in the legal manner described by law. Regarding some similar road-related disputes surrounding a road adjacent to Wal-Mart that I watched change from a two track to a paved city street, there is the crucial and distinct difference that the city of Escanaba is stated to have followed an offer, with a legal condemnation, and payment process, while the city of Manistique just stole and paved the contested property, and lied continuously about its right to do so. Reduced to its essence, I witnessed Alfred Burns arrested for resisting, peacefully, the deprivation of his property and Constitutional rights, by armed men under the color of law. Peter Markham, Manistique ——— EDITOR’S NOTE — Our page 1A story of Nov. 2 included the following quote from Manistique City Manager Sheila Aldrich: “The location of the road is a non-issue. The courts have ruled, and we are following that ruling.”
The statement by Aldrich, that "The location of the road is a non-issue." is a self evident statement with the sole purpose of obfuscating the theft and conversion of private property, by the City of Manistique. Regarding her disingenuous statement, the issue is the location of city streets, reserved by the city, referred to in various deeds, that exist within the city limits of Manistique, adjacent to the property that the city seized. With no need to acquire property for a public road, those streets, owned by the city, make the theft, or condemnation, of anyone's property below the road, totally unnecessary and illegal, and make Aldrich little more than a paid predator using public funds to defend the theft and conversion of Burns', and others' property.
Regarding Aldrich's following statement, "The courts have ruled, and we are following that ruling." I cannot start to imagine how the dismissal of Burns' suit for damages, based upon what I consider to be little more than perjury by Manistique employees, and hired lawyers, gave the City of Manistique the right to seize and convert private property. The judges involved may not have been perfect, but they were not morons, as Aldrich, City Council, and City Attorney Filoramo would have all believe. The courts did not rule that the City of Manistique had the right to steal and convert property, for any reason.
Aldrich makes Pinnochio the fountain of truth.
As I wrote earlier, there is more to the article than Aldrich's statement, and the reader is encouraged to visit http://www.dailypress.net/stories/articles.asp?articleID=14708 for more details.
Some related Daily Press stories, of a similar nature, may be found at the following addresses, with the distinct difference that the City of Escanaba is stated to have followed an offer, condemnation, and payment process, while the City of Manistique just stole and paved the contested property, and lied continously about its right to do so.
Today, Al Burns mailed the following letter to all the federal legislators from the state of Michigan, and to the President and Vice President of the United States.
"Dear ..., I am writing to you, to ask you directly, if my new found revelations are, in fact, true. If they are, please tell me, so I can continue my life with the knowledge I should of have learned sixty years ago. I have a parcel of real estate that I have had clear title to for the last 37 years. About 1995, the City of Manistique started to widen a dirt road so that it encroached upon this property. Although I have protested this action on many occasions, including a circuit court action, I now have a blacktop road that encroaches upon my property, by some seventy feet. (Please see the enclosed map) The City of Manistique, Manistique Township, Schoolcraft County, and the State of Michigan have never offered to buy the property. They have never proceeded with condemnation actions. They have never taken any court action, or in any manner attempted to acquire legal jurisdiction or title to any of the property upon which they built a paved road. I have, of course, had my property surveyed, staked, and mapped by a licensed surveyor. According to my deed and survey, no-one has ever acquired right, title, or jurisdiction over any part of this property. The actions over some past two decades, taken by the City of Manistique, Manistique Township, Schoolcraft County, and the State of Michigan, have, in fact, been in direct violation of several state and federal laws, and a circuit court decision. If you are not aware of these laws, I would be happy to mail copies to you. These actions have violated several of my constitutionally guaranteed rights, under both the Constitution of the State of Michigan and the Constitution of the United States. There is absolutely no doubt that I can prove ownership of this property. There is absolutely no doubt that no government entity has ever gained lawful jurisdiction over, or title to, any part of this property upon which a paved road now exists. There is no doubt that I have resisted the gradual seizure of my property, to the best of my ability and resources, for several decades, with a real risk to the health and welfare of my family and I. I would appreciate, very much, if you would provide me with truthful answers to the following questions. 1. If the laws of the State of Michigan, or the laws of the United States, are enforced against individual citizens of the State of Michigan and the United States, but are not enforced against government entities and their employees, do the laws mean anything or are they based on nothing more than lies and propaganda? Can a law, that no one will enforce, actually exist? 2. Do the constitutions of the United States, and of the State of Michigan, have any meaning, whatsoever? Certain rights are given to all citizens in both constitutions, but if these rights are not enforced, do they actually exist? A granted right cannot exist, if the grantee is not willing to enforce it. 3. Were the the provisions of the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Michigan, written to build a country, based upon nothing more than lies, deceit and propaganda? 4. Have I spent my entire life believing in a way of life, taught to my children and I, that does not exist? Are the principles of a form of government designed to protect and foster individual rights, little more than decoration on toilet paper? Constitution of the State of Michigan Article 1, Declaration of Rights, Subsection 1, Political Power: Section 1. All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for their equal benefit, security and protection. All governmental entities, from the city, to the county, to the state, to the federal, including the F.B.I., have provided me with absolutely no benefit, no security, and no protection, against the illegal actions taken against me. Subsection 2, Equal Protection; Discrimination: Section 2. No person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws; nor shall any person be denied the enjoyment of his civil or political rights or be discriminated against in the exercise thereof because of religion, race, color or national origin. The legislature shall implement this section by appropriate legislation. Subsection 9, Slavery and Involuntary Servitude: Section 9. Neither slavery, nor involuntary servitude unless for the punishment of crime, shall ever be tolerated in this state. Sincerely, Alfred J. Burns"
"Slavery. 1. A situation in which one person has absolute power over the life, fortune, and liberty of another.
Servitude. 1. An encumbrance consisting in a right to the limited use of a piece of land without possessory interest in it; a charge or burden on an estate for another's benefit."
Black's Law Dictionary, 7th Edition.
It is quite obvious that the Manistique community, by its default silence, supports the concepts of slavery and unlawful servitude.
Today, Alfred Burns received the following response to his complaint filed with the State of Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission. From a philosophical and legal perspective, it is terrifying, to me, to understand that the Commission's worthless response represents a de facto approval of the documented State of Michigan Attorney General Office's sanction of property theft and conversion, and the denial of due process, under color of law. In his own way, Burns understands, as I do.
" State of Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission MARQUETTE BUILDING DETROIT, MICHIGAN 48226-3259 TELEPHONE (313) 961 -6585 FAX (313) 961-5819 WWW.AGCMI.COM MICHAEL MURRAY ROBERT L. AGACINSKI CHAIRPERSON GRIEVANCE ADMINISTRATOR RICHARD B. POLING, JR. ROBERT E. EDICK VICE-CHAIRPERSON DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR MARTHA D.MOORE CYNTHIA C. BULLINGTON SECRETARY ASSISTANT DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR MEMBERS ASSOCIATE COUNSEL RUSSELL E. MOHNEY, M.D. WENDY A.NEELEY KENT J. VANA RUTHANN STEVENS KAREN M. DUNNE WOODSIDE STEPHEN P. VELLA DAVID L. PORTEOUS PATRICK K.McGLINN PASTOR DEBORAH L. BUTLER FRANCES A. ROSINSKI JAN A. BRANDON EMILY A. DOWNEY KIMBERLY L. UHURU NANCY R.ALBERTS DINA P. DAJANI RHONDA SPENCER POZEHL JAMES W. METZ NANCY J. WESTVELD October 4, 2007 PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL Alfred J. Burns 7059 W. Tannery Rd. Manistique, MI 49854 RE: Correspondence Received October 2, 2007 Dear Mr. Burns: The allegations you have made are not subject to review by this agency. The agency will not act as a substitute for the court's jurisdiction. If you believe that a criminal act has occurred, and the agency you have approached to address this issue has not responded adequately to your concerns, you will need to seek redress through the court system. If you have not already done so, I suggest you consult with an attorney who can advise you of your options. Very truly yours, Ruthann Stevens Senior Associate Counsel RUS/cmr "
It has been almost five weeks since I mailed my formal complaint to the U.S. Dept. of Justice. I hope the silence is due to some serious consideration, by a qualified and ethically motivated lawyer who will provide, at least, some coherent, logical, and relevant substantiation to justify what can be described as little more than an apparent conspiracy of local and state officials to steal property for Michigan roads rights-of-ways.
As Burns and I have little to no reason to expect any degree of justice, from any government official, without making ourselves thoroughly disagreeable to all concerned, I helped Burns to file a complaint against Assistant Michigan Attorney General, Stacy Erwin-Oakes. Our experience with this complaint will provide the basis to file a similar complaint against Manistique City Attorney, John Filoramo, of Olsen, Filoramo and McNamara, P.C., Law Offices.
Attorney Grievance Commission MARQUETTE BUILDING 243 W. CONGRESS, SUITE 256 DETROIT, MICHIGAN 48226-3259 REQUEST FOR INVESTIGATION OF ATTORNEY: Re: Stacey L. Erwin-Oakes, Mi. Asst. Atty. General 425 W. Ottawa Lansing, MI 48913 517-373-0626 Date attorney was hired/Appointed: July 2007 Type of case(divorce, criminal, probate, etc.): Civil Have you ever previously submitted a Request for Investigation to our office about this attorney? If yes, When? No STATEMENT OF FACTS (Please be specific. You may attach additional pages if necessary.) Ms. Erwin-Oakes was assigned to handle a complaint I filed with the Michigan Attorney General Office, concerning violations of state law, civil rights, and the illegal taking of private property for public use. I suspect that Ms. Erwin-Oakes was also assigned to represent M.D.O.T. to handle the complaint that I filed with that department, concerning the same illegal taking of private property. Based upon the context of the last seven months dealing with the issues of concern, I suspect the same attorney represented the legal issues presented in my complaint to M.D.O.T., as she did in my complaint to her about M.D.O.T. Ms. Erwin- Oakes ignored my specific references to Michigan state laws, as applicable to the illegal taking of my property that formed the basis of my complaints, and to which I referred in my complaint to the A.G. I can only conclude that Ms. Erwin-Oakes violated my civil rights, intentionally, regarding my complaint to the A.G., concerning my prior complaint to M.D.O.T., the details of which are enclosed. She, as a Michigan Assistant Attorney General, violated my civil rights as granted by the Constitution of the State of Michigan, Article 1, Sec. 1, Sec. 2, Sec. 9, Sec.10, Sec.11, Sec. 17, and Sec. 23. Ms. Erwin-Oakes deliberately misquotes Michigan state law to substantiate her false opinion that, in one sentence of fiction, justified over seven years of deceit and evasion, used by local and state officials, to deny me due process of legal and civil rights, and, to justify the trespass, seizure, and funding of the conversion of my private property to public property. Please find attached hereto, and incorporated into this grievance, my response (under the name of Peter Markham), to her single page response to my original complaint to M.D.O.T. officials. She sanctioned their support of the unlawful taking of my private property for public use, contrary to state and federal legislation regarding property rights, eminent domain, and due process. I request an Investigation by the Attorney Grievance Commission. Date: You must provide two (2) completed copies of this form and two (2) completed copies of all attachments. We cannot process unsigned complaints. Mr. _______________________________ (Signature) Alfred J. Burns 7059 W Tannery Road Manistique, MI 49854 906-341-6350
I now have a fairly comprehensive understanding of the facts and issues relative to the process whereby Alfred Burns was denied the right of due process, under color of law, regarding the long term efforts by various government officials to seize and convert his real property. What follows is my transcript of the "DEFENDANT CITY OF MANISTIQUE'S ANSWER TO PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST FOR ADMISSIONS". The inclusion of the transcript, with my comments, shows how Manistique City Attorney, John Filoramo, of Olsen, Filoramo, and McNamara, P.C., Law Offices, and Manistique City Manager, Alan Housler, chose to answer Burns requests with extensive unsubstantiated deceit. Most of the deceit was refuted by the documents of Burn's pleadings included in his suit for damages, dismissed by Judge Stark, as the City of Manistique requested.
From my perspective, perjury was of little concern to City Manager Alan Housler, City Attorney John Filoramo, or, within the context of Burn's pleadings, to 11th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Charles Stark. Within the transcript, I include "EDITORIAL COMMENT:"s to justify my opinion.
STATE OF MICHIGAN 11th JUDICIAL CIRCUIT SCHOOLCRAFT COUNTY ALFRED J. BURNS, Plaintiff, vs. File No. 00-3048-NZ CITY OF MANISTIQUE, ALAN HOUSLER, MARGARET ARNOLD, ROSEMARY SABLACK, CHRIS GAGNON, GREG MULLIGAN and JOHN HOAG, Defendants. Alfred J. Burns In Pro Per Rte. 1, Box 1448 Manistique, MI 49854 John R. Filoramo (P30730) Attorney for Defendants 504 Ludington Street Escanaba, MI 49829 DEFENDANT CITY OF MANISTIQUE'S ANSWER TO PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST FOR ADMISSIONS 1. The "Lakeside Road" that crosses plaintiff's private property is outside the City's corporate limits. ANSWER: Deny as most of Lakeside Road is within the corporate limits and none of Lakeside Road that is the subject matter of this lawsuit crosses plaintiff's private property as said road is a public road. EDITORIAL COMMENT: LIE - Had the court not accepted this gross lie as fact, nothing else was needed for a trial by jury to settle Burns suit, as he requested. For the road to become a public road, it had to become one consistent with MCL 221.20a-h, which requires legal process and documentation, of which there is none, and for which there is no relevant and legal substitute. Regardless of whether it is (1.) or (25.), there is not a kernel of truth to most of the City of Manistique's admissions. Burns' recorded deed, and his registered survey, provides adequate documented substantiation that the traveled portion of a road crosses part of his property that is located wholly outside of the city limits of Manistique. 2. The City of Manistique knows that the portion of the "Lakeside Road", that crosses plaintiff's property, is not located on its dedicated and accepted right-of-way. ANSWER: Defendant City of Manistique lacks information or knowledge as to the information stated in request number 2 as the records are not clear as to when the road in question was dedicated and/or accepted. EDITORIAL COMMENT: LIE - The City's own recorded 1959 deed reserves to the city the extensions of platted city street rights-of- ways and the city street known as "Lakeside Road", as defined by the city, within the legal descriptions of the different parcels of deeded property. Regarding the road in question, there has been no dedication and acceptance of it as a public road, and no evidence offered to support such a claim. 3. The Plaintiff has, over the past six years, attempted several times to convince the City that they were trespassing on his private property with the "road". ANSWER: Admit. EDITORIAL COMMENT: Burns attempted suit was based upon damage to his property as a consequence of city trespass. Housler freely admits that Burns informed him of the city trespass. No city employee, or official, ever provided legal and valid documented proof of jurisdiction to do anything to Burn's property. Trespass and damages formed the basis for Burns' suit, but Judge Stark dismissed Burns suit, in effect granting judicial approval to trespass and subsequent damage. 4. Defendant, Alan Housler, has personal knowledge that the Schoolcraft County Road Comm. would not, and did not, trespass upon plaintiff's private property when laying out, and constructing what the Defendants are now calling the "Lakeside Road". ANSWER: Deny as Defendant Housler has no such knowledge. EDITORIAL COMMENT: LIE? Either this, or (20.) 5. Defendant, Alan Housler, has personal knowledge that the Schoolcraft County Road Comm. did not change the grade, width or surface covering of the portion of the so- called "Lakeside Road" that crosses over/through Plaintiff's private property. ANSWER: Admit. EDITORIAL COMMENT: Like the "Tooth Fairy", a a LIE. It is recorded in the minutes of the Manistique Township Board, that Manistique Township paid the Schoolcraft County Road Commission to improve and pave a portion of the Lakeside Road in question. I also witnessed Manistique City Manager Housler address a Manistique Township Board meeting regarding Burn's suit. Within the context of required city, county and township business, regarding the politics and legal maneuvering surrounding Burn's suit, and the relevant history, it is so unlikely that Housler had no personal knowledge that I have more reason to believe in the Tooth Fairy, than Housler's "admission". 6. Defendant, Alan Housler, has personal knowledge that in point of fact, it was the City of Manistique that changed the grade, width and surface covering of the portion of the so-called "Lakeside Road" that crosses over/through the plaintiff's private property that is located outside the corporate limits of the City of Manistique. ANSWER: Deny as Defendant Housler does not believe that the City of Manistique changed said road. EDITORIAL COMMENT: LIE - The City admits to doing more than plowing snow and maintaining the road. (22.) To improve is to change. If City Manager Housler knew that the Schoolcraft County Road Commission did not change the road over Burns property, as in (5.), then the City of Manistique did, or Manistique Township did, as no other government had the resources and motivation and claimed jurisdiction to do it. Regardless of whether the changes to the road were done by proxy, the only government entity with the physical resources to do the work, or the possible jurisdiction to authorize it, was the Schoolcraft County Road Commission, or the City of Manistique. If Housler wasn't admitting a lie in (5.), then the City of Manistique, or its agents, changed the road. 7. Defendant, Alan Housler, has personal knowledge that the City of Manistique has abandoned the right-of-way for that portion of the "Lakeside Road" that divides the plaintiff's private property and the property owned by George J. Slining, Sr., and Elizabeth R. Slining. ANSWER: Deny as Defendant Housler has no such personal knowledge. 8. Defendant, Alan Housler, has personal knowledge that in point of fact, the portion of the "Lakeside Road" that crosses over/through the plaintiff's private property is not located and centered on its dedicated and accepted right-of-way. ANSWER: Admit. EDITORIAL COMMENT: Mike Pond, the "Lakeside Rd." project engineer for STS Consultants Inc., admits the same for the north end of the platted city Catteragus Street, that crosses, in part, Terry Rodman's residential property. That portion of a platted city street is not located and centered on its dedicated and accepted right-of-way, as required by law. 9. Defendant, Alan Housler, has participated in conversations and the planning of a course of action that would allow the City of Manistique to "take" the plaintiff's property for use as the "Lakeside Road". ANSWER: Objection - Attorney/Client privilege. EDITORIAL COMMENT: As time and documentation revealed, it became quite obvious that taking the Plaintiff's property, and denying him due process, under color of law, was a deliberate and concerted effort, and no part of it was accidental. 10. Defendant, Alan Housler, has personal knowledge that the City of Manistique has not attempted, to purchase, rent, trade nor in any other manner to EDITORIAL COMMENT: The missing information was not provided Plaintiff Burns. 11. The Contract between the City of Manistique, and, the State of Michigan, providing for maintenance of the "Lakeside Road" is in fact not a legal transfer of jurisdiction over such road. Pursuant to M.C.L. 247.852 Sec. 2. ANSWER: Admit. EDITORIAL COMMENT: This admission to the lack of jurisdiction of the City of Manistique (11.) plus the knowledge of Burns claims of city trespass (3.), form the uncontested basis for Burn's suit for damages as a consequence of the city's trespass. The city has never provided any evidence of the legal dedication and acceptance of the road in question, as a public road, as required by MCL 221.20a-h. Apparently, the City of Manistique, and Judge Stark, found the city's whimsical lawbreaking acceptable. 12. The City of Manistique did not inform the State of Michigan that the "Lakeside Road" travels across and through private property, before entering into any contract providing for the maintenance of such road. ANSWER: Admit. 13. The City of Manistique, has mislead the State of Michigan as to the exact description of the "Lakeside Road". ANSWER: Deny as the descriptions of said roads are provided by the State of Michigan and not the City of Manistique. EDITORIAL COMMENT: LIE - Assuming that the descriptions of the roads are provided by the state, the descriptions are certified as accurate by a city employee, and the certified descriptions are submitted by the city to M.D.O.T. to qualify for funds. A city employee, acting as an agent of the City of Manistique, certifies the location and classification of the roads, in the city's name. Any "contract", based upon false certification, would likely be void and unenforceable. 14. The City of Manistique has accepted payment, from the State of Michigan, for maintenance for the "Lakeside Road" ANSWER: Admit. EDITORIAL COMMENT: In effect, committing fraud by claiming and accepting funding to plow and maintain a road, for years, over which it never had jurisdiction, yet claimed in documents of false certification. 15. The City of Manistique, at the time for billing the State of Michigan for maintenance of the "Lakeside Road", knew that the "Lakeside Road" was not located upon its dedicated and accepted right-of-way. ANSWER: Deny as the City of Manistique does not bill the State of Michigan and it is totally irrelevant whether the Lakeside Road is located upon its dedicated and accepted right-of-way as said road has been used by the public for decades and is a public road. EDITORIAL COMMENT: LIE - The road that crosses Burns' property has never been a public road, and the city has never made an attempt to make it so, i.a.w. MCL 221.20a-h. There are no legal and relevant qualification procedures to be eligible for M.D.O.T. funds for maintaining a road over private property, over which the city has no jurisdiction. In other words, it is quite likely that the City of Manistique committed fraud, for years. 16. The City of Manistique, has continued to maintain a road over/through plaintiff's private property, after the City's surveyor informed them that the "Lakeside Road" is not on its right-of-way. ANSWER: Deny as the City has never claimed jurisdiction over the road in question as the road in question is outside the corporate limits of the City of Manistique and the City of Manistique has continued to maintain the road pursuant to its contract with the State of Michigan. EDITORIAL COMMENT: LIE - There is no legal basis for a contract between the city and state to maintain a road, over private property. Public Act 51 grants no such basis, but does require the jurisdiction of the government entity claiming plowing and maintenance funds. The city's de facto claim of jurisdiction is represented by numerous city streets certification documents, including the road in question, that the City of Manistique submitted to M.D.O.T., for the purpose of claiming funds to plow and maintain roads over which it had claimed false and unsubstantiated jurisdiction, i.a.w. Public Act 51, and 283. 17. The City of Manistique has abandoned, sold, traded or otherwise disposed of the Right-of- way reserved for Catteragus Street, located on the N.E. 1/4 of S.W. 1/4, Section Seven (7), Town 41N., Range 15W, City of Manistique, County of Schoolcraft. ANSWER: Objection as to relevancy. EDITORIAL COMMENT: UNWARRANTED EVASION - The road across Burns' property, known to many as Lakeside Road, is considered by some public officials as an extension of Catteragus Street, and has been named as such in documented public business. 18. The City of Manistique has abandoned, sold, traded, or otherwise disposed of the reserved right-of-way for the "Lakeside Road", located on the S.W. 1/4 of N.W. 1/4 of Section Seven (7), City of Manistique, County of Schoolcraft. ANSWER: Objects as the Defendant needs a better legal description as to what part of Lakeside Road the request to admit is concerned with. EDITORIAL COMMENT: UNWARRANTED EVASION - The city street right-of-way known as Lakeside Road, reserved by the city in its 1959 deed to Miller, was never abandoned, therefore there is no overriding reason for the city to seize and convert Burns' property. Likewise, the city owns a platted city street right-of-way known as Catteragus St., reserved in the same recorded document, therefore there is no overriding reason for the city to seize and convert Terry Rodman's property. 19. The City of Manistique, disputes the County Plat Map, attached hereto, and states that the lakeside road right-of-way as shown, is in error. ANSWER: Admit. 20. The City of Manistique has knowledge of the fact that six years ago, more or less, the County Road Comm. performed construction on the "Lakeside Road" located in the S.E. 1/4 of N.W. 1/4 of Sec. 7. TWN 41 N. R. 15W. Such construction consisted of widening, straightening, and black topping a portion of said road. (M.C.L. A. 224.11) ANSWER: Admit upon information and belief. EDITORIAL COMMENT: - Housler freely contradicts his sworn statement in (5.) and makes that admission a lie. Either he knew of such work, on the road that crosses Burns' property, or he didn't. 21. The City of Manistique, has knowledge that the construction upon said road was stopped at the plaintiff's property line. The reason was that the Plaintiff questioned the right-of-way that was being used. ANSWER: Deny as the City of Manistique had no knowledge as to why the road project was stopped. EDITORIAL COMMENT: LIE - The road project was stopped, as paving was taking place, as witnessed by many, because county resident Burns stated to Manistique Township Supervisor, Jim Barr, on site at the time, that "I will rip up the asphalt as fast as it is laid down upon my property." For Manistique City Manager to admit that he did not know, when everyone else with an interest in the project did, is to expect Burns to accept that admission as fact. Like the claimed existence of the Tooth Fairy, children might accept Housler's admission as true. 22. The City of Manistique, having knowledge that the Schoolcraft County Road Comm. would not cross the Plaintiff's property with such road, the City of Manistique took it upon themselves to trespass upon the Plaintiff's private property and construct a road over/across Plaintiff's property which is situated in the Township of Manistique, and outside the City's corporate limits. ANSWER: Deny as the City of Manistique had authority to go upon the public road and maintain and improve said road pursuant to its contract with the State of Michigan. EDITORIAL COMMENT: LIE - The road on Burns' property is not a public road, and never has been. I.A.W. Public Act 51, there exists no legal basis for a contract between the city and the state to maintain or improve a highway-by- use across private property. 23. The City of Manistique knows that the "Lakeside Road", in its present state, has only existed for six years or less. ANSWER: Deny as the City of Manistique believes that the road is in its present location for decades. EDITORIAL COMMENT: LIE - City employees, with city machines, were witnessed modifying the road outside of the city limits of Manistique. In addition, the city admits to the knowledge that the county modified the road. (see 20.) The road was modified i.a.w. a request from Manistique Township, and paid for by Manistique Township, as recorded in the minutes of the Manistique Township Board. 24. The City of Manistique, is fully aware of State Law, M.C.L. 221.20 that states in part, "All highways that are or that may become such by time and use, shall be 4 rods in width, and where they are situated on section or quarter section lines, such lines shall be the center of such roads. ANSWER: Admit. 25. The City of Manistique knows that if in fact the "Lakeside Road" was placed upon its dedicated right-of-way, such road would conform to M.C.L. 221.20. ANSWER: Deny as the road for decades has not been situated on the section or quarter section line and therefore MCL 221.20 does not apply. EDITORIAL COMMENT: LIE - According to this city admission, either the portion of the road, falsely claimed by the city to be a public road, across Burns' property, is wholly within the city limits, which is physically impossible, or it is wholly outside of the city limits, as Burns claims, crossing part of his property. Either way, the city's sworn admission that it is a public road, not situated on the section or quarter section line, belies the current STS Consultants' Lakeside Road project engineering drawings that show the city limit line passing through the junction of "Lakeside Road" and Tannery Road. To date, the formal web of deceit, started with this court sanctioned perjury, is designed to do one thing, to separate Burns and Rodman from their property, without compensation and due process, with impunity, under color of law. Dated: October______, 2000 Alan Housler STATE OF MICHIGAN ) )ss COUNTY OF SCHOOLCRAFT ) Subscribed and sworn to before me this_____day of October, 2000. Notary Public Schoolcraft County, Michigan My Commission Expires:
The primary characteristic of the above admissions represents the main legal, political and social behaviour associated with the "Lakeside Road" issues, and local politics in general. That theme, that has run rampant throughout my documentation of this seven year saga, is the predominance of, and acceptance of, overwhelming unsubstantiated claims by government officials and employees, against which Burns and I have been helpless, and against which, in similar context, others are helpless.
We have been helpless because everyone, with the responsibility to know and understand the issues, and the influence to ensure that ethical and rational due process is adhered to, has either joined the baseless clamor, or has remained silent, contrary to their respective responsibilities.
One could say that there is no difference between the philosophy and politics of government officials at the local level, when compared to the national scene. If that was true, there would be some support, of which there has been none for over seven years. That total lack of support for due process, against obvious government deceit, theft and fraud, indicates to me the total absence of local ethics and morality, as one would find in any troop of chimpanzees, or baboons.
Chimps and baboons don't care about anything, beyond their perceived primal needs.
That human simian heritage cannot be denied or avoided, without the appropriate and effective threat and use of force, legal or illegal. Without the certainty of unacceptable undesirable consequences, there is no way to keep predators at bay. Recorded history bears me out.
After giving serious consideration to the Michigan Attorney General response to my complaint, I wrote the following, to counter the lame, condescending and ludicrous response I received. It is included in my complaint to the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division.
The first transcript is of my response to, and including, the answer from Assistant Michigan Attorney General, Stacey L. Erwin-Oakes', regarding my initial emailed complaint and subsequent formal written and documented complaint to the Michigan Attorney General Office, regarding a perceived denial of due process, and the unlawful taking and conversion of real property. The double quoted text is that of Stacy L. Erwin-Oakes, Assistant Attorney General, Transportation Division. Between each quote is my subsequent numbered response.
I read the Michigan Assistant Attorney General, Stacey L. Erwin-Oakes' response as a total evasion of the concerns I addressed in my initial emailed request, and my subsequent formal documented complaint and request. It was one worthless page better than the response Burns received from Susan Richardson. For the second time, Susan Richardson, Supervisor of Statewide Planning Section, Michigan Department of Transportation, ignored a documented complaint that Burns submitted by certified mail. I am sure that Richardson's response was consistent with "Boss" Myron Frierson's view of M.D.O.T. responsibilities.
My response, to the Michigan Assistant Attorney General's answer to my concerns, was relative to my emailed request for help, as there was nothing in her letter that showed any recognition of the content and supporting documents of my written complaint that she acknowledged receiving. I inferred from Stacy L. Erwin-Oakes answer, that the details of my written complaint, and supporting documents, published here, found a home in the nearest trash can, without being read, with the implied message, "We don't care enough to read your drivel!"
Peter C. Markham 416 Alger Ave. Manistique, MI 49854-1102 email@example.com 08/20/07 Stacy L. Erwin-Oakes Assistant Attorney General Transportation Division Michigan Department of Attorney General 425 W. Ottawa Lansing, MI 48913 Dear Ms. Erwin-Oakes: With no "professional" credentials upon which to base my response to your professional opinion, I conclude that a formal "higher" education, and an important and influential position in the state government legal system, mean little to nothing concerning professional competence, in your office. Regarding what I expected from one with your credentials, I have never read such a lame legal opinion in my life. What follows is my detailed response, with specific and relevant substantiation, to what I conclude is your, or someone else's, personal opinion. If, perchance, you detect a degree of justified disgust and animosity in my writing; you are correct: "STATE OF MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF ATTORNEY GENERAL MIKE COX ATTORNEY GENERAL August 7, 2007 Mr. Peter Markham 416 Alger Ave. Manistique, MI 49854 Dear Mr. Markham: I have received your letter regarding Michigan Department of Transportation ("MDOT")—AG #2007017274A; Consumer Protection #200709370. You indicate in your letter that no one has provided you with legal documents as it relates to Lakeside Road in Manistique. You ask this office for assistance." 1. True, I requested assistance from the State of Michigan Department of Attorney General. "I apologize for not responding sooner. However, this office receives hundreds of letters each week and some delays are inevitable. I hope you will understand that as a public servant with constitutional duties to perform, efforts must be allocated in a fashion which is most productive to the State of Michigan. I am sincerely sorry if you have lost any faith in the workings of government, and I hope this explanation helps to restore some of that faith." 2. All I requested were "...copies of legal documents that are, to the best of my layman's knowledge, the required legal source of legal jurisdiction..." over a highway by use outside of the city limits of Manistique. After 7 years of seeking those documents, a few weeks made no difference to me, or the apparent victim of government sponsored land theft and conversion, Alfred Burns, and recently, Terry Rodman. 3. Decades ago, I lost most of my faith in the "...in the workings of government...", and your "explanation" is a typical reason for that loss. It is far easier for you, and others, to lie, believe lies, and act upon lies, than it is to meet the responsibilities and authority of your position, and assure that I am provided the information that I requested, that for seven years Mr. Burns and I have been denied. That does not mean that I have lost faith in the concept of a nation governed by laws. It means that I have little to no objective reason to trust those with the responsibility to ensure that local, state, and national laws are enforced, appropriately. "It is my understanding that MDOT has responded to your request by disclosing nearly one- hundred pages of documents." 4. Beyond M.D.O.T.'s Susan Richardson, I have no idea where "...nearly one-hundred pages of documents..." came from, but it is typical of the deceit, evasion and obfuscation that Mr. Burns and I have dealt with for over seven years, regarding the Manistique "Lakeside Road" issues. Not one of those "...nearly one-hundred pages...", provided by M.D.O.T., included any lawful substantiation of any required legal jurisdiction, by any government entity, over the "Lakeside Road". That legal jurisdiction, acquired i.a.w. due process of established law is required, in one lawfully documented form or another, by state and federal legislation. Regardless of how many pages of documents were provided by all entities that Burns and I addressed our requests to, formally and informally, including yours, no one has provided any specific and relevant substantiation for any lawful claim, by any government entity, to jurisdiction over the property described in Mr. Burns' recorded deed. "MDOT is not claiming to have jurisdiction over the road in question." 5. Of that I am aware, but for the Michigan Department of Transportation to fund road building projects, i.a.w. P.A. 51, some government entity must have legal jurisdiction over a road on private property, before state or federal money can be spent to improve and pave it. "STATE TRUNK LINE HIGHWAY SYSTEM (EXCERPT) Act 51 of 1951 247.668d Contracts between governmental units for construction or reconstruction of highways; contributions; pledges; bonds; applicability of revised municipal finance act and agency financing reporting act. Sec. 18d. (1) The state transportation commission, county road commission, and a city or village may enter into a contract providing for the construction or reconstruction of highways, including limited access highways, under the jurisdiction and control of 1 of the contracting parties to the extent that the contracting parties are otherwise authorized by law to expend moneys on the highways, roads, or streets,... and ...The contract shall designate the department or a county road commission, city, or village to undertake the acquisition of rights of way required for the highways, which rights of way may be acquired by purchase or condemnation by the department or a county road commission, city, or village in its own name for the purposes of the construction or reconstruction... Concerning the road across Burns' property, to the best of my knowledge, regarding ownership, jurisdiction, and qualifications for state and federal funding, no provision of Michigan Public Act 283 and 51 were started and completed, lawfully, by any government entity, regardless of all the claims to the contrary, by everyone involved with the process. There is no such thing as due process, built upon little more than pure fabrication. The Michigan Department of Transportation fostered and accepted, deliberately, the calculated false claims of property ownership and jurisdiction, by local government officials. Myron Frierson and Susan Richardson, influential M.D.O.T. officials, and Assistant Attorney General Stacy L. Erwin-Oakes were made aware, by telephone, email, and certified mail, of the false documentation and fraudulent qualifications and claims made by public officials and employees of the City of Manistique, and Schoolcraft County, Michigan. Agents and employees of STS Consultants, Inc., Tony Schomin and Mike Pond, were made aware by certified mail, email, telephone, in person, and attendance at city council meetings. By checking my editorial web page statistics, I have many reasons to conclude that all involved have proceeded, with full knowledge, with the ongoing confidence game to take and convert private property, unlawfully, under color of the law. As muted as the coverage by the local Pioneer Tribune newspaper has been, for the past seven years, several times they have printed exactly what Burns and I have declared in public, verbally and in writing. Very little of that would remain unchallenged, in a litigious society, if it was not essentially true. Everything government officials and employees did, regarding the unlawful taking and conversion of property for the road known as the "Lakeside Road", was done with full understanding, just like an armed thug committing a liquor store robbery. Am I correct in concluding that state and federal legislation concerning property rights and due process are rumors printed on toilet paper? It is M.D.O.T.'s responsibility to determine that ACT 51 requirements have been met. It is not M.D.O.T.'s responsibility to deliberately foster fraud, deprivation of due process, and fund the unlawful conversion of private property with state and federal funds, especially when top level M.D.O.T. personnel have been put on notice, with supporting documentation, that they are providing the philosophical and financial impetus and support for the unlawful taking and conversion of private property. MCL 221.20a-h describes the sequential due process by which a government entity may attain jurisdiction. Act 51 provides no authority to fund the improvement and paving of a road across private property over which no government authority has acquired legal jurisdiction, i.a.w. P.A. 283, and related legislation. Unlawful taking and conversion provide no legal jurisdiction i.a.w. P.A. 283 and 51. "If you are looking for the deed that gives a public body jurisdiction over Lakeside Road you identify in Manistique, pursuant to section 5(4)(b) of the Freedom of Information Act, as amended, this certifies that the public record you are requesting does not exist, does not exist under the name given, or is not in the possession of MDOT, because no deed exists for Lakeside Road." 6. If no recorded deed exists in any government entity's name, for the "Lakeside Road" property, or other roads in the State of Michigan, then by what specific documented legal theory or legislation, contrary to the provisions of P.A. 283, does any entity, other than Alfred Burns, have jurisdiction over his deeded property? I have read Burns' deed, that gives him jurisdiction over his property. I have heard and read nothing but unsubstantiated claims, from everyone else, including you, that claim unsubstantiated lawful jurisdiction, by a variety of entities, over Burns property. False verbal or written assertions, with no relevant and lawful substantiation, create no lawful ownership or jurisdiction over Burns' property. Check this out: 'ACQUIRING PROPERTY FOR HIGHWAY PURPOSES (EXCERPT) Act 352 of 1925 213.171 Property; acquisition by county road or state highway commissioners; approval of required officials. Sec. 1. Boards of county road commissioners, with the approval of the board of supervisors, and the state highway commissioner are hereby authorized and empowered to secure from the owners thereof: (a) Property for the right of way for any highway to be laid out, altered, or widened, or for changing the line thereof;...' and 'ACQUIRING PROPERTY FOR HIGHWAY PURPOSES (EXCERPT) Act 352 of 1925 213.172 Property for county and trunk line; conveyances, name, fluid mineral and gas rights, recording. Sec. 2. Property for a county road shall be secured by the board of county road commissioners and shall be taken in the name of the county. Property for trunk line highway purposes shall be secured by the state highway commissioner and shall be taken in the name of the state, excepting that excess property taken for highway purposes shall be taken in the name of the state highway commissioner. All such property shall be acquired by a release or other appropriate conveyance duly executed by the owner or owners of the lands and acknowledged and witnessed in the manner provided by law for the acknowledging and witnessing of deeds: Provided, That fluid mineral and gas rights shall be deemed excluded from such release or conveyance unless specifically included therein. The exercise of such fluid mineral and gas rights, as permitted by law, shall not interfere with the use of such property. All such releases and conveyances shall be recorded in the office of the register of deeds of the county in which the land is situated.' "Please note that Public Act 283 of 1909 states that any roadway that is used by the public for ten years or more automatically falls under the jurisdiction of the governing body in which the road resides." The introduction to P.A. 283 makes no reference to automatic jurisdiction. It states: 'PUBLIC HIGHWAYS AND PRIVATE ROADS Act 283 of 1909 AN ACT to revise, consolidate, and add to the laws relating to the establishment, opening, discontinuing, vacating, closing, altering, improvement, maintenance, and use of the public highways and private roads...' 7. From my understanding, the English language used in Michigan Public Act 283 MCL 221.20 that applies to the road across Burns property includes "... shall be deemed public highways, subject to be altered or discontinued according to the provisions of this act." I am completely mystified by your vague unsubstantiated claim that it "...automatically falls under the jurisdiction of the governing body in which the road resides..." which is contrary to the provisions of Public Act 283 that Burns and I have read, and to which specific provision you refuse to identify, like everyone else for more than seven years! No automatic acquisition or jurisdiction is considered by the Public Act 283, that I am aware of: Check this out: 'PUBLIC HIGHWAYS AND PRIVATE ROADS (EXCERPT) Act 283 of 1909 221.20a Declaration of road as public highway; consent; petition; action in circuit court; order; purchase or condemnation. Sec. 20a. A township with the prior written consent of the board of county road commissioners and upon petition to the township board by 51% of the property owners whose frontage abuts a road may commence an action in circuit court to have the road determined to be a public highway and to determine the length and boundaries of the road. If the court finds that there has been public use of the road for at least 10 years and that public authorities have expended public money on the road, it shall enter an order that the road has become a public highway setting forth the length and boundaries of that public highway. If the court finds that the road has not become a public highway, the township may in the same action acquire by purchase or condemnation in accordance with section 20h of this chapter the property rights of those owners who in the action claim that the road is not a public highway and the court shall enter its order that the road is a public highway and set forth the length and boundaries of that public highway.' and 'PUBLIC HIGHWAYS AND PRIVATE ROADS (EXCERPT) Act 283 of 1909 221.20b Declaration of road as public highway; complaint; deposit. Sec. 20b. (1) A township proceeding under section 20a shall file a complaint for declaration of the road as a public highway in the circuit court of the county in which the road is located. The complaint shall contain or have annexed thereto (a) a copy of the petition from abutting property owners, (b) a description of the length and boundaries of the road, and (c) the names of persons having claims to the road as a private road, including any public utility having facilities located on the road. (2) Before proceeding under section 20a the township board may require a deposit from the petitioners of an amount estimated by the township board to be sufficient to pay the cost of all legal proceedings.' and 'PUBLIC HIGHWAYS AND PRIVATE ROADS (EXCERPT) Act 283 of 1909 221.20c Order fixing date for hearing; contents of order; service of complaint and order; notice of hearing; service and publication of complaint. Sec. 20c. (1) Upon the filing of a complaint, the court shall enter an order fixing a date for hearing, which shall be not less than 3 weeks thereafter. The order shall recite the names of persons mentioned in the complaint as parties in interest, reasonably describe the road alleged to be a public highway, state the purpose of the complaint, and order the persons recited to appear before the court at the time fixed in the order for the hearing. A copy of the complaint and order shall be served upon the board of county road commissioners of that county not less than 20 days before the hearing. (2) Notice of the hearing and service and publication of the complaint shall be made and proved in the same manner as provided for hearing upon a petition for condemnation under Act No. 295 of the Public Acts of 1966, as amended, being sections 213.361 to 213.391 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.' and 'PUBLIC HIGHWAYS AND PRIVATE ROADS (EXCERPT) Act 283 of 1909 221.20d Determining sufficiency of petition; trial date; order. Sec. 20d. On the date of the hearing the court shall determine the sufficiency of the petition required by section 20a and set a date certain for trial as to the question of whether the road has become a public highway in fact or if persons do not appear to contest the action, may, upon hearing of such proofs as the court deems necessary, enter its order determining the road to be a public highway and determining the length and boundaries thereof.' and 'PUBLIC HIGHWAYS AND PRIVATE ROADS (EXCERPT) Act 283 of 1909 221.20h Acquisition of property by township by gift, purchase, or condemnation; petition; order of taking... Sec. 20h. The township may acquire property by gift, purchase, or condemnation as it deems necessary to establish a road as a public highway or for improvement of a road following a court order that the road is a public highway. For purposes of condemnation the township may proceed under Act No. 295 of the Public Acts of 1966, as amended. The complaint filed under this act, or any amendment thereof, may serve as the petition required under that act if it contains all elements required therein. An order of taking shall not be entered until a road has been determined to be a public highway.' and THE UNIFORM CONDEMNATION PROCEDURES ACT (EXCERPT) Act 87 of 1980 213.52 Standards provided; limitations; applicable laws and court rules; commencement of condemnation action; proof of taking of property; certificate of public necessity as condition of instituting judicial proceedings. Sec. 2. (1) This act provides standards for the acquisition of property by an agency, the conduct of condemnation actions, and the determination of just compensation. It does not confer the power of eminent domain, and does not prescribe or restrict the purposes for which or the persons by whom that power may be exercised. All laws and court rules applicable to civil actions shall apply to condemnation proceedings except as otherwise provided in this act. (2) If property is to be acquired by an agency through the exercise of its power of eminent domain, the agency shall commence a condemnation action for that purpose. An agency shall not intentionally make it necessary for an owner of property to commence an action, including an action for constructive taking or de facto taking, to prove the fact of the taking of the property. (3) If a private agency is required by law to secure a certificate of public necessity from the public service commission or other public agency before it may acquire property, the private agency shall not institute judicial proceedings to acquire the property until it has secured the required certificate. So... How do you, and the other state and local government representatives in the apparent "Lakeside Road Confidence Game and Property Theft" find automatic jurisdiction over private property in Michigan P.A. 283? Maybe you confused it with Baghdad P.A. 283, perhaps? "Lakeside Road has been used by the public since 1959." 8. Once again, you are repeating or inventing pure undocumented fabrication. A defined line of travel for a City Street named "Lakeside Road" is reserved to the City of Manistique, within the city limits, in the City's own recorded 1959 deed. The 375' m/l of a constantly shifting road across Mr. Burns property is no more a City Street named "Lakeside Road" than it is a Schoolcraft County road named "Burns Road", because it crosses his property, outside of the city limits, as his property is legally described and recorded in the Schoolcraft County Courthouse. "I sincerely hope that this information will be helpful to you." 8. You have provided no information, just fiction and evasion that encourages more unlawful taking and conversion of real property in the State of Michigan, and elsewhere in the country. "Sincerely, Stacy L. Erwin-Oakes Assistant Attorney General Transportation Division (517)373-0626" 9. What does it cost a paid "professional" lawyer, with the responsibilities of the Office of the Michigan Attorney General, to provide a specific reference to the legislative language that states "...any roadway that is used by the public for ten years or more automatically falls under the jurisdiction of the governing body in which the road resides...". Please provide the substantiating reference for that which you expect Burns and I to accept as a statement of faith. After seven years of wrestling with the issues, Burns and I can only conclude that you, and other government personnel specified in the documents provided you, are involved in nothing more than an institutionalized state-wide confidence game to take real estate by unlawful means, knowing that you will succeed, most of the time. The unlawful taking of property is obscured by empty claims of due process, and unsubstantiated claims of fictional jurisdiction over private property, contrary to the provisions of the U.S. Bill of Rights, the Michigan Constitution, P.A. 283, P.A. Act 51, and a host of related legislation that determines the documented legal transfer of ownership of, and jurisdiction over, real property. Instead of encouraging the impartial enforcement of existing laws, with a substantiated opinion based upon applicable law, you have, like everyone else involved in this disgusting perversion of legal authority, chosen to substitute your unsubstantiated personal opinion. Your opinion is so similar to that of Burn's telephone conversation with M.D.O.T.'s Susan Richardson, that I imagined you and Susan swapping lies over coffee, and that conversation formed the basis of your opinion. In essence, your opinions reads as gossip to support unsubstantiated M.D.O.T. claims of due process based upon false qualifications statements and documents from local government officials Mr. Burns and I have read Public Act 283 from beginning to end, and a great deal of related legislation. Both of us can state, unequivocally, based upon our current knowledge, that the statement you made, above, "...that any roadway that is used by the public for ten years or more automatically falls under the jurisdiction of the governing body in which the road resides..." is a statement of fact for which there exists no substantiation in Public Act 283. To me, your statement is nothing more than an addition to a documented litany of prior official false statements, from a variety of state, and local government officials, claiming unverifiable and unspecified whimsical sources of due process, claimed to establish government entity jurisdiction over, or ownership of, private property. Within the context of the issues covered, and as ignorant as I am, in my world, I have no substantiated reason to believe that, anywhere in this country, that any real private property automatically falls under the jurisdiction of any government entity, without lawful due process and documentation. You, as a lawyer, tell me to believe your statements of faith, in the same manner as everyone else with a voice of authority, regarding the issues considered. You are engaging in a logical fallacy to shift the responsibility of you substantiating your professional assertions, by making it necessary for others to disprove them. Relative to the issues addressed by Burns and I, you are no better than the unethical and ignorant outlaw officials that created them. No one can disprove the existence of that which does not exist. That is why tenets of religion should not be substituted for the practice, or enforcement, of law. Your version of faith, substituted for law, is why Burns, Rodman, and an unknown number of victims of government theft of property are as helpless as any Iraqi victim, as long as the public maintains a blind and continuous trust, in those that are paid to know better, and act accordingly, but refuse to do either, with impunity. My first request of the Michigan Attorney General office was: 'I request an Attorney General inquiry into why no one will provide copies of legal documents that are, to the best of my layman's knowledge, the required legal source of legal jurisdiction for any government to receive funds i.a.w. Act 51, to modify and pave a road over private property, known in Manistique as the "Lakeside Road", that extends from Wilson Street to Tannery Road, as described in various M.D.O.T. documents concerning that business.' You, and others before you, for more than seven years, have provided not one shred of relevant documentation to substantiate any government entity claim of lawful jurisdiction over that part of Burns' property across which exists a road known, informally, as the "Lakeside Road". My second request of the Michigan Attorney General office was: 'I request a copy of the legal document(s) that provide the legal jurisdiction over the road in question that M.D.O.T., the City of Manistique, the Schoolcraft County Road Commission and Manistique Township have refused to produce, after F.O.I.A. requests have been made of each entity.' You, and others before you, for more than seven years, have provided not one shred of relevant documentation to substantiate any government entity's lawful claim of jurisdiction over that part of Burns' property across which exists a road known, informally, as the "Lakeside Road". My third request of the Michigan Attorney General office was: 'I request that the ill conceived, sanctioned, and unlawfully funded Lakeside Road project be halted until the requirements of MCL 221.20a-h are complied with, and Burns is compensated for years of misery he has suffered at the hands of those whose responsibility is to care, but who don't give a damn beyond their personal and political interests.' You, and others before you, for more than seven years, have chosen to ignore that request. You, and other various government officials before you, for more than seven years, have ignored all requests for due process, i.a.w. well established legislation and case law, but instead, offer up, under the guise of due process, vague and unsubstantiated claims of rectitude. What civilized succor exists, for any State of Michigan resident of limited financial means, faced with the seizure and conversion of their property, as if they were due no more consideration than a bigot's stereotypical view of an ignorant and poor antebellum "plantation nigger", with no constitutional rights? Thank you for nothing, constructive or enlightening. Time to plead for relief from the U.S. Department of Justice, and hope that the condescending, whimsical, predatory self- serving nonsense ceases, soon. Sincerely, Peter C. Markham
At the same time I mailed my preceding response to Michigans' Assistant Attorney General, I mailed the following complaint, by certified mail, to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Peter C. Markham 416 Alger Ave. Manistique, MI 49854-1102 firstname.lastname@example.org 08/20/07 Special Litigation Section U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Special Litigation Section Washington, D.C. 20530 This complaint is filed based upon: "18 U.S.C. § 242. Deprivation of rights under color of law Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such person being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death." This complaint concerns the apparent unlawful taking and conversion of private property, and the denial or corruption of due process, under color of law, by government officials and employees of the City of Manistique, Michigan, with the full understanding and help of various local, and state government officials, employees, and entities, with the connivance of professional engineering consultants. The property is owned by Alfred J. Burns and legally described and recorded in a deed at the Schoolcraft County Courthouse, Michigan. I find it necessary, as a layman, to qualify my complaint with the term "apparent" because, as a layman, I have little more than my personal understanding of the legislation, and legal concepts that address the issues of interest to me and those property owners I perceive as victims of deliberate government sanctioned denial of due process, fraud, theft and unlawful conversion. I perceive a legitimate governmental process corrupted by personal, professional, political, business, and government interests, coupled with professional incompetence, absent ethics, held harmless by claims of government immunity, tax paid liability insurance, and tax paid legal representation decisions enforced by government police powers. I am forced to consider the term "apparent", because, it appears, almost everyone else involved in the subject of this complaint is nuts, but me. The unlawful taking was done with the documented approval, or tacit support, of various local and state government entities, and the complicit help of the agents of a regional engineering services corporation. The unlawful conversion of the property was funded by a combination of local, state and federal revenues, and the process of unlawful taking and conversion is enforced by the police powers of the government entities involved. The denial of due process was achieved by the deliberate corruption of the intent and enforcement of specific State of Michigan legislation by the documented false statements and claims of various local and state government employees and officials, sanctioned by the deliberate silence and evasion of local elected officials that were made fully aware, verbally and in print, at televised public meetings, of the concepts and details of the illegal business they sanctioned. There are two Schoolcraft County victims of specific denial and corruption of due process and the unlawful taking and conversion of their property. Alfred Burns and Terry Rodman, are without the financial means for an effective and civilized defense from those government employees and officials that plan, support, fund, and implement a de facto formal process of unlawful taking and conversion of real property, under color of law. This complaint is not about the civilized due process of existing legislation, regarding legal condemnation and acquisition of private property for an overriding public purpose. This complaint is about the institutionalized, historical, and ongoing de facto deliberate corruption and denial of due process, to justify theft and conversion of private property, from those unable, or unwilling, to protect their property and civil rights from violation by the State of Michigan, and local government entities that consider legislation concerning road building and improvement as disposable, to be replaced with official whims. This complaint concerns a specific example of the creation and sanction of a process of road building and improvement, in the State of Michigan, by those that refuse to recognize and comply with federal and state legislation created to ensure the property rights and rights of due process of its residents. Within the context of this specific complaint is my general conclusion that various government entities in Michigan claim false jurisdiction over hundreds of miles of roads in the state, for which no government entity can provide a deed, or any other lawful proof of ownership or jurisdiction, as required by Michigan law. I have no reason to conclude that the false claim of jurisdiction of the City of Manistique, over property outside its city limits, crossed by a road, is unique, in any manner. My awareness and understanding of human nature leads me to conclude that what I have documented is typical, in one form or another, of a great deal of similar government business, nation-wide. Many, if not most, individuals are helpless against this type of government sanctioned fraud, theft, and conversion, if for no other reason than hiring professional legal representation is no guarantee of the economic viability and success of a costly professional attempt to retain ownership and use of their property, by fighting a tax funded "City Hall" legal defense. Except for high value real estate neighborhoods, it is most likely that the costs, to the victim, of professional legal help, would exceed the value of the contested property, by a substantial margin. I perceive, correctly or otherwise, that personnel representing the interests of local government and the State of Michigan in the documented business I complain about, fully understand the process, and consider the odds as a gambling casino does. Within the rules of the "game", for every denial of due process, property theft, and unlawful conversion that might be contested and reversed, there are far more that remain unchallenged, or challenged ineffectively. All those that enable or sanction the denial of due process, fraud, theft, or conversion, in some manner, under color of law, benefit in various ways by the success of their efforts. Few individuals, in the private sector of the economy, have the paid legal representation, insurance, immunity from liability, and police power enforcement resources of government employees and officials. Few individuals have the luxury of being paid to abuse, with relative impunity, those that pay their wages. Relatively few "little people" have the resources to fight for what is theirs, because the economics of professional resistance are often overwhelming, and the likelihood of success against a conspiracy of paid professional deceivers is slim to none, if there is not a long term effort to document the abuse. Even with long term documentation, and all the consequential pain, grief, costs, wasted efforts, and life invested, there are still no guarantees that justice will be done. Having chosen to deal with this ugly business, I have learned to appreciate why similar victims of government abuse, in Third World countries, choose to settle such problems in a more direct manner. My complaint is based upon a seven year process that I have followed and documented, against which, to date, the victims would, in my opinion, have the ethical and moral right to resort to violence as the only available defense against deliberate victimization by those that support a corrupted governmental process based upon the premise that the product of an individual's industry is subject to be taken, at will. In a supposed civilized society, where all should be subject to the rules of law, I can imagine little worse than whimsical interpretation and application of property and due process rights, especially when they are enumerated in federal and state constitutions, and derivative legislation. To date, no government entity, with responsibility for legal policy implementation, oversight, and enforcement, has provided anything close to a candid, truthful and substantiated response to my concerns and those of Alfred Burns. Burns, a Schoolcraft County resident, has lost land to the formal denial of due process by local and state government entities who claim their legal procedures are consistent with the requirements of existing legislation, regardless of Burns' and my detailed protests to the contrary. Beyond the copies of my attached complaint to the Michigan Attorney General, the assistant Michigan Attorney General's response, and my subsequent response to the assistant Michigan Attorney General, further documentation should be available from the following listed individuals. All those listed have major involvement in the unlawful process Alfred Burns and I have documented, and all have received significant verbal or written notice during public and private meetings. The documents and verbal information we provided rebut the documented fraudulent information created or approved by them, other local government personnel, and road project "engineers". The false information created by them resulted in the corruption or denial of due process and unlawful taking and conversion of Burns' private real property, and, to the best of my limited knowledge, a substantial slice of the residential property of Terry Rodman: Sheila Aldrich Manistique City Manager 300 N Maple Street Manistique, MI 49854 906-341-2290 John Filoramo Manistique City Attorney 504 Ludington St. Escanaba MI 49829-3926 906-786-1403 David Peterson Manistique Mayor 300 North Maple Street Manistique, MI 49854 906-341-2290 Nick Bosanic Director of Department of Public Works 300 N. Maple St. Manistique, MI 49854 49854 906-341-5346 Albert Vail Manager, Schoolcraft County Road Commission P.O. Box 160 Manistique MI 49854 906-341-5634 Mike Pond Lakeside Road Project Engineer STS Consultants 1050 Wilson St. Marquette, MI 49855 906-228-2333 Tony Schomin Senior Consultant STS Consultants 1050 Wilson St. Marquette, MI 49855 906-228-2333 Susan Richardson Supervisor of Statewide Planning Section Michgan Department of Transportation M.D.O.T. B.T.P. P.O. Box 30053 Lansing, MI 48909 517-373-2117 Myron G. Frierson Bureau Director Bureau of Finance and Administration Michigan Department of Transportation P.O. Box 30050 Lansing, MI 48909 517-373-2117 Stacy L. Erwin-Oakes Assistant Attorney General Transportation Division Michigan Department of Attorney General 425 W. Ottawa Lansing, MI 48913 517-373-0626 further details of the violations of Alfred Burns' basic constitutional rights, concerning the specific legal and ethical issues of the unlawful taking and conversion of his property and denial of due process, may be obtained from: Alfred J. Burns 7059 W Tannery Rd. Manistique, MI 49854 906-341-6350 or Peter C. Markham 416 Alger Ave Manistique, MI 49854 email@example.com or http://www.manistique.org/quarry.html Concerning the general and specific issues introduced above, related to the enclosed documented details of facts, circumstances and context, I request the following: Please read my complaint related correspondence to and from the Michigan Attorney General. It provides the basic details, and context of issues ignored at the state and local levels. Regarding the documented Lakeside Road issues, by what specific legislation is it legal for state and local government entities to seize private property and convert it with local, state and federal funds, contrary to the due process of well established Michigan state law as delineated by Michigan's Public Highways and Private Roads Act 283 of 1909 and State Trunk Line Highway System Act 51 of 1951? By what specific and appropriate legal theory, or germane ethical or moral imperative, is it incumbent upon a citizen of the State of Michigan, in the United States of America, to disprove the claimed specific legal basis for seizure and conversion of their private property, by government officials, when no lawful due process, specific legal justification or legal authority is provided to justify the seizure and conversion? What viable, civilized, appropriate, and legal option does Alfred Burns, a citizen of limited financial means, have to ensure that government entities provide the documented, legal, specific, overarching need, and the documented, specific legal authority to acquire private property legally, without due process and compensation? If no viable legal option exists, for a U.S. citizen of limited means to obtain protection from those that justify the denial of due process, and the seizure and conversion of private property without lawful due process, then what effective choice exists for the victim, as an alternative to violent reprisal that one normally attributes to a liquor store owner's defense to armed robbery? Assuming that Alfred Burns and I have not imagined the reasons for the abuse we have suffered, and the costs to resist them, is there anything that the Department of Justice can do to ensure that appropriate compensation is made to us, for what I can only describe as an extended "trial by fire"? Sincerely, Peter C. Markham
The following is the beginning of a long and continuing editorial concerning my interest in the unlawful taking and conversion of private property, for a road, by the backwater community of Manistique, in Schoolcraft County, Michigan.
Unimportant News Story 1:
At the Manistique City Council meeting of 08/07/00, I witnessed Mr. Al Burns present a "bill of damages" to the City of Manistique regarding a litany of alleged expenses incurred by him as a consequence of a "Lakeside Road" on his property. At that time, Mr. Burns touched on several aspects surrounding the surveyed right-of-way of a "City" street vs. the de facto county right-of-way on his property. His voiced concerns touched on a parcel of property sold to a "Jim Miller" that was later sold to George and Elizabeth Slining and from which he stated his belief that rock was quarried and sold to the City of Manistique. I noted no response of significance from any city council member. Both City Attorney John Filoramo and City Manager Alan Housler stated their long term knowledge of Mr. Burns' claim against the City concerning a road on his property.
5. Citizen Comments:
Mr. Al Burns apologized for presenting a bill at a previous meeting without any explanation. He doesn't seem to be getting anywhere with this road situation. He then presented the Council with a map, explaining that the yellow line is City Limits, and that the pink spot is the road that the City maintains. He says that this can be done with an agreement between the City and the Road Commission, but there is no such agreement. He claims that the City is maintaining that road illegally. MRI is the only one that gains from this road. Adding that if he came and took city property, he'd go to jail. MRI is taking the rock out of the right of way. City Manager Housler says that the surveying is almost completed, and that we will schedule a meeting with them, our attorney and our people as soon as this survey is done. He hopes to resolve this by the next Council meeting. Ole Sholander says we presently maintain roads outside our corporate limits such as Clark Street and Intake Park Road. This road is on our Act 51 map, so we can get reimbursed for maintaining it. He has no legal document in his hands at the moment. Also, the School uses this road as well as MRI. If Council wants to abandon the road, that's up to them.
Unimportant News Story 2:
At the following Manistique City Council meeting of 08/21/00, Mr. Burns inquired if any action had been taken regarding the bill he submitted at the previous council meeting. I noted no council member response to Mr. Burns' inquiry, but I did note a response from City Attorney Filoramo and City Manager Housler. They denied all City responsibility and stated in no uncertain terms that the City would prove the City interest in the property in court, as necessary. The City Attorney emphasized the history of "Lakeside Road" as a public right-of-way for more than 10 years that justified the City's position that it would take the property from Mr. Burns, in court. Mr. Burns expressed his indignation to the sitting council members, and stated "It will be a court case, next week". No comment from council, administration or attorney.
Unimportant News Story 3:
09/20/00 City Manager Housler started the Manistique Township meeting with a presentation. He stated that Mr. Burns had initiated a suit against the City regarding the "misplaced" road and had included Manistique Township and the Schoolcraft County Road Commission as possible? defendants. He stated his desire that all possible defendants work together. No details concerning the suit were mentioned.
09/25/00 At the Manistique City Council meeting, I heard no mention of Mr. Burns' suit, from any one.
10. Citizen comments. Peter Markham asked the difference between an easement and a right of way on a public street. He was told that an easement gives you the right to use it, whereas a public street is owned by the government.
Had the City of Manistique addressed Mr. Burns' concerns differently, a claimed 15 year old disagreement may be history. That he and others resort to rumors and speculation to stimulate a desired City response may be due to his limited life and resources with which he attempts to seek equity from "City Hall" and Manistique Township. The City is paid to do its business; funded from comparatively limitless resources, far beyond the ability of most citizens to match in their pursuit of an apparent grievance. "Muck raking" may get Mr. Burns a hearing more fair than I witnessed. The apparent necessity of Mr. Burns to sue the City, and for he and others to speculate of reasons, may be a direct consequence of past City behaviour, for which the entire community is responsible.
I have removed all the speculative rumor driven questions, as the City of Manistique and the press have been completely silent about the subject and the questions have confused some readers. As I had the time, recently, to speak to Mr. Burns at length, and to do a little research of my own, I report Mr. Burns' position and some of the surrounding information. Comments and questions follow, based on considerably more than rumor and idle speculation. ***************************************************************
All the above may be pretty boring to most folks and certainly elicited nothing more than a "Buzz off Al, or we will take your land" message from the city council meeting of 08/21/00, as viewed from the audience. So, being a curious person who knows and understands the "Fuck him! Press on, regardless." routine, so prevalent in local politics, I will report facts and Mr. Burns' position, followed with comments and questions.
It should be noted that the validity of some of the questions depend on the answers to others. I am not a lawyer, city council, school board, ad hoc organization, influential business person, avid golfer or any of the various seats of power that control local government. I am a curious individual that believes in communication and negotiation before strife, and nothing of that sort has been evident to me, so far, regarding Mr. Burns' concerns... So...
Is Mr. Burns threatened with loss of another 20 feet of his front yard if a full 66' right-of-way road is established?
At the Manistique City Council meeting, this evening, no mention was made of Mr. Burns' right-of-way concerns.
REPORTS RELATED TO PREVIOUS ALLEGATIONS, RUMOR AND SPECULATION
latest map of a "Lakeside Road", dated 1921. It shows the north end of that right-of-way centered, approximately, on the extension of the centerline of Cataragus Street that meets the southern end of Lakeside Road, on the map, above. Measurement from the nearest quarter section line corner post at the north east corner of the cemetery property, or an actual sighting along the centerline of Cataragus Street, indicates that a significant portion of the northern end of the "Lakeside Road" mapped right-of-way, lies in city property, and has been quarried away by M.R.I., perhaps motivating the City of Manistique, with the acceptance of Manistique Township officials, to take the path of least likely legal resistance, and motivate the courts to seize Al Burns property to replace the county property converted to air, and perhaps, cash, by Manistique Rentals Inc.
The 1921 map documents fractional distances, angles, and survey reference points, etc., indicating, at minimum, a contemplated right-of-way was mapped. To be mapped it had to be considered, or it existed. Surveyed or fantasized, fact or fiction, a large hole occupies a significant portion of what is shown, on the most current detailed city map, to be the north end of Lakeside Road. The disputed north end of a road the City claims, today, to be "Lakeside Road", does not match the apparent mapped Lakeside Road location on the latest 1921 map at City Hall.
The actual north end of a right-of-way, called "Lakeside Road" by the City of Manistique, crosses Mr. Burns' front yard, in Manistique Township, completely outside the city limits of Manistique.
Mr. Burns, the City of Manistique, Manistique Township, and most everyone else knows that some form of a public right-of-way has existed in the general vicinity of the existing road known as "Lakeside Road" for over 10 years.
The City admits to maintaining and plowing the north end of a right-of-way it calls "Lakeside Road", for many years.
According to Mr. Burns, his bill of damages complaint is based on several premises.
1. The City acquired no legal jurisdiction to improve the north end of "Lakeside Road" by contract with the state or any other government entity in accordance with Michigan Compiled Laws (MCL) 247.852 Transfer of Highway Jurisdiction, or by any other legal means.
2. Widening, gravelling and grading a slab rock two-track road is improving and modifying; not maintaining or plowing.
3. Until approximately six years ago, Mr. Burns claims that the "Lakeside Road" dispute with the City of Manistique centered around public records that were at odds with the reality of the location and dimensions of the right-of-way known as "Lakeside Road" that crosses his front yard. For many years he voiced his concerns and they were ignored. The consequences of his fears were realized when the city, using heavy machinery, widened, gravelled and graded what had been for many years little more than an historical unimproved right-of-way. Mr. Burns claims to have stopped the paving of that road by a county entity, as the intent was to pave the widened and improved right-of-way, not pave the historical public right-of-way.
3. In 1990s Michigan, a city street is not created by a city government entity with heavy equipment, modifying private property, outside of the city limits, over the protestations of a county resident.
4. Mr. Burns claims that he was assured, for years, by City Manager Alan Housler, that the location of the "Lakeside Road" would be relocated to its appropriate right-of-way boundaries after a new survey. Mr. Burns witnessed a new survey taking place this past Summer. Mr. Huddleston, of the Manistique's zoning department, and Mr. Burns, claim that the new survey was done some 4 months ago yet no information from that survey is available from the city's zoning department and Mr. Huddleston stated he had seen none.
5. Mr. Burns claims that, approximately six years ago, the City of Manistique action to widen, gravel and grade the north end of "Lakeside Road" in Manistique Township, over which it has no jurisdiction to do so, caused the following:
He lost the use of more property taken by widening of the historical right-of-way, by City of Manistique employees, with City of Manistique machines.
He must contend with expenses created by constant gravel dust that did not exist when the road bed was mostly the flat native rock, similar to the right-of-way along the East side of the fenced quarry pond, near the old armory building.
There are constant expenses to clean up the rain of gravel onto his property from traffic, graders and snowplows.
The City's improvement of "Lakeside Road" made it necessary for him and the City of Manistique to incur the consequential expenses of his suit to resolve issues that should have been resolved years ago, before road work was started.
Summed up, it is Mr. Burns' contention that if the Manistique administration and city council had done their respective jobs of making sure that the historical "Lakeside Road", prior to City improvement, had been surveyed, marked and mapped correctly, as he had requested many times, then the current legal wrangling would be unnecessary and both he and the City could spend time and money on more desirable pursuits, and he wouldn't be looking at the threat of a full 66' wide paved road through his front yard.
AUTHOR'S COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS
A critical reading of the 1921 map, compared to the existing quarry, and a recent survey, indicates that part of a considered and mapped Lakeside Road right-of-way was removed. The quarried right-of-way and the closeness of the remaining quarry void may have rendered the 1921 surveyed road economically undesirable. Recorded city council minutes and original survey documentation may exist to provide corroborative evidence of Manistique City council and Manistique Township intent, or action. That intent or action was unlikely to allow part of a considered and mapped Lakeside Road right-of-way to be quarried away.
As the north end of an existing county road called "Lakeside Road" does not follow a 1921 map of a considered Lakeside Road, it is an historical right-of-way that exists in the general vicinity of the current and recently "improved" "Lakeside Road" right-of-way that splits Mr. Burns' front yard. That historical public right-of-way is not a 66' wide surveyed Manistique city street because ignorant and deceitful public officials claim it to be.
Perhaps public records exist that document Manistique City Council, or Manistique Township intent, or action, to abandon, transfer or otherwise dispose of a previously considered and mapped Lakeside Road, to expand an M.R.I. rock quarry, as the 1921 map and an existing quarried void testify took place.
Did the City of Manistique, or Manistique Township, transfer a considered and mapped Lakeside Road right-of-way to the quarry property owners so that an historic right-of-way, the "Lakeside Road", that divides Mr. Burns' property somehow became a legal boundary for that quarry property described below, in October of 1986? If the 1921 mapped Lakeside Road right-of-way was not transferred, why was part of it quarried away by Manistique Rentals Inc.?
Did the City pay, in 1921, for the mapping of a Lakeside Road right-of-way because of a whim of administration or council to view the consequences of considering and mapping a fictitious right-of-way? Was the consideration, planning and mapping of a city Lakeside Road done while the city owned part or all of the property, before selling it with right-of-way reservations? Is there another actual scenario, concerning this public business, that cannot be stated in public because of national security, or is it City of Manistique policy to remain silent if the "right" question is not asked, or to claim a bogus attorney-client privilege of silence?
Should Mr. Burns have to burden the expense, to prove, in court, that he is being abused by an apparently callously indifferent and likely deceitful City government? Are the issues surrounding his concerns imaginary? When was he given a fair hearing and what was done? Are City records missing or in such disarray that the City administration was helpless to make a reasonable, responsible and substantiated decision regarding his concerns over the past fifteen years? Was a city attorney statement, to use the courts to settle the issue, the appropriate response to a citizen's complaint brought to Manistique City Council for the first time?
What is wrong with the menacing response of the city manager and legal counsel to a local resident's first time public complaint to a mute city council? Who determines policy? Who administers it?
Regardless of all subsequent speculation, allegations, denials and reticence, documentation exists that indicates Mr. Burns has more than enough reason to believe he is being abused by the City of Manistique, and he and city taxpayers must bear the cost of fighting Manistique "City Hall" personnel that are payed to take his property.
Why was it necessary for Mr. Burns to sue the City of Manistique?
Does city administration, counsel and council hope to develop an improved road that, if uncontested in court for a period of years, will become a new and improved city or county road at the expense of Mr. Burns and his neighbors?
Why does a quarry void exist in a mapped Lakeside Road right-of-way?
Is the City's insistence to keep the current City improved right-of-way across Mr. Burns' front yard the path of least resistance to solve a problem that has its roots in a city administration failure, to hold accountable an influential local business that converted public property?
Why is the City and news media so silent?
Does open government hide an issue that dates back many years?
Did the "Lakeside Road" affair prompt City Council to go into executive session, three of the last four council meetings, without a prior public statement as to the nature of the executive session business, or details, after each session, or later?
As a city councilman I never knew of Mr. Burns' complaints. As a resident, I never heard mention of them at innumerable public meetings I attended. Now I wonder how many more similar festering disagreements exist(ed) that help justify the cynical view of local government by many Manistique city residents.
With far more reason than rest room rumors, this inquiring mind still wants to know.
Anyone at home?
I have yet to hear a public word concerning the issues, above.
An unofficial report indicates the City of Manistique will ask a judge for a summary disposition of the case, December 14, 2000 at 1:30 p.m. at the Schoolcraft County Courthouse.
The hearing for a summary disposition, before 11th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Stark, occurred 12/14/00. I was unable to attend the hearing but was told by Mr. Burns that Judge Stark dismissed the suit and declared the contested right-of-way a highway-by-use, based, primarily, on two facts.
1. The "Lakeside Road" is an historical public right-of-way for many years.
2. A sworn deposition from Oliver Sholander, Superintendent of the Department of Public Works (DPW) for the City of Manistique, which states, among other things,:
Para.5 "Said map is used to determine which roads the City of Manistique will maintain under a contract it has with the State of Michigan."
Para.8 "The City of Manistique is under a contracted obligation to maintain the road in question under its contract with the State of Michigan."
The Judge's order for dismissal remains at the County Clerk's office waiting for his signature that may come on or after 01/11/01. At 01/11/01, at 2:45 PM, Judge Stark will consider a motion for rehearing or consideration filed by Mr. Burns.
AUTHOR'S COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS
I have no reason to believe an historical right-of-way becomes a Manistique city street with a right-of-way of 33 feet both sides of the centerline; by simple judicial decision, or city attorney assertion. M.D.O.T. regulations, Michigan state law, federal law and common sense suggest a more appropriate procedure. An extreme analogy would be an indian foot trail that is changed to an interstate highway, by judicial decree. I can accept that Judge Stark insured the public's interest in maintaining the historic right-of-way, by decision, but that fact was never contested, or questioned, by Mr. Burns.
Mr. Burns has a very real problem, ignored by Stark, that has little to do with the unimproved historical right-of-way that existed for years. That problem, detailed in Burns' pleadings, was the modification to the historical right-of-way made by the City of Manistique, with no legal authority to do so, while Manistique Township, and Schoolcraft County officials looked on, and did nothing. Burns' problem is not the loss of property, due to an historical right-of-way that existed when he assumed ownership of the property, but the de-facto seizure of his adjacent property when the City of Manistique made a road of little more than a two-track right-of-way, instead of reclaiming the property from Manistique Rentals Inc. that was an existing and mapped road.
I have no reason to believe that a map of certified street types and an illegal contract with M.D.O.T. state for Michigan Transportation Fund(ing), M.T.F., for road plowing and maintenance, gives the city jurisdiction to modify the north end of "Lakeside Road". That end of the "road" is completely out of the city limits and to the best of my knowledge, no record exists of any court order to make it a public road, or any appropriate transfer of jurisdiction, or permit, granting any authority to the City of Manistique, or the Schoolcraft County Road Commission, to modify that north section of the road that exists outside of the city limits.
I have every reason to believe that Mr. Al Burns has been disenfranchised of his right to a fair hearing by elected, appointed and judicial officials, as a southern black man would have, not too many generations ago, when white folk wanted his property, for nothing.
I have reason to believe that Judge Stark based his decision on City Attorney Filoramo's argument, giving less consideration to the plaintiff Al Burns' pleadings. I understand, perhaps mistakenly, that it is the lack of validity of the plaintiff's pleadings that should form the basis of a dismissal order; not the defendant's. I thought it is the plaintiff's right to a fair trial that should be considered, not the City's right to obfuscate, bamboozle, deceive, intimidate, and otherwise abuse a plaintiff and, likely, to mislead a judge.
Is Mr. Al Burns, Schoolcraft County's version of a southern black man, to be made an example of to keep his kind in line?
I attended the hearing of Mr. Burns' motion for rehearing or consideration, today. Judge Stark graciously pointed out to Mr. Burns that since they both agreed that the last hearing did include Mr. Burns' various pleadings, Mr. Burns had no basis to question the Judge's order to dismiss the suit. After that agreement, he stated that he was willing to hear the arguments of why the court should reconsider the motion.
After listening to Mr. Burns' pleadings, Judge Stark stated that the Court could not find, from Mr. Burns' pleadings, any palpable error that would justify reversal of the Court's judgement. The Judge continued that his final judgement disposed of all the issues in the pleadings and his original order to dismiss Mr. Burns' suit remained as written, with additional language that indicates the order disposes of all the issues that were framed by the case. He pointed out that Mr. Burns would be able to pursue an appeal, if he chose to.
Later, I hope to include details of Mr. Burns' pleadings to Judge Stark, that countered the claims by the City of Manistique through its legal representative, City Attorney John Filoramo.
When the hearing of 01/11/01 ended, I had the impression that the City of Manistique told the judge that it had the right to sell the Brooklyn Bridge, and he agreed. Any claims to the contrary changed nothing, as the procedure by which they were considered was without fault and the judge's opinion was law. I considered the 11th Judicial Circuit Court decision had a greater appreciation for position and procedure than facts, legislation, truth, reason and logic. I guess Al Burns trials and tribulations might bring a smile to Galileo's lips. (As my understanding of the details of the law and procedures grew, my appreciation for Stark's decision changed from a generally negative one, to a markedly positive one.)
As one who read Mr. Burns' pleadings, I fail to understand how Judge Stark's decision to call the improved historical right-of-way, a highway-by-use, addresses any of Mr. Burns' documented pleadings regarding the illegal and notorious manner that the City of Manistique had seized Mr. Burns' property to widen an undeveloped right-of way, instead of the 1921 mapped road. I also fail to understand how a 66' wide surveyed road, that runs through a quarried void, becomes a legal 66' wide City of Manistique street, through Mr. Burns' front yard, as claimed by City of Manistique attorney, John Filoramo.
On 01/08/01 I went to Manistique City Hall and spoke to City Manager Alan Housler about my interest in the case and I requested to see the claimed "contract" that gave the City of Manistique the authority to modify the north end of "Lakeside Road" that lies in Manistique Township, outside of the city limits. I was shown a map of state certified streets that shows roads categorized for various reasons, including substantiation of claims for maintenance funding from the State of Michigan, in accordance with Public Act 51. When I pointed out that the map was just that, and did not look or read like a contract or document that gave the City the right to modify a road outside of the city limits, Mr. Housler told me that it was his understanding that City Attorney Filoramo had determined its relevance to forming the City's claimed contract, along with other Public Act 51 requirements.
After reading various sections of, Michigan Public Act 51 of 1951 and Michigan Compiled Laws, as amended, (MCL) 247.852, and the Michigan Dept of Transportation Web Page, I concluded, months ago, that the City of Manistique's claim to a contractual obligation with the State of Michigan is moot, as the City has no jurisdiction of an eligible authority concerning the modification of the north end of "Lakeside Road", and, to the best of my knowledge, never had one that was more than a nod and a wink, from any authority that has jurisdiction.
If the City of Manistique has authority and jurisdiction more relevant than Mr. Sholander's deposition, why is it that it has not been produced to support the City's case before Judge Stark, Mr. Burns' request for such authority and jurisdiction, and my queries of City Manager Housler?
I have no reason to believe that making "Lakeside Road" a public road by fair means, or foul, gives the City of Manistique any more legal jurisdiction over the north end of that road than it had before; which to the best of my knowledge is nothing more than a baseless claim from Oliver Sholander, Superintendent of the Department of Public Works (DPW) for the City of Manistique. It is still Mr. Burns' contention that the City had no right to seize his property, modify the historic right-of-way, or trash his property, and I still agree with him.
Best I can tell, Manistique D.P.W. supervisor Oliver Sholander claimed the City of Manistique had the right to maintain, plow, improve, move and otherwise modify the north end of an historic right-of-way known as the "Lakeside Road", based on a contract that granted no jurisdiction or authority for the city to modify an historic county right-of-way into a city street. City Attorney, John Filoramo, offered that contract to Judge Stark Stark as a source of authority and jurisdiction. The judge opined that as a consequence of the City's contentions, Mr. Burns' pleadings were of no consequence. The Manistique City Council concurred, by default, as no word of dissent was voiced. Al Burns and Schoolcraft County taxpayers pay the bill.
It is now Al Burns' choice to bear the burden of appealing the consequences of the above. If he proceeds with an appeal, it will take a lot more courage to do the right thing than has been evident from local government officials, relative to this affair.
While in Escanaba, today, I stopped by the Superior Region Michigan Department of Transportation Office in Escanaba and spoke to a gentleman named Ray Roberts, Assistant Operations Engineer to whom I was referred when I inquired, by telephone, of authority and jurisdictional matters. We spoke of road certification maps, M.D.O.T. contracts to maintain and plow streets and the source of authority and jurisdiction to do so.
He told me, in no uncertain terms, that no authority or jurisdiction to maintain other than state trunk line roads came from M.D.O.T.. He stated road certification maps are used by each jurisdictional authority to file for state maintenance and plowing funds based on the miles of specific types of roads certified on those maps. He stated that Public Act 51, the "bible" of M.D.O.T., determines the procedure for establishing, maintaining and transferring jurisdiction over various networks of roads by governmental units, such as state, county, city, village, etc.
I mentioned the pertinent details of the Manistique claim to derive authority and jurisdiction over modifying the north end of "Lakeside Road", from the certification map and the associated contract for road maintenance, plowing and reimbursement, from the State of Michigan. Once again he told me that no authority or jurisdiction to modify a road was derived from that map, as the State's interest in the procedure was to insure that appropriate maintenance, plowing and funding is accomplished, for eligible trunk line roads, regardless of the specific governmental authority that does the work.
Should I conclude that the City of Manistique distills some of its policy from imagination; or from the alcohol vapors of select employees?
Are lies justified by ignorance?
For those City of Manistique officials that wish to take a closer look at the authority and jurisdictional issue, about which Mr. Burns' claims revolve, you might read the following for clues.
"Transfer of mileage between jurisdictions
Road mileage may be transferred between jurisdictional entities. That is, a county or city may transfer a road to the state, or the state may transfer a road to a city or county, as long as certain conditions are met; see Act 296 of 1969 (MCL 247.851-247.861). Also, a city or village may request that a county primary road within its boundaries be placed under its jurisdiction; if the county road commission refuses, the decision can be appealed to the Transportation Commission. [Sec. 12c]
M.D.O.T. keeps track of the mileage transferred from each jurisdiction to every other jurisdiction. We also calculate a per-mile average worth annually, and jurisdictions receiving mileage then get a corresponding transfer in their M.T.F. payments. [Sec 10a]"
That selection may be found, complete within the parent document, at:
which in turn refers to the actual legislation I provided links to, above.
It does not require a college degree to locate, read and comprehend what is going on. A vivid imagination, a casual disregard for the truth and the ability to tip a bottle are not required.
This issue will not go away with a judge's order and, unlike newspaper articles, long forgotten if reported, is available to anyone, anywhere, anytime, at the press of a button. This issue, like other community issues as the old M-94 landfill, the "30 year" water tower, the "20 year" sewer plant, the recent water and sewer fund embezzlement, etc., has its roots in ignorance, inattention to detail and the conscious efforts by some government officials to avoid the responsibility of detail required to assure accountability, minimize squandering community assets and to give the general electorate, just and competent representation.
In the late '80s I moved into the City of Manistique and took an interest in its casual and bizarre government. By 1991 I had reached the conclusion that if Manistique was an airplane, it would have crashed into Lake Michigan, with the loss of all aboard. I have seen some marked improvement, but if it took off this afternoon I have no reason to believe it would not crash, again.
At the City Council meeting of 01/28/02, it became increasingly apparent why no one in city government wants to give Mr. Burns due process.
Much of that council discussion centered on the local roads and sewers surrounding the proposed consolidated middle school. That proposed site is just north of the current Lakeside School site at the corner of Cataragus and Oak Streets. Mr. Groh, superintendent of schools, mentioned, while addressing council, that it was a new school design consideration to have the main entrance and exit of vehicles on to Cataragus St., and from there much of the traffic would proceed to the Tannery Road, along a future improved and paved road.
There is only one road that fits that intent; the bastard right-of-way that crosses Mr. Burns' front yard. The same public right-of-way that has never become a city street or county road, i.a.w. well established law, MCL221.20a-h.
Act 283 of 1909, of which the definition, MCL 221.20, is a small part, includes the following that relates to the establishment of legal governmental authority and jurisdiction:
MCL 221.20a Declaration of road as public highway; consent; petition; action in circuit court; order; purchase or condemnation. [M.S.A. 9.21(1) ], ...
which, with further elaboration by MCL 221.20b-h, spells out the required provisions by which a highway-by-use becomes a public highway, subject to the jurisdiction of specific government entities.
Regardless of Judge Stark's decision, or the decision of the Michigan Court of Appeals to uphold Stark's decision, what has happened is the equivalent of hanging an innocent man. I can only speculate of reasons, because those city officials involved have refused to speak, publicly, other than the City Manager Housler's public declaration that the City's position was vindicated, in court. To the best of my knowledge, not one elected official has made one comment, concerning the entire saga.
At this time, I have no reason to believe that anyone associated with Manistique Area Schools has the vaguest understanding of the issues involved, or cares. At this time, I have every reason to believe that no member of city government, that helps to determine policy, is ignorant of the issues involved, unless legal counsel, the city manager and the supervisor of the D.P.W. have kept them ignorant, deliberately.
As I am for the school proposal, I will say nothing that may jeopardize the forthcoming election. As I understand, completely, the outlaw manner in which the City of Manistique has chosen to handle the "Lakeside Rd." issue, I intend to make it a public issue, at every appropriate opportunity, after the election.
At the Manistique City Council, this evening, a new agenda item, concerning Lakeside Road, was added by City Manager Sheila Aldrich, at the start of business. In short, she said that design changes had been made to accommodate the runoff from the new Emerald Elementary School, and council approval was needed to further the planned road improvements. As the late addition of that agenda item assured that Mr. Burns had no opportunity to respond, after adequate public notice, I addressed his concern, briefly, during the following public comment period.
I stepped to the microphone and asked council members if there were any concerns about the consequences of improving a road that ran through Schoolcraft County resident Al Burns' front yard. Manistique City Attorney John Filoramo spoke up immediately, and said, "The matter has been settled in court. It is city property." No council member responded to my query.
I thanked council, and returned to my chair.
4. Lakeside Road Contract. Manager Aldrich. City Council has approved a project for Lakeside Road. We have already approved STS as the engineering firm to handle that project. Mike Pond from STS Engineering will be the project manager and engineer, in reviewing the school plans, Mike has been working with the City and the School and has designed a road that would eliminate the north retention bed. Mike has designed a road that would drain to the east beyond the current residences and protect the residences in that area. With this comes an increase in design engineering and construction. Please find Mike's letter explaining this process and the cost. We have been in contact with the School Superintendent, Esther Mudge, about the elimination of the retention bed and about this added cost. It is our understanding that the school would like to eliminate the bed and would be willing to absorb some of those costs with the reduction in cost from eliminating their retention bed. At this point we need to give Mike Pond some direction on the design of this road. We would like to proceed with the new design and would need Council approval to do so. What we would like to do is to buy back the Task Force dollars, let STS design the road, and build it with the help of Schoolcraft County Road Commission and City of Manistique employees. We can build this road with a group effort for substantially less than bidding it out in the normal MDOT fashion. STS would still design and oversee construction and sign off on the completed road.
8. Citizen Comments.
Peter Markham, 416 Alger. Ave. His comments were regarding Lakeside Road and Al Burns' property line dispute. Attorney Filoramo advised him that this issue has been resolved through the Michigan Court of Appeals.
How Manistique Rentals Inc. legally quarried and converted property, out of a city street or county road owned by the City of Manistique, or Schoolcraft County, without paying for it, while all local governments watched, is a mystery, to me. I could guess that all public officials remained silent, because they knew the city and county did not own any of the property, and they wanted to watch a Manistique City Attorney make a horse's ass of himself when he claimed the road was owned by the city.
How Mr. Burns' property became legal City of Manistique property, with no attempt by city government to reach an agreement with, or to compensate Mr. Burns, before or after Judge Stark's decision, and over Mr. Burns' heroic protestations, is a mystery to me. I am of the opinion that if none of it was deliberate, then all those involved are little better than chimpanzees with car keys, because chimpanzees might claim reasonable ignorance of such matters.
What I perceive is the same attorney that represents the City's choice to seize Mr. Burns' property, for an improved "Lakeside Road", to substitute for the surveyed right-of-way quarried away by M.R.I., is the same attorney that represented City of Manistique residents' interests in the contamination liability incurred by all City of Manistique residents, as a consequence of M.R.I.'s operation of the old M94 landfill. What I understand is - regarding both issues, involving the same judge, city attorney, and influential local business - that M.R.I. is guiltless and profits, while others pay for the consequences.
Personally, I find it reprehensible that the City of Manistique resorts to strong-arm tactics to achieve its ends, before civilized negotiation regarding the merits of any particular piece of city business. What makes this particular piece of business so much worse than others, that I am aware of, is it involves violating a ton of legislation regarding basic property rights; ignored by past and current city council, administration, and legal counsel - today, lead by an ex-lawman mayor and a city manager who brags about her righteous background, education, and ethical behavior.
If anyone with legal clout, sees a paycheck in resolving this issue, to Mr. Burns' benefit, I suspect he might want to hear from you. I have little doubt there is money to be made.
Mr. Burns stopped by to pay me a visit, this morning. He brought with him some copies of existing State of Michigan legislation, regarding the establishment of public roads subject to the jurisdiction of various government entities. He also expressed his thanks for a recent editorial I wrote regarding the ownership of the existing Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital. While reading that editorial, he realized that the same issue of proof of ownership vs. related claims, likely applied to a 1921 survey map that included a right-of-way labelled Lakeside Road, as it did to conflicting claims surrounding the Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital.
To the best of my knowledge, no one, at any time that I am aware of, ever referred to recorded deed documents, in the name of the City of Manistique, regarding any claim of the city to modify any property upon which the Lakeside Road was surveyed. The point being, a survey or map does not make a road, or transfer the ownership of, or establish jurisdiction over, any property. As far as I am concerned, no legal title to a surveyed property labelled "Lakeside Road" exists in anyone's name, and it definitely does not exist for that part of an historic right-of-way that the City of Manistique chose to modify, unilaterally, through Mr. Burns' front yard.
As far as I know, the City of Manistique never owned or obtained recorded title, by any means, fair or foul, to the private property that extends into Schoolcraft County across which a public-right-of-way known as the "Lakeside Road" was mapped. So, by what authority does it choose to spend $437,647 of tax money to make capital improvements to private property? This strikes me as a variation of recent planned idiocy to improve a north Cedar Street right-of-way, owned by David Warshawsky, with grant funding that required local government ownership of the property.
Do you 'spose that means; no ownership, no money! Might it mean no ownership, no city street? Is it possible that Mr. Burns will receive just compensation for all the apparently malicious official abuse and aggravation? This ignorant Manistique resident wants to know.
Regarding this entire ugly business, the 2001 State of Michigan Court of Appeals decision affirmed, in the first paragraph, that the City of Manistique has no immunity from "...the allegations contained in plaintiff's complaint...".
Now, after ignoring the facts of the matter, for seven more years, do local government officials and the City of Manistique remain immune to prosecution for gross negligence? I know that Al Burns never went away. I know that I never went away. I know the issues never went away. I know that public documentation of the issues never went away. I know the issues are more important now, than ever. So who's fault is it, that basic issues of property rights and due process have been ignored, and all public officials still ignore the facts and still rely on nothing more than unsubstantiated claims to justify their positions regarding a mythical City of Manistique street known as "Lakeside Road", that crosses Burns' property?
Yoo! Hoo! - Anyone at home? It is time to wake up Manistique City Attorney John Filoramo. Here is a chance for his law firm to suck up more Manistique City taxpayer revenue as he helps to create another "Lakeside Road" that is a little more tangible and credible than the fictitious Manistique city street, "Lakeside Road", manufactured by the partnership of Filoramo, Housler, and Sholander.
Until all the appropriate legislated requirements are met, I have no reason to believe any unsubstantiated claim, by any representative of the City of Manistique, that the right-of-way known as Lakeside Road, is a Manistique city street known as Lakeside Road. I do not see the "Emperor's New Clothes", again, and until I do, I will consider all unsubstantiated protests to the contrary, as lies, and the sources of such statements as liars.
A survey or a map does not establish a right-of-way. An existing historic right-of-way does not become a Manistique city street, or a Schoolcraft County road, because Manistique City Attorney Filoramo proclaims it as such. An historic right-of-way does not become a Manistique City street, or Schoolcraft County road because Manistique City Attorney Filoramo claims that Judge Stark proclaimed it so.
An historic right-of-way may be made a public road, if Judge Stark wishes it to be, i.a.w. MCL requirements. But who cares? There was never any contention, by Mr. Burns, that it couldn't! (Not that such a contention would have had any effect.)
Mr. Burns' valid contention remains, that the historic right-of-way, known as "Lakeside Road", that crosses his front yard, is not a Manistique city street or a Schoolcraft County road. It is, today, nothing more than the road the city made from a trail, as Mr. Burns contends, and against his will. I have travelled over Burns' property, at any time I wished, at Burns' pleasure, as long as I did not trespass or create damage beyond the boundaries of the contended travelled portion of the road.
Beyond the right to travel upon the original trail, with Burns' implicit permission, to the best of my knowledge, no local authority has ever established any legal basis to modify it, at the expense of anyone, including those who own the private property, across which the historic right-of-way traversed. Had the city not made the original two-track into a road, and, instead, improved the city street named Lakeside Road with a defined and recorded line of travel, there would be no problem.
At the moment, from my perspective, the plans to improve Lakeside Road are worthless, if for no other reason than, to the best of my knowledge, no government entity has ever produced title to the road, or legal documents giving the City of Manistique, and Schoolcraft County, the right of "eminent domain", or any other appropriate jurisdictional authority, over the various pieces of private property, so that improvements can begin. All local government entities, that I am aware of, chose to ignore more civilized, appropriate, well established and legal alternatives; and no one took the first legal action required to condemn the various pieces of property, or to obtain a more civilized alternative authority to modify Lakeside Road!
Not only that, but what is the fair market value of the Lakeside Road, tomorrow? The latest $437,000 guesstimate includes no purchase of property, or mounting legal expenses. Who gets to pay for the latest local lunacy, and how much?
Did anyone, other than Al Burns and I, do any homework? Are we the lamers-of-record that have yet to figure it out? Is there a fistful of completed legal documents that give the City of Manistique the jurisdiction and authority to proceed? Does everyone else know, but us? This inquiring mind wants to know. The suspense has kept me awake at nights, for the last seven years!
A person regarded as inept or ineffectual."
The right of a government to appropriate private property for public use, usually with compensation to the owner."
I think the general definitions, above, help to make my point.
I offered the following editorial letter to the local Pioneer Tribune newspaper. It was published in the 03/22/07 edition, with a few minor changes by the editor, with my approval.
"At the Manistique City Council meeting of 03/12/07, Manistique City Attorney Filoramo stated that the "Lakeside Road", crossing Mr. Alfred Burns' property, was City of Manistique property. I have never seen any legal instrument that substantiates Filoramo's claim, and I have no reason to believe that any Manistique government or administrative official can produce one that substantiates the claim.
Having waited seven years for substantiation, with no documents forthcoming, I consider Filoramo's assertion a lie, and City Council's silence as default approval.
I believe Mr. Burns' contention that the historic right-of-way, known as "Lakeside Road", is not a Manistique city street or a Schoolcraft County road. With no documentation to the contrary, it is nothing more than a right-of-way, as Mr. Burns has always contended. Judge Stark said it meets the definition requirements of a public road, i.a.w. MCL 221.20, over which I may travel, at any time I wish, as long as I do not trespass, or create damage, beyond the boundaries of the historic right-of-way. All may travel a highway-by-use, as I do, but none had, or has, an arbitrary right to modify it; because it is still nothing more than a right-of-way, until an MCL defined legal process is followed to make it a public road, or a city street, or a county road.
To the best of my knowledge, Manistique never obtained any legal authority to modify a road known as "Lakeside Road", at the expense of anyone; that includes the recent $437,000 guesstimate to improve it, further. Regardless of a myriad of other legal requirements, I am completely unaware of any effort, by any government entity, to produce any title to, or any other documented legal authority to modify, any of the private property the public road crosses.
I never heard of, or read, anything that indicated the City of Manistique made any effort to change that right-of-way to a public road or Manistique city street, in accordance with well established state law. A 1921 survey map of a considered Lakeside Road, is just that, and that survey map is not of the existing right-of-way across Burns' property.
For the public record, I would like to see, at the next Manistique City Council meeting, copies of the documents that record the City of Manistique's ownership of the "Lakeside Road", and the documents that grant legal authority to the City of Manistique to modify that right-of-way, within and beyond the city limits.
I am tired of looking for the pea, and listening to deceivers.
I attended the Manistique City Council meeting this evening, with the intent of reading the following, without the included email. I intended to read the first half during the early public comment period of the agenda, and the last half during the late public comment period. Approximately 3 1/2 minutes into the first half, I was asked to stop when I was unable to tell Mayor David Peterson how long it would take. There were no issue related comments or questions from any member of council, or anyone else. I took my seat in the audience.
The Lakeside Road issue was included, as an agenda item, and, from my perspective, Al Burns made a great presentation, referencing the issues and the law. Even though it was obvious, to me, that some councilpersons' eyes were glazing over, I got the impression that Al provided enough detail to fill out the general concepts that I spoke of, during the first public comment, and in an earlier editorial letter published in the Pioneer Tribune newspaper. After Al's presentation, I was aware of no comments or questions from council, or anyone else. Al took his seat in the audience.
I was informed, later, that Mayor Peterson did make a brief and subdued comment. I missed it, but I will try to obtain a good quote, or paraphrase.
Before I started to speak, at the second public comment period, I was told by Mayor Peterson that I had 3 minutes. I stated that I would like to see that policy, in writing, and proceeded to finish the first half, after which I took my seat in the audience. There were no issue related comments or questions from any member of council, or anyone else.
At the end of the council meeting, I asked City Manager Sheila Aldrich to provide all council members a copy of my intended early and late comments.
To finish what I was denied, here is all that I intended to say, including the email, if the city manager chose to claim ignorance.
"On 08/21/00, I witnessed Alfred Burns bring, for the first time, the issues of trespass, damage and illegal conversion of his property, before Manistique City Council, and I witnessed council's silent approval of City Attorney Filoramo's menacing response of "The City will take your property, in court, if necessary."
It does not require a degree in any particular discipline to understand the implicit threat in Filoramo's response. In the context of the threat, it does not require any more than a junior high school education to understand the blatant disregard of historic precedents. It took nothing more than knowing that Filoramo's threat, and the history behind it, is not an activity the community, or Manistique City Council members, should sanction; but they did.
For how many years can City Council-folk, and administrative personnel, claim a plea of incompetence, ignorance, and foolishness, to evade legal responsibility for what, in other venues, would be considered the consequence of gross negligence that supported the deliberate attempts to deprive Al Burns of his civil rights and due process?
Nothing, surrounding the sequence of events, is accidental.
Since 2000, with the subsequent public record, and, today, with this public notice, I have reason to believe that, today, any continuation of the equivalent of a malicious shell game, makes all involved liable, in court. The continuous shell game is an act of deliberate fraud, designed to separate Burns, and other property owners, from their property, without due process and compensation. No part of the game was accidental.
From my perspective, there were three primary architects of the City's choice to hurt Mr. Burns: past City Manager Alan Housler, past Director of Manistique D.P.W., Oliver Sholander, and current Manistique City Attorney, John Filoramo. No part of their involvement was accidental.
Regarding the intellectual process chosen by the city to victimize Mr. Burns, it is pure malice, to force him to try and disprove that which does not exist. On the international scene, North Vietnam and Iraq failed, and on the local scene, Doug Erickson, Al Burns and I have failed, too often, because, in an apathetic community, short of violence, there is no way to counter leaders that ignore and evade issues, and engage in sophistry and lies, with electorate approval.
Mr. Burns was lied to, and lied about, by Manistique city officials and employees. He was burdened with the task of proving that Lakeside Road was not a Manistique city street, or a Schoolcraft County road, as various paid officials claimed it to be, in one form or another; with no substantiated basis in fact or law to support their claims.
It is a thankless and impossible task, to disprove that which does not exist.
It is a logical fallacy, and political lunacy, to assume that something is true unless proven otherwise.
It is nothing more than a statement of faith to claim that something is true unless proven otherwise.
It is inappropriate, and political lunacy, that, to a significant degree, local government is based upon the tenets of faith.
It is inappropriate, and political lunacy, that legal counsel to local government is based, too often, upon the tenets of faith.
Regarding issues of a rational world, it is the responsibility of those that assert something to be true, to provide the objective, relevant and specific substantiation for their claim.
Regarding issues of the rational world, it is the responsibility of those that question, to provide rational justification for their queries.
Generally speaking, in the U.S., regarding most issues of the rational world, it is the ethical responsibility of elected officials to ensure open, responsible and objective government, not to pay a lawyer to lie, and bury the consequences of official laziness, ignorance and foolishness. The oath of office for most elected positions, includes upholding the laws of the land.
I am here, this evening, to see the substantiation of Manistique City Attorney, John Filoramo's claim, that, at the last city council meeting, the highway-by-user, called Lakeside Road, was, and still is, owned by the city. He claimed it to be, with the city's silent approval, so, this evening, I expect to see the substantiation of his claim, and, subsequently, I expect to be the lamer-or-record; or Mr. Filoramo will be the liar-of-record, and city council his second, concerning a piece of Manistique city business that no one wants to discuss.
I understood Filoramo's 08/21/00 words as the equivalent of the classic sci-fi line of an implacable enemy, with no vestige of civility. "Prepare to be sodomized. Resistance is futile." It was quite obvious, to me, that Mr. Burns did not miss the meaning. On 03/12/07 I understood Filoramo to say "Mr. Burns has been forcefully sodomized. He will accept and enjoy it."
This evening, I am here with the expectation that City Attorney John Filoramo will be eulogized in recognition of his success to promote and enhance Manistique's successful forceful political sodomy skills; or a motion will be made, and passed, to fire him, for promoting forceful political sodomy, as I have documented and publicized, for seven years.
Subject: Where is the recorded title?
Date sent: Fri, 16 Mar 2007 15:11:24 -0400
Send reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Assuming that the City of Manistique never owned, annexed or purchased any of the private property that extends into Schoolcraft County across which the Lakeside Road right-of- way was surveyed, then by what authority does it choose to spend $437,647 of tax money to make capital improvements to private property?
This strikes me as a variation of prior idiocy to improve a North Cedar Street right-of-way, owned by Dave Warshawsky, with grant funding that required government ownership of the property.
If you want a perspective, from other than those that have chosen to be ignorant, unethical and bent, give some consideration to the content of:
Who knows, it might be helpful.
I have seldom had a favorable opinion of City Attorney Filoramo, since I first watched him nodding off during city council meetings, in the early 90's. As time progressed, I came to understand, and condemn, much of the City of Manistique attorney related business, that I knew of, until 08/21/00. On the evening of that day, my opinion escalated from condemnation of legal business, alone, to include condemnation of the individuals involved. At that time it became obvious, to me, that the lack of ethics evident, to me, in past city business, reflected the lack of ethics of the city manager, legal counsel, and assorted Manistique city government and administration officials.
As I help to pay for every city employee, including contracted legal assistance, I will not accept, quietly, hired professional legal help, and guidance, with the same absence of ethical attributes as too many elected public officials, and employees. Ignorant, lazy, and unethical government employees coupled with ignorant, lazy, unethical elected officials, creates the basis for a form of government little better than those of most Third World countries I have lived in. To have Manistique legal counsel that, as far as I am concerned, has more in common with criminals, than victims, is, as I see it, criminal, itself. My perspective is not unique.
It is no coincidence that Shakespeare is remembered, by many, not for the poetry born of raging hormones, but the poetry born of cynicism for those that practice in the shadow of the bar. His line, "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers." from the play, Henry VI, is one that I appreciate for its humorous context and insight, and, for one lawyer, I have reasons to appreciate Shakespeare's advice, literally, to counter the pervasive corrupting political behavior that I perceive Filoramo fosters, and community leaders accept.
Perhaps, firing him would be a more appropriate option. At this point, I would not shed a tear over his charred body, but would, instead, rejoice.
As far as I am concerned, it is long past time for the City of Manistique to terminate Filoramo's employment with the city, with prejudice, and hire an ethical and competent attorney.
So, who pays for this round of Schoolcraft County's favorite game of "Anarchy and Foolishness", hidden behind the silence of apathy, ignorance, evasion, lies and false attorney-client privilege. Does anyone care enough to speak up, at this open public meeting, and recognize their part in a continuing saga of deceit and evasion, that I must pay for. Is there anyone in Manistique city government and administration, that has enough courage and conviction to justify, in public, their part in this disgusting saga, that, to date, all have ignored or denied.
Needless to say, after seven years, still no comment!
7. Al Burns - Lakeside Road Ownership. Manager Aldrich. Mr. Al Burns has requested that he be placed on the agenda to discuss Lakeside Road. Mr. Burns has indicated to me that he would like to see Council make changes in the layout of Lakeside Road. Mr. Burns would like to see Lakeside Road straightened to extend straight north from Cattaragus Avenue as he has indicated that this is the way it was platted and should be. This issue came up several years ago and actually went through the court system. Please see attached the documentation to support that case. Attorney Filoramo has been made aware of this issue and will address it at the meeting. I have also attached for your review copies from our original plat book that show Lakeside Road. Mr. Burns addressed Council and presented them with the information he referred to. In his closing remarks, he stated that he will file another court action if the City tries to build a road there. He was advised by Mayor Peterson that the City will take a look at all of this.
11. Citizen Comments. Peter Markham, 416 Alger Ave. He continued with his prepared text. He would like to see proof that the City owns Lakeside Road.
Now there are comments, published in the local newspaper, that no-one wished to express at any public meeting, where the contextual meaning could be considered.
I took time, this morning, to read the 03/29/07 edition of the Pioneer Tribune. I was amazed at how much comment there was, from Manistique officials, relative to the last 7 years. With little exception, it could be read as, "We are right and Al is full of beans, talking through his anus, again."
There was one essential detail reported by Paul Olson, in the newspaper article, that justified Al Burns' perspective, regardless of the contrary spin of plausible deniability, invoked by various quoted public officials.
"The appellate court upheld Stark's decision, ruling that Lakeside Road had existed far longer than the 10 years necessary to establish it as a "highway-by-use" under state law, and that no one had contested that fact within the proper time period. That meant the road was a public road, dedicated to the state, in effect creating a legal right-of-way even if none had existed before that time."
Beyond the fact that no one petitioned for a public road, and the road was never surveyed, never dedicated, and never accepted as a public road, the imaginary "public road, dedicated to the state", has not been transferred from the state to any other local authority of legal jurisdiction, by any legal process. It is not, and never has been, a public road, a Manistique City street, or a Schoolcraft County road, regardless of what the spin artists have to say. To this day, after waiting seven years for some public indication that Manistique city government and administration might choose to make a bastard child legal, I am still waiting.
I sure would like a copy of the applications to various grant and public funding agencies that states the City of Manistique's qualifications for public funds to improve a right-of-way over which I have no reason to believe the city or the county has jurisdiction. Oh, yes, I forgot, it is no longer to be an M.D.O.T. project that would be subject to all the M.D.O.T. quality requirements, including proof of ownership!
Anarchy is ours.
Filoramo is quoted in the 03/29/07 edition of the Tribune article "My opinion is that the Circuit Court and the Court of Appeals were both very clear," Filoramo said. "Lakeside Road is a city road. It became a city road by use, and the city has a right to maintain it, including paving."
His "opinion" is light years from his previous statement that "It is city property." His opinion is still an unsubstantiated claim that the court of appeals determined the road to be a city street and that the City of Manistique could improve it with no documented right or authorization to do so. Even if it was a public road, dedicated to the state, it is not a city street, or a county road, therefore I conclude that Filoramo is lying, again. When "it" becomes a city street, the city can do what it wishes, until then it has no authority to improve the right-of-way, or anything else, unless the City Attorney is referring to phantom substantiating documentation that no-one has produced, for seven years.
There is little doubt, in my mind, that the courts determined, right or wrong, that the "Lakeside Road" met the definition of a highway-by-use i.a.w. MCL 221.20. Burns' never contested that assertion. In the appeal opinion, the court states, unambiguously, that "The highway-by-user statute treats property subject to it as impliedly dedicated to the state for public use." No city. No county. No Manistique Township, No Al Burns... and no suggestion that a right-of-way that exists over Burns' property is a free city street subject to the arbitrary jurisdiction of the City of Manistique, as Filoramo and his co-conspirators have claimed.
Pioneer Tribune reporter Paul Olsen didn't miss the point upon which a substantial part of this saga turns. For seven years, Al Burns and I had no reason to believe otherwise, and we still do not. Even if a highway-by-use was dedicated and accepted as a public road, it is not a Manistique City Street, or a Schoolcraft County Road, without the due process of well established law, to make it one, or the other.
Hopefully, lies will not prevail.
For those that still do not "get" Al Burns' perspective, because they do not have a dog in the fight, today, it is about the law, and due process, regarding your property that may be under government siege, tomorrow. It is not about the basic concepts of government eminent domain for important public purposes; it is about ignorant, amoral and unethical public officials ignoring well established law, legal precedents, and defined procedures - to gain, with impunity, by substituting their personal whims for due process, under the cover of secrecy invoked by claims of "legal negotiations".
To those without the wealth to buy competent legal help, surveys and deeds are worthless, if public officials, and the governments that they represent, are held harmless for negligence and gross errors of judgement that are defended by lying lawyers, paid from deep tax revenue pockets.
To summarize, to the best of my knowledge, as I understand the issues:
In 1921, a map of a right-of-way for a Lakeside Road was created.
The boundaries shown in that 1921 map of a "Lakeside Road" illustrated certain legal description boundaries of adjacent properties, recorded at the Schoolcraft County Courthouse.
In recent years, Manistique Rentals Incorporated quarried to within a few feet of the 1921 mapped "Lakeside Road" right-of-way.
As a consequence of the rock removal, adjacent to the mapped right-of-way, it was impossible to expand the mapped road to a full 66' wide right-of-way, without the quarried rock being replaced.
Al Burns received nothing but "lip service" for his requests, for years, that the City of Manistique survey the historic right-of-way, that crossed his property.
In 1994, when the City of Manistique chose to widen that historic right-of-way, that ran almost parallel to the 1921 mapped "Lakeside Road", it was widened further into Al Burns' property, not in the direction of the old, existing, useable, and mapped "Lakeside Road" right-of-way that bordered the quarry.
The City of Manistique made no effort, at any time, to follow the legal procedures to obtain the authority to modify the right-of-way.
For over seven years, that I witnessed, Al Burns tried and failed, at public meetings and subsequently, through the courts, to motivate Manistique City Council, and administration, to follow a well established state defined legal process to make a public right-of-way known as the "Lakeside Road", a city street.
The City of Manistique has never produced any appropriate documents that indicate the 1921 mapped "Lakeside Road", had a defined line of travel as a city street.
The City of Manistique has never produced any appropriate documents that indicate the right-of-way across Burns' property was made a public road, or city street, under the jurisdiction of any local entity.
The City of Manistique has never produced any appropriate documents that grants the city the authority to modify any part of the right-of-way, commonly known as Lakeside Road.
Al Burns knows that, if he does not stand and fight a litany of evasion and deceit, from local government and administration officials, he will lose his property, by default, to the full 66' wide right-of-way defined by state law, not centered on the narrow historic right-of-way the City of Manistique refused to survey, but centered on a road created and widened to the east, unilaterally and unlawfully, by the city of Manistique.
Looking south - east to west: Right-of-way "Lakeside Road", outside Manistique city limits. Remains of what may be 1921 mapped Lakeside Road within Manistique city limits. Manistique Rentals Inc. quarry.
Mayor Peterson, after Al Burns' presentation, mumbled something about "???" that implied, to some that thought they heard, that maybe a little more consideration of Burns' concerns was due. City Manager Aldrich was reported to have stressed that the city would proceed with its plans for Lakeside Road, after some additional legal research. It escapes me, totally, why any more consideration or research was needed, if the City of Manistique had the recorded deed to the road, or had the documents that authorized the city to modify a road that crossed private property.
Contrary to all the evasive noise, and unsubstantiated assertions, from the city's corner, at no meeting, that I have attended, has anyone produced a single relevant document that supports Attorney Filoramo's assertion that the city owns the road, or has the right to modify it. I still maintain, in light of all the official evasion, denial and obfuscation, that the responsibility rests with the city to produce the documents, or, as I have said in public, in person, and uncontested, the claim by Attorney Filoramo is a lie, and the City of Manistique intends to continue with its stated and publicized Lakeside Road upgrade plans with the full understanding of city council, and administration, that the City of Manistique does not own the "Lakeside Road", and has no legal right to modify it.
Regarding claimed authority to improve the right-of-way, known as Lakeside Road, from terms found in maintenance and snow plowing agreements between the state and the city, I have reasons, stated earlier, to believe that those claims were likely distilled from alcohol vapors by the past Director of Manistique D.P.W., Oliver Sholander. Just because the fantasy was repeated by the ex-Manistique City Manager, Alan Housler, and the substitute Manistique City Attorney, Gary Olsen, and accepted by Judge Stark, does not make true, the apparent lies.
PUBLIC HIGHWAYS AND PRIVATE ROADS (EXCERPT) Act 283 of 1909
221.20h Acquisition of property by township by gift, purchase, or condemnation; petition; order of taking.
The township may acquire property by gift, purchase, or condemnation as it deems necessary to establish a road as a public highway or for improvement of a road following a court order that the road is a public highway. For purposes of condemnation the township may proceed under Act No. 295 of the Public Acts of 1966, as amended. The complaint filed under this act, or any amendment thereof, may serve as the petition required under that act if it contains all elements required therein. An order of taking shall not be entered until a road has been determined to be a public highway.
History: Add. 1974, Act 336, Imd. Eff. Dec. 17, 1974
© 2007 Legislative Council, State of Michigan"
It would not be the first time that I have misinterpreted plain English text, and it is possible that both the City of Manistique and Manistique Township are exempt from the legislation I quoted, but, to the best of my understanding, there is nothing in the 11th Judicial Court's opinion by Judge Stark, or the Michigan Court of Appeals' opinion, that indicates the City of Manistique gains, by force of seizure, the authority to improve the right-of-way known as Lakeside Road; especially that part which exists outside of the city limits.
I witnessed Al Burns tell the Manistique City Council, Manistique City Attorney, and Manistique City Manager, at the Manistique City Council meeting of 03/26/07, consistent with the Michigan Court of Appeals opinion, referencing MCL 221.20, that the city "shall" alter the public road known as Lakeside Road "...according to the provisions of this act." "Provisions" being plural, as the quote below makes clear.
Ignoring the provisions is violating the law. The provisions are not optional, if the Lakeside Road meets the definition of a public highway, as defined by Act 283 of 1909 221.20, as 11th Circuit Judge Stark stated, and as the Michigan Court of Appeals stated.
PUBLIC HIGHWAYS AND PRIVATE ROADS (EXCERPT) Act 283 of 1909
221.20 Public highway; definition, width.
All highways regularly established in pursuance of existing laws, all roads that shall have been used as such for 10 years or more, whether any record or other proof exists that they were ever established as highways or not, and all roads which have been or which may hereafter be laid out and not recorded, and which shall have been used 8 years or more, shall be deemed public highways, subject to be altered or discontinued according to the provisions of this act. All highways that are or that may become such by time and use, shall be 4 rods in width, and where they are situated on section or quarter section lines, such lines shall be the center of such roads, and the land belonging to such roads shall be 2 rods in width on each side of such lines.
History: 1909, Act 283, Eff. Sept. 1, 1909 ;-- CL 1915, 4307 ;-- CL 1929, 3936 ;-- CL 1948, 221.20"
© 2007 Legislative Council, State of Michigan
As I understand the issues, from 2000, Al Burns has contended nothing more than: no Manistique city official has provide him a copy of the legislation, or deed, that authorized, or provided the right, for the City of Manistique to improve, or move, the right-of-way, named Lakeside Road, that divided his property, outside the city limits, in Schoolcraft County. It appears, to me, that the City of Manistique has run a continuing confidence game for seven years that I know of, with the apparent purpose of evading, and breaking existing law in an attempt to gain control of a right-of-way that it could, and can own, legally, and civilly.
Short and sweet, as it appears to me:
(1) A Lakeside Road, mapped in 1921, was never made a city street.
(2) Another road, an historic right-of-way, called Lakeside Road, was formed by public use, to the east of the 1921 mapped Lakeside Road. That second road was never surveyed and made a legal city street, or county road, though Burns requested it be done. The north end of that right-of-way crosses Al Burns' property, outside the Manistique city limits.
(3) Manistique Rentals Inc. converted property adjacent to the western edge of the mapped 1921 Lakeside Road right-of-way property, west of Al Burns' property, thereby making it impractical and undesirable to establish a 66' wide city street.
(4) Subsequently, Manistique widened the historic right-of-way further to the east, into Al Burns' private property, outside the Manistique city limits. The City of Manistique never acquired the legal right to do so.
(5) After widening the right-of-way, further to the east, into Burns' county property, the City of Manistique claimed to have it surveyed, with its relocated centerline, even thought the city never made any attempt, of public record, to have the public highway designated a public road, or city street, or county road.
(6) Mr. Burns was forced to sue the City of Manistique, as a last attempt to secure his interest in the bypassed legal process of changing a right-of-way to a city street, or county road, and to seek redress for his losses due to prior trespass and modification of the right-of-way, by the City of Manistique.
(7) As a consequence of deceit by Oliver Sholander, Alan Housler, and Manistique City Attorney Filoramo, Judge Stark decided, confirmed by the Michigan Court of Appeals, that nothing was wrong with the City's motion to dismiss Burns' suit, Burns had offered no complaint for which the courts could provide remedy, BUT both court decisions addressed the essence of what was ailing, consistent with Burns' pleadings.
(8) Manistique City Attorney, John Filoramo, of Olsen, Filoramo, and McNamara, P.C., Law offices, was, and is, paid to lie, obfuscate, and evade the issues.
(9) Local government officials receive accolades, and paychecks, to ignore and flout the law, evade and misrepresent the issues, and consequently, politically sodomize my neighbor.
(10) Hopefully, there will be subsequent justice based upon well established law, and the details of both court decisions, even though everyone but Burns and I have ignored both.
The entire Lakeside Road contest has been a learning experience for me, not without times of doubt and confusion, and a few misunderstandings that I have wrestled with, over the years. Within the context that my understanding is less than perfect, but considerably better than most public officials involved, I offer my understanding of the basic reasons why Al Burns had his ass whipped in court, beyond the fact that the courts did not voice their awareness that the City of Manistique had not taken the first legal step required by MCL 221.20a-h to have a right-of-way designated a legal city street. That legal process was established by Michigan state legislation so that any municipality could improve any right-of-way, as required to meet the demands of progress within any Michigan community, without disregarding the property rights, and quality of life, of those citizens on whose property exists a right-of-way.
As I understand what I have witnessed, legal process has been ignored, for at least seven years that I know of, because Manistique City government and administration chose, deliberately, to flout the law, under the guidance of Manistique City Attorney, John Filoramo.
Part of the Michigan Court of Appeals decision, regarding "Lakeside Road", includes the following, as one of four requirements to decide that the improved "Lakeside Road" right-of-way, met the definition of a highway-by-use. The plaintiff is Al Burns.
"To the extent that plaintiff now disputes that the four, elements listed supra have not been satisfied to establish a highway-by-use pursuant MCL 221.20, we disagree. First the affidavit of Oliver Sholander stated that Lakeside Road had been maintained in its present location since 1982. Further, plaintiff conceded at the motion hearing that the deed transferring property as early as 1959 referenced the right-of-way of Lakeside Road as one of the boundaries. Thus, a defined line of travel establishing public usage of the road was established."
Had the roadway not been widened and improved, it would have been maintained in its "present location", and there would be no justification for Burns' ire. Rather than move the rock ridge and rubble to the west, it was easier to grade the flat rock to the east, and therefore move the center of the road, east, by approximately half the amount the road was widened. As the City of Manistique refused to survey the road, before it was moved and improved, Al Burns could not "prove" that his adjacent property was seized.
Regarding the denial of due process of law, in court, Sholander, and others, lied, and the courts chose not to openly acknowledge the relevance details of Burns' pleadings or the irrelevant or false claims of the city. Given diametrically opposed claims, it must have been obvious to the courts that one side, or the other, was, most likely, lying. The courts dismissed Burn's suit, but, in the details of their respective decisions, rendered the City of Manistique impotent to do anything but follow MCL 221.20, if it chose to follow the law.
As documented here, the city chose to ignore the opportunity to undo what they had been part of, and continued to act unlawfully with the connivance of others.
Subsequently, even though both courts had confirmed that no one had jurisdiction over the road on his property, Burns and I could not disprove the continued fictitious claims by various government entities to jurisdiction over the road. The City of Manistique, Schoolcraft County Road Commission, Manistique Township, and M.D.O.T. continued their respective claims and plans as if everyone, but Burns and I, were acting in an appropriate manner.
As long as the City of Manistique maintains the fiction that it has done nothing wrong, and the courts refuse to recognize that, according to well established M.C.L. due process, the city did nothing right, Burns is helpless, and either submits to the sodomy, quietly, or screams for as long as he can afford, while hoping that someone with some legal clout will knock the sodomizers off his back.
The court referenced 1959 deed defined the city street named Lakeside Road. The deed did not use the historic right-of-way, known locally as Lakeside Road, because it had no legal description, or identity in 1959, or now. The 1959 City of Manistique deed defined the line of travel of a city street named Lakeside Road, and that line of travel was accepted by the Michigan Court of Appeals. If that defined line of travel defined the line of travel of the right-of-way across Burns' property, then the web of official deceit and intrigue would not exist, because an improved city owned Lakeside Road would be within the city limits where the city's own deed defined it, in 1959.
Filoramo represented to the courts that the historic "Lakeside Road" was the 1921 mapped Lakeside Road used as the boundary reference on local deeds. Filoramo's lie, coupled with Sholander's lie concerning non-existing jurisdiction and his lie about the road not being moved, were not challenged by the courts and formed the basis for its decision that all four elements existed, when, in fact, only three existed.
There is a reason why people lie; because it works when those that know better, remain silent. As I described before, it is evil to force someone to disprove that which doesn't exist, even more so when relatively limitless tax funded or corporate resources are used to enforce and justify the lies, falsely and with impunity, and well established due process is denied the victim.
As I have documented my understanding of the events and circumstances considered, I reach the conclusion that Manistique City Attorney Filoramo does not represent the best interests of the City of Manistique, or the law firm of Olsen, Filoramo, and McNamara, P.C. My conclusion is based on the premise that local government is not in the business of promoting incompetence, victimizing residents, or hiring a City Attorney to escape the consequence of Manistique government idiocy, at the expense of local residents.
Regardless of the secret Manistique government and administration motives, or the undisclosed merits of avoiding the due process of making a right-of-way a city street, or the competence and ethics of all those involved; Olsen, Filoramo, and McNamara, P.C., profits.
Today I submitted the following Michigan Freedom of Information Act requests to the City of Manistique and the Schoolcraft County Road Commission, in the hope that my requests may reveal information that, to date, to the best of my knowledge, no city or county official has spoken of, or made available for public scrutiny. Hopefully, relevant substantiating authority will be forthcoming to justify the publicized decision to spend local tax revenues to improve and pave the right-of-way, called Lakeside Road; and all the years of apparent deceit, will be nothing more than apparent, due to a refusal of public officials to communicate with the public.
"F.O.I.A Request to the Schoolcraft County Road Commission
This request for information is filed under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 442 of 1976.
This request is for specific information regarding the publicized business of improving and paving the north end of a public road, known as Lakeside Road, that I believe is located on private property, outside of the city limits of Manistique.
This request is for a copy of the deed that indicates that Schoolcraft County, or the City of Manistique, is the rightful owner of the property to be improved and paved, and that such property is public property.
If no such deed exists, this request is for a copy of a separate legal document(s) that grant(s) the authority to an agency of Schoolcraft County, or the City of Manistique, to survey, improve, and pave a public road known as Lakeside Road, located on private property.
If no separate legal documents exists, that grant the authority to an agency of Schoolcraft County to survey, improve and pave the property known as Lakeside Road, as publicized, then I request the specific references to State of Michigan legislation, as published in Michigan Compiled Laws, that grants an agency of the Schoolcraft County the authority to survey, improve and pave the public road, known as Lakeside Road, located on private property, inside, and outside, the city limits of Manistique.
N.B. I do not request quoted M.C.L. text, or references to entire bodies of law. I request the titles to relevant and specific M.C.L. text that provides the City of Manistique the legal authority to survey, improve and pave the public road known as Lakeside Road.
Peter Markham 04/09/07"
"F.O.I.A Request to the City of Manistique
This request for information is filed under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 442 of 1976.
This request is for information regarding the publicized business of improving and paving a public road, known as Lakeside Road, within the city limits of Manistique.
This request is for a copy of the deed that indicates the City of Manistique is the rightful owner of the property to be improved and paved, as a city street known as Lakeside Road.
If no such deed exists, this request is for a copy of a separate legal document that grants the authority to an agency of the City of Manistique, or Schoolcraft County, to survey, improve, and pave a public road known as Lakeside Road, located on private property.
If no separate legal document exists, that grants the authority to an agency of Schoolcraft County to survey, improve and pave the property known as Lakeside Road, as publicized, then I request the titles of the Chapter, Act, Section, Subsection, Paragraph, etc., to State of Michigan legislation, as published in Michigan Compiled Laws, that grants an agency of the City of Manistique, or Schoolcraft County, the authority to survey, improve and pave the public road, known as Lakeside Road, located on private property.
N.B. I do not request quoted M.C.L. text, or references to entire bodies of law. I request the titles to relevant and specific M.C.L. text that provides the City of Manistique the legal authority to survey, improve and pave the public road known as Lakeside Road.
Peter Markham 04/09/07"
Will Michigan F.O.I.A. requests result in public enlightenment, soon? I doubt it, given all the evasion and lies, to date.
Apparently, no-one has any problem with the Manistique and Schoolcraft County unspoken premise that there is nothing amiss with spending public money for capital improvements of private property.
How much more will the fair market price of the Lakeside Road right-of-way private property be, if it includes an improved and paved road? Sooner, or later, the property must be purchased, or condemned, and a fair market price decided. It would be great justice to see the City of Manistique, and Schoolcraft County, improve a road on private property, and then have to purchase it, at its improved value. Why should taxpayers pay for it once, legally, when local government anarchists can invent an illegal process to force local taxpayers to pay for it twice?
During the public comment period of the 04/09/07 Manistique City Council meeting I asked the following question:
"Is there any truth to the rumor that, instead of the Manistique D.P.W, the Schoolcraft County Road Commission will improve and pave the public road, known as the Lakeside Road, within the city limits?"
Manistique City Manager Sheila Aldrich stated that it would be built by both the Manistique D.P.W. and the Schoolcraft County Road Commission.
7. Citizen Comments. Peter Markham, 416 Alger Ave. He asked Manager Aldrich a question about the Lakeside Road work. He was advised that both the City DPW and Schoolcraft County Road Commission would be working on it. He also asked about establishing a time period for public comment. He was advised that the Mayor set it at 3 minutes as did the previous Mayor.
Today, I received the answer to my F.O.I.A. request addressed to the Schoolcraft County Road Commission. I provide a quote of the text.
Dear Mr. Markham
As has been stated prior to your request. The Road known as Lakeside Road is not under the jurisdiction of the Schoolcraft County Road Commission. Therefore, the documents that you so request are not found at the Road Commission.
Along with my road commission F.O.I.A. request and response, I included the following, seeking the "pea" of documented authority, from the Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners, at their meeting, this evening.
"As the very real north end of the public road, known as Lakeside Road, is outside the Manistique city limits, in Schoolcraft County, I ask the Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners, at tonight's meeting, where I might find the documented source of legal jurisdiction, authority, and funding, to improve and pave the north end of Lakeside Road, located on private property. Manistique City Manager Sheila Aldrich stated, at Monday's city council meeting, that the improvement of the Lakeside Road would be a combined Manistique D.P.W. and Schoolcraft County Road Commission project.
I am having a hard time believing that the Schoolcraft County Road Commission would be involved, in major widening and paving of a road on private property, outside the Manistique city limits, without copies of documents that would provide them the legal authority to do so. Where might I find those documents, before the project is started?"
The response was, as expected, little more than blank stares, and irrelevant comments. Schoolcraft County Board Chairman Aldrich, husband of Manistique City Manager Sheila Aldrich, acted completely ignorant. Scary stuff, this.
So now I must consider who the apparent deceiver is; Albert Vail, of the Schoolcraft County Road Commission, or Manistique City Manager, Sheila Aldrich.
Is there a plan or contract between the City of Manistique and the Schoolcraft County Road Commission, to modify and pave a public road, or not?
Albert Vail says that "The Road known as Lakeside Road is not under the jurisdiction of the Schoolcraft County Road Commission." That statement stands on its own. Relative to my specific F.O.I.A. request for any legal documented authority to work on Lakeside Road, none was forthcoming, so I must assume, unless documents surface, no documented contract or other authorization exists, today. By law, right-of-ways are not improved and paved by verbal contracts between county and city agencies.
Therefore, I conclude that, absent any solicited documentation to the contrary, City Manager Aldrich's statement that the City of Manistique and the Schoolcraft County Road Commission would work together to improve and pave Lakeside Road is untrue. Why Schoolcraft County would choose to incur the liability of improving and paving a right-of-way, on private property, with no legal documented authorization, contract or jurisdiction, is a mystery to me, and, apparently, to the Schoolcraft County Commissioners; and Manistique City Manager Aldrich.
Perhaps an answer to my F.O.I.A. request, addressed to the City of Manistique, will give me a clue and counter my growing concern that Manistique has another lying politician as a city manager.
A little over a week ago, I received the following, from a past resident of Manistique. Two minor changes were made to the text to hide the identity of the author.
"I gotta hand it to you, you're a junkyard dog, but sometimes one is necessary.
It's been W years since I've lived in Manistique, but I continue to follow with interest the goings on in that politically backwater city. It became apparent to me soon after moving there XX years ago, and seeing the same last names appear on, and moving among, boards, commissions, and other government agencies, that certain individuals and families considered the city their own personal fiefdom with little accountability to anything other than an apathetic electorate.
I stumbled on your website a few years ago and since then I check back every now and then to get clarification when I things read in the paper that leave me with questions. I haven't always agreed with your positions, but I can't argue with your efforts, thankless though I'm sure they are. I'm guessing you're a major source of irritation to the public officials who must be thrilled when they see you in the audience, but if they would do a quarter of the research you do on the issues they could save themselves a headache, no? I mean, what could be so hard about producing a deed or some proof of ownership? They do that and you go away, right? It makes it rather obvious that no such document exists.
I have no dog in this hunt, so it's little more than curiosity and a bit of admiration that keeps me following these stories. All I can say it's a good thing someone has the determination and fortitude to demand a little accountability even if it goes unheeded. Who knows, eventually someone thoughtful and honest may actually get elected. In the meantime, keep holding their feet to the fire."
It's not often I get fan mail...
After giving the situation a little more thought, it struck me that, if reduced to its essence, what I have witnessed is little more than theft; sanctioned by the current Manistique City Council and City Manager, under the guidance of the Manistique City Attorney. From my perspective, absent documented city claims to the contrary, the City of Manistique knowingly took Mr. Burns' property, while ignoring or violating established law, and against Burns' expressed will and resistance - regardless of what apologists may claim, otherwise.
[Old English thiefth]
: See also larceny
: a criminal taking of the property or services of another without consent
"Amendment IV to the U.S. constitution:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
I concluded, long ago, that given the lack of documented authority, Manistique's acquisition and modification of the private property crossed by the public Lakeside Road, is as close to unreasonable seizure as I could imagine, short of seizing the property by force of arms, as an armed robber. The implied threat, and use, of physical force is all part of the business of enforcing the law, and court judgements, in the same manner as criminals prey upon the public; as Mayor Peterson knows so well.
So who are the armed criminals, in this situation?
As I said, nothing about this situation is accidental, in a community where integrity may be purchased with a tax-paid meal.
"STATE CONSTITUTION (EXCERPT) CONSTITUTION OF MICHIGAN OF 1963
§ 2 Eminent domain; compensation.
Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation therefore being first made or secured in a manner prescribed by law. If private property consisting of an individual’s principal residence is taken for public use, the amount of compensation made and determined for that taking shall be not less than 125% of that property’s fair market value, in addition to any other reimbursement allowed by law. Compensation shall be determined in proceedings in a court of record."
There has been no compensation, just or unjust, in a manner prescribed by law, for the property seized by the City of Manistique, upon which it has moved and widened the historic right-of-way, known as Lakeside Road.
There has not been the first required legal step taken, by the City of Manistique, to acquire the legal jurisdiction over, and the legal authority to alter, Lakeside Road, i.a.w. the "shall" provisions of MCL 221.20
That means that it is likely that any and all local, state, and federal tax revenue spent on Lakeside Road, has been collected and spent illegally, to plow, maintain, widen and improve a right-of-way. It is highly unlikely that it is legal, or appropriate, to spend public money to violate Al Burns' federal and state constitutional property rights, as well as violating other specific state laws.
It is highly unlikely that it is legal, or appropriate, to spend public money to pay John Filoramo, of Olsen, Filoramo, & McNamara, P.C., to formulate and defend the City's apparently deliberate violation of laws.
So the next logical step is to send certified letters of inquiry to the Michigan Department of Transportation, Attorney General, and any other entity with an obvious interest in any serious aspect of the Lakeside Road business. The inquiries will concern the legalities of jurisdiction, condemnation, and the years of M.T.F. funding claimed by the city of Manistique, for a right-of-way over which no entity of the City of Manistique, or Schoolcraft County, has any apparent legal jurisdiction. The specified evaders and liars, with their evasion and lies, are likely not to hold up under any objective and qualified scrutiny.
Has the City of Manistique collected money, fraudulently, to plow and "maintain" a right-of-way over which no government entity has established legal jurisdiction? Lets find out.
Has the City of Manistique applied for, and received, fraudulently, state and federal funding to widen, improve, and pave a right-of-way over which no government entity has established legal jurisdiction? Lets find out.
Is it legal to collect and spend public funds to violate, deliberately, articles of both the state and federal constitutions, and Michigan Compiled Laws? Lets find out.
It is way past time to address the issues to those with no personal interests in the matters.
I received, today, information regarding my F.O.I.A. request of the City of Manistique.
Here is a letter from Manistique City Attorney, John Filoramo, that states his opinion that the City of Manistique owns the road in its present location, outside the Manistique city limits. Note well, that it is not the opinion of the 11th Circuit Court, or the Michigan Court of Appeals.
Here is the last page (4) of the Michigan Appeals Court decision. Note well, the decision states, in plain English, that the road in question is a public highway of "...four rods width (would be) deemed dedicated to the state." i.a.w. MCL 221.20. No part of the decision indicates, in any way, that it is deemed dedicated to the City of Manistique, Schoolcraft County, Manistique Township, or any other local government entity. If that was not so, then there would be little reason for MCL 21.20a-h, and associated legislation, because any government entity could claim that it owns any right-of-way, with no substantiating documentation to prove its claim of ownership, to any interested party, including adjacent land owners, or those from whom road improvement funds are solicited; as the City of Manistique has done.
Note well, the Schoolcraft County Road Commission made no such claim, as a matter of fact Manager Albert Vail's letter states emphatically "The Road known as Lakeside Road is not under the jurisdiction of the Schoolcraft County Road Commission." As the north end of the road exists outside the Manistique city limits, the City of Manistique claim of undocumented ownership and jurisdiction makes no sense, legal or logical. If the north end of the road ran along the adjacent surveyed quarter section line, where it belonged according to the appeals court, existing legislation, and as a past recorded survey and deeds show it to be, then the city would have jurisdiction, if it chose to follow existing due process, and none of the city attorney's mumbo-jumbo would be of concern, to anyone.
Then again, this contest is not about fact, law, and logic, as it should be. It is about Burn's task of disproving that which does not exist, as promoted by City Attorney Filoramo, and the Manistique City Council and administration.
That both the circuit court and appeals court gave Burns an apparent whipping on behalf of the city is little more than fiction based upon the consequences of apparent lies, obfuscation, and specious arguments presented by the attorney for the city - and the courts' choice to remain silent concerning the obvious conflict of testimony regarding fact and law.
Manistique City Attorney, John Filoramo, stated in his professional opinion, of 03/07/2007, for Olsen, Filoramo, & McNamara, P.C., that "...the City of Manistique owns the road in its present location." and that a ..."Mr. Pond should use the location of the existing road for purposes of a survey." That road was widened by the City of Manistique, arbitrarily eastward, into the front yard of Mr. Burns' property, contrary to Mr. Burn's historical protests, contrary to existing law, and contrary to Burns' prior requests for a survey, to establish the location of the road, prior to the widening and consequential movement of the centerline to the east.
In page 3 of the Michigan Appeals Court decision, regarding plaintiff Burns' appeal, the court stated:
"...plaintiff conceded at the motion hearing that the deed transferring property as early as 1959 referenced the right-of-way of Lakeside Road as one of the boundaries. Thus, a defined line of travel establishing public usage of the road was established." As quoted above, Filoramo's opinion, expressed to the city manager, is in direct contradiction of the appeals court's decision that found the right of way referenced in Burns' property deed to be the defined line of travel, that, incidentally, defines the boundaries of numerous other parcels of land.
If followed, Filoramo's directions relayed to Mr. Pond will establish a new centerline for the right-of-way across Burns' property, contrary to the established and defined centerline referred to in the Michigan Court of Appeals decision, that has been used to define the legal descriptions of numerous parcels of property, as well as the Lakeside Road. The new and arbitrary centerline that Filoramo directed Mr. Pond to use for a new survey of the road will map a new 66' right-of-way that duplicates, runs parallel to, and in some places likely overlaps the right-of-way considered in the 1921 map. Consequentially, among other things, the new survey of the "misplaced" road, and the recording of that survey, will render false the existing legal descriptions of properties that use the defined line of travel of the legitimate Lakeside Road as a legally defined, and recorded, boundary that has existed, at least, since 1959.
In the last paragraph of page 2 of the Michigan Court of Appeals decision and the first paragraph of page 3 of the Michigan Appeals Court decision, the court stated:
"There is no dispute in this case that the public has been using Lakeside Road, and that the road has been in existence since at least 1959. At the motion hearing, plaintiff stated that defendant city deeded certain land to Jim Miller in 1959. The deed stated that the west line of Lakeside Road was the east line of the property conveyed to Miller. According to plaintiff, his family has owned the land since 1969."
Note well, the City of Manistique referred to its own legally defined existing line of travel of its Lakeside Road in its deed conveying its property to Jim Miller. The same defined line of travel is west of the western boundary of Burns' property, within the city limits, upon property that the city owns. Subsequently, the City of Manistique seized Burn's property, outside the Manistique city limits, based upon the ludicrous premise that the legally defined line of travel in its own deed, along the quarter section line that formed the city limit, was now the road east of the quarter section line across Burns' property, outside the Manistique city limits!
On 08/07/00, both City Attorney John Filoramo and City Manager Alan Housler stated their long term knowledge of Mr. Burns' claim against the City concerning a road on his property.
On 08/21/00, both denied all City responsibility for damages and stated in no uncertain terms that the City would prove the City interest in the property in court, as necessary. The City Attorney emphasized the history of "Lakeside Road" as a public right-of-way for more than 10 years that justified the City's position to take the property from Mr. Burns, in court, if necessary.
At that time, by the logical implication of their own words, both Filoramo and Housler acknowledged that the city did not own the right-of-way before before Burns' chose to sue the city.
Last week, I was told that Manistique City Manager, Sheila Aldrich, asked Burns what he wanted for his property. If the report is true, that question, alone, was her logical admission that, in 2007, the City of Manistique does not own the right-of-way, or the paved road that crosses Burns' property, and, consequentially, the city of Manistique never had the right to move, widen, improve, and pave the original right-of-way. It also shows her to be the glib liar, or obsessive confabulator, that I had substantial documented reason to conclude, earlier, after receiving the quoted letter from Albert Vail, manager of the Schoolcraft County Road Commission.
Every part of the City of Manistique's action, active or by default, in this series of events has been deliberate, and destructive of civil rights, property rights, and due process of well established political and legal requirements.
Today, Burns received this answer to his written complaint to the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. Notice the conscientious effort to guide Burn's to a government entity that might be able to help! An unsigned letter, and contents, that implies, "We don't care!"
Not one to be abused quietly, Burns appealed the Michigan Department of Civil Right response.
Alfred J. Burns 7059 W. Tannery Rd. Manistique, MI 49854 April 25, 2007 Michigan Department of Civil Rights SOC Appeal 3054 West Grand Blvd. Ste. 3-600 Detroit, MI 48202 To Whom it may concern, Please find enclosed my appeal of your decision of April 17, 2007. I have difficulty understanding how violations of civil rights, constitutional rights, and state of Michigan laws, would not be within the jurisdiction of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, as expressed in my telephone complaint of 04/03/07. If arbitrary seizure of my property, by the City of Manistique, as described below, is not a violation of my civil rights, in addition to violating specific due process legislation, I would appreciate a germaine reason why, so that I may endure the pain of my apparent abuse with the understanding that I deserve it, legally. It is my understanding that the discrimination clause of the State Constitution has been violated, along with other civil rights, constitutional provisions, and state laws. Regarding civil rights violations and constitutional provisions: Constitution of Michigan 1963 Article I Declaration of Rights Equal Protection: Discrimination Sec. 2 "...no person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws." Sec. 3 "...and to petition the government for redress of grievances." Sec. 11 "...The person's houses papers and possessions of every person shall be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures...nor without probable causes." Sec. 17 "...nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." Michigan Constitution 1963 Article 7 Sec. 16 provides for the "Laying out, construction, improvement and maintenance of highways," by the state, townships and counties. (Cities are not included) The specifics forming the basis of my complaint are as follows: Against my protests, in 2001, the City of Manistique constructed an asphalt road over and across my private property that is located, completely, outside the city's jurisdictional limits. This road has been maintained from 2001 and is still being maintained by the City of Manistique without the expressed consent of the Schoolcraft County Road Commission, as required by state law. Listed below are references to applicable Michigan Compiled Laws (MCL) that, to the best of my knowledge, have been ignored or violated. Act 283 of 1909 being MCL, 221,20 Et Seq.: No part of this act was ever complied with. Act 352 of 1925 Specifically MCL 213.172: There has never been any such release or conveyance, made or recorded, that would allow for a roadway on the property that it now exists upon. MCL 213,173: The property upon which this road lays, has never been bought, paid for, or condemned for purposes of a roadway, by any governmental entity. MCL 213.174a: No determination of necessity has ever been obtained or sought by any govern- mental authority. MCL 213,175: No determination of necessity has ever been made by any lawful authority. MCL 213.176: No notice of possession has ever been filed, and no vesting of title has ever been sought by any governmental authority. Act 246 of 1931: No part of this act has ever been complied with that would allow this road to exist where it is now placed. Act 188 of 1954 being MCL 41.721 Et Seq.: No part of this act has been complied with. Michigan Constitution: Article 10, subsection 2: Eminent Domain (compensation)- "...private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation, therefore being first made or secured in a manner prescribed by law." No condemnation proceedings were started, and no appropriate compensation made. Although these violations of the state constitution, civil rights, and state law started in 2001, they still continue today, on a daily basis. Also, other property owners are now effected by the City of Manistique's plans to build a new and improved "Lakeside Road" over and across land that the city does not own, and can prove no ownership of. Newspaper clippings are attached that indicate an independent perspective of the city's intentions. In context, I emphasize the City of Manistique's stated intent to proceed with its plans with state funding from the Michigan Department of Transportation, M.D.O.T. Since my phone conversation with your office, I received a copy of a letter from the Schoolcraft County Road Commission stating that it has no jurisdiction over any part of the Lakeside Road in question. I include that letter with this appeal. I request that the Department of Civil Rights reconsider my previous phone complaint, in light of the enclosed details that justify and substantiate my complaint. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Alfred J. BurnsBurns is still waiting for a response from Michigan Department of Civil Rights that shows some degree of civilized concern and competence.
I can imagine no other rights more important than property and due process. It makes no difference what an individual's sex, religion, race, color, nationality, I.Q., or shoe size. If property and due process rights are abrogated at will, with impunity, by irresponsible officials in influential government positions, then those rights become privilege, subject to the whims of influential predators.
To state the case bluntly, without any interest in "political correctness", in the eyes of those so casual with civil and human rights, everyone outside of their personal interests are treated as little more than stereotypical historic antebellum "plantation niggers"; the means to the personal ends of those with the power to make it so.
Many years later, Al Burns is still seeking justice. For that, I love him.
Al and I spoke about what it would have taken for the city to make this ugly business go away. One day, with a bulldozer, to make the left turn in the road, just before his southern property line shared with the city. To the best of our knowledge, no-one else cared where the road was, or who owned it! Now, unless the property in the city limits is donated, the property beneath the entire Lakeside Road must be condemned and purchased!
"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!"
I stopped by Manistique City Hall, this morning, to research some background information, after which I spoke with City Manager Aldrich. She touched bases with me about my F.O.I.A. request for documents that were submitted to the Michigan Department of Transportation, that detailed the qualifications for requested funding over the last two years with the intention of improving and paving a Lakeside Road right-of-way.
A short and tense conversation eventually led to the name of an M.D.O.T. official named Susan Richardson, Supervisor of Statewide Planning Section, Michigan Transportation Department, who, according to Aldrich, approved state funding for the Lakeside Road work based upon the M.T.F. map of certified city streets that has been mentioned several times in this editorial. When I pointed out to her that the city does not own, or have any jurisdiction over the north end of the road, outside the city limits, she replied that a court order made the right-of-way a city street, including the north end.
As my blood pressure continued to rise, I then told her that if she would produce a court order to that effect, I would go away. She asked what more could I want. I stated, again, that if she produced a court order that made the Lakeside Road a city street, there was no issue. I asked her again to produce the court order. She became defensive, asking me what more could I ask for. At that time, I told her she didn't know up from down, and I left, seething with disgust and disbelief that we were the same species, speaking the same language.
I walked out because I knew that, after failing for seven years, to teach others about the deliberate gross injustices concerning Lakeside Road issues, I was not about to succeed with a college graduate-professional administrator that knew more than I. I knew that Al Burns had this conversation with her, already, and told her to read the 11th Judicial Court's decision, and the Michigan Court of Appeals decision. It was obvious, to me, that she did none of the above, and, most likely, did little more than repeat the same nonsense whispered into each ear by Attorney Filoramo and Mayor Peterson, as they took turns stroking her ego.
As I stated 01/09/01, Judge Stark dismissed Burns' suit and declared the contested right-of-way a highway-by-use in 12/14/00, upheld by the Michigan Court of Appeals in 10/19/01. Regarding Burns' original pleadings, the decisions were irrelevant, because Burns never contested the legal status of the road; whether the right-of-way in question met the definition of a highway-by-use or public road, or not. What are relevant are the legal details considered in the courts' decisions that formed their respective decisions, in the context that both courts did not favor the city's web of unsubstantiated claims of fact.
With no consideration of any other legal requirement, lie, misrepresentation, evasion, etc., regarding the city's position, City Manager Aldrich claimed that the judicial and appeal courts' decisions were a court order that made a city street from a right-of-way over private property, with no other legal requirement, including compensation. She parroted the same lie as Manistique City Attorney Filoramo, as if the City of Manistique received the 11th Judicial Court's approval of its arbitrary seizure of Al Burns' property, with the Michigan Court of Appeals blessing. She said, in effect, that Manistique committed court sanctioned theft.
Regarding Aldrich's assertions about City of Manistique qualifications for Michigan Department of Transportation funding, to improve and pave the right-of-way known as the Lakeside Road, I could only imagine myself as her, speaking (candidly!) during a phone conversation with M.D.O.T. official, Susan Richardson, Supervisor of Statewide Planning Section:
"Hi Sue, this is Sheila. Is it ok for Manistique to request M.D.O.T. funding to plow, maintain, improve and pave a right-of-way over private property, outside my city limits, and inside my city limits, based upon a map that shows that a strip of private property, in the county, and a strip of private property in the city, is all the same city street, within the city limits?"
"Why? Of course, Sheila! That's the way its done! We do not care about whether your claims are true, or make sense, or not. We don't know the difference between a right-of-way, private property, highway-by-use, private road, public road, city street, or a county road. All ya gotta do is give me a map that identifies a major city street, within the city limits, that you wish us to fund, whether it exists in the city, or not! You know us M.D.O.T. bureaucrat types. We are not paid to think, and we have more tax revenue than God to fund violations of basic civil and property rights, as we fund your conversion of stolen property!
Consider it a done deal. See you at the meeting. Don't forget to bring yer map. Remember, no map, no money. It is all we need to determine the city's jurisdiction over a road, and eligibility to receive the money required to pave your neighbors' property! We trust professional administrators to act as professional administrators, and not as as wannbe politicians and incompetent attorneys. Bye."
From what I infer from Manistique City Manager Aldrich's point of view, I conclude that M.D.O.T. Supervisor of Statewide Planning Section, Susan Richardson, must get paid the same, regardless of the consequences of her choice to accept, knowingly, the fraudulent justification and authority claimed by the City of Manistique to request M.D.O.T. funding to modify private property. To gain a better understanding, Burns spoke to Richardson by telephone, 04/30/07, to make her aware of his perspective. Richardson said she would call back after seeking advice. At 3PM, 05/01/07, no return call was made. At ~1PM, 05/02/07, she called back and stated she was still seeking more information, and would call back, when ready.
Maybe I need a law degree, to understand the courts' decisions, and a degree in deceit and fraud, to appreciate Manistique's qualification requirements for M.D.O.T. funding for the Lakeside Road right-of-way. It would seem that Burns and I are still all wrong, though all those that claim we are wrong, beyond redemption, have yet to provide one valid document to substantiate any of their claims.
We cannot disprove that which does not exist. The tenets of religion do not apply to civilized government. The contended right of way, across Burns' private property outside the Manistique city limits, south to the city's Cataragus Street, is no more a Manistique city street, than my Aunt Millie's driveway, regardless of what those of faith may believe and claim to be true.
At the risk of being subject to criminal prosecution for trespassing, after reading the NO TRESPASSING sign on the fence entrance gate, I trespassed upon the building site of the Emerald Elementary School, at 9AM, this morning. I had the intent of providing the engineers a legal description of the property to the north of the original Lakeside Elementary School, part of which M.A.S. purchased for the new school site. The doors to Wolgast's office were locked. There was no sign, apparent to me, regarding how I might locate a project site manager to whom I might speak. Not wishing to subject myself to the risk of prosecution for more than trespassing, I left the site to include this legal description as part of this public record, as I could not consider the validity, or impact, of its content, with a project professional.
To the best of my limited understanding, the following legal description insured that the City of Manistique secured its ownership of numerous 66' wide road right-of-ways, when it sold the property. That includes approximately 50% of that part of the $60,000 Manistique Area Schools property purchase, at the north end of the existing Lakeside School site, occupied by the continuing Cataragus Street right-of-way that extends through the new school property, through Manistique Rentals Inc. quarry property, to the Tannery Road; and the same legal description defines and reserves, to the city, a legitimate city Lakeside Road right-of-way!
"The following described parts of Section 7, Town 41 North, Range 15 West, to-wit: The North Half of the Northeast Quarter of the Southwest Quarter of said section, except that part used as the Lakeside Road, and excepting also that part deeded to George Weber on April 3, 1912, and recorded in Liber 19 of Deeds, Page 353, of the records of the Register of Deeds for School craft County, The Southwest Quarter of the Northeast Quarter of the Southwest Quarter of said section, except that part used as the Lakeside Road, The East half of the "Northwest Quarter of the Southwest Quarter and the Northeast Quarter of the Southwest Quarter of the Southwest Quarter of said section, except that part used as the Lakeside Road, and excepting also the extensions of Cherry, Cattaraugus and Steuben Streets, and excepting also those parcels deeded to the City of Manistique for cemetery purposes by deed from the Lakeview Cemetery Association, dated June 7, 1947, and recorded in Liber 56 of Deeds, Page 645, and by deed from the Estate of Jennie S. Putnam, dated July 1, 1949, and recorded in Liber 10 M.R., Page 287, and deed from Schoolcraft County dated December 3, 1949, and recorded in Liber 68 of Deeds, Page 625, Part of the South Half of the Northwest Quarter of said section, described as commencing at a point located as follows: Starting at the West quarter post of said Section 7, going thence East along the West quarter line of said section 7, a distance of 1077.07 feet more or less to the Northeast corner of the cemetery property, as described in deed at Liber 56, Page 645; thence Northerly on an angle to the left 89° 30' to the South line of the main River Road; thence Easterly along the South line of said main River Road to West line of the Lakeside Road thence Southerly along the Westerly line of the Lakeside road to the "West one-quarter line; thence West on said quarter line to point of beginning."
I assume that the "River Road" is known, today, as the Tannery Road.
I assume that the following term of the deed from the Slinings to M.A.S., made M.A.S.'s plans to use a city street right-of-way, for school purposes, their problem:
"...subject however, to all visible easements, and to all reservations, easements and restrictions of record, and to all applicable laws, ordinances, rules and regulations, if any, and to all taxes and assessments which are now a lien on said land but are not yet due and payable."
I assume that the retained ownership of the same city right-of-ways, by the city, may make questionable, Manistique Rentals Inc.'s choice to use the extension of Cataragus Street, and the Lakeside Road 66' wide right-of-ways, as a quarry.
But, other than Al and I, who cares to discuss the issues, in public?
Late this morning, Al Burns showed up at my door, madder than a wet hen. I was in the process of leaving to take care of some domestic chores, so I told him I would stop by his residence in the early afternoon. Once there, we went over the following business of the day, that upset him. What follows is my understanding.
He had, earlier this morning, in an attempt to locate some warm body that might have the responsibility to deal with the consequences of likely Manistique fraudulent claims to M.D.O.T., spoken to the Executive Management Assistant, Shirley Maynard, of the Bureau of Finance and Administration, of the Michigan Department of Transportation. He informed her about the publicized intent of the City of Manistique to use M.D.O.T. funding to purchase the paving of his private property, outside the city limits. Unable to provide any help for a situation that must have sounded like pure fiction, she referred him to her supervisor, Bureau Director, Myron G. Frierson.
After ascertaining that Frierson had approved the funding of the Lakeside Road project, Burns explained that the city's M.T.F. map data showing the location of the north end of Lakeside Road was false, and the city had made no legitimate effort to make any part of the "Lakeside Road" right-of-way into a major city street, and it owned none of the property, or acquired jurisdiction, and, now, intended to pave his private property, and that of other land owners, over which the northern end of the right-of-way crossed. After the thumbnail sketch of the situation, Burn's asked Frierson, "How can you fund the paving of private property?"
Burn's was told by Frierson, "We don't care.", and then he asked if Burns had his property surveyed. To which Burns answered, "Yes.", and then offered to provide Frierson his documentation, to date. Frierson declined his offer and said, "My advice to you is, get an attorney."
When Burns asked Frierson why he should have to hire an attorney to disprove Manistique's false qualification claims for funding, he was told to get an attorney. On that note, the conversation ended, with Burns burning.
On the Michigan Department of Transportation, Bureau of Finance and Administration web page is the following:
"The mission of the Bureau of Finance and Administration is to provide quality financial and administrative services to optimize the accomplishment of M.D.O.T.'s mission."
The reality of that mission statement, in the context of the Manistique "Lakeside Road" issue, would be better stated as:
"The mission of the Bureau of Finance and Administration is to provide predatory financial and administrative services to promote and enable the ability of inept and corrupt city governments, and administrations, to optimize the accomplishment of an unstated M.D.O.T. mission to foster fraud, and the seizure and modification of private property. With no-one in place to determine the authenticity of submitted road funding qualification details, we invite acts of blatant fraud, and other forms of abuse, that may be financed with M.D.O.T. funds, with our executive and administration blessing."
From my perspective, relative to Manistique's "Lakeside Road" project, the Bureau Director, Myron G. Frierson, has accomplished my redefined mission statement, admirably. Attaboy! Myron!
Once again, much of the power of community predators comes from community acceptance of the premise that the victim bears the burden to prove that the victimizer has no right to victimize! As I have written, often, no-one can disprove that which does not exist. In a civilized society, there is no right to victimize, even if the M.D.O.T. message is "Its a free country, so get a lawyer if you don't like it! We have ours!".
There may be a million reasons why, in a civilized society ruled by law, that a particular activity should be discouraged, or the offender punished; but uncivilized folk do not care, beyond the lip service that buys them the facade of civility, among the ignorant and stupid. From my perspective, the statement, "We don't care.", relative to the issues considered, indicates Bureau Director Frierson's feeling of security as a deliberate victimizer, among his peers. There is more than a touch of irony in the fact that Burns must help pay for the tax-paid lawyers that ensure Frierson may victimize Burns with virtual impunity, while Burns is hard pressed to justify, or afford, the expense of a lawyer to combat a de facto conspiracy to deprive him of his property, and civil rights.
As M.D.O.T. claims Myron Frierson is a professional with significant experience and education, in the field of real estate, finance, and administration, I conclude that nothing he does, relative to M.D.O.T. business, is accidental.
Needless to say, Manistique government and administration is happy, and more secure, with Director Frierson's position. To date, bound by a civilized perspective, and empty pockets, Burns can do little more than hope that some sharp lawyer recognizes that there is a buck, or other valuable consideration, to be made by laying this mess to rest.
The following is for the benefit of STS Consultants, an engineering company that I have reason to believe chose to allow a lawyer, Manistique City Attorney Filoramo, tell them where city property was located after Al Burns handed one of the survey team a past survey of the property, and informed him they were surveying private property. Perhaps STS did not know that a "legal opinion", from a conniving lawyer, representing an unethical city government and administration, does not define the boundaries of private or city property. Perhaps STS personnel are incapable of reading the technical details of existing deeds and surveys, or, perhaps, the pay is the same, regardless of the bad press.
I sent STS the email below:
"I have just added another chapter to my continuing public record editorial regarding the "Lakeside Road" business, in Manistique. You may find the latest chapter, regarding your business, at:
http://www.manistique.org/quarry.html#For STS Consultants, LTD.
I would appreciate a review of the contents to insure a degree of accuracy that is difficult for me to maintain, regarding undisclosed legal and business negotiations, concerning public business.
During the public comments period of the Manistique City Council meeting of 04/23/07, I asked the following:
Is there some reason that I am unaware of, that, as a consequence of building the new elementary school, a significant part of a city street right of way has been fenced off and filled with gravel and graded, as if it is part of the school property?
If you do not know what I am referring to, or you do not have a cogent explanation, now, I will be happy to read the details in the Pioneer Tribune.
My inquiry resulted in no comment, verbal or in print.
8. Citizen Comments.
1. Peter Markham, 416 Alger Ave. He asked why some City property has been gated and graveled at the elementary school; how the Zellar landfill leachate costs were factored; when the work on Lakeside Road will begin.
As a consequence of continued silence regarding certain details of a public project, I am forced to speculate, again. Today, I made the time to find some information about the "Mike Pond" to whom Manistique City Attorney Filoramo relayed the instructions regarding the reference from which to survey the "Lakeside Road". Best I have determined, Mike Pond works for
STS Consultants, LTD
1026 Sheridan Road
Escanaba, MI 49829
Phone: (906) 786-2201
I remember STS as the business referred to by City Manager Sheila Aldrich, during city council sessions, that would be the project manager for the "Lakeside Road" improvements and paving. I also remember Al Burns telling me, some six weeks or so, ago, that he had given a copy of a past survey map to someone working on the new survey of the right-of-way. In context, I would not be surprised if Filoramo's instructional letter was an answer to legal concerns expressed by STS.
My inferred speculation concludes that STS was concerned about where the city wanted the survey, relative to where the past survey showed the road to be located, relative to private property, inside and outside the city limits. I also conclude, as detailed before, that Filoramo lied to City Manager Aldrich to get the survey done. Whether the survey of the right-of-way across private property is valid, under the circumstances, is open to conjecture, at the moment.
Associated with the latest "Lakeside" right-of-way survey, is what appeared, to me, to be another part of the same survey process that used the centerline of the currently travelled Cataragus Street. Given my understanding of the confidence game to date, I suspect that the person that owns the property at the corner of Cataragus and Wilson will get off his butt, soon, as he watches a significant piece of his property consumed by city road work that seems destined to move a part of Cataragus Street eastward, off the quarter section line, onto his property, consistent with my observations expressed at the last city council meeting, and my related understanding of Filoramo's whimsical instructions to Mike Pond.
It takes no engineer to realize that the defined line of travel for Cataragus Street has been platted to the junction of the extension of Main Street, centered on the quarter section line, by law, and must remain there unless there is some overiding public necessity to move it onto private residential property. The de facto Emerald Elementary School property boundary, as defined by the chain link fence, and westerly part of the filled Cataragus Street right-of-way property, tells me that, much of the property of the Cataragus Street right-of-way has been taken for the Emerald Elementary School project, and, to maintain the lawful 66' wide right-of-way of Cataragus Street, a wedge of property must be taken from Rodmans' residential property at the corner of Wilson and Cataragus Streets, starting as the road curves to the east, from its original recorded 66' right-of-way boundaries, centered on the quarter section line.
There is still the option for the city to keep the platted Cataragus Street centerline straight north, where it has been, between Wilson and Main Streets, and regain control of that part of the road right-of-way recently filled for the Emerald School project, or excavated for the school runoff catch-basin. Based upon the premise that M.A.S. never purchased any part of the Cataragus Street right-of-way, they do not own it, and have no right to use it for school purposes.
If the City of Manistique does take back its street-right-of-way property from the school, within the city limits, it will be interesting to listen to the reasoning to maintain its defacto seizure of Burn property, outside of the city limits, instead of taking back its property from M.R.I. Based upon my observations, and the City's silence, city administration appears intent on seizing the residential property to the east of the travelled portion of the Cataragus Street right-of-way, instead of taking its own property to the west.
Filoramo's bogus opinion, above, to justify the survey of Al Burns' and others' private property, could be used in a similar manner to justify moving part of the Cataragus Street right-of-way to the east, onto private property, if the city chooses to, as it appears, to me, it intends.
Filoramo wrote to City Manager, Sheila Aldrich:
"It is my opinion that based upon the Michigan Court of Appeals case that we have discussed, the City of Manistique owns the road in its present location. The Court of Appeals has indicated that the width of our interest is 66 feet wide, that is 33 feet on either side of the center line. Mr. Pond should use the location of the existing road for purposes of a survey."
If you look north, down the centerline of Cataragus Street, just south of its intersection with Oak Street, you will notice that Cataragus curves left, to the east, at Wilson Street, indicated by the green street sign atop the yellow pole. The defined line of travel, for Cataragus Street, is a straight line to Main Street, one residential block, further north.
Why is there fencing, fill, piles of rubble, gravel, and rock covering what I understand to be the city's historical Cataragus Street right of way, between Wilson and Main Street, and further north. Why does there appear to be a road over private property, to the east? Why do I think that there are brain-dead employees and administrators of the City of Manistique that are incapable of recognizing a straight line, and the responsibilities that come with that knowledge? Who are the esteemed folk, associated with planning and building the new Emerald Elementary School, that purchased the property, and started to develop it, while a substantial part is still owned by the City of Manistique?
There is a 66' wide Main Street right-of-way, owned by the City of Manistique, that crosses this part of the school property, between the camera and cemetery bluff, centered on the cemetary building at the top of the bluff.
A longer north view perspective, just south of the Oak Street intersection, of the platted centerline of the 66' Cataragus Street right-of-way, owned by the City of Manistique, that bisects the new school property, and M.R.I.'s quarry.
When do I get paid for doing the homework of others?
At no time that I know of, during the last seven years, has any public official produced a recorded legal document that gives the City of Manistique any right to trespass, seize, and convert the private property of those that own the property across which lies a right-of-way known as the "Lakeside Road", and across which a right of way known as "Cataragus Street" passes, between Wilson Street and Main Street. For all my efforts, to the best of my knowledge, from 2000, I have seen no recent city survey of the existing "Lakeside Road" right of way, to compare it with the 1921 map that shows a "Lakeside Road" right-of-way.
As I understand, the mapped 1921 details were used for nothing more than identifying property boundaries of certain properties.
The city's 1959 deed to Miller was used in the Michigan Court of Appeals decision to identify where the defined line of travel of the Lakeside Road is located. The city's own deed, to Miller, reserved the extensions of existing right-of-ways, including those that run through the new school property. There is no other city street known as Lakeside Road, within the corporate limits of the City of Manistique, beyond that which is defined in the city's deed to Miller.
Given how casual the city is about seizing Burns' private property, in the county, and giving away 66' wide public right-of-ways to Manistique Area Schools, and Manistique Rentals Inc., I have no reason to believe that anything is different with any other portion of the Lakeside Road public highway in the city. At no time that I am aware of, has the City of Manistique sold, or changed, its interests in the defined right-of-ways for a Cataragus Street, Lakeside Road, or Main Street, wholly within the city limits of Manistique.
Based upon my understanding, Olsen, Filoramo, and McNamara P.C. have a significant investment in their efforts to guide the City of Manistique through a process that bypasses a minefield of due process care and legislation, a minefield designed, in part, to discourage the apparent confidence game that I have documented at this web site. I doubt that they will choose, voluntarily, to incur any liability by giving any indication that they have promoted, what appears to me, at minimum, to be de facto acts of constructive fraud, and theft, supervised by Manistique City Attorney, John Filoramo.
As this saga continues, I wonder at what point the business becomes liable for the consequences of gross negligence, and constructive fraud. I hope their liability insurance is paid up, and sufficient.
It will be interesting to watch how Filoramo manipulates the city into giving away the public property reserved in the right-of-ways, to M.A.S. and M.R.I., while continuing to justify its seizure of the private property of Burns, and Rodman.
For years, I have considered Filoramo the model for a fantasy character, "Don" Filorini, puppet master and legal counsel for the imaginary "Manistique Mafia", a loose association of local politicians and influential residents who will not look past their personal interests in any piece of local business. In the fantasy, "Don" Filorini has mastered the skills of deception to influence amoral and predatory community "leaders" to promote that which benfits his business, and those that need, or wish to cash, political i.o.u.s, at public expense. To me, it is obvious, and yet, improbable, the similarity I perceive between fantasy and reality.
"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!
If at first you don't succeed - practice, practice, practice!"
The following three photographs show the Cataragus Street right-of-way owned by the City of Manistique.
Looking south along Cataragus Street from the east side of the cemetery bluff. Notice how Cataragus Street curves to the east, at Wilson Street, instead of some 350' further north, at the Main Street right-of-way. Since it deviates from the defined line of travel, across whose property was it moved? Notice how the platted city owned Cataragus Street right-of-way runs through the new property purchased for the Emerald Elementary School.
Looking along the north right-of-way of Cataragus street from base of the east side of the cemetery bluff. Notice how it passes through M.R.I.'s quarry. The telephoto image below shows the trees on the horizon, behind which is located the quarter section line pin. That quarter section line defines the city limits east of the north end of the quarry, and the centerline of travel for the city owned Cataragus Street right-of-way.
The quarter section line pin is on the north side of Tannery Road between the two tall trees near the center of this image looking down the quarter section line, from the base of the east side of the cemetery bluff. This telephoto image is of the same trees looking down the centerline of the Cataragus Street right-of-way in the wide angle image, above. Several hundred feet of the defined line of travel of a city owned right-of-way, called Lakeside Road, is shared with the Cateragus Street right-of-way, and extends south, along the quarter section line, from the Tannery Road. To me, both north ends of the right-of-ways look like a quarry.
None of this information is new, or required a professional to locate, read and comprehend. It took a herd of people, many years, to ignore it, or deny its validity, and lie about it, and act consistently with their deception.
Here is part of a recent survey showing a more truly located northern end of a right-of-way that Manistique City Attorney, John Filoramo, claims, in his opinion, is a city street right-of-way owned by the City of Manistique, according to a Michigan Court of Appeals decision. This is a survey of the residential properties, outside the Manistique city limits, not of a city street right-of-way, but it shows the right-of-way in its approximate true location, not where the court of appeals decision confirmed it was, legally, and, consequentially, should be, legally.
The same section of road, outside the city limits, shown above, is, according to City Manager Sheila Aldrich, part of a city street, by court order.
"So?" you may ask, "What has this got to do with the legal Lakeside Road, and your claims that deceit runs rampant in Manistique City government?"
It is quite simple. Every historical plat and survey document that I am familiar with, shows several hundred feet of the Cataragus Street, and Lakeside Road, running south from Tannery Road, along the City of Manistique city limits quarter section line. The last two location photographs document the true location of those city owned right-of-ways running through a quarry. The blue pickup truck in the photograph is travelling east on the Tannery Road, about one hundred fifty feet north of the quarry edge, in this northern view along the Cattaragus Street right-of-way. Both right-of-ways have been used, at least since 1921, to define the line of travel for both roads, and numerous pieces of property.
It does not take a genius to understand that the private property, a few feet south of the blue pickup truck in the photo, to the east of the quarry, located outside the Manistique city limits, is not a city street, owned by the City of Manistique. It does not take a genius to understand that someone spent, for this community, a significant amount of taxpayers' money to pave some 375 feet of road they didn't own, across Al Burns' private property, against his vehement protests.
It does not take a city attorney, or a director of public works, or a city manager, to realize that the road paved in 2001, was not a City of Manistique street, known as the Lakeside Road or Cataragus Street, and was never anything more than a right-of-way over private property.
It does not take a city attorney, or a director of public works, or a city manager, or their supporters, to realize that the road paved in 2001, is not a City of Manistique street, in 2007, known as the Lakeside Road or Cataragus Street - and never was.
It does take a different city manager to claim city ownership of private property, based upon her personal mantra concerning a "court order" that she has never produced.
It does take a different city attorney to repeat, obsessively, his professional mantra that a court decision makes, and grants ownership of, a fictitious city street over private property, located in the county, for which claim no court decision, or order, has ever been produced by him, that Burns or I is aware of.
It takes many Manistique council folk, a supervisor of public works, several city managers, a city attorney, and many community movers and shakers, to perpetuate a monstrous lie, in court, and out. The purposes that I infer, for what I perceive as de facto theft and constructive fraud, are political and monetary gain, and attempted damage control to cover the perpetrators' collective liability for professional negligence that resulted in depriving Al Burns of his property, and civil rights, against his private and public protests.
It is interesting to note my conversation with City Manager Aldrich, yesterday, initiated by my search, at City Hall, for surveys of the right-of-way called "Lakeside Road". During our chat, witnessed by two clerks, she denied any knowledge of what government entity modified and paved Burns' property! Can you imagine some anonymous street paver, sneaking around, under cover of darkness, in the wee hours of the morning, paving silently over 300' of a claimed "city street", inside and outside the city limits, unknown to every city employee, or official, with no recorded knowledge, concern, and records! There are those that will tell you I fell off the turnip truck, but I know of no government official, other than City Manager Aldrich, and her husband, Keith Aldrich, Chairman of the Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners, that act as if I fell off the turnip truck, last night.
It is long past due that someone identify the individuals, circumstances, and the source and amount of funding, associated with the widening, moving, improvement and paving of a right of way on Burns' private property. If it wasn't the county, and it wasn't the city, the only other likely source of funding and authority is Manistique Township; but they wouldn't, arbitrarily, pave a "city street", or private property; would they? Perhaps, after all, it was a private driveway gift from that anonymous Schoolcraft County super hero, "The Masked Paver", a.k.a. Bacco Construction Company, of Iron Mountain, Michigan.
I doubt that all those involved with the "Lakeside Road" business of 2000-2001, have retired, or died as a consequence of the "Lakeside Road Curse". I doubt that six years later, no evidence remains of their public responsibilities. I think I will check the time relevant city council minutes and issues of the Pioneer Tribune, and see if I can identify a few more liars-of-record, before they 'fess up, or testify in court.
There is a hint of consequential justice, looming. After seven years, Al and I are getting closer to the pea.
For me, a significant part of finding the pea in this shell game, was my initial total ignorance of the details of an obvious fraudulent claim by city officials, and seven years of silence, evasion, confabulation and lies concerning the details of what makes a public right-of-way, in the city and county, into a city street, called Lakeside Road, as city officials have claimed. All the rest of the magic touched upon is nothing but smoke and mirrors, obscuring the historical facts as detailed in the legal description quoted here. The city defined the line of travel, of the Lakeside Road right-of-way it owns, in its own deed detailed above, and, subsequently, chose to claim and seize the private property of others, to the east of its own right-of-way, regardless of many applicable laws that made such seizure illegal.
The 1921 map, I included above, means nothing today, beyond an historical reference used by others, to justify seizing property in some vicinity of the mapped property. Beyond its possible significance as an invalid reference used to justify apparent theft and fraud, by the City of Manistique, it means little to nothing. The city could not reserve a right of way across Burns adjacent property, outside of the city limits, because it didn't have title to Burns' property! It had the choice to run the north end of its Lakeside Road down the quarter section line, consistent with law, but, instead, chose to seize Burns' property.
Perhaps a high school class should use the legal description above as a class lesson, and then make a presentation to the city council, and attorney, about where the city street named Lakeside Road is located, according to the only document of record, that I am aware of, that defines the location of that road.
At the Manistique city council meeting, this evening, I had some questions and a statement to address to council, during the second public comment period. After asking the first question, City Manager Aldrich spoke up and stated that the details of what interested Al and I would be discussed Wednesday, in less than two days, at a public meeting that Al and I were unaware of. In deference to Aldrich's statement, and the implied possibility that the issues that concerned Al and I would be addressed in an appropriate manner, at a public meeting, Wednesday, I chose to wait until then, rather than deal with her evasive answer.
This is what I intended to ask, and state, including the first question I asked this evening, for which I received no answer:
"Regarding the subject of the memorandum of understanding concerning M.D.O.T. funding assistance to pave a "Lakeside Road", assuming the city is not going to guess where the "Lakeside Road" property is located, where might I find a copy of the last survey of that right-of-way that determined, exactly, the location of the property that the city owns, and intends to improve and pave, with M.D.O.T. funding assistance?
Regarding the same "Lakeside Road" right-of-way that the city intends to pave, where is the legal description that determines the defined line of travel of the "Lakeside Road" right-of-way?
In 2000, or 2001, over 300 feet of a right-of-way known to many as "Lakeside Road", was paved, in two operations, inside and outside the city limits, after the city widened it. 210 feet was paved first from Tannery Road to the driveway of Burns property, and stopped, after Burns told the pavers he would rip it up as fast as they laid it down.
Later, as a consequence of Manistique City Attorney Filoramo's opinion that Judge Stark gave Manistique a city street, in the county, another 97 feet was paved from his driveway to 68 feet inside the city limits, under the implicit threat of police action that accompanied a court decision that gave the city nothing more than the right to proceed with condemnation proceedings, if it wished, against Burns' protests.
Assuming that a construction company paved Burns' private property, like Bacco Construction Co., under what local unit of government authority was it done, from what local unit of government did the funding originate, what local unit of government signed the contract and paid the bill, and how much did that road work cost, including the earlier widening and moving to the east?
As I have contended with years of a official silence, evasion, and deceit, and learned a great deal along the way, I am almost positive, today, that I have found the pea of a shell game, orchestrated by Filoramo, lasting seven years that I know of, regarding Lakeside Road, and other city right-of-ways, as I suspect some telephone inquiries to city hall might have indicated."
The pea will be revealed, in its naked glory, with the next chapter of this saga. It is, for those with an eye for details, revealed, now, semi clothed, in this chapter.
There was no meeting today, as stated by City Manager Aldrich at the Manistique City Council meeting, Monday, so there is no "next chapter" today, just a minor update. When the meeting arranged by City Manager Aldrich, and spoken of at Monday's city council meeting, takes place, I will make the pea known to all, as Burns' reveals it, in person, at the meeting.
This morning I spoke to Aldrich, at city hall, after I checked with one of the clerks to make sure that nothing had changed, regarding the time of the meeting. Aldrich overheard my inquiry at the desk, and told me that Mike Pond had dental trouble, and would not be able to attend the meeting, until next week.
I thanked her for the date change information, and told her that as it was a meeting concerning serious city business, to which the public was invited, where my questions and concerns would be addressed, as televised to the community, Monday, then a public notice of the meeting should be posted on the bulletin board. She got defensive and agitated, and asked if, in so many words, there was anything I didn't find fault with. To which I answered, in so many words, if its public business, lets make it public, as she committed to on television. After another similar, agitated, and short exchange of perspectives, I departed for Burns' residence, to inform him of the change.
Some five minutes later, I was speaking to Burns. He informed me that City Manager Aldrich had called and told him of the meeting change of date, to Monday, 05/20/07. Al specifically asked if it was a public meeting. She said, no, it is not a public meeting.
I will attend the meeting, as if it is a public meeting, and see what happens. If the meeting is not televised, and no public record kept of the business discussed, it matters little to me, because it represents the default will of council, as administered by City Manager Aldrich, and the secretive and ugly manner in which this Lakeside Road business continues to evolve, is merely part of this public record, to be used, later.
Assuming it is not a public meeting, as Aldrich told Burns, here are two related questions that should be considered by any M.A.S. member that is invited:
Regarding the Cataragus Street right of way, between Wilson and Main Streets, if the platted and defined line of travel of the entire street right-of-way is centered on the quarter section line, as referred to by the same 1959 city deed to Miller, on whose property will the centerline of the 66' wide right-of-way of Cataragus Street join the centerline of the 66' wide right-of-way of over private property, labelled by the city as "Lakeside Road"? Best I can guess, they would meet somewhere near the middle of the southern edge of the catch basin depression of the Emerald Elementary School, which should no longer be needed if appropriate drainage is designed into the road project, and school property.
If the city chooses to develop the legally defined line of travel of Lakeside Road and Cataragus Street, along the quarter section line, what impact will that have upon the designed functions of the north end of the new Emerald Elementary School property?
These two images are of recent charts from STS Consultants, as delivered to the City of Manistique. I will not speculate about their purpose, and accuracy. I suggest that any interested party look closely at the basic information represented. The first image is a diagram of a right-of-way that Manistique claims to be a city street named "Lakeside Road". The second image is a diagram of the same right of way with topographical contour lines, and symbols with meaning unknown to me. Both charts reside at Manistique's city hall. Click each image to view a larger image.
Burns stopped by to pay me a visit yesterday, and told me the meeting was postponed, again. I told him that as far as I was concerned, I was going to wait no longer, as I had reached the conclusion that now, after seven years, the city was on the defensive, as a consequence of Al's resistance to the coersion of continuous evasion, deceit, and law breaking, by Manistique's elected and hired officials, regarding the core issues of the Lakeside Road right-of-way dispute.
Knowing that the Manistique city government and administration was just as likely, as not, to repeat the last seven years of theft, evasion, and deceit, I was not going to give them any more time to wear me down. Here is my understanding of what I perceive as the pea of the city's shell game, run by Filoramo and his gang of sycophants, and paid for by Burns, I, and all those silent city residents without the courage to care and be heard.
On 06/22/1959, a deed from the City of Manistique, transferring ownership of certain city property to James A. Miller, defined the line of travel for the Lakeside Road right-of-way, as the difference between adjacent property boundaries. The legal description of the property is quite elegant, written by someone with a much better appreciation of substantiating details and language than City Attorney Filoramo, and other city officials and employees that claim the city owns Burns' property, as part of a city street called "Lakeside Road".
Not only is the document notable for what it defines and reserves, but also for what it doesn't. Beyond the reserved Lakeside Road right-of-way defined by the property descriptions, no city owned fictitious Lakeside Road right-of-way, that the city intends to modify and pave, is reserved outside the boundaries of M.R.I.'s quarry and part of the property sold to M.A.S., and no other right-of-ways reservations exists, beyond what the city chose to specify in its deed to Miller, in 1959.
A 2001 Michigan Court of Appeals decision states the defined line of travel, of the Lakeside Road, is determined by the city's 1959 deed to Miller:
"...plaintiff conceded at the motion hearing that the deed transferring property as early as 1959 referenced the right-of-way of Lakeside Road as one of the boundaries. Thus, a defined line of travel establishing public usage of the road was established."
In its decision, the Appeals Court agreed with Burns that the established "defined line of travel" of the Lakeside Road, was defined by the city's own deed conveying its property to Miller, in 1959. Subsequently, as Burns' has stated for years, the city had no right to seize his property, and convert it to city use, with or without due process, because it already owned the Lakeside Road right-of-way property defined in its own deed to Miller, therefore, there was no overriding public reason to condemn the property owned by others.
Keep in mind that Manistique City Attorney Filoramo knew about the details of this deed from, at least, 2001, as it formed the basis of the Michigan Court of Appeals decision as to where the defined line of travel existed for the city street known as Lakeside Road.
From the 10/19/2001 Michigan Appeals Court decision, to his instructions to Mike Pond, on 03/27/07, Filoramo knew where the defined line of travel of the Lakeside Road existed, and so did the city, if he fulfilled his legal obligation to inform his client of the court's substantiated decision, and not his unsubstantiated opinion. Even if he did not inform the city, Burns and I informed everyone, at televised city council meetings, and in personal conversations, on numerous occasions, that, regardless of whether we had found the pea, or not, the city's actions were inexcusable for many other reasons, most of which were in direct violation of a variety of laws, state and federal.
A letter dated March 27, 2007, to Manistique City Manager, Sheila Aldrich, from John Filoramo, of Olsen, Filoramo, McNamara, P.C., Attorneys at Law, regarding a Mike Pond and a survey of Lakeside Road states the following:
"It is my opinion that based upon the Michigan Court of Appeals case that we have discussed, the City of Manistique owns the road in its present location. The Court of Appeals has indicated that the width of our interest is 66 feet wide, that is 33 feet on either side of the center line. Mr. Pond should use the location of the existing road for purposes of a survey."
History indicates that City Manager Aldrich, and all city council members accepted Filoramo's opinion as gospel, and the Michigan Appeal Court's Decision as fiction, along with all the fictitious recorded deeds that showed the city owned none of the right-of-way it claimed, including that which was modified and paved, across burns property, against his protests.
I consider Filoramo's unsubstantiated opinion as pure fiction, because, if for no other reason, as I have quoted above, the Michigan Court of Appeals stated, quite clearly, that it agreed with plaintiff Burns, concerning the defined line of travel of the Lakeside Road. From my understanding of the issues, Filoramo's unsubstantiated opinion that the city owns the road, including Burns' private property, in the county, and the private property of others in the city, because they are parts of a city street called Lakeside Road, was nothing less than a ludicrous lie, in its various forms, from 2000. The city's own deed to Miller defines the city's own Lakeside Road, and its crosses Manistique Rentals Inc.'s quarry!
The city's own deed to Miller defines the city's own extension of Cattaraugus Street, and it passes through Manistique Rentals Inc.'s quarry, and the adjacent property M.R.I. sold to M.A.S.!
The city's own deed to Miller defines the city's own extension of Main Street, and it passes through the adjacent property M.R.I. sold to M.A.S.!
To the best of my knowledge, in all states of the U.S., ownership of real property is determined by a recorded legal instrument, and not a conniving lawyer's unsubstantiated opinion, or a mindless city manager's mantra concerning a fictitious court order that has been seen by no-one, but herself. In seven years, I have never seen any proof of city ownership of the property it intends to modify and pave, and, given all the informational details that Burns and I provided in public, regarding this issue, it was evident to a child that both Filoramo and Aldrich were lying, with the city council's tacit approval.
Regarding the city's insistence that it owns the right-of-way and the land below it - beyond lying, cheating and stealing, I am aware of no attempt of record, by the City of Manistique, to own Burns' property, or anyone else's, in a civilized and legal manner. Today we deal with the consequences of Manistique city government's choice to avoid the consequences of supporting those that lie, cheat and steal.
From my independent perspective, if STS does nothing more, it should make sure that it has the right to modify and pave private property i.a.w. the city's documented intent and procedures to date. STS should verify the documents the city claims provide it unquestioned title to the property to be modified and paved; private property for which others hold title to, and held title to, for decades. Regardless of what Filoramo, Sholander and Housler claimed, and regardless of what City Manager Aldrich, City Attorney Filoramo, and the current crop of broken elected representatives and administration officials claim, the city does not own the road by theft, and has never made the first effort to own it, legally.
Judge Stark declaring a right-of-way a highway-by-use does not make it a city street, and never has.
Burns' public claims, and my public claims, may sound looney, but I assure you they are not. We have fought for every piece of information we have, and learned along the way, and are now comfortable with our respective interests. When the road project starts, as planned, the ante goes up considerably, providing Burns the opportunity to sue for really serious money. This is a true situation of everyone is nuts but Burns; and I.
Why STS Consultants would choose to supervise an M.D.O.T. funded project to modify and pave private property, given the public record, is still beyond my comprehension. I would appreciate a cogent explanation, so that I might understand, after seven years of trying, that which still appears to me as the likely symptoms of consequential collective madness associated with community inbreeding, or chemical abuse; but not of a rational and civilized city government, city administration, or city attorney.
A related suggestion to STS is to remember this madness when considering the Manistique waterfront related work. Many of the same players, and their supporters, are involved.
Summarized, to date, it is my substantiated understanding, for seven years, regarding the right-of-way issue, that City Attorney Filoramo has influenced and manipulated gullible local government and administration personal with little more than lies, as a parent authority figure might influence naive children. Today, STS employees are informed of my justified, substantiated, and publicized understanding, at this public meeting. I suggest they might consider personal and corporate liability consequences, if they choose to implement Manistique's Lakeside Road project, as it has been presented to M.D.O.T. and the public, to date.
Regarding his legal guidance of the City of Manistique, concerning the Lakeside Road disagreement, in my justified and substantiated opinion, the Manistique City Attorney, John Filoramo, acted little better than a white collar criminal, representing his own best interests, and that of the immediate financial interests of Olsen, Filoramo, and McNamara, P.C., Law offices - with the encouragement and support of local government officials - elected, appointed, and hired.
Nothing was accidental, regarding what Filoramo, Housler and Sholander, and their supporters did, regarding Burns' private property, and civil rights. Today, it is more deliberate than ever, with significant public knowledge of the intention to seize, modify and pave the private property of others', contrary to law, and the justified, specific and substantiated public notice and protests from Burns and I.
In communities where ignorance, apathy, and unbridled self-interest thrives among elected and appointed officials, administrative personnel are paid to determine and implement default community policy and business, that should be the responsibility of a governing council, board, committee, etc. When elected and appointed government officials fail their elected responsibilities to understand and implement the basic requirements of their offices, to determine and oversee local policies, and insure that the policies and related business are consistent with the basic tenets of our law abiding representative democracy, the self-serving whims of administrative personnel determine both de facto government policy, and business.
No-one can plead that they didn't know, or understand the issues regarding the "Lakeside Road Shell Game". Every action, or inaction, that Manistique city government and administration has taken, was, and is, deliberate, since my awareness of the basic details in 2000.
It is time for the liars, swindlers and thieves, and their supporters, that promoted and ran the "Manistique Lakeside Road Shell Game", to fold up their tent, and wait for retribution. First on the list is a formal complaint, filed with the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission, against Manistique City Attorney Filoramo, of Olsen, Filoramo, and McNamara, P.C.
The following is the total published Manistique City Council minutes that I found 05/18/07 and 05/18/21, that, in some fashion, addressed Al Burns' concerns. It is interesting, to me, how devoid of detail, and how different the perspective and understanding of the secretary is, at times, from Al and my perspectives and understandings. The recorded minutes, below, are included with each appropriate dated entry, above.
council_minutes_052200 CITIZEN COMMENTS: Al Burns submits a bill (Attachment 'A') for damages to his property caused by a road which he claims is on his private property. Dave Huddleston explains that 400 to 500 feet of a road in Manistique Township is in the City limits. Mr. Burns maintains that the road is on his property. Dave has given the information to the City engineers and they are surveying the property and will certify their findings to the City. council_minutes_061200 COUNCILMAN MULLIGAN REPORTS: Where are we with the Burn's right of way? The surveyors have conducted the survey and City Manager has had a couple of meetings since then, but it's a real complicated spaghetti mess. council_minutes_080700 5. Citizen Comments: Mr. Al Bums apologized for presenting a bill at a previous meeting without any explanation. He doesn't seem to be getting anywhere with this road situation. He then presented the Council with a map, explaining that the yellow line is City Limits, and that the pink spot is the road that the City maintains. He says that this can be done with an agreement between the City and the Road Commission, but there is no such agreement. He claims that the City is maintaining that road illegally. MRI is the only one that gains from this road. Adding that if he came and took city property, he'd go to jail. MRI is taking the rock out of the right of way. City Manager Housler says that the surveying is almost completed, and that we will schedule a meeting with them, our attorney and our people as soon as this survey is done. He hopes to resolve this by the next Council meeting. Ole Sholander says we presently maintain roads outside our corporate limits such as Clark Street and Intake Park Road. This road is on our Act 51 map, so we can get reimbursed for maintaining it. He has no legal document in his hands at the moment. Also, the School uses this road as well as MRI. If Council wants to abandon the road, that's up to them. council_minutes_082800 5. City Attorney update concerning Lakeside Road right of way. City Attorney Filoramo reported that Lakeside Road right of way surveyor is to do a little more investigation. The Road is partly outside City Limits, then goes back in City Limits. But, if the road is used for over 10 years, it is a public road. He plans to meet with the Township Supervisor and discuss this matter further during the September Township meeting. Mr. Bums says adverse possession statute doesn't hold water. The City Attorney replied by informing Mr. Bums that decision would be for the Courts to make. He went on to further state that he doesn't feel this is the time to debate the issue. council_minutes_092500 10. Citizen comments. Peter Markham asked the difference between an easement and a right of way on a public street. He was told that an easement gives you the right to use it, whereas a public street is owned by the government. council_minutes_091001 Manager Housler also stated that the Michigan Court of Appeals will hear the case involving the City's right-of-way dispute with Lakeside Road property owner Alfred Burns on Tuesday October 9, 2001 at 11:30 A.M. in Marquette. council_minutes_102201 Manager Housler reported that the Michigan Court of Appeals had ruled in the city's favor in the lawsuit filed by local property owner Alfred Burns. This case was heard in Marquette on Oct. 9th and issued its decision on Oct. 19th. Manager Housler stated that the court did not award any court costs or attorney fees. He did state that Burns does have the right to appeal the decision to the Michigan Supreme Court. Attorney Filoramo said it would be an "appeal by leave" meaning the high court could decide whether or not it would hear the case. council_minutes_111301 Manager Housler stated that Alfred Burns has filed a petition with the Court of Appeals. No action has been taken at this time. If the Court of Appeal grants a hearing then the city will pay attorney fees again. council_minutes_031207 4. Lakeside Road Contract. Manager Aldrich. City Council has approved a project for Lakeside Road. We have already approved STS as the engineering firm to handle that project. Mike Pond from STS Engineering will be the project manager and engineer, in reviewing the school plans, Mike has been working with the City and the School and has designed a road that would eliminate the north retention bed. Mike has designed a road that would drain to the east beyond the current residences and protect the residences in that area. With this comes an increase in design engineering and construction. Please find Mike's letter explaining this process and the cost. We have been in contact with the School Superintendent, Esther Mudge, about the elimination of the retention bed and about this added cost. It is our understanding that the school would like to eliminate the bed and would be willing to absorb some of those costs with the reduction in cost from eliminating their retention bed. At this point we need to give Mike Pond some direction on the design of this road. We would like to proceed with the new design and would need Council approval to do so. What we would like to do is to buy back the Task Force dollars, let STS design the road, and build it with the help of Schoolcraft County Road Commission and City of Manistique employees. We can build this road with a group effort for substantially less than bidding it out in the normal MDOT fashion. STS would still design and oversee construction and sign off on the completed road. 8. Citizen Comments. Peter Markham, 416 Alger. Ave. His comments were regarding Lakeside Road and Al Burns' property line dispute. Attorney Filoramo advised him that this issue has been resolved through the Michigan Court of Appeals. council_minutes_032407 7. Al Burns - Lakeside Road Ownership. Manager Aldrich. Mr. Al Burns has requested that he be placed on the agenda to discuss Lakeside Road. Mr. Burns has indicated to me that he would like to see Council make changes in the layout of Lakeside Road. Mr. Burns would like to see Lakeside Road straightened to extend straight north from Cattaragus Avenue as he has indicated that this is the way it was platted and should be. This issue came up several years ago and actually went through the court system. Please see attached the documentation to support that case. Attorney Filoramo has been made aware of this issue and will address it at the meeting. I have also attached for your review copies from our original plat book that show Lakeside Road. Mr. Burns addressed Council and presented them with the information he referred to. In his closing remarks, he stated that he will file another court action if the City tries to build a road there. He was advised by Mayor Peterson that the City will take a look at all of this. 11. Citizen Comments. Peter Markham, 416 Alger Ave. He continued with his prepared text. He would like to see proof that the City owns Lakeside Road. council_minutes_040907 7. Citizen Comments. Peter Markham, 416 Alger Ave. He asked Manager Aldrich a question about the Lakeside Road work. He was advised that both the City DPW and Schoolcraft County Road Commission would be working on it. He also asked about establishing a time period for public comment. He was advised that the Mayor set it at 3 minutes as did the previous Mayor. council_minutes_042307 8. Citizen Comments. 1. Peter Markham, 416 Alger Ave. He asked why some City property has been gated and graveled at the elementary school; how the Zellar landfill leachate costs were factored; when the work on Lakeside Road will begin.
In the Manistique City Council minutes, council_minutes_052200, above, is the first of several references to a survey of the contested "Lakeside Road" right-of-way, that if done correctly, would show its real location, in May, 2000. After a failed informal request of the city, last week, and 2000, to view the survey, I filed a F.O.I.A. request to view and photograph the document.
"May 23, 2007
City of Manistique
Manistique City Hall
300 N. Maple St.
Manistique, MI 49854
This request for information is filed under the terms of the Michigan Freedom of Information Act 442 of 1976.
This F.O.I.A. request is a consequence of my failed attempts to locate a 2000 survey of a right-of-way known as Lakeside Road, a survey that some in city administration claim does not exist.
I request to see, and photograph, the survey referred to in the transcribed minutes of city council, that refer to the survey..."
I can only assume that all those that knew of such a survey made decisions based upon that survey, or in spite of it. It occurred to me, in 2000, that it might be convenient for the City of Manistique, and the Manistique City Attorney, to 'lose' the survey.
Along with the city council minutes, below, referring to surveys, is the following quote of Gary L. Olsen, of Olsen, Filoramo, and McNamara P.C., from page 24 of the court transcript of the city's motion for summary disposition Olsen presented to Judge Stark, 12/14/2000. Representing the city, Olsen told Stark:
"...And we've got surveys in process and preliminary surveys that show that possibly very little of this road is on his property. But it's all preliminary, so I'm not in a position to concede it."
Either a city survey was done, or it was not. Either folks are lying, or they are not.
Burns submitted the following F.O.I.A. requests to M.D.O.T.'s Myron "We Don't Care" Frierson, and a shorter version to James Barr, Supervisor of Manistique Township. The twofold purpose was to determine who was responsible for paving Burn's property, and what legal substantiated authority justified the past and recently planned paving.
May 18, 2007
"Myron G. Frierson, Bureau Director
Bureau of Finance and Administration
Michigan Department of Transportation
425 W Ottawa
P.O. Box 30050
Lansing, MI 48909
Dear Mr. Frierson,
This request for information is filed under the terms of the Michigan Freedom of Information Act 442 of 1976.
During my telephone conversation with Myron Frierson, of 05/03/07, he stated that his office was the source of financing approval for a pending improvement and paving of a "Lakeside Road", as requested by the City of Manistique, and discussed at Manistique City Council meetings, and publicized by the Manistique "Pioneer Tribune" newspaper.
This request is for one copy of any and all documents and papers filed from 01/10/06 to 05/18/07, related to all City of Manistique requests for authorization and funding of any degree of improvement and paving of a "Lakeside Road", possibly including a portion of Catteragus Street, to include, but not limited to, any of the following, recent or historical: maps, surveys, easements, applications, correspondence, funding qualification documents, and any other documents and papers filed regarding the qualification, authorization, extent, and funding of City of Manistique "Lakeside Road" work.
Sincerely, Alfred J. Burns"
As of yesterday, M.D.O.T. official, Susan Richardson, Supervisor of Statewide Planning Section, has yet to provide Burns with any sensible answer to his queries.
At what point will the City of Manistique cease its foolish ways? How much more unjustified misery will it choose to inflict? At what current and future cost, to all concerned?
I visited Manistique City Hall, late this afternoon, and had another heated discussion with City Manager Sheila Aldrich, after I asked her "When are you going to fire Filoramo?". She did not answer my question, so I asked the clerk if she knew if there was any word concerning my F.O.I.A. request to read and photograph the 2000 survey of Lakeside Road.
Aldrich spoke up and reminded me that she had told me earlier that the city did not have it, and I should look elsewhere. I told her that there were at least three references in the city council minutes to the survey done by city engineers, so as far as I was concerned, either the secretary that recorded the minutes lied, on three different occasions, or she lied.
There followed a short exchange that, condensed, was the following:
Aldrich stated "I don't lie."
To which I responded "Lets see next Tuesday."
Aldrich stated "Have your lawyer speak to ours."
To which I answered, "I don't need one."
After which, I departed.
The threat in her response was the message, "If you can afford a lawyer, get one, because we have one that you and every sucker out there pays for, and the odds are you will run out of money, first, and we will have our way with Burns, and you, given the opportunity." Concerning intent, it differed little from the intent of M.D.O.T.'s Myron Frierson response to Burns. His message, stated and implied, was "We don't care, so get a lawyer, and if you cannot afford one, you are doomed to be hosed!"
It is no different than the manner in which Ron Risdon's job was taken, by county employees and officials; in particular, H.B.H Director Sam Harma, Director of Schoolcraft County Public Transit, Kevin Swanson, and Schoolcraft County Commissioners, Keith Aldrich and Lindsley Frenette. Risdon did not have the money for a lawyer, or the stomach for a years long battle, and his A.F.S.C.M.E. union representative supported his victimization, with impunity. Burns, on the other hand, is made of sterner stuff, and refused to buckle from unwarranted intimidation and coercion, without and within his extended family.
Every time I have spoken with City Manager Aldrich about the "Lakeside Road" affair, she always spoke a variation of "It's a City street, by court order." I have no reason to believe that her statements are not intentional and designed to deceive, because she has been informed of the contrary, many times, and has chosen to repeat variations of the same falsehood.
lie - noun, verb, lied, ly·ing. noun 1. a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood.
During the second three minute public comment period, of the Manistique City Council meeting of 29 May, 2007, I spoke the following, after placing a written copy, along with copies of several supporting documents, at the position of each council person, city manager, and city attorney. I also provided copies to recognized representatives of news media. The gum-chewing scowling bruiser, blocking my camera, crowding me, and generally interfering with my public comments, is Manistique Director of Public Safety, Ken Golat.
"The following is authored by Al Burns, for whom I am honored to waste a piece of my life, at this meeting, because he preferred not to waste his. If there are any questions, please ask them after I have completed my three minutes of public comment time, as dictated and counted by Mayor Peterson.
1. The so called "Lakeside Road", in its present condition and location, has only existed for the last seven years.
2. The City of Manistique has never owned or had jurisdiction over any road located in or upon any part of the S.E.1/4 of the N.W.1/4 of Sec7, T41N, R15W.
3. The City of Manistique does not now, or ever, possess a court order giving it ownership, jurisdiction, or any rights to a road of any kind located within the S.E.1/4 of the N.W.1/4, of Sec. 7, T41N, R15W.
4. City Attorney Filoramo, and City Manager Sheila Aldrich, have, between the two of them, helped to create and maintain outright lies, for seven years, with numerous public notices of the falseness of their statements, and have done so for no other apparent reason than to steal and defraud rightful owners of their property rights and ownership.
5. The substantiated justification of these statements are readily available in the written decisions of both the Circuit Court for Schoolcraft County, and the Michigan Court of Appeals, copies of which the city should have.
6. Any attempt to improve, modify, or change in any way, or to connect the highway-by-user that crosses my private property, to any other improved or modified road so as to improve and facilitate increased traffic flow over and across my private property, will result in an action in court.
7. Since the City of Manistique could not sell or reserve any property it did not own, the entire 66 foot city street right-of-way must be located in or upon the S.W.1/4, of the N.W.1/4 of Sec. 7, T41N, R15W., as the M.D.O.T. Certification Map of July 1, 2006 shows it to be.
Some substantiating references are provided for your convenience:
Circuit Court Decision, File # 00-3048-NZ, Pages 30-31, Para. 4, Judge Charles Stark's words from the court transcript:
"... therefore we have a highway by use. Now, this does not -- A highway by use does not give the City the right or the jurisdiction or the title to the roadway. It doesn't give it to the state. It is an easement that is directed at the public at large that it has become a public highway. And Mr. Burns would continue to own whatever property he does to whatever description he can establish, but that it -- wherever that line may be is subject to this overarching easement for public use. In other words, Mr. Burns may use that area of the property as long a it's not in derogation of the public's use and right to -- to traverse that -- that property."
Michigan Court of Appeals, # 232315, Page 3
"...defendant city deeded certain land to Jim Miller in 1959. The deed stated that the west line of Lakeside Road was the east line of the property conveyed to Miller...Further, plaintiff conceded at the motion hearing that the deed transferring property as early as 1959 referenced the right-of-way of Lakeside Road as one of the boundaries. Thus, a defined line of travel establishing public usage of the road was established."
11th Judicial Circuit Court order granting City of Manistique's motion for summary disposition.
"IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Defendants' Motion for Summary Disposition should be and hereby is granted under MCR 2.116(C)(10) with respect to Defendants' claim that the road in question is a public road under MCL 221.20."
Note well, the Circuit Court order granting summary disposition grants no jurisdiction over the road to anyone, and does not declare the road in question to be a public road, or a city street, or a road owned by the city. It merely references its decision to the City of Manistique's claim that it is a public road, which, according to the requirements of MCL 221.20a is a false claim.
Nothing has been done, before or after the 11th Judicial Circuit Court's decision of 01/11/01, to change the status of the highway-by-use. It was, and still is, at best, nothing more than a highway-by-use that could be made a public road i.a.w. MCL 221.20a-h, subject to be altered according to the provisions of the Public Highways and Private Roads Act 283 of 1909.
Regarding Burns' private property, a partial copy, and smaller closeup of the M.D.O.T. July, 01, 2006 map of certified City of Manistique streets identifies a city street named Lakeside Road, within the city limits, south of Tannery Road. The map does not show a road within the Manistique City limits, extending outside the Manistique city limits, across Burns' property.
Either the road is within the City limits, as shown, or it is not. It cannot run across Burns' property, and be in the city limits, at any point, because the legal description of Burns' property places it outside the City's corporate limits. Pixie Dust, or lies, change nothing.
That's all, folks. The city asked Judge Stark for a public road, and got a highway-by-use, upheld by the Michigan Court of Appeals, consistent with Burn's pleadings, and the City of Manistique defense. There is no city street by court order, and there is no public road i.a.w. MCL 221.20a. There never was, regardless of all the publicized lies, and the claimed rectitude of the liars.
There is a road, in Manistique Township and the City of Manistique, by court order, over which the city, the county, and the township have no jurisdiction. Regarding that road, Burns' main claim concerned little more than what the courts granted, from the first time I witnessed him bring the issue to council, in 2000.
What else could the city ask for, other than a free city street from Burns, and others, to replace that which it abandoned to M.R.I. and M.A.S. The city asked for a sharp stick in the eye, and the courts obliged, to provide Burns that which the community denied him.
It is the city's move, now. The clock is running, and the liability is mounting, for the city's shell game. Now everyone knows where the pea is, and only the brain dead will insist that the road across Burns' property is part of a city street known as Lakeside Road, over which the City of Manistique has jurisdiction to do whatever it chooses, including the much ballyhooed modification and paving to meet increased Emerald Elementary School related traffic, and rain and meltwater drainage requirements."
To Burns and I, overt or implied threats of police action is intimidating, coercive and extortive, regarding the Lakeside Road issues. We have been very careful in our choice of words and concepts to minimize the chance of unjustified retribution, but as the war of words continue, and the City of Manistique and its co-conspirators find their options for escape dwindling with every lie told, the nature of the brute is becoming more evident.
Two courts decisions spelled out the reasons why the City of Manistique, or any other government entity, had no right to take Burn's property, or do anything with it, in the manner that it was done, with the implied use of police force, if Burns got in the way. The City of Manistique's action, and that of the unknown government entity that had Burns' property paved, is not far removed from armed robbery, by those that don't care.
Based upon public statements made at recent city council meetings, it is the City of Manistique's intent to seize, modify and pave the remainder of the road known as Lakeside Road. What it intends to do with that part of a road it claims to own, crossing Burns' property, remains to be seen.
Yesterday morning, Burns called M.D.O.T.'s Susan Richardson to obtain her business address to certified mail her documents, due to M.D.O.T.'s "We don't care." interest, and her failure, for three weeks, to update Burns concerning his previously expressed concerns. They had a brief conversation, during which, again, he told her of the unlawful and victimizing circumstances of his predicament, with full public notice to all concerned. She asked if Burns had substantiating documentation. He told her he had documentation. She requested he send her the documents so that she could review the contents and decide future action, if warranted. Burns mailed her copies of various documents, including a written copy of my locally televised public comments to Manistique City Council, on 05/29/07.
How long will the deceit, denial and evasion continue? I do not know, but if I was a gambling man I would bet that it will end long before another seven years, when I first became aware of Burns' continued abuse by local public officials. Sooner, or later, someone will pay attention, beyond the Director of Manistique Public Safety's politically motivated and fabricated concerns of my alleged threatening behaviour.
There is no doubt that, like Burns, and very few others in the community, I am guilty of specific and justified civil dissent, that is perceived by some to be threatening to their public interests and personas.
My sincere thanks to those responsible for the 05/31/07 edition of the Pioneer Tribune, in which was reported much of the distillate of the "Lakeside Road" issues, that I brought before council, 05/29/07. For a small town newspaper, it takes courage to print the specifics of an issue that imply that either Burns and I are lying, or as dumb as posts, or the Manistique city administration is, with the sanction of local government entities.
This quote, in particular, illustrates the continued denial and efforts to escape the consequences of legal lunacy. "As for the ownership questions cited by Burns and Markham, Aldrich said they are relying on the work of STS. "That's what we hire engineers for," she stated. "I understand they're having a Special surveyor look at it. They've looked at everything very carefully. What else can we do?"
Over six years ago, the ownership of, and jurisdiction over, the road known as Lakeside Road, was settled by two courts, according to law. Approximately six years ago, the location of the city street referred to as Lakeside Road, was settled by the Michigan Court of Appeals, according to law. As slow as I am, at times, I would never claim that an engineering firm determines ownership of real property, after two courts made it perfectly clear, to whomever wishes to read the details of the decisions.
"What else can we do?" asked Aldrich. What she might have asked was, "What else can I do?" To which an appropriate answer might be, "Get rid of the mice in your pocket, stick to the facts, and stay away from politics, as an ethical professional administrator should."
Now, City Manager Aldrich tries to inveigle the engineering firm of STS Consultants to give the city that which it has no right to, and the courts denied the city. I hope that STS Consultants does not choose to pave a road on property that the city does not own, or pave a city street where it does not belong. There has been adequate notice, public and private, concerning the efforts of local city and county talent to ignore two court decisions, and attempt to circumvent the court decisions with false claims of a court order, irrelevant maps, a "lost" survey, and irrelevant legal descriptions starting in a "short forty".
From his perspective, I suspect Burns might welcome STS Consultants for its professional expertise and deep pockets, regardless of what its engineers chose to do, legally or otherwise.
Assuming that M.D.O.T.'s Supervisor of Statewide Planning Section, Susan Richardson, is not the dummy that City Manager Aldrich would have Burn's and others believe, I find myself wondering about the public meeting that the City of Manistique was bound to hold, i.a.w. a recent Memorandum of Understanding between M.D.O.T. and the City of Manistique, concerning M.D.O.T. funding assistance to modify and pave the road known as the Lakeside Road. Burns, Rodman and I were never aware of a public notice for the meeting, by the City of Manistique, and yet, Ms. Richardson says she has a newspaper clipping submitted by the City of Manistique as proof that it meets its contracted legal obligation of public notice.
I consider it likely that the Schoolcraft County Road Commission gave appropriate public notice for its public meeting, months ago, and the city took it upon itself to use the Road Commission's public notice for its own. If my speculation is true, it is hardly appropriate, or legal, for the city to claim the public notice of a county entity as that which was required to meet the public notice of a pending agreement between the City of Manistique and M.D.O.T., i.a.w. the mandates of the memorandum.
Perhaps the city did provide adequate public notice, and just forgot to tell those whose property was at risk...
As I have, recently, become justifiably fearful of being prosecuted by those in Manistique City Hall, that choose to view the world consistent with their personal and professional interests and ignorance, I express my concerns here, that otherwise might have been better addressed elsewhere, in relative privacy.
I stopped by the Schoolcraft County Road Commission this afternoon, with another F.O.I.A. request based upon my understanding of the recorded minutes of the Manistique Township Board. I had filed a previous request, and received an appropriate response to what I asked, not what I wanted. After spending several hours reading and copying Manistique Township board minutes, with the gracious help of Manistique Township Board Secretary, Joanne Fagan, and her husband Ken, Burns and I found a specific reference to a job worksheet estimate, dated January 1991, for the paving of a Cattaragus Ave.
The following is quoted from the minutes from the Manistique Township Board meetings that indicate the Schoolcraft County Road Commission's involvement, in the context of other minutes, with the improvement and paving of a road, over private property, named Cattaragus Ave or Lakeside Road or whatever the name of the day might be.
"The regular meeting of the Manistique Township Board was held on January 16, 1991 at the township hall...The work up on the blacktopping of our portion of Cattaragus AVe. has been finished the total price will be $ 11,590.70. Motion was made by Virginia DuFour supported by Helen Schnurer to accept this bid. MOTION CARRIED."
With the specific reference to the business voted on, the date, and the correct road name-of-the-day, I was suddenly granted information that was readily at hand. I was told a portion of Lakeside Road had been paved, by the Schoolcraft County Road Commission, and paid for by Manistique Township, but no paperwork was in the files, in the new office building. Perhaps it was stored in the old office building.
I suggested that it might be the thing to do, to find the records, because IF the road commission was included in a court action, then the records might indicate that the county's involvement was for a small portion, and some other government entity, yet to be identified, had the remainder of Burns' property paved, at a different time.
I was asked what Burns wanted. I said, as far a I knew, seven years ago, before all the uncivilized abuse, all he wanted was the road off his property. I was then asked, how much property is that? Two feet? Five feet? I answered, somewhere between 50 to 60 feet, or more.
That's wrong, I was told. To which I commented, without a proper survey of the property lines adjacent to the road, according to the registered deeds of ownership, right and wrong have no meaning. I hope Manistique City Manager Aldrich understands, before her allotted time ends, that property lines and ownership are not determined by faith or whim, and the same rules apply to court orders. I know Manistique City Attorney Filoramo is paid well to understand.
There is little difference between the illegal conversion of standing timber, and the illegal conversion of land. They are forms of theft that a civilized community does not sanction.
As for that part of the road that was paved across Burns' property, if Burns didn't pave it, and Schoolcraft County didn't pave it, and Manistique Township didn't pave it, and the City of Manistique didn't pave it, and "none-of-the-above" paid a surrogate to pave it, then who directed the road to be paved over Burns' land and into the city, and who paid to have it paved? There is, at least, one administration related liar to be heard from, that knows the "Masked Paver" didn't do it, and I am sure that more than one city employee knows, beyond the late Oly Sholander, Director of the Manistique Department of Public Works, who is past caring, for a legitimate reason.
Regarding the City of Manistique owned streets property, reserved in the city's 1959 deed to Miller, that extend through the school's northern property, and M.R.I.'s quarry; I have heard no word at any public meeting I have attended. Strange, since history suggests the contents of the deed have been known to the Michigan Court of Appeals, since 2001, and the Manistique City Attorney since, at least, 2001, and the reserved right-of-ways should have been of some interest to whomever completed the title search, prior to M.A.S. owning the property.
Maybe right-of-ways issues will be solved by magic title insurance, or maybe the issues will be ignored by the Manistique City Council, and the Manistique Area Schools Board, for a few more decades, until it becomes a more convoluted legal mess of evasion, deceit, and denial than it is, today. Then again, as implied by the city, maybe it's all imagined, in a deed that doesn't exist, related to the details of two court decisions that never happened.
Al Burns stopped by to discuss the documents he received, yesterday, in response to his F.O.I.A. request of Myron G. Frierson, Bureau Director, Bureau of Finance and Administration, Michigan Department of Transportation. He was amazed at the extent of the deliberate deceit, by city and county officials, to separate him illegally, from his property and civil rights.
I provide several examples below, with more to be added, later, with a copy of the F.O.I.A. response introductory letter from M.D.O.T.'s Susan Richardson, in which she lists the documents provided, and addresses her apparent lack of concern, during a previous phone conversation with Burns. page 1, and page 2.
I understand the following to illustrate the deliberate intent of the City of Manistique, and the Schoolcraft County Road Commission, to defraud some $300,000 from M.D.O.T. by providing false information to obtain M.D.O.T.'s support and funding to modify and pave a right-of-way over private property. As far as the existing Lakeside Road is concerned, the city and county had no jurisdiction to move, modify and pave the roadway, and still have no jurisdiction to continue with their planned improvements.
Page 1 of this letter, from Manistique City Manager Aldrich to M.D.O.T., requests a change to the Lakeside Road classification from a local to a major street, so that the city would be eligible for some $300,000 of state funding to improve the road. As no part of the Lakeside Road is a city street, or county road, as spelled out by Judge Stark, in his decision known to the city for 7 years - and as Burns and I have reminded city government and administration personnel on numerous occasions - then I conclude that Aldrich is lying to gain M.D.O.T. funding by fraudulent claims, as I have no reason to believe that M.D.O.T. sanctions or funds the paving of private property. Page 2
This 2007 map of certified City of Manistique streets, is the same as the 2006 map, and many before it. Note that it is a city employee, Nick Bosanic, that certified the accuracy of the map of city streets over which the municipality of Manistique claims jurisdiction. As no government entity has acquired jurisdiction over any part of the Lakeside Road, and the northern ~300 feet is outside the city limits, contrary to the information shown on the map, then I conclude that the City of Manistique has deliberately certified a false representation of city streets, for years, to justify its fraudulent claims for M.D.O.T. funding. For, seven years, or more, the city has known of the falseness of its claim that the "Lakeside Road" is a city street, owned by the city. 11th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Stark's decision assured that.
The following two documents, provided as illustration, along with numerous others provided by M.D.O.T., belie the F.O.I.A. response from Albert Vail, Manager the Schoolcraft County Road Commission, to my F.O.I.A request to the Schoolcraft County Road Commission . For a government agency that claimed to have no jurisdiction or documents concerning the Lakeside Road, it is as deep into the apparent public deception and fraud as the City of Manistique!
The following is a copy of the minutes of the Schoolcraft County Road Commission meeting, of 03/01/06. The folks attending the discussion of Lakeside Road business is a "Who's Who" of Schoolcraft County, including those that acted completely ignorant of the subject of my query to the Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners. A quorum of commissioners was present at the meeting, yet regarding my inquiry, they were as ignorant and as dumb as posts.
At the Manistique City Council meeting of 05/14/07, I had some questions regarding a Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Manistique and M.D.O.T., regarding funding of a Lakeside Road improvement project. I was told by City Manager Aldrich, at that time, that my concerns would be addressed at a meeting open to the public. Another lie, that I thought likely at the time, because the meeting never happened.
The public meeting referred to in paragraph D. of page 2 of the Memorandum of Understanding was claimed by City Manager Aldrich to have occurred months before the city received the memorandum! She decided that the public notices of the Schoolcraft County Road Commission would meet the city's legal obligation of public notice regarding the city's Lakeside Road funding contract with M.D.O.T. By avoiding the spirit and intent of public notice, Aldrich chose to place at risk the private property of land owners that were not invited to, or made aware of, the meeting that planned to modify and pave their property, illegally.
So much for open public business when political agendas are at risk. Another lie to Manistique and county residents, and another lie to secure federal funding with M.D.O.T.'s help with the city's claim of non-existent city public notice regarding the city and county planned improvement and paving of a road over private property, that no local government entity owns, and over which no government entity has any jurisdiction. I believe that is called a conspiracy to defraud, or worse.
I received a response, from City Manager Aldrich, regarding my F.O.I.A. request for the 2000 city's survey of Lakeside Road. It was short and sweet.
"We are unable to locate a survey as described in the above referenced F.O.I.A. request."
So far, there has been no response from Manistique Township Supervisor, Jim Barr, regarding Burns' F.O.I.A. request. M.D.O.T.'s Lansing big dog, Myron Frierson, responded via Susan Richardson, with much appreciated and appropriate speed, and apparent candor. It appears that Barr has ignored Burns' F.O.I.A. request with the disdain appropriate for one who was instrumental in the Manistique Township and Schoolcraft County decision to pave private property that no government entity owned, or, over which, could claim legal jurisdiction.
Yo!, Jimmy! 'Fess up. We know you were present, when it was done..., and, incidentally, there is a legal fuse to the F.O.I.A. request that you have ignored.
Wow, to go with the "Masked Paver" is added the "Missing Survey"? Golly, no one had anything to do with paving a fictitious city street over Burns' property, outside the Manistique city limits? Jeepers, a city engineers' survey of that same fictitious city street goes missing, that was referred to in several council minutes, and in court testimony? Gee, should I believe that City Attorney Filoramo, or Manistique Township Supervisor, Jim Barr, know nothing about the "Masked Paver", or the "Missing Survey", or...?
Is dis da missin' episode of da X-Files?
For those that think this is fiction, just consider the degree of collective deceit required to convict an innocent person for a serious crime. This is relative small potatoes, but the mechanics are the same. No one can disprove that which does not exist, and when society can place that burden on anyone it chooses, with impunity, the rules and laws of civilized behaviour mean nothing.
Burns' cannot prove that no one has the right to his property, but he can make it mighty uncomfortable for those that have seized and converted his property, based on false claims, and, eventually, I expect he will be compensated by the courts that consider the issues based upon fact and law, and not political agendas, personal gain, whim, and faith.
To the best of my knowledge, the resolutions following were to be considered at the Manistique City Council meeting of 06/11/07. It changed the focus of my intended public comments, from "Imagined threats" to "Care to talk about it?"
The following quotes includes my public comments for the 06/11/07 Manistique City Council meeting.
Manistique City Council meeting, 06/11/07, first public comment period before consideration of agenda items.
If the north end of Lakeside Road is a part of a city street by court order, as claimed by City Manager Aldrich, and if the north end of Lakeside Road is owned by the city, as stated by City Attorney Filoramo, why does the city need to request jurisdiction from the Schoolcraft County Road Commission, over the north end of a city street it owns, when the Road Commission doesn't have the jurisdiction to give?
No response from council.
During that council agenda item 7, dealing with the Lakeside Road jurisdiction swapping resolutions, City Manager Aldrich introduced the business by saying that she had received the last minute requirements and instructions for the resolutions, by email, 06/08/07, from M.D.O.T.'s Supervisor of Statewide Planning Section, Susan Richardson, and Richardson had conversed with M.D.O.T. Act 51 Director Candace Rosebrugh and the Manager of the Schoolcraft County Road Commission, Albert Vail. Aldrich also read an email from Susan Richardson to Road Commission Manager, Bert Vail, stating that the only agency that could take this issue to court, (presumably the jurisdiction issue, upon which the entire web of city and county deceit is based) is the Road Commission since they have jurisdiction over the road...
Prior to council voting unanimously, 5-0, to pass the jurisdiction acceptance resolution, Councilman Evonich asked City Attorney John Filoramo if a public hearing would have been appropriate for a "property deal" swap. Filoramo answered that there was no transfer of property, just jurisdiction, a minor formal requirement of the state for the City of Manistique to "...maintain it, or whatever..." that little portion of land outside the city limits.
How peculiar, I thought, considering the $300,000 M.D.O.T. funding contract was already approved, based upon the city's claim that it had legal jurisdiction over a road it owned. I might consider Richardson's email as the first evidence, that I am aware of, of a co-operative attempt between local and M.D.O.T. authorities, to disguise the various acts of fraud and property theft that Burns challenged.
How odd, that City Attorney Filoramo failed to mention that the Schoolcraft County Road Commission had no jurisdiction to transfer, and consequently, the City of Manistique could not accept jurisdiction that didn't exist.
Of course, Candace Rosebrugh might have told Susan Richardson that an unsubstantiated claim of jurisdiction for Act 51 funds was perfectly legal, and an unsubstantiated claim of jurisdiction over Lakeside Road, by Schoolcraft County, or the City of Manistique, was perfectly acceptable, because Albert Vail, Sheila Aldrich and John Filoramo said it was, regardless of what 11th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Stark or the Michigan Court of Appeals judges had to say about the matter. Too often, lies are far more convenient to accept than the truth.
If Candace Rosebrugh understands the basics of Act 51, she knows that Act 51 deals, primarily, with funding various highway requirements, based upon the premise that government entities that apply for the funding have followed the MCL 221.20a-h legal process to acquire jurisdiction over that which they wish to fund. The truth threatens her apparent integrity, job, and political and social standing, and that of her co-workers, because it would justify Burns and I to conclude that M.D.O.T. personnel provide Act 51 funding to any government entity that has not made the first effort to acquire jurisdiction of a road across private property, but has, instead, perpetuated a constantly shifting web of unchallenged deceit regarding non-existent jurisdiction, upon which it continues to solicit funds. The Schoolcraft County Road Commission and the City of Manistique are prime examples of those that would, without any legal jurisdiction, modify and pave the private property of others, paid for with M.D.O.T. funds.
Since the Director of M.D.O.T.'s Bureau of Finance and Administration, Myron Frierson, said he didn't care, I would hardly expect those that work for him to care.
Then, again, I might consider that the last minute emailed requirements are a ruse, with the sole purpose of distancing M.D.O.T. from as much of the fraud as possible, by having, in their possession, the document that would prove that, after M.D.O.T.'s ill considered approval of the ill publicized Lakeside Road business, the City of Manistique and Schoolcraft County were totally responsible for their representation of the basic qualification upon which the M.D.O.T. funding decision was made.
Time, and money, will tell.
Manistique City Council meeting, 06/11/07, second public comment period after consideration of agenda items.
"It was not my intent, earlier this meeting, to miss the opportunity to speak my mind during the first public comment period, but I could not ignore the opportunity for a reality check of my "crystal ball" of human nature that foretold the Manistique City Council's approval of the fictional Lakeside Road jurisdictional swap from the county to the city.
I hope my crystal ball proved shortsighted.
The following is based upon my complete ignorance of any legal documents that transferred title or jurisdiction over any Lakeside Road property, from any private owner to any local government entity. Regarding the resolution of the fictional jurisdictional swap, every voting councilperson has acted, knowingly, to approve a legal action with predictable and likely consequences that will follow, when the city chooses to modify and pave the Lakeside Road, consistent with its publicized intentions.
The city council has been informed, in public, numerous times, verbally and written, with substantiating documentation, that the city manager's assertion that Lakeside Road is a city street by court order, and the city attorney's claim that the city owns the road, are apparent lies. To the best of my knowledge, no government entity in Schoolcraft County has any jurisdiction over the road known to most residents as the Lakeside Road. The only reason I perceive, for the city to pass the resolution to accept fictional jurisdiction over the Lakeside Road, is a vain effort to maintain its submitted fraudulent qualifications for M.D.O.T. funding, to improve and pave a street it doesn't own and over which it has no legal jurisdiction.
There is no city street or county road, starting from the junction of Wilson and Cataragus, diverging eastward from Cataragus and extending generally northward to the Tannery Road, over which the city or the county have jurisdiction. There is only private property across which is located a road that meets the definition of MCL 221.20, a road that all may travel but no public or private entity has the authority, or jurisdiction, to modify or pave it, because the property belongs to others, consistent with the legal descriptions of their recorded deeds.
It is my understanding that the 11th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Stark wrote, in his December 2000 decision, that the Lakeside Road is nothing more than a road that meets the definition of MCL 221.20, with all the legal obligations and responsibilities of due process that comes with any attempt by an appropriate public entity to own it, or gain jurisdiction over it. Since 2000, that I know of, Burns owns the property below the road to the extent he can prove title to. It is my understanding that the legal principles that apply to Burns' interest in the road, apply to all other owners of property traversed by the road, known as Lakeside Road.
It is my understanding that the Michigan Court of Appeals judges affirmed, in 2001, the defined line of travel for the city street named Lakeside Road, as defined in the city's 1959 deed to Miller. It is my understanding that the consequences of two court decisions put the city and county on judicial notice that they had no legal jurisdiction over, or authority to improve and pave the disputed property known as Lakeside Road. To the best of my knowledge, there has been no significant change in ownership or jurisdiction, beyond the false claims of two outlaw government entities, the Schoolcraft County Road Commission and the City of Manistique.
As I understand the details, the city's application for M.D.O.T. funding to improve and pave the Lakeside Road is attempted fraud, based upon false information submitted by City Manager Aldrich, to M.D.O.T., to meet road improvement funding qualification requirements. My historical understanding is based upon the documented context of the public notices from Burns and I, at public meetings, and two court cases, that identify City Attorney Filoramo as the fount of legal advice upon which Aldrich, Housler, Sholander and Filoramo made their deliberately fraudulent representations to one and all, from 2000 till now.
Since 2000, when I first understood, and wrote and spoke of the Lakeside Road issues, no part of the city's action, by commission or omission, was accidental. Now, I understand the community's dance with Burns as a seven year old deliberate shell game designed to separate Burns, and others, from their private property, to replace the city streets that the city abandoned to M.R.I. and M.A.S. as a consequence of its choice to ignore its responsibilities regarding public property under its jurisdiction.
I predict that if this Lakeside Road dispute and project continues, as the city has publicized, and as past and recent events indicate to me, city council will be responsible for incurring substantial new community liability by allowing the city manager to draw in two new marks for the Lakeside Road Shell Game, namely the M.D.O.T. and STS Consultants. With the foreseeable duping of M.D.O.T. and STS Consultants, by unquestioned and corrupt authority figures, I see additional serious liability related grief on the horizon to add to that which surrounds the deliberate victimization of Burns by the community's elected representatives and employees.
Does any councilperson want any clarification of any part of what I just stated?
My final question to council, this evening, is one I asked City Manager Aldrich, on or about 05/31/07. When is the city going to fire City Attorney John Filoramo?
Peter Markham, 06/11/07"
The was no response to any of my public comments.
Mike Pond, the Lakeside Road project engineer for STS Consultants, spoke to council during the reports and communications portion of the agenda, that avoided public notice, public comment or public input from those effected by STS's part in the city and county's intent. Concerning the transfer of jurisdiction of the north end of Lakeside Road, he concluded that the existing road is sufficiently "in close proximity" to the 1921 "survey" to be modified and paved where it is, consistent with the 11th Circuit Court's decision, after settling some details with other adjacent property owners, Rodman and Renk. Pond said that STS should be ready to start in two weeks. Pond made no mention of a recent survey, or what qualified as "in close proximity". Pond never spoke of what part of paving private property was consistent with the 11th Judicial Court decision.
Pond never mentioned that the 1921 "survey" meant nothing beyond a detailed map, without additional documentation. He never spoke of city streets beyond what the city reserved when the city deeded its property to Jim Miller, in 1959. He failed to mention that a city street named Lakeside Road is defined in that deed, far from Burns property outside of the corporate limits of the City of Manistique. He indicated no knowledge, or concern, that no government entity, consistent with the 11th Jusicial Court decision, had jurisdiction over the road across Burns' property.
City of Manistique Attorney, John Filoramo, sat and listened with no comment.
Mike Pond stated that in his conversation with Susan Richardson, she indicated to him that after the jurisdiction swap was completed, and she received the approved resolutions, she would pass them along to the Michigan Attorney General's office. Who knows what that means?
To me, it was obvious that STS Consultants "engineer" Mike Pond did not care about details, and, apparently, his boss, Tony Schomin, didn't care, either.
The city did reserve a Lakeside Road, as defined by the legal descriptions of adjacent parcels. It also reserved a Cattaraugus Street, west of the included quarter section line. Consequently, Manistique and the Schoolcraft County still do not own, or have jurisdiction over the Lakeside Road that extends across Burns' property, and bogus jurisdiction swap resolutions create no new rights for any party, beyond Judge Stark's decision.
Considering the city literally asked Judge Stark that he designate the "Lakeside Road" as a public road, and he obliged with a highway-by-use, it will be interesting to see what a Michigan Attorney General lawyer decides, and the basis for the decision made, because so far, for some seven years, not one piece of substantiating documentation has been offered the public, or Burns and I, voluntarily, or as a consequence of F.O.I.A. requests, regarding the legal process that led to the modification and paving of his property. No document has been offered that describes the legal process by which the City of Manistique or Schoolcraft County derives jurisdiction and authority to modify and pave more private property. It is as if MCL 221.20a-h does not exist, or is superceded by some yet to be identified legislation.
Beyond two court decisions that gave no jurisdiction to any entity, after seven years it is impossible for Burns and I to determine that personal and political whim is not the justification for all that has been done, by the city, county, and M.D.O.T. Given the latest jockeying for position, apparently orchestrated by M.D.O.T. personnel, I find myself wondering about other similar whim based decisions made by M.D.O.T. personnel. I find myself speculating about greater M.D.O.T. liability for authorizing and funding the modification and paving of numerous parcels of private property, without the due process of purchase or condemnation to acquire recorded title and jurisdiction i.a.w. MCL221.20a-h.
I can think of no layman, in my sixty one years of life, that had the ethical understanding, attention to legal detail, and the courage of Burns to stand and fight for an objective and legal explanation, in this case for the seizure of his property, as if MCL 221.20a-h does not exist. Given the relatively "minor" loss of property and value, most folks I know would have given up and ran as fast as possible from the madness I have witnessed. If I am correct, a lot of private property has been lost to the state due to the whims of politicians and bureaucrats that, as of today, have the police power to sanction or do whatever they wish, with impunity, to those who cannot afford, or cannot economically justify a lawyer.
I can understand the Director of M.D.O.T.'s Bureau of Finance and Administration, Myron Frierson's message to Burns of, "We don't care. My advice to you is to get a lawyer." From my perspective, Myron Frierson is running, to some degree, an M.D.O.T. gambling business, and averaged out, the house always wins.
As Burns has said to me, on many occasions over the years, it is really sad and ironic that we send our children to teach others the errors of their ways, in Iraq, and elsewhere in the world, while at home it is so easy to ignore the principles and processes for which we send our, and others', children to kill and be killed.
Burns called M.D.O.T.'s Supervisor of Statewide Planning Section, Susan Richardson, around 11AM to see if she intended to pass along to the Attorney General's Office his documentation with the resolutions to swap jurisdiction between the county and city, as stated by Mike Pond, of STS Consultants, during the city council meeting of 06/11/07. Susan Richardson's paraphrased response to Burns was, no way did she say that she was passing the resolutions to the A.G. She said, paraphrased, that she was sending them to (missed name), within M.D.O.T.
Since Richardson made no reference to the documents he sent her, Burns then asked her if she received the documents. She responded that she didn't get any. Al countered that he held in his hand the certified mail receipt of a package of documents he sent. She said she would check and call back.
Approximately ten minutes later, Susan Richardson called back and said she could find no documents, and no one that received them. Burns told her who received them. Richardson then asked for the other receipt information and said she would check with the post office. I took one look at the receipt in Al's hand and asked why anyone would check with he Post Office when it was quite obvious that I could get on the telephone, here, and find out, with little to no trouble.
It is possible that M.D.O.T. has its own "post office", but I assume she thinks that everyone in Schoolcraft County fell off the turnip truck, this morning. I do not know much, but I know it wasn't a visit from the Lord that prompted Richardson to motivate the county and city to pass those resolutions concerning the jurisdiction of Lakeside Road. Legal government jurisdiction is a mandatory qualification before funding the modification and paving of existing roads, unless property rights exist no more.
Assuming that I have a basic understanding of the English language, and the legal principles involved in the Lakeside Road dispute, from my perspective, I still fail to see the "Emperor's Old Clothes". Two resolution lies do not make the truth, and neither the city, nor the county have ownership or jurisdiction, unless Judge Stark is seriously mistaken, or another professional liar, and all of MCL 221.20a-h is fiction.
I attended the Schoolcraft County Road Commission meeting, this evening, to witness the Commission's discussion and vote regarding the resolution to transfer jurisdiction over the north end of Lakeside Road to the City of Manistique, if I got the wrong answer to my public comment question. My question was, "Regarding the north end of Lakeside Road jurisdiction transfer resolution, from what document does the Road Commission derive its current jurisdiction over Lakeside Road?"
I was told by the Manager of the Road Commission that there was no document that anyone could refer to. I infer from that answer, either no one understands what is going on, or a transfer of hearsay jurisdiction was about to take place. I chose not to witness the apparent mockery of due process, and left the meeting.
I appreciated Albert Vail's candid and relevant response. It was one of the few I can count on one hand, during my almost 15? years of political dissent in Schoolcraft County.
I was told that shortly after I left, the Road Commission members passed the resolution unanimously, 3-0, after one member was reported to say, "This is all new to us, tonight."
From my perspective, City Manager Aldrich, and her local and M.D.O.T. partners in fraud, claim that Burns cannot bring suit over the jurisdiction issue concerning the modification and paving of a road over his private property; a road over which no government entity has produced any legal document supporting its claim of jurisdiction. All I can say, to all involved in the Lakeside Road Shell Game, is hide and watch. Either produce the irrefutable proof of legal jurisdiction over Lakeside Road that you have refused to produce for eight years, that I know of, or be prepared to go to court.
As I see it, Burns took this issue to court twice, with no compensation sought, beyond regaining control of his property. Seven years later, he has compensation in mind, for all the abuse he has endured from all those that don't care.
Regarding his property, with no consideration of the road property owners in the city limits, Burns has recorded deeds, and the City of Manistique has nothing but hearsay fantasy jurisdiction, lies, conspiracy to defraud, and illegal conversion of property, for openers... along with obtaining $300,000+ from M.D.O.T. for a road over which it, and Schoolcraft County, has no jurisdiction.
I know, mere legal technicalities. Ask M.D.O.T.'s Myron Frierson. Frierson told Burns he didn't care about the law, and then told Burns to hire an attorney.
OK, Burns says. When the time is right. If it takes a hired legal gun, then he must wait until the likely compensation is high enough to pay for a professional attorney, and all the unjustified and unsubstantiated official torture he has been forced to endure.
As I have documented, Burns tried the civil route to justice, and was, subsequently, swept aside by a conspiracy of official evasion, lies, and deceipt. His charitable view of the community no longer prevails.
I attended the Manistique Area Schools Board meeting of 06/18/07. M.A.S. Superintendent of Schools referred to a communication received from STS Consultant's Lakeside Road project engineer, Mike Pond, and stated that the road improvement project would proceed shortly, after the drainage design was completed.
Before the Board meeting started, I handed a copy of my question to city council of 04/23/07 regarding the fencing off, gravel filling, and grading of city street property. I watched every member of the Board go through the motions of reading it.
During the public comment period, I referred to the lack of response from Manistique City Council, and then I asked the Board members if any of them, or any member of the attending public, was aware that the city owned two city street right-of-ways through the northern property M.A.S., purchased from George and Elizabeth Slining, for the new Emerald Elementary School. I referred to the reservation of the street extensions in the City of Manistique's 1959 deed to Miller.
The only Board member to comment was Grant Harris, who said as far as he knew the deed for the property provided clear title. Maybe, the School Board found a reason for title insurance...
I attended the Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioner's meeting of 06/19/07 and during the public comments period I referred to my 04/12/07 inquiry of the commissioners, and those in attendance at the Schoolcraft County Road Commission meeting of 03/01/06. After the references for context, I asked the Board of Commissioners if they had any concerns about the transfer of fictional jurisdiction over the northern end of Lakeside Road from the Schoolcraft County Road Commission to the City of Manistique.
I received no answer, just blank stares, as on 04/12/07. I then asked if the Board had any liability concerns. Commissioner Lauzon spoke up and stated the Schoolcraft County Road Commission was run by an elected board, independent of the county, and the County Board of Commissioners had no involvement in Road Commission business.
I thanked Lauzon for the answer, and returned to my seat to distill the essence of what I was told, regarding my voiced concerns. I understood, in so many words, that the Manager of the Schoolcraft County Road Commission had the Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners' default approval to incur any liability he wished, in any manner he chose, because there are three men elected to the Road Commission board to oversee his decisions, and vote his will.
Lauzon's explanation sounded like my understanding of the de facto political city twin...the Manistique City Manager and Attorney can incur whatever liability they wish, in any manner they choose, because there are five elected members on the Manistique City Council to oversee the decisions of the City Manager and City Attorney and vote their will.
Who knows, maybe Burns and I are from another planet, and the purpose of government risk management plans, and government liability insurance, is to encourage the ignorance of government officials and encourage them to ignore or break the law, with impunity. I have heard, more than once, in the context of questionable county and city legal and policy decisions, "That's what insurance is for."
After doing a little homework, this morning, to get a better understanding for the basis of Schoolcraft County Commissioner Lauzon's answer to my question, last night, I have acquired a greater appreciation of M.D.O.T.'s influence in the corrupt process that has victimized Burns, to date. It would seem that a reported comment by one of the Schoolcraft County Road Commission members had far more importance than I was aware of.
It was reported that a Schoolcraft County Road Commission board member said, in reference to my voiced concerns of the transfer of fictional jurisdiction over the northern end of Lakeside Road, paraphrased, "Our Boss, M.D.O.T.'s Susan Richardson, requests we do this transfer. Who are we to argue?" As it appears to me now, after the prompting of County Commissioner Lauzon, the Schoolcraft County Road Commission is beholden to no one but the Michigan Department of Transportation. Short of recalling elected Road Commission Board members, or a suit in court, both of which take significant time with no guaranteed results, there is no local means to ensure any degree of local or State accountability.
From my perspective, it is no wonder M.D.O.T.'s Myron Frierson and Susan Richardson sounded so secure in their self serving responses to Burn's concerns. In effect, they own the Schoolcraft County Road Commission, with tax paid attorneys to insulate and protect them from the concerns of Burns and I.
As I understand the legal procedures, assuming that the road across Burns' property meets the definition of a public road, i.a.w. MCL 221.20, and the details of Judge Stark's 11th Judicial Circuit Court's decision, it does not become a road subject to any entity's jurisdiction, until the completion of a well defined legal sequential process takes place to have the road declared a public highway road, i.a.w. MCL 221.20a.
None of the requirements of MCL 221.20a have ever been met, and, to the best of my knowledge, there is no arbitrary legal judicial alternative option, that I infer from any part of Judge Stark's decision.
Section 221.20a PUBLIC HIGHWAYS AND PRIVATE ROADS (EXCERPT) Act 283 of 1909 221.20a Declaration of road as public highway; consent; petition; action in circuit court; order; purchase or condemnation. Sec. 20a. A township with the prior written consent of the board of county road commissioners and upon petition to the township board by 51% of the property owners whose frontage abuts a road may commence an action in circuit court to have the road determined to be a public highway and to determine the length and boundaries of the road. If the court finds that there has been public use of the road for at least 10 years and that public authorities have expended public money on the road, it shall enter an order that the road has become a public highway setting forth the length and boundaries of that public highway. If the court finds that the road has not become a public highway, the township may in the same action acquire by purchase or condemnation in accordance with section 20h of this chapter the property rights of those owners who in the action claim that the road is not a public highway and the court shall enter its order that the road is a public highway and set forth the length and boundaries of that public highway. History: Add. 1974, Act 336, Imd. Eff. Dec. 17, 1974 ;-- Am. 1978, Act 233, Eff. Mar. 30, 1979 © 2007 Legislative Council, State of Michigan
Why has no Schoolcraft County official, City of Manistique official, or official of the Michigan Department of Transportation, provided a legal document to Al Burns that provides evidence that some government entity has acquired legal jurisdiction over his property? Is the absence of documentation evidence of a common perversity of public officials to flaunt their brutish dominance of more civilized and less influential members of society? Is it the human equivalent of a dominant chipanzee taking a subordinate's banana? Is it civilized behaviour?
Why do I perceive a facet of human nature so evident in less civilized Third World countries, accepted here, in my own community? Who should gain by seizing Burns' property with no publicized, cogent, documented and specific legal process and justification? Who should gain by the unwarranted and undocumented seizing of Burns' property to replace the Manistique city streets used by Manistique Area Schools for the grounds of the new Emerald Elementary School, and Manistique Rentals Inc. for its quarry operations?
Why do I want to puke every time I stand and pledge allegiance to the flag, at Manistique city council and Schoolcraft County board meetings, in the company of those that sanction predatory interests of a similar philosophy to that of public officials I read about that rule uncivilized Third World countries?
What civilized options are available to a typical citizen, like Burns, that cannot afford or cannot justify the price of a lawyer to obtain the documented source of legal authority that grants the jurisdiction that justifies the state's seizure and conversion of his property? Why is it necessary to consider such options, civilized or otherwise, seven years after a court decision that declared no one had jurisdiction over a road that crosses Burns private property?
F.O.I.A. requests not withstanding, all local government entities involved, and the Michigan Department of Transportation, over a period of seven years, have provided no legal document to substantiate their various claims of jurisdiction over the road crossing Burns property. They have provided no legal document of jurisdiction to claim Act 51 funds to plow and maintain the travelled portion of the road. They provided no legal document of jurisdiction to justify the widening, moving, and paving of a road over Burns private property. That refusal to provide a legal document that grants the legal jurisdiction to a government entity to seize and convert private property is not accidental.
It is way past time to seek help from the Michigan Attorney General.
On 07/21/07 Burns payed me a visit to let me know that he had received a phone call from M.D.O.T.'s Supervisor of Statewide Planning Section, Susan Richardson. The purpose of her call was to request that Burns send another package of his documented concerns, and she would pass them along to an Attorney General lawyer. She asked him to send them by regular first class mail, instead of "certified mail - return receipt requested" so that the information wouldn't wind up in a warehouse and get lost!
Concerning the "lost" documents, Burns then contacted Jeremy Hall, the man who's signature appeared on the receipt stamp, and verified that the certified mail package of documents was received. Hall said he determined it was received, but he hadn't the slightest idea who signed for it, or where it went, because the stamp could have been used by anyone!
So much for the concept of certified mail, in M.D.O.T.'s "We don't care." bureaucracy. In my 61 years of life, regarding first class mail, I never copped an honest plea of "It musta got lost in the mail.", and I have no reason to believe a similar plea from M.D.O.T. A failure to record custody of certified mail, and a failure to hold responsible those that "lose" certified mail, is no accident.
So, to give Richardson the benefit of the doubt, with no knowledge of her integrity and intentions, beyond questionable past experience, Burns has to spend more of his life to gather together and annotate another package of documents, to send her. Both packages of documents, and the uncompensated waste of life they represent, would be unnecessary if M.D.O.T. personnel and Schoolcraft County government and administration personnel were not so consumed with their own view of the world that the rules of civilized behaviour are dispensed with, consistent with their "We don't care." attitude, as expressed by M.D.O.T.'s Myron Frierson.
On 05/19/07. the following F.O.I.A. request was sent by certified mail to James Barr, Supervisor of Manistique Township. James Barr didn't care enough to answer.
" Dear Mr. Barr,
This request for information is filed under the terms of the Michigan Freedom of Information Act 442 of 1976.
This F.O.I.A. request is a consequence of prior Michigan Freedom of Information Act requests addressed to the Schoolcraft County Road Commission, and the City of Manistique, resulting in denials of involvement. I will now make a similar request of Manistique Township regarding its involvement in modification and paving of a right-of-way known to the community and City as the "Lakeside Road", including that end that crosses my private property, located outside the corporate limits of the City of Manistique.
This request is for one copy of any and all documents and papers filed from 01/01/2000 to 05/18/07, regarding authorization and funding of any degree of improvement and paving of a "Lakeside Road" right-of-way, including but not limited to any of the following, recent or historical: maps, surveys, easements, applications, correspondence, funding qualification documents, and any other documents and papers filed regarding the qualification, authorization, extent, and funding of any part of a "Lakeside Road" right-of-way.
Alfred J. Burns"
It is reasonable for me to infer, from Barr's lack of response, that he had nothing to do with any attempt by Manistique Township to have the road declared a public road, i.a.w. MCL 221.20a, since 01/01/2000. It is reasonable for me to infer, from his lack of response, that he has no documents relating to the "mystery" paving of the north end of a road in the township he represents. If my inferences are true, how could any government entity declare it to be a public road, or have any jurisdiction over it, or modify and pave it, without his knowledge?
It must be time for another F.O.I.A. request of Mr. Barr to find out why he supervised a project that led Manistique Township to fund and contract with the Schoolcraft County Road Commission to pave a road over private property, over Burns' protests. That road was, and is, under no legal jurisdiction of any government entity. Contrary to what the Schoolcraft County Liars Club has said about the topic, MCL 221.20a grants no legal jurisdiction derived from false maps, false surveys, non-existent surveys, city attorney lies, non-existent contracts, city manager lies, city council evasion, property seizure, unlawful conversion of private property, road commission lies, M.D.O.T. apathy, falsified qualifications, and any and all of that which I do not recall, at the moment.
I filed this email complaint with the Michigan Attorney General, in an attempt to create a little appropriate concern. A similar and more comprehensive and documented complaint was then filed by certified mail, with documentation, on 06/28/07:
"This complaint concerns the refusal of various government entities to provide the legal document(s) that give them the jurisdiction and authority to modify and pave a road over private property in and outside of the city limits of Manistique, in Schoolcraft County. I, as a concerned citizen filing this complaint, and Alfred Burns, the property owner, have sought the documents since 2000. No relevant document(s) have been provided by the City of Manistique, Manistique Township, the Schoolcraft County Road Commission, the Michigan Department of Transportation, and the recent on-site project managing business of STS Consultants, concerning the source of legal jurisdiction to modify and pave a road across private property, that extends from within the city limits of Manistique and crosses Burns' property in the township of Manistique. The de facto argument from all government entities has been that it is Burns' and my responsibility to prove that the jurisdiction they claim does not exist, and if we cannot prove the absence of that which does not exist, then they have jurisdiction to modify and pave private property. That argument from faith, to require Burns' and I to disprove that which does not exist, is worthy of religious zealots, but is reprehensible coming from those involved with the road project. The road across Burns' property was paved after an 11th Judicial Court of Appeals decision stated, clearly, that no one had jurisdiction over the road, and a Michigan Court of Appeals decision that confirmed the defined line of travel of a city street named Lakeside Road. To the best of my knowledge, before and after the courts' decisions were made, no government entity has taken the first step to acquire jurisdiction, or own the property, in a law- full manner, consistent with the sequential procedural requirements of MCL 221.20a-h. M.D.O.T. has authorized the funding, modification and paving of the remainder of the road, based on what I can only describe as a constantly shifting source of fictional jurisdiction that culminated in the recent transfer of non- jurisdiction from the Schoolcraft County Road Commission to the City of Manistique, i.a.w. the instructions of M.D.O.T.'s Supervisor of Statewide Planning Section, Susan Richardson. It is my understanding that, as a consequence of M.D.O.T.'s decision to accept the fictional jurisdiction swap, the remainder of the road over private property is scheduled to be modified and paved, starting 07/02/07 or 07/09/07 as made public at the 06/18/07 meeting of the Manistique Area Schools Board meeting. As a consequence of a recent request by Richardson for documents that supported Burns voiced complaints to M.D.O.T., burns sent, by certified mail, a full package of information, including court transcripts. Richardson denied receiving the documents. I request an Attorney General inquiry into why no one will provide copies of legal documents that are, to the best of my layman's knowledge, the required legal source of legal jurisdiction for any government to receive funds i.a.w. Act 51, to modify and pave a road over private property, known in Manistique as the "Lakeside Road", that extends from Wilson Street to Tannery Road, as described in various M.D.O.T. documents concerning that business. I request a copy of the legal document(s) that provide the legal jurisdiction over the road in question that M.D.O.T., the City of Manistique, the Schoolcraft County Road Commission and Manistique Township have refused to produce, after F.O.I.A. requests have been made of each entity. I request that the ill conceived, sanctioned, and unlawfully funded Lakeside Road project be halted until the requirements of MCL 221.20a- h are complied with, and Burns is compensated for years of misery he has suffered at the hands of those whose responsibility is to care, but who don't give a damn beyond their personal and political interests. I have documented most of the obscene process of Burns abuse from 2000 until now, in a continuing editorial, with substantiating documentation and narratives at: http://manistique.org/quarry.html I have no telephone. I may be contacted, by email, at: email@example.com Burns may be contacted at: 906-341-6350 Thank you, Peter Markham"
Today, Al Burns and I filed comprehensive, formal, and documented complaints with Susan Richardson of the Michigan Department of Transportation, and Mike Cox, of the Michigan Attorney General's Office.
Peter Markham 416 Alger Ave Manistique, MI 49854-1102 06/26/07 Michigan Attorney General To Whom it May Concern, The following is a copy of the complaints and documents sent to M.D.O.T.'s Susan Richardson, below. I am filing this copy with the Michigan Attorney General, on Alfred Burns' behalf, after he requested I do so, because another far more detailed and expensive package of documents was "lost" after it was delivered by certified mail to M.D.O.T. The only changes made to these documents, with Burns' permission, different from those in Burns' second attempt to deliver documents to Ms. Richardson, are those added, by me, in red, yellow, and blue to the two enclosed maps, in an effort to provide a more simple and graphic explanation. I have followed the travails of Burns during eight years of failed efforts to dissuade local governments from their continuous efforts to ignore, circumvent and and break laws with roots in basic civil rights. More information is available at my web site page of: http://www.manistique.org/quarry.html Any help you can offer to show Burns and I the errors of our understanding and ways would be appreciated. Assuming that Burns and I are not nuts, or in gross error, we would appreciate sufficient justice to make our investment of life, worthwhile, resisting a conspiracy of local government blackguards. Sincerely, Peter C. Markham Alfred J. Burns 7059 W Tannery Road Manistique, MI 49854 906-341-6350 06/26/07 Ms. Susan Richardson M.D.O.T. B.T.P. P.O. Box 30050 Lansing MI 48909 Dear Ms. Richardson, Regarding government jurisdiction over a "Lakeside Road" that crosses my property, for which M.D.O.T. has approved funding to plow, maintain, modify and pave: To the best of my knowledge, having pursued this issue for decades, the Schoolcraft County Road Commission has not, since the 1960s, claimed jurisdiction over the road located in the S.E.1/4 of the N.W.1/4 of Sec 7, T41N, R15W, known as the "Lakeside Road" that crosses my property. (Please read the attached F.O.I.A. response letter from the manager of the Schoolcraft County Road Commission) The "Lakeside Road" at the core of this dispute was never taken over as a county road, consistent with the state law requirements of MCL 247.669, or any other applicable statute, because it has never, among other requirements, been dedicated to the public. (See attached copy) The same law, consequentially, bars the City of Manistique from having legal jurisdiction over the part of the "Lakeside Road" that is located outside of the city limits. The preamble to the Public Highways and Private Roads Act 283 of 1909 states: "An Act to revise, consolidate, and add to the laws relating to the establishment, opening, discontinuing, vacating, closing, altering, improvement, maintenance, and use of the public highways and private roads..." (See attached copy) MCL 221.20, a part of Act 283, describes how a private road, or a highway-by- use, that meets the definition of a public highway, may become a public road, including: (See attached copy) 221.20 Public highway; definition, width. Sec. 20. "...subject to be altered or discontinued according to the provisions of this act..." MCL 221.20a, a part of Act 283, describes the first necessary step, and, MCL 221.20b-h are the subsequent sequential steps, to make a private road, or a highway-by-use, into a public road, under the legal jurisdiction of a government entity. Regarding the "Lakeside Road" across my property, no provision of Act 283 of 1909, MCL 221.20a through MCL 221.20h has ever been complied with, regarding any part of the road, within the city limits, or outside the city limits. In other words, no government entity has ever taken the first legal step to obtain jurisdiction over any part of the road that crosses my private property, and the private property of others. There was, and is, no overriding need for any government entity to acquire jurisdiction over the "Lakeside Road" that crosses my property, because the City of Manistique owns the right of ways of two city streets, Lakeside Road and Cattaraugus Street, that run from Oak Street to the Tannery Road, in undeveloped property, within some 60+ feet west of the highway by use that crosses my property. The south end of that highway by use is some 55' m/l east of the city's own deed description of its city streets right-of- ways. The City of Manistique reserved its rights to those city streets, in its legal description of property, located in Sec 7, T41N, R15W, it deeded to Jim Miller, in 1959. (See attached copy of deed) In the 11th Judicial Circuit Court Decision, File # 00-3048-NZ, Pages 30-31, Para. 4, Judge Charles Stark's words from the court transcript follow: "... therefore we have a highway by use. Now, this does not -- A highway by use does not give the City the right or the jurisdiction or the title to the roadway. It doesn't give it to the state. It is an easement that is directed at the public at large that it has become a public highway. And Mr. Burns would continue to own whatever property he does to whatever description he can establish, but that it -- wherever that line may be is subject to this overarching easement for public use. In other words, Mr. Burns may use that area of the property as long a it's not in derogation of the public's use and right to -- to traverse that -- that property." (See attached copy) N.B. To the best of my knowledge, there is no public record of any government entity action to have the road declared a public highway, contrary to my understanding of Judge Stark's statement that the highway by use, across my property, "...has become a public highway..." (See attached copy) 11th Judicial Circuit Court Decision, File # 00-3048-NZ, Page 24: Attorney, Gary Olsen, "...and we've got surveys in process and preliminary surveys that show that, possibly, very little of the road is on his property..." To this day, the City of Manistique, and the Schoolcraft County Road Commission, state they do not have a survey of the property upon which this road is located, therefore belie Olsen's statement. (See attached copies of F.O.I.A. request responses) Circuit Court File # 00-3048-NZ, Defendants Answer to Complaint (copy attached) Para. 5 "The City of Manistique maintains a road only under the authority of a contract with the State of Michigan...His complaint is properly lodged against the State" Para. 8 "Defendant City of Manistique admits that it has no jurisdictional or governmental powers outside its corporate limits...except in this case, a contract with the State of Michigan to maintain the roadway in question." (See attached copy) Question: Does the existence of Act 51 constitute a valid contract between the State of Michigan and the City of Manistique to maintain a public road, that doesn't exist, over and across my private property, outside the corporate limits of the city? If not, does a legal contract exist, for the plowing and maintenance of a highway by use, across private property? If not, then the city's attorney lied to the court, and lied to the public, and most likely, provided legal advice concerning the City's fraudulent representations to M.D.O.T., and anything that follows is as likely to be a lie, as not. Regarding the contested location of the highway-by-use, "Lakeside Road", that crosses my property, completely outside of the corporate limits of the City of Manistique, I include copies of the deeds that document the ownership and legal descriptions of my property it crosses, from the time the property was transferred from the Michigan Dept. of Conservation on 08/16/1951, to my current ownership. (See attached copies) Regarding the statement from attorney Olsen, quoted from the 11th Judicial Circuit Court transcripts, that the City of Manistique claimed the road to be a highway by use because it was on my property by only a few feet - that is pure fabrication. Enclosed are copies of a chain of deeds that define the legal boundaries of my property, and a copy of the survey of my property. To the best of my knowledge, within the context of numerous F.O.I.A. requests for a survey of the road, no government entity has provided one, even though my property has been modified and paved, over my vigorous protests, and it is the publicized intent of the City of Manistique to pave, very soon, with no jurisdiction, the remainder of the road over private property, with no survey to determine whose private property will be paved in a similar fashion! (See attached copies) If all that I document here, sound nuts, to you, please give a little thought, consideration, and empathy to my perspective, and grant me some relief by knocking the outlaws into line. Questions: Does Act 51 provide the legal basis for a valid contract between the State of Michigan and the City of Manistique to plow and maintain an un- surveyed highway-by-use across private property? If it does, where might I locate a copy of that contract? As the road in question was never made a public road under the jurisdiction of any government entity, consistent with the requirements of MCL 221.20a, then by what authority does M.D.O.T. determine that the City of Manistique, or the Schoolcraft County Road Commission, meet the jurisdiction qualifications to be eligible for any form of State, M.D.O.T. or Federal funding, consistent with the requirements of Act 51, or any other Act, for any work, past or present, on the "Lakeside Road", that proceeds from it junction with Main Street, within the corporate limits of the City of Manistique, travelling generally northward and easterly to cross my private property, located outside the corporate limits of the City of Manistique, to its junction with the Tannery Road? Am I mistaken in my understanding that Act 51 funding is based upon the requirement that government entities have legal jurisdiction over the roads they wish to fund, for any purpose or reason? Am I mistaken in my understanding that because no government entity has legal jurisdiction over the "Lakeside Road" that crosses my property, and, for decades, all government entities have refused to acquire legal jurisdiction over the road, that the current M.D.O.T. approved and funded modification and paving of private property should be terminated, without need of further courts involvement? From my perspective, government entities involved in the illegal de facto seizure and conversion of my property, and that of others, have done so, to date, with M.D.O.T.'s blessing. Isn't it past time for M.D.O.T. to close this project in a civilized manner instead of funding and blessing outlaws to break the law? Sincerely, Alfred Burns c.c Michigan Attorney GeneralClick this link for the response from the Michigan Attorney General's office.
Today I found, behind my screen door, copies of recent maps of the north end of the road known as Lakeside Road. The maps are attributed to STS Consultants, 1050 Wilson St., Marquette, MI - 906-228-2333, ordered by the City of Manistique. Only one is shown here, because, from my limited perspective, it displays all the facets of the incompetence, ignorance, lack of ethics, and blatant illegal nature of the business that STS Consultants and the City of Manistique choose to conduct.
I spoke to Al Burns and he said he knew nothing about the documents, and I know I didn't, and none of the details represented in the maps have been made public.
Dear STS Consultants, if the quarter section line runs continuously along the extension of the platted Cataragus Street, and as shown in the 1921 map, by what marvel of "surveying" and "engineering" does it move some 84 feet, m\l to the east, in your drawing? Why do I think that the lure of business motivated STS Consultants to "move" the quarter section line in their drawing, to misrepresent one of the historical Manistique City limits, and the extension of the city's Cattaraugus Street?
Does an STS Consultants' drawing show an imaginary distance from a monument in a short forty, with no consideration of that fact, and no consideration to details of the deed that defines lot "C", owned by Alfred Burns? What legal or business value is there to any honest person for an "engineer's" drawing, with no certification regarding the accuracy of any of the data represented thereon, with the apparent purpose of justifing the past and future seizure and conversion of Burns' property, outside of the city limits?
What makes an STS Consultants' drawing, of uncertified documented claims, of greater value to those paying the bills, than that of a 6 year old child? What makes an uncertified description, with an uncertified drawing, of any value to anyone, beyond whatever fools are willing to pay?
Am I correct in referring to STS Consultants' drawing as "creative surveying", attempting to provide, with minimal liability, a false basis for the City of Manistique to somehow escape the consequences of allowing Manistique Area Schools and Manistique Rentals Inc. to convert city property reserved as city streets? Does placing the representation of an unsurveyed city limit line, through the drawing of "Lakeside Road", make the seizure and conversion of Burns' property legal? Will a similar drawing justify the seizure of some 20' of Rodman' property, at the north end of Cataragus Street?
Why do I imagine STS Consultants hires confidence men, instead of engineers? Is it because ethical professional engineers would have surveyed the Manistique city limit instead of fabricating the worthless document, above?
Is there a valid technical reason for this new chapter of the "Lakeside Road Shell Game", beyond my speculation that the legal surveying of the historical city limit, west of Burns property, would provide the evidence that Burns was correct in most of what he and I claim?
How appropriate can it be to map part of a road, in 2007, without a survey? What has been modified by the county, city, and public since God walked the Earth, and for which all government entities denied the existance of a survey? How coincidental is it to find that, in the drawing, the point of beginning (POB) of the centerline of the travelled portion of the road "almost" coincides with the misplaced SW corner of lot "C", and the point of ending (POE) "almost" coincides with the Manistique City limits? Is the map-and-description document an example of the mapping magic of STS Consultants' engineer Mike Pond's theory of 'in close proximity'?
Who placed the three "steel survey rods", on the north side of Tannery Road, and what do they represent? To the best of my layman's knowledge, they mark, relatively accurately by my "Boy Scout" compass, the current center of the "Lakeside Road", the quarter section line that defines the city limit, and the extension of the western boundary of Lakeview Cemetery. Were those rods driven and staked on a whim? What is wrong with surveying the Manistique City limit, properly, along which the road should travel? Why a public funded meaningless map and description of a road across Burns private property, as an apparent substitute for Manistique City Attorney Filoramo's ill-advised survey instructions to Manistique City Manager Sheila Aldrich?
If I was the surveyor, regarding the "Lakeside Road" business, there is no doubt that I would not have given anyone a certified survey, or a map and description with my name on it, let alone the name of the company for which I work! Surveying property for, or making professional representations about property, to a government entity with no jurisdiction over the property considered, strikes me as an open invitation to trouble, by someone that doesn't care, beyond securing the city's business.
Do you really think that Burns is going to accept the consequences of what appears, to he and I, to be nothing but a phoney-map-and-false- legal-description-substitute-for-a-survey of a road across private property, drawn by agents of STS Consultants, a major regional engineering services corporation, paid with public funds? Has anyone, beyond Burns and I, given any thought to what is going to happen when Federal Highway Administration funds are spent to modify and pave a road across private property, based upon an uncertified, fabricated drawing and false description from an STS Consultants engineer?
Burns and I still waiting to see just how right or wrong we are. I would not be surprised if an F.H.W.A. person was lurking in cyberspace, wondering how far the legal envelope will be pushed by those desperate to substitute a road, over private property, for the consequences of wholesale deceit and dereliction of duty that continue to allow city streets right of ways to be converted for other purposes.
What is wrong with public discourse concerning the details of what I can only describe as continuing reprehensible behavior by the Manistique city government and administration?
Burns also told me that M.D.O.T.'s Supervisor of Statewide Planning Section, Susan Richardson, had spoken to him by phone, this morning, to tell him she had received the documents and complaints sent yesterday!
In their related conversation she stated, paraphrased by Burns, "I don't understand why all the noise on Markham's web site, about Act 283. After ten years, jurisdiction is granted, automatically." Burns then proceeded to introduce her to the very basics of Act 283, and the required due process to make a highway by use into a public road under any appropriate government's jurisdiction, consistent with basic property rights granted in the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights, that, to date, everyone but Burn's and I don't care about.
As I have speculated, earlier; how much private property has been paved by the Michigan Department of Transportation, because a system is in place with virtually no accountability? In the world of costly legal representation, it is mandatory and expensive to hire legal counsel that understands the law, to have a chance of winning a legal pissing contest. Except for commercially valuable property, few would have the resources to stand and fight for what is theirs, and feed the lawyers.
Burns tried to temper my cynical view of M.D.O.T. by suggesting that, maybe, all other counties in Michigan play be the rules of law set out in MCL 221.20a-h and associated legislation, and that M.D.O.T. has been misled by the professional liars in Schoolcraft County. We can only hope.
Then again, maybe Burns and I are from Mars, and have failed to understand the very basics of what we have fought for, and against, together, intermittently, for some eight years. Eight years later, Burns and I still fail to see the "Emperor's New Clothes", regardless of how fast, and how often, the emperor's paid servants change them.
With no explanation by anyone, Al and I can only guess that the purpose of the STS Consultants' map is to provide a draft for some slight-of-hand legal manoeuvre, by the City of Manistique, in an attempt to gain ownership and jurisdiction over the road across Burns' property. Perhaps someone should ask Judge Stark if he appreciates the consideration of replacing the provisions of MCL 221.20a-h with what I consider to be an expensive STS Consultants' equivalent of a comic book drawing and text.
Terry Rodman, the owner of the residence at the N.E. corner of Cataragus Street and Wilson Street, touched bases with me today. He told me that he had met with two STS Consultants employees, and Manistique City Manager Aldrich, recently, who explained verbally, and graphically, with "new" plans, that the "road" was some six feet on his property, so they would be moving it west, some six feet, after which the only part on his property would be the curb!
That claim of six feet struck me as a little short of the 20 feet, more or less, that I had measured from the center of the travelled portion of the road, near the north end of Rodman's property, to the approximate center of the Cataragus Street right-of-way owned by the city of Manistique, along which the center of the road should be located. Once again, it sounded to me as if STS Consultants personnel were attempting to sanction the theft of twenty feet of Rodman's property, as part of the M.D.O.T. approved Manistique "Lakeside Road" project, paid for with state and federal funds. (Correction: The 55 feet I measured earlier was correct, but not from near the rear of Rodman's lot, but from the rear of his neighbour's adjacent lot, to the north.)
Those that are alert might notice that the chain link fence, that secures the new school property, is approximately ten feet west of the centerline of the city owned Cataragus Street right of way, where Al Burns is standing. I know that Manistique City Council didn't care, apparently STS Consultants do not care, either, because, I am told, the "new" plans make it quite clear that it is the intent of the city to convert Rodman's property, with STS Consultants' help.
With no survey to refer to, and relying on my understanding of hearsay, I might believe that the road was some six feet on Rodman's property, at the south end, widening to over a twenty foot wedge at the north end of his lot. I might also believe that it is easy to take candy from a baby, just as it is to take property from a congenial and ignorant Yooper without the means to hire expensive legal help to keep the thieves at bay.
I suspect the theory behind the phoney attempt to address Rodman's concerns is the following: If STS Engineers and the City of Manistique can placate a concerned Rodman for 8 years, they will be able to condemn his property 33 feet east of the existing center line of travel, and evade the consequences of Manistique Area Schools' apparent conversion of the city owned legal Cataragus Street right of way. It is a variation of the same strategy that the City of Manistique tried with Burns' property, to evade the consequences of Manistique Rentals Inc.'s apparent conversion of the city owned legal Cataragus Street right of way, except Burns understood what they were doing, before and after the courts told the City of Manistique that no government entity had jurisdiction over Burns' property.
The above "theory" has its roots in my early understanding of Manistique City Attorney Filoramo's 2000 threat, that the city would take Burns' property in court, if necessary, and STS Consultants engineer, Mike Pond's, reported claim that by placing the travelled portion of Cataragus Street just inside the 66' wide defined and platted right of way, eight years later the city could then claim 33' east of the existing center of the travelled portion of the road, from Rodmans adjacent property. Michigan law mandates that the travelled portion of the road be centered on the defined right of way, but that is no one's concern in Manistique, beyond those whose property is seized. I am prompted to wonder how many times STS Consultants' engineer Mike Pond has made similar decisions.
Assuming that there is no survey of the road known as "Lakeside Road" consistent with three F.O.I.A. responses, and contrary to attorney Olsen's 2000 statement to Judge Stark, then I consider the Rodman property situation a direct consequence of the STS Consultants engineer Mike Pond theory of, "In Close Proximity". His theory of engineering and law is that if the road is "close" to that illustrated, on a 1921 map with no pedigree, it is where it should be, regardless of what common sense and a seven dollar tape measure indicates, and what current and historic Michigan legislation directs him to do, or assure that his client does, as a responsible agent of STS Consultants and the City of Manistique.
Based upon my deduced and measured understanding of the three survey pins on the north side of the Tannery Road, STS Consultants engineer, Mike Pond's theory of "In Close Proximity" has a greater impact at the north end of the road, adjacent to Burns property. My $7 tape measure reveals an ~84' difference between the staked survey rod that marks the existing centerline of the highway by use known as "Lakeside Road", and the staked survey rod that marks the quarter section line that defines the city limits of Manistique. Assuming that the 1921 map had any relevance at all, and granting a 10' offset of the mapped road, to the east of the City limits line, there is still an ~74 difference between where the road "should be", and where it is. That is ~74' of someone's private property.
I understand the theory of "In Close Proximity" as a great concept, pedaled by STS Consultants agent, engineer Mike Pond, to secure business with the City of Manistique by a transparent attempt to justify the theft of others' property! I also understand, with no certified survey of the "Lakeside Road" to indicate a contrary perspective, that the two STS Consultants charts, and one map, above, showing the city limits boundary running down the center of the "Lakeside Road", are little more than pure fabrication, or worse...
For those that have just tuned in, late in this editorial, there is a huge difference between the necessary, civilized, and legal process supporting the theory of "eminent domain", and the de facto process of fraud and theft, by those that wield the power of esoteric knowledge and police powers to injure weaker members of society, deliberately. Government officials, and their agents, find it easy to avoid and violate the law, and the spirt of the law, because they achieve whatever personal or political ends they have, while remaining unaffected by the consequences; shielded by public funded liability insurance and lawyers, and claims of government immunity. Meanwhile, a victim is likely to be rendered impotent by the prohibitive legal costs, and uncertain outcome, of any attempt to resist, or hold accountable, those government entities that abuse any citizen they are bound to serve.
It doesn't take a wizard to understand my speculation that, given one example of imminent property seizure and one accomplished seizure, for one small road project in Manistique, plus the universal perversity of human nature regarding the related issues considered, it is very likely that a great deal of property theft has taken place, throughout the state of Michigan, regardless of the provisions of Public Act 283, and other related legislation. As brazen and fearless as STS Consultants personnel and local government entities appear to be, I can only conclude that M.D.O.T.'s implied and understood policy is, "Steal it, if you can. We don't care." That policy would fit well with M.D.O.T.'s "We don't care." policy, as stated by Myron G. Frierson, Director Bureau of Finance and Administration.
Is this institutionalized violation of civil rights the basis for Manistique's celebration of the 4th of July holiday? What is wrong with the City of Manistique allowing Manistique Area Schools and Manistique Rentals Incorporated to "steal" public property in the form of Cataragus Street and Main Street right of ways, and consequently justifying its continuing efforts to "steal" private property from Burns and Rodman for an intended city street to replace that which was "stolen"? What is wrong with taking back the "stolen" public property, from M.A.S. and M.R.I., and using it for its intended purpose; and have a civilized reason to celebrate?
Here is a novel solution, that doesn't occur to thieves, and their legal representatives. How about selling the converted Cataragus and Main Street right of ways, to the entities that took them to use as their own, and purchase Burns and Rodman's property with the proceeds?
As silence, from the conspiratorial thieves, has reigned supreme, I emailed some inquiries to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regarding the use of federal funds to modify and pave a road over private property.
This answer, one of three I received, was as professional and direct as I requested, regardless of whether I wanted to hear it, or not.
Peter, Sorry I missed your calls. We have asked Ron Hatcher in our office to respond to your question (Ron is the Area Engineer assigned to your geographic area). He may have already sent a reply indicating that this is not a Federal- aid project. Under the "federal-for-state" dollar swap referenced in your e-mail the Federal funds stay at MDOT for use on other projects. This swap is at the program level, not project by project. Once the swap occurs there is no Federal action or oversight authority on projects advanced at the local level. Don Cameron FHWA-MI
Whether true, or not, I have no way to determine, at the moment, but I fully understand why it should be so. It is the responsibility of M.D.O.T. to assure that the funding process does not foster basic civil rights violations, and the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding states, clearly, that the M.D.O.T. funded projects, for which federal funds are used, must meet the qualification requirements for federal funding.
"All funds received through this exchange will be spent on routes that are federal aid eligible."
I am sure that a road, over private property, is not eligible for federal aid, but, consistent with the past unlawful taking and conversion of private and public property, no one else has indicated they care, beyond Burns, Rodman, and I.
It is apparent, to me, that local officials and M.D.O.T. personnel don't care about the qualification requirements, responsibilities, and consequences attached to their application, acceptance and use of federal funds to convert private property, illegally. As there is little to no effective oversight at the local, federal and state level, it is time to file a complaint with the U.S. Attorney General's Office.