It’s tempting to write off the kooky “Freemen on the land” movement as a bunch of misguided but harmless eccentrics. A woman in Alberta, however, is being deprived of her property by the “Senior Chief Justice at Tacit Supreme In Law Court for Sovran Nations Embassies and as Supervisor-Co-ordinator-Estimator of CPC Universal Group of Calgary Division.” (Good luck fitting that on a business card.)
An Alberta pensioner says she feels like a prisoner after her rental property was claimed as an “embassy” by a man she says identified himself as a Freemen-on-the-Land, a growing movement of so-called sovereign citizens that is raising concerns with authorities both north and south of the border.
Caverhill rented half a duplex she owns in Calgary’s upscale Parkdale neighbourhood to a new tenant in November 2011 on the recommendation of a friend.
The renter, Andreas Pirelli, had recently moved to Calgary from Montreal and was a self-described handyman. She says he agreed to “spruce up” the property in return for three months of free rent.
What she thought was a good deal soon turned into a nightmare.
A few months after Pirelli moved in, Caverhill went to inspect the work and she says she found the entire kitchen and bathroom had been gutted. All the doors inside had been removed and the floor of the master bedroom had been painted black, she says.
But Caverhill quickly learned she had much bigger problems.
“He walks me to the door and he’s yelling at me, ’I’m a Freemen-on-the-Land,”’ Caverhill says.
“I said: ’This is my house, not yours.’ He said: ’No. This is an embassy house now and it’s mine and you have no rights’, so then he slams the door.”
She says she discovered the locks had been changed and pounded on the door.
“I said: ’How come the key doesn’t work?’ He said: ’I changed the locks.’ He said: ’It’s not your home.”’
Caverhill depends on the rental income to supplement her pension.
Pirelli, who sources confirm also went by the name Mario Antonacci, informed her he was willing to pay $775 a month in rent, less than half the $1,500 plus utilities that she says had been agreed to.
She says she later received an invoice from Pirelli’s company — CPC Universal Group — for $26,000 in work done to the home.
“I receive a thing in the mail from the Land Titles Office, that the property has been liened for $17,000,” she says.
Ms. Caverhill has called the police on several occasions, but she’s been told – correctly – that this is a landlord-tenant matter which should be dealt with in the civil courts. Not that Pirelli would acknowledge a court order that he vacate the premises, but at least then the landlord would have an order which can be enforced by the authorities.
Any lawyers in Calgary up for some pro bono work?