A Supreme Court of B.C. judge in Prince Rupert deemed a homeless man a vexatious litigant in April after claiming he owns all the land in the province.

Self-proclaimed Christ named vexatious litigant in B.C.

City of Prince Rupert dishes out $46K to fight frivolous lawsuits; Gitanmaax also has legal history.

For the past 22 years, a homeless man, who has self-identified as Christ, Chief Kitsilano and owner of all the land in the province, has been filing lawsuits from Vancouver to Prince Rupert, until this April, when a Supreme Court of B.C. judge deemed him a vexatious litigant.

In the legal system, if someone has a history of initiating court actions that obviously wouldn’t succeed with the purpose to annoy the defendant(s), then the judge may declare that individual a “vexatious litigant” and they would need permission from the court to pursue another lawsuit in the future.

In the case Sterritt v. Canada, “God, Prince Kitsilano, Skidegate” James Sterritt filed a lawsuit on behalf of all Indigenous Peoples and Muslims against The Queen of Canada, and the province of British Columbia, the City of Prince Rupert and M’Akola Group of Societies.

Last summer and fall, 74-year-old James Sterritt was often seen riding his bike throughout the city with his three unleashed dogs trailing close behind.

When the dogs were seized by the city bylaw officer, Sterritt first disputed the bylaw ticket and then he filed a lawsuit on Oct. 3 against the City of Prince Rupert, Premier Christy Clark, the prime minister and Her Majesty the Queen claiming they had no jurisdiction over him “as paramount owner of the private right belonging to all Indians by natural law, in all land in the Province of British Columbia.”

While Sterritt represented himself, the city flew in a lawyer from the Vancouver law firm Valkyrie Law corp. The total cost of the legal proceedings for the city — and taxpayers — totalled $46,214.

“I’m fighting for what I’m entitled to,” Sterritt said on July 6. “My argument and positions I take are all jurisdictional. The Indians own the land.”

When Justice Robert Punnett offered his reasons for judgment on April 27 at the Prince Rupert Courthouse, he stated “there is a noted lack of connection to reality and the assertions made are absurd.”

In order to declare Sterritt a vexatious litigant, Punnett stated that the court must look at the whole history of the matter.

Sterritt has made similar divine and aboriginal land claims dating back to 1995 in federal court, and again in 2002 against the City of Prince Rupert. In 2010, he filed against the RCMP and the Gitanmaax Indian Band in Terrace. But then, the Gitanmaax Indian Band, filed a claim against Sterritt for setting up camp and trespassing on reserve property in 2012. In December 2016, Sterritt filed a notice of claim against the Gitanmaax in the Smithers Registry, as well as the Queen, Canada and the RCMP, claiming right of possession of land.

When Sterritt set up a tent on Lotbiniere Street in Prince Rupert last October, he said he had lived in many tent cities and expected to go to court over the issue as he had done before. A couple days after making that statement, he sent an email to the newsroom with the subject line “Indian refuses to be removed from Indian Land.” In the email, he explained that a gale had destroyed the camp, and he had moved into a motor home on the same street.

“We tried to tell you that we are not here homeless per se’ but are deliberately claiming rights in the land under the city as Indian Land on which the city imposed itself without our consent and we intend to be resolved as the paramount owners of the land and convert it into ‘Land reserved for Indians’ and govern it as a reserve under the Federal Indian Act,” Sterritt wrote.

“We are presently resisting efforts to remove us and anticipate arguing our claim in court before we agree to relocate.” Sterritt brought his claim to court, represented himself and lost.

In 2002, Sterritt v. Prince Rupert the judge had dismissed his claims as being frivolous or vexatious. It wasn’t until five years later that Sterritt was declared a vexatious litigant, and he is no longer allowed to continue suing corporations, municipalities or people without the court’s permission.

“The courts in Canada ‘have finite resources that cannot be squandered. Every moment devoted to a vexatious litigant is a moment unavailable to a deserving litigant’,” Justice Punnett stated in his judgment citing Canada v. Olumide, 2017.

However, the Prince Rupert Courthouse hasn’t seen the last of Sterritt. After spending the winter in Hazelton, Sterritt is back in the city for more court proceedings, with his next court date scheduled for July 20.

Just Posted

Over thirteen percent of Bella Coola residents rely on Food Bank

Demand for Christmas Hampers up by 45 families this year

Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

Premier John Horgan says Christy Clark left him no other choice

Verdict to be delivered December 15 for three on trial in Anahim murders

The fates of Christian Craciun, Andrew Jongbloets, and Serena Rhem (Mack) will be decided on December 15 at 10am.

‘I fell asleep’ admits second mate in Nathan E. Stewart fuel spill

The tug spilled more than 100,000 litres of diesel off B.C.’s northern coast

Northwest’s new MRI hits milestone

Stakeholders celebrate 500th scan of diagnostic imaging device

Me Too At Work: Sexual assault and harassment in the B.C. workplace

Introducing an in-depth look at who is affected and what can be done

Bomb detonated in Kamloops neighbourhood

Kamloops RCMP are investigating after an improvised explosive device was detonated Wednesday morning

No More Shootouts: Strong defence will be Canada’s backbone at world juniors

Head coach doesn’t want a situation where a hot goalie or a lucky bounce can determine a team’s fate

Proposed snowmobiles along Sicamous roads concern RCMP

RCMP, ICBC and province not yet on-board with proposed off-road bylaw in the B.C. Interior

‘Assemble your own meal’ kits grow into $120M industry in Canada

Kits offer a middle ground between eating out and grocery shopping

Millennials closing in as B.C.’s biggest wine drinkers

Generation X leads the way in current consumption of B.C. wine, as more wine drinkers are enjoying local varietals

Canadians lag behind Americans in giving to charity

Only one-in-five Canadians donated to charities in 2017

B.C. children adoption rates lagging, despite increased funding: watchdog

More than 1,000 children are still waiting to be adopted, new report shows

FortisBC to lower natural gas rates in 2018

Rate changes to impact the Lower Mainland, Kootenays, Interior and Vancouver Island

Most Read