My letter to Tribal Council, regarding the Right-Of-Way dispute - TopicsExpress


My letter to Tribal Council, regarding the Right-Of-Way dispute --- January 12, 2015 From: Amanda Lee Pratt Re: Telescope Right-of-Way Conflict To Whom It May Concern: This matter concerns my brother, Andrew J. Pratt (who is currently incarcerated) and our cousin Filomena Harvey-White. I have taken interest in the matter not only as a concerned family member, but also for my brother Kevin Pacheco, who is deaf/hard-of-hearing. From time to time, I act as an unofficial Sign Language Interpreter for family members. This matter does potentially affect him, and I will likely be the one to relay this issue for him. Andrew and I have discussed how to handle going about having the road cleared, with as minimal incident as possible. After attending the meeting in tribal chambers on January 5th, it is clear to me that no matter what angle this matter is approached, there will be hostility from her. I would like to point out that one of the reasons Andrew has not “approached” Filomena to clear the road is because until September of 2014, active restraining orders barred Andrew from communicating with her. It is obvious to me however, that even without restraining orders in place Andrew would have been met with strong opposition anyway. It must be taken into consideration that the disputed road has been in existence for over 30yrs. This road did not pop-up out of nowhere. Filomena knew it was there, she knew it was utilized, and she chose to place her modular home where it now exists, knowing the layout of the land. While Andrew has been present, Filomena did not want the road open. While Andrew is not here, Filomena still does not want the road open. No matter which way this matter is flipped, she is explicitly rude and argumentative. I have watched this matter escalate from a familial issue, into a Land Management challenge, to a tribal court procedure, to a council agenda, back to tribal court and Land Management. Each and every time, well documented since 2000, Filomena has been advised that she cannot close the road; it is a legal route, established for public utility/access. Without substantial evidence, she has argued drug traffic, threats of violence, trespassing and personal property concerns as a reason to justify the closure of the road. She has produced pictures of roads and very hostile/emotional testimony as her evidence. I am sorry, but without clear-cut, distinct proof, I do not think anyone should be allowed to present a case at all to our court or council. If she had indisputable evidence of my brother engaged in such activities, then I would understand her point. She however, does not possess such evidence, and continues to combat the matter despite the advisory from all departments presented to her. 1) In August of 1982, a right-of-way agreement was signed by eight Baldy siblings, documented and officially filed stating: “The existing and proposed roads…are hereby eliminated as legal rights-of-way, EXCEPT for the main access road through Lot 22-B and the road through Lot 22-H to Lot 22-J.” 2) May 3rd 2000, in a letter from Land Management director at that time Adrienne Drake, it was stated: “To answer your question, Filomena cannot close-off the road leading to your home.” 3) June 4th 2012, in a letter from Ken Norton for Land Management, it is stated: “Compliance with Tribal land provisions is required by established agreements. Remove immediately the barrier blocking the right-of-way road to Lot 22J.” 4) June 14th 2012, in another letter from Ken Norton for Land Management, it is stated: “This letter constitutes a second notification of failure to comply with Tribal land provisions regarding established agreements. Remove immediately the barrier blocking the right-of-way to Lot 22-J.” 5) August 9th 2012, in a tribal court order it is stated that: “The gate/barrier located on the right-of-way must be removed immediately per HVT Title” 6) October 8th 2012, in another tribal court order it is stated that: “I. RES JUDICATA REQUIRES FORMAL DISMISSAL OF MS. HARVEY’S REQUEST TO CLOSE THE EASEMENT ACROSS HER PROPERTY (LOT 22-H CAMPBELL FIELD).” 7) April 17th 2013, in a notice signed by Vice-Chairman at that time Byron Nelson, it is stated that: “1.Motion to approve cost estimate with identified funding for repairs and road maintenance for Pacheco Road 2. Motion to approve permanent closure of the Right-of-Way from Lot 20A to 22J as a permanent access Road …by consensus of the Tribal Council, these items have been removed from the agenda. ...the Council is not in a position to insert itself into this unfortunate dispute on behalf of any one family member.” Aside from one undocumented verbal agreement, these are seven incidents that demonstrate that the road is to be open – under established tribal ordinance. Under Tribal Ordinance it specifies that a landholder has a right to clear the right-of-way to their home. In this instance, Andrew has delegated our mother Sonja Baldy to do so while he is incarcerated. It is worth mentioning as well that Title 10.13.11 states that: the penalty for violation of any assignment provisions of this Ordinance may include but not be limited to, cancellation of the assignment and the ejection of an assignee from the assigned property and an assessment of appropriate fine based the severity of the violation. It is clear that the only official authority on this matter is enforcement. It is not acceptable to conveniently disregard set laws and ordinances to accommodate a disgruntled party. Filomena may not like it, but the fact of the matter remains that the right-of-way is a legal route open for utilization. It is plain and simple. She should not be allowed to disobey any of seven aforementioned orders. She should not use the council as her personal commissioners to ordain motions, which conflict with established ordinance. A favorable recommendation for this type of insolent conduct will set a dangerous precedent. I hope the council will advocate in the best interest of our membership valley wide, and not just to keep interest with anyone from Telescope Flat. I sincerely thank you for your consideration. Amanda Lee Pratt
Posted on: Mon, 26 Jan 2015 13:51:32 +0000

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