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.

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Montrose resident Kimba McLean has hiked Antenna Trail every day since October and counting. Photo: Jim Bailey
Montrose man makes daily trek up Antenna Trail

Kimba McLean put on more than 800-km hiking Antenna Trail every day for the past six months

Kristian Camero and Jessica Wood, seen here, co-own The Black Cauldron with Stephen Barton. The new Nelson restaurant opened earlier this month while indoor dining is restricted by the province. Photo: Tyler Harper
A restaurant opens in Nelson, and no one is allowed inside

The Black Cauldron opened while indoor dining is restricted in B.C.

First-year Selkirk College student Terra-Mae Box is one of many talented writers who will read their work at the Black Bear Review’s annual (virtual) launch on April 22. Photo: Submitted
Trail Times file photo
Trail RCMP nab wanted man

Police responded to a call for assistance in East Trail on April 7, at 2 a.m.

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Since April 4, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Vancouver the largest source of domestic flights with COVID-19 cases: data

This month alone, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived

John Furlong, Own The Podium board chairman and former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, addresses a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday November 25, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
John Furlong presents 2030 Winter Games vision to Vancouver Board of Trade

Vancouver and Whistler would remain among host sites because of 2010 sport venues still operational

Most Read