Who reading this will help uphold my righteous cause? I am seeking justice and just compensation for the continued harassment, unlawful arrest and total disregards of my civil rights as a renter from both my landlord, property manager and law enforcement. I am a Pastor here in Victor, Montana and have tried to live a quite and peaceful life, I have not asked nor sought any trouble but trouble has been forced on me through the individuals involved.
On Saturday March 18th, 2017 my civil rights were violated and I was unlawfully arrested here at my home in Victor, Montana regarding a dispute with our landlord – which for the record, it should be noted that our Landlord is a lesbian and is vehemently opposed to the work and teachings of our Church. I was unlawfully charged with disorderly conduct, obstruction of an officer and resisting arrest. I was given no regard by the arresting officer of the facts I presented to him, though I continued to be questioned by the officer, I do not recall ever having been read my miranda rights and I was assaulted by the officer.
So that you understand, according to Montana law here, a Landlord must give a tenant 24 hours notice prior to entering a property in order to inspect the premises, make necessary or agreed repairs, decorations, alterations, or improvements, supply necessary or agreed services, or exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workers, or contractors. To this extent, I was notified by our property manager Mike from Majestic Properties 24 hours in advance that Leigh Ann (our Landlord) was going to check on a perk test and do something in her garage. I wrote Mike back and within minutes, I received a reply that Leigh Ann had rescinded her 24 hour notice and that, “She won’t be doing anything until after we leave” (as we are scheduled to depart this place sometime in June). Here is the evidence of this exchange:
Here is proof that this 24 hour notice was rescinded:
The next day, on Saturday March 18, 2017 while on the phone with a Pastor in Virginia doing ministry, I see Leigh Ann drive to her garage! This is surprising because my text from Mike indicated that she had rescinded her 24 hour notice and would not be doing anything until after we leave. I see her spend about 3 minutes there and then watch her open the front gate of my property and begin to drive her car to the back gate where we keep our Churches livestock of cows and horses! I walk outside and ask Leigh Ann what is she doing and what are her plans and she says its her property and she can do what she wants and she is going to go do a perk test and check the ditches. Now, my immediate concern was for our livestock because Leigh Ann was not even planning on walking the property, she was literally going to drive her SUV through where our Church keeps its cows and horses. She did not give me any opportunity to lock up or secure the cows or the horses as she demands to drive straight through. I told her to hold and not to do this as Mike informed me that she would not be coming to the property and I had not had a chance to lock up my livestock. She asked to see proof that Mike wrote me this and I showed her. She then informs me that she can do whatever she wants because it is her property (I have this entire exchange recorded as well). I tell her no because my livestock is not secured and I have concerns about her dog she lets loose that I have seen in the past chase my horses and try to bite my cows. She then proceeds to call law enforcement to come to the property and lies to the dispatcher that I am both harassing her and assaulting her (but that I have not yet physically assaulted her) she then lies to the dispatcher and claims that I have been arrested on felony charges in the past for assault with a deadly weapon (which I haven’t) but that I have not yet attacked her with a weapon yet. Seriously, I have this all recorded, she is lying through her teeth. Five minutes later, the law enforcement officer pulls up and she is lying to him about me verbally assaulting her and that she is the landlord, that she has given proper 24 hour notice to me and that she needs access to the property. This officer is drinking it up (the man looks and treats me like a criminal from out of the gate). I inform the officer that I have our entire exchange recorded so he can hear the truth, and that I have physical evidence that the property manager (whom we have our contract through) had rescinded her 24 hour notice and informed me that she would not be doing anything until after we leave. I repeatedly tell the officer that my biggest issue is that I have not been given the opportunity to lock up my cattle and prized horse and she is intending to drive through them. This officer gives me neither consideration nor any options whatsoever. He says she is going to drive through the cattle in the backyard and there is nothing I can do nor say about it. As a precaution, I made sure to record the entire exchange, so that every word spoken to the officer was documented. The audio was clearly prove that the officer on call gave me no consideration to what should have otherwise been a contractual civil matter, I informed the officer that if he opens my gate with anything less that probable cause of a criminal action or a lawful warrant that he would be trespassing upon my constitutionally protected rights. He ignores this and proceeds to threaten me with arrest and asks me, “if it is worth it” to not move away from the middle of my driveway. I tell him, that in order to protect my rights as a citizen from this unconstitutional and unlawful order that ABSOLUTELY it is worth it because I am trying to protect my livestock from a diagnosed mentally unstable woman. He then counts down and gives me five seconds to move, at which point I do move at his command and he proceeds to arrest me anyway! I tell him that I am under duress and the five officers surrounding me then place me into a hold and push me forcefully. The arresting officer keeps saying, “stop resisting” but I am NOT resisting and proceeds to push me (and mind you that it is now pouring down raining and my driveway is loose pebbles and my feet slip when he pushes me and then says I am now charged with resisting arrest). I do not recall them ever once reading my Miranda rights during this process. From there, I am taken to the Ravalli County jail in Hamilton where I am booked and processed. By this time, my wife Mandy who was gone has come back, she is unaware that I have been unlawfully arrested and just as I kept stating to the officer that I was fearful that my cattle would get loose…guess what? The cattle got loose! – which Pastor Mandy took pictures. The arresting officer, I should note also placed the handcuffs on me so tight in his anger that I still have a mark on my wrists 24 hours later – which I also took pictures of. The entire exchange was documented up to the point when they ripped my phone out of my possession. Here is the audio proof of what I am writing – which I am posting as per my constitutionally protected rights of free speech (pursuant to Fields v. City of Philadelphia because I have challenged this officer and his unlawful order):
You can clearly hear on this audio that the officer in charge gave zero consideration to the facts nor allowed me the opportunity to secure my livestock – which was my primary concern. Even as I followed his order to move, he still unlawfully arrested me. Here are two pictures of the result of him putting the handcuff restraints on my hands so tight that it resulted in injury – even now five days later as I write this, my wrist is still in pain:
Montana law states that a Landlord may not abuse the right of access or use it to harass the tenant. Yet, from the beginning, this is all that has been happening!
Nearly two years ago my wife and three children moved to Victor, Montana from Sun River Oregon. From the start of our experience moving here my wife spoke with our landlord named Leigh Ann. It was unknown to us that prior to moving here that Leigh Ann had a contract with a property management service named Majestic Properties. This was the beginning of our trouble. She told my wife that we could come by and sleep in the house as soon as we got there (as we were travelling from Oregon with livestock, horses and cows) on a long journey. We get a call at 10:30pm at night while driving into Missoula and my wife is yelled at by the co-owner of Majestic Properties that we cannot do anything because the house is under their contract to manage and that we cannot work through Leigh Ann but through them. Ok, so this was just the beginning of the nonstop history of Leigh Ann making her own plans and doing whatever she felt like she pleases on this property.
First, she tells Mandy that we can have access to two shops on the property. Then, she changes after we have signed our contract and wants access to one of the shops.
This was not written in our contract (Mike the property manager claims it is a verbal agreement). Leigh Ann then decides to live in the next house over from us for the next several months. She then proceeds to literally come over whenever she pleases without any contractually required 24 hour notice. She does this 9-10 times and we continually speak to Mike with Majestic properties who does nothing in stopping Leigh Ann. Each time she comes over, she does so in a harassing way, she routinely dumps her garbage on the property. It comes to a point that we begin documenting her coming over without 24 hours notice and taking pictures of her leaving garbage here. Understand…this place was a total garbage dump when we moved here…we have literally spent months cleaning it up, fixing the fences (which she promised Mandy were in place but were not) and paying our rent months in advance. We are the ideal tenants. A few months of this nonstop harassment, and we get the good news from Mike that Leigh Ann is moving to Hawaii and that we will never deal with her again. By the way, everything I am writing here is documented with pictures of the text messages sent back and forth to Majestic Properties by both my wife and I. Here is a picture showing the incompetence of our property manager during another unannounced visit:
A few months later, out of nowhere (like a bad dream) here comes Leigh Ann unannounced without any 24 hours notice and proceeds to waste an entire Saturday talking with Mandy and I about how she is back and wants to check the irrigation ditches. This is a lie though, as I could discern that her true intention was to move back into the home because of her current financial situation. The next week, she demands from Mike to come into our home and she falsely claims to have a prospective buyer for the home. I object to this but Mike says that I am contractually obligated to allow her access because she claims to have a potential buyer. There is no potential buyer however, the person she comes onto the property is her cousin Scott from Eugene, Oregon who quickly tells me that he has no plans whatsoever to buy the property and that he is simply here on Vacation in Montana with Leigh Ann (of which, our Church has the entire encounter on the record with him saying this to me). Mike the property manager is even on the record saying that she had no buyer and that her true intention is trying to secure the property for herself again. Then the next week she instructs Mike to initiate an eviction proceeding because our rental contract stipulates that we must have proper utilities such as a garbage can in our names within 5 days of us living in the home. Here is the thing however, when we moved here our Church paid a $2,400 deposit and $14,000 in rent in advance point being, we did not lack the funds for a garbage can when signing the lease, Leigh Ann spoke to both Mandy and I and said that we did not have to pay for the garbage can because she had paid it a year or so in advance and that we can just use her can. Which we did for the year and a month or so until she lies to Mike and says We are supposed to have been paying for the garbage…which we easily would have if she had not told both Mandy and I it was ok not to do so! In wisdom and to disarm her attack, I immediately went to Mike at Majestic Properties and gave him $400 for the entire last years garbage fee and showed him a receipt of $400 for the new years garbage and made sure I received a receipt from Mike showing that we did in fact pay and have the utilities during the said time frame. She then demands to come and get the stuff from her garage and I remind Mike that in our renewed lease there is no contract (verbal or written) that stipulates that we have agreed that she has access to this garage. Mike assures me in text messages that Leigh Ann will be picking up stuff from her garage and will be leaving to live in Florida and that I will not hear from her again and that all she needs to do is pick her stuff up. At this point, Leigh Ann has contact her own personal attorney in an attempt to seek legal action of forcing us off the property and Mike tells me her lawyer instructs her that she has been grossly violating the law in constantly harassing us. Everything at this point is being documented by us. She comes to pick up her stuff from her garage and leaves a gigantic pile of trash that blows through the whole neighborhood (see attached pictures).
I then get a random text message from Mike stating that Leigh Ann has purchased bee’s and a hive and will be putting them onto the property were we keep our cows. Mike tells me she can do this because in his words, “she owns the property and can do whatever she wants”. She then comes back from Florida and I see her in town with my wife on Valentines day February 14th, 2017 down in Victor, Montana. I call Mike because I suspected seeing her vehicle drive by our house a few times but now confirmed that this was her. Mike tells me that she has moved back to Victor and that she will not be renewing her lease contract with us. I inform Mike that our youngest son Justin who has autism is allergic to bee’s and it would not be safe to place the bees on the property. He contacts Leigh Ann and she agrees to store them elsewhere.
After this, I repeatedly witness Leigh Ann driving by the property (8-10 times). On Monday March 13th, 2017 I again witness Leigh Ann driving by our property unannounced driving by at two miles per hour and then stopping to spy on Mandy and I who were in the back yard fixing the fence (because the snow had finally melted and we were in the process of moving the cows from the front paddock to the backyard) she sits and stares at Mandy and I and then proceeds to drive and going very slow and staring at the property in a harassing manner…as this is the nearly the tenth time I have seen her do this where she drives by, stops the truck and stares at us, I finally had it and contacted Mike at Majestic properties and inform him in a text message that,
“Another day and Leigh Ann drives to the property by herself and stares at everything we’re doing outside in a harassing manner. Mike, I would like a letter from you as our property manager that Mandy and I have paid our rent each month on time. Something I can show the next landlord as I expect nothing from Leigh Ann.”
Mike then asks how often she is driving by and that he will provide the needed references.
Mike then texts me with the proof that she HAS indeed been driving by (all the images and evidence from my text messages are included in this documentation) as her excuse to him is that she is checking the ditches and the snow levels. That she intends to come and burn the ditches and conduct a perk test on the property. I then inform him that we suspect that Leigh Ann has been taking our mail as well because each day our mailbox is empty but the mail lady says she is delivering it each day. We then go down to get a PO Box, not trusting that Leigh Ann is the one stealing our mail. Here is the proof:
On Wednesday March 15, 2017 I meet Mike at his house in Hamilton and gives me 5 copies of his letter of recommendation, where he claims we are exceptional tenants…not to brag, but we are the worlds best tenants if you understood how much we’ve freely poured into this place…I have included his letter of recommendation below. During my visit with him, he informs that Leigh Ann will attempt to pull something between now and the time our lease is up in an attempt to get us off the property. He tells me that she is both bi-polar and has severe mental issues. Praise the Lord though, he rightfully gave us our letter of recommendation letter:
Understand that we here at The Empowerment Center Church, are Pastors that live 100% on faith alone. We have not placed any undue burden on the body of Christ and we freely serve the Church in love – even with our entire Corporation Sole ministry support. There is no additional income, no hidden storehouse, no government assistance of any kind…just serving the Church and our community and praying in whatever provision is needed. We are needing support from a civil rights attorney and any applicable counsel. We are also seeking others from the Church to help uphold our righteous cause! Please share this with others as no one has yet to come to our support and local government has thus acted in manner full of manipulation and injustice. For those wanting to support us financially, please click here to donate. We are needing real help from a real attorney willing to represent and fight for our cause. I have been humiliated in front of my neighbors, assaulted by the officers, lied to by my property manager, falsely lied about by my landlord, arrested and constantly harassed. I SEEK JUSTICE!!!
Lord, uphold my cause! I have acted in love in every engagement but have been repaid with evil on all sides. Do not fail to act upon my behalf in Jesus mighty name!
As Sr. Pastor of The Empowerment Center Church