FYI: Barbara Bratton, 55, of Ontario, California, has been held in solitary confinement in the Glen Helen detention center since June 14, 2013. Her bail hearing scheduled for June 24, 2013 has been rescheduled for Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 8:30 a.m. at the San Bernardino Superior Court.
Bratton a “domestic terrorist?”
The criminal complaint against Bratton asks that her bail be increased from $145,000 to $250,000 because she “appears to be involved in the sovereign citizen movement.” The complaint goes on to say that “Members of this group are known to engage in Domestic/paper terrorism.” Guilt by association, anyone?
There are so many things wrong with just the second statement above that it’s difficult to know where to begin. But maybe I’ll start with what “terrorism” is and isn’t. The felony complaint against Bratton essentially accuses her of four counts of forgery (the fifth count is second degree burglary)–since when did forgery become terrorism? If forgery is terrorism, then Linda Green needs to be hauled off to the waterboarding suite at Guantanamo Bay. Does anything about forgery or second degree burglary even come close to the official United States definition of terrorism, which is this: “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents?” No, it does not. Mostly because there’s no violence involved in forgery. Barbara Bratton is not alleged to have committed any violence.
And what, pray tell, is this “paper terrorism?” A recent Salon.com article defines it thusly: “filing fraudulent tax returns, liens and foreclosures.” Hey, wait a minute–that’s what the banks do! And that “paper terrorism” is exactly what Bratton was trying to undo when she filed documents styled as a “Correction of Grant Deed” and a warranty deed. A press release issued on behalf of Bratton describes the situation like this:
“Ms. Bratton began working with San Bernardino County Recorder Dennis Draeger and his staff to conduct a thorough search of the property records on her home. In a signed declaration authorized by Draeger, his custodian of records concluded that the involved parties lacked the authority to foreclose on the Bratton home. To set the record straight, Ms. Bratton filed a corrective deed at the County Recorder’s office on April 11, 2013 — a preliminary step towards gaining court recognition of fraudulent foreclosure. To insure proper procedure, she asked the Secretary of State’s Office to validate the document with their seal before filing with the county recorder. For additional insurance, she attached a copy of her 2012 notice to the police of title fraud with her request to have them investigate (a request they ignored.)”
So the recorder’s office itself found that U.S. Bank did not have the authority to take Bratton’s home. Bratton apparently lost her suit against U.S. Bank on January 10, 2013. In the memorandum granting the motions to dismiss of U.S. Bank and their co-defendants, the judge made sure to expunge the lis pendens Bratton had filed, while pointedly and without explanation denying Bratton’s “Request to Expunge Substitution of Trustee and Election to Sell Notice of Trustee’s Sale Trustee’s Deed Upon Sale.” So obviously Bratton was concerned about what documents were filed with San Bernardino County long before she filed the documents she’s now in jail for. And she was right to be concerned.
More on this story as it develops. But suffice to say, Bratton is most assuredly not a terrorist, either paper or domestic. She is simply trying to keep her house in a country with a court system that runs roughshod over the rights of homeowners while blessing the forgery and falsehoods of banks. I have not seen all the pertinent documents in this case, but if she indeed had the blessing of the County Recorder, the filing of her documents shouldn’t be a problem and Bratton should never have been thrown in jail.