Wednesday, March 30, 2016

WHAT WILL ELIZABETH BARRETT-ANDERSON DO?

So with his March 28 letter, Director of Land Management, Michael Borja, has thrown his much too-hot potato into the lap of Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson, the Chief Legal Officer of the Government of Guam, aka the Attorney General.

Okay, we'll bite. Let's go there. 

Barrett-Anderson has stated publicly that she was going to "follow up" on the "administrative correction," aka the back room deal worked out between the trained lawyer, Jacqueline T. Terlaje and Kristan Finney, Barrett-Anderson's employee. 

So we await Barrett-Anderson's verdict and hope that it's an educated one - befitting her office and her (so far) illustrious career as a lawyer, judge, and senator. 

The choice before Barrett-Anderson is this: 
"I am the chief legal officer of the Government of Guam and as such I stand by my original counsel to Michael Borja which is rooted in Title 21 Guam Code Annotated §29195 and wherein I stated that 'a person of interest or the registrar is required to petition the court to correct a certificate of title.'" 
OR: 
"I am the chief legal officer of the Government of Guam, but so what, I will stand by my employee who worked something out behind the scenes with someone who calls herself a "trained lawyer," and is sometimes the legal counsel for the Archbishop of Agana and sometimes not." 

If Barrett-Anderson takes the first option then we can have confidence that there is at least one person in this sad drama who is not infected with Pius Puss and that we have a chief legal officer who actually does what we elected her to do: enforce the laws of Guam.

If Barrett-Anderson takes the second option, then we will know that we have a chief legal officer who does not care to do what we elected her to do. In fact, why would we need an AG at all, if an employee in her shop can ignore her (Barrett-Anderson's) counsel and do whatever the hell she (Kristan Finney) wants?? 

Might as well save some money, get rid of the whole office, and just pay someone to flip coins. 

On a more technical note, if Barrett-Anderson goes with what Kristan and Jackie "worked out" instead of her own counsel to petition the court, then we will have to seriously question Barrett-Anderson's competence to remain the chief legal officer of the Government of Guam.  

Kristan and Jackie resorted to 21 GCA §29160 which kept them out of court but does NOT address the correction of a memorial entered in error. Instead, it addresses how a memorial gets on a certificate of title in the first place. This is why this section is titled: § 29160. Instruments Intended to Create Charges Upon Land: New Certificates.

What Kristan and Jackie did was REMOVE the errant memorial which showed the Archbishop of Agana as the beneficiary of the Declaration of Deed Restriction and REPLACE it with the correct memorial which showed RMS, Inc. as the beneficiary of the Declaration. 

Read the section and see for yourself that there is NO provision to REMOVE,  REPLACE, or CORRECT errant memorials, YET, THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT JACKIE AND KRISTAN DID.

Rather, corrections are detailed later in this chapter of the code beginning with: 
§ 29194. Corrections, Alterations, or Erasures: How Only Made.After a title has been registered and a certificate issued therefor, or after a memorandum, notation, or memorial has been made on the Register of Titles and has been attested, no correction, alteration, or erasure shall be made therein or thereof, except in the manner herein provided.
http://www.guamcourts.org/CompilerofLaws/GCA/21gca/21gc029.PDF 
This is then followed by § 29195 which is the section Barrett-Anderson originally advised Michael Borja to follow, and which details how the Registrar (Borja) is to petition the court to make the correction. 

So, if Barrett-Anderson opines AGAINST her own counsel and supports the decision that Jackie and Kristan "worked out," Barrett-Anderson is not only wrong, she will be making her own position as Guam's chief legal officer, irrelevant, and we might as well hire a coin-flipper. 

Let's hope she doesn't do that. 

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