No Court Action Needed for Church Records
By Jasmine Stole
Guam Daily Post
March 31, 2016
The attorney general yesterday issued a response to the Department of Land Management reaffirming the course of action taken to correct land records for the controversial Redemptoris Mater Seminary property in Yona.
Attorney General Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson, in a letter to DLM Director Michael Borja, stated that a court petition was not necessary because there was no objection from the title holder, Archbishop Anthony Apuron, to the changes needed to be made in the four certificates of title. The letter was dated March 31.
At issue is the memorials in the certificates of title that the AG, DLM and former Sen. Robert Klitzkie agree were erroneous. The titles printed in the U’Matuna Si Yu’os late last year did not show a Declaration of Deed of Restriction, which Klitzkie pointed out to DLM in December last year. The Declaration of Deed Restriction was then added to the certificates in favor of the archbishop.
Klitzkie noted that the certificates of title needed to be added in favor of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary as a nonprofit organization. DLM agreed that the certificates were done in error and in January, Borja wrote to Klitzkie and said a court petition would be filed to correct the certificates.
The AG, in her letter yesterday, wrote that it was agreed at the time that court petition was the proper course of action and Assistant Attorney General Kristan Finney was instructed to prepare draft pleadings for review.
“Shortly thereafter, our office was contacted by counsel for the (archbishop) informing us that there was no objection to your department making necessary corrections and administrative inscribing the proper memorialization to each of the (certificates of title),” Barrett-Anderson wrote. The AG also wrote that this process is permitted under Title 21 Guam Code Annotated Subsection 29160, the same law Finney cited in her letter to Borja.
Borja on Monday sought clarification from the AG about the correct course of action.
“There being no further purpose for initiating judicial proceedings for corrections of the (certificates of title) in the interest of judicial economy and based on agreement of the (archbishop), I concurred in the administrative resolution,” Barrett-Anderson wrote.
Borja said in a statement that he assures the public the integrity of the certificate of title program is maintained to the highest standards and the actions taken were based on strong and sound legal advice.
Klitzkie wrote in a letter sent to Borja on Wednesday, two days after Borja sought clarification from the AG: “In order to restore lost credibility to your watch, I request, nay, plead with you to file a petition with the Superior Court,” Klitzkie wrote.
In his six-page letter, Klitzkie outlined the events that had taken place since December 2015 and pointed out instances where he said Borja was difficult to reach, a 180-degree switch of behavior from previous interactions.
Klitzkie also questioned who is counsel for the Redemptoris Mater Seminary as a non-profit corporation. “Who is counsel for the Redemptoris Mater Archdiocese Missionary Seminary of Guam … and why was he or she not included?” The former senator copied the governor and Barrett-Anderson in his letter to Borja on Wednesday.