CENTRALIA — In exchange for every vehicle, appliance, screw, nut, bolt, nail and piece of cardboard, scrap metal and lumber Lewis County has removed from his two Centralia properties over the last seven years, persistent-code violator Victor Bonagofski wants $394.2 billion.
His order came in the midst of ongoing litigation in which Lewis County seeks to foreclose on his nuisance property, 4020 Harrison Ave. in Centralia. That property, as well as a residence at 1303 Reynolds Ave. in Centralia, is owned by the Golden Unicorn Family Trust, of which Bonagofski is a trustee.
Lewis County also considers Reynolds Avenue to be a nuisance, but, because Bonagofski lives there, it is protected from foreclosure by the state’s homesteading act.
Over the past 10 years, the county has, on three occasions, solicited court orders allowing it to enter Bonagofski’s property to remove solid waste. After each of those abatements, the county sent Bonagofski a bill for the work.
He neglected to pay those bills, and after each, the county took a lien for lack of payment. Those liens now total more than $100,000, according to Bill Teitzel, the county’s supervisor for environmental service.
In late March, the county won a summary judgment allowing it to abate the Harrison property, which had become a graveyard for scrap metal and broken down cars. But, the county has not yet undertaken that abatement due to the ongoing litigation, County Prosecutor Kevin Nelson said on Wednesday.
Between late March and late April, county officials became concerned Bonagofski might be transferring nuisance items from Harrison to Reynolds, according to court documents.
Under direction from the county, Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Gabriel Frase on April 26 investigated the matter.
In a casual conversation with Frase, Bonagofski did not try to hide his transportation of junk property. Rather, he told the deputy that he had moved a car from Harrison to Reynolds and that he planned to move additional cars in the future.
Lewis County, in response, requested and was granted by the court an injunction to stop Bonagofski from shifting the nuisance items from one property to the other.
Within the foreclosure case file are numerous documents submitted by Bonagofski, who is representing himself in the case. Also in the file are hand-written documents from Raymond-Leo Jarl Bell, a man not named as a defendant but who, according to Prosecutor Kevin Nelson, “claims an interest in the property.”
Jarl Bell filed his documents from the SeaTac Federal Detention Center, where he has been imprisoned since July 14, 2011. Documents from both men accuse the government of operating as a corrupt “corporation,” state their rights have been violated and that they oppose the court’s decisions.
Many of the documents had been annotated, but it was not clear who wrote the numerous and extensive marginal notes.
In a May 2 document, Bonagofski specified his primary grievance as Lewis County’s infringement on his right to “exclude government from my life and be left alone.”
By confiscating his privately-owned items and property, the government committed theft, he said
“I am an absolute owner,” Bonagofsky wrote in the document. “I do not share anything with the government voluntarily.”
Throughout the multipage document, Bonagofski cited extensive case law and sources ranging from the U.S. Constitution to the “Ancient Law of Kings.”
He concluded the document with a three paragraph signature; the first of those paragraphs said: “(:For the :Victor-Jerome: a man aggriev1/8ed3/8-wish is with the void-interference with the void-injury with the now-time-Rights-interference with the above-(common-law-invoking)-now-time-definition.)”
About a month prior to filing that document, Bonagofski made his reimbursement demand.
He notified Judge James Lawler, in writing, that he would need that money before he met the terms and conditions set forth by the court; namely, that he would stop moving nuisance items from one property to the other. He also told Lawler that he would need the $394.2 billion within three days.
In a separate document, Bonagofski explained the reasoning behind his claim.
Lewis County, by Bonagofski’s estimate, owed him $1 per second, from July 20, 2004 to April 8, 2013, for each vehicle, appliance, screw, nut, bolt, nail, piece of cardboard, piece of scrap metal and piece of lumber removed from his two properties.
He also set out the same financial orders for each usage of “colorable statutory maritime jurisdiction” as well as each visit from an agent or employee of the county.
Lewis County’s foreclosure case is ongoing. There is potential for additional litigation, according to Prosecutor Kevin Nelson.