Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Court Dismisses Lease Dispute That Involves Hutterite Competing Factions
According to the Aberdeen News, a South Dakota trial court Monday dismissed a lawsuit over the right to farm leased land that in reality was part of the ongoing battle between two Hutterite factions over who controls the Hutterville Colony in South Dakota. Red Acre LLC sued claiming that it entered a lease to allow it to farm 9800 acres in the Colony and that Hutterville Hutterian Brethren and four colony residents, including George Waldner, tried to plant crops and interfere with Red Acre. Waldner, who leads one of the competing factions, responded that Red Acre is merely a shell for his rival Johnny Wipf Sr., and asked for the lease be declared void. The court, relying on prior decisions of the South Dakota Supreme Court (see prior posting), held that civil courts have no jurisdiction of the internal dispute of the religious colony.