Judge Brings End to Bizarre Bankruptcy Case of Insolvent Monk
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Judge Brings an End to Bizarre Bankruptcy Case of Insolvent Monk

July 27, 2012


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A U.S. bankruptcy judge in Iowa decided this week to throw out the filing of Ryan St. Anne Scott, a controversial monk who has "essentially done nothing" to further his case, according to a report from WFC Courier News in Waterloo, Iowa.

Scott, a man who claimed to be a Catholic monk, led a loosely constructed religious community for several months in Buchanan County, Iowa, but his group fled the premises earlier this year after receiving an eviction notice.

Shortly after his abrupt departure, authorities in neighboring Illinois leveled felony charges of financial abuse, theft, and deceptive practices against the embattled monk. Sources say these charges are still pending.

But Scott appears to have failed to meet the minimum requirements set forth by U.S. bankruptcy laws, which require filers to work in tandem with the court to help resolve their debt troubles.

According to John Schmillen, an attorney with the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee’s office, "Mr. Scott chose to file bankruptcy then afterwards has seldom, if ever, submitted himself to the jurisdiction of this court. He has chosen not to appear by counsel or in person."

By failing to appear in court, respond to the judge’s requests, or make any effort to engage himself in the process, Scott left the judge no choice but to toss the case out of court.

Of course, the judge had other reasons to dismiss the case, too. Sources say that 93 of the 97 pages in Scott’s original bankruptcy filing have a Latin phrase meaning "it is finished" printed repeatedly across the page.

In addition to the Latin phrase, more than 90 percent of the documents include a repeated admonition by Scott that he is being exploited by a number of different entities, including the trustee handling his case.

Predictably, the judge ruled that these exclamations did not count as legitimate legal arguments, and the judge allowed the trustee to take the assets he'd already collected from Scott and use them to repay some of the monk's debts.

In a fitting end to a bizarre case, these assets include 19 llamas formerly owned by Scott. The llamas reportedly fetched more than $80,000 at a bankruptcy auction.

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