The collection consists of two boxes comprising 24 folders. The first two folders contain information about the "Townshipper" Movement in general. The remaining folders relate to "Townshipper" legal proceedings from 1977-1998. The nature of the legal proceedings in files 3 to 24 are described below.
Richard D. Cooper (“Cooper”) and Walter Mann brought legal actions in the late 1970s and early 1980s against Judge Robert F. Owens in St. George, Utah, complaining that the judge was biased and that he violated technical rules of law. Cooper also filed an appearance in 1986 challenging the jurisdiction of the court because he was a “freeman” in Utah over which there was “no remedy at law against him.” A later proceeding involved a challenge to unlawful speeding claiming that the United States and Arizona constitutions did not authorize the state to pass or enforce traffic laws.
Other cases in the 1980s and 1990s involved Walter Mann, Arthur Barlow, Donald Hare, Harold Blackmore, Steve Baily, Don Hurst as well as Cooper. In 1989, Cooper and others created the Desert Springs Township near Littleton, Arizona by issuing a Contact and Declaration of Trust” and a “Covenant and Use Agreement.” These documents and the formation became a basis for later challenges in the Moccasin Justice Court in the 1990s. In 1991, Cooper issued a “Notice of Judgment by Default and Order” against the United States, the State of Arizona, the City of Mesquite, Nevada, and the counties of Clark and Mohave, Nevada. The judgement commanded those governmental authorities to “desist and refrain” from enforcing laws against Juan Perez, a citizen of the Desert Springs Township. Cooper filed a proceeding in 1993 challenging the compliance and enforcement of zoning, sanitation and permit laws of the State of Arizona and Moccasin County. The basis was that residents of the township were not subject to higher authority laws beyond the township laws.
In 1997, the legal proceedings came to a head when Ted Shumway brought cases against Cooper seeking to enforce traffic citations, an assault of a private citizen involving a fence dispute, simulating legal process and filing meritless cases in state and federal courts. Cooper was convicted and was sentenced to jail for 120 days and with probation. Cooper appealed the convictions which appeal was denied in 1998.