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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

The Courts and the Colonies

The Litigation of Hutterite Church Disputes

The Courts and the Colonies offers a detailed account of a protracted dispute arising within a Hutterite colony in Manitoba, when the Schmiedeleut leaders attempted to force the departure of a group that had been excommunicated but would not leave. This resulted in about a dozen lawsuits in both Canada and the United States between various Hutterite factions and colonies, and placed the issues of shunning, excommunication, legitimacy of leadership, and communal property rights before the secular courts. What is the story behind this extraordinary development in Hutterite history? How did the courts respond, and how did that outside (state) law relate to the traditional inside law of the Hutterites?

400 pages

Law and Society

Table of Contents



Part One: Background

1 The Hutterites

2 The Bruderhof

Part Two: The Inside Law on Going to Outside Law: Hutterite Litigation before the Lakeside

Case 3. The Inside Law against Going to Outside Law

4 Hutterite Litigation before Lakeside

Part Three: The Lakeside Litigation: Round One

5 Daniel Hofer, Hog Feeders and Excommunication

6 Going to Court

7 Lakeside under Appeal

Part Four: The Schism in the Schmiedeleut and Lakeside Litigation: Round Two

8 Lakeside and the Schism within the Schmiedeleut

9 Litigating Again at Lakeside

Part Five: Litigating, Leaving, and Sometimes Dividing: Lakeside and Other Schmiedeleut Schisms

10 Litigating at Rock Lake, Huron, Cypress, Sprucewood, Poinsett, and Leaving Lakeside

11 Agreeing to Divide Assets, Further Schism, and Yet More Litigation

Part Six: Concluding Reflections: The Interaction between Outside Law and Inside Law

12 Concluding Reflections: Models of Inside Law and Outside Law Interaction

Appendix: Male Genealogy of Lakeside Families



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