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Developer seeks unusual path to incorporation

 (Salt Lake Tribune) The Utah Supreme Court wouldn't hear it.

Heber City's 4th District Court didn't seem to be a winning venue, either.

So Arizona developer Dean K. Sellers has gone to U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Utah, alleging a vast conspiracy kept him from incorporating a town in Wasatch County he wanted to call Aspen.

In a sweeping lawsuit filed last week, Sellers alleges the mayor of the town of Daniel, the Wasatch county clerk, county attorney, county sheriff and a host of others violated his civil rights by "the conspiring and abusing of the criminal justice system for purposes of impeding and hindering [his] constitutional rights ... to pursue the incorporation of the town of Aspen, Utah."

In a parallel move, the Arizona developer filed a motion to transfer his incorporation case from 4th District Court to Bankruptcy Court, where he would argue that his 2007 petition for Aspen should be approved. He originally filed the incorporation complaint with the Utah Supreme Court, but justices ruled he must adjudicate that matter at the district court level.

Sellers filed the civil rights complaint in bankruptcy court as he was about to lose his lengthy legal battle for Aspen in 4th District Court, according to Daniel Mayor Mike Duggin, citing a partial summary judgment.

"I think it's outrageous," the mayor said. "This has been almost entirely adjudicated in state court."

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