Letter Re: Jurisdictional Issues and Modern Statutory Law

Dear Sir:
Many are dismayed by the recent Colorado law restricting firearms. But a cursory reading shows that the law only applies to “persons liable” and not the people at large.

Regarding any new law, tax or regulation, remember to ask servant government:
[ ] Whose endowed rights are being secured by this ?
[ ] How and when did I give consent to be bound by this ?
[ ] What privilege is the subject of this tax ?

Because the Declaration of Independence states that
Job #1 = secure rights, and
Job #2 = govern those who consent.

As to consent, let us recall that the republican form of government, as defined, recognizes that the American people are sovereigns, served – not ruled – by government.

Furthermore, the courts recognize that the laws are often limited in scope and applicability.

“In common usage, the term ‘person’ does not include the sovereign, [and] statutes employing the [word] are ordinarily construed to exclude it.”
Wilson v. Omaha Indian Tribe, 442 U.S. 653, 667, 61 L.Ed2. 153, 99 S.Ct. 2529 (1979)
(quoting United States v. Cooper Corp. 312 U.S. 600, 604, 85 L.Ed. 1071, 61S.Ct. 742 (1941)).

“A Sovereign cannot be named in any statute as merely a ‘person’ or ‘any person'”.
Wills v. Michigan State Police, 105 L.Ed. 45 (1989)

If you thought “government” was sovereign, read these:

The people of the state, as the successors of its former sovereign, are entitled to all the rights which formerly belonged to the king by his own prerogative.
Lansing v. Smith, (1829) 4 Wendell 9, (NY)

At the Revolution, the sovereignty devolved on the people and they are truly the sovereigns of the country.
Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 Dall. 440, 463

It will be admitted on all hands that with the exception of the powers granted to the states and the federal government, through the Constitutions, the people of the several states are unconditionally sovereign within their respective states.
Ohio L. Ins. & T. Co. v. Debolt 16 How. 416, 14 L.Ed. 997

In America, however, the case is widely different. Our government is founded upon compact. Sovereignty was, and is, in the people.
[ Glass v. The Sloop Betsey, 3 Dall 6 (1794)]

Sovereignty itself is, of course, not subject to law, for it is the author and source of law; but in our system, while sovereign powers are delegated to the agencies of government, sovereignty itself remains with the people, by whom and for whom all government exists and acts.
[Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356, 370 (1886)]

Finally, a non-legal reference that shows our ancestors were better informed:

ALIEN, n.  An American sovereign in his probationary state.
– “The Devil’s Dictionary” (1906), by Ambrose Bierce

His audience knew what an “American sovereign” was, to understand the joke.

GOVERNMENT (Republican Form of Government) “One in which the powers of sovereignty are vested in the people and are exercised by the people … directly …”
– Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, P. 695

BTW – citizens, by definition, are subjects, because they are obligated to perform mandatory civic duties (i.e., militia duty, jury duty, etc.).
There is no such thing as a sovereign citizen (with a lower case “c”.) Which also means that if American people are sovereigns, no one was “born” a U.S. citizen unless they were (a) slaves and (b) outside the jurisdiction of the 50 States united (see: 13th Amendment).

With My Regards, – J.G.

JWR Replies: Sovereignty claims are root-level jurisdictional challenges to the court’s relationship to the defendant. While I agree with what you’ve written in principle, as a practical matter for the past 30+ years the American courts have run roughshod over anyone who has attempted to make any such jurisdictional arguments. This has been true at every level–all the way from local traffic courts up to Federal tax courts. In effect they’ve corralled everyone into their jurisdiction, and they have selectively tossed out any legal precedents that they dislike, especially those dating from before 1913. Once you step inside their courts, they have you. Even those who rightfully claim to be outside of their synthetic jurisdiction become ensnared by it. And virtually all of the policing organizations enforce that make-believe jurisdiction, despite its contrived origin. So no matter where you go in the 50 States, you are likely to end up in the court system at some point in your life, and 99 times out of 100 you will lose, and this is regardless of how many precedent cases you cite.

Over the past 25 years I’ve spent hundreds and hundreds of hours researching this, and everything that I’ve read leads me to the same conclusion: There is precious little justice left in our justice system. It is now more of a “just us” system. And their definition “us” includes just The Powers That Be. My heart goes out to those who have tried to use sovereignty and other jurisdictional arguments in the courts, but the sad truth is that those arguments are regularly ignored–regardless of their relevance, their merit, or their import. We are now faced with a well-entrenched court system that is adjudicating statutory cases (malum prohibitum) just as if they were malum in se cases.

Don’t expect to find any “silver bullets” in case citations that pre-date their more recently created (and corrupted) court system. In effect, the courts are now little more than tools of the cabal formed by the fractional reserve bankers, the statist/collectivist state and Federal legislatures, the FDR/BHO school of executive action, and their taxing agents with the BATFE and the IRS. If you fight them on jurisdictional grounds you will nearly always lose. Tilting at windmills may seem noble, but it isn’t when they’ve put liens on your bank accounts, garnished your wages, snatched your kids with their CPS goons, thrown you in jail, or caused you to lose your job/shut down your own business. I’ve seen many lives, marriages and fortunes ruined by folks who did not choose their fights wisely. Be wise as serpents and meek as lambs. Don’t go to war with them over trifles!

Yes, I know, I know, “The first in the order of pleadings is to the jurisdiction” and a court can’t proceed with the facts of a case until its jurisdiction has been established. And yes, there are some strong cites out there, such as:

“Once challenged, jurisdiction cannot be assumed, it must be proved to exist.” Stuck v. Medical Examiners, 94 Ca 2d 751. 211 P2d 389.

“Once jurisdiction is challenged, the court cannot proceed when it clearly appears that the court lacks jurisdiction, the court has no authority to reach merits, but, rather, should dismiss the action.” Melo v. US, 505 F2d 1026.

“A universal principle as old as the law is that a proceedings of a court without jurisdiction are a nullity and its judgment therein without effect either on person or property.” Norwood v. Renfield, 34 C 329; Ex parte Giambonini, 49 P. 732.

“The law requires proof of jurisdiction to appear on the record of the administrative agency and all administrative proceedings.” Hagans v. Lavine, 415 U. S. 533.

“A court cannot confer jurisdiction where none existed and cannot make a void proceeding valid. It is clear and well established law that a void order can be challenged in any court” Old Wayne Mit. L. Aassoc. v. McDonough, 204 U. S. 8, 27 S. Ct. 236 (1907).

“There is no discretion to ignore lack of jurisdiction.” Joyce v. U.S. 474 2D 215.

“Court must prove on the record, all jurisdiction facts related to the jurisdiction asserted.” Latana v. Hopper, 102 F. 2d 188; Chicago v. New York, 37 F Supp. 150.

“The law provides that once State and Federal Jurisdiction has been challenged, it must be proven.” Main v. Thiboutot, 100 S. Ct. 2502 (1980).

“Jurisdiction can be challenged at any time.” and “Jurisdiction, once challenged, cannot be assumed and must be decided.” Basso v. Utah Power & Light Co., 495 F 2d 906, 910.

“Defense of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter may be raised at any time, even on appeal.” Hill Top Developers v. Holiday Pines Service Corp., 478 So. 2d. 368 (Fla 2nd DCA 1985)

“There is no discretion to ignore that lack of jurisdiction.” Joyce v. US, 474 F2d 215.

“The burden shifts to the court to prove jurisdiction.” Rosemond v. Lambert, 469 F2d 416.

“Jurisdiction is fundamental and a judgment rendered by a court that does not have jurisdiction to hear is void ab initio.” In Re Application of Wyatt, 300 P. 132; Re Cavitt, 118 P2d 846.

“Thus, where a judicial tribunal has no jurisdiction of the subject matter on which it assumes to act, its proceedings are absolutely void in the fullest sense of the term.” Dillon v. Dillon, 187 P 27.

“A court has no jurisdiction to determine its own jurisdiction, for a basic issue in any case before a tribunal is its power to act, and a court must have the authority to decide that question in the first instance.” Rescue Army v. Municipal Court of Los Angeles, 171 P2d 8; 331 US 549, 91 L. ed. 1666, 67 S.Ct. 1409.

But good luck citing those decisions in today’s courts! In most instances they will simply be ignored. The courts are no longer concerned with what is right, fair, and just. Rather, they are concerned with gathering revenue and perpetuating their new-found powers.

The only good news that I have to offer is that although jurisdictional challenges have been consistently ignored, there has at least been some success in getting juries to nullify bad laws. I enthusiastically support the Fully Informed Jury Association. In summary: We The People have failed to convince the judges that they lack jurisdiction over Sovereigns, but at least we can still educate the juries of our peers, and convince them to nullify bad laws, on a case-by-case basis. As long as there is still a jury system for criminal trial in this country, then there is still hope for justice.

If ever you end up in court fighting an unconstitutional felony charge or if you are at risk of losing custody of your children to the state, then yes by all means, challenge the court’s jurisdiction from the very outset. But if you fail that, then do your utmost to educate the jury that they have the long-established power to weigh both the facts of the case and the validity of the law itself. Lex mala, lex nulla! And jury nullification can work regardless of the wording of the Jury Instructions from the court. In the end, once the jury room door is shut, the judge is powerless and your fate it is entirely up to the jury. May God Bless You and Protect Your Liberty!

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