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Sovereign citizen legal argument

The sovereign citizen legal argument is the topic of this blog post. This invalid legal argument is often used by desperate and uninformed people. The legal argument basically states that the person advancing it is not subject to any of the Federal State or local laws and therefore is free from all constraints imposed by the law on the grounds that they are a sovereign citizen and recognize their own peculiar interpretation of the common law.

I am writing this blog post in the hopes that it will help people to understand that this legal argument will not work in Court and will only backfire on them. In fact if you use the sovereign citizen legal argument you have good chance of being sanctioned by the Court.

The sovereign citizen legal argument has been uniformly rejected by the Courts and referred to as completely without merit and patently frivolous. Many of the decisions are in fact published and I will briefly discuss several below.

For example the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals stated in one case.

“We are again faced with a “shop worn” argument of the tax protester movement. The defendant in this case apparently holds a sincere belief that he is a citizen of the mythical “Indiana State Republic” and for that reason is an alien beyond the jurisdictional reach of the federal courts. This belief is, of course, incorrect. We addressed the same issue in United States v. Sloan, 939 F.2d 499 (7th Cir.1991). Defendant Sloan argued that he was a citizen of the state of Indiana, but not a citizen of the United States and therefore not subject to its laws. We discussed this proposition fully and concluded that it was “simply wrong.” Id. at 501.

In a factually similar case, a recent appeal on the same basis was handled with appropriate despatch by the Eighth Circuit in United States v. Jagim, 978 F.2d 1032, 1036 (8th Cir.1992). Defendant therein claimed to be a citizen of the “Republic of Idaho” and not a U.S. citizen, and therefore outside the jurisdiction of the United States.

The Jagim court found this issue to be “completely without merit” and “patently frivolous” and rejected it “without expending any more of this Court’s resources on [its] discussion.” Id. We do the same.” US v. Hilgeford, 7 F. 3d 1340, 1342 (7th Cir. 1993).

Another case include United States v. Masat, 948 F.2d 923, 934 (5th Cir.1992) (rejecting as “frivolous” defendant’s argument that he is a “freeman” and thus not subject to the court’s personal jurisdiction). See also United States v. Gerads, 999 F.2d 1255 (8th Cir.1993) (rejecting defendants’ contention that they are not United States citizens but only “Free Citizens of the Republic of Minnesota” as “lacking merit and frivolous.”); and United States v. Ward, 1999 WL 369812 at *2 (9th Cir.1999) (rejecting defendant’s “sovereign citizen” argument as “frivolous”) (unpublished opinion).

To view over 300 sample legal documents for California and Federal litigation created and sold by the author of this blog post visit: http://www.scribd.com/LegalDocsPro

The author of this blog post, is a freelance paralegal who has worked in California and Federal litigation since 1995.

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DISCLAIMER:

Please note that the author of this blog post, Stan Burman is NOT an attorney and as such is unable to provide any specific legal advice. The author is NOT engaged in providing any legal, financial, or other professional services, and any information contained in this blog post is NOT intended to constitute legal advice.

The materials and information contained in this blog post have been prepared by Stan Burman for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information contained in this blog post is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, any business relationship between the author and any readers. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.

 

 

 

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