Shortlink to this page: http://wp.me/p3nYC8-TB
I am a retired businessman not a lawyer. I have studied the law both formally (graduate level classes on law and international affairs) and independently. This page is part of a series of blogs in which I examine aspects of sovereign citizen theory, which starts at Sovereign Citizens and Fellow Travelers
These are not trifling matters. Adherence to these theories can and does result in fines, imprisonment, seizure of assets. You definitely should not be taking advice from YouTube videos. I have tried to make these blogs as clear and accurate as possible and I include whenever possible links to actual law and court decisions so you can see whether what I say is accurate.
The Strawman Theory & Capitalization of Names Theory
In considering a variety of claims made by sovereign citizens and their fellow freemen on the land and cohorts, several theories need addressing.
The Strawman theory claims that there is a real you, the living person; and because you have a birth certificate or social security card you are a stock market commodity pledged to the benefit of the nation; and/or you have a trust account in a fictitious entity, sometimes called the Person [YOUR NAME IN CAPITALS ] — CAPITALIZATION theory — that is created by those documents. I know that’s hard to follow, and I have had a hard time finding an “official version” of this theory.
Recently I came across an account in a Federal Claims Court decision that seems to be clear enough. This is a description of the “Strawman theory” and “Capitalization theory”; the former is often but not always offered in conjunction with the latter theory.
“The goal of some sovereign citizens is the recovery of money from the United States that they actually–in the form of taxes–or purportedly paid to the government…. As the Honorable Norman K. Moon explained, such claims are premised upon the following beliefs:
“Supposedly, prior to the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment, there were no U.S. citizens; instead, people were citizens only of their individual states. Even after the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment, U.S. citizenship remains optional. The federal government, however, has tricked the populace into becoming U.S. citizens by entering into “contracts” embodied in such documents as birth certificates and social security cards. With these contracts, an individual unwittingly creates a fictitious entity (i.e., the U.S. citizen) that represents, but is separate from, the real person.
“Through these contracts, individuals also unknowingly pledge themselves and their property, through their newly created fictitious entities, as security for the national debt in exchange for the benefits of citizenship. However, the government cannot hold the profits it makes from this use of its citizens and their property in the general fund of the United States because doing so would constitute fraud, given that the profits technically belong to the actual owners of the property being pledged (i.e., the real people represented by the fictitious entities). Therefore, the government holds the profits in secret, individual trust accounts, one for each citizen.
“Because the populace is unaware that their birth certificates and such are actually contracts with the government, these contracts are fraudulent. As a result, the officers of government are liable for treason unless they provide a remedy that allows an individual to recover what she is owed–namely, the profits held in her trust account, which the government has made from its use of her and her property in the commercial markets.
“In 1933, the government provided just such a remedy with House Joint Resolution 192, and the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) provides the means for a person to implement it. The fact that virtually no one is aware of this remedy or how to use it is all part of the government’s scheme–if no one takes advantage of the remedy, the government can keep the money, so it is in the government’s interest that the remedy be obscure. (Bryant v. Wash. Mut. Bank, 524 F. Supp. 2d 753 (W.D. Va. 2007) (describing an attempt to satisfy a mortgage). at 758-59 (footnotes omitted); see also id. at 758 n.8 (“Further thickening the plot, the name of the fictitious entity is the real person’s name in all-capital letters, which apparently explains why names are commonly written in all-capital letters on birth certificates, driver’s licenses, and other government documents.”)).
“To collect the money held by the United States in the “secret, individual trust accounts,” sovereign citizens employ the process known as “redemption.” In this process, sovereign citizens file one or more UCC financing statements naming themselves as both the secured party and the debtor, with the intent “to register a security interest in the fictitious entity that was created by [their] birth certificate and other government documents….”
“Typically, the secured party’s name is written using only initial capital letters and the debtor’s name is written in all capital letters.”
Brandon Shane Gravatt v The United States (pdf) (Capitalized in the documents!)
US Court of Claims, No. 11-592C Order of Dismissal, Filed September 27, 2011.
(Gravatt eventually pleaded guilty, to possession of 50 grams or more of “crack” cocaine and 5 kilograms or more of cocaine.)
I should emphasize the above is not a Court agreeing with this theory or promoting it, but summarizing what the theory that person being tried has claimed says; and in fact the court in its Order of Dismissal dismissed these arguments utterly….
Part of the theory here is that — some say harking back to Roman Law — capital letters make a difference when you specify a name.
How ridiculous is the Capitalization theory? Roman Latin had no small letters at all. Everything was capitalized all the time. So how would the use of Capitals make a difference when nothing but Capitals exist? MARCVS FLAVIVS would agree I am sure.
At any rate, when you are born, or so they say, the government creates an “account” in your CAPITALIZED name which is, I guess, CAPITALIZED with millions of dollars in it and you only need some magic words to access this money for your own use. This is not you, it’s your corporate share of America or something….
Someone made this up out of nothing. There is no such account and no money in it.
But many get in serious legal and financial hot water following it (or reach out to it because they are already in financial trouble and end up in worse trouble) … people create official looking documents to ‘access’ this account then give them to someone, say “buys” a car in exchange, and then the seller is stuck with nothing because those papers are not money and can’t be deposited or recognized and will not be paid and can’t be spent… and the sovereign who did it may well end up in jail, at least in court, for forgery or fraud.
Others just say that’s not me, I am not the corporate fiction or juridical person and am instead the natural person or the freeman…thus nothing in law applies to them, especially if it is capitalized. Like the indictment or arrest warrant. Guess what?
The police do not agree.
The Courts Do Not Agree Either
Generally the courts have held that these arguments “lack merit; are wholly baseless; lack an arguable basis in either law or in fact; are completely without merit; and specious”
… the defendant contends that the Indictment must be dismissed because “KURT WASHINGTON,” spelled out in capital letters, is a fictitious name used by the Government to tax him improperly as a business, and that the correct spelling and presentation of his name is “Kurt Washington.” This contention is baseless.
United States v. Washington, 947 F. Supp. 87, 92 (S.D.N.Y. 1996)
“The core of defendant’s argument on appeal is that (1) he was born Donald James Drew, and the person charged in this matter was DONALD JAMES DREW; (2) the capitalization of the name created a “Strawman/Stramineous Homo/Ens Legis/ Artificial Person” (artificial person); (3) the artificial person was convicted; (4) he has been incarcerated as surety chattel or security for the artificial person; and (5) he has been denied due process.
“Claims so premised are patently frivolous and without merit.”
People v Drew, Colorado Court of Appeals
Petitioner seeks to quash the summons for a number of reasons. He claims that the summons was issued without lawful authority, that the “Summons form lists Petitioner’s name in caps, utilizing the Alter-Ego, Doctrine of Mortmain, to which Petitioner is not subject”, that section 7602 “does not have authorizing federal regulations to enforce compliance,” the summons itself was a sham and a fraud, the summons is not relevant to a legitimate purpose, and the data sought is already in Respondent’s possession.
The Petitioner raised nearly all of the same arguments in the matter Russell v. United States, (No. 1:94-CV-672) 1994 WL 750673 (W.D.Mich.1994). In that opinion, this Court found that Petitioner’s arguments, “lack merit”, are “wholly baseless”, and “lack an arguable basis in either law or in fact.” This Court finds that its conclusions as to the merit of Petitioner’s arguments have not changed since the above opinion was issued.
Petitioner has raised one new argument in that he claims because his name is in all capital letters on the summons, he is not subject to the summons. As to this argument, this Court will follow the Eighth Circuit when it responded to an argument of similar merit when it stated “[t]hese issues are completely without merit, patently frivolous, and will be rejected without expending any more of this Court’s resources on their discussion.” United States v. Jagim, 978 F.2d 1032, 1036 (8th Cir.1992)
Russel v United States 969 F. Supp. 24, 25 (W.D. Mich. 1997)
…Jaeger asserts that “All capital letters changes the status of an individual significantly, as it creates a corporate`person’ (which plaintiff is not) and changes the status of an individual (which plaintiff has not authorized). See Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th Ed. at 191.”
The court does not believe that the cited authority supports Jaeger’s proposition, because the definitions found on the cited page of Black’s Law Dictionary have to do with the financial basis of a corporation, not the way in which names are written.
The court finds Jaeger’s arguments concerning capitalization otherwise specious. The court routinely capitalizes the names of all parties before this court in all matters, civil and criminal, without any regard to their corporate or individual status...Jaeger’s motions to strike are denied..
Jaeger v. Dubuque County, 880 F. Supp. 640, 643 (N.D. Iowa 1995)
Rejected criminal defendant’s contention that he was not properly identified in federal government documents that misspelled his name or used his properly spelled name in all capital letters.
United States v. Furman, 168 F. Supp. 2d 609 (E.D. La. 2001)
“Wright brings what he has labeled a ‘motion to dismiss for plaintiff’s lack of standing and misjoinder of parties.’ First, he contends that since the amended complaint states that this action is brought against ‘FLOYD A. WRIGHT’ and his name is ‘Floyd A. Wright’, he is not the proper defendant. … These arguments are patently frivolous and the motion is thus summarily DENIED.”
United States v. Wright, 83 A.F.T.R.2d 99-533, KTC 1998-630, No. S-94-1183 (U.S.D.C. E.D.Cal. 1998)
It is also rejected by courts in other countries that base their legal system on English common law. You can find an analysis refuting this and other common “freeman/sovereign” arguments in the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta decision Meads v. Meads, 2012 ABQB 571, at http://canlii.ca/t/fsvjq
That is what the Courts say when this theory is offered to support a legal position, they call it frivolous and meritless and say it “lacks merit; are wholly baseless; lack an arguable basis in either law or in fact; are completely without merit; and specious.”
So that is how the courts see these arguments. And sometimes they fine people for making them. And if you try to get the mythical “money” in the mythical “name account” you may get a not so mythical prison term for fraud.
And again, even if you decide that’s unconstitutional, the Courts have the power to make it quite constitutional for their purposes, and you must bear the consequences if you fail to accept their determinations.
It is agreed that ideas can be powerful, but what power is there in a theory no court will accept or enforce; and the vast majority of people think is wrong? If enough people believed it then those people could create a new government though you can’t actually govern sovereign individuals…so it really is impossible.
= More Blogs by Philipem 1000 =
Sources Of Law and Authority
Are Statutes Laws? What About Regulations ?
Strawman Theory and CAPITAL Letters
= The US and the States =
The United States is still a British Colony
There are Three United States
= The Courts =