Saturday, July 30, 2011


Taken from: “An Introduction to the Law of Contract”, Stephen Graw, Third Edition.

1.1.1 What is a Contract?

Various writers have attempted to define what is meant by the term “contract”. The words they have used have differed but the essence of each definition has remained basically the same. In all cases certain key elements stand out. The following are always included:

(a) the need for a promise or promise;

(b) the need for the promise or promises to be between two or more legally capable persons (called “parties to the contract”);

(c) the need for the promises to create an obligation; and

(d) the need for that obligation to be enforceable at law.

The essentials of any contract, therefore, are the rights, duties and liabilities that arise from the promise or promises made by the parties. The law does not lay down any comprehensive set of rights, duties and liabilities; it merely sets out parameters within which the parties’ agreement must fall if it is to be enforceable. In other words, the law of contract is not concerned so much with the specifics of the obligation (these will differ from agreement to agreement), but with the mechanics involved in and the principles regulating the formulation, performance, continuance, and discharge of the parties’ individually created obligations.

Therefore, when a court is called upon to intervene in a contractual dispute, it does two things:

1. It applies the law of contract to see whether the agreement is a contract at all, and if so, whether it is legally valid and enforceable.

2. If it decides that there is a valid contract, it interprets the words of that contract to determine the true nature and extent of what the parties have really agreed to.

Only after both steps have been taken can a court properly adjudicate on the dispute. What we have in contract then is something which exists in no other area of the law—a situation where the parties create the obligations and liabilities that will form the substance of their relationship and the courts then enforce those individually agreed obligations and liabilities as legally binding. The sole restraint on the parties’ freedom of contract is the fact that their agreement must not go outside the general parameters of principle that form what we know as the law of contract. Provided those principles are adhered to, the agreement will be enforced.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Preface to the Ninth Edition
Since becoming editor in chief of Black’s Law Dictionary in the mid-1990s, I’ve tried with each successive edition-the seventh, the eighth, and now the ninth- to make the book more scholarly and more practical.
ANYONE WHO CARES TO PUT THIS BOOK ALONGSIDE THE SIXTH OR EARLIER EDITIONS WILL DISCOVER THAT THE BOOK HAS BEEN ALMOST ENTIRELY REWRITTEN, with an increase in precision and clarity. IT’S TRUE THAT I’VE CUT SOME DEFINITIONS THAT APPEARED IN THE SIXTH AND EARLIER EDITIONS. On a representative sample of two consecutive pages of the sixth can be found botulism, bouche (mouth), bough of a tree, bought (meaning “purchased”), bouncer (referring to a nightclub employee), bourg (a village), boulevard, bourgeois, brabant (an obscure kind of ancient coin also called a crocard), brabanter (a mercenary soldier in the Middle Ages), and brachium maris (an arm of the sea). These can hardly be counted as legal terms worthy of inclusion in a true law dictionary, and Black’s had been properly criticized for including headwords such as these.* (See David Mellinkoff, The Myth of Precision and the Law Dictionary, 31 U.C.L.A. L. Rev. 423, 440 (1983).)
Meanwhile, though, within the same span of terms, I’ve added entries for three types of boundaries (agreed boundary, land boundary, lost boundary), as well as for bounty hunter, bounty land, bounty-land warrant, boutique (a specialized law firm), box day (a day historically set aside for filing papers in Scotland’s Court of Session), box-top license (also known as a shrink-wrap license) , Boykin Act (an intellectual-property statute enacted after World War II), Boyle defense (also known as the government-contractor defense), bracket system (the tax term), Bracton (the title of one of the earliest, most important English lawbooks), and Brady Act (the federal law for background checks on handgun-purchasers). And all the other entries have been wholly revised-shortened here and amplified there to bring the book into better proportion.
Hence, in one brief span of entries, the sixth and ninth editions appear to be entirely different books. That’s true throughout the work..
But it’s not as if I’ve revised the book with any hostility toward historical material. In fact, I’ve added hundreds of Roman-Law terms that have been omitted from earlier editions and retranslated all the others on grounds that current users of the dictionary might need to look up the meanings of these historical terms. But whatever appears here, in my view, should be plausibly a law-related term—and closely related to the law.
Users ought to be reminded once again about the handy collection of legal maxims in Appendix B. It is, I believe, the most comprehensive and accurate set of translated maxims to be found anywhere in print—thanks to the erudite revisions of two civil-law experts of the first rank: Professor Tony HonorĂ© of Oxford and Professor David Walker of Glasgow.
A lexicographer must do what is practicable to improve each new edition of a dictionary. One of the notable features of this new edition is the dating of the most common term—that is, the parenthical inclusion of a date to show the term’s earliest known use in the English language. For researching these dates, I’m grateful to the distinguished and industrious lexicographer at the Yale Law Library, Fred R. Shapiro.
As a lexicographer, I’ve learned a great deal from my friends and mentors in the field—especially the late Robert W. Burchfield, editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, Burchfield had a battalion of lexicographic volunteers from around the globe to help him in his momentous work.
I have tried to do the same. Because I genuinely believe in a community of scholars—a community of learned people who understand the cultural and historical importance of having a first-rate dictionary, and are willing to play a role in producing it—I have called on volunteers to help in the production of this vast and complex dictionary. It has been rewarding to have so many lawyers, judges, and scholars answer the call. Take a moment, if you will, and scan the masthead on pages VI-IX. Consider that each of these contributors personally edited 30 to 50 pages of single-spaced manuscript—some more than that. They suggested improved wordings and solved editorial difficulties they encountered. Consider the geographical variety of the panellists, and ponder the years of specialist knowledge they brought to their work. Look at the panel of academic contributors and notice that they are distinguished scholars of the highest order, many of them household names among lawyers. They exerted themselves not just for the betterment of the law as a whole. For this is the law dictionary that the profession has relied on for over a century. Everyone who cares about the law owes our contributors a debt of thanks.
Bryan A. Garner
Law Prose, Inc.
Dallas, Texas
April 2009.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011








 This is the same Dean Clifford lecture that was originally published within The Mikiverse in June, 2011 as "Part 2 e1-6". It was retitled by the authors, and, I have amended this post accordingly.
The Mikiverse December 13th, 2011.





This is the same Dean Clifford lecture that was originally published within The Mikiverse in June, 2011 as "Part 1 e1-6". It was retitled by the authors, and, I have amended this post accordingly.
The Mikiverse December 13th, 2011. 






by Gregory Allan
The subject of this report is "Jurisdiction," and how it is commonly obtained by the various courts.
Although this author does not claim to have exhausted that question, it is my prayer that enough information is contained here to help the student to better understand the issue. The material found here is based on my study of law, and the Holy Scriptures, and is Christian in perspective. My main premise is that we have the duty and the right, to settle our own disputes, and to stay out of the courts of the ungodly.
Jurisdiction has been a subject of study and debate since long before I became involved in law reform, and seems to be most popular among those who are suspicious of establishment courts. Each year brings more numerous reports of judicial misconduct, fraud and theft, on a scale ranging from minor traffic offenses, to multi-million dollar inheritance settlements. Many students of law have seen jurisdiction (or the absence of same) as a possible answer to a seemingly impossible problem: how to avoid personal or financial ruin at the hands of judges and attorneys?
Let's begin with an understanding of the term.
What is Jurisdiction?
Black's Law Dictionary, sixth edition, defines jurisdiction as follows:
  • "A term of comprehensive import embracing every kind of judicial action. It is the power of the court to decide a matter in controversy and presupposes the existence of a duly constituted court with control over the subject matter and the parties. Jurisdiction defines the powers of courts to inquire into facts, apply the law, make decisions, and declare judgment. The legal right by which judges exercise their authority. It exists when court has cognizance of class of cases involved, proper parties are present, and point to be decided is within powers of court."
This is expanded upon in Anderson's "A Dictionary of Law, A.D. 1893" as follows:
  • "Power to hear and determine a cause. Power to hear and determine the subject-matter in controversy between parties to a suit, to adjudicate or exercise any judicial power over them. (Relates to the exercise of judicial powers.) Refers to the power of the court over the parties, the subject-matter, the res or property in contest, and the authority of the court to render the judgment or decree which it assumes to make. (By jurisdiction over the "subject-matter" is meant the nature of the cause of action or relief sought; and this is conferred by the sovereign authority which organizes the court, and is to be sought for in the general nature of its powers or in the authority specially conferred. Jurisdiction of the "person" is obtained by the service of process, or by the voluntary appearance of the party in the progress of the cause. Jurisdiction of the "res" is obtained by seizure under process of the court, whereby it is held to abide such order as the court may make concerning it. Hence want of jurisdiction may be shown as to the subject-matter, the person, or, in proceedings in rem, as to the thing.)
In a nutshell, these definitions tell us that jurisdiction is the power of a court to make binding decisions with regard to people, and peoples' rights in property; that in order for the court to secure that power, it must have control (authority and/or power) over:
  1. The people, or parties to the controversy. This is called "in personam jurisdiction"; and
  2. The property in controversy. This is called "in rem" jurisdiction; and
  3. The specific kind of controversy. This is known as "subject-matter." For instance, a traffic court cannot hear a divorce case. This is also known as the "nature" of a matter, as in the phrase "nature and cause" found in the Sixth Article of the "Bill of Rights."
A very important aspect not mentioned in the dictionaries, is that jurisdiction never becomes a question for consideration until a dispute arises between people.
What is a Court?
We are led to understand that jurisdiction "presupposes the existence of a duly constituted court." But there is no discussion of how a court becomes duly constituted. Black's definition of court is lengthy, and leaves the reader more confused than when he started. Anderson's has this to say about courts:
  • "1. According to Cowel, the house where the king remains with his retinue; also, the place where justice is administered. (These two meanings, in the beginning, were closely connected. For, in early history, when the king was actually the fountain and dispenser of justice, nothing could be more natural than that subjects who had complaints of ill-treatment to make should use the expression 'the court,' in speaking of the journey to the place where the king was domiciled, and the application to him preferred, usually in the court of the palace, for interference and redress. Anciently, then, the 'court,' for judicial purposes, was the king and his attendants; later, those who sojourned or traveled with him, to whom he delegated authority to determine controversies and to dispense justice.)
  • A tribunal established for the public administration of justice, and composed of one or more judges, who sit for that purpose at fixed times and places, attended by proper officers.
  • An organized body, with defined powers, meeting at certain times and places for the hearing and decision of causes and other matters brought before it, and aided in this by its officers, viz., attorneys and counsel to present and manage the business, clerks to record and attest its acts and decisions, and ministerial officers to execute its commands and secure order in its proceedings."
Before we can understand the full scope of an issue, we must begin at its roots; ask the important questions. Why are things the way they are, and how did they get this way? Who did these things, and who said that they could? In other words, "by what authority;" or in more ancient terms, "quo warranto."
Am I a Radical?
By consistently examining every issue through the looking-glass of quo warranto, I have found a razor, which can cut to the heart of almost any issue. Try it for yourself, but don't be surprised if people begin to call you a radical. Did you know that "radical" is defined as:
  • "Fundamental; going to the roots of anything." (Webster's Unabridged Encyclopedic Dictionary, A.D. 1957)
So what's so bad about being radical?
In going to the roots of jurisdiction, the first questions which come to my mind are, who is the "sovereign," and what is a "retinue;" how does a "tribunal" become "established;" who "organized" the "body" of a given court, and by what authority; and how does a "judge" become "charged" with deciding anything?
I believe that the root definition of a lawful "court" is as follows:
  • "A man, or group of men, lawfully delegated the authority to settle a dispute arising among two or more other men."
Please note that the usage of the words "man" and "men" is inclusive of all people; men, women, and children.
Courts exist because people inevitably have disputes. "Jurisdiction," in essence, is nothing more, or less, than the "lawfully delegated authority" to settle disputes. Therefore, the study of jurisdiction must begin with the question of who has the right to settle disputes, and then follow through to how that right can be lawfully exercised, and delegated to others.
Where do rights come from?
A lot of people claim to have Constitutional rights. Those people have obviously never read the Constitution. Read it yourself, and you will find that there is not a single article which grants rights to the people. Rather, the people are acknowledged to possess certain rights, which pre-date the Constitution, and to which officers of the Union are required to take an Oath to protect, and not to violate.
Any so-called right, which is dependent upon a Constitution, a contract, or any other piece of paper, is more accurately described as a "delegation of authority," or "privilege." If the paper is lost, destroyed, revoked, or amended, then the privilege which it created disappears. In contrast, the laws of our One True God cannot be lost or destroyed, and will never be revoked or amended. Those who tell you that the law changes constantly, have forsaken our One True God, and embraced the Beast. They would have you do the same.
In agreement with most of the founders of these united States of America, I believe that all rights originate from the Creator of all things, the One True God. (Genesis 1:1)
How do we know what rights God gave us?
This question stumps most people who claim God-given rights. When asked the question, "Do all people have the same rights?" most will answer "yes." When asked, "how do you know which rights God gave you?" the most common answer is a blank stare.
The Holy Scriptures do not talk much of rights, with the exception on one: the right to choose, or free agency.
  • "Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day; And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known." (Deuteronomy 11: 26-28)
  • "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15)
Free agency is the one unalienable right given to us by the One True God. We all have it, to a greater or lesser degree. Even slaves have this right. It is our right to choose. The right to contract, or not to contract. Unalienable means that it cannot be taken away by anyone except God, and cannot even be permanently given away by its owner. This concept is even honored and upheld by modern statutes which allow anyone the right to revoke powers of attorney.
When people turn away from God's laws, He makes them slaves, thereby taking away a large measure of their free agency. He does this because He loves us. Only the master is responsible for the acts of a slave. Thus are many slaves saved from the burden of their sins.
All other rights are inalienable, meaning that they can be contracted away. Any right, other than free agency, which could not be contracted away, would infringe our right to choose.
But which comes first, the rights, or the duties? Notice these other examples of the right to choose:
  • "Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation." (Exodus 19: 5-6)
  • "If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: . . . But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; . . . I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it." (Leviticus 25: 3-16)
Clearly, the duty to follow God's law precedes any blessings (rights) which He might bestow. Just as clearly, those who follow God's laws will be given more blessings (rights) than those who do not.
If you obey the commandment to not murder (Deuteronomy 5:17), you are given the blessing of safety. If you violate that commandment, you are to be put to death (Leviticus 24:17). Many of these examples can be enumerated. If you steal another man's property (Exodus 20:15), are you secure in the right to your own (Exodus 22:1)? If you judge other men unrighteously, what right do you have to righteous judgment (Matthew 7:2)? Stated another way, when we violate the law, we give up our rights to protection under the law.
What is law?
This was a big shocker for me. Who would think to look up the word "law," even in a law dictionary? Black's Sixth Edition devotes more than a whole page to the definition of law, but this part is the most striking:
  • In old English jurisprudence, "law" is used to signify an oath, or the privilege of being sworn; as in the phrases "to wage one's law," "to lose one's law."
So, the "radical" definition of "law" is "oath." Other words with a similar meaning as "oath" include "contract," "agreement," "covenant," "treaty," "pledge." You get the idea. So in essence, "law" is nothing more than a man's agreement to behave in a certain way. Even God's law is rooted in His covenants with Abraham, Isaac, and Israel.
In the early days of this nation, most people followed God's laws. As a result, each man was blessed with sovereignty over his own affairs; a large measure of free agency. Unlike slaves or subjects, we became responsible for our own judgments (Leviticus 18:4), and became obligated to stay out of the courts of the ungodly.
If each one of us is sovereign, then does not each of us have our own court? Don't we all possess the inherent right to settle our own disputes? Of course. Which brings us back to the question: "How does someone else's court gain jurisdiction over us, our property, and the operation of our affairs?"
Property Ownership
Just because you have control over something doesn't mean you necessarily own it. Conversely, you may not necessarily have complete control over everything you "own," unless you hold the highest title. For example, a man who sells a parcel of land by way of a "land contract" holds legal title to the land until it is paid for, at which time he must then pass the title to the buyer. But while the land is being purchased over time, the buyer has possession of the land, and in most ways uses it as his own. He has what is called an "equitable interest." However, if the buyer doesn't make his payments on schedule, then all rights in the land return to the seller, who has legal title, as well as a "reversionary" interest.
Do you own land? If you answered yes, here's another question: Do you pay yearly property taxes on that land? What happens if you don't pay the taxes? How can you claim to own something that you only have the right to use, as long as you pay a yearly rental?
We usually think of "property" in terms of land, money, or other tangible wealth, but property is always ultimately defined as "an aggregate of rights." The One True God owns everything, but we have rights in some of those things. When we accept the duty of following God's laws, and trust Him to help us protect our own rights, He asks us to pay a tithe (tenth) of our increase. Note that He never asks for a portion of anything from which we have already paid a tithe, and He warns us that any government which does this is not following His law; their authority is not legitimate, because it is "not of God." (See Romans 13:1)
The power to tax is the power to destroy; to confiscate. This is what makes the so-called "property tax" one of the most evil ideas possible in a free society. The ultimate conclusion is obvious: Whoever has the power to tax property will eventually own all property (all rights). The governments in America today do not yet possess all of our rights, but in most ways they behave as though they do. And most people, agents of government and common folk alike, have come to believe the lie.
These governments now behave in the same way as the lords of old England. All the land and the fruits thereof are presumed to belong to the "king," and at each level "down" toward the common folk (serfs) is a lord, or group of lords to administer the "fiefdom." The serfs have a limited privilege of sale or inheritance in property, so long as they continue to pay tribute (tax) to the king.
He who holds the highest title to property has the final say as to what becomes of that property. This explains "in rem" jurisdiction.
Free agency in settling disputes
Personam jurisdiction, as far as I understand it myself, is limited to some very basic principles. Initially, it is determined as follows:
  1. Sovereigns, or freemen are those men who are not bound by oath to serve other men.
  2. Subjects are those men who have given an oath of service to another man, or group of men.
  3. Every freeman who follows God's laws, is blessed with the right to settle his own disputes, i.e. he holds his own court at will.
  4. Freemen may bring suit against other freemen, though each has equal standing, and is not bound by any other man's court unless by oath, or voluntary delegation.
  5. A freeman is generally empowered to settle disputes between his subjects. This is dependent upon the oath between the freeman and the subject.
  6. A freeman may bring suit against his own subjects.
  7. Subjects have no standing in any court, save that of their master. They may sue their master only at his pleasure, unless the oath between the master and subject specifically allows it, which is not common. No subject may directly sue another freeman, but must appeal to his master to sue for relief on his behalf.
Settling Disputes
In any dispute the parties have three choices:
  1. Forgiveness. This choice works well when the party who perceives himself as damaged has not suffered too great a loss, and especially where the cause of the dispute is not likely to re-occur. Sometimes if the other options are more costly than the expected relief, it is a choice which helps to preserve a man's sanity. However, no man can bear unlimited trespass, and will eventually seek other options.
  2. Bloodshed. This is one of the oldest methods of settling disputes. It is forbidden in the Holy Scriptures, except under very specific circumstances. This method of dispute resolution almost always eventually destroys the man who uses it in any way contrary to God's law, which is why it is forbidden.
  3. Lawful Process. This is the preferred method of dispute resolution, without which we would have no need of discussing jurisdiction. Lawful process can be divided into three sub-processes, which are listed in the Holy Scriptures, in the Book of Matthew, chapter eighteen, verses fifteen through sixteen.
It is important that we understand lawful process, because our only alternatives are forgiveness, or bloodshed. Between sovereigns, war is nearly always the result of an inability to resolve a recurring dispute using lawful process. Before lawful process can begin, the parties in dispute must be narrowed to include only parties of equal standing, as shown above. Then they can proceed as follows:
  1. Negotiation. In other words, a contract, or treaty.
    • "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother."
Negotiation is the most common form of settlement, which is an expression of our most basic right of free agency. All contracts are examples of negotiation. Most disputes which go beyond negotiation are a result of breach-of-contract. In other words, one or more parties to a contract either do something which they had agreed not to do, or else fail to perform an act they have promised. Even criminal acts come into courts as the result of a dispute. As an example, let's say that a man has stolen a loaf of bread from you. First, you accuse him of the theft. He either admits, or denies. If he denies, you have a dispute. If he admits, then you demand restitution (replace the bread). If he agrees, and then follows through, then there is no dispute. If he does not agree, or if he agrees and then fails to follow through, then you have a dispute. This same principle applies to all criminal acts. Prosecutions for murder were originally civil disputes, prosecuted by the family of the victim. County prosecutors came into existence as a means to protect the poor, who did not have the resources to prosecute criminals who had damaged them.
  1. Mediation. An attempt to reach an agreement with the help of a third party.
    • "But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established."
We are to bring along one or two witnesses, preferably people known to all parties, to aid in the negotiation, and try to bring about a peaceful resolution. Mediation, like all negotiation, must result in a contract, or treaty between the parties. The mediator has no authority to compel the parties to agree, or to settle the dispute without agreement between the parties.
  1. Arbitration. This is the delegation of authority to a third party to settle the dispute.
    • "And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: "
Arbitration, in its various forms, is what we commonly think of as a court. It is the heart of this discussion on jurisdiction. The church, a body of men learned in God's law, was Jesus' choice of arbitrator when all other attempts to settle a dispute had failed. "Church," in this sense, meant "ecclesia," or the body of lawful elders. In any arbitration, all parties in dispute choose to delegate the authority of their own court, the right to make their own judgment, to a third-party. This is, in itself, the beginning of a negotiated settlement, since all parties must agree to the third-party arbitrator in order for him to have the power, i.e. jurisdiction, to settle the dispute.
The verse ends with these words:
  • "but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican."
In other words, if a man will not settle a dispute any other way, ignore him as long as you can, and then do what you must. A man must always have a remedy. Within the boundaries of God's law, of course.
We've learned that jurisdiction comes into play only in arbitration. As near as I can tell, the sources of jurisdiction to settle a dispute can be narrowed to two: contract, and escheat.
Jurisdiction by Contract
Contract includes voluntary participation, as well as any oath, agreement, or treaty which delegates the authority to settle disputes to another party. Walking into a court and giving your name is an example of voluntary participation. Acceptance of service of process, even from a court with whom you have no contract, can become voluntary participation if you fail to send timely notice to the court of its lack (known as "want") of jurisdiction. Jurisdictional agreements often occur far in advance of a dispute. Contracts containing clauses such as "this contract is made pursuant to the laws of Delaware," or which are acknowledged by a Notary Public, or other officer of a body with an organized court, delegate jurisdiction as a part of the contract.
The recording of a contract with a clerk or "register," for a body with an organized court, gives that court "cognizance" of the contract. It begins with a contract when a man recording a document pays a fee to the register. Look back at Black's definition of jurisdiction. "[Jurisdiction] exists when court has cognizance of [matter in dispute]." Many law reform students believe that recording a deed for land with a county register gives the county either legal title or equitable interest in the land. It appears from the evidence, that recording merely gives the county jurisdiction to settle disputes involving the land, and the parties to the deed.
Many contracts contain clauses which specifically delegate jurisdiction to an arbitration council.
  • If any dispute shall arise between the parties to this contract with regard to the covenants contained herein, then jurisdiction over the settlement of said dispute shall be limited to the XYZ Resolution Council, located at 321 Abicromby Place, Anywhere, U.S.A, and the judgments and awards of said Council shall be binding upon the parties hereto.
Jurisdiction by Escheat
Escheat is a different matter, and is widely misunderstood. Black's Sixth Edition defines it as:
  • A reversion of property to the state in consequence of a want of any individual competent to inherit.
Remember that "property" is not land, money, or other wealth; it is an "aggregate of rights." Is the "right to settle disputes" a property right? Of course it is. All rights are property. When we neglect to delegate to a specific party the right to settle disputes arising from our contracts, there is no one who is competent to inherit that right if a dispute does arise. This makes our "property" easy pickings for any "sovereign" with an organized court to step in and claim that right for his own. The burden of proof is then shifted to the parties, to prove that someone else has that right. If no competent party can come forward and claim that property right, then the parties are "escheated" out of it.
Escheat is also significant on a broader scale. By allowing a Godless body of men to organize together and monopolize our courts, Christians have abandoned the right to settle their own disputes, and barred themselves from righteous judgment. So long as no one is willing or able to fill that capacity, we will continue to be "escheated" over and over again. Our only solution is to reaffirm our Christian Duties, rediscover our Rights, and exercise our God-given Authority.
Common law courts, ecclesiastical courts, and other types of peoples' courts are currently springing up all over the country. Although the mainstream media usually maligns these courts, their formation is a symptom of peoples' deep-seated impulse to return to God's law. Unfortunately, too many of these groups are not educated in the due-process procedures required of a lawful court. Careful study is needed in the operation of any court, for if due process is not afforded the parties in dispute, the rights of the court will be taken through escheat.
It is my prayer that this report will aid all people in achieving peace in their lives, which is the aim of any lawful court. I pray that all courts, and all people with disputes, will better understand the limited authority with which a court operates. May the One True God give us the Strength and Wisdom to follow a True Course. Amen.



By Jack McLamb (from Aid & Abet Newsletter)
For years professionals within the criminal justice system have acted on the belief that traveling by motor vehicle was a privilege that was given to a citizen only after approval by their state government in the form of a permit or license to drive. In other words, the individual must be granted the privilege before his use of the state highways was considered legal. Legislators, police officers, and court officials are becoming aware that there are court decisions that disprove the belief that driving is a privilege and therefore requires government approval in the form of a license. Presented here are some of these cases:
CASE #1: "The use of the highway for the purpose of travel and transportation is not a mere privilege, but a common fundamental right of which the public and individuals cannot rightfully be deprived." Chicago Motor Coach v. Chicago, 169 NE 221.
CASE #2: "The right of the citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, either by carriage or by automobile, is not a mere privilege which a city may prohibit or permit at will, but a common law right which he has under the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Thompson v. Smith, 154 SE 579.
It could not be stated more directly or conclusively that citizens of the states have a common law right to travel, without approval or restriction (license), and that this right is protected under the U.S Constitution.
CASE #3: "The right to travel is a part of the liberty of which the citizen cannot be deprived without due process of law under the Fifth Amendment." Kent v. Dulles, 357 US 116, 125.
CASE #4: "The right to travel is a well-established common right that does not owe its existence to the federal government. It is recognized by the courts as a natural right." Schactman v. Dulles 96 App DC 287, 225 F2d 938, at 941.
As hard as it is for those of us in law enforcement to believe, there is no room for speculation in these court decisions. American citizens do indeed have the inalienable right to use the roadways unrestricted in any manner as long as they are not damaging or violating property or rights of others. Government -- in requiring the people to obtain drivers licenses, and accepting vehicle inspections and DUI/DWI roadblocks without question -- is restricting, and therefore violating, the people's common law right to travel.
Is this a new legal interpretation on this subject? Apparently not. This means that the beliefs and opinions our state legislators, the courts, and those in law enforcement have acted upon for years have been in error. Researchers armed with actual facts state that case law is overwhelming in determining that to restrict the movement of the individual in the free exercise of his right to travel is a serious breach of those freedoms secured by the U.S. Constitution and most state constitutions. That means it is unlawful. The revelation that the American citizen has always had the inalienable right to travel raises profound questions for those who are involved in making and enforcing state laws. The first of such questions may very well be this: If the states have been enforcing laws that are unconstitutional on their face, it would seem that there must be some way that a state can legally put restrictions -- such as licensing requirements, mandatory insurance, vehicle registration, vehicle inspections to name just a few -- on a citizen's constitutionally protected rights. Is that so?
For the answer, let us look, once again, to the U.S. courts for a determination of this very issue. In Hertado v. California, 110 US 516, the U.S Supreme Court states very plainly:
"The state cannot diminish rights of the people."
And in Bennett v. Boggs, 1 Baldw 60,
"Statutes that violate the plain and obvious principles of common right and common reason are null and void."
Would we not say that these judicial decisions are straight to the point -- that there is no lawful method for government to put restrictions or limitations on rights belonging to the people? Other cases are even more straight forward:
"The assertion of federal rights, when plainly and reasonably made, is not to be defeated under the name of local practice." Davis v. Wechsler, 263 US 22, at 24
"Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them." Miranda v. Arizona, 384 US 436, 491.
"The claim and exercise of a constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime." Miller v. US, 230 F 486, at 489.
There can be no sanction or penalty imposed upon one because of this exercise of constitutional rights." Sherer v. Cullen, 481 F 946
We could go on, quoting court decision after court decision; however, the Constitution itself answers our question - Can a government legally put restrictions on the rights of the American people at anytime, for any reason? The answer is found in Article Six of the U.S. Constitution:
"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof;...shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or laws of any State to the Contrary not one word withstanding."
In the same Article, it says just who within our government that is bound by this Supreme Law:
"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution..."
Here's an interesting question. Is ignorance of these laws an excuse for such acts by officials? If we are to follow the letter of the law, (as we are sworn to do), this places officials who involve themselves in such unlawful acts in an unfavorable legal situation. For it is a felony and federal crime to violate or deprive citizens of their constitutionally protected rights. Our system of law dictates that there are only two ways to legally remove a right belonging to the people. These are:
  1. by lawfully amending the constitution, or
  2. by a person knowingly waiving a particular right.
Some of the confusion on our present system has arisen because many millions of people have waived their right to travel unrestricted and volunteered into the jurisdiction of the state. Those who have knowingly given up these rights are now legally regulated by state law and must acquire the proper permits and registrations. There are basically two groups of people in this category:
  1. Citizens who involve themselves in commerce upon the highways of the state. Here is what the courts have said about this: "...For while a citizen has the right to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, that right does not extend to the use of the a place for private gain. For the latter purpose, no person has a vested right to use the highways of this state, but it is a privilege...which the (state) may grant or withhold at its discretion..." State v. Johnson, 245 P 1073. There are many court cases that confirm and point out the difference between the right of the citizen to travel and a government privilege and there are numerous other court decisions that spell out the jurisdiction issue in these two distinctly different activities. However, because of space restrictions, we will leave it to officers to research it further for themselves.
  2. The second group of citizens that is legally under the jurisdiction of the state are those citizens who have voluntarily and knowingly waived their right to travel unregulated and unrestricted by requesting placement under such jurisdiction through the acquisition of a state driver's license, vehicle registration, mandatory insurance, etc. (In other words, by contract.) We should remember what makes this legal and not a violation of the common law right to travel is that they knowingly volunteer by contract to waive their rights. If they were forced, coerced or unknowingly placed under the state's powers, the courts have said it is a clear violation of their rights. This in itself raises a very interesting question. What percentage of the people in each state have applied for and received licenses, registrations and obtained insurance after erroneously being advised by their government that it was mandatory?
Many of our courts, attorneys and police officials are just becoming informed about this important issue and the difference between privileges and rights. We can assume that the majority of those Americans carrying state licenses and vehicle registrations have no knowledge of the rights they waived in obeying laws such as these that the U.S. Constitution clearly states are unlawful, i.e. laws of no effect - laws that are not laws at all. An area of serious consideration for every police officer is to understand that the most important law in our land which he has taken an oath to protect, defend, and enforce, is not state laws and city or county ordinances, but the law that supersedes all other laws -- the U.S. Constitution. If laws in a particular state or local community conflict with the supreme law of our nation, there is no question that the officer's duty is to uphold the U.S. Constitution.
Every police officer should keep the following U.S. court ruling -- discussed earlier -- in mind before issuing citations concerning licensing, registration, and insurance:
"The claim and exercise of a constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime." Miller v. US, 230 F 486, 489.
And as we have seen, traveling freely, going about one's daily activities, is the exercise of a most basic right.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Drivers could get back more than £1m paid out in parking fines after a London council found the penalty charge notices (PCNs) were "unlawful".

Richmond Council said more than 20,000 PCNs given between April 2009 and April 2011 by CCTV cars cannot be imposed as the cars were "not properly certified".

Refund appeals made by late October will be "automatically allowed".

Richmond Council said it will launch an "extensive advertising campaign", expected to costs thousands of pounds.

Councillors will discuss the issue at a meeting on 23 July after which the local authority will advertise the offer of refund on its website, local newspapers and through its local partners.

The council said it will carry out an external review of its parking services, which will also look at "the operation of all cameras and the enforcement service".

The decision to refund the PCNs comes after it was found that four CCTV cars used for parking enforcement were not properly licensed, following concerns raised by drivers.

Two cars, used by the council since February, were now correctly licensed but they will not be used until the parking review is carried out.

Council Leader, Nicholas True, said: "It may be argued that many of the actions of the drivers concerned were contraventions.

"Had the cameras (cars) been properly certified most would have been.

"We will be launching an extensive advertising campaign to contact motorists."

Peter Ashford, of the London Motorists' Action Group said "The administration cost of this exercise is estimated at £50,000 to £100,000 which is small change for the benefit of retaining most of this massive sum of penalty money."

Mr True said the money not reclaimed by motorists would be used in road and parking schemes.