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Last Updated, August 29, 1999

Idiot Legal Arguments: A Casebook for Dealing with Extremist Legal Arguments

Part Ten

By Bernard J. Sussman, JD, MLS, CP

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   Fingerprinting: Occasionally militia-types taken into custody will resist fingerprinting and photographing, even when specifically ordered by a judge, and even complain that there fingerprints were "stolen", as happened in the Montana Freemen trial.  It has been held, repeatedly, that the taking of fingerprints, photos, and other identifying descriptions of the arrestee is a proper and lawful part of the arrest procedure and the identification of arrestees.  US v. G.R. Thompson (2d Cir 1965) 356 F2d 216 cert.den 384 US 964; Hendricks v. Swenson (8th Cir 1972) 456 F2d 503; Downs v. Swann (1909) 111 Md 53, 73 Atl 653, 23 LRA,ns 739, 134 Am.St.Rep 586; (even without a statute explicitly requiring fingerprints)  US v. Kelly (2d Cir 1932) 55 F2d 67, 83 ALR 122;  even if the arrestee is subsequently acquitted or released. Bradford v. State (1979) 149 Ga.App 839, 256 SE2d 84 cert.den 444 US 936; State ex rel Mavity v. Tyndall (1947) 225 Ind 360, 74 NE2d 914 app.dism 333 US 834; US v. Kalish (D PR 1967) 271 F.Supp 968; that the police or jailers are entitled to compel arrestees to submit to fingerprinting and to use such force as is necessary to accomplish that task.  Downs v. Swann (1909) 111 Md 53, 73 Atl 653, 23 LRA,ns 739, 134 Am.St.Rep 586; that the fingerprinting, even when involuntary, is not a form of  self-incrimination nor search and seizure. Wyche v. State (Fla.App 1989) 536 So.2d 272 revw.den (Fla.Supm. 1989) 544 So.2d 201; US v. Kelly (2d Cir 1932) 55 F2d 67, 83 ALR 122; People v. Cooper (1996) 220 Mich.App 368, 559 NW2d 90 app.den 456 Mich 904, 572 NW2d 14; In re Grand Jury Proceeding (5th Cir 1977) 558 F2d 1177; nor does the taking of fingerprints or photographs infringe any other right. Downs v. Swann (1909) 111 Md 53, 73 Atl 653, 23 LRA,ns 739, 134 Am.St.Rep 586; State ex rel Mavity v. Tyndall (1947) 225 Ind 360, 74 NE2d 914 app.dism 333 US 834; US v. Kalish (D PR 1967) 271 F.Supp 968; in fact, it is considered so necessary to identifying suspects, that a police department that failed to take fingerprints of arrestees could be criminally (or perhaps civilly) liable. State v. McGovern (1947) 136 N.J. Law. 115, 54 A2d 812.  With reference to the Montana Freemen, who were so violently resistant to fingerprinting that both police and defendants suffered injuries, several of the defendants had been somewhat less than candid, at various times, about using their real names and some of the defendants were already wanted in other states when the siege in Montana began.  

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    relating to traffic laws:  state govt can restrict driving on the public roads to drivers with valid current licenses, and restrict drivers to vehicles registered as having passed inspection, notwithstanding argument about a "right to travel".  Hendrick v.  Maryland (1915) 235 US 610 (a state may restrict the use of its highways to drivers who have complied with the license, insurance and vehicle registration laws of this state or, if the driver is a non-resident, of his home state); Bell v. Burson (1971) 402 US 535 (state statute which denies or suspends drivers license for failure to carry insurance or comparable financial responsibility does not violate constitution);  (this authority to prescribe reasonable requisites for the "privilege" of driving on the public highways is inherent in state and local govts) State v.  Booher (Tenn.Crim.App 1997) 978 SW2d 953 ("the appellant asserts that the state ... has unduly infringed upon his 'right to travel' by requiring licensing and registarion .... However, contrary to his assertions, at no time did the State of Tennessee place constraints upon the appellant's exercise of this right.  His right to travel ... remains unimpeded.... Rather, based upon the context of his argument, the appellant asserts an infringement upon his right to operate a motor vehicle on the public highways of this state.  This notion is wholly separate from the right to travel.  The ability to drive a motor vehicle on a public highway is not a fundamental 'right'.  Instead, it is a revocable 'privilege' that is granted upon compliance with statutory licensing procedures.");  Quackenbush v. Superior Court (1997) 60 Cal.App.4th 454, 70 Cal.Rptr.2d 271 (state can require insurance for drivers licenses); ditto (state has legitimate interest in requiring financial responsibility of drivers) Berberian v. Lussier (1958) 87 RI 226, 139 A2d 869 (this crank, a lawyer who was evidently his own favorite client and eventually got himself disbarred for threatening to bomb the courthouse, Carter v. Berberian (RI 1981) 442 A2d 1263, later got his 13 year old son to sue over the age requirement for learners permits, see below);  see generally essay, Validity of Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Act, 35 ALR2d 1011 & suppl.; Guerrero v. Ryan (1995) 272 IL.App.3d 945, 209 IL.Dec 408, 651 NE2d 586 app.denied 163 IL.2d 556, 657 NE2d 621 cert.den 516 US 1180 (state can suspend license already issued if lack of insurance is discovered, drivers license not a basic constitutional right); similarly State v. Turk (1982) 197 Mont 311, 643 P2d 224; ditto Berberian v. Lussier (1958) 87 RI 226, 139 A2d 869; (cannot evade insurance requirement by religious objections) State v.  Cosgrove (So.Dak. 1989) 439 NW2d 119 cert.den 493 US 846; similarly State v. Skurdal (1988) 235 Mont 291, 767 P2d 304 ("This is obviously a growing school of thought which had been misguided....  The notion of right to travel remains wholly separate from the right or privilege to operate a motor vehicle on the public highways." The court made a point of discussing many of the crank arguments against requiring drivers licenses; evidently the crank notion is not only are the licensing requirements inapplicable to them but also speed limits); similarly City of Bismarck v. Stuart (No.Dak 1996) 546 NW2d 366 ("No court has ever held that it is an impermissible infringement upon a citizen's constitutional Right to Travel for the legislature to decree that ... every person who operates a motor vehicle on public roads must have a valid operator's license.... The legislature has the constitutional police power to ensure safe drivers and safe roads."); similarly City of Salina v. Wisden (Utah 1987) 737 P2d 981 ("Mr. Wisden's assertion that the right to travel encompasses 'the unrestrained use of the highway' is wrong.  The right to travel granted by the state and federal constitutions does not include the ability to ignore laws governing the use of public roadways.  The motor vehicle code was promulgated to increase the safety and efficiency of our public roads.  It enhances rather than infringes on the right to travel.  The ability to drive a motor vehicle on a public roadway is not a fundamental right; it is a privilege that is granted upon the compliance with the statutory licensing procedures."); similarly ("The right to operate a motor vehicle is wholly a creation of state law; it certainly is not explicitly guaranteed by the Constitution, and nothing in that document or in our state constitution has even the slightest appearance or an implicit guarantee of that right.  The plaintiff's argument that the right to operate a motor vehicle is fundamental because of its relation to the fundamental right of interstate travel ... is utterly frivolous.  The plaintiff is not being prevented from traveling interstate by public transportation, by common carrier, or in a motor vehicle driven by someone with a license to drive it.  What is at issue here is not his right to travel interstate, but his right to operate a motor vehicle on the public highways, and we have no hesitation in holding that this is not a fundamental right.") Berberian v. Petit (RI 1977) 374 A2d 791,   86 ALR3d 468 (this case was a 13-year-old boy challenging the age requirement for learners permits, the court quoted from a 1958 decision involving his father's challenge to the requirement for motorists insurance);  similarly  Jones v. City of Newport (1989) 29 Ark.App 42, 780 SW2d 338; similarly Azubuko v. Registrar of Motor Vehicles (1st Cir unpub 9/3/96) cert.den 520 US 1157; ditto (state can require drivers license, vehicle registration, display of  license plate, etc., notwithstanding argument about "right to travel") State v.  Weisman (Minn.App unpub 11/1/88) cert.den 489 US 1080; ditto Maxfield v. Corwin (WD Mich unpub 3/17/87); ditto ("While there exists a fundamental right to travel, neither this court, nor our [state] supreme court, nor the US Supreme Court has ever held that there exists a fundamental right to drive a moter vehicle."  State can require display of official registration tag, and that driver present police with valid license and car registration, even against purported religious objections, and can punish for use of homemade license plate) Terpstra v. State (Ind.App 1988) 529 NE2d 839; ditto City of Spokane v. Port (1986) 43 Wash.App 273, 716 P2d 945 revw.den 106 Wash.2d 1010; State v. Patterson (Kan.App unpub 2/14/92) review den (Kan. Supm 1992) 250 Kan 807; ditto US  ex rel Verdone v.  Circuit Court for Taylor County (7th Cir 1995) 73 F3d 669; similarly Commonwealth v.  Levy (1961) 194 Penn.Super 390, 169 A2d 596; see especially essay, Validity of statute making it a criminal offense for operator of motor vehicle not to carry or display his license or registration, 6 ALR3d 506 & suppl.); similarly (right to "property" does not enable perp to drive his car despite its lack of registration, safety inspection,  license plate, drivers license, etc., nor to prevent it from being impounded until he complies with the licensing laws) Wisden v. City of Salina (Utah 1985) 709 P2d 371; similarly (perp already had an SSN but refused, supposedly on religious grounds, to provide it to apply for drivers license and thereby refused to renew or carry drivers license on religious grounds; "The appellant advised [the policewoman] that he could not be arrested because her God was not as big as his God.  He referred to her as 'an agent of the socialist govt ...", court held the state had sufficient reasons to require SSNs for drivers licenses and that, since driving without a license is a crime, religious fastidiousness could not excuse a criminal act) State v. Loudon (Tenn.Crim.App 1993) 857 SW2d 878;  similarly (when cranks already have SSNs but refuse to reveal them for drivers licenses applications, supposedly on religious grounds)  Penner v. King (Mo.Supm 1985) 695 SW2d 887; similarly (refused to reveal SSNs for drivers license on privacy grounds, citing various laws on non-disclosure of SSNs, court held that state could require disclosure of SSN on license application) Nowlin v DMV (1997) 53 Cal.App.4th 1529, 62 Cal.Rptr.2d 409; if state law requires the SSN on the license application then the use of the SSN is not optional and an applicant who fails to provide his SSN will thereby be refused a license.  Schmidt v. Powell (IL App 1972) 4 IL.App.3d 34, 280 NE2d 236; Ostric v. Board of Appeals on Motor Vehicle Policies (Mass 1972) 361 Mass 459, 280 NE2d 692; similarly (crank claimed to have unilaterally revoked his SSN and tried to invoke state law that would permit an individual without an SSN to obtain a drivers license upon submission of a federal govt document attesting to the lack of a Soc.Sec. number or account for that person, at least the individual's own assertion without the federal documentation was insufficient; the court noted that driving on the public roads is a privilege, not a right nor a contract, and the state may impose reasonable conditions upon that privilege and someone too fastidious to meet those conditions would not obtain the privilege) Hershey v. Commonwealth Dept of Transportation (Penn.Commonw.Ct 1995) 669 A2d 517 app.den 544 Penn 664, 676 A2d 1202; ditto Kocher v. Bickley (Penn.Commonw.Ct  1999) 722 A2d 756; similarly (state can insist on SSN to obtain a drivers license and apparently not required to offer alternatives to someone with religious objections to having an SSN) McDonald v. Alabama Dept of Public Safety (Alab.Civ.App unpub 4/9/99); ditto Miller v. Reed (9th Cir 1999) 176 F3d 1202  (and quoting from Bowen v. Roy, 1986, 476 US 693, which upheld an AFDC requirement that welfare payments would not be paid for children whose parents did not provide the child's SSN, notwithstanding the parents' religious objections to SSNs, and without offering an alternative); requirement of SSN to obtain a drivers license did not infringe on religious rights, because the "plaintiffs may preserve their religious scruples intact by foregoing  this privilege [of driving on the public roads].  It is for them to balance the resulting inconvenience."  Penner v. King (Mo. 1985) 695 SW2d 887; similarly, "The state of Missouri, by making the licensing requirements in question, is not prohibiting Davis from expressing or practicing his religious beliefs or from traveling throughout this land.  If he wishes, he may walk, ride a bicycle or horse, or travel as a passenger in an automobile, bus, airplane or helicopter.  He cannot, however, operate a moto vehicle on the public highways without ... a valid operator's license." State v. Davis (Mo.App 1988) 745 SW2d 249; (on the other hand, some states have made provision for issuing drivers licenses in special circumstances in which an SSN is unavailable, such as lawfully admitted aliens, with their green cards, who are ineligible for Soc.Sec.)  Lauderbach v. Zolin (Cal.App 1995) 35 Cal.App.4th 578, 41 Cal.Rptr.2d 434; similarly (accepting the IRS's Taxpayer Identification Number [TIN] as a substitute for the SSN) Devon Inc. v. State Bureau (Ohio App 1986) 31 Ohio App.3d 130, 508 NE2d 984; ditto (state would accept TIN as a substitute for the SSN and not obliged to create any more alternatives)  Kocher v. Bickley (Penn.Commonw.Ct  1999) 722 A2d 756;   [the state may also give applicants the option of not having their SSNs appear on their drivers license and the public registry but may stil require the SSN on the applications. Doe v. Registrar of Motor Vehicles (Mass.Super unpub 6/8/93) 1 Mass.L.Rptr 156, 21 Media L.Rptr 2041; and if the drivers license does not display the SSN, a policeman stopping the driver may insist on seeing the driver's Soc.Sec. card when the SSN is required on traffic citations. State v. T.N. Hill (Ohio App. unpub 2/6/92)];   neither right to migrate nor right to a job implies a right to unlicensed driving. Maher v. State (Ind.App 1993) 612 NE2d 1063;  (ditto, when crank sent the state letters "rescinding his signature" to all drivers license papers assenting to the state's statutory consent to breathalyzer test this had the effect of cancelling his drivers license, and he was charged with unlicensed driving; moreover, the state's refusal to return his car until he presented a valid license and registration was not a taking without due process) Maxfield v. Corwin (WD Mich unpub 3/17/87);  {Note: There are reasons, other than dangerous driving, that a court may use to suspend or revoke drivers licenses; e.g.  non-payment of taxes; Wells v. Malloy (D Vt 1975) 402 F.Supp 856 aff'd 538 F2d 317; failure to pay court fines; City of Milwaukee v. Kilgore (Wis.App 1994) 185 Wis.2d 499, 517 NW2d 689; failure to pay child support; Richey v. Richey (La.App 1997) 704 So.2d 343; generally  essay, Revocation or Suspension of Drivers License for Reason Unrelated to Motor Vehicle, 18 ALR5th 542 & suppl.   Another essay deals with putting conditions upon the reinstatement of a suspended license, such as requiring proof of financial responsibility. 2 ALR5th 725.}     ("The right to travel on public highways is not absolute.  It is subject to reasonable regulation by the state, pursuant to the police power granted by the Constitution.  We have previously held that the motor vehicle codes are a valid use of police power.  We have also previously held that requiring automobile insurance coverage and the registration of vehicles is a valid use of the police power and does not violate the due process requirements of the US Constitution.") State v. R.E. Wilson (Mont.Supm unpub 12/3/98); {The references to the "right to travel" in this propaganda turn out to refer to court cases that dealt with restrictions on passports, or on restrictions on out-of-state visitors or newcomers to a state obtaining employment or benefits such as food stamps; cf. G.B. Hartch, Wrong Turns: A critique of the Supreme Court's right to travel cases, 21 Wm. Mitchell Law Rev. 457 (1995).  The exercise of state and municipal police powers to regulate and restrict traffic on public roads predates the automobile by at least a half-century, when bicycle riding was restricted to avoid frightening horses; cf.  R.D. Perry, The Impact of the Sport of Bicycle Riding on Safety Law, 35 Amer. Business Law Jrnl 185 (1998).  In France, the registration of automobiles goes back to 1893, before the first US automobile factory, and in the US, registration of cars dates back to 1901 and the licensing of drivers to 1916, and by the mid-1920s there were, in almost every state, age requirements and other limitations on who could be licensed to operate an automobile, even for personal use; for example, see J. Simon, Driving Governmentality: Automobile accidents, insurance, and the challenge to social order in the inter-war years, 1919 to 1941, 4 Conn. Insur. Law Jrnl 521 (1998).  As the US Supreme Court noted in 1915, "The movement of motor vehicles over the highways is attended by constant and serious dangers to the public, and is also abnormally destructive to the [high]ways themselves. ... [A] state may rightfully prescribe uniform regulations necessary for public safety and order in respect to the operation upon its highways of all motor vehicles - those moving in interstate commerce as well as others. ... This is but an exercise of the police power uniformly recognized as belonging to the states and essential to the preservation of the health, safety, and comfort of their citizens." Hendrick v. Maryland (1915) 235 US 610;   and in  1927, "Motor vehicles are dangerous machines, and even when skillfully and carefully operated, their use is attended by serious dangers to persons and property.  In the public interest the state may make and enforce regulations reasonably calculated to promote care on the part of all, residents and non-residents alike, who use its highways. ...  The state's power to regulate the use of its highways extends to their use by non-residents as well as by residents." Hess v. Pawloski (1927) 274 US 352.   There is nothing in the cranks' reliance on a "right to travel" to try to exempt themselves from driver license and traffic laws that limits their theory to wheeled vehicles and they might eventually claim an unregulated right to pilot aircraft over cities!   Courts have already held that driving without a license or registration is, by itself, indicative of reckless driving; see essay, 29 ALR2d 963 & suppl.} ;    (enforcement of traffic laws is not governed by the UCC; speed limits and their enforcement is not a violation of the "right to travel") Barcroft v.  State (Tex.App 1994) 881 SW2d 838; ditto (UCC inapplicable to case involving driving unregistered vehicle) Gipson v. Callahan (WD Tex 1997) 18 F.Supp.2d 662; (state can require that vehicle be maintained with current inspection and registration stickers and tags) State v.  Kuball (Minn.App unpub 8/15/89);  state can require that drivers carry a drivers license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance. City of Billings v. Skurdal (1986) 224 Mont 84, 730 P2d 371 cert.den 481 US 1020; Nowlin v. Dept of Motor Vehicles (1997) 53 Cal.App.4th 1529, 62 Cal.Rptr.2d 409 (state can require applicants for new or renewed license to provide their Soc.Sec numbers and refuse licenses until applicant obtains a Soc.Sec number); ditto Miller v. Reed (9th Cir 1999) 176 F3d 1202;  ditto McDonald v. Alabama Dept of Public Safety (Alab.Civ.App unpub 4/9/99); ditto Hersshey v. Commonwealth (Commonw.Ct of Penn 1996) 669 A2d 517 app.denied (Penn Supm unpub 6/4/96) 544 Pa 664, 676 A2d 1202; ditto (and also pretending that accepting a benefit from the state, in the form of a license, is against his religion) Terpstra v. State (Ind.App 1988) 529 NE2d 839;  ditto State v. Clifford (1990) 57 Wash.App 127, 787 P2d 571 review denied 114 Wash.2d 1025, 792 P2d 535; ditto State v.  Booher (Tenn.Crim.App 1997) 978 SW2d 953; ditto (claiming that his religious beliefs were against registering for a drivers lic) Schmidt v. Powell (IL App 1972) 4 IL.App.3d 34, 280 NE2d 236; ditto (and also pretending that violation of license and registration laws is a victimless crime) State v. Yoder (Ohio App unpub 6/7/95); (police request that driver show  them his license and registration and proof of insurance is not a "search" under the Fourth Amendment, the law requires a driver to keep these documents, and driver cannot insist on search warrant) State v.  Reed (1984) 107 Ida 162, 686 P2d 842; (ditto, does not violate Fifth Amendment) Sherman v.  Babbitt (9th Cir 1985) 772 F2d 1476; (ditto, does not violate First Amendment religious rights) Terpstra v. State (Ind.App 1988) 529 NE2d 839; (as part of a justifiable traffic stop, the police can instruct the driver to step out of his car) Pennsylvania v.  Mimms (1977) 434 US 106;   (thought that posting No Trespassing notices on his truck was a sufficient substitute for having license plates - and was surprised when the police had his truck towed away) Fenili v. Calif. Dept of Motor Vehicles (ND Cal unpub 6/16/98); (homemade license plate, saying "Freeman", not acceptable, and state may impound car until perp presents current and valid license, registration, etc.) Maxfield v. Corwin (WD Mich unpub 3/17/87); (mere use of homemade license plates is indicative that car is not properly registered and is sufficient to justify police stop) Granse v. State (Minn.App unpub 7/1/97);  State v. French (1994) 77 Haw 222, 883 P2d 644 (required to comply with license and traffic laws event though perp believes that Hawaii is still an independent kingdom, there is no federal legislation that overrides the state’s authority to regulate driving); driving is a privilege not an inherent right and may be regulated by the state for public safety reasons: Jones v. City of Newport (1989) 29 Ark.App 42, 780 SW2d 338; (driving not synonymous with "right to travel") Azubuko v. Registrar of Motor Vehicles (1st Cir unpub 9/3/96) cert.den 520 US 1157; ditto City of Spokane v. Port (1986) 43 Wash.App 273, 716 P2d 945 revw.den 106 Wash.2d 1010;  similarly (including driver license laws and requirement for vehicle registration and insurance) Goode v. Foster (D. Kan unpub 10/21/96); ditto Gordon v. State (1985) 108 Ida 178, 697 P2d 1192; ditto State v. Von Schmidt (1985) 109 Ida 736, 710 P2d 646; ditto Endsley v. State (1987) 184 Ga.App 797, 363 SE2d 1; similarly Lebrun v. State (1986) 255 Ga 406, 339 SE2d 227; ditto Humphreys v. State (Okla. Crim. App 1987) 738 P2d 188; ditto State v.  Booher (Tenn.Crim.App 1997) 978 SW2d 953 (privilege of operation a motor vehicle on the public streets is "wholly separate from the right to travel"; perp refused to identify himself to police, tried to present policeman with his own version of "Miranda warning"; claims to be immune to license & registration requirement as an "unenfranchised citizen of Tennessee", etc.;  held "No person in the State of Tennessee may exempt himself or herself from any law simply by declaring that he or she does not consent to its applying to them"); ditto State v. D.R. Gibson (1985) 108 Ida. 202, 697 P2d 1216 (perp claimed that as a "free man" who had not "accepted" a drivers license, he is exempt from all traffic laws);  similarly Terpstra v. State (Ind.App 1988) 529 NE2d 839;  similarly State v. Stuart (No.Dak 1996) 544 NW2d 158; similarly (including argument that his driving is not "commercial" or not connected to govt activity and therefore not susceptible to any state controls) State v. Skurdal (1988) 235 Mont 291, 767 P2d 304 ("That claim is baseless in Montana and we find no law in any other jurisdiction to support it either."); ditto (tried to argue that registration and licensing laws only apply if the vehicle is "for extraordinary use"; "We see no reason why we should place any limitations on the application of the registration statute when the legislature decided not to.") Slye-Nelson v. State (Tex.App 1993) 862 SW2d 628; ditto ("completely frivolous and meritless") J.M. Anderson v. State of Michigan (WD Mich unpub 3/18/93); ditto City of Spokane v. Port (1986) 43 Wash.App 273, 716 P2d 945 revw.den 106 Wash.2d 1010;  ditto City of Belton v Horton (Mo.App 1997) 947 SW2d 104; ditto Humphreys v. State (Okla. Crim. App 1987) 738 P2d 188; ditto (claimed "it is a legal impossibility for the state or anyone to collect a civil penalty for non-registration of a private vehicle" and wanted $2.5M in damages; "completely frivolous and meritless") J.M. Anderson v. State of Michigan (WD Mich unpub 3/18/93);  ditto (also that this was a "victimless crime") City of South Euclid v. Carroll (Ohio App unpub 10/6/88) app.dism 42 Oh.St.3d 706, 537 NE2d 225; similarly (tried to argue that limiting driving to those able to afford car insurance was discriminatory) Maher v. State (Ind.App 1993) 612 NE2d 1063; ditto State v.  J.S. Smith (Minn.App unpub 6/11/96); (tried to argue that he could not be required to pay a fine nor pay for a license nor  for  registration in the absence of gold and silver coiage) Lowry v. State (Alask.App 1982) 655 P2d 780;  (tried to argue that a traffic ticket required the same tedious red tape, such as notarization or accompanying papers, as a formal indictment or a complaint in a lawsuit) State v. Gibson (Ohio App unpub 6/19/95);  (seemed to think that by denying US citizenship could immunize himself from drunk driving laws and from traffic court) T.J. Johnson v. State (Ark.App unpub 10/7/92);  ditto (as "a ‘free’ man who is no longer a 14th Amendment citizen, he is not required to register his vehicle, wear a seatbelt or maintain liability insurance, ... also asserts that he is not required to abide by any state or federal laws.") State v. Folda (Mont 1994) 267 Mont 523, 51 Mont St.Rep 1149, 885 P2d 426; ditto State v. Skurdal (1988) 235 Mont 291, 767 P2d 304; ditto (argued that his unregistered truck was not a vehicle but a "religious conveyance" and as a "natural citizen" rather than an enfranchised citizen he was exempt from licensing law) Terpstra v. State (Ind.App 1988) 529 NE2d 839; ditto (also tried to argue that his unregistered automobile was not a "motor vehicle" unless and until it was registered) State v.  Booher (Tenn.Crim.App 1997) 978 SW2d 953; similarly (altho alone in his truck, tried to deny that he was "driving a motor vehicle" but rather "traveling in a conveyance".  "His reasoning for this premise ... is not based on any relevant statute or case precedent, and has no merit. [State law] defines an operator as a person ... 'who is in actual physical control of a motor vehicle upon a highway.' ... Since Davis was in actual physical control of the pickup truck, he was operating a motor vehicle.") State v. Davis (Mo.App 1988) 745 SW2d 249; similarly (argued that traffic laws, even against driving the wrong way down a one-way street, violated the 10th Amendment ... and sent the traffic judge letters on the letterhead of "The Committee to Save the Judges from Hanging Even Though They Deserve It" with the printed marginalia that "oppressed people have never once regained their freedom until they had hung the judges and stoned the tax collectors to death." ) Freeman v. Town of Lusk (Wyo.Supm 1986) 717 P2d 331; similarly (awarded himself, as "a first class judicial citizen", a permanent lifetime "travelers authorization" ... "it also means that never again will he have to wait in line at the Dept of Motor Vehicles for a renewal") Estes-El  v. Town of Indian Lake (ND NY unpub 5/11/98); (an international driving permit is not, alone, a sufficient substitute for a drivers license, and requires additionally a drivers license from that person's  country or state of residence) Schofield v.  Hertz Corp.  (1991) 201 Ga.App 830, 412 SE2d 853; Dwyer v. Margono (1997) 128 N.C.App 122, 493 SE2d 763 review den (1998) 347 NC 670, 500 SE2d 85; Eskew v.  Young (SD IL 1998) 992 F.Supp 1049; someone whose drivers license had been deliberately suspended or revoked here cannot resume driving by obtaining an international drivers permit.  People v.  Platts (1995) 274 Ill.App.3d 753, 655 NE2d 300; where an arrestee has an international drivers permit in a false name that is a strong indication of an inclination and ability to flee and adopt false identities for which a high bail may be demanded.  US v.  Himler (3d Cir 1986) 797 F2d 156; having organized a small mob to resist law enforcement efforts to arrest him, having denied his citizenship and denied being susceptible to the laws or courts, and having threatened the judge, all justify the court refusing to allow him bail or pre-trial release.  US v.  Kanahele (D Haw 1995) 951 F.Supp 921;  {The international driving permit is issued under the authority of the UN Convention on International Road Traffic, and it serves as an authoritative multi-lingual translation and verification of the person's home drivers license, which means that it has no legal weight without  that home drivers license (and, also, a driver's international permit has no weight inside the driver's home country).  It is good for not more than 12 months (less in some countries) and the driver is still subject to all the traffic laws.  In the US, they are available from AAA for $10.  Apparently there is a lively Internet scam of selling unauthorized or fake permits and at prices up to $300; cf.  USA Today, 5 March 1999; Business Wire, 20 Jan 1999; Toronto Star, 5 Sept 1998}.

Bernard J.  Sussman, JD, MLS, CP                            

 (as of: August, 11, 1999)

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