Useful Cases for Fighting "Sovereign Defendant"
Compiled by Ilse Bailey.
Last Updated July 12, 1996.
- Defendant Claims Not to Be Citizen
Title 8 U.S.C. S1481 contains the basic statutory
provisions regarding loss of nationality.
- Removal to Federal Court Stays Action in State Court
Lowe v. Jacobs, 243 F.2d 432 (5th Cir. 1957), cert. den.
355 U.S. 842, 2 L.Ed.2d 52, 78 S.Ct. 65; and Allman v.
Hanley, 302 F.2d 559 (5th Cir. 1962). When an action is
removed to federal court, even wrongly, it effectively
stays all court action in the state court until
resolution of the case or remand by the federal court.
- Court Finds Argument of "Non-Citizen"
United States v. Masat, 948 F.2d 923, 934 (5th Cir.
1991). Argument that district court lacked personal
jurisdiction because of defendant's status as
"non-citizen", "non-resident" and
"freeman" was frivolous.
United States v.
Schmitt, 748 F.2d 880, 882 (8th Cir. 1986). Argument that
district court lacked personal jurisdiction over
defendants because they were "Natural Freemen"
and not a "juristic identity" was entirely
Kimmell v. Burnet County Appraisal District, 835
S.W.2d 108 (Tex. App.--Austin 1992, writ dism. w.o.j.);
and Kimmell v. Loeffler, 792 S.W.2d 791 S.W.2d 648, 650,
n.1 (Tex. App.--San Antonio 1990, writ den.).
- Defendant May Not Choose Forum for Prosecution
Scotka v. State, 856 S.W.2d 790, 792 (Tex. App.--San
Antonio 1993, no pet.). Appellant may not unilaterally
immunize herself from the laws of this state, and may not
pick and choose at will the forum for a criminal
prosecution or appeal.
- American Currency is not Illegal/Unconstitutional
Rothacker v. Rockwall County Central Appraisal District,
703 S.W.2d 235 (Tex. App.--Dallas 1985 writ ref'd
n.r.e.), and cases cited therein; Chermack v. Bjornsen,
223 N.W.2d 659 (Minn. 1974); Dorgan v. Kouba, 274 S.W.2d
167 (N. Dak. 1978) (reh. den. 1979); Leitch v. Department
of Revenue, 519 P.2d 1045 (Ct. App. Oregon 1974);
Middlebrook v. Mississippi State Tax Commission, 387
So.2d 726 (Miss.1980); Radue v. Zanaty, 308 So.2d 242
(Ala. 1975); Allen v. Craig, 564 P.2d 552 (Ct. App. Kan.
1977); Trohimovich v. Director of the Department of Labor
and Industries, 584 P.2d 467 (Ct. App. Wash., Div. 2,
1978). American currency is not illegal or
unconstitutional on the basis that it violates the
constitutional provision that requires all debts of a
state to be paid in gold and silver. (U.S. Const. art.1,
Section 10, cl.1).
- Bidding in Silver Coin Does Not Override Higher Bidder
Elmore v. McCammon, 640 F.Supp. 905 (S.D. Tex. 1986).
Under Texas law, bid at deed of trust foreclosure sale in
silver coin did not override credit to mortgagee entered
by substitute trustee in favor of mortgagee who was
successful bidder despite deed of trust provision
requiring "cash" sale.
- Attacks on Complaint & Information by Defendant
Wells v. State, 516 S.W.2d 663 (Tex. _____, 199_). A
prosecutor may not be affiant on the complaint.
v. State, 286 S.W.2d 137. Office secretary may be affiant
on the complaint.
- Jurisdiction over Defendant
Aguilar v. State, 846 S.W.2d 318 (Tex. Crim. App. 1993).
Mere presentment of information to the trial court
invests the trial court with jurisdiction over the person
of the defendant, regardless of any defect that might
exist in the underlying complaint.
- Common Law Court
Kimmell v. Burnet County Appraisal District, 835 S.W.2d
108 (Tex. App.--Austin 1992). "The Common Law Court
for the Republic of Texas, if it ever existed, has ceased
to exist since February 16, 1846."
- Minimum Contacts Concept Does Not Apply
Ex Parte Boetscher, 812 S.W.2d 600 (Tex. Crim. App.
1991). The concept of minimum contacts as set out in
Kulko v. Superior Court, 436 U.S. 84, 98 S.Ct. 1690
(1980), has no application in criminal cases. See
Brilmayer, An Introduction to Jurisdiction in the
American Federal System, 1986, 329-335 (discussing
minimum contacts theory and criminal jurisdiction).
- Defendant's Right to Select Counsel or Represent
Thompson v. State, 447 S.W.2d 920 (Tex. Crim. App. 1969).
Right of accused to represent himself or to select his
own counsel cannot be manipulated so as to obstruct
orderly procedure in the courts or to interfere with the
fair administration of justice.
Adams v. State, 843
S.W.2d 174 (Tex.App.--Dallas 1992). Indigent defendant is
not entitled to select particular attorney to be
appointed by court.
- Defendant's Refusal to Identify Self at Arraignment
Janak v. State, 826 S.W.2d 803 (Tex. App.--Texarkana
1992). Accused's identification of himself as the
defendant, in response to court's question at
arraignment, was an admission that he was the defendant,
even though it was not evidence of guilt; plea of not
guilty established personal identity of accused.
- Right to Appeal is Statutory, Not Constitutuion
Willis v. State, 856 S.W.2d 851 (Tex. App.--Ft. Worth
1993), Buchanan v. State, 881 S.W.2d 376 (Tex.
App.--Houston [14th Dist.] 1994). The right to appeal is
statutory, not constitutional.
- Various Arguments Rejected by Court
Barcroft v. State, 881 S.W.2d 838 (Tex. App.--Tyler
1994). UCC does not apply; indictment not required; judge
not being attorney not a denial of fair right; county
court has jurisdiction; no violation of right to travel;
no retaliation by State.
- Sovereignty not Justiciable Controversy
Barcroft v. State, 900 S.W.2d 370 (Tex. App.--Texarkana
1995). Declaratory action designating Plaintiff to be
"Private State Citizen of Texas," and for
removal of any and all disabilities placed on him by
means of contracts with State, such as birth certificate,
driver's license application, school registration papers,
voter's registration application card, marriage license,
and social security application and number did not
present justiciable controversy.
- Pro Se Inmates in Civil Suits
Brewer v. Taylor, 737 S.W.2d 421 (Tex. App.--Dallas 1987,
no writ). An inmate's right of access to the courts does
not entail a right to appear personally in civil actions.
- Pro Se Defendants; Written Waiver of Right to Counsel
Williams v. State, 774 S.W.2d 703 (Tex. App.--_____
[5th], 1989, pet. ref'd). By failing to object to the
trial court's failure to provide written form for waiver
of counsel, defendant waived any right to complain of
absence of such form.
- Pro Se Defendants; Required to Abide by Rules
McCray v. State, 861 S.W.2d 405 (Tex. App.--Dallas 1993).
Rules which govern attorneys also apply to pro se
defendants, and courts do not make allowances merely
because defendant waives his right to counsel and chooses
to represent himself.
- Pro Se Defendants; Fools for Clients
Kindley v. State, 879 S.W.2d 261 (Tex. App.--Houston
[14th Dist.] 1994). Pro se defendant represented self in
County Court at Law on traffic offenses. In affirming his
conviction, the Court of Appeals stated, "Once
again, a pro se litigant has proven the wisdom of the old
adage, 'one who represents himself has a fool for a
- Defendant Not Entitled to be Represented by Layman
Baldwin v. State, 756 S.W.2d 91 (Tex. App. --San Antonio
1988). Appellant's insistence that unlicensed layman be
appointed his attorney was properly denied by the trial
court. Tex. Gov't Code S81.102 prohibits unlicensed
persons from practicing law. Also: Defendant waived
attorney even though he refused to sing waiver. Also:
Defendant had burden to have pretrial conferences
recorded. Failure to do so does not entitle him to
reversal on conviction.
- Fringe on the Flag
Vella v. McCammon 671 F.Supp. 1128 (S.D. Tex. 1987).
Petitioner's claim that court lacked jurisdiction because
court's flag had fringe on it was not only without merit,
but was totally frivolous. Petitioner's claim held to
have no arguable basis in law or fact and Petitioner's
appeal found to have been brought in bad faith.
Op. No. 483 (1925)(U.S.). Fringe on the U.S. flag is not
an integral part of the flag and its presence cannot be
said to constitute an unauthorized addition. It has no