2011-07-30 "Pachyderms hear about sovereign citizens" by NICK ROTUNNO
COEUR d'ALENE - Talking through a slide presentation at Jonesy's restaurant, Paul Finman described in detail the beliefs and habits of so-called sovereign citizens.
They generally live in isolation, he said, off in the woods someplace.
They like to be left alone. Some establish illegal businesses - the cultivation of drugs, for instance - as a means of income.
And they're usually armed.
"These people, they mostly come from out of state," he said.
Finman, the technical director at LCF Enterprises in Post Falls, addressed a gathering of North Idaho Pachyderms on Friday morning, including Sen. Jim Hammond, R-Coeur d'Alene, and Rep. Marge Chadderdon, R-Coeur d'Alene.
They listened as Finman discussed North Idaho's sovereign citizens and the dangers they might pose.
"It was extremely interesting," said Jim Connell of Hayden. "I had not heard about Idahoans living that way. The defiance of the law was more than I expected."
For the most part, Finman said, the sovereigns do not pay taxes, and don't carry driver's licenses. Staunchly anti-government, they have often suffered financial setbacks earlier in life, and many have run into trouble with the law.
"They say that they have a Christian element to their ideology," Finman said.
To circumvent financial obligations, sovereign citizens have been known to alter their names, he added. They might insert random punctuation marks or alter the name in other ways.
The change creates a loophole that a citizen can exploit.
"If you owe any money, and it's in your birth certificate name, you don't have to pay it," Finman said.
Sovereign citizens have become violent in recent years. According to CBS News, sovereigns killed two police officers in Arkansas last spring. Another sovereign allegedly killed three men in Texas, and a South Carolina citizen is on death row after murdering two law enforcement officers.
But those are extreme cases. A sovereign citizen's most common weapon is paperwork - strange declarations or multi-page statements, written in confusing legalese.
According to Kootenai County Sheriff's Maj. Dan Mattos, local deputies have occasionally handled correspondence from sovereign citizens. They were trying to get around a certain process, or tell the sheriff's department what they believe it should or should not do.
"It just was so far out in left field, it never went anywhere," Mattos said of the documents. "It's rhetoric to us, because it has no legal merit. I think there's a lot of these people who truly believe in what they're saying. They believe that the way they see it is correct."
Sovereign citizens are not a pressing issue in Kootenai County, Mattos said.
"It's not like we have problem after problem with them. We don't deal with them consistently."
At Friday's Pachyderm meeting, Finman apparently spoke from experience.
He lives about 10 miles south of Priest River, and is currently involved in a lawsuit with the family of Alexander-Duncan: Campbell (the unorthodox punctuation is deliberate).
Campbell is a sovereign citizen, Finman said, who formerly lived in a house on Finman's property. Campbell was not paying rent on the house, Finman said.
Last fall, Campbell agreed to leave the house by a specified date. After the date had passed, Finman tried to demolish the house, he said, but a woman and two children - Campbell's family - were inside.
Finman was charged with three counts of aggravated assault. He pleaded not guilty in May and will stand trial this fall.
The Campbell family eventually vacated the house, Finman said. At one point during their disagreement, Campbell issued Finman a bizarre summons to the "Ultimate Court of Absolute Justice."
The summons included Bible quotations alluding to untimely death, which Finman found troubling.
On June 10 Campbell's vehicle was stopped on Interstate 90, according to court records. It carried a homemade license plate. A loaded 9mm pistol was found inside the vehicle.
Campbell was arrested and charged with carrying a weapon without a license and failure to purchase a driver's license, records said. His bond was posted, and he is scheduled to appear in a pretrial conference hearing on Aug. 2.
Campbell declined to comment to The Press.
"I think it's a little frightening," said Shirlee Wandrock of Coeur d'Alene, who attended the Pachyderm meeting. "I don't know why our state government hasn't gotten involved."
yellow press posted at 12:38 pm on Sat, Jul 30, 2011.
This is a "hit" piece if I have ever seen one.
There is a huge difference between a Sovereign State Citizen and a United States Citizen. For instance, The Bill of Rights applies to Sovereign State Citizens, and not US citizens. You don't need to title you car as a Sovereign State Citizen, because you are allowed to own property ...if you own it, you don't pay any further taxes on it. As a US citizen, you are a "voluntary servant" of the Federal Corporation known as United States, and not allowed to own property, only your Person(legal faction in which you consent to being known as) is allowed to retain assets, this is why you have to take your bill of sale, which is your legal proof of ownership, and give it to the DMV, then pay taxes on the purchase and get your "Certificate of Title"...not "title", in the mail a couple weeks later. This is likewise with a Birth Certificate. You have a certificate, they own the asset for which you are holding the certificate ... just like a hamburger and gift certificate at GW Hunters... you have the paper, they have the hamburger. To get the hamburger, you need to turn in your certificate. In order to have rights, you need to give back your privileges... this is why our controllers are afraid of Sovereign State Citizens ... thus the "hit" piece.
You are born as a Human with rights God-given, and when you apply for a Birth Certificate from the United States you become a Person with privileges from your new sovereign...the Federal Corporation known as United States... post 14th amendment. The Department of Treasury takes your birth certificate
Jeffrey Wherley posted at 12:26 pm on Thu, Aug 4, 2011.
There has not been a Sovereign born in the United States since 1986, Reagan signed the Tax Reform Act of 1986. Before that until you applied for a SS# you were a Sovereign by definition but the law hasn't recognized Sovereign people since FDR used Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation as precedents to create US Citizenship in the Social Security Act.
The last Group of Sovereigns to try and force the old laws , I remember were the Montana Freemen group. In 1996, the government went after them for Bank fraud when they finally crossed the line from misdemeanors to felonies. That ended in a standoff that ended peacefully but with arrests and convictions. Sovereign citizens are a thing of history that lasted till the 1930's.
There is a fine legal line "sovereigns" walk today, most stay just short of felony crimes, misdemeanors can usually be paid off or dropped. Personally I would love to see Sovereignty come back and move back to the first 13 amendments, but that train left the station 143 years ago. I also wish Lincoln would have had the moral courage and political backing to Free the slaves instead of Emancipating a Select group of them, and creating the First US Citizens. The 13th finally outlawed slavery, but didn't undo the precedent of the Emancipation Proclamation that FDR used later.
yellow press, you are wrong with your attempts to hide from the truths of history.