What’s the old W.C. Fields saying? “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.” Well, maybe that works with some people, but judges? They can be a sharp bunch, not willing to suffer fools gladly.
There’s a new legal method in this country that ordinary citizens, faced with court cases, have fallen back on claiming that they, as “Freemen” have preferential rights as “persons,” and that they are not answerable to governments or corporations.
Judges have even come up with an acronym for that style of argument, referring to them as Organized Pseudo-Legal Commercial Argument (OPCA) litigants.
That nickname first came on the scene officially in a 2012 case called Meads vs. Meads: they, Alberta Assistant Chief Justice J.D. Rooke said bluntly, “employ a collection of techniques and arguments promoted and sold by ‘gurus’ (as hereafter defined) to disrupt court operations and to attempt to frustrate the legal rights of governments, corporations and individuals.”
One example of a document filed in court might explain Judge Rooke’s frustration: “Mr. Meads filed a second one-page notarized document, in black, red, orange and blue ink. Again, it has unusual formalities such as a red thumb print. This document is directed to ‘Audrey Hardwick/AUDREY HARDWICK BEING A CORPORATE ENTITY’, and in part is a ‘ Notice for a Cease and Desist’ in ‘ Enticement in Slavery’, that threatens criminal charges, and ‘FULL COMMERCIAL LIABILITY AND YOUR UNLIMITED CIVIL LIABILITY.’ This one is signed ‘:::dennis-larry:: of the meads-family:::’.”
Typically, OPCA litigants file many, many more documents.
They dream, perhaps, of judicial success. Then, pretty regularly, they lose.
As Judge Rooke puts it, “OPCA strategies as brought before this court have proven disruptive, inflict unnecessary expenses on other parties, and are ultimately harmful to the persons who appear in court and attempt to invoke these vexatious strategies. Because of the nonsense they argue, OPCA litigants are invariably unsuccessful and their positions dismissed, typically without written reasons. Nevertheless, their litigation abuse continues.”
Continue, it does. More recently, there was Bursey vs. Her Majesty the Queen, fought in the Federal Court: “OPCA litigants follow a now well-known path of illogic, presumption and pseudo-legal rants,” the latest decision says. “(These) plaintiffs endeavour to build a cause of action based on snippets and fragments of international treaties, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, various Supreme Court of Canada cases and miscellaneous statutes, both federal and provincial. All of these are bound together in pseudo-legal verbiage.”
Oh, wait - not just pseudo-legal verbiage, but “pseudo-legal drivel.”
It’s an argument that particular judge clearly isn’t accepting.
In Saskatchewan, it was the Town of Pilot Butte suing people who didn’t want waterlines hooked to their homes: “The Tresos submit that they are human beings made of flesh and blood. They submit that the town, a duly incorporated municipal corporation, is a legal fiction. As such, the town has no binding authority over them unless, and only if, there is a contract between the parties, and then only if the Tresos consent to that contractual obligation. They are utterly wrong ...”
The bottom line? Listen to something else from W.C. Fields: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point being a damn fool about it.”