Court­room il­logic

The Compass - - EDITORIAL -

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.”

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