The Common Law Court of the United States of America, located in Lafayette, Louisiana and has as its primary agents Richard Fuselier, who acts as the court's "law professor", and Alexander Grey who acts as the publisher for the organization.
The goal of the organization is to "restart a common law society. . .". The members of the society who submit to Mr. Fuselier's "teachings" of this system of justice claim to be learning how to enforce common law in government courts.
In reality this organization amounts to nothing more than a small group of inept individuals filing frivolous motions in the Federal Courts. It will become clear as this monograph proceeds that anyone using the legal tactics taught at the College of Common Law risks fines and, or imprisonment.
Before we examine why Richard Fuselier's teachings are so wrong, let's look at the twisted subculture which as grown up around The Common Law Court of the United States of America (CLCUSA).
Part I: The Symptoms of this CLCUSA's illness:
Symptom # 1: "Our common law society will show only the worthy the way": The belief that common law society members fosters real scholarship
As is often the case with "common law societies" the neophyte learner is required to meet the seeming rigorous standards of the society as set by the self appointed "dean" of the school. In the forward to his "Summaries at Common Law" Fuselier makes it clear that only the best of the best will meet his standards:
"The ability of new students to follow and understand this process is determined by requiring them to engage in litigation to become common law citizens. Litigators who can read, understand and use [federal] code are allowed to proceed. Individuals who can't are prevented and engaging in litigation or becoming citizens without the help of someone who is a citizen. . . members will not teach law to those who won't use these reference sources and/or these books."
Fuselier says that only, "1 or 2 out of 100" can make the grade. By telling students that only a few will be allowed to breathe the rarefied air of the "society" he begins the socialization process, which when completed, insulates the members of the group from, less parochial influences.
In actual fact the only standard the "student" must meet is the willingness to accept on face value alone the teachings of Mr. Fuselier.
This banding together of the "precious few" serves to bolster the student's self-worth and reinforces the "student's" belief that he has been given priceless knowledge, irrefutable by all the trained lawyers and judges in the world. This fallacious belief, is strongly embedded in the members, contributes to the society's insular subculture. Members dare not challenge the subculture since to suggest they may be wrong, even in the face of heavy fines or prison sentences, is to realize that they are not luminaries of this hidden truth.
Symptom # 2: "The patriot legal scholars who came before us didn't do it right. Past failures don't count. We have it right, now.": The belief that the hidden code unlocking the door to legal success has been found.
This symptom is closely related to symptom #1 and serves to enhance the arcane nature of the claims of the subculture's scholarship.
Fuselier is quick to point out the failures of past "litigators". In doing so he never quotes the decisions of state and federal courts which have sent past "litigants" packing (see Symptom # 4). Since the basic tenants behind the "common law movement" have are purported to be unchanging truth to quote the words of a lawful court would invalidate "common law" theories.
Despite Fuselier's claims of originality, his ideas have already been rejected in open court.
Instead Fuselier tells us how past common law theorists have fallen short of his standards by failing to implement HIS methods To reinforce this self promotion Fuselier goes on to say that uninformed "patriots" take his information and attempt, without his support and knowledge, to use it in litigation. This, he says, creates a lot of bad case law.
What this ploy does is to save this dysfunctional society from addressing the current flood of legal failures by common law theorists. The society has convinced itself that "those folks aren't trained by CLCUSA so their failures are of no concern."
In reality the claims of the CLCUSA are only marginally different from those of their predecessors and their present day confederates.
Symptom # 3: "Common Law is the only law that counts.": To the common law puesdo-scholar case law, civil law and even the US Constitution take a back seat to common law.
In this belief we begin to see just how twisted the common law puesdo-scholar's legal mumbo-jumbo really is. To Fuseleir all law in his society must return to the system of common law justice which he idealizes existed before the civil war. This belief system holds that the "true" laws, obligations of citizens and role of government have been hidden by a vast and long-lasting conspiracy of judges, legislatures and even the public schools.
To Fuselier the acts of legislatures (civil law) and the precedents set by state and federal courts (case law), reinforced by the "Godless public schools" have robbed citizens of their common law rights by creating new, perverse law. Due to the jumbled nature of Fuselier's writings it is nearly impossible to discern exactly why modern American jurisprudence is so intrinsically evil.
At same time Fusilier advocates a static legal system he argues that a common law society is developed by creating "new law". He says this is done by litigation of an issue to establish a new case law. Don't ask for specific cases he's won. . .there aren't any.
In reality Fuselier argues that case law is all right as long as the cases set precedents he finds acceptable. We will see in the second part of this document just how Fuselier works this hypocrisy.
Symptom # 4: "Our poor results don't matter.": Common law theorists like Fuselier ignore any case law precedents which show the likelihood of failure.
Common law legal theorists like Richard Fuselier have a real problem handling failure. This fear is so strong that they will ignore (or rationalize) any evidence that the legal arguments they are cooking up are suspect. Consequently, mainstream legal scholarship is frowned upon in the CLCUSA and the resources of a college or state law library are ignored by society.
Indeed the study materials for the CLCUSA are scant and outdated. Students are required to have on hand, or available:
1. Blackstone's "Commentaries on the Laws of England". This is a fine record common law theory and practice in the 18th century. But, as we all know a lot has gone on since 1776. But that is no matter to the common law legal theorist. To Refuselier all court rulings, statutes or constitutions are inferior to common law. . .and this work is the holy book.
2."Bouvier's Law Dictionary and Concise Encyclopedia". Another outdated work. This dictionary contains terms not updated since 1856.
3."Great Books of the Western World", by William Benton, Publisher and distributed by Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.
4. "Philosophy of Law" Fuseleir says this is a "Basic background on Anglo-Saxon Law". Again, a lot has happen since Anlgo- saxon times.
5. "Federal Civil Judicial Procedure and Rules". This is the CLCUSA's only nod to modernity
6. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
7. Black's Law Dictionary
8. United States Civil Code
9. State Civil Code
Symptom # 5: "Common law societies are white, Christian fundamentalists, only. Anyone who disbelieves is godless."
This aspect of the "belief system" of the CLCUSA is the most troubling.
According to Fuselier common law, although God given, is the province of white, fundamentalist Christians. When challenged regarding his legal theories Fuselier often resorts to the presumptuous conclusion that his questioner is "Godless liar". It seems that Fuselier has convinced himself that God has sanctioned common law above all law.
The dysfunctional nature of this belief is painfully clear. If justice, as God sees it, is limited to white Christians the repercussions for any diverse culture would be a society without the peace afforded by the just administration of law.
The notion of a creator who limits his love and wisdom to one race and society is antithetical to faith in a God who embraces any and all who except his teachings.
God's house has many rooms. His house does not have one of those little black jockeys on the lawn.
Part II: Why Fuselier is wrong.
Fuselier has at the core of what he calls his "patriot belief system" one simple and absurdly incorrect premise. Fuselier believes that there is a separate sovereign nation of the "United States of America" in existence within the what we call the "United States". The difference in language between the two phrases seems inconsequential to the rest of us, but is central to Fuselier and his students.
The term "United States of America", lifted from the Articles of Confederation, the failed predecessor to the Constitution, is code language for the deep anti-federalist sentiments of the Common Law Court of The United States of America. As absurd as it seems this anti-federalist sentiment runs so deep in "patriots" like Fuselier that they deny the supremacy of the federal Constitution despite the clear language of the document (see Article VI) and over 200 years of legal tradition.
To "patriots" like Fuselier the language of the Constitution is force in the "United States". The preamble to the Constitution states, "We the People of the United States,. . ." is used to misconstrue that there are two separate entities at work in our union of states.
This absurd notion on Fuselier's part ignores the clear intent of the framers of the Constitution to "to devise such further provisions as shall appear to them necessary to render the constitution of the federal government adequate to the exigencies of the Union". Clearly their intent was not to make a new nation (that had already been done by the American Revolution) but to make a new a new constitution for the existing federal government.
To Fuselier the entities are not only separate, but conveniently for him they have two different types of law. His "United States of America" runs on common law and Fuselier tells us the fiction that the "United States" runs solely on civil law.
Since common law by centuries of legal tradition is inferior to statue law (laws passed by legislatures) and must comport to the Constitution (see Article VI) strict common law practices have slowly given way over the years. The traditions of common law remain imbedded in American jurisprudence. Common law traditions such as Habeas Corpus, jury trials, the right to confront one's accuser, the prohibition of crimes of the blood and many others have been codified into statute law.
This phenomenon leaves the field of common law an open playground for misguided and poorly educated individuals like Richard Fuselier and Alex Grey. The rich and honorable tradition of common law has been high jacked by these two, among many others, is and used as a tool to evade the lawful authority of government.
Naturally anti-government and militia types rally to this effort. Despite their intent to build an oligarchy of trained litigators Fuselier and Grey will except support from anyone who will lend it.
The Common Law College of the United States of America attempts to train litigators to regain the common law rights they feel have been stolen for them. To this band of pseudo-lawyers common law rights are magically interpreted to mean that they are not required to pay state or federal income taxes, pay traffic tickets, stand trial for assaulting the police, or submit in anyway to courts which are not common law.
The course of the CLCUSA's litigation theory is, as you can imagine, incredibly twisted and arcane. The purported goal of the actions filed by the college's graduates has been to sue in federal court for the restoration of common law rights as they see them.
The favorite trick of the organization is to claim that they are part of a jurisdiction (the CLCUSA) that is "foreign" to state and federal courts and attempt to convince the court that they should be released by privilege of Habeas Corpus to that jurisdiction which can grant the common law relief the lawful courts cannot. Despite a myriad of legal maneuvers too lengthy and arcane to outline here, the cases always boil down to the question of the legality of the CLCUSA.
As you can imagine while it is possible to find several legal defeats for the CLCUSA, Fuseleir is unable to document a single courtroom win. Comically Fuselier says that one CLCUSA member was able, with his assistance, after a two year battle to avoid paying a traffic fine. Consistent with the tradition of "patriot litigation" Fuseleir describes a mountain of petitions filed in traffic court. Fuselier says the court has lost the record of the case.
Now let's see what the real courts have had to say about the types of arguments put forward by the common law movement:
From: DESTROYED ARGUMENTS (October 21, 1999)
By Larry Becraft, Jr. - Attorney at Law. http://home.hiwaay.net/~becraft/deadissues.htm (edited for content)
Some contend we are for tax purposes non-resident aliens; again, this improper argument has been correctly rejected by the courts.
1. United States v. Sloan, 939 F.2d 499, 501 (7th Cir. 1991)
2. United States v. Jagim, 978 F.2d 1032, 1036 (8th Cir. 1992)
3. United States v. Hilgeford, 7 F.3d 1340, 1342 (7th Cir. 1993)
4. United States v. Mundt, 29 F.3d 233 (6th Cir. 1994) ("federal zone" case)
5. Larue v. United States, 959 F.Supp. 957 (C.D.Ill. 1997).
But the rejection by the courts of this issue has not deterred Lynn Meredith, who has continued to promote this argument through her book, Vultures in Eagles Clothing, via a multi-level sales scheme. Fraud is a knowing misrepresentation of facts (or in this case, law) to another and detrimental reliance upon such false representation by that other party. Concerned Americans have been trying the program promoted by Meredith in her book, but when they get into trouble, they get absolutely no help from her as she refuses to even answer their calls. She spends her spare time on cruise ships. . . . .
Common Law Court:
These courts have been declared non-existent.
1. Kimmel v. Burnet County Appraisal Dist., 835 S.W.2d 108, 109 (Tex.App. 1992).. . . .
XIV. Title 26 is not positive law:
One of the files on my web page contains a good memo explaining the titles of the Code and why they were adopted. But against this explanation, people still run around asserting a contrary and groundless position; see Ryan v. Bilby, 764 F.2d 1325, 1328 (9th Cir. 1985)(stating that "Congress's failure to enact a title into positive law has only evidentiary significance and does not render the underlying enactment invalid or unenforceable"); United States v. Zuger, 602 F. Supp. 889, 891-92 (D. Conn. 1984) (holding that "the failure of Congress to enact a title as such and in such form into positive law . . . in no way impugns the validity, effect, enforceability or constitutionality of the laws as contained and set forth in the title"), aff'd without op., 755 F.2d 915 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 474 U.S. 805 (1985); Young v. IRS, 596 F. Supp. 141, 149 (N.D. Ind. 1984) (asserting that "even if Title 26 was not itself enacted into positive law, that does not mean that the laws under that title are null and void"); Berkshire Hathaway Inc. v. United States, 8 Cl. Ct. 780, 784 (1985) (averring that the I.R.C. "is truly 'positive law'"), aff'd, 802 F.2d 429 (Fed. Cir. 1986). . . . . .
Fourteenth Amendment Folks:
1. McKinney v. Regan, 599 F.Supp. 126, 129 (M.D.La. 1984)("Petitioner's shield of the 'Common Law' as an 'Unenfranchised Sovereign Individual of the United States of America, a Republic,' provides him with precisely the same degree of protection from federal income taxation as did the Ghost Dance of the Sioux warrior from the repeating rifles of the federal Calvary [sic] -- ZERO")
2. Lonsdale v. United States, 919 F.2d 1440, 1448 (10th Cir. 1990)(the following arguments were rejected: (1) individuals ("free born, white, preamble, sovereign, natural, individual common law 'de jure' citizens of a state, etc.") are not "persons" subject to taxation under the Internal Revenue Code; (2) the authority of the United States is confined to the District of Columbia; (3) the income tax is a direct tax which is invalid absent apportionment; (4) the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution is either invalid or applies only to corporations; (5) wages are not income; (6) the income tax is voluntary); United States v. Studley, 783 F.2d 934, 937 (9th Cir. 1986); United States v. Buras, 633 F.2d 1356 (9th Cir. 1980); United States v. Neff, 615 F.2d 1235 (9th Cir. 1980).
3. United States v. Kruger, 923 F.2d 587, 587-88 (8th Cir. 1991)("The Krugers' principle argument below and on appeal is that the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution unlawfully purported to bestow citizenship upon non-white races and other 'artificial statutory persons.' This argument is absurd"). Perhaps the most famous advocate of this argument was John Cheek, whose criminal conviction went to the U.S. Supreme Court; see Cheek v. United States, 498 U.S. 192, 111 S.Ct. 604 (1991). John sent to me copies of his motions and briefs that he filed pro se in his case, one of which was just a single page motion which in essence stated that he could not be prosecuted because he was not a 14th amendment citizen. Naturally, such a non-substantive motion was denied. Cheek's appeal would have involved this argument if he had reached the conclusion that it had merit. However, the only issue which was decided in the appeal to the Supreme Court regarded the validity of the "willfulness" jury instruction given at trial. . . . .
The US is "foreign" to the states.
A popular belief promoted in the freedom movement is the concept or idea that the United States is a foreign sovereign as regards the states. How this idea got started is beyond me because the U.S. Supreme Court and other courts have concluded otherwise; see Clafin v. Houseman, 93 U.S. 130, 136 (1876)("The United States is not a foreign sovereignty as regards the several States"); Severson v. Home Owners Loan Corp., 88 P.2d 344, 347 (Ok. 1939)(quoting Clafin); Bowles v. Heckman, 64 N.E.2d 660, 662 (Ind. 1946)(quoting Clafin); Kersting v. Hardgrove, 48 A.2d 309, 310 (N.J. 946)(summarizes Clafin); Harrison v. Herzig Bldg. & Supply Co., 290 Ky. 445, 161 S.W.2d 908, 910 (1942)(quoting Clafin); Robinson v. Norato, 71 R.I. 256, 43 A.2d 467, 471 (1945)(quoting Clafin and further stating "the several States of the Union are neither foreign to the United States nor are they foreign to each other").
There are lots of theories which float through the freedom movement and people are very prone to accept any contention or position without question.
But if they fail to check out the sources upon which they rely, they run the risk of believing something which has no foundation and will not work in court. . . .
Part III: Final Comments.
I can only hope that this monologue will serve as a warning to gullible "patriots" who acting upon their admirable love of liberty may be drawn to the fallacies of the Common Law College of the United States of America.
There can be no doubt that the price of our liberty is vigilance.
There can be no doubt that tilting windmills in the pursuit of impossible judgments from the courts is a waste of effort. No struggle for liberty in the history of mankind has been won by the use of magic legal talismans.
CLCUSA's website address is http://www.civil-liberties.com/
Mailing address is: The College of Common Law Non Domestic Mail, Suite 32, 3527 Ambassador Caffery, Lafayette, Louisiana USA 70503
Common Law Court of the United States of America, characterized as "bogus"
COMMON LAW MESSAGE BOARD
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