BEFORE: The Babylon Municipal Court Building Was An Architectural Masterpiece
AFTER: The Eastern File Rooms Collapsed From The Weight Of Frivolous Lawsuits Filed On Clay Tablets
Well, the above Images notwithstanding, the issue of Paper Terrorism is a serious one. Wiki defines Paper Terrorism as:
Paper terrorism is a neologism to refer to the use of false liens, frivolous lawsuits, bogus letters of credit, and other legal documents lacking sound factual basis as a method of harassment, especially against government officials. These methods are popular among some anti-government groups and those associated with the redemption movement. Mark Pitcavage of the ADL states that these methods were pioneered by the Posse Comitatus. Some victims of paper terrorism have been forced to declare bankruptcy.
An article by the Southern Poverty Law Center states that another tactic is filing reports with the Internal Revenue Service falsely accusing their political enemies of having unreported income. Such frivolous lawsuits also clog the court system making it more difficult to process other cases and including using challenges to the titles of property owned by government officials and others. Another method of paper terrorism is filing bankruptcy petitions against others in an effort to ruin their credit ratings.
I believe the recent foray into Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Birther lawsuits represents an attempt to emulate this activity. Mark Pitcavage, Ph.D, in an Internet Article at the ADL, provides the aims of these type of lawsuits:
Proponents of the bogus lien saw that this strategy was an extremely effective and inexpensive way to accomplish several goals at once. Bogus liens
1) acted to intimidate or coerce public officials, particularly law enforcement agents, not to enforce the laws;
2) served as damaging instruments of revenge against private and public individuals or organizations that had somehow run afoul of members of the “patriot” movement; and
3) worked to slow down or clog up the judicial system, both in the general sense of making the entire system less effective and in the more particular sense of postponing the meting out of justice against particular anti-government activists.
In the 1990s a number of leaders emerged as popularizers of the tactic of bogus liens, from Texas activist Alfred Adask to the Montana Freemen in the remote Northwest. Proponents offered for purchase or even gave away free packets of information explaining exactly how to place such liens. Occasionally examples were even downloadable over the Internet. It was not long before anti-government activists ranging from “sovereign citizens” to militia members to white supremacists to tax protesters embraced “common law liens” (to name one commonly used term) as a way to strike back against a system they disliked so much.
That was written in 1998 before the advent of the Birthers, or they would have probably been included in that group. Compare that description with this:
The purveyors of the DIY Birther Lawsuit Kit provide this excuse for their conduct:
Pay attention to this language from above:
The multi state, multi county filing strategy of the Do It Yourself Ballot Challenge Kit is to have individuals file their own cases, in their own counties, all over the country. The purpose of filing so many cases all over the country is to find at least one honest judge willing to allow the evidence on these important issues to be brought forth publicly.
But they give away their true intent a little further down the page:
Jerry Collette, the developer of the Do It Yourself Ballot Challenge Kit, believes that some of the courts who dismissed, on procedural grounds, previous cases on this subject were correct; the plaintiffs had the wrong strategy. Jerry’s specialty is legal strategy. He has come up with a brand new strategy for this ballot challenge that goes straight to the key constitutional rights issues.
We believe that with this new strategy you will be far more likely to keep your case from getting dismissed. Go for it. Help us find that one honest judge, who might even be right there in your county. File your complaint in your local judicial district, using the Do It Yourself Ballot Challenge Kit, and, after you survive the defendants’ motions to dismiss and move your case, bring our nonprofit org and our attorneys into your case.
What a Brilliant Legal Strategist is Mr. Collette!!! Let’s go file a bunch of lawsuits and see if one of them lands in front of a drunk judge!!! How clever. How very Sun Tzuey! The Legal Quack Hall of Fame has its winner for 2012! But let’s read a little deeper.
Sooo, some cases were dismissed on procedural grounds. . . but Enguiring Minds, like mine, want to know on what basis the other cases were dismissed??? Maybe, on THE MERITS!!! Collette and crew leave that little fact out. But Collette, and his running buddy, Sam Sewell, sure ought to be aware of this. After all, they just got smacked down hard in Florida in their last little Birther backed lawsuit which was dismissed ON THE MERITS WITH PREJUDICE (click on the Image to make it larger):
Here is a link to the full decision:
Collette and Sewell know that the people who file these DIY Birther suits are going to get dismissed. The old term that was used to describe no-merit lawsuits that are filed in full anticipation of losing was vexatious litigation. Wiki briefly defines it as:
Vexatious litigation is legal action which is brought, regardless of its merits, solely to harass or subdue an adversary. It may take the form of a primary frivolous lawsuit or may be the repetitive, burdensome, and unwarranted filing of meritless motions in a matter which is otherwise a meritorious cause of action. Filing vexatious litigation is considered an abuse of the judicial process and may result in sanctions against the offender.
A single action, even a frivolous one, is not enough to raise a litigant to the level of being declared vexatious. Repeated and severe instances by a single lawyer or firm can result in eventual disbarment.
But the en masse Birther assault on the judicial system deserves the new term, Paper Terrorism. Like them, I hope they find one special judge. One special judge who will throw the book at the whole bunch of them and set them about turning big rocks into little rocks for 90 days or more.
Note 1. The Images. These Dramatic Re-Enactments were created by Pieter Bruegal of Bruegal & Son Painters, LLC, of Flemburg, Belgium.
Note 2. The Florida Ballot Challenge. See this link for Sewell’s and Collette’s involvement:
For what it is worth, I predicted this was going to flop:
Note 3. State Responses To Paper Terrorism. Some states are criminalizing some aspects of paper terrorism. See this Internet Article by Christopher A. Young, Esq.:
Note 4. The Ancients Knew How To Handle Clay Tablet Terrorism:
King Gilgamesh Sentences Apuzzutti And Other Serial Scribers To Hard Labor