Sovereign Citizens and the Courts

Sovereign Citizens and the CourtsA “sovereign citizen” holds the belief that he or she is not a citizen of the United States or of any State. Though it seems now that the “sovereign citizen” argument is heard more frequently in the courts, the courts have rejected it. Their arguments are passionately made and the individuals claiming it appear to sincerely believe their arguments are correct; however, judges and lawyers dismiss it. To be blunt, as a matter of law, the sovereign citizen’s arguments are nonsense.

When an individual claiming to be a sovereign citizen owes a creditor money, does not pay his or her debts, falls behind on his or her car payments or mortgage, fails to honor her or his contracts, and is sued in court, he or she argues that he or she is a sovereign citizen. Accordingly, she or he claims that the judge and the court do not have jurisdiction or authority over him or her, and thus, the courts cannot hear the case and cannot enter any judgment or order commanding him or her to pay. The sovereign citizens’ arguments fall on deaf ears and as a matter of settled law, are flat out wrong. Again, courts reject it.

Sovereign citizens seem to access web sites, often at no small cost, and download documents that purport to be reasoned, persuasive and cite the controlling law. They are not. To a trained lawyer, they are gibberish. The documents filed by sovereign citizens are a mishmash of certain legal terms or phrases, are poorly reasoned, illogical, and rife with error. Terms are wrenched from their context and arguments asserted that have no basis and carry no weight. Neither judges nor lawyers accept these arguments. In the courts and in law, the arguments are considered frivolous. No judge or court wishes to hear frivolous arguments.

Though some individuals view the sovereign citizen claims as their silver bullet and a defense to their lawsuit, the reality is far different. These individuals may have real legal defenses to suits filed against them or may be able to negotiate a better settlement. Raising the sovereign citizen argument in court is counterproductive, negatively affects an individual’s credibility, and may hurt the ability to raise valid defenses. Judges and courts have heard and dismissed these arguments repeatedly. Yet, the sovereign citizen argument continues to be made and then rejected.

My suggestion: Rather than assert a claim that the courts will surely reject, discuss your case with a lawyer. Learn about your rights, your defenses, the legal and practical realities that you face, and possible solutions.

I repeat: Do not argue to the court that you are a sovereign citizen. Doing so only hurts your case.

If you need legal guidance relative to your case, Attorney Perry A. Craft can help. To schedule a consultation, call the Law Office of Perry A. Craft, PLLC in Nashville at 615.953.3808 today or complete our contact form.