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Sovereign Citizens in Court

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Part of the SpringerBriefs in Psychology book series (BRIEFSBC)

Abstract

Chapter six explores the behavior of sovereign citizens in court. Many defendants, who claim to be sovereign citizens, refuse to participate in the legal proceedings and or espouse unusual beliefs that may appear to be delusional in nature. Research about mental health and competency issues will be reviewed. Court records are used to elucidate and identify, some of the more common courtroom tactics used by sovereign citizens.

Sovereign citizens are known for their problematic behavior in court. They can be obstinate, argumentative, antagonistic, confrontational, and disruptive. They tend to file lengthy, nonsensical motions, sometimes hundreds of pages in length. They attempt to present written notices trying to prove that the court is acting fraudulently, arguing that state and federal courts are actually admiralty courts (Parker 2014). Proof of this, they say, are the golden-fringed flags hanging in U.S. courtrooms. They often refuse to follow orders, disobey courtroom rules, some to the point of having to be removed from the premises, held in contempt of court or barred from attendance in court altogether. They will improperly object to motions, ask inappropriate questions, repeat the phrase “Let the record show…” in an effort to ensure that every aspect of the court procedure is recorded, question the authority of the court, and read long lists of Supreme Court decisions they believe bolsters their argument. A common tactic is requesting that the court “prove” jurisdiction and demanding that the judge “prove” their oath of office.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-45851-5_6
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Sarteschi, C.M. (2020). Sovereign Citizens in Court. In: Sovereign Citizens. SpringerBriefs in Psychology(). Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-45851-5_6

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