ARTICLE: Florida legal officials roiled by false documents from sovcits

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TheNewSaint
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ARTICLE: Florida legal officials roiled by false documents from sovcits

Postby TheNewSaint » Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:52 pm

http://www.tampabay.com/news/courts/pin ... nt/2308104

Most of it is the usual stuff, but I found this part noteworthy:

These phony documents continue to be filed across Florida because state laws don't allow clerks to examine the content of official records beyond checking for signatures and the proper filing fees.

Some states have amended their laws to let clerks inspect filings more closely, said Lenz.

But Burke said any changes made to access of the courts should be done cautiously.

"So how do you know something is nonsense?" the clerk said. "It's very delicate. Probably, if it was a simple answer, we would have resolved it already."


:brickwall:

This doesn't seem like an insurmountable problem. It seems to me a balance can be found, between allowing access to the legal system and blocking those who intend to abuse it. Other states have such laws, as the article says. All localities have vexatious litigant laws, which give judges an implied power to identify documents as nonsense. Even Meads cautions that sovcit filings can contain colorable claims. It also advises judges not to use "sovcit" as a brand to disregard litigants entirely. So I'm sure this can be done. In fact, it must be done, as every one of these filings delays justice for those who need it.

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Re: ARTICLE: Florida legal officials roiled by false documents from sovcits

Postby Pottapaug1938 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:32 pm

I suspect that the reason why clerks are generally not allowed to assess the contents of documents offered for filing has to do with a fear that they will thus be practicing law. It seems to me that the solution might be to have at least one member of the bar on standby so that documents which seem questionable can be reviewed and rejected if necessary.
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Re: ARTICLE: Florida legal officials roiled by false documents from sovcits

Postby Burnaby49 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:24 pm

The Court of Queen's Bench in Alberta has instructed its clerks to screen documents submitted for filing and reject any that show hallmarks of Freeman/Sovereign beliefs. Apparently this has been very successful in stopping frivolous and vexatious lawsuits. As I understand it a lot of the individuals filing these documents actually have no idea what is in them or what they are supposed to achieve. They've just downloaded them from the internet from gurus who claim they have magical properties and dump them on the court. So when their filings are rejected they have no backup plan.
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Re: ARTICLE: Florida legal officials roiled by false documents from sovcits

Postby notorial dissent » Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:25 pm

A lot of US jurisdiction have been slow to respond to the paper terrorism outbreak simply because it hasn't been an issue there. Other jurisdictions have responded. In some places only specific types of documents can be submitted for filing and in others they will take anything that comes along. So there is no real consistency. IANAL, but I would think it would come within the clerk's ministerial duties to actually examine the documents for validity. There is also the option of when in doubt ask the county attorney, that is part of what they are there for. I would think FL would have figured it out as they have one of the tougher false documents laws on the books right now, and they may just not have extended it to the next level yet. I would bet on it happening fairly soon though as it is beginning to cost them a lot of money, and the incident level would seem to be rising down there.
Last edited by notorial dissent on Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: edited to correct improper word
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Re: ARTICLE: Florida legal officials roiled by false documents from sovcits

Postby TheNewSaint » Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:01 pm

Burnaby49 wrote:As I understand it a lot of the individuals filing these documents actually have no idea what is in them or what they are supposed to achieve. They've just downloaded them from the internet from gurus who claim they have magical properties and dump them on the court. So when their filings are rejected they have no backup plan.


This is a great point. While I appreciate the need to keep the court system open to everyone, people should be able to explain what they're filing and why. Anyone who can't should be summarily thrown out.

I also think technology could help with this. Surely it is possible to cross-reference phrases in filings with known sovcit docs on the Internet, or earlier rejected filings.

By the way, I meant to post this on the US Sovereign Citizen board, not the US Tax Protestor board. Mods, feel free to move it if deemed necessary.

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Re: ARTICLE: Florida legal officials roiled by false documents from sovcits

Postby Arthur Rubin » Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:08 pm

TheNewSaint wrote:By the way, I meant to post this on the US Sovereign Citizen board, not the US Tax Protestor board. Mods, feel free to move it if deemed necessary.
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Re: ARTICLE: Florida legal officials roiled by false documents from sovcits

Postby morrand » Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:07 am

TheNewSaint wrote:While I appreciate the need to keep the court system open to everyone, people should be able to explain what they're filing and why. Anyone who can't should be summarily thrown out.

I also think technology could help with this. Surely it is possible to cross-reference phrases in filings with known sovcit docs on the Internet, or earlier rejected filings.


Locally, our problem has been in the county recorder's office, simply because that's where you go to file liens, and a lot of other vexatious paperwork like groundless quit-claim deeds and so on. My own run-in with this came about five years ago, and it came on the wrong end of the issue, as the one filing paperwork. I think it illustrates both your points at work, successfully.

I'd been playing at purchasing delinquent property taxes at the county auction, and had won a couple lots. Not a whole lot—just a couple of hundred dollars apiece. When you do this around here, you have to file a petition with the court after a certain redemption period in order to actually go to deed, and of course once that's done, you want to make sure that the case doesn't fall apart because the property got sold out from under you. So, I trooped down to the court house one morning to file for deeds, and then trooped across the street to the county offices to file lis pendens on the properties. The clerk in the recorder's office looked at my lis pendens, and then looked at me, and then looked at them again, and then said, "No, you gotta see Carolyn first," and pointed to an office off in the corner.

Carolyn (not her name) was apparently the person at the recorder's office whose thankless job it was to screen out the geeks and their bogus paperwork. She was deep in her task when I got there: debating with someone for about 20 minutes, someone who, best I could make out, was trying to record something to make her mortgage vanish. That someone finally left, disappointed, and my turn came to make my case.

Carolyn was clearly exasperated from her previous encounter, so I didn't rate my chances highly at first. I explained, as best I could, and she answered, and the problem became clear. I was, at the time, young and idealistic, and a staunch believer in the English language, and so I had signed all the paperwork with my name, "on his own behalf." This, apparently, was seen as an alarming way to sign a paper "pro se," and in hindsight it was alarmingly close to how a lot of sovcit papers get signed. As exasperated as Carolyn was, she also happened to be one of those civil servants who was able to get stuff done: one look at my filed tax deed petitions, and a quick scribble of my pen to put the magic words "pro se" next to my signature, and she escorted me back to the recording counter and gave the clerk strict instruction to get the paper filed and get me on my way ASAP. And he did.

I think I told this story once before, but two ways in which this worked are relevant. First, the counter clerk was paying attention, and caught a red flag: not even a technical problem with the papers, but just a funny variation from form (and the fact that I was filing three at once, which probably didn't help) that warranted investigation. I can understand that you don't want the desk staff doing legal work they're not qualified for, but they're often used to seeing things done according to a usual form, and are (or should be) eminently qualified to pick up on weird variations like that. Second, the supervisor had the ability to ask intelligent questions about what this paperwork was, and why it was being filed, and (at least on the outer edges) whether there was a legitimate basis for it.

This recorder's office has already done a lot to put the brakes on bogus filings. Another service offered is an email alert, so that you can find out about quit-claim deeds (and other papers) filed against your lot before they are on the record for too long. They haven't solved the entire problem, nor would I expect them to do so, but they're clearly making some good decisions on how to keep it in check.
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