A Lockport, NY newspaper reports, “False liens targeted by bill.” I thought false liens are already illegal. But the story claims the bill is necessary because of “Sovereign citizens”—a dangerous group I had never heard of before.
“Sovereign citizens are part a growing anti-government movement whose tenets largely focus on views about taxing and jurisdictional issues. The FBI describes it as a loosely organized but potentially violent group that has harassed public officials and scammed private citizens. ‘Although the sovereign-citizen movement does not always rise to violence, its members’… activities…make it a group that should be approached with knowledge and caution,’ a 2011 law enforcement bulletin asserts.”
What exactly does “potentially violent” mean? It sounds like the facts indicate that these are nonviolent people but the state wants us to be suspicious and hostile to them, so it comes up with the claim that they are “potentially violent.”
“According to the bill, the filing of multiple false of fictitious liens is a growing tactic used by sovereign citizens ‘to intimidate (officials) and undermine the rule of law.’”
I oppose and condemn the use of fictitious liens on anyone. If liens are that easy to fraudulently impose on innocent victims, then I think the entire system needs to be reformed. Instead, the bill takes a generally criminal act, fraudulent liens, and creates a special group of people who are protected from such criminal practices, while leaving the New York peasants vulnerable. It says so explicitly:
“Section one: Amends the lien law to prohibit the filing of false or fictitious liens against public officers as defined in section two of the public officers law, and imposes a criminal sanction of 510,000 per incidence or up to one year in prison or both.”
But singling out state officials as poor vulnerable targets for malefactors simply does not seem credible to me. What I see from reports all over the nation are stories like this, where a cop humiliates, harasses, and falsely arrests a man for legally carrying a firearm. How often do police actually get prosecuted for this growing number of crimes?
But none of that is an issue in the minds of players in the NY State governmental apparatus. They are all worried about a “sovereign citizen” movement that I’m not even sure is real. The newspaper story says of the primary advocate of the bill, County District Attorney Joe Cardone “has not dealt with any falsely filed judgments against local officials, but he said that paperwork espousing the group’s beliefs has crept into court filings in other areas of the law.” What does that mean? How do we know that “paperwork” represents a group that constitutes a real threat?
Nevertheless, State Sen. George Maziarz, is sponsoring the bill on the basis of Cardone’s “advocacy.”
“‘It’s a serious problem that will get more serious as time goes on,’ Maziarz said. ‘I appreciate Joe bringing this issue to my attention — it would not have come to the forefront without his advocacy.’”
I find it odd that “a serious problem” was never heard of before one County District Attorney started assuring a state legislator that state officials deserve their own special class of legislated protection from criminal fraud.
According to the description of the Bill, the Federal Government has already made such a law to protect the Feds. I suppose that shouldn’t surprise me.
But I thought we were all supposed to be equal under the law. Why shouldn’t all Americans get the same protection from false liens?—unless, of course, it is government policy to leave the proletariat vulnerable to powerful financial forces that are too big to fail.