Sheriff Scott London of Eddy County, NM is taking a bold stand in the name of Liberty against the IRS. Mr. Kent Carter, a resident of Eddy County, is challenging the IRS’s claim on his property in court as a pro se litigant. A pro se litigant is someone who is representing himself, without professional legal counsel. US District Judge Robert Brack decided the original case in favor of the IRS. Mr. Carter, then filed for appeal of Brack’s decision in both the US District Court in Las Cruses, NM and in the US Appellate Court in Denver, CO. Judge Brack is refusing to recognize that Mr. Carter has filed these appeals and is aiding the IRS in denying Mr. Carter his right to due process. Brack and the IRS are relying on a technicality to steal Mr. Carter’s land. Mr. Carter filed his appeal in a timely manner. However, as a pro-se litigant he was not aware that he had to file a document to “stay” Judge’s order to prevent the taking of his land prior to the conclusion of his appeal. Legally speaking this “Motion to Stay the Judgment” is a formality and is practically guaranteed to be granted pending an appeal. Judge Brack knows Mr. Carter is a pro-se litigant, knows that Mr. Carter has filed an appeal and also knows that a “Motion to Stay the Judgment” pending the appeal would be granted. But Judge Brack and the IRS do not care and are going to steal Mr. Carter’s land in spite of the fact that Mr. Carter is still engaged in his right to due process. These government agents are using a “form over function” approach to legalize theft. Sheriff London has decided to honor his oath and force the IRS to follow the Constitution.
In a certified letter to IRS agent, Darlene Jones, Sheriff London reminds her of the 5th Amendment of the US Constitution and section 18 of the New Mexico Constitution, both guaranteeing a right to due process.
“And whereas Amendment V of the Constitution of the United States (aka: the Bill of Rights) states, “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”; And whereas Section 18 of the New Mexico Constitution also states, “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law”: It is, therefore, obligatory that the sale for 19 February, 2015 be ceased.”
Yes, Sheriff Scott London just issued a cease and desist order to the IRS! This is not the end of his letter. Sheriff London ends his notice to the IRS by making it very clear that he will stand by HIS oath to “support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of New Mexico” even if the IRS will not.
“Thus I am notifying you that under the compulsion to my oath to the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of the State of New Mexico, I shall not allow the sale of these three properties on 19 February, 2015.”
Short of physical resistance, due process and community oversight (a jury of your peers) was intended to be some of the greatest protections against government threat against property. So important was to be the protection of due process, that it is placed multiple times in our Bill of Rights. For example, the 5th Amendment in the Bill of Rights declares that “…nor shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law;” The 7th Amendment also declares, “In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right to trial by jury, shall be preserved…” Both of those Amendments express the due process protections guaranteed to the people. Sheriff London accurately states in his letter to the IRS that Mr. Carter has NOT exhausted his right to due process. Yet, the IRS under the auspices of Judge Brack and the US District court, are attempting to deprive Mr. Carter of his property with full knowledge that Mr. Carter’s right to due process is still engaged.
The government seizure of property has been identified throughout the history that gave us our founding documents as the mark of an evil and oppressive government. In 1100, King Henry I, declared in the Charter of Liberties that that property inheritance must be free and clear of government taxation. Henry insisted that if the government can force the heirs of an estate to pay off the government before they can receive their inheritance, the government is operating in an evil and oppressive manner.
In the 1215 Magna Carta it was declared in clause 20 that the government cannot issue fines so great as to take the property, merchandise, or livelihood of a person, whether that person be a freeman or indentured. The clause concludes by ensuring that no fines are to be assessed whatsoever unless they are done so by a jury of peers. The people declared that if the government was able to issue fines to include the seizing of property, by their own will and arbitrary power, the government was no longer operating under the just laws and customs of the land and must be opposed.
James Madison warned that a government “is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has in his personal safety and personal liberty, is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest. A magistrate issuing his warrants to a press gang, would be in his proper functions in Turkey or Indostan, under appellations proverbial of the most compleat despotism.” (Property, March 29, 1792)
Our framers held the right to own property as a natural right, a right inherent and not granted by government. Samuel Adams wrote in his dissertation on The Rights of Man;
“Among the natural rights of the colonists are these, first life, secondly liberty, third property, and the right to defend the best manner possible.”
So precious is the right to property, that our founders wanted to ensure we had great protections against the government seizing our property. They knew that if the government could seize your property, they would have unlimited power over you and every other right would be in jeopardy.
“Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions.” James Madison, Property, March 29, 1792
When the government can seize your property without due process, you no longer have a just government, and even by medieval terms your government is evil and oppressive. Sheriff Scott London is taking a stand, not just for Mr. Kent Carter, but in the name of Liberty, for the security of property, for ALL Americans. It’s time we stand with him.
Judge Robert Brack
US District Court, District of New Mexico
100 North Church Street
Las Cruces, NM 88001
4041 North Central Avenue,
Phoenix, AZ 85012