Sovereign Citizen Makes Second Appearance in Murphy Court

Sovereign Citizen Makes Second Appearance in Murphy Court

On Jan. 29, 2019, a trial by jury was held at Murphy Municipal Court upon the request of defendant, Gordon Eugene Scott. Scott pled not guilty on charges of speeding in a school zone and using a wireless listening device while in a school zone. He chose to represent himself at this trial. The jury pronounced Scott guilty of both charges and sentenced him to the maximum fine ($200) for each charge.

Murphy Municipal Court Judge Natalie Banuelos informed after the trial in Jan., that Scott is a Sovereign Citizen.  “Sovereign citizen is a term used to refer to a political movement which grew out of a belief in government abuses of power. Members often refuse to hold social security cards or driver's licenses and avoid using zip codes. Sovereign citizens believe that U.S. citizens are either "Fourteenth Amendment citizens" (who are subject to the federal and state laws and taxes) or "sovereign citizens", who are subject only to common law or "constitutional law" (or both), but are not bound to obey statutory law. No court has ever upheld these claims. Sovereign citizens may also be referred to as "freemen" or "common law citizens". (definitions.uslegal.com/s/sovereign-citizen)

On Apr. 16, 2019, Scott appeared in a show cause hearing, along with approximately 12 other defendants, at Murphy Municipal Court. “A show cause order, also called an order to show cause, mandates that an individual or corporation make a court appearance to explain why the court should not take a proposed action. A court issues this type of order upon the application of a party requesting specific relief and providing the court with an affidavit or declaration (a sworn or affirmed statement alleging certain facts).” (legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com)”

Scott’s time before Judge Banuelos was relatively short. Scott was told if he didn’t pay the fines, a warrant would be issued. During the time since the trial in Jan., Scott sent an open records request for the city’s oath of office, which was sent to him. The oath of office is current and flawless. This, Judge Banuelos said, is a typical action of sovereign citizens. The judge said asking for the oath of office does not show cause for Scott not to pay the fines. Scott said he would pay the fines. To pay his fine of $400, Scott presented a pre-printed check for $329.10 with the check issuer printed as “Department of Treasury”. “Proponents of this scheme claim that the U.S. government control bank accounts—often referred to as “U.S. Treasury Direct Accounts” — for all U.S. citizens. Sovereign citizens claim these accounts can be accessed by submitting paperwork with state and federal authorities. This scheme predominantly uses fraudulent financial documents that appear to be legitimate. These documents are frequently referred to as “bills of exchange,” “promissory bonds,” “indemnity bonds,” “offset bonds,” or “sight drafts.”  Other official documents frequently used include IRS forms 1099, 1099-OID, and 8300.” (Policeone.com)

The check he presented from the “Department of Treasury” was signed by Scott and had no account/routing number on the bottom of the check. Presenting a fraudulent check is a felony. Scott was handcuffed in the court lobby area. He was detained for further investigation and for the safety of the people in the court area. He paid $129.10 with a credit card, was given 30 days to pay the balance and was released. The case will be filed with the Collin County District Attorney’s office and they will decide how to proceed. It is unknown at this time what the course of action will be if the check is found to be fraudulent.

The other 12 defendants included a combination of teens and adults. All were required to show cause as to why they hadn’t followed court orders and/or paid their fines that were past due. All of the defendants had been given an extension, but still had not paid their fines. Some came prepared to pay their fines on this day, one request for community service was granted. Most of these cases related to driving offenses. A few causes defendants presented as to why they had not paid what they owed or followed through with court orders such as taking defensive driving pertained to medical problems, away at college, trying to find a job, busy working and attending school, bought a house and family problems.

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