Real Law Basics

Nation-States, Jurisdictions

The highest sovereign power is the nation-state, a "public body corporate", a country in accordance with public international law. At this level there is really no binding authority or effective force to hold nations accountable. Nations may have treaties with other nations, but they are honoured voluntarily, with no repercussions other than public stigma or the potential action of an injured party in the event of a breach.

While every nation is free to do things their own way, in general, next are internal states (or provinces), in accordance with national law, and [counties and] municipalities, in accordance with state law. National law trumps state law, and state law trumps regional and municipal law. Where treaties exist, international law trumps national law.

Each jurisdiction, be it federal, state, county, municipal, etc., is sovereign unto itself, subject to its parent, with federal being the highest authority in the nation. In general, a federal court cannot hear a state matter, except on appeal and in accordance with state law. A federal court cannot interfere in state matters, except where they violate federal law. A state court cannot hear a federal matter at all. A county or municipal court cannot hear a state or federal matter.

Applicability of Law

Unless you make your own law (that nobody cares about) it is impossible to appear in law except under a nation-state. You can't contract out of national law because the contract law you're using is subject to that same nation. Likewise, you can't call citizenship a trust because there is no position or law above the nation to call it a trust from. The nation dictates how things operate and there is nothing lawful you can do about it short of leaving the area, starting your own nation and declaring war.

The laws of a nation-state apply equally to everyone. Anyone in or on territory claimed by a nation is expected to conform to all the laws of the nation, state and municipality (as applicable). Where one does not wish to conform and is forced to, there is no lawful remedy one can employ to collect compensation. One can only potentially be awarded damages when federal, state or municipal laws are violated. There is no higher law as some believe. This could be viewed as an unfortunate case of might making right. Theories about what makes such a social contract legitimate vary from divine blessing to tacit acceptance by staying in a claimed area or using the products of society.

Challenging Constitutionality

Until such time as a superior court deems a piece of legislation unconstitutional or invalid it is in full force and effect. The way it works is this: bad laws are enacted, someone is eventually harmed, that someone now has standing to sue and challenge the law to potentially have it struck down. It is not up to individuals to determine the constitutionality of laws or declare them invalid. Only the highest courts can do this.

Common Law vs. Statute Law

Many seem to think common law trumps statute law. This is false. The local federal, state and municipal constitutions and legislatures are supreme. Statutes have always displaced common law, since the first English statutes. The constitution, king and parliament (or congress, state legislature or regional council) have always been stronger than the judges and courts they employ in their realm.

Again, the nation-state is the highest entity in law. Sovereign states can choose to receive third party law, such as English law. English colonies automatically receive English law whereas the US received it voluntarily via reception statutes, clearly subject to local law. Local governments, being sovereign inasmuch as they do not violate higher national, state or regional law, are always able to overturn foreign law they inherited or received.

Contract Law – Is silence consent?

There is a common misconception based on the spongy maxim "silence is consent" that one can simply send a Notice, Affidavit, Fee Schedule or other document with a time limit for response and failing that response a binding contract is made. This is not valid contract law. According to the reigning case law (contracts remain primarily at common law), contracts cannot be established unilaterally through silence, there must be a clear offer and acceptance and meeting of the minds. The recipient failing to respond in a certain time is not binding unless there is some specific valid governing legislation or common law that dictates the same. For example, many Acts, contracts, court rules, etc. dictate that certain notices and time limits apply.

UCC-1, PPSA and other Financing Statements

When a document is ignored a wayward pseudolaw proponent may turn to abusing other legal processes to try to enforce their view of the law. A common method is through UCC or PPSA filings (for the US or Canada, respectively), as these are not checked for validity at the time of filing. Such filings are a direct attack on the well-being of a person and can severely affect their economic status, credit rating, etc. In some jurisdictions frivolous or vexatious filings can garner cash awards, years in jail or both.

Financing statements are a form of expressing interest in collateral. In order for collateral to be properly owed to a secured party and qualify for a filing a clear contract or security agreement describing the intent and collateral must exist between the would-be secured party creditor and debtor. In the US and Canada, pursuant to UCC, PPSA or other legislation such as a Statute of Frauds, the debtor must authenticate the security agreement by signature.

Where no collateral is involved, financing statements are useless and improper. For a standard contract, one would simply sue in court to obtain a judgment which would allow garnishment of income and seizure of assets.

Definition of Legal Terms

A common mistake is applying definitions of legal terms universally, often from an incorrect source. One might think a law dictionary is the best place to define words for use in law. This is unfortunately incorrect. The first place a court looks for a definition is in the Act related to the specific charge. If the charge is a state traffic violation, for example, the state traffic code and definitions found therein would apply. Where a word isn't defined in legislation a court might look to its own past rulings, a superior court or any number of dictionaries or other sources for suggestions before deciding for itself what a word means.

Meads v. Meads

A Canadian case, Meads v. Meads, 2012 ABQB 571, explores numerous pseudo-legal theories at length. It is highly recommended to read the case in full.