An article on NJ.com takes a hard look at an influx of “sovereign citizen” cases that are currently clogging the courtrooms. The sovereign citizen movement, named by federal agencies as one of the fastest-growing domestic terror threats, has landed in New Jersey at full speed, taking the state judicial system by a storm.

Law enforcement and other government employees have been forced to confront the sovereign citizen movement head-on — often after becoming victims of the group’s bizarre lawfare tactics such as filing false liens in the courts to adversely affect the credit reports of their targets. Mark Potok, a senior fellow from the Southern Poverty Law Center, explained to NJ.com the paradox of the sovereign citizens beliefs – “They believe these judges have no jurisdiction, or believe they are purposely subverting it,” said Potok. “So they go after judges, court clerks and the like.”

Even though sovereign citizens believe the courts and its officers have no jurisdiction to prosecute them or enforce the law, they often turn to the courts to commit harassment and wreak “legal” havoc, exacting revenge against the government officials they believe have wronged them:

One of the means of harassment commonly used against judges and other court officials is the commercial lien, also known as a “mechanic’s lien,” which is intended to allow laborers to seek compensation from those who haven’t paid them for their services.

According to Potok, sovereign citizens seeking retribution from court officials will often file such a lien on a judge’s home, forcing them to potentially spend thousands of dollars to clear their title.

“The court clerk could receive it and file it without giving it another thought, and then it wouldn’t come up again until the judge tries to sell his or her home,” he said. “Since this started happening, about 20 states have passed new laws, or strengthened existing ones, in an effort to curb false liens.”

Although the term “sovereign citizen” is relatively new, only dating back to around 2011 when the FBI first began profiling the group as a threat to law enforcement agencies, the general principles of the group dates back a while. Potok explains that the current sovereign citizen movement could be considered a spin-off of sorts. “There was a similar wave with what was called the Montana Freemen in the 1990s,” he added. “The popular term now is sovereign citizen, but this happened before during the Clinton administration as well.”

  • unclejeems

    Sovereign citizen = fat white guy with a gun who doesn’t think laws apply to him.

    • TheKnowerseeker

      And ghetto thugs are low-education black guys with guns who don’t think laws apply to them.

  • Sean T Gallagher

    these sick pig fuckers have been embolden by the ineptitude of the federal government to roll troops and tanks through clive bundys home in Nevada ..They get more and more support because the USA does nothing to arrest or kill these sickos at the bundy ranch ..If the takeover at the bundy ranch is done ,if the American government finally gets the guts to take down this terrorist , If it starts a right VS. left war ..I for one am ready to defend my country against tea party fascists ,right wing haters and moron libertarians .. WE pay our TAXES MR.Bundy …you are a tax evader at best …and arming your self for a stand off against legal and lawful police dept. who are enforcing the state of Nevada popularly elected and adjudicated laws .. TEA PARTIERS IN NEW JERSEY if you pull this same shit ..I will take a cue from your lack of belief in the legal system and file suits against you and your family ….and if you decide to Bundy up …well than I will burn you down to the ground ,just like we did to those fucking sicko’s in WACO ,who by the way shot first and killed 2 ATF agents serving a warrant to inspect the compound for illegally purchased machine guns ,which at the time were illegal in both Texas and the USA…

    • TheKnowerseeker

      The TEA Party aren’t fascists but conservatives, and conservatives believe in paying their taxes. (They just don’t always like how those taxes are being spent. Liberals don’t like how taxes are spent sometimes too, depending on the cause. As for these guys in the article, they’re something else entirely.) The TEA Party are a grassroots movement by conservative voters who are tired of neo-cons leading the Republican Party. It’s like if communists took over the Democratic Party but a grassroots movement of less radical liberals rose up to try to dethrone them.

      • Sean T Gallagher

        you really believe your own drivel you are very funny

  • Ruth S

    Wow. And they think sovereign citizens are the threat to society and lawful justice?