Names in Capitals?

Names in Capitals?

Postby geebee » Sat Apr 04, 2009 7:35 pm

Been researching.,...comments?


Many years ago when printing was in its infancy, there were no established rules for highlighting certain features of text. Since color was not available, capitalization became a means for emphasis. For example, in 1626 Sir Robert Cotton gave a speech in Parliament regarding debasement of coin and his speech was eventually reprinted in 1651. Examination of just the first page of this document published in 1651 shows almost a random pattern for capitalization.

A student of the law may visit a typical law library and possibly find one of the the oldest sets of books common in such libraries: Howell's State Trials, which is an 18th century publication that reprinted historic, old English cases regarding a wide variety of topics. Review of this page of Howell's State Trials shows that even in 1629, the names of cases (their "styles") were capitalized.

When the United States Constitution was ratified and Congress started operating via that constitution, the first laws were printed in newspapers and later archived. By 1845, Congress decided to print the laws it passed in a publication officially known as the United States Statutes at Large. Review of just a few pages from the first volume of this work, Vol. 1, Statutes at Large, demonstrates frequent use of capitalization for many words appearing in print.

The first reporter for the United States Supreme Court was Dallas, who also happened to be the reporter for the Pennsylvania courts. He thus published in the first volumes of the U.S. Supreme Court reporter decisions of Pennsylvania courts. Subsequent reporters like West Publishing simply recopied Dallas's reports when they published theirs. Here in this file, U.S. Supreme Court, you may review sample pages of the first volume of West's Supreme Court reporter. Please notice that the styles of cases and many other items were capitalized. See also similar items for Alabama.

As seen above, court cases were printed for more than a hundred years before the 1780s with capitalized styles. Below, please find cases for the years indicated where styles of cases were capitalized:

1787 1821 1821 1822 1833 1835 1842 1842 1844 1846 1846
1846 1857 1857 1858 1862 1862 1862 1863 1864 1870 1870

The items appearing above were obtained from some historical research materials found in my office and thus may not be of the finest reproduction quality (some of these copies are themselves 20 years old). Nonetheless, it is obvious that for hundreds of years, styles of cases and other legal materials were frequently capitalized for purposes of emphasis. The custom of capitalized styles of cases continues even today.
In recent years, there has been promoted an argument that capitalized styles of cases means something sinister. Some advocates of this argument identify the source for this contention: a book written by a man named Berkhimer. Allegedly in this book, the author states that a "nom de guerre" is a "war name" symbolized by a given name being written in capital letters. I have tried to find this passage in this book but have been unable to do so. The argument contends that because of events in 1933, we have been made "enemies" and government indicates our status as enemies by the nom de guerre. If this is true, then why have the styles of the decisions of the United States Supreme Court since its establishment been in caps? This argument has gotten lots of people in trouble. For example, a number of people such as Al Thompson and Keith Anderson have defended themselves against criminal charges with this argument, but have been thrown into jail nonetheless. I have not even seen a decent brief on this issue which was predicated upon cases you can find in an ordinary law library.

In any event, several courts have rejected this argument:

1. Jaeger v. Dubuque County, 880 F.Supp. 640 (N.D.Iowa 1995)
2. United States v. Heard, 952 F.Supp. 329 (N.D.W.Va. 1996)
3. Boyce v. C.I.R., 72 T.C.M. ¶ 1996-439 ("an objection to the spelling of petitioners' names in capital letters because they are not 'fictitious entities'" was rejected)
4. United States v. Washington, 947 F.Supp. 87, 92 (S.D.N.Y. 1996)("Finally, the defendant contends that the Indictment must be dismissed because 'Kurt Washington,' spelled out in capital letters, is a fictitious name used by the Government to tax him improperly as a business, and that the correct spelling and presentation of his name is 'Kurt Washington.' This contention is baseless")
5. United States v. Klimek, 952 F.Supp. 1100 (E.D.Pa. 1997)
6. In re Gdowik, 228 B.R. 481, 482 (S.D.Fla. 1997)(claim that "the use of his name JOHN E GDOWIK is an 'illegal misnomer' and use of said name violates the right to his lawful status" was rejected)
7. Russell v. United States, 969 F.Supp. 24, 25 (W.D. Mich. 1997)("Petitioner * * * claims because his name is in all capital letters on the summons, he is not subject to the summons"; this argument held frivolous)
8. United States v. Lindbloom, 97-2 U.S.T.C. ¶ 50650 (W.D. Wash. 1997)("In this submission, Mr. Lindbloom states that he and his wife are not proper defendants to this action because their names are not spelled with all capital letters as indicated in the civil caption." The CAPS argument and the "refused for fraud" contention were rejected)
9. Rosenheck & Co., Inc. v. United States, 79 A.F.T.R.2d (RIA) 2715 (N.D. Ok. 1997)("Kostich has made the disingenuous argument the IRS documents at issue here fail to properly identify him as the taxpayer. Defendant Kostich contends his ‘Christian name' is Walter Edward, Kostich, Junior and since the IRS documents do not contain his ‘Christian name,' he is not the person named in the Notice of Levy. The Court expressly finds Defendant WALTER EDWARD KOSTICH JR. is the person identified in the Notice of Levy, irrespective of the commas, capitalization of letters, or other alleged irregularities Kostich identifies as improper. Similarly, the Court's finding applies to the filed pleadings in this matter")
10. United States v. Weatherley, 12 F.Supp.2d 469 (E.D.Pa. 1998)
11. United States v. Frech, 149 F.3d 1192 (10th Cir. 1998)("Defendants' assertion that the capitalization of their names in court documents constitutes constructive fraud, thereby depriving the district court of jurisdiction and venue, is without any basis in law or fact").

Jon Roland of The Constitution Society web site wrote the following about this argument:

Typographic Conventions in Law

Jon Roland, Constitution Society

One of the persistent myths among political dissidents is that such usages as initial or complete capitalization of names indicates different legal entities or a different legal status for the entity. They see a person's name sometimes written in all caps, and sometimes written only in initial caps, and attribute a sinister intent to this difference. They also attach special meanings to the ways words may be capitalized or abbreviated in founding documents, such as constitutions or the early writings of the Founders.

Such people seem to resist all efforts to explain that such conventions have no legal significance whatsoever, that they are just ways to emphasize certain kinds of type, to make it easier for the reader to scan the documents quickly and organize the contents in his mind.

They also seem to go to enormous lengths looking for dictionaries or court rules to tell them what such typography means, without ever seeming to find what they are looking for, other than the actual usages themselves in important court cases.

Well, there is an authoritative reference, the one used by courts and lawyers all over the world. It is The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, compiled by the editors of the Columbia Law Review, the Harvard Law Review Association, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and The Yale Law Journal, 16th ed. 1996. Copies can be obtained from any law book store or by writing The Harvard Law Review Association, Gannett House, 1511 Massachusetts Av., Cambridge, MA 02138.

To explain how typographic conventions originated, and what they mean, I am reminded of the story of the first grader whose teacher became alarmed by the crayon drawings of one of her students. She called in the school counselor and she became alarmed, so she called in a child psychologist, who also became alarmed in turn. Fearing for the mental health of the child, they called in her parents.

The parents, now themselves concerned about their child, arrived at the meeting. "What happened?", the father said. The school staff persons showed his daughter's art work to him and to his wife. The father looked the drawings over, and said, "Look pretty good to me. I couldn't do that well at that age."

"But the colors!" the teacher said. "She does everything in black, grey, and brown!" said the counselor. "It seems morbid" said the psychologist.

So the father said, "Why don't we ask my daughter?" The school staff looked aghast at this audacious suggestion, but, not having any better ideas, they asked the little girl to come in.

She saw her parents, and the school staffers, all gathered around her art work, looking concerned, and became a bit concerned herself. But her father knew what to say. "Hon, your teachers want to know why you are drawing everything in black, grey, and brown."

"I gave most of my crayons to the other kids when they used theirs up", she said. "Black, grey, and brown are the only colors I have left."

Lawyers continued to hand write legal documents long after typewriters were invented. As a profession, they tend to be the last to adopt new technology. When things were hand written, they had only a few ways to highlight words. They could use block printed characters instead of cursive, or they could underline. Typesetters converted the block printed characters to all caps, sometimes with different font sizes, and the underlined words to italics.

As lawyers and legal staff began to use typewriters, they could not conveniently underline, and they didn't have italic fonts, so putting words in all caps was about the only way they had to show emphasis. Judges began rewarding lawyers (or so they thought) with better decisions if they put some words, like the names of parties, in all caps, to make it easier for overworked judges to quickly scan through many pages of pleadings and make sense of them.

Then computers came along. People started using them to produce legal documents. But a lot of them only had capital letters on their printers, or did not distinguish between upper and lower case. Programs in COBOL are examples of this. It was also found that it was easier to read words printed in all caps on forms, and to distinguish the newly-printed words from the pre-printed words on the forms.

In the meantime, there were advances in typesetting typography. People became able to print special symbols, bold face, different fonts and sizes, superscripts, underlined, and colors. And with that came demands for using differences in typography to highlight words in legal documents, including treatises, law review articles, briefs, etc.

Now we have personal computers and laser printers that can do anything the typesetter can do, and legal workers are now under pressure to produce nicely composed legal documents according to the same conventions that typesetters are asked to use.

This explosion of choices could have led to confusion, so the various courts have established rules for how they want legal documents prepared, and these rules are matched by similar but sometimes different rules of the major law review editors.

Basically, they have settled on three font styles: upper-and-lower case Roman, Italics, and Roman all-caps with larger point size for initials. Of course, if these are saved as ASCII text files, the Italics are lost, and the all-caps only show up as a single point size. Sometimes, to show Italics, as a legacy of underscoring, the words to be italicized are surrounded by underscore characters, as we do in the text above in the text version of this article.

The Bluebook calls for different typographics for the same kinds of things in different places. For example, a case cite like Marbury v. Madison would be italicized in the body of a law review article, but not in a footnote. Why? Who knows. It doesn't have to make sense. It's what they do. If you submit it using different conventions, the editors will change it to their journal's conventions.

The important thing to remember, however, is that there is no legal significance to the typography of a name, other than how well it distinguishes one object from others with which it might be confused. It is the object that matters. A misspelling is a "scrivener's error". Doesn't changed anything. Just needs to be corrected. Caps, complete or initial, don't mean anything. Just whatever the writer thought would aid the reader to get through the document quickly and with a minimum of confusion.

The nom de guerre position is one rabidly advocated by Wrong Way Law. It is all based on hype and emotions; the speakers who advocate this argument know how to push the emotional "hot buttons" at patriot pep rallies. I have reviewed the "best" briefs regarding this issue and they are all trash. Yet I continue to see people call themselves "John, of smith," "Jack: Smith," etc., and I just simply conclude that such parties have attended a Wrong Way Law seminar and have accepted a pack of lies. Further, it is remarkable that all the people who believe this idea have never checked it out; they just accept it because some patriot guru claimed it was correct.
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Re: Names in Capitals?

Postby LesActive » Sat Apr 04, 2009 9:17 pm

Who holds the original title (document) to the 'legal' name? The form of the name matters little. Are you obligated to have a legal name?

Rule: owner pays.
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Re: Names in Capitals?

Postby geebee » Sat Apr 04, 2009 9:32 pm

LesActive wrote:Who holds the original title (document) to the 'legal' name? The form of the name matters little. Are you obligated to have a legal name?

Rule: owner pays.


Could you elaborate please?
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Re: Names in Capitals?

Postby LesActive » Sun Apr 05, 2009 2:26 am

Certainly.

Your parents filled out a form at the hospital in which you were born. They put your given names as well as the family name (which is not yours)) on that form and submit that to the hospital who in turn forwards it to the gov't registry of births.

Is there a legal name extant at that time? No, not until the name is officially registered and a birth certificate is issued with a legal name on it.

Your parents gave you names but submit them to the gov't for conversion into a legal name. You've never signed anything under your true name, just a legal name over which you have been granted power of attorney. The registry holds on to the original document and you don't have access to it. They will graciously give you a copy of it but they won't give it up. They retain an interest in the legal name at all times from the get-go. Given that, how can the name be yours? I mean fully yours. So long as they hold an interest in it they can control it.

In Canada, according to statute, we are entitled to be recognized by the legal name. Entitlement is permissive, not obligatory and there is no statute that says otherwise. Doesn't mean I can't use the name but I'll use it in a different capacity than most are used to. It's gonna be fun.

The 'owner pays' rule comes into play because I will not own anything directly so I won't enjoy the equity in property, it will go to the gov't as will the legal title; I will enjoy use of it. On the plus side I'll be working for free. Our group has a slightly different tangent than what you are used to reading about. In our view, you don't get anything if you're not prepared to give and we are prepared to give it all.

Funny thing is, that just may be the way it was set up in the first place before our egos got in the way when we desired ownership and liability. We do it for our country, not ourselves.
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Re: Names in Capitals?

Postby LesActive » Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:00 pm

Take your time, I know it's tough truth to deny. :apple:
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Re: Names in Capitals?

Postby huntingross » Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:58 pm

I thought this was the accepted -

Blacks Law Dictionary – Revised 4th Edition 1968…

Capitis Diminutio (meaning the diminishing of status through the use of capitalization) In Roman law. A diminishing or abridgment of personality; a loss or curtailment of a man's status or aggregate of legal attributes and qualifications.

Capitis Diminutio Minima (meaning a minimum loss of status through the use of capitalization, e.g. John Doe) - The lowest or least comprehensive degree of loss of status. This occurred where a man's family relations alone were changed. It happened upon the arrogation [pride] of a person who had been his own master, (sui juris,) [of his own right, not under any legal disability] or upon the emancipation of one who had been under the patria potestas. [Parental authority] It left the rights of liberty and citizenship unaltered. See Inst. 1, 16, pr.; 1, 2, 3; Dig. 4, 5, 11; Mackeld. Rom.Law, 144.

Capitis Diminutio Media (meaning a medium loss of status through the use of capitalization, e.g. John DOE) - A lessor or medium loss of status. This occurred where a man loses his rights of citizenship, but without losing his liberty. It carried away also the family rights.

Capitis Diminutio Maxima (meaning a maximum loss of status through the use of capitalization, e.g. JOHN DOE or DOE JOHN) - The highest or most comprehensive loss of status. This occurred when a man's condition was changed from one of freedom to one of bondage, when he became a slave. It swept away with it all rights of citizenship and all family rights.
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Re: Names in Capitals?

Postby LesActive » Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:25 pm

I thought this was the accepted


I'm sure it was, in Rome. Every court case that I have read where this distinction of status through capitalization has been argued shows that it is wholly disregarded as "frivolous". At least, this is so concerning rulings in the U.S. and Canada. Law dictionaries aside, the evidence proving this claim is not in the statutes, so far as I have seen, so the courts are correct in ignoring it. Capitalization may be indicative of a presumed status but it doesn't seem to matter much to the corporate legal world in place today. It's a good practice to keep that knowledge in mind in your everyday dealings but I can't see it being useful in a courtroom setting. I've read cases where the court will grudgingly alter the name to suit the whim of the 'defendant' in order to simply carry on with the proceedings. Doesn't faze them in the least.

So ...... knowing that one cannot lawfully rule over another without their willing consent and without full disclosure (in 'our' systems of governance) and that your rejection of their capitalization of 'your' name doesn't alter their pursuit of a legal matter against you, then there must be something else to it. That something is that the original title remains with the registry, the Statement of Live Birth (or whatever it's called there), and they allow you the benefit of using the legal, registered name. Use of their property, legal name, holds one liable to the statutes. To gain jurisdiction (sworn oath) over you all that is required is for you to use ANY form of the name derived from the BC.

If you claim it's yours then you are responsible for it. If you know that it's not yours and can prove it then the owner of the name is responsible for charges. You can't be forced to be recognized by a legal name if you don't consent to it, hence the entitlement part. If you want to be known by the names that your parents gave you, John Henry for instance, then that's fine but if you attach the family name, Doe, in any form of capitis you are still using a derivation of the legal name and will be held liable for any charges against it. Courts here have ruled that one may go by any name they choose so long as fraud is not the intent but they don't say by what name you are obliged to be known.

But really, the basic question we have to consider is whether we are a name or not. Charges cannot be laid without one unless the basic laws are breached. Legally, to identify means to make identical and obviously, you are not merely a name written down or verbalized nor are you a hu-man being (classification of the body) or a piece of plastic with a photo. You are not your body but your body is named, fingerprinted, photographed and facsimiles kept on file.

There was an extremely gruesome case (v. Robert Pickton) that took place a couple of years ago on the west coast of Canada wherein he was charged in the deaths of 18 persons. There were 19 bodies. One of the bodies couldn't be ID'd so he couldn't be charged with murdering her. No name, no charge. :puzz:

This is anecdotal and not first hand knowledge so take it for what it's worth but a member of our group went to court over a landlord/tenant dispute bringing with him only the truth of the matter: that wasn't his name on the lease. He never ID'd himself except to say that he was acting in the capacity of authorized agent for the name. He filed the BC and his copy of the SoLB with the court beforehand along with a short affidavit explaining what he knew of the nature of the name. He also referred to himself as the 'alleged tenant' and the 'alleged defendant'. The judge, after reviewing his papers, asked the prosecutor how they wished to continue. The prosecutor turned toward the fella and asked him what he would do if they were to proceed against him to which he replied that he'd charge everyone involved with criminal fraud. The prosecutor then told the judge that they had no further wish to pursue the matter against this man and the charges were dropped. The kicker to this story is that he hasn't paid rent since the trial (Feb '08), it's being covered by the owner of the name, which apparently is not him.

Anyway, that's why I don't rely on the capitalization 'rule'. There is more to it.
Last edited by LesActive on Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Names in Capitals?

Postby huntingross » Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:47 pm

Yes, it seemed to be leaning that way from what I've seen, but there is also the Title adjoined to the name (Mr Mrs) etc....that is supposed to be tied into this fictional person...from what you're saying that would probably make little difference.

I'm surprised they let him get away with not identifying himself, so what was the purpose of the birth certificate (SoLB not familiar with that acronym)

So what of Irene Maus and the copyright trademark name...does that work or still catch you out on using a derivative of the name
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Re: Names in Capitals?

Postby bruce » Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:15 pm

huntingross they can only act upon your fiction if they act upon you that then they are out on a limb, and its happening more and more as the system is showing signs of breaking down, inform them of your contract and if they take it well you have them, keep a account of every dishonour keep them informed all the way, this applys across the board, they use contracts so can we, and their trick is getting you as a MR or MRS at that point your in their contract, they will get as mad as hell when you say your not a MR or MRS no contract and if they tuch you then thats assult, and i have seen a very interesting video where you can see this FICTIONS act upon man/woman because they would not say they was a MR or MRS.
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Re: Names in Capitals?

Postby LesActive » Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:36 am

They can put whatever title they want to in front of the name, it doesn't make it so and titled or not it's still not my name except through my will if I so choose. Honestly, I don't know what 'my' name is. I use Brien, it seems to work okay, though I know that the word is not me. I reject titles altogether, even freeman, which is not to say that I don't consider myself a free man or have qualms with the FMotL movement. Robert-Arthur got me started down this path about four years ago so I respect his efforts greatly, I simply took a slightly different track.

The Statement of Live Birth (SoLB) is the doc that my mom (as informant) filled out and surrendered to a licensed agent of the state (nurse or doctor on duty) for registration of the event of my birth. That is the original title from which the legal names are derived. It is the title that has not nor ever will be passed to me. Here in .ca, the parent is given the option of applying for a certified copy of the SoLB and/or a BC. The BC was never intended to be used as ID but it was left to us to decide whether it would be used that way or not. Most choose only the BC for access to benefits but with the benefits come the liabilities, the main one being adherence to statutes, as was admitted by a member of the Privy Council for Canada. On the SoLB there is a box for given names and another box for the family name which distinguishes between the two forms. If you get a (Canadian) BC you'll see that all names are labeled as 'NAME', which is a legal name and doesn't distinguish between the two forms, given and family. I would imagine the format is similar there. I know I've seen a picture of an English BC that was clearly marked, "NOT TO BE USED FOR IDENTIFICATION". It is a "statement of the facts so certified and registers the event of a birth". They register events, not people. Your autograph is nowhere on it and it is the property of the gov't as evidenced by their corporate logo and name at the top. If you present it and say it's your name, well then, you know. The certified copy of the SoLB that you may get is proof that you didn't receive title to the name, by virtue of it being only a copy. We tried to get the originals but were flatly rejected.

As far as contracts go, use of the name in a public transaction like a commercial contract holds you liable to it if you sign as if you were contracting for yourself. If you contract through the name as an agent for Her Majesty (it is ultimately hers) then liability bypasses you, the circuit is closed and you stay out of the realm of legal fictions. Legal and equitable title over contracts remain with Her Majesty but you, by being issued power of attorney for the name, can have free use of it. The cost is getting out of the game which is where working for free comes in.

In our negotiations with the gov't we have actually offered them 100% of our 'earnings' and full ownership (apart from use) of our properties. It will be very interesting to see how they'll reply.
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