Chapter 17: Admiralty Law/Maritime Jurisdiction (Asset Seizure & Booty)
There is one aspect of law that has not really been covered yet, so I will get into it before it gets too far into the book. That is the law of Admiralty/Maritime jurisdiction. Or the “Pirate’s law of the High Seas” as it is often referred to. This is the law that Blackbeard went by. Your boat, or ship, was a registered “vessel,” from whichever country it was from, but on the high seas, where there is no law, there is a mechanism in place called “lawlessness.” This means that if you see something that you like, you take it, regardless of the ownership. You just take it over, like a pirate on the high seas. You see a ship you like and you take it and make it yours. That is what the pirates did, and this still goes on today. The United States functions within Admiralty law, and Maritime jurisdiction, as well as administrative law or business law alongside it.
In a very rare book titled, The New History of America, the author, who goes by the name “The Informer.” (John Nelson) had written about this form of law:
“The Encyclopedia of American History is a good source of what the British Board of Trade did. It says that in 1697, the British Board of Trade, under the Navigation Act, established vice-admiralty courts in all the colonies. These courts had jurisdiction over trade, ordinary maritime cases, as well as prize. It even granted jurisdiction by the Act of 1722 over infringements concerning timber. These Admiralty courts, set up under the Townshend Acts, centered final control in America.” …
“Quoting from Benedict on Admiralty, 1850:
‘It’s necessary effect [the Act] was, however, to start the courts on that system of practice, and really to impose upon them, in admiralty and maritime cases, the civil law practice, as that under which they must continue to administer justice, even after the expiration of that act, until further provision could be made’.”
Section 105 it reads:
“The purpose of the Constitutional Grant — The Essential Harmony of the Maritime Law. The grand purpose of the Constitution was to unify the several states [several meaning separate], the whole people, in their national, international, and interstate relations and all other purposes were subordinate and ancillary to this.”
Section 123 reads:
“The commission to the Governor as Vice-Admiral was very full, granting, in language so clear that it cannot be misunderstood, an admiralty jurisdiction as wide and beneficial as the most zealous supporters of the English Admiralty ever claimed for it.”
Then the Informer goes on to add: “This is the type of court that exists today and why we cannot bring a pure Article of the Bill of Rights argument in a contract court of the law-merchant in their civil law. Benedict states at section 5 that ‘*** the civil law was held to be the law of admiralty, and the course of proceedings in admiralty, closely resembled the civil law practice.’ Revenue comes under commerce and is basic to the jurisdiction of the admiralty/maritime court. Evidence the fact every judge states you can’t bring the Constitution in his court. You can’t bring in the Seventh Article of the Bill of Rights. Why? Because it is evident after reading Benedict on the American Admiralty. It’s Jurisdiction and Practice, 1850, Chapter XIII section 195, to wit: “So the Seventh Amendment is limited to suits at common law, which does not include either suits of equity, or of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction.”… All maritime revenue cases, whether State or United States, deals in contract.”
What we learn here of course, is that provisions which protect us under the Constitution, like the right to trial by jury and other restrictions on oppressive government, and which would be tried under common law, do not apply when the contract is in force, and the commercial contract is what is being applied to the case.
Here is a case that illustrates that cases currently are not heard under the Constitution, if they are heard in admiralty. American Ins. Co. v. Canter (1828):
“A case in admiralty does not, in fact, arise under the Constitution or laws of the United States.”
The judges of the superior courts of Florida hold their offices for four years. These courts, then, are not constitutional courts in which the judicial powers conferred by the Constitution on the general government can be deposited. They are incapable of receiving it. They are legislative courts, created in virtue of the general right, of sovereignty which exists in the government or in virtue of that clause which enables Congress to make laws regulating the territories belonging to the United States. The jurisdiction with which they are invested, is not a part of that judicial power which is defined in the Third Article of the Constitution, but is conferred by Congress in the exercise of its powers over the territories of the United States.
“Although admiralty jurisdiction can be exercised in the states in those courts only which are established in pursuance of the Third Article of the Constitution, the same limitation does not extend to the territories. In legislating for them, Congress exercises the combined powers of the general and state governments.” — American Ins. Co. v. Canter, 1 Pet. 511, 545 (1828) (Verified) (1)
Therefore, based on what we just read, the jurisdiction in legislative courts is that of Admiralty/Maritime and not common law.
Here is what The Informer quotes Benedict as saying at section 204:
“In such cases, the question before the court, is not whether the court has jurisdiction, but whether the party have right; it is not a question in abatement, but a question of the merits of the action. ‘If the cause is a maritime cause, subject to admiralty cognizance, jurisdiction is complete over the person as well as the ship. It must in its nature be complete, for it cannot be confined to one of the remedies on the contract, when the contract itself is within its cognizance.” The Quote Nelson used is from 12 Wheat 460; 7 Howard 729 Boyd’s proceedings.
First of all, notice how he talked about the “merits of the action” and how he referred to the “remedies on the contract.” What they are saying is that where there is a contract, and revenue is concerned, the United States has full jurisdiction. Also, notice how they used the term “ship,” when they say “over the person as well as over the ship.” The reason for this is a whole other level of subterfuge and adds even more depth to the conspiracy. The reason they use the term “ship” is because they are referring to your “vessel” on the high seas. Your “vessel” being “registered,” means they are using your Birth Certificate to create a “corporate vessel” that is “registered”” and is sailing on the “high seas” of commerce in admiralty /maritime law/jurisdiction.
Another very eerie analogy exists in the usage of the word “Canal,” as in a “canal” that a vessel sails on and through. Then, your Birth Certificate evidencing the “vessel” on the high seas, your real birth is said to be delivered through the “Birth Canal.” Ships are “Berthed” when they are docked somewhere. When you are held in jail, they hold you in the dock, and there is a docket of the case held by the court clerk. Strange coincidence? Or designed conspiracy?
Your parents then “inform” on you by “witnessing” to your birth by signing on your Birth Certificate. Now your Strawman is a “Vessel,” registered to be in commerce on the high seas, and do business.
The ‘Informer’ also brings out a set of facts that back up what I showed earlier about the 14th Amendment, Martial law and the U.S. takeover of the states, which was in 1868. Here is what the Informer includes in his book. It appears to be proceedings from a Constitutional Convention in North Carolina:
“In 1868 the Governor of North Carolina stated in his inaugural that North Carolina was no longer a separate and sovereign state, but a “District” of the United States, to wit;
‘In the midst of the progress of these events we are astounded by a proposition, originated by North Carolinians, and brought before Congress under the auspices calculated to alarm us, that North Carolina, one of the original thirteen, is no longer a State, but a territory of the United States. * * * This Convention, thus elected, is to frame a new Constitution for the District formerly known as the State of North Carolina. The Constitution, when formed, is to be approved, not by the people, who are to live under it, but by the Congress to approve, modify, or reject the same: and with a test oath framed with apparent intent to reverse the principle that the majority of the people ought to rule.’ (2)
This is exactly what we learned about earlier about the effects of “Reconstruction” and the Territories being tax districts now called “States.”
Next, The Informer also goes on to talk about the Emergency War Powers and the major event that happened in 1933, the bankruptcy of the U.S. government corporation:
“In 1933 all corporations were owned by the State of N.C. under the emergency war powers act thereby making them State corporations. No longer were they private, sole proprietors, ‘mom and pop’ corps. Under ‘joint-venture’ principle all people who are ‘citizens of the State’ are United States citizens, and are in contract with the State in its corporate capacity. Therefore, if and when they buy property privately from the United States it does revert back to the State. They are only holding the property of the state in a fiduciary capacity paying rent in the form of an ad valorum tax. This is where the government has conned us again. It is a vicious cycle. Therefore, the U.S. can tax the fiduciary holding state property because they are citizens, or joint-venturers, with the state in its corporate capacity. This is because the states are nothing more than ‘Districts’ of the U.S. and due to the War Powers Act they are also ‘agents of the federal government.’ This was discovered by Dr. Eugene Schroder in the ‘Health and Human Service Acts’ of the states. This allows the U.S. to seek out and tax it’s subjects, people claiming ‘citizenship’ of the state, for they are also U.S. citizens by Congress’ definition of ‘individual,’ see 5 USC 552a A 2.”
5 USC 552
Records maintained on individuals
(a) Definitions.—For purposes of this section—
(1) the term “agency” means agency as defined in section 552(e)  of this title;
(2) the term “individual” means a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence;
And in the prior chapter we read how “Individual” was also defined as a “corporation.”
So, when the government seizes your property, be it your house, car or personal body, they are doing it under the admiralty/maritime jurisdiction and law, and that is where “booty” comes in, sometimes called “prize.” This is the essence of asset forfeiture and seizure. It is when they take something from you, like a pirate climbing aboard your ship on the “high seas” and carrying off with what he wants. But, it is done under a totally different set of laws and regulations so that it looks like it is legal, and Constitutional. Well, it is legal, but it is not constitutional, nor lawful.
To further illustrate my point, I will quote again from The Informer:
“To prove that the Revenue collection of any government in this country is under admiralty principles, as stated earlier, I give you but two cases out of many. These are seizure cases where the IRS took the property in violation of the Revenue Laws of the United States:
“A proceeding in rem is governed by the Supplemental Rules for Certain Admiralty and Maritime Claims, a supplement to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 28 U.S.C. (hereinafter Supplemental Rules), See Rule A, Supplemental Rules;” — United States v. One 1966 Chevrolet Pickup Truck, 56 F.R.D. 450 (1972)
(2) The New History of America by the Informer, (1997), p. 10-11
And this next case:
“Although presumably for purpose of obtaining jurisdiction, action for forfeiture under Internal Revenue Laws is commenced as proceeding in admiralty, after jurisdiction is obtained proceeding takes on the character of civil action at law, and at least at such stage of proceedings, Rules of Civil Procedure control.” (See Supreme Court Admiralty Rule 21; 28 U.S.C. Section 1355; 26 U.S.C. 7323) was filed by the United States Attorney Ibid 565 — United States of America, Libelant v $3976.62 in Currency, One 1960 Ford Station Wagon, 37 F.R.D. 564
The following is from a book on Admiralty from 1809, but was actually borrowed from much earlier books dating to the 1600’s. – The Practice and Jurisdiction of the Court of Admiralty in Three Parts by John Hall:
“Before making the seizure, a full proof of the debt is to be made to the Judge according to his discretion.” “If he be declared in contumacy [contempt] Scacc. n. 5. the judges of our day, according to custom, decree a sequestration [removal of property from debtor] at the instance of the creditor alone, without the existence of any suspicion. Scacc. n. 11. If nothing is proved to the Judge and nothing is sworn by the creditor, the attachment is granted upon the simple assertion of the creditor.”
“It often happens, and especially in time of war or commotion, that your goods or vessel are taken by enemies or pirates, and afterwards brought to this kingdom; or are possessed or detained by others in some other manner; or the factor or agent of your correspondents in parts beyond seas, may consign certain goods to your use or benefit, and they are detained unjustly possessed by some person. In such cases you may obtain a Warrant to arrest the goods after this matter as your proper goods: and also a citation as well against those in particular thus occupying or detaining, as against all others in general, who have or pretend to have any interest in them, to answer you in a certain cause of a civil and maritime nature. Which Warrant being executed and returned as above, in Tit. 33, if no one appears, the proceedings are to be in all things as above, Tit 31, and after the fourth default, the goods are to be adjudged to you; not for a debt as in the former.” – The Practice and Jurisdiction of the Court of Admiralty in Three Parts by John E. Hall, Esquire Date: 1809
Here is a Supreme Court case regarding admiralty courts in the US. (Note: This case has been highly edited online at the Supreme Court website.) GLASS, et al. Appellants, v. The Sloop BETSY (1794)
“Every district court of the United States possesses all the powers of a court of admiralty, whether considered as an instance or a prize court.
“The District Court has no jurisdiction by the Constitution and laws of the United States (which form the only possible source of Federal jurisdiction ) for, although it is admitted, that by the 1st and 2nd sections of the 3rd article of the Constitution, and the judicial act, the jurisdiction of the District Courts extends to all civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; yet, it is denied, that prize is a civil cause of that description; nor can the expression vest a power in the District Court to decide the legality of a prize, even by a citizen of the United States. A citizen, indeed, can only make a prize when the United States are at war with some foreign power, but being at peace with all the world, no such question can now be agitated; and, of course, no jurisdiction, in such a case, can exist in any of its courts. By comparing the act of Congress with the Constitution, it is obvious, that the former, does not vest in the District Court, the same, or so extensive, a judicial power as the latter would warrant. The Constitution embraces admiralty cases of whatever kind—whether civil, or criminal, done in times of peace or at times of war; but the act of Congress limits the power of the District Court to civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; and the court can have no other, or greater power, than the act has given.” —
Judicial Settlement of Controversies Between States of the American Union. Vol. 1, 1918 (3)
Here is a couple definitions to consider:
mar. law, war. The apprehension and detention at sea, of a ship or other vessel, by authority of a belligerent power, either with the design of appropriating it, with the goods and effects it contains, or with that of becoming master of the whole or a part of its cargo. 1 Rob. Adm. R. 228. The vessel or goods thus taken are also called a prize. Goods taken on land from a public enemy are called booty, (q.v.) and the distinction between a prize and booty consists in this, that the former is taken at sea and the latter on land.
- In order to vest the title of the prize in the captors, it must be brought with due care into some convenient port for adjudication by a competent court. The condemnation must be pronounced by a prize court of the government of the captor sitting in the country of the captor, or his ally; the prize court of an ally cannot condemn. Strictly speaking, as between the belligerent parties the title passes, and is vested when the capture is complete; and that was formerly held to be complete and perfect when the battle was over, and the spes recuperandi was gone. 1 Kent, Com. 100; Abbott on Ship. Index, h.t.; 13 Vin. Ab. 51; 8 Com. Dig. 885; 2 Bro. Civ. Law, 444; Harr. Dig. Ship. and Shipping, X; Merl. Repert. h.t.; Bouv. Inst. Index. h.t. Vide Infra praesidia. – Bouvier’s 1856 6th Ed.
Eng. law The name of court which has jurisdiction of all captures made in war on the high seas.
- In England this is a separate branch of the court of admiralty, the other branch being called the instance court. (q.v.)
- The district courts of the United States have jurisdiction both as instance and prize courts, there being no distinction in this respect as in England. 3 Dall. 6; vide 1 Gall. R. 563; Bro. Civ. & Adm. Law, ch. 6 & 7; 1 Kent, Com. 356; Mann. Comm. B. 3, c. 12. – (Bouvier’s 1856 6th Ed.)
When a ship is docked, or when a piece of property is warehoused, there is a receipt called a “Bill of Lading” or a “Warehouse Receipt,” and these are posted on the “Docket” of the ship.
The cage or enclosed space in a criminal court where prisoners stand when brought in for trial.
The space in a river or harbor, enclosed between two wharves.
A slip or waterway extending between two piers or projecting wharves for the reception of, ships, sometimes including the piers themselves.
“A dock is an artificial basin in connection with a harbor, used for the reception of vessels in the taking on or the discharging of their cargoes, and provided with gates for preventing the rise and fall of the waters occasioned by the tides, and keeping a uniform level within the docks.” – (Black’s 4th)
- To abstract and enter in a book. To make a brief entry of any proceeding in a court of justice in the docket.
- A minute, abstract, or brief entry; or the book containing such entries. A small piece of paper or parchment having the effect of a larger.
A formal record, entered in brief, of the proceedings in a court of justice.
A book containing an entry in brief of all the important acts done in court in the conduct of each case, from its inception to its conclusion.
The mane of “docket” or “trial docket” is sometimes given to the list or calendar of causes set to be tried at a specified term, prepared by the clerk for the use of the court and bar. (Black’s 4th)
So a dock is where cargo is “discharged,” and it is also a “cage or enclosed space in a criminal court where prisoners stand when brought in for trial.” A little further on, the reader will find the definition of “discharge.”
Therefore, the Birth Certificate is a “Document of Title,” really a “Warehouse Receipt” or “Bill of Lading,” evidencing that the ships goods (Your Body) are stored and secured properly.
Document of Title:
“Document of Title” includes bill of lading, dock warrant, dock receipt, warehouse receipt, or order for delivery of goods. Evidencing that the person entitled under the document has the right to receive, hold and dispose of the document and the goods it covers. UCC 1-201(15)
A receipt given by a warehouseman for goods received by him on storage in his warehouse. It is evidence of title to goods thereby represented. (Black’s 4th)
A warehouse receipt or other document of title is negotiable (a) If by its terms, the goods are to be delivered to bearer or to the order of a named person; or (b) Where recognized in overseas trade, if it runs to a named person or assigns. UCC 7-104(1)
When your mother gives birth to you, they call the place the “Delivery Room.” Just what are they delivering? And to whom are they delivering to?
With respect to instruments, documents of title, chattel paper or certified securities means voluntary transfer of possession. UCC 1-201(14)
A voluntary transfer of title or possession from one party to another; a legally recognized handing-over of one’s possessory rights to another. Where actual delivery would be cumbersome or impossible, the courts will find a constructive delivery sufficient, provided the intention is clearly to transfer title. (Barron’s 3rd)
So, summarizing the last section on Admiralty, we learn that “Persons” could be considered as “property” or as citizens of the United States. Those “persons” who were turned into enemies after the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917 and the Emergency Banking Act of 1933, were then potentially considered “vessels” in the sense where Admiralty law and Maritime Jurisdiction could be applied.
We previously learned that Territorial Courts, aka Legislative Courts do not follow the Constitution by rule, are not required to, but may do so from time to time as they see fit. We also learned that they may apply merchant civil law and admiralty laws both if they so please. We also learned that the Birth Certificate is likely the Title to the “vessel” called JOHN DOE and JANE DOE, what we refer to as the “strawman.”
Well, this places the average Joe in a real predicament, doesn’t it? There are solutions being worked out for all of this, fortunately. Unfortunately, nothing is 100% guaranteed to work for anyone. The solution, for a while, for many people, appeared to rest in the commercial process, or Merchant Law. Instead of using the Constitution in the courts, which upset the judges tremendously, the rules of contract were applied within the struggling and creative “freedom movement.” That is what we will learn about next. In the end, we return to common law and learn how to decide which to use in whatever situation we are facing.
Equity in the Chancery Courts
The Chancery Courts of England were brought into America with the Colonists from England and these were the courts which were mainly used throughout America and are still used to this day. While we cannot be sure under which exact courts the municipal government structures are always operating in, we can assume that if it’s not common law then admiralty/civil law being administered in a court of Chancery. If it’s not “at sea” it might just be Chancery or it’s a combination of the two.
In England the Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1873 established the High Court of Justice. The Act merged eight existing English courts—the Court of Chancery, the Court of Queen’s Bench, the Court of Common Pleas, the Court of Exchequer, the High Court of Admiralty, the Court of Probate, the Court for Divorce and Matrimonial Causes, and the London Court of Bankruptcy—into a new Supreme Court of Judicature (now known as the Senior Courts of England and Wales). The new Supreme Court was divided into the Court of Appeal, which exercised appellate jurisdiction, and the High Court, which exercised original jurisdiction. (4)
For decades now the freedom activists have been looking to solve their issues in courts of common law. As the result of being charged with crimes in which there is no injured party, and which are being prosecuted in the name of the fictional “state,” one has to wonder where the jurisdiction comes from to seize a person for growing cannabis or using it in public or even selling it for that matter, in a private person to person capacity. It has long been suspected that the jurisdiction comes from a two party contract, involving the “defendant” and the “state.” In the following excerpts from The book of Equity, by Michael J. A. Gabouray, we learn the history of the Chancery Court in America. This book gives enormous insight into our current condition and I suggest anyone seriously interested in their freedom should read it. The book is referring to Acts made in the State of North Carolina, and Tennessee both prior to and following the Declaration of Independence, however, the application is whole to all the States and United States:
“The Supreme Court of North Carolina held, in the case of Griffin v Graham, that the Equity system of England was a part of the common law of North Carolina in force and use within its territory at the time of the American Revolution, which common law was, in 1778, declared by the legislature of North Carolina to be in “full force within the State.” Chancellor Kent, in Manning v Manning. held that the English system of Equity Jurisprudence at the commencement of the Revolution “formed an important and very essential branch of the common law.” (5)
“Over time, the Chancery Courts completely took over inside the colonies, since the ability to deal with contractual matters was most important to all aspects of life, and involves the protection of property.
“By various Acts of the Legislature, its (Chancery Courts) jurisdiction has been greatly increased, its powers have been much enlarged, its practice has been simplified and improved, and its process made more efficacious. In the language of Judge Freeman, “The Chancery Court has been steadily advancing and widening the boundaries of its jurisdiction from its earliest history to the present day.” In Tennessee, these extensions of the boundaries of the Court have been made by the people, through their legislatures, thus giving conclusive evidence of the growth of the Court in public favor. And now, by the Constitution of 1870, it is made a Constitutional Court, and by the Act of 1877, it has been given jurisdiction of all civil actions triable in the Circuit Court except actions for injury to person. property or character, involving unliquidated damages, thus making its vindication complete, and its triumph perfect and permanent.” (6)
In other words, in cases NOT dealing with injuries to a person, which would be common law courts jurisdiction, equity took precedence in the Chancery Courts.
In the next paragraph we learn how the right to challenge jurisdiction must be exhausted prior to answering or the defendant effectively loses that right. The jurisdiction would be the court’s right to hear the matter and if it being a contract, and no objection is raised then jurisdiction is assumed.
“Effect of the Act of 1877 generally Considered. In 1801, it was enacted that ‘after answer filed and no plea in abatement to the local jurisdiction of the Court, no exception for want of jurisdiction shall ever afterwards be made.’ (46) It has been uniformly held ever since the passage of this Act, that on failure of the defendant to object to the jurisdiction of the Court before answering, the Court had the right, and it was its duty, to determine the controversy, unless the matter was unfit for a Court of Equity. Under the operation of this holding, the Chancery Court had, for seventy-five years, been in the habit of entertaining demands, and causes of action, purely legal in their nature. The Act of 1877 is only one step further than the law was before, as Judge Freeman, in Jackson v Nimmo, (47) very conclusively shows. The Chancery Court has long had jurisdiction, in attachment cases of “debts and demands of a purely legal nature, except causes of actions founded on torts.” (48) (7)
(5) The book of Equity, by Michael J. A. Gabouray, (2014), p. 24; (Notes – See Judge Gaston’s argument in Griffin v Graham. 1. Hawks, (N.C.) 103; Acts of 1778, Ch. 5 Section 1; 1 Scott’s Rev. 226; 1 Johns. Ch. 531. The “common law” of the English colonies in America embraced the whole body of the laws the colonists brought with them from England, including the Chancery Court and its jurisprudence.)
(6) ibid, Page 20 – Notes – Nolen v Woods, 12 Lea, 615; (32) Jackson v Nimmo, 3 Lea, 604
(7) ibid, p. 26; Notes – (46) Acts of 1801. Ch. 6 Section 16; 1 Scott’s Rev., 688; (47) 3 Lea, 597, 610; (48) Code Section 3461
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