Chapter 24: Word Games: Criminal or Commercial?
Instead of writing this chapter like I have done the others, I have decided to make this chapter like a “word maze.” This way, the reader can see that all “terminology” leads back to one main concept that never goes away. That concept is “a claim.” When I first wanted to “test” what Roger was saying against reality, I started looking up terms in the legal dictionaries and I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I had to start looking up every word, and sure enough, Roger appeared to be totally on point. What I found was that I couldn’t find any words that led to anything truly “criminal,” everything was “financial.” I started with the word “charge” and went from there, looking for clues which would lead me to believe we were NOT dealing with just financial crimes, but soon realized that was impossible. Also, I realized that everything revolved around a “claim.”
What we’ll try to do here in this brief chapter is to get away from the “claim” and see if we can. Impossible! Follow the rabbit trail. It is truly amazing. I am not saying there are no real crimes, like rape, robbery or murder. I am simply pointing out that all the words we think have “criminal” meaning, are actually financial or “civil” as well, and therefore may be the actual intention in most cases like “drug charges.”
Here are a few imperative definitions for the previous chapter, as well as the book as a whole:
- To impose a burden, obligation or lien; to create a claim against property; to claim, to demand; to instruct a jury on matters of law.
n. In general. An encumbrance, lien, or burden; an obligation, or duty; a liability; an accusation. In contracts. An obligation, binding upon him who enters into it, which may be removed or taken away by a discharge. (Black’s 1st)
Conversion of electrical energy into chemical energy within a cell or storage battery. (Black’s 4th)
In criminal law
An accusation or oral charge. A formal complaint, information, or indictment. A count. (Black’s 4th)
The expenses which have been incurred, or disbursements made, in connection with a contract, suit or business transaction. Spoken of an action, it is said that the term includes more than what falls under the technical description of “costs.” (Black’s 4th)
So, in criminal law, it is a complaint, information, or indictment, a count. Let’s look them up:
In civil practice
In those states having a Code of Civil Procedure, the complaint is the first or initiatory pleading on the part of the plaintiff in a civil action. It corresponds to the declaration in the common-law practice.
In criminal law.
A charge, preferred before a magistrate having jurisdiction, that a person named (or an unknown person) has committed a specified offense, with an offer to prove the fact, to the end that a prosecution may be instituted. It is a technical term, descriptive of proceedings before a magistrate. The complaint is an allegation, made before a proper magistrate, that a person has been guilty of a designated public offense. (Black’s 1st)
In some instances “complaint” is interchangeable with “information.” And is often used interchangeably with “affidavit.” (Black’s 4th)
Now, it’s not fair when they go right back to the word from before. In this case it’s the word “charge.” We haven’t gotten anywhere yet. They haven’t admitted anything. BUT, it does say, WITH AN “OFFER” TO PROVE THE FACT. It gives us a new word as well, “allegation” which we will look up in a moment, after we look up the other words from before. Also, “affidavit” and “declaration” as well.
An accusation exhibited against a person for some criminal offense, without an indictment. An accusation in the nature of an indictment, from which it differs only in being presented by a competent public officer on his oath of office, instead of a grand jury on their oath. A written accusation sworn to before a magistrate, upon which an indictment is afterwards founded.
The word is also frequently used in the law in its sense of communicated knowledge. And affidavits are frequently made, and pleadings and other documents verified, on information and “belief.”
In French Law. The act or instrument which contains the depositions of witnesses against the accused. (Black’s 4th)
Again, we are given NOTHING whatsoever, except a new word, “accusation.” Which we have to look up as well.
crim. law, practice. A written accusation of one or more persons of a crime or misdemeanor, presented to, and preferred upon oath or affirmation, by a grand jury legally convoked. 4 Bl. Com. 299; Co. Litt. 126; 2 Hale, 152; Bac. Ab. h.t.; Com. Dig. h.t. A; 1 Chit. Cr. L. 168.
- This word, indictment, is said to be derived from the old French word indicter, which signifies to indicate; to show, or point out. Its object is to indicate the offence charged against the accused. Rey, des Inst. ‘Angl. tome 2, p. 347.
- To render an indictment valid, there are certain essential and formal requisites. The essential requisites are, 1st. That the indictment be presented to some court having jurisdiction of the offence stated therein. 2d. That it appear to have been found by the grand jury of the proper county or district. 3d. That the indictment be found a true bill, and signed by the foreman of the grand jury. 4th. That it be framed with sufficient certainty; for this purpose the charge must contain a certain description of the crime or misdemeanor, of which the defendant is accused, and a statement of the facts by which it is constituted, so as to identify the accusation. Cowp. 682, 3; 2 Hale, 167; 1 Binn. R. 201; 3 Binn. R; 533; 1 P. A. Bro. R. 360; 6 S. & R. 398 4 Serg. & Rawle, 194; 4 Bl. Com. 301; Yeates, R. 407; 4 Cranch, R. 167. 5th.
Again, they don’t identify what the “crime” or “criminality” is, but they do use the term “TRUE BILL.” Also, we get the term “accusation” again. So, let’s see what that one says,
A formal charge against a person, to the effect that he is guilty of a punishable offense, laid before a court or magistrate having jurisdiction to inquire into the alleged crime. (Blacks 6th)
Again, they go back to the term “charge,” giving us nothing, other than “punishable offense.”
A crime or misdemeanor; a breach of the criminal laws.
It is used as a genus, comprehending every crime and misdemeanor, or as a species, signifying a crime not indictable, but punishable summarily or by the forfeiture of a penalty.
The word “offense,” while sometimes used in various senses, generally implies a crime or a misdemeanor infringing public as distinguished from mere private rights, and punishable under the criminal laws, though it may also include the violation of a criminal statute for which the remedy is merely a civil suit to recover the penalty.
Under a statute, declaring that one guilty of an offense or fault causing another damage is obliged to repair it, “offense” or “fault” has the same meaning as “tort”; and a criminal contempt has been held to be an “offense.” (Black’s 4th)
Now they give us “tort,” but still nothing that says anything definite about what a “crime” is. See, we are looking for evidence that “crimes” ARE NOT financial, at this point. I haven’t been able to find any.
(from Lat. torquere, to twist, tortus, twisted, wrested aside). A private or civil wrong or injury. A wrong independent of contract. A violation of a duty imposed by general law or otherwise upon all persons occupying the relation to each other which is involved in a given transaction. There must always be a violation of some duty owing to plaintiff, and generally such duty must arise by operation of law and not by mere agreement of the parties.
Three elements of every tort action are: Existence of legal duty from defendant to plaintiff, breach of duty, and damage as proximate result.
So, finally, we have something solid. “Transaction,” and the fact that that there exists a “duty” from defendant to plaintiff. We know what a transaction is, and we know a duty is an obligation. I don’t have “duty” defined but let’s look up obligation, and I bet it will say “duty.”
A generic word, derived from the Latin substantive “obligatio,” having many, wide, and varied meanings, according to the context in which it is used. That which a person is bound to do or forbear; any duty imposed by law, promise, contract, relations of society, courtesy, kindness, etc. Duty. Duty imposed by law. Law or duty binding parties to perform their agreement. An undertaking to perform. That which constitutes a legal or moral duty and which renders a person liable to coercion and punishment for neglecting it; a word of broad meaning, and the particular meaning intended is to be gained by consideration of its context. An obligation to debt may exist by reason of a judgment as well as an express contract, in either case there being a legal duty on the part of the one bound to comply with the promise. Liabilities created by contract or law; or tort. As legal term word originally meant a sealed bond, but it now extends to any certain written promise to pay money or do a specific thing. A formal and binding agreement or acknowledgement of a liability to pay a certain sum or do a certain thing. (Black’s 4th)
At this juncture I should remind the reader that the majority of these “crimes” are commercial and nobody has been injured. The state brings up the majority of these “offences” after the legislature illegally wrote laws to create victimless crimes. The only TRUE obligations here which involve “torts” are the injuries caused to the “people” who experience abuse by hirelings of the state or federal subdivision of the District of Columbia Inc. Unless you work for the government, somehow, you and I have no “obligation” or “duty” to perform and do not owe anything to anyone whatsoever.
Therefore, any REAL “tort” injury “charges” are accruing towards the new defendant, the employee of the state or federal subdivision of the District of Columbia Inc, who has an OBLIGATION TO PERFORM, as his DUTY as an employee to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America and the State in which he works.
So, everything revolves around a “debt” they are claiming you owe them, except they aren’t admitting it. Let’s see if we can go at this from another direction and get to the nature of what is “criminal,” or, see if we go right back to the “claim,” once again. Remember, before, we never looked at the word “count.”
- In pleading. To declare; to recite; to state a case; to narrate the facts constituting a plaintiff’s cause of action. In a special sense, to set out the claim or count of the demandant in a real action.
To plead orally; to plead or argue a case in court; to recite or read in court; to recite a count in court.
- In pleading. The plaintiff’s statement of his cause of action. The different parts of a declaration, each of which, if it stood alone, would constitute a ground for action. Used also to signify the several parts of an indictment, each charging a distinct offense. “Count” and “charge” when used relative to allegations in an indictment or information are synonymous. (Black’s 4th)
So, we get “case,” “cause of action,” and “claim.” Also “declare.” Let’s start with that one:
In Pleading. The first of the pleadings on the part of the plaintiff in an action at law, being a formal and methodical specification of the facts and circumstances constitution his cause of action. It commonly comprises several sections or divisions, called “counts,” and its formal parts follow each other in this order; Title, venue, commencement, cause of action, counts, conclusion.
The declaration, at common law, answers to the “libel” in ecclesiastical and admiralty law, the “bill” in equity, the “petition” in civil law, the “complaint” in code pleading, and the “count” in real actions.
It may be general or special: for example, in debt on a bond, a declaration counting on the penal part only in general; one which sets out both the bond and the condition and assigns the breach is special. (Black’s 4th)
If you read into it, it appears they are describing a “bill.” The declaration of a debt owed.
Cause of Action:
By this phrase is understood the right to bring an action, which implies, that there is some person in existence who can assert, and also a person who can lawfully be sued; for example, where the payee of a bill was dead at the time when it fell due, it was held the cause of action did not accrue, and consequently the statute of limitations did not begin to run until letters of administration had been obtained by someone. 4 Bing. 686.
- There is no cause of action till the claimant can legally sue, therefore the statute of limitations does not run from the making of a promise, if it were to perform something at a future time, but only from the expiration of that time, though, when the obligor promises to pay on demand, or generally, without specifying day, he may be sued immediately, and then the cause of action has accrued. 5 Bar. & Cr. 860; 8 Dowl. & R. 346. When a wrong has been committed, or a breach of duty has occurred, the cause of action has accrued, though the claimant may be ignorant of it. 3 Barn. & Ald. 288, 626 5 B. & C. 259; 4 C. & P. 127. (Bouvier’s 1856 6th Ed.)
Again, they talk about the “claimant,” suits, “breach of duty” obligations and paying on demand. Sounds like they are talking about financial matters, not criminal, at least in the sense we have been taught to believe is “criminal.” The next definition is the most important of all, because this is what everything revolves around.
A challenge of property or ownership of a thing which is wrongfully withheld; to demand as one’s own; to assert. A right or title. To state; to urge; to insist. (Black’s 4th)
Now, we already read the definition of title, but that is what they are trying to get. Title. That’s what it’s all about. Who has title. So, back to the maze. Let’s look up a “true bill” and “bill.” This is a heavy one.
A written statement of the terms of a contract, or specification of the items of a contract or of a demand. Also, a general name for any item of indebtedness, whether receivable or payable. (Blacks 6th)
The creditor’s written statement of his claim, specifying the items. (Black’s 1st)
The creditor’s written statement of his claim, specifying the items. It differs from an account stated in this, that a bill is the creditor’s statement; an account stated is a statement that has been assented to by both parties. (Bouvier’s 3rd)
A formal declaration, complaint, or statement of particular things in writing.
As a legal term, this word has many meanings and applications, the more important of which are enumerated below.
- A formal written statement of complaint to a court of justice.
In the ancient practice of the court of kings bench, the usual and orderly method of beginning an action was by a bill, or original bill, or plaint. This was a written statement of the plaintiff’s cause of action, like a declaration or complaint, and always alleged a trespass as the ground of it, in order to give the court jurisdiction. (Bill Chamber, Bill of Privilege, Bill of Proof)
- A species of writ.
A formal written declaration by a court to its officers, in the nature of process. (Bill of Middlesex)
- A formal written petition
To a superior court for action to be taken in a cause already determined, or a record or certified account of the proceedings in such action or some portion thereof, accompanying such a petition. (Bill of Advocation, Bill of certiorari, Bill of evidence, Bill of exceptions)
- In equity practice.
A formal written complaint, in the nature of a petition, addressed by a suitor in chancery to the chancellor or to a court of equity or a court having equitable jurisdiction, showing the names of the parties, stating the facts which make up the case and the complainant’s allegations, averring that the acts disclosed are contrary to equity, and praying for process and for specific relief, or for such relief as the circumstances demand. (Bill for a new trial, Bill for foreclosure, Bill for fraud, Bill in aid of execution, Bill in nature of a bill of review, Bill in nature of a Bill of Revivor, Bill in nature of a supplemental bill, Bill in nature of interpleader, Bill of conformity, Bill of discovery, Bill of information, Bill of interpleader, Bill of peace, Bill of review, Bill of revivor, Cross-bill, ………..)
- In legislation and constitutional law
The word means a draft of an act of the legislature before it becomes a law; a proposed or projected law. A draft of an act presented to the legislature, but not enacted. Also, a special act passed by a legislative body in the exercise of a quasi-judicial power.
- A solemn and formal legislative declaration of popular rights and liberties.
Promulgated on certain extraordinary occasions, as the famous Bill of Rights in English history. (Bill of Rights)
- In the law of contracts.
An obligation; a deed whereby the obligor acknowledges himself to owe to the obligee a certain sum of money or some other thing. It may be indented or poll, and with or without a penalty. (Bill obligatory, Bill of debt, Bill penal, Bill single)
- In commercial law.
A written statement of the terms of a contract, or specification of the items of a transaction or of a demand; also a general name for any item of indebtedness, whether receivable or payable.
Accounts for goods sold, services rendered, or work done.
as a verb, as generally and customarily used in commercial transactions, “bill” is synonymous with “charge” or “invoice”. (Bill-book, Bill-head, Bill of lading, Bill of parcels, Bill of sale, Bill payable, Bill receivable, Bill rendered, Grand bill of sale)
- In the law of negotiable instruments.
A promissory obligation for the payment of money.
Standing alone or without qualifying words, the term is understood to mean a bank note, United States treasury note, or other piece of paper circulating as money. (Bill of credit, Bill of exchange, Domestic Bill of Exchange, Foreign Bill of Exchange, Inland bill of exchange)
- In Maritime law.
The term is applied to contracts of various sorts, but chiefly to bills of lading and to bills of adventure. (Bill of adventure, Bill of gross adventure, Bill of health)
- In revenue law and procedure.
The term is given to various documents filed in or issuing from a custom house, principally of the sorts described below. (Bill of entry, Bill of sight, Bill of store, Bill of sufferance)
In criminal law.
A bill of indictment, see infra. (Bill of Appeal, Bill of indictment)
— Bill of appeal. An ancient, but now abolished, method of criminal prosecution.
— Bill of indictment. A formal written document accusing a person or persons named of having committed a felony or misdemeanor, lawfully laid before a grand jury for their action upon it.
If the grand jury decide that a trial ought to be had, they indorse on it “a true bill;” if otherwise, “not a true bill” or “not found.”
- In common law practice
An itemized statement or specification of particular details, especially items of cost or charge (Bill of costs, Bill of particulars)
- In English law
A draft of a patent for a charter, commission, dignity, office, or appointment
A true bill is an indictment approved of by a grand jury. Vide Billa Vera; True Bill. (Bouvier’s 1856 6th Ed.)
Well, still nothing. So, let’s look up case. So far, it seems that everything really is “commercial.”
Action, cause, suit, or controversy.
A general term for an action, cause, suit, or controversy, at law or in equity; a question contested before a court of justice; an aggregate of facts which furnishes occasion for the exercise of the jurisdiction of a court of justice.
The word “case” or “cause” means a judicial proceeding for the determination of a controversy between parties wherein rights are enforced or protected, or wrongs are prevented, or redressed. Any proceeding judicial in its nature.
Cases and controversies
This term, as used in the constitution of the United States, embraces claims or contentions of litigants brought before the court for adjudication by regular proceedings established for the protection or enforcement of rights, or the prevention, redress or punishment of wrongs; and whenever the claim or contention of a party takes such a form that the judicial power is capable of acting upon it, it has become a case or controversy. (Black’s 4th)
To state, recite, assert, or charge; to make an allegation. To affirm, assert, or declare. (Blacks 4th)
Stated; recited; claimed; asserted; charged. (Blacks 4th)
Have you ever been at an arraignment? Did you think it was really “criminal?” If it was, wouldn’t there be an indictment by a Grand Jury?
crim. law practice. Signifies the calling of the defendant to the bar of the court, to answer the accusation contained in the indictment.
If so, why are they using the terms “accusation” and “indictment?”
How about the “bailiff” in the court? Is he part of the “commercial conspiracy” as well?
practice, contracts. By bail is understood sureties, given according to law, to insure the appearance of a party in court. The persons who become surety are called bail. Sometimes the term is applied, with a want of exactness, to the security given by a defendant, in order to obtain a stay of execution, after judgment, in civil cases. Bail is either civil or criminal. (Bouviers 1856 6th Ed.)
- Monetary amount for or condition of pretrial release from custody, normally set by a judge at the initial appearance. The purpose of bail is to insure the appearance of the accused at subsequent proceedings. If the accused is unable to make bail or otherwise unable to be released on his or her own recognizance, he or she is detained in custody. The Eighth Amendment (U.S. Constitution) provides that excessive bail shall not be required. — The surety or sureties who procure the release of a person under arrest, by becoming responsible for his appearance at the time and place designated. Those persons who become sureties for the appearance of the defendant in court. (Blacks 6th)
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