Jurisdiction

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''We will not rest until every citizen understands the law and 'all defenses and objections not entered are deemed waived' is tattooed across every person's forehead!''

JURISDICTION

(NOTE: Tattoo this across your forehead: "All defenses and objections not entered are deemed waived. County Comm'rs v. District Court, 172 Colo. 311, 472 P.2d 128 (1970) (civil case), Mora v. People, 172 Colo. 261, 472 P.2d 142 (1970) (criminal case)." If you don't tell the presiding judge what specific error s/he is making, and make sure your specific objection gets entered into the record, you have "voluntarily" — I guess the legal "profession" considers ignorance to be voluntary, hence the maxim "ignorance of the law excuses no one" — waived your right to appeal that particular issue. This idea is so important that I included it in all categories in this compendium even though it doesn't belong in all categories.

Ex Parte Fisk, 113 US 713 (1885) - A citizen is under no obligation to obey a jurisdictionless legal-nullity court order. See also Ex Parte Rowland, 104 U. S. 604 (1881); Ex Parte Lange, 84 U.S. (18 Wallace) 163 (1873). In Colorado, see Thrap v People, 192 Colo. 341, 558 P2d 576 (Colo, January 10, 1977): "One cannot be convicted of contempt for respectfully declining to comply with an order which is beyond the court's authority." See Annotation, "Right to Punish for Contempt for Failure to Obey Court Order or Decree Either Beyond Power or Jurisdiction of Court or Merely Erroneous", 12 A.L.R.2d 1059, 1067 (1950), and Later Case Service (1997). See also People v. Ellis, 189 Colo. 378, 540 P.2d 1082 (1975), Losavio v. District Court, 182 Colo. 180, 184, 512 P.2d 266, 267 (1973), Pomeranz v. District Court, 74 Colo. 58, 218 P. 742 (1923) (defendant's refusal to obey order to deliver property to receiver not contempt where court had no authority to so order), Arkansas Valley Sugar Beet & Irrigated Land Co. v. Lubers, 72 Colo. 513, 212 P. 848 (1923) (refusal to obey void decree); Newman v. Bullock, 23 Colo. 217, 222, 47 P. 379, 381 (1896) (void decree disobeyed); Smith v. People, 2 Colo. App. 99, 29 P. 924 (1892) (refusal to obey void injunction). See also People v Roberts (Colo Court of Appeals, May 22, 1986). See also State Of New Jersey, v. Glenn Roberts, 212 N.J. Super. 476 (1986), 515 A.2d 799. HOWEVER, it is absolutely crucial to thoroughly understand the difference between "jurisdictionless" (void/without power in the law, already void not merely "voidable") and "erroneous" (mistaken/wrong in the law). There is a night-and-day difference between "jurisdictionless/void ab initio" and "erroneous/incorrect" — even when such orders are made maliciously, corruptly and in violation of criminal statutes. Most judges and lawyers will cheerfully lie about the latter type of situation, but they will generally do nothing about it other than cover up and obstruct justice when a judge falsifies or destroys public records to achieve the outcome s/he desired. (See, e.g., the case of David Wilkenson v. Colorado.) Merely "erroneous" (mistaken/wrong) court decisions/orders must be taken through the normal appellate process (aka "direct appeal" or "writs of error"). Jurisdictionless legal-nullity court orders may be attacked collaterally (aka "collateral appeal") via the great writs (e.g. writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, etc.) Lawyers will not generally explain this stuff to you, and almost no judges will "sua sponte" (of their own volition) explain your rights to you in court. That would defeat the autonomous legal profession culture's blatantly UNconstitutional money-motivated commercial monopoly on access to justice, don't ya know?!

Ex Parte McCardle, 74 U.S. (7 Wallace) 506 (1868)
"Without jurisdiction the court cannot proceed at all in any cause. Jurisdiction is power to declare the law, and when it ceases to exist, the only function remaining to the court is that of announcing the fact and dismissing the cause. And this is not less clear upon authority than upon principle."

United States v. Ruiz (01-595)
Argued April 24, 2002 -- Decided June 24, 2002
"...it is familiar law that a federal court always has jurisdiction to determine its own jurisdiction. See United States v. Mine Workers, 330 U.S. 258, 291 (1947).

Utah v. Evans (01-714) 536 U.S. 452 (2002)
Argued March 27, 2002 -- Decided June 20, 2002
The Court reads limitations on its jurisdiction narrowly, see, e.g., Webster v. Doe, 486 U.S. 592, 603, and will not read into a statute an unexpressed congressional intent to bar jurisdiction the Court has previously exercised, e.g., Franklin v. Massachusetts,
505 U.S. 788.

Such an error may be raised by a party, and indeed must be noticed sua sponte by a court, at all points in the litigation, see, e. g., American Fire & Casualty Co. v. Finn, 341 U.S. 6, 17-18 (1951); Mansfield, C. & L. M. R. Co. v. Swan, 111 U.S. 379, 382 (1884); Capron v. Van Noorden, 6 US (2 Cranch) 126, 127 (1804)."
Freytag v. Commissioner, 501 U.S. 868 (1991)

Webster v. Reid, 52 U.S. (11 Howard) 437 (1850):
Jurisdiction is defined to be the power to hear and determine; this power can only be brought into exercise by publication; there is no evidence of publication in this case, and as it cannot be presumed, the consequence is obvious, that these judgments were void acts, without validity, and incapable of conferring powers or rights. For wherever a court acts without jurisdiction, its decrees, judgments, and proceedings are absolute nullities, powerless as evidence for any purpose whatever. 'They are not voidable, but simply void, and form no bar to a recovery sought, even prior to a reversal in opposition to them. They constitute no justification; and all persons concerned in executing such judgments or sentences are considered in law trespassers. This distinction runs through all the cases on the subject, and it proves that the jurisdiction of any court exercising authority over a subject may be inquired into in every other court where the proceedings of the former are relied on, and brought before the latter by the party claiming the benefit of such proceedings.' Elliott et al. v. Peirsol et al., 26 US (1 Peters) 340. See also 5 Cond. R. 758; 2 McLean, 477; 38 US (13 Peters) 511; and especially, Lessee of Hickey et al. v. Stewart et al., 44 US (3 Howard) 762, where the whole doctrine is well laid down.

Jurisdiction is the right to hear and decide, and it must be exercised, speaking in a broad sense, in one of two modes—either in rem or in personam. Overby v. Gordon, 177 US 214 @ 221.

An act or proceeding in personam is one done or directed against or with reference to a specific person/s, while an act or proceeding in rem is one done or directed with reference to no specific person/s, and consequently against or with reference to all whom it might concern, or "all the world." Black's Law Dictionary, Rev 4th Ed.

The Concept of jurisdiction is generally split up into two branches, jurisdiction over the subject matter and jurisdiction over the parties. To properly act in a case, a court must be vested with both jurisdictions. 20 Am Jur 2d COURTS §105.

That a court has jurisdiction of a party means either that the party has appeared generally and submitted to the jurisdiction (see also 5 Am Jur 2d APPEARANCE § 6), that he has otherwise waived service of process, or that process has properly issued and been served on him (see also PROCESS 1st ed. §4). Id.

Jurisdiction of the person is obtained by the service of process, or by the voluntary appearance of the party in the progress of the cause. Cooper v. Reynolds 77 US (10 Wall) 308 @ 316-317.

It is a rule of pleading that pleas to the jurisdiction of the court must be pled in propria persona, because if pleaded by an attorney they admit jurisdiction, as an attorney is an officer of the court, and he is presumed to plead after having obtained leave, which admits the jurisdiction.
Lawes, Pl 91.

The presumption is that any appearance is general. 2 Enc. Pl. & Pr. 632.

There are two basic kinds of service of process, actual and constructive. Id @ p.221.

By jurisdiction of subject matter is meant the nature of the cause of action and the relief sought, and this is conferred by the sovereign authority which organizes the court, and is to be sought for in the general nature of its powers, or authority specially conferred. Id @ 316.

Jurisdiction of the subject matter does not mean simply jurisdiction of the particular case then occupying the attention of the court, but jurisdiction of the class of cases to which that particular case belongs, of the nature of the cause of action, and of the relief sought. Groves v. Donohue, 118 NW 2d 65 @ 68, quoting 14 Am Jur Courts § 160, p. 364.

Jurisdiction does not relate to the right of the parties as between each other, but to the power of the court. The question of its existence is an abstract inquiry, not involving the existence of an equity (right) to be enforced or the right of the plaintiff to avail himself of it if it exists. It precedes these questions, and a decision upholding the jurisdiction of the court is entirely consistent with a denial of any equity (right), either in the plaintiff or in anyone else. Id, quoting Am Jur Courts § 161, pp. 364-365.

If the particular case falls within the general class of which the court has jurisdiction, then it is necessary to look to the particular case to find grounds for ousting the jurisdiction of the court. This is what the courts generally refuse to do. Broadly, they lay down the rule that if the court has the jurisdiction to enter upon the inquiry in respect to the issues involved, then the court has jurisdiction of the subject matter. The result is not altered by the fact that the court may arrive at an utterly erroneous conclusion. Any other rule would leave open to investigation the particular facts and the particular pleading of every case before the issue of jurisdiction could be resolved, and such a rule would result in great confusion and largely undermine the application and effect of res adjudicata. Zeagler v. Zeagler, 15 SE 2d 478 @ 480.

Cohens v. Virginia, 19 US (6 Wheaton) 264:
'The original jurisdiction of the supreme court, in cases where a state is a party, refers to those cases in which, according to the grant of power made in the preceding clause, jurisdiction might be exercised in consequence of the character of the party, and an original suit might be instituted in any of the federal courts; not to those cases in which an original suit might not be instituted in a federal court. Of the last description is every case between a state and its citizens, and, perhaps, every case in which a state is enforcing its penal laws. In such cases, therefore, the supreme court cannot take original jurisdiction.' See also State of Wisconsin v. Pelican Ins. Co., 127 U.S. 265 (1888)
State of Wisconsin v. Pelican Ins. Co., 127 U.S. 265 (1888):
By the law of England and of the United States the penal laws of a country do not reach beyond its own territory except when extended by express treaty or statute to offenses committed abroad by its own citizens; and they must be administered in its own courts only, and cannot be enforced by the courts of another country. Wheat. Int. Law, (8th Ed.) 113, 121. Chief Justice MARSHALL stated the rule in the most condensed form, as an incontrovertible maxim, 'the courts of no country execute the penal laws of another.' The Antelope, 10 Wheat. 66, 123. The only cases in which the courts of the United States have entertained suits by a foreign state have been to enforce demands of a strictly civil nature. The Sapphire, 78 US (11 Wallace) 164; King of Spain v. Oliver, 2 Wash. C. C. 429, and Pet. C. C. 217, 276.....Lord Kames, in his Principles of Equity, cited and approved by Mr. Justice Story in his Commentaries on the Conflict of Laws, after having said: 'The proper place for punishment is where the crime is committed, and no society takes concern in any crime but what is hurtful to itself,' and recognizing the duty to enforce foreign judgments or decrees for civil debts or damages, adds. 'But this includes not a decree decerning for a penalty, because no court reckons itself bound to punish, or to concur in punishing, any delict committed extra territorium.' 2 Kames, Eq. (3d Ed.) 326, 366; Story, Confl. Law, 600, 622.

U.S. v. Trans-Missouri Freight Ass’n, 166 U.S. 290 (1897):
Although the general rule is that equity does not interfere simply to restrain a possible future violation of law, yet where parties have entered into an illegal agreement, and are acting under it, and there is no adequate remedy at law, and the jurisdiction of the court has attached by the filing of a bill to restrain such or any like action under a similar agreement, and a trial has been had, and judgment entered, the appellate jurisdiction of this court is not ousted by a simple dissolution of the association, effected subsequently to the entry of judgment in the suit.

U.S. v. Trans-Missouri Freight Ass’n, 166 U.S. 290 (1897):
The statutory amount must as a matter of fact be in controversy, yet that fact may appear by affidavit after the appeal is taken to this court (Whiteside v. Haselton, 110, U. S. 296, 4 Sup. Ct. 1; Cattle Co. v. Needham, 137 U.S. 632 , 11 Sup. Ct. 208), or it may be made to appear in such other manner as shall establish it to the satisfaction of the court. A stipulation between the parties as to the amount is not controlling, but in the discretion of the court it may be regarded in a particular case, and with reference to the other facts appearing in the record, as sufficient proof of the amount in controversy to sustain the jurisdiction of this court.
Larson v. Domestic & Foreign Commerce Corporation, 337 U.S. 682 (1949)
There is not involved any question of the immunization of Government officers against responsibility for their wrongful actions. If those actions are such as to create a personal liability, whether sounding in tort or in contract, the fact that the officer is an instrumentality of the sovereign does not, of course, forbid a court from taking jurisdiction over a suit against him. Sloan Shipyards Corp. v. Emergency Fleet Corp., 1922, 258 U.S. 549, 567 , 388. As was said in Brady v. Roosevelt S.S. Co., 1943, 317 U.S. 575, 580 , 428, the principle that an agent is liable for his own torts 'is an ancient one and applies even to certain acts of public officers or public instrumentalities.'

JPMorgan Chase Bank v. Traffic Stream (BVI) Infrastructure Ltd, (01-651)
Argued April 17, 2002 -- Decided June 10, 2002:
Held: A corporation organized under the laws of the BVI is a "citize[n] or subjec[t] of a foreign state" for the purposes of alienage diversity jurisdiction.
A corporation of a foreign state is deemed that state's subject for jurisdiction purposes. Steamship Co. v. Tugman, 106 U.S. 118, 121.

Under construction . . .

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