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If the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land then...

Atlanta, GA |

Why do I hear of judges threatening contempt for a pro se, bringing up the Constitution in "their" courts?

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Attorney answers 7

Best Answer
Posted

If you are going to argue Constitutional law, you have to have a constitutional claim, properly pled and presented. There is a principal in the law that if a claim can be determined on any ground other than the constitution, it is to be decided that way. Constitutional questions are the exception, not the rule, and are raised in unusual cases, not as a matter of course in any case. These types of claims are also quite complex, as the constitution generally applies indirectly, not directly, to state claims, which are the types of claims that most people are dealing with in the courts. Even with federal claims, direct constitutional claims are rare.

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Posted

There is undoubtedly more going on than some one making a reference to a constitution.

The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client relationship as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.

Asker

Posted

So would that mean they are in the wrong court or wrong jurisdiction? As a student I'm trying to comprehend.

Harry Edward Hudson Jr

Harry Edward Hudson Jr

Posted

Question is vague. Would assume that person being told they could be in contempt, notwithstanding their assertions and references to constitutions, has done or is doing something the court has said should cease. One does not get to argue one's position ad nauseam

Asker

Posted

Thank you.

Asker

Posted

If the Constitution guarantees a republican form of government, why then is everyone always preaching democracy, which is majority or mob rule? The United States inc. is the legislative created democracy (1871) isn't it? A democracy (corporation) has a right to exist in a republic correct?

Harry Edward Hudson Jr

Harry Edward Hudson Jr

Posted

democratic form of government versus a republican or representative form of government. People often speak in forms that are convenient and fit their agenda(s). A democratic form of government, as existed in Athens [note that there were classes of people excluded -women] becomes unworkable when the numbers of the voters reach a number greater than can be accommodated at the polling place at the same time. A republican or representative form of government works best then. Perhaps you would benefit from some basic civics or l political science classes.

Posted

It obviously depends on a lot of specifics. While I'm not a federal court litigator, I do know its not wise to upset a federal court judge, or for that matter a state court judge. I expect that the pro se is misstating the constitutional provision at issue and getting the judge irritated...

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Asker

Posted

Thank you for your answer.

Posted

I think you are leaving out some important facts. Pro se litigants frequently have a problem focusing on the legal issues and expect some vague reference to the Constitution to carry the day. Get a lawyer, pay for the advice, and follow it. Good luck.

Asker

Posted

Thank you. I've heard many stories about different Pro se litigants and or patriot types trying to invoke the constitution in say, traffic court for example. It seems when they do they judges get impatient. I presume it's because the Pro se is doing just as you say. I'm merely inquiring for my own educational purposes and nothing more. Again thank you.

Posted

Unfortunately, your question makes no sense that I can see.

Your reference to 'their' does not seem related to the Constitution, or your litigation, or being pro se.

I would say that if you are on the verge of contempt, you're not listening to the judge has to say--that is 'ungood' as it portends for your case.

NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this matter.

Asker

Posted

You've never heard a judge say to anyone? If you mention the Constitution one more time in my court room I'll hold you in contempt. I've heard several times though the last couple years since I began studying the legal society of this happening. It is not relevant to me. I'm trying to understand why that would happen. Is it because the lower courts are commercial?

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Posted

Ahhhh, I see. No to commercialism . Donuts to dollars t's because its not relevant to the situation. The judge does not want to explain the the litigant how the Cobstitution works, what common law means, how bi-cameral legislatures work, what a statute is, the functions of courts, what the founding fathers meant, what judicial review is and why the right to travel is not implicated with a traffic ticket.. Basic 6th grade civics to every person who thinks the Constitution means they don't have to stop at a four way corner...like other great writings, people make believe the Constitution says what they want it to say, not what others agree it says. Sounds like this judge of your is about at the end of his/her teather.

Asker

Posted

Thanks for your answer.

Posted

Just because you're Pro Se doesn't mean you can argue anything you want. If the argument is fictional, such as the "sovereign citizen" claims, the judge can easily hold you in contempt for that. Judges have the right to keep their courtrooms free of stupidity.

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Asker

Posted

Okay thanks. Then it seems to me, many Pro Se's don't do their diligent homework to know how to properly reach a resolution in a controversy using a court and procedures correctly. Is that a fair observation?

Heather Morcroft

Heather Morcroft

Posted

It's more than just homework. Most pro se's lack the training to even be able to do the right homework.

Posted

Did you Federal Judge that he or she was not following the Constitution? If you felt the judge violated your rights, just appeal. Do not argue with your judge or you may be in contempt - period.

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