Sep 07 2007

Ninth Circuit dismisses ID to enter courthouse case

The Foti v. McHugh case challenging the identification requirement to enter a courthouse was dismissed by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last week in a startlingly dismissive manner. Despite the court’s appointment the law firm of Fenwick & West to act as pro bono counsel (IDP acting as co-counsel) for appellants after they had completed their own briefings pro se, the complete rebriefing of the case by all parties, and the oral argument last April, the court dismissed the case by means of an unpublished memorandum deficient of any meaningful legal analysis.

Appellant Foti was denied access to the Federal courthouse when he tried to enter it to represent himself when contesting a motion to dismiss in a case he had brought on a separate matter against the Federal government. Foti does not have ID and correctly states that no law requires him to get one – only that there are assorted punishments for not doing so. Foti was denied access to the court to argue on his behalf because he doesn’t own ID and his case was dismissed. Foti then brought another suit challenging the requirement to show ID to enter the courthouse which was then dismissed by the District Court and that dismissal is now affirmed by the Appellate Court.

The two-page memorandum simply states that Foti, and his friend Augustine who tried to accompany him and also owns no ID, “do not have a constitutional right to enter the federal building anonymously.” The court then cited two cases that did not support their statement.

Unfortunately, the question presented to the court was not whether anyone has a constitutional right to do anything anonymously, but rather whether the identification requirement itself is an impediment to the free exercise of appellants many important and protected constitutional rights exercised in the courthouse. This was brooked absolutely no analysis. By dismissing this case in such an off-hand manner the court is desperately trying to screw back on the lid of something they wish they had never opened. However, in doing so, they have screwed the lid on crooked and this matter will not remain contained.

Stay tuned.

5 thoughts on “Ninth Circuit dismisses ID to enter courthouse case

  1. I disagree with both the way you and the court has characterized the issue. As I understand it, you have characterized the issue as follows:

    1) The Court: Foti, and his friend Augustine “do not have a constitutional right to enter the federal building anonymously.”

    2) IP: is the identification requirement itself “an impediment to the free exercise of appellants many important and protected constitutional rights exercised in the courthouse”

    First, both argument presume that the individual has a Constitutional right to something. The court is actually technically correct here, the individual does NOT have a constitutional right to enter the bldg anonymously, they have an inalienable right to do so.

    Second, where in US Constitution does the judicial branch acquire its power to require individuals to identify themselves with government issued ID prior to entering the court? If these powers cannot be implied through the US Constitution, then the judiciary does not have them. This is not about the individuals rights, this is about government controls. The issue has been flipped on its head.

    Third, even in IP’s characterization you refer to an individuals “protected constitutional rights.” Why do you refer to individual’s rights in this way? This is not how our republican form of government works….there are no limits on individual’s inalienable rights. There are only limits on government power. This is a very disturbing misinterpretation, and quite frankly, makes me wonder about the credibility of this project.

  2. The easy answer to this is STAY OUT OF THE COURTROOM! By demanding that the gove.))rnment “allow” you or anyone else to enter any courtroom is a ridiculous argument because THAT IS THE LAST PLACE YOU SHOULD WANT TO BE. By stepping foot in to the courthouse, any courthouse, essentially invites and voluntarily gives consent to the authority of the government officials (judges, DA’s, etc) and you are in THEIR territory which is designated as “federal territory”. Federal territory is the ONLY place where these government employees have jurisdiction of any kind so why in the world would you WANT to be there in the first place? Everyone should AVOID the courts and tell the government employees “why” you refuse to enter the courthouse so they become educated as well. When you cease to be a “customer” they will want you back…because customers = $$$ and with a dwindling customer base, they will be forced to close their doors. Is that not our goal? If we all realize that the only authority any government has is based on voluntary consent to that authority, the number of people that “voluntarily” comply will plummet, guaranteed! No one, and I mean no one will submit to a government that openly jails the public just for dissenting and that is what is happening today. The timing is right to bust this whole fraud wide open and put government employees in their place. Stand up for your rights and refuse to voluntarily comply and by all means, AVOID ANY COURT ACTIONS. If the gov’t has filed a lawsuit AGAINST you, then you must respond to that agency and document the facts that enable you to NOT comply with their voluntary requests. Don’t ask an attorney to help you figure this out…they are taught to administer to the very same government you are trying to avoid and signing a POP (penalty of perjury) statement is just another way of the government getting an uneducated public to voluntarily comply to the authority of the courts and tricks you into stepping into their lair and jurisdiction. Read all about this at and buy his cd/book called “Why there is no justice in America”. This genious of a man is a former CA licensed attorney that was rrecently dissbarred and eventually incarcerated for telling the truth. Even though he was in prison for 2 months serving a sentence for misdemeanor contempt charges, the government was unable to prove he was wrong. In fact, they are so frightened of what he has discovered that they (Judge George King, LA federal district court)refused to file felony contempt charges for fear that the jury may become informed of the truths his arguments are based on. Had the judge allowed a jury to rule on this case, they could have put him away for 10 years but they were much too afraid. Ed has the proof that these judges are merely administrative officers and were created under Article IV, NOT Article III of the US Constitution. The judge was afraid of the truth getting out and this boys and girls, is EXACTLY what we want! This is clearly evidence that what Ed has discovered about the government only having jurisdiction in the federal territories is 100% true…and the truth will set all of us free!

    “When the people fear the government, there is “TYRANNY”….however, when the government fears the people, there is “LIBERTY”.

    Thomas Jefferson

  3. Is there any case where someone has not produced ID when compelled by the government to enter a courthouse requiring one to do so — e.g., someone gets a jury duty summons but is denied entry because they do not have ID.

  4. When I checked this issue out, in late 2001, there was NO RULE WHATSOEVER requiring ID to enter a Federal courthouse. No statute, regulation, Federal Register. Somebody in the US Marshals Service just posted a sign with (as far as I could tell) no authorization. The sign quoted no law or anything. None of the Marshals could tell me anything meaningful about it.

    A citizen has a Constitutional right to sue, under the “redress of grievances” clause. A citizen also has a Constitutional right to anonymous communication.

    If they gave their names, but no ID, when attempting to enter, then the issue is NOT “anonymous entry” but “ID-less entry.”

    Surely we have a Constitutional right not to obtain ID, for a number of reasons: nobody issues ID without receiving information, and any info we give them can be used against us; also it would be involuntary servitude (it requires time and labor to go and obtain ID). There may be other legal implications of begging for govt ID, and we have the right to not tangle ourselves up in those unknown legal implications.

    Next time you’re in front of a judge, demand to see his ID. “Well, we’re all supposed to be equal, right?”

  5. Back in the last millenium, in the 1950’s and 1960’s to be exact, when I was a youngster in school, one of the things we were the most proud of was that THIS, the good ol’ U.S.A., was one of the very few places in the world one did NOT need papers to travel in. Have we really become so terrified of everyone else that we are willingly giving up this freedom? If so, the terrorists have truly won.
    Or is this another hand-job from the government since they’re trying desperately to assure us they are doing something?

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