On April 1, 2004 I filed the four motions shown on this web site all of which alleged that the Court had no jurisdiction to conduct a criminal trial involving alleged income tax offenses. As of the arraignment, which took place before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy A. Leen on April 14, 2004, the Government had not responded to my motions, let alone refuted them. So when the "arraignment" began, I moved for a dismissal of all the charges involving income taxes, because the government had not refuted my claim that the Court was without jurisdiction to proceed. At the very least, what Magistrate Judge Leen had to do was postpone the arraignment until the government answered my motions, and while giving me some additional time to respond to their answer. Instead, Magistrate Leen ignored my claim as if the issue of her jurisdiction had never been raised. Some understanding of the legal significance of "jurisdiction" is helpful in order to understand why she could not legally proceed with the arraignment.
First of all, there are two kinds of jurisdiction; jurisdiction over the person, and jurisdiction over the subject matter. A Nevada district court has jurisdiction over persons committing federal crimes in Nevada, but not in connection with Federal crimes committed in other states. Suppose a person living in California allegedly committed a federal crime there, and a warrant is issued for his arrest. Let's further suppose that he is arrested in Nevada and is brought before a Nevada federal judge who asks him to plead to the charges. However, suppose that person points out to the judge that since: 1) he lives in California, and 2) the crime he is alleged to have committed took place in California, on what basis does the court have jurisdiction over him with respect to those charges.? Can the Government and the court ignore these facts and proceed with the arraignment as if he never raised these issues? No. Once these jurisdictional facts are raised and established, the arraignment in Nevada has to come to a halt, and arrangements made to get this individual before a California, federal judge. The Nevada judge would have no jurisdiction to ask him to plead, set bail or do anything with respect to these charges.
However, let's assume that a person living in Nevada is charged with the federal crime of whistling "Dixie" in a crowed, Las Vegas theater. However there is no statute making whistling "Dixie" a crime, whether you whistle it in a crowded theater or anyplace else. Nor is there any statute giving federal courts jurisdiction to conduct trials in connection with such an alleged offense. Now, let's suppose that person is brought before a Nevada, federal judge and asked to plea to such charges, what might he do? Well, he would point out to the court that it had no subject matter jurisdiction because: 1) there is no federal law making whistling "Dixie" a crime, and 2) there is no statute giving federal courts jurisdiction over such an alleged offense. What would the federal judge have to do if the defendant raised these issues at his arraignment ignore them as Magistrate Leen did? No, the judge would have to ask the Government to produce the statutes making whistling "Dixie" a federal crime and the statute that gave Federal courts jurisdiction over such an alleged offense. And if the Government could not produce any such statutes, the judge would have to dismiss the charges and immediately set the defendant free. This was the situation I found myself in before Magistrate Leen. I provided her with proof - which was not challenged by the government - that she had no more subject matter jurisdiction over me then if I had been charged with whistling "Dixie" in a crowded theater. But she proceeded with the arraignment anyway.
In addition, the arraignment tape will reveal that Magistrate Leen refused to allow me to state for the record the provisions of the indictment I did not understand, and /or the parts that I regarded as being inconsistent or in error. In addition she never asked me how I wished to plead, but pleaded "not guilty" for me. I objected to her doing that, because I had not refused to enter a plea on my own. The tape of the arraignment will also show that I laid a copy of the Internal Revenue Code in front of the U.S. attorney and offered to plead guilty to all charges, if the Government would merely identify the law that made me "liable" for the payment of income taxes. However, Magistrate Leen stated that she was not authorized to accept a guilty plea from me. In that case, I suggested that she send for a judge who could take a guilty plea, but she simply ignored my offer.
In addition, I have just completed a very important 1-¾ hour "Summary Tape" that ties together material from my books, seminar tapes, and Schiff Reports in a very cogent manner. For those who have been using my material right along (and even for newbies), I can't recommend this tape enough.
Obviously I can use some financial help in defending myself against lawless government charges, both civil and criminal. Therefore for a $100 donation, I will be pleased to send you my new "Summary Tape" and a tape of the "arraignment." Thanks for your support.
Irwin A. Schiff