SAY NO TO SEARCHES
with the Libertarian Lawyer Dr. Rex Curry
Can Jurors, prospective jurors, subpoenaed witnesses,
and defendants stop courthouse searches by "saying no to searches"?
I am a libertarian, and a lawyer too, and I am doing research to find out
if there have been any cases in which jurors, prospective jurors, subpoenaed
witnesses, or defendants have refused to submit to courthouse searches after
arriving for scheduled court appearances. Please distribute/publicize
this to anyone who might know of such incidents.
Many courthouses entrances have search procedures
that are similar to airports. Many people find them offensive and
Often, signs at courthouses state that anyone who
enters the courthouse is "consenting" to a search. I am researching
how often people have refused to consent to the search.
I am researching whether there have been any of the
following incidents: If jurors, prospective jurors, subpoenaed witnesses,
and defendants arrived at courthouses at their appointed times and announced
that they would not submit to courthouse searches? If they telephoned (or
wrote letters) ahead of time and announced that they would arrive on schedule
but not submit to the courthouse searches? If they had lawyers file motions
ahead of each scheduled appearance to object to the prospective searches
and to announce that they would not submit? If "Fully Informed Jury"
pamphleteers included information about refusing to submit to courthouse searches
when pampleting at courthouses? Would such acts of civil disobedience
have any impact, or would it just be another way to get out of jury duty?
If anyone knows of any such incidents please send details below.
Some courthouses require lawyers to go through the
searches, and lawyers are objecting to the searches.
A lawyer who is a fan of http://members.ij.net/rex/snts.html
(SNTS is an acronym for "Say No To Searches) wrote to lawyers about the
courthouse search problem, arguing ".....there is a relatively simple solution.
These searches are of course consensual--there is no probable cause to search
the individual, and a person refusing to submit to a search is denied admission
to the courthouse. Government authority, then, cannot compel one
to consent to a search, since that would transform the search into a non-consensual
encounter. To avoid the searches then, one can avoid the courthouse.
Affirmatively schedule matters away from the courthouse. Refuse to
schedule depositions at the courthouse because you prefer not to consent
to searches. If you or a client are required by the state (or federal
government) to appear at the courthouse, appear on time, but advise that
you do not consent to a search. You have complied with the subpoena
(trial notice, hearing notice or what have you) in all respects, and the
government simply cannot force you to consent to a search. But to be
safe, before the hearing contact the judge's chambers and ask for an escort
through security because you will not consent to a search. They will back
down. They have no other alternative. The court cannot use its contempt power
to force you to submit to a search." I am researching whether there
have been any incidents such as that, or involving Jurors, prospective jurors,
subpoenaed witnesses, and defendants.
Send related comments, ideas or sample motions to
rexy (AT) ij.net
for more ideas on liberty see http://rexcurry.net
Fans of RexCurry.net write:
I am contacting you in response to your article, Can Jurors, prospective
jurors, subpoenaed witnesses, and defendants stop courthouse searches by
"saying no to searches"? http://rexcurry.net/law%20graphics/refusal.html
I have received a jury summons in Austin, TX and have been
informed that I will have to consent to a courthouse search.
I do not wish to consent to such a search. I will retain a local attorney
about the issue. I will of course share the court's response with
you. Thank you in advance for your work on the subject and commitment to
our freedoms. Kind regards, Eric R. from Texas (Epilogue: I
decided to first try a simple request for accomodation from the court. I
was excused within 30 minutes. Of course that wasn't my intention.
I suppose not enough people force the issue, and I'm quite sure the judge
never saw it.)
Dear Sir, This short note is in regards to my experience with our
local judges and the law pertaining to being searched (fourth amendment)
infringement. I received a notice that I had been selected at random
for the jury pool at our local court house. I filled out the appropriate
paperwork and sent it in. I also drafted a letter and sent it certified mail
with return receipt request stating that I sincerely wanted to be in the
jury pool but I was not willing to freely waive my fourth amendment right.
I stated that I was amenable to other considerations such as having an officer
escort me through the building or something similar, but I was not comfortable
in surrendering my fourth amendment right (for the peoples good)(Their reasoning
why I should). I have received a letter carefully crafted by the Judge
excusing me from jury duty, I am in hopes that more people will understand
that they don't have to be searched. I will probably send you a copy of the
judges letter if you so desire it. I have also been in some communication
with Jerry Spence of Wyoming on this matter, it looks like I won't be needing
Thanks a bunch for all that you do!!!!! Most Sincerely Yours,
Tim M. Idaho Falls, Idaho
RexCurry.net was one of a handful of lawyers who protested against
and tried to stop assembly-line searches and demands for identification
and 'papers' at government buildings and elsewhere. Many courthouses
force lawyers to submit to the degrading practices (along with everyone
else) and most lawyers submitted without a peep of protest, and many lawyers
openly defended the police-state tactics and they still do so to this very