Wednesday, February 27, 2013
This past Monday I traveled to Worcester for a meeting of the Massachusetts Registers of Deeds Association. The meeting opened with a presentation by two Special Agents of the FBI on the Sovereign Citizens movement. One of the core beliefs of this movement is that government in America at all levels lacks legitimacy and that those who declare themselves Sovereign Citizens are not bound by the laws and regulations of federal, state and local governments. Most of the time, Sovereign Citizen activities fall into the "quirky behavior" category, but was we learned on Monday, it can also give rise to criminal activity, be it financial fraud or even violence against judicial or law enforcement officials. It seems that a method of establishing oneself as a "sovereign citizen" is to record a series of documents at the local registry of deeds. The act of recording the documents in their view ratifies and legitimizes their assertions so registries of deeds might have contact with this area. The FBI has more information about the Sovereign Citizens movement on its website.