This case is more than simply about Jeff Baron. It is about our government's encroachment on the fundamental tenets and values that we Americans have fought more than 200 years to maintain. The precedent that this case is setting may well impact the lives of all Americans and the rights we take for granted--such as our fundamental right to own property. In deciding whether this case should concern you, you should ask yourself two basic questions:
Should the government (in this instance a US judge) by permitted to seize all of your property (your home, bank accounts, car, clothing, etc..) and arbitrarily redistribute it without a hearing, trial, judgment?
- Should the government (in this instance a US judge) be entitled to prevent you from being represented by counsel of your choice (when you have money to pay a lawyer)?
If your answer to either of these questions is "no", you should be deeply concerned by the impact this case may have on the lives of all Americans.
While the ruling in Jeff's case is unconstitutional, it could quickly have widespread impact if not successfully challenged now. As many are aware, when courts make rulings, they set precedent, which modify the "common law" rules that we are bound by. When one court makes a ruling, other courts often use that ruling as grounds to make their own rulings and a snowball-like effect often occurs, unless that ruling is challenged and overturned by a higher court.
*The Fourth Amendment to our constitution was passed as a result of the abusive practice of English Courts' seizures of persons' property without due process. Prior to the enactment of our constitution, government readily seized citizens' property without specific "warrants". The abuse of this process was intolerable to framers of our constitution. As a result, the Fourth Amendment was adopted to prohibit our government from unreasonable seizures. By this amendment, U.S. citizens are provided: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seize"
Likewise, the Fifth Amendment provides further protection of our rights to our property and to "due process". The Fifth Amendment provides: "…nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation".
The Seventh Amendment provides Americans with the right to jury trial in civil cases: "In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law"
In the "alternative justice system" being tested, these rights clearly provided by our constitution are disregarded while the court imposes "justice" in a fashion arbitrarily determined by the judge.