David Hall, a Sovereign Florida Man who got his day in court back in December 2014, has for some reason been rediscovered by the Internet in the last week, after video of his appearance before Broward County Judge John “Jay” Hurley was reposted a few days ago by a funny-videos aggregator. Beyond demonstrating that nothing on the internet ever goes away, it’s an impressive performance by Judge Hurley, who has clearly seen it all, and is not at all swayed by Sovereign Citizen linguistic gymnastics. It’s a little like watching an old episode of Night Court, even though we really miss Bull. Fortunately, the defendant provides plenty of that all on his own.
First, Hall has to clarify whether Judge Hurley is even a judge, because for Sovereign Citizen Language Magic to work, you have to perform all the rituals correctly:
Hall: I would like to state some things for the record, thank you Judge. Judge John Hurley I do accept your oath of office here today for the record, sir.
Hurley: Thank you sir.
Hall: Thank you. Does this court take judicial notice of your oath, sir? With all due respect.
Hurley: I see. I take judicial notice of my own oath, yes sir, I do.
That was quite gracious of Hurley, really. Then we get to the really important conjuring. You see, David Hall, the guy standing before Judge Hurley is definitely not the same legal entity as the person “DAVID HALL” who is named in court documents, and may also be a corporation owned by the U.S. Government because of his birth certificate. Or so the U Don’t Have To Follow Laws U Don’t Like handbook says. Hurley barely blinks as Hall launches into his explanation of how he’s appearing in court: He’s not the David Hall who’s being charged with multiple charges, including DUI, driving on an expired license, failure to pay traffic fines, failure to drive in a single lane, and driving without license plates. Nope, definitely not that guy:
Hall: Sir, today I’m appearing as the agent and settler for David Hall.
Hurley: Okay. Okay, could you get Mr. Hall for me then sir? Where is he?
Hall: I go by that name sir, my name sounds exactly like the defendant’s and I’m here to settle that matter today.
Hurley: So are you and David Hall one and the same person?
Hall: I’m not a person, I’m an individual. David Hall is the person; I am the agent to that name.
Hurley: Okay, are you and David Hall one and the same individual?
Hall: I go by the name David Hall sir, and I’m here about that matter today.
Hurley: Okay, so, so you go by the name David Hall, okay. So this is what we’re going to do. Uh… the person who goes by the name of David Hall is standing in front of me…
Hall: I’m the individual. I’m an individual not a person.
Hurley: You’re not a person?
Hall: Yes sir, David Hall is a person, I’m a private individual. David Hall is a person under color of law sir.
Hurley: Okay, where’s David Hall, then the person David Hall?
Hall: Exists on paper sir, David Hall is a corporation. This action is under color of law sir, and I do understand that. I am here in my real capacity as a private individual for that name. And I’m here about that matter, and I’m happy to settle.
Fine, you want to pretend you’re an individual, and the “person” David Hall is another entity, we’re good, we can roll with that. You’re not a number, you’re a human being. Now go right ahead, Number Six. Hurley has clearly dealt with these folks before, and he’s not going to let his court be slowed down by a lot of pseudolegal gibberish. It’s really rather beautiful to behold, as Hurley simply steamrolls past Hall’s bafflegab and turns it back on him:
Hurley: So you are the settler and agent and you are the individual, but you’re not the person, is that correct?
Hall: Correct. Correct.
Hurley: Got it! Let me – I’m going to write that down. Settler, agent, an individual, but you are not the person, got it. I think, you know, I remember, I think, it was last week you told me this too, and, and I was real uncertain, but it’s become very clear now, now. Okay settler, the agent, the individual, but he is not the person. Okay so does the settler, the agent, the individual have any money in the bank?
Hurley goes on to inform Hall — the settler, the agent, the individual, and even the person — that since all of the available David Halls went and drove on a suspended license and got themselves arrested for a DUI while they were out on bond for separate felony and misdemeanor cases, then no way is Judge Hurley going to grant bond for the new case, sorry. One of the David Halls breaks in to object with a favorite Sovereign Citizen claim: he wasn’t “driving,” he was “traveling,” which means that the government can’t regulate him, no way:
Hall: May I make a correction sir?
Hurley: Go ahead, sir.
Hall: Yes, I’m traveling, you said that — you said that — you used the term “driving” and I was traveling sir, traveling.
Hurley: Okay, all right. So the settler, the agent, the individual or the person David Hall for traveling on a public highway or public road in the State of Florida was allegedly doing so without a valid driver’s license and he has done it several times in the past.
It’s one of the most beautiful judicial “Yeah, whatever” moments we’ve seen. Hurley sets bond at $10,000 and then adds that since David Hall the settler, agent, individual, person, and shambling pile of incoherence are all a danger to public safety, not a single one of them will be eligible for release from the Broward County Jail, sorry buddy or buddies.
At one point, when Hurley turns Hall’s word games back on him, asking Hall who he’s “speaking on behalf of now,” Hall insists, “Sir, I don’t understand that question. I believe that you’re trying to confuse me now.” You think?
Ultimately, reality wins out over jiggery-pokery, and when Hall insists one more time that he’s David Hall the individual, not David Hall the person, Hurley shuts him down, with audible laughter from the other defendants waiting to be processed:
When you see the person David Hall, tell him he’s not leaving jail either, all right?
Boom. Hurley dismisses Hall with a cheerful “Have a nice day,” and once all of David Hall is taken back to his cell, apologizes to the public defender, Dale Miller, for the delay, explaining he just wanted to get all that on the record. Miller replies, “Someday, your honor I’m going to do a study and figure out exactly what’s going on with all that stuff. Right now, it is all just a bunch of mumbo jumbo, to me.”
Hurley mentions that this wasn’t his first tangle with Sovereigns, and notes that some of them rendered their very own judgment against him for $100,000. Miller asks if he’s started making payments on that, and Hurley just chuckles and calls the next case.
And that, kids, is how well the Sovereign Citizen crowd’s arguments hold up in a real court. Even one where the flag has gold fringe on it.