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
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