United States v. Hansen

Utah chiropractor is prosecuted for trying to pay $340k in back taxes with checks from closed bank accounts. Usually, courts bring down the hammer when such a defendant—a sovereign citizen—tries to discharge the trial judge “from his emergency war powers jurisdictional duties.” Or says that trial must be rescheduled because the defendant is unavailable. Or signs filings with a thumbprint. But not today! The Tenth Circuit holds that the defendant—or, in his view, “the fiction that the court has named as a defendant”—wasn’t sufficiently warned before he waived his right to counsel. Conviction vacated.

Tags: 2019, Right to Counsel, Tax, Tenth Circuit

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