Dealing With the Difficult Recording Clerk at the County Level

When a County Clerk, Recorder of Deeds, “Refuses to Record”

Most legal remedies for misconduct or crimes committed by government officials must be formally presented and officially “sanctioned” by the courts. Inevitably, the cost of litigation and the courts inherent reluctance to favor private citizens who sue the government teach us that we “can’t sue city hall” – even if the folks who work there are crooks.

Shielded by the official and practical immunities inherent in our legal system, government officials are encouraged to believe they are “above the law”, beyond the reach of common people, and free to abuse their powers. No longer accountable in court, the frequency of official misconduct, oppression, and injustice is rising but normally unpunished.

Commercial liens seem to have extraordinary power for attacking government officials who break the Law. The key to the liens’ power is found in the fact that these liens are applied non-judicially – without the knowledge, approval, or interference of a judge. Because the judges aren’t involved, they can’t stop you from filing your liens, and therefore, they can ‘t shield the government.

Instead, to file a commercial lien, you prepare the necessary documents and simply file them (along with a modest filing fee) with the local county clerk, recorder of deeds, etc. or whatever county agency is responsible for filing public documents.

But problems are beginning to develop. Since the legal system can’t stop these liens with high legal fees and biased judges, the county clerks are beginning to restrict the filing of liens. I.e., you prepare your lien, round up your $50 filing fee. and present yourself, your money, and your lien to the county clerk and he refuses to accept the lien. The lien can ‘t work if it ‘s not filed, so a recalcitrant clerk can stop your lien cold. Although the clerk’s refusal to file the lien documents is almost certainly unlawful, I’ve heard reports that “refusals to file” are increasingly common in California, Ohio. and other states.

The following is one man’s recommendations for dealing with county clerks who refuse to file your liens (or other documents). This procedure is primarily based on the Uniform Commercial Code. Because several of the steps require you to wait patiently (30 days or more) for the government’s response, the total process may take six months or more to complete.

These lengthy delays are difficult for those of us who are used to a diet of instant TV, microwave food, and fast gratification, to accept. Which is to say, here ‘s another obstacle – time – our legal system uses to prevent the People from compelling government officials to obey the Law.

So be it.

But what does it take to overcome this obstacle? Just patience, persistence and determination. The first one, two, or even three individuals who fight to compel the clerks to properly record their liens may have to struggle for most of a year. However, once the clerks begin to see their personal liability, they’ll return to obeying the law and recording the liens. It may take time, but it is clearly time that must be spent by a handful of people to open the doors for the rest of the public.

In general, it looks as if the liens can be used to compel the judges and public officials to obey the law, and The Uniform Commercial Code can be used to compel the clerks to obey the law. Point: where there’s a will, there ‘s a legal remedy.

Advice: Learn to work with others. Your witnesses are your friends, advisors, and legal “safety net” Unless you have absolutely no choice, don’t try to “lien on” government officials all by yourself. Bring at least two witnesses along to every face-to-face meeting with the clerk, Recorder of Deeds, Sheriff etc.. After the meeting, have your witnesses prepare sworn affidavits of whatever they saw and heard the clerk, official, sheriff say, do, etc. If the clerk refuses to file your lien and you have no witnesses, it’s really just your word against his or hers. And if the clerk refuses to provide a written explanation for his refusal, it’s still your word against his.

However, if you bring witnesses, the officials will be more intimidated and less likely to refuse your lawful Demands in the first place. It may take a little persuasion, but if the clerks begin to suspect they are being “trapped” into a potentially litigious situation, they’ll be more likely to cooperate and file your lien or call their boss (and thereby generate more witnesses, and more public controversy). If the clerks, officials, etc. still refuse to do their sworn duty, your witnesses and their affidavits will provide a solid foundation for pursuing stronger legal remedies.

Finally, as is always the case with instructions, forms, etc., bear in mind that the following recommendations were not provided by a licensed lawyer, or “sanctified” by some judge. What follows is only a study guide intended to outline one man’s notion on how to compel government officials to do their sworn or lawful duty. Before you apply any or all of these recommendations, you must do the necessary research to confirm the strategy is valid and can be lawfully applied to your local county clerk, recorder of deeds, Sheriff etc. – Editor

When a county clerk, recorder of deeds, etc. “refuses to record”:

1. Get a written explanation, reason or “excuse” from clerk who refuses to record your document. This is the First link in your “chain of evidence”.

2. As per your state Uniform Commercial Code section 3-505/501, send a “Notice and Demand For Exhibition Or Presentment Without Dishonor” by certified mail to the office (county clerk, recorder of deeds, etc.) that refused to accept your lien. In that “Notice and Demand”, demand that they produce for your inspection:

a) The Statute or Law passed by the Legislature which authorizes them to condemn the “Public” records for their personal and private use;

b) Their personal Bar/ Lawyer I.D. Number issued by the State Bar or State Supreme Court which authorizes them to make “Legal Determinations”; and,

c) The Statute of Law passed by the Legislature which authorizes them to edit and/or censor documents prior to recording.

Give them reasonable time (30 days) to comply with your DEMAND to prove written authority, and then put them ON NOTICE that the “Law of Principal and Agent” specifies that “The Agent is personally liable for acts not authorized by the Principal.” As such, unless there are laws granting the clerk the power to refuse to record certain documents, the clerk/agent has no corporate veil of immunity for his or her refusals and may be personally vulnerable to a lawsuit.

3. If, after the reasonable time has elapsed, and they have failed to produce the written “authority” you Demanded, send a Notice Of Default by certified mail, notifying them that they have defaulted by not answering. In it, provide them with a “right to cure” their Default by recording your original lien (or other documents) without further interference, or suffer the consequences. Allow 10 to 30 days for their response.

4. If they don’t respond in the 10 to 30 days, send them certified mail, a “Notice of Amount Due” for the damage caused by their injury to you (or your Property Rights) by their defalcation, dereliction of duty, default, and unauthorized “Refusal to Record” in a “sizable amount” ($1,000??). Again, give them reasonable time (30 days) to pay you.

5. After the 30 days reasonable time has passed (plus 4 or 5 days for the mail), send them certified mail a “Final Notice of Amount Due” for the damage caused by their injury to you. Again, give them reasonable time (30 days) to pay you the amount of damages you’ve demanded.

6. If they don’t pay your “Final Notice” Demand in 30 days (plus 4 or 5 days for the mail), go to the County Elected Peace Officer (Sheriff), present copies of the two certified mail Demands for payment, sign a “Distress Warrant” or “Distraint Warrant” stating that you have NOT been paid, and have the Sheriff go get your money or sell the clerk’s car, mobile home, boat-motor-trailer, or whatever, to get your money for you (just like the “Consumer Finance” lenders and the IRS do).

7. At any stage of this “procedure”, you can send the offending clerk(s) a letter and “offer to settle” (“Right to Cure Default”) if they will “perform their sworn duty” and “Record without debate” your document or lien. If they fail or refuse, go on to the next step in the procedure. The purpose of this procedure is to force them to do what they are paid to do, not to sell their car, boat, whatever. Even after the sheriff takes some of their property, you might still offer to give them back their car (or whatever) if they will “Record” your document without further question. This is to show “Good Faith”.

8. If the Sheriff refuses to perform his Sworn Duty to execute upon your “Distraint Warrant”, inform him that you personally will perform his sworn duty FOR HIM, and on his behalf. Inform him, also, that the newspapers will be informed that he has refused to perform his own sworn duty but continues to cash his pay check, and that this constitutes FRAUD by him since he only performs “Selective Enforcement” of the law – which is unlawful. Inform him that the resultant publicity may have a negative impact on his chances for running for reelection, and that you may have to sue him in his personal capacity for money damages due to his Dereliction of Duty, Defalcation, Embezzlement of Public Funds, and damage due to his injury to you and/or to your property rights.

9. Send the Sheriff by certified mail a “Notice and Demand for Production or Exhibition Without Dishonor” of the Law or statute that authorizes him to:

a) perform “selective enforcement” of the Law;

b) accept the People’s pay and not execute on lawful Warrants;

c) personally edit and censor documents, or refuse to perform his duty under his sworn oath (which is PERJURY).

10. If either the Sheriff or the Recorder of Deeds says that they take their “orders” from some government lawyer, get that in writing! This “Admission/ Confession” becomes the Second link in the “Chain of Evidence” or the “Preponderance of Evidence” that you will be creating.

After, and only after, you have the above “Admission and Confession” in writing, leave their office. (Alternatively, you might bring one or two witnesses with you who will later provide affidavits describing what the Sheriff or Recorder said.) Then perform the previous certified mail step#2 and add item:

d) provide the Statute of Law passed by the Legislature that authorizes them to relinquish their office over to another (whoever – regardless of whether they’re government attorneys or not) while continuing to accept and negotiate (cash) their pay check after having turned over their office to said “other”.

Remember, you are exposing a HUMONGOUS scam. The lawyers’ club has usurped the government from the Legislature and from the People, and you are exposing this fact. Do not expect Satan to give up easy and go home. He and his minions never have before, so why expect them to now? They are all part of the “New World Order” and they are the “Politburo” of the party. They truly believe that they are the “chosen few” to dictate the lives of the “Sheeple” on behalf of the World, Corporate, “Money Mafia” Bankers.

MORE HELPFUL INFORMATION:

When dealing with the registrar or recorder don’t allow them to make any legal determinations for you. If they say ‘this doesn’t look right’, or ‘this doesn’t seem legal’, or ‘I don’t think you can terminate the IRS’s lien’, or any other such unsolicited legal opinions, answer this way: “I have not hired you to represent me. I do not give you permission to make a legal determination for me. If you do make a legal determination for me without my permission, you are practicing law without a license. Practicing law without a license is a commercial crime. You can also research your state code. Look for the section concerning crimes against justice. You’ll probably find two or three sections pertaining to: destroying and stealing public records; conspiracy to defeat enforcement of laws; destroying or stealing records by officer in charge.

This information, along with the penalties of course, can be made into a notice you can use when you go to get your legal instruments recorded. Suggest that the recorder just stick to his or her job, which is to record legal instruments like your UCC3s. Stand your ground and be persistent, but not abusive. If the recorder refuses you no matter what, you should proceed at once to use any and all legal options against him. Get the criminal charges filed first. Bring copies of the complaints and arrest reports along with your affidavits to the bondholder. Make sure the bondholder knows that you intend to make him criminally liable as well if he continues to carry a bond on this person. The affidavits showing wrongdoing on the part of the recorder and how you were damaged as a result, along with copies showing the man has been criminally charged and arrested for actions he took while on duty in his bonded capacity, should be very effective.

Bring a tape recorder in a pocket or purse. You can’t use the tape as evidence, but it’ll help you with details if you need to make affidavits to revoke his bond.

If you ruin his career, the guy who replaces him will have learned a lot about who’s in charge and will be much more accommodating.

Even after you get these notices terminated you may still have trouble with an employer if a notice of levy shows up. You can contact American Rights Litigators at phone # 352-383-9100 352-383-9100. They can help by writing very professional letters for you to use on any third parties, such as banks and employers. Remember, you want the resultant document, the release of lien. The same laws under “crimes against justice” apply here as well. The registrar is not allowed to withhold the resultant document from you.

Point out that their incorrect recording of the IRS668 notice has caused damage to you.

The IRS668 notice should be recorded as a notice and not a lien. When they record it in the lien book, it becomes negotiable and enforceable.

This is the root of the problem.

*ATTENTION California and possibly other states: Recent info coming out of California indicates the state code has been changed to allow the recorder to edit and/or refuse your legal instruments. Do not despair. A friend in California reports he has dug up the legal remedy. Apparently the Secretary of State now has the power/burden.

If the county recorder refuses you, you can have your legal instrument “served” on the Secretary of State. He is required to record it. This, of course will still not get your UCC3 into the county recorder’s office, where it belongs, so the following is suggested: Include a cover letter informing him that: Since your right to record legal instruments at the County of (name of county) has been compromised through legislation, you expect HIM to represent you at your county and to certify the recording of your legal instrument there as well. Mention that you want to be notified by mail of the certification of your legal instrument at said county recorder’s office.

Details on “served” are sketchy. It might just mean certified mail. Find out. Research your state code.

After you get it all done, please help someone else with theirs. Be their coach or witness. We’ve got to work together.

Embezzlement Isn’t a Crime

Don’t confuse swindling with embezzlement, as they are two different things. Embezzlement is the unlawful appropriation of another person’s property by someone in a position of trust.

Swindling means getting their hands on your property under false pretenses by lying, cheating or tricking you at the time a property is transferred and makes you transfer your title to him/her instead.

Now this slight confusion over larceny and embezzlement means there is a bit of an overlap in some statutes in a few states. Larceny involves the illegal taking of property right from the get-go and embezzlement is the wrongful appropriation carried out after the initial lawful taking.

In all instances when you are facing charges in either of these areas, talk to a Dallas criminal defense attorney who knows what they are doing to formulate a defense. Most people know embezzlement as being a crime where people that are entrusted with other’s property steal it from them – bankers, corporate managers, lawyers and agents. It is all too easy to get their hands on others people’s property when in a position of power and trust. Interestingly enough the statutes don’t specifically spell out who is liable for embezzlement, but they do outline the type of property that may be embezzled – stocks, promissory notes, bonds, checks, commercial paper, intangible personal property, deeds and contracts.

Be aware that not every state has the same definitions and speaking to a lawyer in situations like this is an absolute must. For instance, some states simply say property is anything that can be subject to larceny. In others, property requirements are broader and may penalize the embezzlement of real and personal property. There are a variety of elements needed to make this type of charge and they too vary from state to state. Your Houston criminal defense lawyer will be able to advise you of which statutes apply in any given case. Generally speaking though, the elements of embezzlement are: that the property must belong to another person besides the accused (a principal or employer) and the property must be converted (embezzled) subsequent to the defendant’s original lawful possession of it. The third element is the defendant must be in a position of trust, so that holding the property is a fiduciary duty and there must be the intent to defraud the owner at the time of the embezzlement/conversion.

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Is Your Business Ripe For Embezzlement?

Most successful small business people have one thing in common. They excel at running the production of the business, be it products, services, or being value added retailers, but they hate to manage their business.

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), if you have reached the 4 year mark, you are in the 50% Club. At 6 years, you are in the 40% club of businesses that have been successful.

So here’s the scenario: you are making money, but the management of the business is getting in the way of expanding. You decide to hire a financial person to run the routine stuff necessary for any business to function. You hire a “miracle worker” who takes over accounts receivable, starts getting your customers to pay their bills, keeps your suppliers happy and fires the payroll service as they can handle it, saving you money.

You are ecstatic, and you get to do what you love – build your business.

Believe it or not, you are ripe for embezzlement. Here is what can happen.

Your “miracle worker” gets you to sign over signature authority for the checkbook. Initially, this is just for checks for $500 and under; then, you come up with the brilliant idea of allowing this person (who after all, is doing such a great job) to sign all checks regardless of amount.

The miracle worker is so good that answering the phone and mail sorting and handling become their added responsibilities. It relieves you of that chore, saves you time and brings organization to your office. All is right with the world, you are told everything is great-it’s a banner year.

Then, one day your miracle worker is out ill. You end up answering the phone, and are startled by creditors’ calls telling you the bills are not getting paid. You open the mail, and it is full of overdue notices from creditors, the IRS, and your biggest account.

When the miracle worker returns to work they explain it all. The other companies are overreacting to checks lost in their internal processing. They’ll get it all straightened out and have a full report upon your return from a business trip. However, instead of a full report, you find the financial records, computer, checkbook, receipts, tax records, and personnel folder for your miracle worker have vanished. You immediately try to reach your miracle worker, but they cannot be located.

You then call the local law enforcement and file a report. They do the best they can, but it is now your word against the “miracle worker” who has hired a lawyer. The attorney sends a threatening letter stating you have no proof of wrongdoing and they intend to sue if any action damages their client’s professional reputation. Local law enforcement is already swamped with white collar crime investigations, and it will be at least a year before they will be able to act on your complaint.

Now where do you go for help?

Most small businesses just give up as they figure they will never recover the embezzled funds anyway and they become busy just trying to save their remaining business. Do not be silent – criminals are counting on that!

There are multiple levels of investigation beyond filing a report with your local law enforcement division.

Report the crime to the US Post Office as there is a better than even chance that the US mail was used in this criminal action. Postal Inspectors have their own investigative methods.

Report the crime to the county sheriff and prosecutor’s offices. They are a separate law enforcement entity, and may be looking at other activities involving your “miracle worker” that local law enforcement has no knowledge of. Also, within certain constraints, the FBI will investigate white collar crime. There is a dollar limit that needs to be crossed before federal officials will get involved, but it costs nothing to ask for their help.

Get every level of tax officials from the IRS down to the city (if applicable) informed of your problems. They have their own investigators and access to records that others do not have.

Be sure to include your banker in any fraud investigation. Banks have their own internal investigation resources and while they may not release any internal audit information to you personally, they do cooperate with law enforcement.

Also, call your local SCORE office or go to SCOREWorks.org and ask for free business counseling. SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide. They will help get you back on your feet, and will give you advice that will help prevent this from happening again.

Now, what exactly can you do to prevent this problem? Several very easy steps will save you a ton of headache later.

1. Run your business! Look at and understand the weekly financials.
2. Have someone other than your miracle worker open ALL the mail and review it. Instruct that any late notices from vendors be brought to your attention immediately.
3. Have someone other than your miracle worker answer the phones. Keep a phone log of all incoming calls so you can track vendor relations.
4. Force your miracle worker to take vacation at least twice a year.
5. Implement internal controls by having duplicate paper.
a. One copy follows money to receivables file or cash sale.
b. The second copy goes to bookkeeping to record the transaction.
c. Periodically, compare these records to ensure the numbers match.
6. When delegating, check writing authority, limit the amounts to $500 or less.
7. Do not give payroll advances. It is too easy to skip the repayment.
8. Watch for duplicate payments to the corporate credit card bill.
9. Spend the money on an external audit by a different accounting firm than the one you are currently using, if you are using one at all. If your miracle worker says this will be a waste of time and money, change the locks on the door and call an auditor ASAP!

There are many more items you can and should implement to safeguard your business, but this list will give you a good start. If you recognize yourself or a friend’s business here, call and get help immediately.

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