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4th and 5th Amendments Down The Toilet:
If you think the 4th and 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution are still in force then my following Appeal of a Magistrate’s Ruling should convince you otherwise. At around 7:00 AM on February 11, 2003, approximately 15 (illegally) armed special agents of the IRS entered the offices of Freedom Books. They ordered two of my employees away from their desks and to sit on a couch in the reception area. Shortly thereafter, one of my employees called me on his cell phone to tell me about the raid. When I got to my office, I was physically prevented by David W. Holland, the special agent in charge of the raid, and two or three of his assistants from entering the premises. You should understand that Freedom Books is not incorporated; therefore, its office is my personal office, and all of its records are my personal records. While Mr. Holland was physically restraining me from entering my office, he read me a Miranda warning; telling me that I was under criminal investigation, that anything I said could be used against me, and that I “had a right to remain silent” The irony was, while he was telling me that he was seizing all of my personal and business records to use against me. So what good was my “right to remain silent”? What could I tell him, that he would not find in all of my personal records he was then seizing?
The 4th Amendment says “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 seized.” The search warrant did not “particularly describe” the “things to be seized,” it basically allowed the government to seize “everything” – which they did. It basically allowed the government to go on a giant fishing expedition to see if they could come up with something from my own records that might implicate me in some crime – while preventing me from running a business that exposed its illegal enforcement of the income tax.
In addition, the search warrant was not supported by “Oath or affirmation” which the government claimed was “under seal.” But ask yourself this. If the government can come to your home or business, and take all of your records, letters, diary and any other documents they find and use them all against you, then what purpose does the 4th and 5th Amendments serve?
To see just how far down the road of despotism this Nation has traveled one need only read the 1896 Supreme Court decision of Boyd v. United States, 116 U.S. 616. In that decision the Supreme Court reversed a civil penalty and declared a law unconstitutional because it required that ONE document had to be filed that could be used against the person who filed it. In dismissing the penalty and declaring the law unconstitutional, the Supreme Court held:
Is a search and seizure, or, what is equivalent thereto, a compulsory production of a man’s private papers, to be used in evidence against him in a proceeding to forfeit his property for alleged fraud against the revenue laws – is such a proceeding for such a purpose an “unreasonable search and seizure” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.” (Page 622)
The Supreme Court concluded that it was, as follows:
Whereas, by the proceeding now under consideration, the court attempts to extort from the party his private books and papers to make him liable for a penalty or to forfeit his property, (Page 624)
Then the Supreme Court proceeded to compare the compulsory production of private papers to “The practice…of issuing writs of assistance to the revenue officers,” and quoted a James Otis as stating “‘the worst instrument of arbitrary power, the most destructive of English liberty, and the fundamental principles of law, that ever was found in an English law book,’ since they placed ‘the liberty of every man in the hands of every petty officer.’” The Court went on to observe:
Breaking into a house and opening boxes and drawers are circumstances of aggravation; but any forcible and compulsory extortion of a man’s own testimony or of his private papers to be used as evidence to convict him of a crime or to forfeit his goods, is within the condemnation of that judgment. In this regard the Fourth and Fifth Amendments run almost into each other. (Page 630 Emphasis added)
We think that the notice to produce the invoice in this case, the order by virtue of which it was issued, and the law which authorized the order, were unconstitutional and void, and that the inspection by the district attorney of said invoice, when produced in obedience to said notice, and its admission in evidence by the court, were erroneous and unconstitutional proceedings. We are of the opinion, therefore, that – The judgment of the Circuit Court should be reversed, and the cause remanded, with directions to award a new trial. (Italics in original) (Page 638)
And any compulsory discovery by extorting the party’s oath, or
compelling the production of his private books and papers, to convict him of a crime, or to forfeit his property is contrary to the principles of a free government. It is abhorrent to the instincts of an Englishman; it is abhorrent to the instincts of an American. It may suit the purposes of a despotic power; but it cannot abide the pure atmosphere of political liberty and personal freedom. (Emphasis added, page 632)
In the following passages, the Supreme Court makes a distinction between the seizure of physical things and the “seizure of a man’s private books and papers for the purpose of obtaining information…against him,” and concluded that the latter is no “different from compelling him to be a witness against himself.”
The Supreme Court said:
The search for and seizure of stolen goods or forfeited goods, or goods liable to duties and concealed to avoid the payment thereof, are totally different things from a search for and seizure of a man’s private books and papers for the purpose of obtaining information therein contained, or of using them as evidence against him. The two things differ toto coelo. In the one case, the government is entitled to the possession of the property; in the other it is not. (p. 623 emphasis added)
We have been unable to perceive that the seizure of a man’s private books and papers to be used in evidence against him is substantially different from compelling him to be a witness against himself. (p. 633, Emphasis added)
If the Supreme Court could conclude that the compulsory production of one document in a civil case was unconstitutional – then how much more unconstitutional was the seizure by (illegally) armed government agents of a truckload of my personal records and documents in order to see whether or not I had violated some unidentified revenue law?
The Supreme Court’s observations in Boyd (if followed by our courts today, but are not) would actually bar the government from seizing books and records of any kind to use against anybody. But that’s what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they wrote the 4th and 5th Amendments as was clearly seen by the Supreme Court in 1896. Today, the federal government and its courts substantially ignore these fundamental, constitutional principals, which the Supreme Court clearly saw in 1896. Was the Supreme Court afflicted with obscure vision when it wrote those words in 1896? So, where are we heading as a country today? Do Americans really have constitutional rights or are we just kidding ourselves? What is happening to our alleged freedoms? Does anybody care? What is anybody doing about it?
All of the above quotations from Boyd were included in my original 26- page Memorandum to recover the documents seized. On top of all of this, as you can see from following, the special agents who executed the search warrant had no legal authority to do so, while David W. Holland, who applied for the warrant, had no authority to do that either. You will note that the laws themselves are okay, except the government and its courts pay no attention to them. So, what else is new? Welcome to Amerika.
 They eventually returned copies of my immediate records involving accounts payable, and photocopies of my Rolodex and appointment calendar. However 8 x 11” copies of names that were on my Rolodex was largely useless, except to provide me with the names. I still had the job of transcribing all those names and notations to a new Rolodex.