Graffham v. Pope (1291), in which Alan of Berkhamstead intervened to claim as his own a horse that had been attached for a debt. . he craves may be inquired, unless he may be admitted to his law by the award of the merchants." the fact that Alan had sought relief "by the award of the merchants" indicates that the merchants attendant at court were seen as the decision-makers. Later in the same session, a dispute arose . to prove a breach of contract were an inquest or a wager of law, a formal oath of innocence sworn by the defendant and a specified number of compurgators. These are only a few of the many cases at St. Ives in which a party appealed to "the merchants" for a favorable decision.
A number of examples in the proceedings of the fair courts show the parties looked to the merchants for a decision, or that a party may choose to prove his case or his innocence by asking for an inquest or that he may be admitted to his law or wager of law. An inquest is said to be a jury or some similar body to go out and investigate the matter, and his law is said to be an oath, and wager of law is said to be a formal oath of innocence sworn by the defendant along with compurgators.
COMPURGATOR. Formerly, when a person was accused of a crime, or sued in a civil action, he might purge himself upon oath of the accusation made against him, whenever the proof was not the most clear and positive; and if upon his oath he declared himself innocent, he was absolved. . . . In order to give a greater weight to the oath of the accused, the law was again altered so as to require that the accused should appear before the judge with a certain number of his neighbors, relations or friends, who should swear that they believed the accused had sworn truly. This new species of witnesses were called compurgators By the English law, when a party was sued in debt or simple contract, detinue, and perhaps some other forms of action, the defendant might wage his law, by producing eleven compurgators who would swear they believed him on his oath, by which he discharged himself from the action in certain cases. A Dictionary of Law, Bouvier, 1856.
Sometimes the defendant asked for a jury "of the whole court" and the records indicate this meant an assembly of the suitors rather than a single judge. A famous writer on matters of law, F.W. Maitland, has also reported that a steward may preside over a court, but the suitors were the judges, while the steward or sheriff controlled the procedure, issued mandates, and pronounced the sentence. Villeins could be suitors and would therefore be in a position to "do justice upon their lord," even though they owed him services and were considered his slaves. "These individuals of servile status, who would be classified as villeins were judged in the fair of St. Ives under the same rules as great merchants; they could still call themselves "merchants" and even seek judgments according to the law merchant."
What this treatise is showing is that the law merchant, which was developed by the merchants, is what is governing much of, or possibly the entire current legal and political system of the United States.
It should also be stated that the legal and political systems deal with legal persons as corporate characters using a name similar to the man's name. Some refer to the legal person corporate name as the "strawman". This name also represents a villein or quasi slave status. There are procedures and processes to use when you understand the difference between you and that in-the-box name. Also, if one can discharge obligations that may be recorded in the strawman name, or otherwise control securities on file in the name of the strawman, you might greatly reduce the law merchant system's charges or demands upon that name.
Also, in this summary, the following information comes from one of the good guys who worked to understand the workings of this altered legal system. Howard Freeman had a conversation with a District Court Judge who said that prior to 1938, the courts were dealing with Public Law, and since 1938 they go by a Public Policy Statute. The cases dealing with public law do not apply to public policy. The Erie case determined the man struck by a board sticking out from a railroad car could not sue for damages because he had no contract with the railroad. He certainly had a case according to the common law, but evidently not according to the commercial law, including negotiable instruments law. [I am going to insert here that information shows Erie RR was in the hands of a receiver due to financial problems; therefore, only the equity side of the court could determine matters concerning Erie RR. Also relevant is the possibility that the government of the United States was in bankruptcy.] Earlier, in Swift v Tyson 1840, the court decided the case according to the commonlaw of the state. So there were to be no more decisions based on the common law at the federal level. Also relevant at this time was the blending of law and equity.
After 1938, the courts were merchant law courts and not common law courts. This whole change seems to stem from the bankruptcy of the United States, which was stated by another judge Mr. Freeman conversed with. In 1938, all the higher judges, top attorneys and U.S. attorneys were called to a secret meeting. According to Howard's conversation with a judge outside the court, the judge was told by certain govermnent officials the following.
"America is a bankrupt nation - it is owned completely by its creditors. The creditors own the Congress, they own the Executive, they own the Judiciary and they own all the state governments.
"Take silent judicial notice of this fact, but never reveal it openly. Your court is operating in an Admiralty jurisdiction - call it anything you want, but do not call it Admiralty." The judge stated he would not say more, he probably said too much already.
The following court addressed the law merchant, and will serve as a good summary plus bring in other facts not covered.
As administered by the king's courts, the rules of the law merchant nevertheless remained a body of law which were applied to particular classes of transaction rather than to a particular class of men. The law merchant thus gradually became a part of the legal system of England. . It is true that the process was necessarily marked by mutual adaptation and substantial modification of both systems; that is, the law merchant and the common law. It is nevertheless inaccurate to say that the law merchant lost its identity entirely and became wholly assimilated with the common law when its administration was assumed by the king's court. Though its principles were adopted into the common law by Lord Mansfield, the law merchant still remained a body of rules applicable to a certain class of transactions and international in character. [When we speak of the law of negotiable instruments, we are referring to the law merchant, not the common law.] The law merchant, in so far as its fundamental principles are concerned, remained essentially a separate system of law. The law merchant is, in fact, "an independent parallel system of law; like equity or admiralty. The king's courts administered not local custom, nor even the custom of the realm, but rules applied in commercial causes in all countries.
It should also be noted that interference by the courts in behalf of the surety as against the creditor for the purpose of accelerating the movements of the latter, or of compelling him to take action for the protection of the surety's interest, is of equitable origin. Later, the rules of equity were recognized and given effect at law. Their origin and development, however, were entirely distinct and separate from the rules of the law merchant.
Our Legislature has distinctly recognized the common law as applicable in certain cases in the absence of statute. The Negotiable Instruments Law, however, expressly adopts the law merchant, not the rules of the common law, as to matters not covered therein, and this court is required to take judicial notice thereof. [cite Civil Law code] the law merchant has a history and had a development distinct and essentially different from that of the common law, and of the further fact that, although ultimately the administration of the rules of the law merchant was assumed by the king's courts, its fundamental principles remained substantially intact.
... it was the intention of the framers of the Negotiable Instruments Law to define the status of the accommodation endorser without reference to the rights of the surety at common law by giving him the right to indicate on the instrument, in appropriate words, if he desired to be bound in the capacity of and entitled to the rights and privileges of a surety at common law or under the statutes of the jurisdiction governing the contract between the parties. *
This court has held, on at least two different occasions, that the relations between a bank and a depositor "is that of debtor and creditor merely"; that the bank is not a custodian of a deposit, but a debtor to the depositor in the amount thereof.
The same Legislature which enacted the Uniform Negotiable Instruments Law also provided for the codification of all the laws of this state and the publication thereof as the "Revised Codes of 1899" under the general supervision of the secretary of state. *
It is a matter of common knowledge that the Negotiable Instruments Act was drafted for the purpose of codifying the law upon the subject of negotiable instruments and making it uniform throughout the country through adoption by the Legislatures of the several states and by the Congress of the United States. Bank of Conway v. Stary, 200 N.W. 505 (1924).
Some people think the Federal Reserve Banks are U.S. government institutions. They are not government institutions. They are private credit monopolies which prey upon the people of the United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign and domestic swindlers, and the rich and predatory lenders. Chairman Louis T. McFadden, House Banking arid Currency Committee, before the House of Representatives, June 10, 1932, 75 Congressional Record, see pages 12595-12603
Prepared by Byron Beers
For Heritage Institute
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