Publication:
Weapons of mass distraction: strategies for countering the paper terrorism of sovereign citizens

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Authors
March-Safbom, Terri A.
Subjects
sovereign citizens
paper terrorism
false liens
court security
fraudulent filings
domestic terrorism
right-wing extremism
anti-government movement
Advisors
Halladay, Carolyn
Peters, Lynda
Date of Issue
2018-03
Date
Mar-18
Publisher
Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
Sovereign citizens and other anti-government groups affect the judicial system through a tactic known as paper terrorism, clogging the courts with nonsensical, voluminous filings, phony lawsuits, and false liens against public officials as a form of harassment and intimidation. This behavior is sometimes a precursor to violence. As such, this thesis examines legislative measures in various jurisdictions to thwart paper terrorism, particularly directed against the courts and judicial officials. An exploration of the origins of the movement’s history, tactics, violent tendencies, and ideology provides an understanding of the mindset behind this behavior, which, in turn, informs recommendations for prevention and deterrence. Comparative analysis of available policy solutions endeavors to validate this hypothesis. The analysis targets five states for further study. A survey of court professionals provides insight into the depth of the problem and effectiveness of solutions. The findings of this project suggest that no single solution is completely effective; still, this research concludes with recommendations for multiple levels of legislation and administrative procedures.
Type
Thesis
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Department
National Security Affairs (NSA)
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Distribution Statement
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
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Copyright is reserved by the copyright owner.
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