and the Courts
“Can a Husband Represent His Wife?” by Gregory Allan
Copyright A.D. 2005, All Rights Reserved
For information on acquiring your own copy of this report, please go to: http://www.lawfulpath.com
The purpose of this document is to aid husbands in their ability to appear in court in place of, and instead of their wives. It utilizes Christian Scripture, well-established common law, and the principles of modern contract law as its basis.
As usual, this information is for educational purposes only, and that which you read here may only be used at your own risk. The Author assumes no liability whatsoever, beyond the original purchase price of this report.
This report contains two documents to be signed; one by the husband, and one by the wife. They are mostly self-explanatory, except for a few things I’ll include here.
The second document, which I’ll discuss first, is the Verification by Asseveration, Declaration of Truth – Notice of Legal Capacity. This one is done by the wife. In paragraph #1, she writes her first and middle names in the first blank, and her married surname in the second. Likewise, in paragraph #3, the husband’s name. This document is to be witnessed by two Christian men, but not notarized. The reason for this is that a Notary places the person signing under the jurisdiction of the State which the Notary represents. The purpose of this document is to establish that the wife is exclusively under the jurisdiction of her husband.
However, since this document is not notarized, it cannot by itself be made to “appear” in court. We must have a way of placing it into evidence, so the judge can “see” it. That’s where the first document, the Affidavit, come in.
The Affidavit is to be signed by the husband, in the presence of two witnesses and a Notary Public.
Remember, the point here is not to argue jurisdiction, but to accept jurisdiction over your “House.” I’m assuming that any battles for jurisdiction have already been lost, and that’s why you’re appearing in court in the first place. As the head-of-house, it is the husband’s duty to answer all complaints from outside, and that is what this report aims to help you do.
Also enclosed, is my newsletter from The Lawful Path Journal, explaining how I successfully used documents very much like those included here. May God grant you victory in your endeavors. — Gregory Allan
The Lawful Path Journal http://www.lawfulpath.com
by Gregory Allan
Vol. 03, Issue #1 – Coverture and the Courts
This issue is inspired by a reader whose wife is having problems with a court. He writes, in part:
“My wife is being sued civilly for some credit card debt. …the new Judge would not allow me to stand next to my wife or speak at all, saying that I am not a Party to the Action, so therefore [I] am not allowed beyond the gate separating the audience from the parties… So my question is, isn’t it a maxim of law that a husband has the right to stand beside, and even speak for, his wife in court?”
As luck would have it, I have some personal experience with this subject. Of all the people I know in the law-reform/study movement, I am the only one I know of who has successfully stood in place of his wife in a courtroom. I’ll tell you how I did it.
A word of caution is in order for our women readers. As you peruse this report you may be tempted to think I am anti-woman, or that I somehow believe we should go back to the dark ages. This could not be further from the truth. The commonly accepted roles for women have changed much over the past hundred years. In some ways perhaps for the better; in others, perhaps not.
For the purpose of this report, what I believe doesn’t matter one fig. Like it or not, what you believe won’t matter either. It is a simple fact that when a class of people gain ground in one area, they nearly always lose ground in another. This report illustrates some of the protections which women have lost, and how those protections might be taken back, if the married couple so-chooses.
In my experience, and the combined experience of others, a simple statutory “grant of powers of attorney” form does not work to allow a non-attorney husband to represent his wife in court. The reasons should become clear as you read on. The only method I know of which works, is presented for you here.
Before I delve deeper into this issue, I’ll list a few maxims which seem to support my reader’s theory: “A wife follows the domicile of her husband.” Trayner, Latin Legal Maxims and Phrases, etc.
“Husband and wife are considered one person (as one flesh and blood) in law.” Coke on Littleton, 112; Jenkins’ Eight Centuries of Reports, English Exchequer.
“A wife is not her own mistress, but is under the power of her husband.” Coke’s Institutes, 5-108
“All things which are the wife’s are the husband’s.” Bracton, de Legibus et Consuetudinibus Angliae; 2 Kent’s Commentaries on American Law.
“Although the property may be the wife’s, the husband is the keeper of it, since he is the head of the wife.” Coke on Littleton, 112.
The principle my friend is thinking of, is called “coverture.” Here’s what Black’s Law Dictionary (6th) says about it:
“Coverture. The condition or state of a married woman. Sometimes used elliptically to describe the legal disability which formerly existed at common law from a state of coverture whereby the wife could not own property free from the husband’s claim or control. Such restrictions were removed by state Married Woman’s Property Acts.”
Hmmm. This definition makes it appear that the common law is abolished, and coverture is obsolete. It states that “restrictions were removed.” Does that also mean that protections were dissolved?
I believe the answer is both yes, and no. Statutory government commonly grants “license,” or special privilege, which supercedes the common law. Remember though, that “license” is defined as “permission from competent authority to do that which would otherwise be illegal, unlawful, a trespass, or a tort.” In other words, government gives you permission to be a criminal.
1 Blackstone Commentaries (442) has this to say about coverture:
“By marriage, the husband and wife are one person in law, that is, the very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage, or at least is incorporated and consolidated into that of the husband: under whose wing, protection, and cover, she performs every thing; and is therefore called in our law-french a ‘feme-covert,’ …and her condition during her marriage is called her coverture.”
The common law placed restrictions upon women for their protection. A modern woman who is married by virtue of a State marriage license is presumed to have the benefit of these criminal statues which supercede common law. In other words, in the absence of any private contract to the contrary, the modern woman is stripped of all her commonlaw protections.
Covenants to the Rescue
Written contracts are a way for people to express their mutual understanding of an agreement in a lasting way. This helps remind the participants, who might have foggy memories over the years, of their obligations. It also is a way of declaring the terms of that agreement to others, such as judges.
Most people these days are either content with the state’s definition of marriage, or are not aware of any difference. But some couples want more from a marriage than two years of rocky cohabitation, and a divorce followed by eighteen years of state-ordered child support. This is why any married couple who share beliefs and/or expectations which are greater than, or different than the terms of marriage set forth in state statutes, should enter into a private marriage contract.
The old common law principle of coverture was a recognition that the nuclear family is a system of government separate from state or federal governments. The various state statutes which set forth terms of (non private contract) marriage, are purposely intended to undermine the strength and effectiveness of these competing governments.
In the absence of a written contract, any judge will rightly assume the terms of a marriage agreement to be limited to whatever may be set forth in state statute. But if a written contract is correctly presented into evidence, a judge MAY be obligated to allow it.
What is to stop a married couple from entering into a private marriage contract, in which the wife places herself under her husband’s protection in coverture?
Most modern American women will reject the notion of making themselves subservient to their husbands. They see it as taking a step backward; surrendering hard-won legal rights. Do they take the
time to realize that every so-called “right” comes with an equal and opposite duty?
Under the old common law a husband could, and usually did, assume all responsibility for any crimes committed by his wife. If a debt was to be paid, even time served in prison, it was the husband who paid it. The wife stayed home to mind the house and raise the children.
Modern marriage statutes (absent private contract) are trilateral. The state is the primary party, and the husband and wife each owe their primary duty to the state. In effect, the couple doesn’t marry one another. They each marry the state, which places them together in a constructive trust.
We know that contracts which contain illegal terms can be declared void. But all other contracts are binding. Article 1, Section 10 of the United States Constitution states in part:
“No State shall… pass any… Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts…”
So the question arises, “Can the principles of coverture can be deemed to be illegal?” I believe not, although an argument can be made for either case.
For example, many states have a Dower Interest law, which insures that a wife owns a certain undivided percentage of all her husband’s property. The terms of this law varies from state to state, but in most cases the wife is deemed to retain her dower interest, even if she explicitly deeds or releases that interest to her husband. It’s hers, and she can’t give it up. The only way she can divest herself of the property is to join with her husband in a deed granted to a third party.
However, this example calls the marriage statutes themselves into play, and pre-supposes the absence of a private marriage contract containing terms to the contrary. In contrast, my position (that the husband can and should be able to buy and sell property without his wife’s signature) is supported by the following maxim:
“Every one may renounce or relinquish a right introduced for his own benefit.” Coke on Magna Charta and Old Acts, 183; Wingate’s Maxims of Law, p. 483; The People v. Van Rensselaer, 9 N.Y. 291, 333.
As to the sources of case law supporting each argument, atheists and secular humanists, have no higher authority than government to look to. But Christians recognize a higher authority. Fortunately, such higher authority is even recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The following cite is paraphrased from scribblings I’ve carried around in my dayplanner for years, but should be helpful to anyone with reason to look for the actual cite:
“Religious Freedom: U.S. vs. Seeger 380 U.S. 163
* 5 Indicia for mandatory consideration; all five must be true: 1. Religious Conscience – Belief in God
2. Beliefs are truly and sincerely held
3. Beliefs make up individual identity
4. Growing out of religious training and belief
5. Based upon a duty: “I have no choice.”
* Cannot be:
5. Personal Moral Code”
Whenever I construct paperwork intended for the courts, I always try to keep the above principles in mind.
Scriptural Rights and Duties
What does the Bible say about the proper relationship between husband and wife?
* Husband and wife are regarded as one flesh. Gen. 2:23-24; Matt. 19:5; Mark 10:8; Eph. 5:31.
* Marriage bonds are of God, and not to be put asunder by any man. Matt. 19:6; mark 10:9.
* Man is not independent of woman, nor is woman independent of man. 1 Cor. 7:4; 1 Cor. 11:11. * Husbands are to have authority over their wives. Gen. 3:16; 1 Cor. 11:3, 7-9; Eph. 5:23.
* Husband to provide for the family. 1 Tim. 5:8.
* Wives are to obey their husband. 1 Cor. 14:34; Titus 2:5.
* Wives to be in subjection to their husbands. Gen. 3:16; Eph. 5:22, 24; Col. 3:18; 1 Pet. 3:1, 5-6.
* Wife not to usurp authority over the man. 1 Tim. 2:12; Titus 2:5.
* The wife is not to raise questions in the church but to ask through her husband. 1 Cor. 14:34 (Compilation taken from A Handbook of Bible Law, by Charles A. Weisman)
My Own Experience in Court
In 1997, my wife was served with a summons to appear in court on a civil matter.
As we have a private marriage contract which places her under my coverture, it was my duty to respond on her behalf.
Our Contract is a private matter between us, and we have no wish to disclose the terms of the full contract to any outside parties. However, it is in our mutual best-interest to disclose certain terms and conditions to others, from time to time.
So I drafted a declaration in affidavit form, to be signed by my wife, in which she gave notice of the existence of our private marriage contact, and quoted the terms which placed her under my coverture. Armed with this document, my Bible, and the other items which I would need to participate in the civil action, I walked into court in her stead. That’s right, I appeared, and she did not.
When the case was called, I stood up and walked across the bar.
I should mention here, that I had already met this judge on several occasions, and he knew me immediately upon sight. So the following paraphrased conversation should be instructive, if you’re paying close attention.
Judge: “Who are you?”
Me: “I am here with regard to this matter.”
Judge: “Are you a party to this matter?”
Me: “Yes, sir.”
Judge: “What is your name?”
Me: “For purposes of this hearing, my name is [my wife’s name].
I have to break here long enough to say that the judge’s expression was priceless. But even funnier, was the expression on the face of the court reporter. Court reporters, in my experience, never show any emotion, or even look up from their work to view the proceedings. This one stopped typing, and turned completely toward me with an expression so odd I can’t even describe it.
The judge recovered his composure after a few seconds, and continued:
Judge: “Do you have any identification?”
Me: “Yes, sir.” (Whereupon I held up the declaration I’d previously prepared.)
Judge: “Hand it to the bailiff please.” (The bailiff gave the declaration to the judge, and he studied it for several minutes.)
Judge: “I cannot allow you to represent your wife.”
Me: “Sir, it is not my intention to represent my wife.”
Judge: “Then why are you here?”
Me: “For purposes of this hearing, I AM my wife.”
Judge: “Take a seat over there (points to the table where my wife would have been directed to sit). I’ll hear from the other party’s attorney first, and then you’ll be allowed to speak.”
(The opposing attorney had her say [interesting, in this case, that the attorney was a woman].) Judge: (to me) “Do you have anything to say?”
Me: “Yes, sir.”
I proceeded to present my case, uninterrupted. When I was finished, the judge said:
Judge: “I have exercised my discretion to allow you to speak today, although I cannot allow you to represent your wife. In the interest of equity, my ruling is as follows…”
The judge proceeded to order everything I had asked for, as though my wife had done the asking. His comment was made to save face, and to obscure from witnesses the fact that I had succeeded in my objective. He didn’t actually lie, in that he did not allow me to represent my wife. He simply accepted, based on the evidence before him, that I WAS my wife.
It should be noted that a warrant was never issued against her for failure to appear, as would certainly have been the case if “she” had not appeared.
I’ve decided to make a declaration, similar to the one mentioned here, available for sale on our website. It contains all the substance of the one I used successfully as described above, but has been updated with the benefit of my study and experience over subsequent years. You can find it at this link:
That’s all for now. May God bless and keep you on the lawful path. –Gregory.
State of _______________________ )
County of _____________________ )
Know all men by these Presents:
I, the Undersigned, declare that I understand the penalties of God and man for making false statements, and that the following statements are true, correct, and not intended to be misleading, of my own firsthand knowledge, and I make these statements under penalty of perjury under the Laws of the United States of America, so help me God:
- I am __________________________________________ of the Family ______________________________, and my mailing location is: ___________________________________________________________________;
- I am the lawful husband of ___________________________________________, of the same Family, hereinafter “my Wife”;
- My Wife and I have entered into a private Marriage Compact, in which My Wife has placed herself under my protection, and under the Laws of My House, pursuant to the common law principles of coverture, and I have accepted the duties adherent thereto;
- As evidence of My Capacity in fulfillment of such duties, the Verification by Asseveration, Declaration of Truth – Notice of Legal Capacity attached hereto and labeled “Exhibit A” is a true-copy of the original, duly executed by My Wife;
In testimony whereof, I set My Hand, this ____________ day of the __________________ month, A.D. 20_____. Witnesses:
_______________________________ ___________________________________ Affiant
Subcribed and sworn to before me, the undersigned Notary Public, on this ___________ day of _______________, A.D. 20_______.
My Commission expires: _______________________ ___________________________________ Notary Public in and for _______________ county, State of ______________________
Verification by Asseveration, Declaration of Truth – Notice of Legal Capacity
Made by: ______________________________, whose mailing location is:__________________________________________
I, the Undersigned, knowing the punishment for bearing false witness before Almighty God and Men, do solemnly aver the following, pursuant to the Book of Proverbs, chapter eight, verse seven, “For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips,” and the Book of Matthew, chapter nineteen, verse eighteen, “. . . Jesus said, . . . Thou shalt not bear false witness.”:
- That I am _________________________________________ of the family ______________________________; that I am over the age of twenty-one years, and am competent to testify to My first-hand knowledge of the facts herein, and that the statements herein made by Me are true, correct, complete, and not intended to be misleading, of My Own first-hand knowledge, unless otherwise stated herein;
- That I have made a covenant with the One True God, pursuant to the Book of Dueteronomy, chapter twenty-nine, verses twelve and thirteen, “That thou shouldest enter into covenant with the Lord thy God and into his oath, which the Lord thy God maketh with thee this day: That he may establish thee to day for a people unto himself, and that he may be unto thee a God, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob,” and I am duty- bound to this Covenant at jeopardy of my life and eternal soul; that My King is Jesus, the Christ, and that My Law is the Holy Scriptures as written in their original languages, and translated into the Books of the King James Bible, authorized version A.D. sixteen hundred eleven;
- That I have made a Marriage Compact with _____________________________________________________, of the family ___________________________________, My Husband, whereby I am subject to the laws of His House, pursuant to the First Book of Corinthians, chapter eleven, verse three, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”, and the Book of Ephesians, chapter five, verses twenty-two through twenty-three, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.”;
- That the Laws of My Husband’s House include, but are not limited to the following: “The wife of the House shall place herself under her husband in the common law tradition of Coverture, and said husband shall be the superior authority over her, and in all matters outside the House shall have the exclusive authority to act in her behalf as one body, one flesh”;
- That I do, therefore, ratify all such actions which My Husband may make, whether or not said actions are done with My knowledge or explicit consent, and even in the event of my incapacity, and that it is my understanding and intent that in exchange for the Protections promised Me by My Husband, I have surrendered to My Husband all rights, privileges, and legal capacities outside our House; that all acts done by My Husband for My behalf shall be construed as being done “as” Me, and not “for” Me, and that any and all acts done by Me, other than giving notice of the Facts contained herein, must be construed as though done by someone totally without legal capacity;
- That the term of My Husband’s Authority is His lifetime, pursuant to the Book of Romans, chapter seven, verse two, “For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.”
- That this Declaration is made for the Purpose of giving notice to Christ’s church and all the world of the aforementioned Marriage Compact, and the sole path to legal remedy with regard to claims against Me.
Further, I saith naught.
Sealed by the voluntary act of My own Hand on this _______________ day of the ___________________ month in the year of Our Lord Jesus, the Christ, two-thousand _____________________, I have the honor of being a Christian Woman:
On this _____________ day of the ___________________ month, in the year of Our Lord Jesus, the Christ, two-thousand _______________, We, the undersigned, Christian Men, having ascertained that Our Sister in Christ, ____________________, has read and Knows the contents of this Verification by Asseveration, Declaration of Truth; did witness Her execution and sealing of the Same; and she did aver to us that the foregoing words are her own voluntary statements; that said Statements are true, correct, and not intended to be misleading, and were given freely and without coercion; and we do hereby testify to the foregoing, by voluntarily setting Our Hand and Sealing the Same; We have the honor of being Christian Men: