From the May 2000 Idaho Observer:

Jailhouse lawyer to teach people their rights

If you do not know your rights well enough to demand them, you waive them. You would be naive to believe that the courtroom is anything less than a sophisticated battlefield whereupon your adversary attempts to disarm you while setting you up to lose whatever he can take from you. Until people learn how to demand that their rights under law be recognized, they will continue to be slaughtered in the courtroom. Until people become knowledgeable enough in the law to act as counsel for one another, the justice industry will continue to prosper off the misery of the American people. Scott Thurston, the Jailhouse Lawyer, can teach people how to defend themselves in court. He has also discovered the key that unlocks a person's ability to have his choice of counsel.

by Don Harkins

“I do not have a license to practice law; I know the law,” said self-described “Jailhouse Lawyer” Scott Thurston at his April 16, 2000 seminar in Coeur d'Alene. Thurston wishes to teach as many people as possible how to demand their rights under the law.

Thurston has also learned how to successfully represent his friends in court as their choice of counsel.

Thurston is not teaching theory. Thurston is teaching people how to demand that their rights be recognized by law enforcement and the justice industry from the point of arrest all the way through arraignment and the dismissal of all charges.

Thurston prefaced his lecture with an excerpt of Locke's 2nd Treatise on Law (see page 14) and stated that upon arrest, a person must know his rights and demand them. Thurston recognizes that to prosecute a man is to declare war upon his person and that the courtroom is the enemy's battlefield of choice. “There is no way you can defend yourself against the system if you don't even understand the rules of engagement,” Thurston, 44, explained.

Thurston can also teach non-bar certified lawyers how to successfully and competently represent their friends in court. He believes that until the bar association's legal monopoly is broken, justice will continue to be the least important component of the nation's $multi-billion litigation industry.

Thurston has spent the last several years going from place to place growing in his knowledge and his confidence in legal matters while helping friends defend themselves against an increasingly vile and litigious justice industry. When asked what really motivates him, Thurston said, “I want my right to represent my friends in court to be challenged all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court so that I can win a definitive contemporary ruling that allows people to be represented by their choice of counsel.

As it stands, Thurston has not had the opportunity to appeal his right to represent in higher courts. He defeats challenges by lower court judges and attorneys who attempt to obstruct his right to represent his friends before the bar. Thurston's record speaks for itself. He has never lost a civil case and his overall record is 53-4 (he considers a plea bargain to be a loss). When asked how he is allowed to represent his friends in court when most other would-be (non-bar certified) counselors are vengefully dismissed by judges, the very personable Thurston said once again, “I don't have a license to practice law; I know the law.”

He bases much of his success in court on the timely and appropriate application of Supreme Court decisions and encourages people who wish to defend themselves or represent their friends in court to “become students of Supreme Court law.”

The Jailhouse Lawyer provides a lot of information for free on his website which can be found at He provides several examples of motions, quotes from history and excerpts from important Supreme Court decisions that were rendered to protect citizens from tyrants.

He credits his success in getting officers of the law and of the statutory courts to recognize our rights by the timely and appropriate application of state law with regard to due process. “Statutory law is very simple to understand: You break the king's laws, you pay the king.”

There are no clauses in the state or federal constitutions that subject a citizen to statutory jurisdiction. You must be tricked into that jurisdiction. For that reason statutes are an intricately woven web that are extremely precise in how charges are to be made, what information is to be contained on a citation and what procedures must be followed to “legally” extort money from a person or put him behind bars. “In almost all cases, law enforcement makes numerous procedural errors over which charges must be dismissed,” Thurston said.

By the time most people reach prison, their file will contain evidence that several procedures (laws) were not followed (broken) all along the way. Thurston cites a Supreme Court decision which states that if six or more procedural errors are proven in the prosecution of an individual the result must be an instant reversal. One does not have to explain the impact coast-to-coast application of that knowledge alone could have on a national prison population that is over 2,000,000 Americans and growing (If the present growth rate of the American prison population continues, we will all be in prison by the year 2057).

We understand that ignorance is no excuse of the law. It is worse than that. Ignorance of your rights means that you have waived them. Most people, from the point of being stopped by law enforcement all the way to prison have no idea what their rights are or how to demand them. Therefore, they have no rights and are vulnerable to the whims of people who intend to steal their money, their property, their children, their business or their freedom. It would be more accurate to say that those who are ignorant of their rights have no weapons with which to return fire on an adversary that has declared total war on them at a battlefield of their choosing.

“You have the right to be silent, so be silent. People don't realize that the arraignment is the most important hearing a person will have throughout the judicial process and therefore don't realize that the words they volunteer at arraignment will be used to hang them in later proceedings,” explained Thurston.

Do you want to learn how to behave from the moment you are stopped by law enforcement? Do you want to become a “Belligerant Claimant?” Do you want to learn how to frustrate arrogant prosecutors, how to represent your friends in court and how to compel the system to grind the wheels of real justice?

See ad at the bottom of this page. This seminar is not for everybody. In order to defend yourself from the system and/or defend your friends, you must be a very sharp and articulate person who is blessed with uncommon common sense, a sense of humor and unyeilding strength of conviction.

Judges and attorneys are no smarter than the average American. They just know that we don't know the rules of engagement. If enough people learn the law, learn how to demand their rights and learn how to successfully wage war with the enemy on his own turf, we can return the courts to the people for which they exist.

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