V. Indicia of OPCA Litigants, Litigation, and Strategies
 This Court’s experience (personal and by other members) and the relevant caselaw has
indicated that persons who engage in OPCA litigation tend to adopt certain stereotypic motifs in
their written materials and in-court conduct. The vast majority of these indicia are almost never
shared by other self-represented litigants, including those who may have difficulty
communicating their positions and arguments, and by litigants who are affected by cognitive and
 Language that has a biblical or religious aspect, though common, is not as definitive an
indication of OPCA context. Much of that is also present in a broader self-represented litigant
 What follows is an incomplete summary of elements that suggest when a person has been
exposed to OPCA concepts, is a part of the OPCA community, or has adopted OPCA-based
litigation strategies. These features were identified from reported caselaw, from the experiences
of the justices of this Court, and documentation received by this Court and my office.
 To be explicit, however, these indicia do not prove a claim or action is invalid, or that a
litigant is vexatious. These are telltale fingerprints that are typically found in OPCA litigation,
and that, if identified, may warrant closer review and specific court procedures.
A. Documentary Material
 The documentation filed by OPCA litigants often includes many unusual features. Their
significance, if any, is often opaque. Courts, lawyers, and litigants may find it helpful to identify
persons with expertise in the rationale for these motifs, so that future reviews of OPCA indicia
approach the telltale fingerprints on a schematic rather than anecdotal basis.
 Beyond that, OPCA documents are highly variable. They range from what appear to be
professionally prepared, polished materials, to crude assemblages of photocopied pages with
inconsistent fonts, formats, and paragraph and page numbers that imply a ‘copy and paste’
composition. OPCA documentation is sometimes ‘flamboyant’, with multicoloured text, bright
water marks, graphics, and elaborate ornamentation on coloured paper: however, this is not
necessarily that useful as a identifying motif.
 Sometimes an OPCA document may be so disjointed that the OPCA fingerprint motifs
are only evidence that the author is not suffering from mental or cognitive disturbance. This is
particularly true for documents prepared according to the ‘legal grammar’ of Miller: National
Leasing Group Inc. v. Top West Ventures Ltd., 2001 BCSC 111, 102 A.C.W.S. (3d) 303;
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce v. Chesney, 2001 BCSC 625, 104 A.C.W.S. (3d) 826;
Borkovic v. Laurentian Bank of Canada, 2001 BCSC 337, 103 A.C.W.S. (3d) 700.
1. Name Motifs
 The vast majority of OPCA litigants use highly stereotypic formats to name and identify
themselves. The most common form adds atypical punctuation, usually colons and dashes, into a
name. Any litigant who uses this ‘dash colon’ motif almost certainly has some kind of OPCA
background or affiliation. The most common versions of this name format are:
: [first name] – [middle name] : [last name] :
[first name] – [middle name] : [last name]
The difference is the first alternative has an additional colon before and at the end of the name.
 For example, OPCA guru David Kevin Lindsay styles his name as “David-Kevin:
Lindsay”. There are many variations on this basic form with various combinations of colons and
dashes. Mr. Mead in his documents identifies himself as “::Dennis-Larry: Meads::”, “::dennislarry:
meads::”, or “:::dennis-larry:: of the meads-family:::”. The ‘dash colon’ motif has no legal
significance or effect: R. v. Lindsay, 2006 BCCA 150 at para. 3, 265 D.L.R. (4th) 193; R. v.
Lindsay, 2008 BCPC 203 at para. 7,  1 C.T.C 86, affirmed 2010 BCSC 831,  5
C.T.C. 174, affirmed 2011 BCCA 99, 302 B.C.A.C. 76, leave refused  S.C.C.A. No. 265.
 The rationale for the ‘dash colon’ motif is unknown. However, it seems to be derived in
some manner from the “legal grammar” of Miller.
 A second common name motif is that a litigant identifies his or herself as being:
[first name] [middle name] of the Family [last name]
[first name] [middle name] of the Clan [last name]
[firstname] [middle name] of the House of [lastname]
 Mr. Meads also sometimes employs the clan/family/house name motif, but he combines
it with the ‘dash colon’ motif to create a hybrid: “::dennis-larry: of the meads-family::”. The
family/clan/ house motif is also meaningless: R. v. Sargent, 2004 ONCJ 356 at para. 29, 
1 C.T.C. 448.
 A third name-related phenomenon is that the litigant states their name in duplicate forms,
one with only upper case letters, the second with either upper and lower case letters or only
lower case letters. Again, Mr. Meads’ written materials shows this motif, for example, the
‘signature’ of the April 27, 2012 “Notice for an Order to Show Cause” has “DENNIS LARRY
MEADS by ::Dennis Larry::” below a handwritten signature. This duplication extends to
handwritten signatures. For example, most of Mr. Meads’ documents are double signed, with
one signature reading “DENNIS LARRY MEADS Grantor” and the other “::Dennis-Larry:
Meads:: Grantee”. The capital version of the signature is printed and in black ink, while the
‘dash colon’ version is in red ink and handwritten. Meads extends this ‘double name’ form to
others, including his wife, lawyer, a lawyer’s assistant, but strangely, not the Court.
 It appears that duplicate names of this kind are usually an indication that the OPCA
litigant has adopted a ‘double/split person’ strategy, which is later reviewed in detail. In brief,
the capital letter version of the name is some kind of non-human thing, while the lower case
name is the ‘flesh and blood’ aspect of the litigant. The red ink colour is presumably intended to
represent blood. OPCA materials are rife with these kinds of arbitrary symbolism.
 Another name-related indication of an OPCA litigant is that the litigant marks their name
with a copyright and/or trade-mark indication, usually the ©, (T) and TM symbols. These
markings likely indicate a foisted unilateral agreement strategy.
2. Document Formalities and Markings
 OPCA litigants frequently mark their documents in unconventional ways. The meanings
of many of these marks is unclear, and these certainly have limited or no legal significance. It
may be that these motifs simply are theatre used by gurus to impress their customers, and create
what appear to be ‘powerful’ documents.
 Indicia that appear restricted to OPCA documents include:
1. a thumbprint, typically in red ink, though in certain instances our Court has
encountered litigants who will injure themselves when presenting documents to
the court clerks, so that they can make a thumb mark in blood (for example
Mercedes-Benz Financial v. Kovacevic,  O.J. No. 783 at para. 12, 2009
CanLII 9368 (Ont. Sup. Ct. J.); Callaghan v. McCaw; C.C. v. J.M., 2010 SKQB
79 at para. 10, 351 Sask.R. 55; this proceeding;
2. more than one signature, often in atypical colour ink such as red or green ink: this
3. attaching one or more postage stamps, sometimes the stamps have text or a
signature written across the stamp (for example Mercedes-Benz Financial v.
Kovacevic,  O.J. No. 783 at para. 12, 2009 CanLII 9368 (Ont. Sup. Ct. J.);
this proceeding) and in certain instances these stamps are ‘simulated’ and simply
printed on the document itself.
Mr. Meads’ February 15, 2011 and March 3, 2011 documents show many of these unusual
 OPCA litigants sometimes appear to imbue notaries with extraordinary court-like
authority. That may explain why so many OPCA documents, including those filed by Mr.
Meads, are often notarized when that formality is neither legally necessary nor appropriate. I will
later comment on the responsibilities of legally trained persons to not notarize documents in that
manner. A notary cannot give special status to an OPCA document: Papadopoulos v. Borg, 2009
ABCA 201 at paras. 3, 10.
 One very peculiar form of notation is an indication of a specific OPCA ‘money for
nothing’ scheme. This is a document that will have text written or stamped across it, typically at
a 45 degree angle off vertical. The text will include the phrase “accept for value” or “accepted
for value”. Typical target documents marked in this way include a birth certificate, a bill to the
litigant, a court order against the litigant, a demand letter, or court document filed by an
opposing party, for example: Underworld Services Ltd. v. Money Stop Ltd., 2012 ABQB 327 at
paras. 5, 13; Mercedes-Benz Financial v. Kovacevic,  O.J. No. 783 at paras. 10-11, 2009
CanLII 9368 (Ont. Sup. Ct. J.).
 One example stamp, described in Mercedes-Benz Financial v. Kovacevic,  O.J.
No. 783, 2009 CanLII 9368 (Ont. Sup. Ct. J.), read as follows:
ACCEPTED FOR VALUE
APPROVED FOR PAYMENT
Accepts for value this presentment and ALL related endorsements front and back, in
accordance with Uniform Commercial Code 3-419 and House Joint Resolution 192 of
JUNE 5, 1933. Please release ALL proceeds, products, accounts and fixtures and the
order of the court to me immediately.
EXEMPT FROM LEVEY
DEPOSIT TO UNITED STATES TREASURY AND CHARGE THE SAME TO [name]
Stamped versions of this motif will often have spaces for handwritten components.
 This particular notation has many variations but all share the “accept for value” language,
and usually mention the UCC. Notations of this kind are a clear indication that the litigant has
adopted the ‘A4V’ ‘money for nothing’ scheme described below.
3. Specific Phrases and Language
 OPCA documents frequently include atypical language and terminology that can indicate
OPCA affiliation. Presumably some of these terms have symbolic or scheme-related
significance. These are helpful indicia to identify OPCA litigation and litigants.
 Documents frequently refer to the litigant as having a particular status or characteristic:
• a “flesh and blood man” (this has many variations);
• a “freeman-on-the-land” or “freeman”;
• a “free will full liability person”;
• a “sovereign man”, “sovereign citizen” or “sovran”;
• that the litigant:
• is a person or a natural person, but not a corporation;
• is not a person;
• was created by God;
• is only subject to a category of law, typically “natural law”, “common
law” or “God’s Law”;
• is an ambassador;
• is the postmaster general;
• is a member of a fictitious nation-state or aboriginal group;
• represents or is “an agent” or “secured party” for a similarly named
individual or thing; and
• is a “private neutral non-belligerent”.
Most of these items are strong indicia, with the exception of those that involve God or religion,
which also stereotypically emerge in submissions of certain persons with mental impairment and
 Identification that a municipality, province, or Canada is a corporation is a clear
indication of OPCA affiliation: Dempsey v. Envision Credit Union, 2006 BCSC 1324 at para.
37, 60 B.C.L.R. (4th) 309. A litigant with documents of this kind will typically be using the
‘everything is a contract’ OPCA scheme, discussed below. Similarly, a statement that a court is
an admiralty or military court suggests OPCA affiliation, particularly when in an inappropriate
context, such as litigation that does not involve military personnel, ships, or maritime subjects.
 Any use of phrases such as “accept for value”, “accept for value and return for value”, or
“accept for value and consideration and honour” indicates OPCA affiliation but not necessarily
use of the ‘A4V’ OPCA scheme; this language arises in multiple contexts when incorporated in a
 A statement that a court, government, or official is “de facto” is very indicative of OPCA
 Many OPCA documents, including those of Mr. Meads, feature a declaration concerning
service, such as “service to agent is service to principal” and “service to principal is service to
agent”, presumably an attempt to expand the ‘notification’ function of these materials.
 The term “strawman” usually indicates an OPCA ‘double/split person’ strategy:
Mercedes-Benz Financial v. Kovacevic,  O.J. No. 783, 2009 CanLII 9368 (Ont. Sup. Ct.
J.). So does framing other persons or parties with duplicate names, one in upper case letters, the
other lower case.
 A demand that a remedy be paid only in precious metals, usually gold or silver, is typical
in OPCA litigation. Many OPCA ‘backstories’ revolve on the idea that national currencies have
no actual or little ‘true’ value, hence the emphasis on precious metals.
4. Legislation and Legal Documents
 Many OPCA documents mention certain obsolete, foreign, or typically otherwise
irrelevant legislation, including:
• the Magna Carta: Harper v. Atchison, 2011 SKQB 38 at paras. 9-15, 369 Sask.R.
134; R. v. Jebbett, 2003 BCCA 69, 180 B.C.A.C. 21; R. v. Lindsay, 2008 BCCA
30 at paras. 19-21, 250 B.C.A.C. 270; R. v. Warman, 2001 BCCA 510 at paras.
9-10, 13-14; Winningham v. Canada:
• the Uniform Commercial Code of the United States of America, often simply
identified as the “UCC”, this is sometimes mistakenly named the “Universal
• the Constitution of the United States;
• other American state and federal legislation: Winningham v. Canada;
• UNIDROIT and UN CITRAL contract interpretation and dispute guidelines;
• versions of the Income Tax Act other than the current legislation; the 1948 version
of the legislation is a particular target; see R. v. Crischuk, 2010 BCCA 391 at
para. 3, 2010 D.T.C. 5141; R. v. Sydel, 2010 BCSC 1473 at paras. 24-25, 35,
 1 C.T.C. 200, affirmed 2011 BCCA 103, leave refused  S.C.C.A.
• ‘oaths’ legislation, such as the Alberta Oaths of Office Act, R.S.A. 2000, c. O-1,
and the federal Oaths of Allegiance Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. O-1 and Oaths of Office
Regulations, C.R.C., c. 1242, or any version of the U.K. Coronation Oath Act;
Bank of Montreal v. McCance, 2012 ABQB 537 at para. 9;
• the Canadian Bill of Rights, S.C. 1960, c. 44: Canada (Minister of National
Revenue - M.N.R.) v. Stanchfield, 2009 FC 99 at para. 13, 340 F.T.R. 150; R. v.
Amell, 2010 SKPC 107 at paras. 156-157, 361 Sask.R. 61; this proceeding;
• the Statute of Frauds: Summerland (District) v. No Strings Enterprises Ltd.,
2003 BCSC 990 at para. 19, 124 A.C.W.S. (3d) 39, leave denied 2004 BCCA
360, 131 A.C.W.S. (3d) 994;
• the 1931 Statute of Westminster: R. v. Dick, 2001 BCPC 275; R. v. Lindsay, 2004
MBCA 147 at para. 32, 187 Man.R. (2d) 236; and
• the April 10, 1933 Order-in-Counsel that abandoned the gold standard for
 Reliance on Black’s Law Dictionary, particularly an obsolete version of Black’s Law
Dictionary, is suggestive of OPCA affiliation: Waterloo (Regional Municipality) v. Bydeley,
2010 ONCJ 740 at para. 39, affirmed 2011 ONCJ 842, affirmed  O.J. No. 6282 (QL) (Ont.
C.A.). OPCA litigants also often stress the relevance of and quote from the Bible, usually the
King James version: Callaghan v. McCaw; C.C. v. J.M., 2010 SKQB 79 at para. 7, 351 Sask.R.
 A person’s birth certificate is a focus of certain OPCA schemes. Any mention or
reproduction of that certificate in atypical circumstances is a strong indication of an OPCA
‘A4V’ scheme: Underworld Services Ltd. v. Money Stop Ltd., 2012 ABQB 327 at paras. 5, 13.
5. Atypical Mailing Addresses
 OPCA litigants sometimes use abnormal formats and elements in their mailing addresses.
A common feature is omission of the postal code, or some variation from the postal code’s usual
format. For example, Mr. Meads frequently encircles his postal code with square brackets:
“[T7Z 1L5]”. Other times he states the postal code as “near [t7z 1l5]”. Other OPCA litigants
replace postal codes with land registration information, such as the Torrens registration location
for their mailing address. Yet another motif is that a return address includes “C/O a Third Party
Acceptor”, or “No Code Noncommercial”.
 Any avoidance or variation on postal code strongly suggests the OPCA litigant has
adopted an ‘everything is a contract’ scheme. OPCA litigants in that category apparently believe
that use of a postal code means accepting some kind of contract with the state.
 Another variation is that an address is, in some manner, stated to qualify the manner of
delivery. For example, Mr. Meads has filed several documents that include the phrase “Non
Domestic to CANADA” after the postal code. That implies the litigant is not in Canada, and
presumably therefore not subject to Canadian authority.
 Sometimes an OPCA litigant will demand he or she only receive mail addressed in an
unconventional manner. For example, Belanger in correspondence with my office has instructed
that I only send him correspondence in this manner:
Edward-Jay-Robin: house of Belanger
C/O The Chuch of the Ecumenical Redemption International
POSTAL CODE EXEMPT No code non commercial [sic]
Failure to comply will mean I am “... guilty of fraud, conversion and coercion and further
become consenting and contractually bound debtors to the Church”.
 OPCA litigants sometimes include fictitious nation states in their addresses, or indicate
that their mailing address is an embassy. These motifs indicate an ‘immunity’ OPCA strategy.
 OPCA litigants also have a pattern of addressing government and court officials in a
characteristic double-name format:
[name in upper and lower case letters] “doing business as” [name in upper case letters
only] [title of the official]
For example, this Court has received correspondence addressed, in part, to “Stephen Harper,
doing business as STEPHEN HARPER, PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA, CEO CANADA,
 This motif usually indicates a litigant has adopted the ‘everything is a contract’ OPCA
6. Conclusion and Summary of Documentary Indicia
 The examples identified above will very likely be encountered in related but variant
forms. For example, Mr. Meads expresses the “flesh and blood man” declaration motif as “the
living flesh and blood sentient-man” and that he is “the creation for the Lord God Almighty
Jehovah”. Similarly, Mr. Meads expresses copyright in his name in a different manner:
“DENNIS LARRY MEADS (Copyright for the Province-Alberta)”. I note, parenthetically, that
this notation is nonsensical given that The Constitution Act, 1867, 30 & 31 Vict., c. 3, s. 91
explicitly assigns jurisdiction for copyright to Canada.
 These stylistic variations do not necessarily imply that documentation is not of an OPCA
origin. There is a certain crude level of creativity and adaptation practised by OPCA litigants and
gurus that has led to many meaningless variations in their irrelevant motifs.
 Another common phenomenon is that OPCA litigants combine these features, and other
aspects of OPCA schemes, in a single document. An extreme example of this is found in the full
style of cause of Bloom v. Canada, 2010 FC 621,  5 C.T.C. 143:
The Natural and Sovran-on-the-land Flesh, Blood and Bone, North America
Signatory Aeriokwa Tence Kanienkehaika Indian Man: Gregory-John: Bloom
(C), as created by the Creator (God), Plaintiff,
Her Majesty the Queen, Defendant
 Similarly, most of Mr. Meads’ documents exhibit multiple OPCA features.
B. In Court Conduct
 OPCA litigants often engage in unusual in-court conduct. That seems to be in part
because many OPCA litigants are following a ‘script’ prepared by OPCA gurus. This was
apparently true for Mr. Meads. For example, at certain points in the court hearing he appeared to
read, word for word, from a prepared document. Other aspects of his speech seemed rehearsed.
 Common ‘scripted’ motifs include demands by the OPCA litigant:
• to see the oath of office of a judge, lawyer, or court official: R. v. Lindsay, 2006
BCSC 188, 68 W.C.B. (2d) 718, affirmed 2007 BCCA 214; Law Society of
British Columbia v. Dempsey, 2005 BCSC 1277 at para. 179, 142 A.C.W.S. (3d)
346, affirmed 2006 BCCA 161, 149 A.C.W.S. (3d) 735; Ramjohn v. Rudd, 2007
ABQB 84 at para. 9, 156 A.C.W.S. (3d) 38; Alberta Treasury Branches v.
Klassen, 2004 ABQB 463 at para. 25, 364 A.R. 230;
• that a judge prove his or her appointment: Ramjohn v. Rudd, 2007 ABQB 84 at
para. 9, 156 A.C.W.S. (3d) 38;
• the judge make certain oaths or statements, such as that the judge is a public
servant: Kilini Creek/Patricia Hills Area Landowners v. Lac Ste. Anne (County)
Subdivision and Development Appeal Board, 2001 ABCA 92, 104 A.C.W.S.
(3d) 1142; Dempsey v. Envision Credit Union, 2006 BCSC 1324, 60 B.C.L.R.
• to see the ‘bond information’ of a litigant, judge, lawyer, or court official:
Winningham v. Canada; this proceeding;
• that the court indicate the basis or scope of its authority: Canada v. Galbraith,
2001 BCSC 675 at paras. 26-28, 54 W.C.B. (2d) 504; Law Society of British
Columbia v. Dempsey, 2005 BCSC 1277 at paras. 10-11, 142 A.C.W.S. (3d) 346,
affirmed 2006 BCCA 161, 149 A.C.W.S. (3d) 735; R. v. Martin, 2012 NSPC 73
at para. 4;
• that the Crown provide proof that it has authority to proceed against a litigant: R.
v. Martin, 2012 NSPC 73 at para. 4;
• that an opposing party provide proof it has authority to proceed against the OPCA
litigant; Bank of Montreal v. McCance, 2012 ABQB 537 at para. 7;
• for a ‘certified’ copy of a document or legislation: R. v. Bruno, 2002 BCCA 348;
R. v. Gibbs, 2006 BCSC 481,  3 C.T.C. 223; Iwanow v. Canada, 2008
TCC 22, 2008 CCI 22; R. v. Fehr, 2002 SKPC 8, 224 Sask.R. 132; Audcent v.
Maleki, 2006 ONCJ 401,  1 C.T.C. 212; and
• that the court state whether it is addressing the litigant in one of two roles, such as
whether this is to a “legal person” or a “corporation”, vs. a “flesh and blood
person”, or a “natural person”: Porisky Trial Decision at para. 60; R. v. Lindsay,
2011 BCCA 99, 302 B.C.A.C. 76, leave refused  S.C.C.A. No. 265;
Mercedes-Benz Financial v. Kovacevic,  O.J. No. 783, 2009 CanLII 9368
(Ont. Sup. Ct. J.); Mercedes-Benz Financial v. Kovacevic,  O.J. No. 783 at
para. 24, 2009 CanLII 9368 (Ont. Sup. Ct. J.); this proceeding.
 OPCA litigants often present documentation to the court or another party at the hearing
itself, without prior service or warning. Common examples include:
• an attempt to present the judge or a court official with documents that make the
court a fiduciary, agent, or foist a contract on the judge or court official: this
• presenting the judge, the court clerk, or an opposing litigant with a ‘fee schedule’
or other foisted unilateral agreement (see below).
3. Names and Identification
 Another common motif is that an OPCA litigant will engage in various peculiar
comments that relate to names and identification. For example, an OPCA litigant may refuse to
identify themselves by name, instead stating they are an agent or representative of an entity
identified by the litigant’s name, typically these entities are described in a manner such as:
• a ‘person’ of the litigant’s name,
• a corporation or a ‘dead corporation’ with the litigant’s name,
• a ‘legal fiction’ or ‘fictitious corporation’ with the litigant’s name,
• a trust, named after the litigant,
• an estate, named after the litigant;
• a deadman, or
• a ‘strawman’.
See: Hajdu v. Ontario (Director, Family Reponsibility Office), 2012 ONSC 1835;
Canada v. Galbraith, 2001 BCSC 675 at paras. 26-28, 54 W.C.B. (2d) 504; Turnnir v.
The Queen, 2011 TCC 495 at paras. 5-6; Canada (Minister of National Revenue -
M.N.R.) v. Stanchfield, 2009 FC 99 at paras. 2-4, 340 F.T.R. 150; Canada (Minister of
National Revenue - M.N.R.) v. Camplin; M.N.R. v. Camplin, 2007 FC 183 at paras. 8-9,
28,  2 C.T.C. 205; Bank of Montreal v. McCance, 2012 ABQB 537 at para. 9;
 Additionally, the OPCA litigant may identify him or herself with an entirely fictitious
name or via a OPCA alternative name format: Shakes v. Canada (Public Safety and Emergency
Preparedness), 2011 CanLII 60494 at para. 11 (I.R.B.); R. v. Sargent, 2004 ONCJ 356,  1
C.T.C. 448; R. v. Crischuk, 2010 BCSC 716 at paras. 31-32, affirmed 2010 BCCA 391, 2010
D.T.C. 5141; Services de financement TD inc. c. Michaud, 2011 QCCQ 14868 at para. 6; this
 Similarly, an OPCA litigant may make an unusual mention of copyright or trade-mark,
typically because the OPCA litigant claims copyright or trade-mark in their own name: Hajdu v.
Ontario (Director, Family Reponsibility Office), 2012 ONSC 1835 at para. 23; Dempsey v.
Envision Credit Union, 2006 BCSC 1324 at para. 37, 60 B.C.L.R. (4th) 309.
4. Court Authority or Jurisdiction
 OPCA litigants frequently deny that a court has jurisdiction or authority over them. That
emerges in a number of ways:
• a direct denial that the court has authority over the litigant: R. v. Jennings, 2007
ABCA 45; Hajdu v. Ontario (Director, Family Reponsibility Office), 2012
ONSC 1835; R. v. Warman, 2001 BCCA 510 at para. 18; R. v. Linehan, 2000
ABQB 815, 276 A.R. 383; Dempsey v. Envision Credit Union, 2006 BCSC 1324
at para. 9, 60 B.C.L.R. (4th) 309; this proceeding;
• identification of some physical elements of the courtroom or court dress that
indicates the court is a military or admiralty court: R. v. J.B.C. Securities Ltd.,
2003 NBCA 53, 261 N.B.R. (2d) 199; Winningham v. Canada; this proceeding;
• a statement or declaration that:
• the litigant is only subject to a specific category of law, most often
expressed as “natural law” or “the common law”: Canada v. Galbraith,
2001 BCSC 675 at paras. 26-28, 54 W.C.B. (2d) 504; R. v. Warman, 2001
BCCA 510 at paras. 9-10, 15;
• the court is restricted to certain domains of law, usually legislation,
military law, and/or admiralty law: Canada v. Galbraith, 2001 BCSC 675
at paras. 26-28, 54 W.C.B. (2d) 504; R. v. Warman, 2001 BCCA 510 at
paras. 9-10, 15;
• the court is only a “de facto” court or the judge is only a “de facto” judge;
• a declaration that the litigant only takes a certain step “without prejudice”
or “without consent to restriction” to the litigant’s rights: Mercedes-Benz
Financial v. Kovacevic,  O.J. No. 783 at para. 9, 2009 CanLII 9368
(Ont. Sup. Ct. J.); and
• a declaration that the litigant’s presence or participation is “under duress”:
Canada v. Galbraith, 2001 BCSC 675 at paras. 26-28, 54 W.C.B. (2d)
5. Other In-Court Motifs
 Other stereotypic OPCA litigant conduct includes:
• a refusal to pass the bar: Canada v. Galbraith, 2001 BCSC 675 at paras. 25-29,
54 W.C.B. (2d) 504; Mercedes-Benz Financial v. Kovacevic,  O.J. No. 783
at para. 8, 2009 CanLII 9368 (Ont. Sup. Ct. J.); Callaghan v. McCaw; C.C. v.
J.M., 2010 SKQB 79 at para. 7, 351 Sask.R. 55;
• reliance on Black’s Law Dictionary (and usually an out-of-date version) as an
authoritative source of law; the litigant may demand the judge acknowledge the
determinative and binding character of definitions from that text: Waterloo
(Regional Municipality) v. Bydeley, 2010 ONCJ 740 at paras. 39, affirmed 2011
ONCJ 842, affirmed  O.J. No. 6282 (QL) (Ont. C.A.); this proceeding;
• inquiry whether the court is attempting to create a contract with the litigant;
• refusal to enter or a premature departure from a courtroom, this is often
accompanied by a denial of court authority: Mercedes-Benz Financial v.
Kovacevic,  O.J. No. 783 at paras. 15-16, 2009 CanLII 9368 (Ont. Sup. Ct.
J.); Sydorenko v. Manitoba, 2012 MBQB 42 at para. 10; this proceeding; and
• ‘ritualistic’ responses to inquiries, such as repetition of what seem to be formal,
automatic responses, for example:
• “I accept that for value and honour”: Henry v. El, 2010 ABCA 312, leave
refused  S.C.C.A. No. 138,
• “Your Honour, I accept it for value and return it for value for settlement
closure in this matter.”: Mercedes-Benz Financial v. Kovacevic, 
O.J. No. 783 at para. 51, 2009 CanLII 9368 (Ont. Sup. Ct. J.), and
• “You are intimidating me.” or “Are you intimidating me?”: Belanger and
other CERI members.
6. Summary of In-Court Indicia
 These various motifs are usually found in combination. A useful and representative
sample transcript of OPCA litigant conduct is found in Canada v. Galbraith, 2001 BCSC 675 at
paras. 26-28, 54 W.C.B. (2d) 504.
 A particularly difficult category of OPCA litigant are those who adhere to the OPCA
concept that all interactions between the state, courts, and individuals are contracts. As is later
explained in greater detail, persons who adopt this concept will interpret almost any invitation by
the court or compliance with court procedure as the formation of a contract. For example,
members of this Court have observed that litigants who apply the OPCA ‘everything is a
contract’ strategy will refuse simple court directions and processes, such as to pass the bar, sit,
stand, or acknowledge their identity.
 Similarly, litigants who refused to identify themselves but claim to represent an entity
related to the litigant will often maintain this role in the face of strong court warning. These
OPCA litigants are often very argumentative.
 The manner in which the refusal occurs is often highly formalistic. Mr. Meads, for
example, made this bizarre response to my suggestion of cooperation on a point:
... you’re treating the person Dennis Meads with all of these statements, and not the
living soul. You are enticing me into slavery ... [Emphasis added.]
The March 3, 2011 document uses the same language and indicates the same motif. These are a
sign of the ‘everything is a contract’ OPCA concept.
C. Conclusion - OPCA Indicia
 OPCA litigants’ materials and in court strategies usually exhibit many of these features.
Thus, they provides a certain ‘redundancy’ that makes these markers a helpful indication that a
particular litigant has purposefully adopted vexatious pseudolegal strategies intended to frustrate
the operation of the court. As noted, these specific indicia are almost never encountered with
non-OPCA litigants, including those with either cognitive or psychological dysfunction.
 OPCA litigants prefer to make their submissions in a highly complex and indirect
manner. As a consequence, this Court’s experience has been that a typical OPCA submission
will incorporate a great many of the indicia identified here. This too creates a high confidence
that documents and litigants with these features have an OPCA affiliation.
1. Procedural Responses to Suspected OPCA Documents
 Given the intrinsically vexatious nature of OPCA methodologies, which I review in detail
below, it is appropriate that a court adopt special procedures for documents that show OPCA
indicia, which may include:
1. that court clerks reject the materials that do not conform with required standards;
2. that the court clerks accept and mark these materials as “received” rather than
3. that materials that disclose OPCA characteristics may be reviewed by a judge
without further submission or representation by the litigants, and that the judge
a) declare that the litigation, application, or defence is frivolous, irrelevant or
improper (Rule 3.68(2)(c)), or an abuse of process (Rule 3.68(2)(d)), also
Canam Enterprises Inc v. Coles, (2000), 51 O.R. (3d) 481 (Ont. C.A.) at
paras 55-56, affirmed 2002 SCC 63,  3 S.C.R. 307;
b) order that the documents are irrelevant to the substance of the litigation,
but are only retained on file as evidence that is potentially relevant to costs
against the OPCA litigant, vexatious status of the litigation and litigant,
and/or whether the litigant has engaged in criminal or contemptuous
c) reject the documents and order that if the litigant wishes to continue its
action, application, or defence, the litigant then file replacement
documentation that conforms to court formalities and does not involve
irrelevant OPCA arguments;
d) order that the litigant appear a before the court in a “show cause” hearing
to prove the litigant has an action or defence that is recognized in law; that
hearing need not involve participation of the other party or parties; and
e) assign fines, as authorized by Rule 10.49(1).
2. Courtroom Procedure Responses to Suspected OPCA Litigants
 OPCA litigants are known to engage in disruptive and inappropriate in-court conduct: for
example, Callaghan v. McCaw; C.C. v. J.M., 2010 SKQB 79 at para. 9, 351 Sask.R. 55, and
sometimes appear with supporters who do the same: Dempsey v. Envision Credit Union, 2006
BCSC 1324 at paras. 16-24, 60 B.C.L.R. (4th) 309. This misconduct extends to disrespect,
threats, and in some cases violence directed to court personnel, judges, and other parties. For
example: Shakes v. Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness), 2011 CanLII 60494
(I.R.B.) and Hajdu v. Ontario (Director, Family Reponsibility Office), 2012 ONSC 1835 at
 OPCA litigants have an alarming predisposition to a belief that they can ‘take justice into
their own hands’ and act against the judiciary. The attempted arrest of a judge reported in R. v.
Main, at para. 8 is a good example. More recently, during the trial of a Porisky associate (R. v.
Lawson, 2012 BCSC 356 at para. 26, 2012 D.T.C. 5069) the defendant referred to:
... "YouTube" videos showing people swarming the courts of England "to demand
justice and chasing judges from the bench." There is a reference to the "public,
who are paying close attention to this and related proceedings in growing
 While Justice Myers chose to “... give Mr. Lawson the benefit of the doubt and assume
that this was not meant as a veiled threat ...” (para. 27), I think this very effectively illustrates the
potential activities that judges and court officials can expect when dealing with OPCA litigants.
They have been incited by the misguided and dangerous rhetoric spewed by their gurus, and that
raises the troubling possibility of in-court misconduct, if not physical risks.
 OPCA litigants often attempt to ‘rally the troops’ so that groups of supporters appear at a
hearing. That can lead to orchestrated disruptions (Dempsey v. Envision Credit Union, 2006
BCSC 1324 at paras. 16-24, 60 B.C.L.R. (4th) 309) including threats directed at judges (R. v.
Main, at para. 8). Our Court has experienced high tension incidents, particularly with Freemenon-
the-Land and CERI members, where persons in the public gallery had to be expelled,
sometimes by force.
 It is therefore appropriate that a court may adopt specific in-court and security procedures
in response to persons who are suspected OPCA litigants. Additional in-court security is
 In particular, this Court has discovered that OPCA litigants will make clandestine audio
and video recordings of Court proceedings, in violation of Court rules. These are then often
posted on the Internet.
 The fact that litigation involves OPCA motifs may also be a basis for a judge to order a
courtroom closed to the public, particularly if persons in the public gallery disrupt proceedings,
such as in Dempsey v. Envision Credit Union, 2006 BCSC 1324 at paras. 16-24, 60 B.C.L.R.
(4th) 309, or pose a physical threat. I have made an order of this kind about allowing public
entry, subject to a search and removal of prohibited electronic recording equipment prior to
VI.OPCA Concepts and Arguments
 Though OPCA concepts initially appear to be very diverse, they may be grouped into a
limited number of general categories. In this Court’s experience, apparently novel OPCA
concepts very often recycle old schemes, but use somewhat different terminology. These
variants, once assigned to a general category, are obviously defective.
 Different OPCA concepts and arguments are often interwoven. Concepts from different
general categories often appear in the same document or argument, as OPCA litigants freely
interchange and mix these ideas. As Mr. Meads’ materials and arguments illustrate, even a single
letter may apply numerous concepts from multiple general OPCA scheme and concept
categories. This ‘mixing’ and ‘layering’ occurs even when the result is illogical. For example,
Mr. Meads claims to only adhere and be subject to “God’s law”, yet emphasizes the alleged
operation and binding “universal” character of the UCC.
 As a preliminary note, review of the caselaw and this Court’s experience indicates that
OPCA concepts and argument do not generally rely on the Canadian Charter of Rights and
Freedoms, Part 1, Constitution Act, 1982, being Schedule B to the Canada Act 1982 (U.K.),
1982, c. 11 [the “Charter”]. This may reflect the fact most OPCA concepts are adapted from
American precursors, or that the typical OPCA litigant is unwilling to shield themselves under
the authority of the Charter. They instead prefer to frame their arguments around the Canadian
Bill of Rights (Canada (Minister of National Revenue - M.N.R.) v. Stanchfield, 2009 FC 99 at
paras. 29-30, 340 F.T.R. 150; see also R. v. Amell, 2010 SKPC 107 at paras. 156-157, 361
Sask.R. 61; Friesen v. Canada, 2007 TCC 287 at para. 3,  5 C.T.C. 2067), which has a
well-established limited legal effect (Attorney General of Canada v. Lavell,  S.C.R. 1349,
38 D.L.R. (3d) 481).
A. The Litigant is Not Subject to Court Authority
 A very common OPCA scheme category is that the OPCA litigant is in some manner
outside the jurisdiction of the court or state, or is somehow rendered immune from legal
obligations. This category has three general forms:
1. the jurisdiction of the court is restricted to certain specific domains, and the
OPCA litigant falls outside those categories;
2. the jurisdiction of the court is eliminated due to some defect; and
3. the OPCA litigant is in some manner immunized from the court’s actions.
1. Restricted Court Jurisdiction
 A common and older OPCA concept is that a Canadian court has a restricted jurisdiction.
The majority of these schemes appear to have an American origin.
a. Admiralty or Military Courts
 A typical situation is that an OPCA litigant may claim a court is a military or admiralty
court, and therefore has no jurisdiction over the litigant: Hajdu v. Ontario (Director, Family
Reponsibility Office), 2012 ONSC 1835; Ramjohn v. Rudd, 2007 ABQB 84, 156 A.C.W.S. (3d)
38; R. v. J.B.C. Securities Ltd., 2003 NBCA 53, 261 N.B.R. (2d) 199; this proceeding. Once the
true restricted nature of the court is ‘unmasked’, the litigant will declare themselves immune to
court action. That, of course, has been uniformly unsuccessful.
 Mr. Meads at one point pursued this approach in his oral arguments. He demanded to
know the meaning and significance of the Royal Coat of Arms of Canada attached to the back of
the courtroom, behind the bench. Once I translated the Latin motto “A Mari usque ad Mare”,
“from sea to sea”, Mr. Meads declared it meant the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench was an
admiralty court which had no jurisdiction over himself. Mr. Meads was in one sense correct; this
court can potentially address admiralty law matters, subject to legislation that assigns that
jurisdiction to the Federal Court (Zavarovalna Skupnost, (Insurance Community Triglav Ltd.)
v. Terrasses Jewellers Inc.,  1 S.C.R. 283, 54 N.R. 321; Federal Courts Act, R.S.C. 1985,
c F-7, s. 22). Admittedly landlocked as Alberta is, litigation of that kind is not exactly a common
occurrence. Mr. Meads is, however, manifestly mistaken if he thinks that is the sole jurisdiction
of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench.
 Another Admiralty Law based argument illustrates how the word “includes” seems to
baffle OPCA litigants. I have personally received a ‘foisted unilateral agreement’ (see below)
that explains that “Canada” is restricted to the oceans that surround the landmass and its internal
waters. The writer explains the basis of this argument is the Interpretation Act, R.S.C. 1985, c.
I-21, s. 35(1), which reads in part:
35. (1) In every enactment,
“Canada”, for greater certainty, includes the internal waters of Canada and the
territorial sea of Canada ... [Emphasis added.]
The author continued to declare that all Canadian courts:
... are nothing but pirates (criminals) operating on the high seas of commerce,
looking for some prize, and as such, they are de facto courts ... [Emphasis in
This may have been the argument advanced in R. v. Martin, 2012 NSPC 73 at para. 11.
 OPCA litigants who advance these schemes will often focus on certain aspects of court
formalities. Like Mr. Meads, they may scrutinize the court for some hidden indication of its true
nature. A strange but common belief is that a flag with yellow or gold thread ‘fringes’ “denotes a
military jurisdiction, not common law”. In R. v. J.B.C. Securities Ltd., 2003 NBCA 53 at para.
2, 261 N.B.R. (2d) 199, Chief Justice Drapeau of the New Brunswick Court of Appeal rejected a
motion by Lindsay “... removing the gold-fringed Canadian flag that has adorned the Court of
Appeal’s hearing room for years ...”. This motion, and the argument that “[t]here is no lawful
reason for a Canadian flag to be present other than the regular statutory authorized flag” was
frivolous and vexatious: para. 9.
b. Notaries are the Real Judges
 Another curious belief that purports to limit court jurisdiction is that notaries, as a kind of
common law official, in some manner possess judicial or judge-like authority that displaces the
authority of Canadian courts. In Jabez Financial Services Inc. (Receiver of) v. Sponagle, 2008
NSSC 112 at paras. 14, 264 N.S.R. (2d) 224 the OPCA litigant made the following claim:
Whereas it is my understanding that I can use a Notary Public to perform duties
found under any Act including thus they have the power to hold court and hear
evidence and issue binding lawful judgments, and,
Whereas it is my understanding that a Notary Public can also be used to bring
criminal charges to bear against traitors, even if they hold the highest office ...
 Naturally, this claim is rubbish, and the litigants offered no foundation for this concept.
The relevant legislation (Notaries Public Act, R.S.A. 2000, c. N-6; Notaries Public Regulation,
Alta. Reg 68/2003) does not authorize notaries to function in that manner. While I am a notary as
a consequence of my office as a Justice (Notaries Public Act, s. 4), that does not make all
notaries judges. OPCA litigants often assign special and misplaced significance to notaries and
their activities, see for example Papadopoulos v. Borg, 2009 ABCA 201 at paras. 3, 10.
 I will subsequently comment on the well established general authority of a superior court
of inherent jurisdiction, and how that defeats this argument category.
c. Religion or Religious Belief Trumps the Courts
 Religion is a common basis for a claim that a court cannot act. While the precise manner
in which religion or religious principles are invoked may vary, all these schemes appear to flow
from a common rationale; there is some form of religious authority or law that trumps that of the
court and Canada.
 Some OPCA litigants claim immunity on the basis of religion, or like Mr. Meads, say
they are only subject to something like “God’s Law”, or biblical principles. Often these religious
beliefs conveniently excuse an OPCA litigant from some onerous obligation, such as paying
taxes, or obtaining a driver’s licence, motor vehicle registration, and automobile insurance.
Members of the Edmonton area Church of the Ecumenical Redemption International, the group
headed by “minister” Belanger, claim that their possession and use of marijuana is authorized by
the King James Bible and therefore the state and courts have no authority to restrict those
activities. Similarly, Mr. Meads, in his submissions, stated he does not recognize marriage
outside a biblical context, and divorce can only flow from infidelity. He says a court-ordered
divorce based on other criteria cannot bind him.
 Belief, religious activity, and association is a protected right under Charter, s. 2(a).
However, Canadian courts recognize that as a restricted right that is subordinate “... to such
reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic
society.”: Charter, s. 1. The Supreme Court of Canada has been explicit that religious beliefs do
not trump the right of government to organize and regulate Canadian society, as was recently
reviewed in Alberta v. Hutterian Brethren of Wilson Colony, 2009 SCC 37,  2 S.C.R.
 OPCA litigants do not usually frame their religious arguments in a Charter context, but
that would be the appropriate approach for them to pursue the rights they say flow from their
beliefs, rather than a bald declaration of religion-based immunity. That is not to suggest that such
Charter-based arguments will succeed, but they will at least be appropriately framed.
 OPCA litigants have also seized on the preamble to The Constitution Act, 1982, Schedule
B to the Canada Act 1982 (UK), 1982, c .11, which reads:
Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God
and the rule of law ... [Emphasis added.]
 This passage has been the subject of occasional judicial commentary, most simply
because various litigants have argued that the preamble makes any of Canada’s laws subject to
the “supremacy of God”. This proposition is expertly dismantled and dismissed by Justice
Muldoon in O’Sullivan v. Canada (No. 2) (1991), 45 F.T.R. 284, 84 D.L.R. (4th) 124
(F.C.T.D.), where he concludes:
The preamble to the Charter provides an important element in defining Canada,
but recognition of the supremacy of God, emplaced in the supreme law of
Canada, goes no further than this: it prevents the Canadian state from becoming
officially atheistic. It does not make Canada a theocracy because of the enormous
variety of beliefs of how God (apparently the very same deity for Jews, Christians
and Muslims) wants people to behave generally and to worship in particular. The
preamble's recognition of the supremacy of God, then, does not prevent Canada
from being a secular state. [Emphasis added.]
See also Mercedes-Benz Financial v. Kovacevic,  O.J. No. 783 at para. 42, 2009 CanLII
9368 (Ont. Sup. Ct. J.); Pappas v. Canada, 2006 TCC 692 at paras. 1, 9-10,  G.S.T.C.
161; R. v. Demers, 2003 BCCA 28 at paras. 15-16, 177 B.C.A.C. 16, leave refused 
S.C.C.A. No. 103.
 Other OPCA litigants claim that legislation, common law, and court principles and
procedures are subject to “God’s Law”, or other divinely ordained rules or principles, have been
uniformly rejected: Bloom v. Canada, 2011 ONSC 1308 at paras. 6-7; Sandri v. Canada
(Attorney General), 2009 CanLII 44282 at paras. 5, 13, 179 A.C.W.S. (3d) 811 (Ont. Sup. Ct.
J.); Pappas v. Canada, 2006 TCC 692 at paras 1, 9-12,  G.S.T.C. 161; R. v. Lindsay, 2011
BCCA 99 at para. 31, 302 B.C.A.C. 76, leave refused  S.C.C.A. No. 265; Gravlin et al. v.
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce et al, 2005 BCSC 839 at para. 50, 140 A.C.W.S. (3d)
 In Dempsey v. Envision Credit Union, 2005 BCSC 1730 at para. 6, 145 A.C.W.S. (3d)
1040, this declaration took the form of a colourfully named “Constructive Notice of Child of
God Status”. At para. 30 Justice Garson concluded that was not a basis to remove her from a
trial, as the litigant “... has not "accepted" my jurisdiction to hear this matter.” The same
approach was unsuccessful at defeating the Law Society of British Columbia’s authority to
regulate legal practice: Law Society of British Columbia v. Dempsey, 2005 BCSC 1277 at paras.
8, 16, 179, 194, 142 A.C.W.S. (3d) 346, affirmed 2006 BCCA 161, 149 A.C.W.S. (3d) 735, see
also Szoo v. Canada (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), 2011 BCSC 696 at paras. 21, 45.
 Similarly, there is there is no “God given right” to travel on public roads that trumps
legislation: Sydorenko v. Manitoba, 2012 MBQB 42, see also R. v. Kaasgaard, 2011 MBQB
256, para. 7 and Winningham v. Canada. Justice Herauf concluded a debtors’s claim to be
“washed of debt by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ who has redeemed us of all debt ... is pure
unadulterated rubbish!”: Dirks v. Canada (Minister of National Revenue - M.N.R.); Dirks, Re,
2007 SKQB 124 at para. 7, 31 C.B.R. (5th) 192.
 Mr. Meads advanced an ill-formed argument that “God’s law” or the “Maximus of Law”
is the law that he chooses to apply in this proceeding. There is, of course, no basis for that
demand, and in any case that would not defeat or restrict the authority of this Court. The same
would be true of any argument that this Court’s authority is subject to any other religious
perspective or prescription.
2. Defective Court Authority
 In some instances an OPCA litigant may argue that a defect of some kind renders a court
or judge without authority. An OPCA litigant may attempt to identify that defect by demanding
that the court prove its authority is valid and genuine.
 A very common demand is that a judge provide some indication of valid authority.
Commonly that demand is for documentation, such as a certificate of appointment, or a copy of
an oath of office: R. v. Lindsay, 2006 BCSC 188, 68 W.C.B. (2d) 718, affirmed 2007 BCCA
214; Ramjohn v. Rudd, 2007 ABQB 84 at para. 9, 156 A.C.W.S. (3d) 38; Bank of Montreal v.
McCance, 2012 ABQB 537 at para. 7. In Alberta Treasury Branches v. Klassen, 2004 ABQB
463 at para. 25, 364 A.R. 230, an OPCA representative added the following post-script to his
If you had jurisdiction on June 7th, even under an Admiralty Court, you must
have taken an Oath. Can you provide me with a copy of your Oath, like other
professions must provide to show copies posted) of their certification, they are
legitimate and not imposters? It would be appreciated since it is demanded in Sec.
9.12,b of the Provincial Court Act. ("transmitted forthwith")
 Curiously, these litigants do not appear aware that judicial appointments are published as
 It is well established that a judge or court officer is presumptively authorized to act as
they do, and rather the OPCA litigant who claims some deficiency or bias must prove that
deficiency. In R. v. Crischuk, 2010 BCSC 716 at paras. 36-38, affirmed 2010 BCCA 391, 2010
D.T.C. 5141, Justice Barrows explained that onus in this manner:
37 ... His position appears to be that simply announcing a challenge to the
authority of the judge or the Crown to occupy the positions they occupy is
sufficient. It is not. There must be some evidence that casts into doubt that which
otherwise appears regular on its face. There is no evidence to doubt Judge
Hogan's status. Thus, this ground of the appeal, to the extent it relates to Judge
Hogan's failure to produce a certified copy of his oath of office, has no merit.
See also: R. v. Lemieux, 2007 SKPC 135 at para. 12.
 An OPCA litigant sometimes demands that a judge swear various oaths and follows with
an allegation that a failure to do so defeats the court’s authority. That is what appeared to happen
in Kilini Creek/Patricia Hills Area Landowners v. Lac Ste. Anne (County) Subdivision and
Development Appeal Board, 2001 ABCA 92 at para. 2, 104 A.C.W.S. (3d) 1142. Justice
McClung’s response was succinct:
Reverend Belanger demands that I take an oath (for his use) that acknowledges
the supremacy of God and the Charter of Rights. I have declined this opportunity.
b. The Court Proves It Has Jurisdiction and Acts Fairly
 Other reported demands to demonstrate judicial authority include:
• “are you a public servant?”: Dempsey v. Envision Credit Union, 2006 BCSC
1324 at paras. 31, 32, 33, 60 B.C.L.R. (4th) 309;
• that the court “state its jurisdiction”: Hajdu v. Ontario (Director, Family
Reponsibility Office), 2012 ONSC 1835 at para. 20; and
• a court disprove it acts “in colour of law”: Hajdu v. Ontario (Director, Family
Reponsibility Office), 2012 ONSC 1835 at para. 22.
 Other OPCA litigants claim judicial bias, influence, or conspiracy. However, a litigant
who advances that kind of claim has an obligation to provide positive evidence to support the
alleged conspiracy: R. v. Sydel, 2010 BCSC 1470 at paras. 27-29, see also R. v. Sydel, 2010
BCSC 1473 at paras. 18-23, 39,  1 C.T.C. 200, affirmed 2011 BCCA 103, leave refused
 S.C.C.A. No. 191.
c. Court Formalities
 A further alleged defect category involves some formal aspect of the court or its
activities. For example, Henry has argued that whether a judge is or is not gowned affects the
judge’s jurisdiction: Henry v. Starwood Hotels, 2010 ABCA 367, leave refused  S.C.C.A.
No. 475; Henry v. El, 2010 ABCA 312 at para. 3, leave refused  S.C.C.A. No. 138.
 A parallel concept is advanced by Edmonton area OPCA guru Belanger, who puts special
significance on the edition of the Bible present in the courtroom and that a witness holds when
swearing their evidence will be accurate and complete. Belanger claims that only a King James
Bible (and perhaps a specific edition) can serve in that role. Of course, that is nonsense. There is
neither legislation or common law that makes that requirement. The Alberta Evidence Act,
R.S.A. 2000, c. A-18, s. 15(1) states the oath requires a person hold “... the Bible or New
Testament, or Old Testament in the case of an adherent of the Jewish religion ...”, while s. 15(2)
also permits that “... the oath may be taken or sworn on any one of the 4 Gospels.”
 As for any common-law requirement, there is no question that the specific choice of
Bible (or other sacred text) present in a courtroom falls within the jurisdiction of a court to
manage its proceedings and procedures: I.H. Jacob, “The Inherent Jurisdiction of the Court”
(1970) 23 Current Legal Problems 23, cited in B.C.G.E.U. v. British Columbia (Attorney
General),  2 S.C.R. 214, 53 D.L.R. (4th) 1; R. v. Morales,  3 S.C.R. 711, 144 N.R.
176; R. v. Hinse,  4 S.C.R. 597, 130 D.L.R. (4th) 54; MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. v. Simpson,
 4 S.C.R. 725, 130 D.L.R. (4th) 385, see also R. v. Gillespie, 2000 MBCA 1, 185 D.L.R.
(4th) 214 and R. v. Levogiannis,  4 S.C.R. 475 at paras. 27-28, 160 N.R. 371.
 A recent Ontario case, Hajdu v. Ontario (Director, Family Reponsibility Office), 2012
ONSC 1835 at paras. 10-14, reports a bizarre defective court authority OPCA concept. The trial
judge adjourned a hearing and exited the courtroom in response to disruptive conduct by the
OPCA litigant. That litigant, a self-declared sovereign man, then said:
The judge has left the court; has abandoned the court. I, as a sovereign, claim
authority and dismiss the matter.
 The transcript indicates the clerk then responded: “No, you cannot.” The OPCA litigant
left the courtroom. The proceeding continued later after first the judge and then the OPCA
litigant returned. On appeal, Justice Coats concluded that the adjournment did not end the matter
in the OPCA litigant’s favour, or permit the litigant to ‘seize control’ and end the proceeding.
d. The State is Defective
 A more global attack on the authority of the state has also been advanced as a defect that
allegedly defeats court action. A good example of this variant is a peculiar argument that no
post-1931 Governor General had a valid appointment because of a defect in the 1931 Statute of
Westminster. That defect alleged cascaded to invalidate all post-1931 government legislation and
action, including the operation of the courts and appointment of judges: R. v. Dick, 2001 BCPC
275; R. v. Lindsay, 2004 MBCA 147 at para. 32, 187 Man.R. (2d) 236.
 Lindsay has also alleged that a defect in Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation oath subverts all
government and judicial authority, as the Queen is “... constitutionally and contractually to
uphold and enforce the laws of God as they are set out in the King James Version of the Holy
Bible, which are the supreme source of law ...”: R. v. Lindsay, 2011 BCCA 99 at paras. 31, 302
B.C.A.C. 76, leave refused  S.C.C.A. No. 265. That allegedly collapses state and judicial
authority. Unsurprisingly, the British Columbia Court of Appeal has concluded that argument
has no basis: at para. 32.
e. Conclusion - Defective Court Authority
 All ‘defective court authority’ schemes face two issues:
1. a rebuttable presumption that a court and judge are authorized; and
2. the intrinsic authority of superior courts of inherent jurisdiction, a point I will
 OPCA litigants do not address either point. ‘Defective court’ arguments are bald
allegations that the litigant deploys and then demands the court rebut. These frivolous arguments
have a strong parallel in certain American OPCA concepts. Perhaps the strangest is reported by
Jol A. Silversmith in “The "Missing Thirteenth Amendment": Constitutional Nonsense and
Titles of Nobility”, 8 Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal 577 (April 1999). That
paper documents how certain U.S. OPCA litigants allege that a secret and lost U.S.
Constitutional Amendment subverts the authority of judges and lawyers by stripping their status
as American citizens because they are petty British nobility, “esquires”.
3. Immune to Court Jurisdiction - ‘Magic Hats’
 Another branch of the immunity category flows from an argument that a person has some
status or has undertaken certain steps that renders the OPCA litigant immune to court action. I
have given this category the name ‘magic hats’ to capture the manner in which OPCA gurus and
litigants approach these arguments. They freely wear, remove, and switch ‘magic hats’ as need
be. Many OPCA schemes are a combination, or succession, of ‘magic hats’.
 The manner in which ‘magic hat’ schemes are presented is sometimes entirely arbitrary;
a litigant only need say “I am a sovereign man”, or “I am a Freeman-on-the-Land”, and then are
allegedly rendered immune to state and court action, all without any other further effort,
explanation, or rationale. Some litigants go further: Gravlin et al. v. Canadian Imperial Bank of
Commerce et al, 2005 BCSC 839 at para. 24, 140 A.C.W.S. (3d) 447 reports a litigant who filed
an “Affidavit of Non-Participation in Commercial Activity” that announced “I am immune from
the Jurisdiction of any Court in Canada.”
 Sometimes a ‘magic hat’ is accompanied by a theoretical context to explain the operation
of the ‘magic hat’. Mr. Meads, for example, explained his immunity to state and court action via
his choice to be subject to “God’s law”, the “Maximus of Law”, which applies to him as he is a
“living flesh and blood sentient-man”.
 In these Reasons I will survey and categorize the plethora of ‘magic hats’ that are
reported in Canadian jurisprudence and that have also been identified by this Court. There are
three special categories of ‘magic hat’ schemes that will be reviewed separately because of their
complex nature and due to the variations in which they are often expressed, that:
1. no legal obligation can be enforced on the OPCA litigant without his or her
2. a single person has two legal aspects, or can be split into two legal entities, and
3. an OPCA litigant can unilaterally bind the state, a state actor, a court, or other
persons with a ‘foisted’ agreement.
 I will first examine and catalogue the simpler ‘magic hats’. These are not so much
separate and distinct categories, but instead potentially useful groups for analysis and review.
Sometime a particular ‘magic hat’ will fall into more than one group, depending on how it is
expressed (or worn).
a. I Belong to an Exempt Group
 Many OPCA litigants argue that they cannot be the target of state sanction or legal
obligation because they are not subject to that kind of obligation. These arguments are often
bizarre. For example, Warman, then represented by Lindsay, (unsuccessfully) argued that the
Criminal Code only applies to “fictitious persons”, and not “a sovereign, flesh and blood living
man”: R. v. Warman, 2001 BCCA 510 at paras. 9-10, 13-14. That was “... rejected as being
without any legal, historical or constitutional foundation whatsoever.”: para. 14. A similar
argument that only corporations, and not human beings, are subject to Canadian law was
addressed and rejected in Waterloo (Regional Municipality) v. Bydeley, 2010 ONCJ 740 at para.
54, affirmed 2011 ONCJ 842, affirmed  O.J. No. 6282 (QL) (Ont. C.A.), see also
Winningham v. Canada where the litigant claimed the Criminal Code only applies to
“corporations and fictitious persons”.
 In R. v. Martin, 2012 NSPC 73 at para. 10 a Detaxer interpreted Charter, s. 32 to
indicate that all Canadian law only applies to entities that advance government policy, programs,
or functions. That proposition was rejected.
 Another school of the ‘exempt’ category claims the OPCA litigant is immune because of
an association with some foreign nation-state, or aboriginal affiliation. These jurisdictions are
often imaginary. This concept is popular among American OPCA litigants. For example, my
office occasionally receives complex documents from persons who claim to be citizens of Texas,
an independent nation-state. On that basis, they claim immunity from traffic tickets issued in
Alberta. Persons in this category will manufacture their own ‘national’ identification and license
plates. Winningham attempted this approach, but also claimed to be an ambassador of the
“Nation of Texas”: Winningham v. Canada.
 Aboriginal status (real or fictitious) is another basis that allegedly provides immunity to
court action or income tax obligation: Bloom v. Canada, 2010 FC 621 at paras. 3, 16,  5
C.T.C. 143; R. v. Crischuk, 2010 BCSC 716 at paras. 26-29, affirmed 2010 BCCA 391, 2010
D.T.C. 5141; see also Louison v. Ochapowace Indian Band #71, 2011 SKQB 87, 369 Sask.R.
258, affirmed 2011 SKCA 119 for a general commentary on the effect of pre-colonial
occupation of lands. This court has received correspondence from “The Tacit Supreme In Law
Court” of the “Sovran Nations Embassies of Mother Earth” which appears to combine aboriginal
status and claimed nation status as a basis for immunity.
 An interesting variation on the aboriginal immunity concept is advanced by Henry as
“:Chief : Nanya-Shaabu: El: of the At-sik-hata Nation of Yamassee Moors.” Henry not only
claims to be the head of an independent nation-state and aboriginal community, but that his tribe
owns Canada. He now demands rent. Henry has at times filed bizarre and elaborate documents
with this Court that appear intended to assert and enforce that ownership. I agree with Justice
Sanderman’s succinct evaluation of Henry’s claims as “total gibberish”: Henry Estate v. Alberta
Health Services, 2011 ABQB 113. Similarly, “Moorish” affiliation, in this case membership in
the “Moorish Divine and National Movement of North America”, did not provide inherent
jurisdiction or a capacity to trump Canadian legislation, administrative tribunals, or the courts:
Shakes v. Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness), 2011 CanLII 60494 at para.
 Henry also has worn a literal ‘magic hat’! In the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench Henry
v. Starwood Hotels (1 September 2010) Edmonton 1003-01152 (Alberta Q.B.) before Justice
Shelley, Henry appeared wearing what is best described as ceremonial garb, with a robe and red
fez, that he indicated had special significance. Subsequently, Henry has appeared in Chambers
wearing what appeared to be a lawyer’s robes. It seems that Moorish Law advocates place
special weight on court dress, particularly since Henry appealed Justice Shelley’s findings in part
on the basis that he had garbed himself in a manner appropriate for the occasion, but she had not:
Henry v. Starwood Hotels, 2010 ABCA 367 at para. 4, leave refused  S.C.C.A. No. 475.
 Unsurprisingly, the Detaxers have developed their own “exempt” arguments as to why
they should not have to pay income tax. I have previously commented on the thoroughly
discredited argument that only corporations are taxpayers: R. v. Klundert, 2008 ONCA 767 at
para. 19, 93 O.R. (3d) 81, leave refused  S.C.C.A. No. 522; R. v. Lindsay, 2011 BCCA 99
at para. 27, 302 B.C.A.C. 76, leave refused  S.C.C.A. No. 265; R. v. Pinno, 2002 SKPC
118 at paras. 12-13, 15-16,  3 C.T.C. 308; Kennedy v. Canada (Customs and Revenue
Agency),  4 C.T.C. 186, 2000 D.T.C. 6524 (Ont. Sup. Ct. J.). Justice Myers put it as well
as anyone in Porisky Trial Decision at para. 58:
Mr. Porisky's theory not only does not bear any legal logic but it also fails to
accord with common sense. It is a failed attempt at word magic and has no
 Similarly, a claim that the obligation to pay tax falls solely on government employees
was rejected in Turnnir v. The Queen, 2011 TCC 495 at para. 5. I believe this is a literal
application of what I understand to be a common American OPCA argument that the Internal
Revenue Service classifies and penalizes as a “frivolous tax argument”, for example: McAffee v.
United States, 84 A.F.T.R. 2d 99 (N.D.Ga. 1999)
 Obligation to adhere to motor vehicle licensing, registration, and insurance seems to have
spawned considerable OPCA litigant activity. One apparently common argument is that the
OPCA litigant is not subject to those requirements because that legislation only applies to either
commercial vehicles (Waterloo (Regional Municipality) v. Bydeley, 2010 ONCJ 740 at paras.
35-38, affirmed 2011 ONCJ 842, affirmed  O.J. No. 6282 (QL) (Ont. C.A.)), or vehicles
operated by corporations (R. v. Kaasgaard, 2011 MBQB 256 at paras. 8-9).
 Similarly, courts have rejected arguments that a “driver” in motor vehicle legislation is
restricted to obsolete interpretations of that definition: persons who direct horse-drawn vehicles,
or persons whose profession involves moving livestock (Waterloo (Regional Municipality) v.
Bydeley, 2010 ONCJ 740 at paras. 39-46, affirmed 2011 ONCJ 842, affirmed  O.J. No.
6282 (QL) (Ont. C.A.)). This case reports the quite common OPCA litigant strategy of only
citing historic rather than current references: para. 39. The failure of this and related arguments
was summarized by Justice Stinson in this manner at para. 56:
It may well be the defendant's wish not to be governed by the HTA, or any other
statute, for that matter. It may offend her personal beliefs, which she is obviously
entitled to have. But, if she does not wish to be subject to the HTA, the solution is
quite clear. She simply need not drive. The HTA, whether the defendant likes it or
not, governs her conduct when she is the driver of a vehicle on a highway in the
Province of Ontario. [Emphasis added.]
b. I Declare Myself Immune
 Another common variation on the ‘immunity’ category is that a unilateral declaration of
some form may defeat state and court authority. This concept is closely associated with the
Sovereign Man and Freeman-on-the-Land movements, but also emerges in other contexts. The
‘immune declaration’ concept is interwoven into the general ‘obligation requires agreement’
OPCA strategy category, later reviewed in more detail.
 Of course, it is indeed possible to cease to be governed by Canadian law. One only need
leave Canada and break formal ties with this jurisdiction. However, the ‘immune by declaration’
school claims a person can live in Canada but without any obligation or responsibility as a
consequence of some special status, which has various names such as a “sovereign man”, a
“freeman”, or a “Freeman-on-the-Land”. This “immune by declaration” group often draws an
arbitrary line between “statutes” and “common law”, and says they are subject to “common
law”, but not legislation. Mr. Meads appears to have adopted that kind of distinction.
 Often immunity is based on nothing more than a bald allegation of some ‘magic hat’
status that flows from a name-based category. Examples include a claim to be:
• a “Freeman-on-the-Land”: Harper v. Atchison, 2011 SKQB 38 at paras. 6, 15,
369 Sask.R. 134, see also Szoo v. Canada (Royal Canadian Mounted Police),
2011 BCSC 696; Jabez Financial Services Inc. (Receiver of) v. Sponagle, 2008
NSSC 112 at paras. 14, 18, 264 N.S.R. (2d) 224; in relation to criminal
prosecution: R. v. McCormick, 2012 NSSC 150 at para. 9;
• a “Freeman and a Natural Person”: Summerland (District) v. No Strings
Enterprises Ltd., 2003 BCSC 990 at para. 19, 124 A.C.W.S. (3d) 39, leave denied
2004 BCCA 360, 131 A.C.W.S. (3d) 99;
• a “Freeman-on-the-Land” and unilaterally defining relationships and obligations
with others by “treaty”: Harper v. Atchison, 2011 SKQB 38 at paras. 6, 15, 369
• a “free will full liability person” under “Anglo-Saxon Common Law”: Dempsey
v. Envision Credit Union, 2006 BCSC 1324 at para. 39, 60 B.C.L.R. (4th) 309;
Alberta Treasury Branches v. Klassen, 2004 ABQB 463 at para. 25, 364 A.R.
• a “sovereign man” or “sovereign citizen”: MBNA Canada Bank v. Luciani, 2011
ONSC 6347 at para. 14; R. v. Warman, 2001 BCCA 510 at paras. 9-10, 15; and
• a nation-state: Williams v. Johnston,  O.J. No. 4853 (QL) at para. 8, 2008
CanLII 63194 (Ont. S.C.), affirmed 2009 ONCA 335, 176 A.C.W.S. (3d) 609,
leave refused  S.C.C.A. No. 266.
 Attempts to unilaterally declare immunity to income tax obligations are not uncommon,
see: R. v. Klundert, 2008 ONCA 767 at para. 20, 93 O.R. (3d) 81, leave refused  S.C.C.A.
No. 522; R. v. Klundert (2004), 242 D.L.R. (4th) 644, 190 O.A.C. 36 (Ont. C.A.), leave refused
 S.C.C.A. No. 463; R. v. Pinno, 2002 SKPC 118 at paras. 22,  3 C.T.C. 308; R. v.
Sargent, 2004 ONCJ 356 at paras. 40-41,  1 C.T.C. 448.
 Similarly, in Jabez Financial Services Inc. (Receiver of) v. Sponagle, 2008 NSSC 112
at para. 14, 264 N.S.R. (2d) 224 and Szoo v. Canada (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), 2011
BCSC 696 at paras. 17, 45 the OPCA litigants declared they had “abandoned” their social
insurance number. In Gravlin et al. v. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce et al, 2005 BCSC
839 at para. 24, 140 A.C.W.S. (3d) 447 the claim of immunity was a consequence of a
declaration the OPCA litigant would not enter into “commercial activities”, and therefore “I am
immune from the Jurisdiction of any Court in Canada.”
c. I Have Been Incorrectly Identified
 Another common claim is that the OPCA litigant is not the person identified in the
litigation documents: R. v. Lindsay, 2011 BCCA 99 at para. 31, 302 B.C.A.C. 76, leave refused
 S.C.C.A. No. 265. This concept is usually linked to the ‘double/split person’ OPCA
strategy category, so the OPCA litigant will then explain they are some kind of representative,
agent, trustee, or guardian for the litigation’s actual target.
 Given the obsessive focus of the OPCA movement for documentary and procedural
formalities (real or imagined), it is unsurprising that they have developed a wealth of arbitrary
name-related rules. For example, Canadian courts have evaluated and rejected the following
• a person is not immune from court action if that person identifies himself by an
entirely different name, for example, “Mythlim-Axkw” instead of “Kazimierz
Chester Crischuk”: R. v. Crischuk, 2010 BCSC 716 at paras. 31-32, affirmed
2010 BCCA 391, 2010 D.T.C. 5141; Shakes v. Canada (Public Safety and
Emergency Preparedness), 2011 CanLII 60494 at para. 11 (I.R.B.); Services de
financement TD inc. c. Michaud, 2011 QCCQ 14868 at para. 6;
• structuring a name in the format of [Firstname]-[Middlename]: [Lastname], i.e.
“David-Kevin: Lindsay”, does not mean one is a separate person from “David
Kevin Lindsay”: R. v. Lindsay, 2006 BCCA 150 at para. 3, 265 D.L.R. (4th) 193;
R. v. Lindsay, 2008 BCPC 203 at para. 7,  1 C.T.C 86, affirmed 2010
BCSC 831,  5 C.T.C. 174, affirmed 2011 BCCA 99, 302 B.C.A.C. 76,
leave refused  S.C.C.A. No. 265;
• structuring a name in the format [Firstname] of the [family] of [Lastname], i.e.
“John Donald of the family Sargent”, does not mean one is a separate person from
“John Donald Sargent”: R. v. Sargent, 2004 ONCJ 356 at para. 29,  1
• there is no legal distinction between a name in upper case and lower case letters,
and a name all in capital letters: R. v. Linehan, 2000 ABQB 815 at para. 13, 276
A.R. 383; R. v. Loosdrecht, 2008 BCPC 400 at para. 36,  4 C.T.C. 49; R. v.
Lemieux, 2007 SKPC 135 at paras. 45-46,  2 C.T.C. 291;
• a claim that the person named in litigation is incorrectly identified by a “war
name” or “nom de guerre” is irrelevant: Canada v. Galbraith, 2001 BCSC 675 at
paras. 25-29, 54 W.C.B. (2d) 504; and
• a name all in capitals is not a “legal fiction” and not different from “a flesh, blood
and bone man”: Ontario (Director, Family Responsibility Office) v. Boyle,
 O.J. No. 2181 (QL) at paras. 3-5, 149 A.C.W.S. (3d) 127 (Ont. Sup. Ct.
 Similarly, OPCA litigants have demanded that court documents, such as informations
and summons, display their names in all capital letters: R. v. Lawson, 2012 BCSC 356 at para. 9,
2012 D.T.C. 5069. That, presumably, would then allow the litigant to claim that the all-capitals
name related to someone else, and thereby go free.
d. I Am Subject to a Different Law
 Another ‘immunity’ ‘magic hat’ is an argument that the litigant is only subject to a
different form of law than that which would otherwise apply to the present action. This category
is arguably a facet of the ‘restricted court authority’ immunity group.
 It is helpful at this point to make a few comments on the manner in which OPCA litigants
often use the term “common law”. OPCA litigants often draw an arbitrary line between
“statutes” and “common law”, and say they are subject to “common law”, but not legislation. Of
course, the opposite is in fact true, the “common law” is law developed incrementally by courts,
and which is subordinate to legislation: statutes and regulations passed by the national and
provincial governments. The Constitution Act provides the rules and principles that restrict the
scope and nature of legislation, both by jurisdiction and on the basis of rights (ie. the Charter).
 Persons who claim to only be subject to the “common law” also do not appear to mean
the current common law, but typically instead reference some historic, typically medieval, form
of English law, quite often the Magna Carta, which, as I have previously observed, is generally
 Alberta Treasury Branches v. Klassen, 2004 ABQB 463 at para. 25, 364 A.R. 230
provides an example of how this ‘mutant’ common law may be expressed:
The above pose the fundamental reasons why I asked for a Court where this case
could be tried under Natural law, for the Natural human person, an Anglo-Saxon
Common Law Court. A Court without pretension, on a level floor without tiers,
where the Judge is not in an Administrative capacity, but that of a Minister - not
unlike the clergy. It's a court where jurisdiction is declared with a flying Canadian
flag on the building or within the designated Courtroom.
If Alberta does not have such a Court, it is incumbent to be provided. Otherwise it
is contravening justice being served or seeming to be served, because the Court is
operating under the colour of law.
 Another example of the peculiar OPCA definition of common law is that certain litigants
will claim to not require motor vehicle registrations, licenses, or license plates, because when
they operate a motor vehicle they are exercising their common law “right to travel”: R. v.
Peddle, 1999 ABCA 284 at para. 7, 244 A.R. 184.
 The Courts have consistently rejected OPCA arguments that the common law trumps
legislation: R. v. Sargent, 2004 ONCJ 356 at paras. 42-43,  1 C.T.C. 448. OPCA litigants
also sometimes advance an ill-defined “natural law” which is the sole authority over “flesh and
blood” or “natural human persons”: Alberta Treasury Branches v. Klassen, 2004 ABQB 463 at
paras. 25, 32, 364 A.R. 230, see also R. v. Warman, 2001 BCCA 510 at paras. 9-10, 15. This
language also appears in Mr. Meads’ ‘fee schedule’.
 Similarly, attempts to apply foreign law, very often the UCC, are without merit: Henry v.
El, 2010 ABCA 312 at para. 3, leave refused  S.C.C.A. No. 138; R. v. Pinno, 2002 SKPC
118 at paras. 12-13, 17-18,  3 C.T.C. 308. A combination of these features is evident in
the documents reproduced in Papadopoulos v. Borg, 2009 ABCA 201 at para. 3.
 Reversing the more typical position that a court is restricted to an admiralty law
jurisdiction, some OPCA litigants have instead claimed they are solely subject to that kind of
authority: Ramjohn v. Rudd, 2007 ABQB 84 at para. 9, 156 A.C.W.S. (3d) 38; Papadopoulos v.
Borg, 2009 ABCA 201 at para. 3.
 Last, OPCA litigants and gurus tend to emphasize Black’s Law Dictionary as an
authoritative source for Canadian law. One could say that this is their (legal) bible. For example,
Mr. Meads explained to me that as he learned about the law, he discovered the true meaning of
the word “license”, “an authorization to do something otherwise illegal”, from Black’s Law
 This choice of ‘bible’ is peculiar, given that Black’s Law Dictionary is an American,
rather than Canadian text. Of course, Canadian courts do make reference to Black’s Law
Dictionary, but it has nowhere near the same relevance as, say, Justice Côté’s recent text, Words
That Bind: Words and Phrases Judicially Considered by the Supreme Court of Canada and by
the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council to 1949 (Edmonton: Juriluber, 2011), or John B.
Saunders, Words and Phrases Legally Defined (3rd ed.) (London: Butterworths, 1988-2007).
 Further, it is not uncommon that OPCA litigants will cite obsolete, older versions of
Black’s Law Dictionary. The second edition appears particularly popular, perhaps because it is
now in the public domain. In court, an OPCA litigant may recite a passage from Black’s Law
Dictionary and then demand to know how that is incorrect.
 As discussed below in relation to the ‘obligation requires agreement’ OPCA scheme
category, certain OPCA litigants attempt to frame interactions between individuals and states as
purely a form of contract, thus allegedly negating the effect of legislation. This approach has
been uniformly rejected (Sandri v. Canada (Attorney General), 2009 CanLII 44282 at paras. 6,
13, 179 A.C.W.S. (3d) 811 (Ont. Sup. Ct. J.); R. v. Lindsay, 2011 BCCA 99 at para. 32, 302
B.C.A.C. 76, leave refused  S.C.C.A. No. 265), as are claims that the state has no
authority in matrimonial and family matters because that too is a contract between two private
persons (Hajdu v. Ontario (Director, Family Reponsibility Office), 2012 ONSC 1835 at para.
 Mr. Meads has advanced that latter argument. He says his marriage with Ms. Meads was
a contract governed by “God’s law”, rather than the Divorce Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. 3 (2nd Supp),
and Matrimonial Property Act, R.S.A. 2000, c. M-8. Neither legislation provides for an
alternative scheme of law, and so I reject Mr. Meads’ claim.
e. Conscientious Objector
 Non-religious belief has been advanced and rejected as a basis for immunity to state and
court action. This has typically emerged in an income tax context. This is the chief theme of
OPCA guru Lavigne, his thesis being that he should not be obliged to pay tax or presumably
engage in any other activity that may promote thermonuclear war or cause mass murder:
Jackson v. Canada (Customs and Revenue Agency), 2001 SKQB 377 at para. 36, 210 Sask.R.
285; R. v. Reddick, 2002 SKCA 89 at para. 8, 54 W.C.B. (2d) 646.
 In R. v. McMordie, 2001 BCCA 412, 155 B.C.A.C. 21, Justice Proudfoot, at para. 9,
rejected a parallel argument:
It appears that the appellant and his friends are under the impression that because
he is contesting the payment of taxes based on his "political beliefs" rather than
"self-interest" he is somehow or other entitled to immunity and cannot be
prosecuted. This is a very interesting notion, but wholly devoid of merit.
Similarly, a claim that a person is a “tax protestor” also does not eliminate the obligation to pay
income tax: R. v. Klundert, 2008 ONCA 767 at para. 24, 93 O.R. (3d) 81, leave refused 
S.C.C.A. No. 522.
 Though perhaps disappointing to those who advance these theories, the fact remains that
issues of policy are not ones that a court can review. As a consequence, the courts have no
authority to evaluate the policy aspects that drive state processes such as taxation. This was
clearly expressed in Giagnocavo v. Canada (1995), 95 D.T.C. 5650 at paras. 7-9, 58 A.C.W.S.
... From a philosophical point of view, a case can no doubt be made that the
impugned statute is cruel and inhuman, that it is a travesty of recognized moral
values, that it constitutes an intrusion of the state not only in the bedrooms of the
nation, as was said in another case, but in its piggy-banks as well. One could also
say that a good number of citizens share the applicant's view in these matters, and
would ring bells and dance in the streets if ever there were liberated from the
unconscionable burden of taxation.
The basic difficulty, however, is that the position taken by the applicant, although
under the umbrella of judicial proceedings, is in fact a policy position over which
courts and their judges have no jurisdiction. Policy issues are for legislators, and
judicial issues only for judges. [Emphasis added.]
f. Tax-Related ‘Magic Hats’
 Detaxers and other OPCA litigants have advanced a wealth of ‘magic hats’ that allegedly
negate an obligation to pay income tax. Some relate to the relationship between the state and an
• a person is immune from tax obligation because they are “a shareholder” in a
jurisdiction or municipality has been rejected: R. v. Lawson, 2012 BCSC 356 at
para. 10, 2012 D.T.C. 5069;
• a person can pay for their income tax via a pro-rated share of government
property “... is pure unadulterated rubbish!”: Dirks v. Canada (Minister of
National Revenue - M.N.R.); Dirks, Re, 2007 SKQB 124 at para. 7, 31 C.B.R.
• an obligation to pay income tax arises only as a bargain in exchange for
government programs such as the Canada Pension Plan, so if a person waives a
claim to government programs, they also waive their requirement to pay income
tax, has been rejected: Porisky Trial Decision at para. 66; and
• the Canadian government has been financed by a secret arrangement that turns its
citizens into corporations with “military names” has been rejected: R. v. Proteau,
2002 SKPC 119 at paras. 6-7,  3 C.T.C. 118.
 Others allegedly relate to some kind of right:
• collecting income tax:
• is contrary to religious belief and thus offends Charter, s. 2(a): Pappas v.
Canada, 2006 TCC 692 at paras. 1, 11-12,  G.S.T.C. 161;
• breaches the taxpayer’s Charter, ss. 7-8 rights: Coulbeck v. University of
Toronto,  O.J. No. 4003 (QL) 142 A.C.W.S. (3d) 889 (Ont. Sup. Ct.
• is a prohibited indirect tax under British North America Act (the
Constitution Act), s. 91(3) as that authority is negated or displaced by the
s. 92(2) provincial authority of direct taxation: Bruno v. Canada, 2000
BCSC 190,  2 C.T.C. 16, affirmed 2002 BCCA 47, 162 B.C.A.C.
• the redistributive effect of the Income Tax Act is contrary to the Charter and
causes involuntary servitude: Giagnocavo v. Canada (1995), 95 D.T.C. 5650 at
paras. 7-9, 58 A.C.W.S. (3d) 401 (F.C.(T.D.));
• an unlimited right to demand information from the Canada Revenue Agency and
its employees: R. v. Voth, 2001 SKQB 469 at paras. 6-16, 211 Sask.R. 270,
affirmed 2002 SKCA 47, 223 Sask.R. 119;
• income tax violates “human rights and fundamental freedoms” derived from the
Canadian Bill of Rights: Friesen v. Canada, 2007 TCC 287 at para. 3,  5
C.T.C. 2067; and
• the notwithstanding clause is required to allow the Income Tax Act to operate
without breach of the Canadian Bill of Rights: Canada (Minister of National
Revenue - M.N.R.) v. Stanchfield, 2009 FC 99 at paras. 29-30, 340 F.T.R. 150,
see also R. v. Amell, 2010 SKPC 107 at paras. 156-157, 361 Sask.R. 61.
 Some OPCA litigants allege that the income tax system is in some manner fraudulent.
For example, the OPCA litigant in R. v. Callow, 2000 ABQB 335 at para. 18,  3 C.T.C.
427 argued that filing an income tax return is committing fraud. Alternatively, in Bruno v.
Canada, 2000 BCSC 190 at paras. 10, 34,  2 C.T.C. 16, affirmed 2002 BCCA 47, 162
B.C.A.C. 293, the litigant said the ‘alleged’ national debt is a fraudulent scheme to extract funds
for the International Monetary Fund.
 Unsurprisingly, there are a range of income tax related ‘formalities’ caselaw. For
example, Detaxers have argued that the state must provide a fully amended and certified
complete version of the Income Tax Act: R. v. Bruno, 2002 BCCA 348 at para. 7; R. v. Gibbs,
2006 BCSC 481 at para. 54,  3 C.T.C. 223; Iwanow v. Canada, 2008 TCC 22 at paras. 18-
21, 2008 CCI 22; R. v. Fehr, 2002 SKPC 8, 224 Sask.R. 132, see also Audcent v. Maleki, 2006
ONCJ 401,  1 C.T.C. 212. They also have attempted to use a “certified copy” of
legislation, here the Excise Tax Act, to prove compliance, where that legislation was
subsequently amended: R. v. Nagel, 2010 SKCA 118 at paras. 13-14, 362 Sask.R. 145.
 Some perceived defect in the 1948 version of the Income Tax Act has been rejected as a
basis to invalidate the current income tax legislation scheme: R. v. Lemieux, 2007 SKPC 135 at
paras. 31-33,  2 C.T.C. 291; R. v. Crischuk, 2010 BCSC 716 at paras. 48-52, affirmed
2010 BCCA 391, 2010 D.T.C. 5141; R. v. Crischuk, 2010 BCCA 391 at para. 3, 2010 D.T.C.
5141; R. v. Sydel, 2010 BCSC 1473 at paras. 24-25, 35,  1 C.T.C. 200, affirmed 2011
BCCA 103, leave refused  S.C.C.A. No. 191.
 Other OPCA litigants claim that ‘income’ has a restricted meaning, and for example:
• does not include compensation for work: R. v. Amell, 2010 SKPC 107 at para.
144, 361 Sask.R. 61; R. v. Turnnir, 2006 BCPC 460; Porisky Trial Decision at
para. 65; R. v. Smith, 2006 BCSC 1493 at para. 34,  1 C.T.C. 147, leave
refused 2007 BCCA 499,  1 C.T.C. 61,
• does not include payments made under a “contract for hire” to a “natural person”:
R. v. Amell, 2010 SKPC 107 at paras. 137-138, 361 Sask.R. 61; R. v. Turnnir,
2006 BCPC 460; R. v. Smith, 2006 BCSC 1493 at para. 34,  1 C.T.C. 147,
leave refused 2007 BCCA 499,  1 C.T.C. 61, and
• taxable income is only the value of a person’s labour, as “a man is worth his
labour”: Porisky Trial Decision at para. 65.
 There really is no question that the Canadian government is authorized to require
individuals pay income tax or other forms of indirect tax. Further, the consequences to a
taxpayer who simply refuses to pay income tax are clear. It does not matter on what basis that
claim is made, that refusal proves the willful intention to evade payment of tax: R. v. Klundert
(2004), 242 D.L.R. (4th) 644 at paras. 58, 62-64, 190 O.A.C. 36 (Ont. C.A.), leave refused
 S.C.C.A. No. 463; R. v. Ricci (2004), 190 O.A.C. 375 at para. 6,  1 C.T.C. 40 (Ont.
C.A.), leave refused  S.C.C.A. No. 551; R. v. Kennedy, 2004 BCCA 638 at para. 14, 207
B.C.A.C. 102, leave refused  S.C.C.A. No. 15.
 Last are several ‘magic hats’ that do not seem to fall into a convenient category.
 There are several that relate to legislation. In R. v. Nagel, 2010 SKCA 118 at paras. 15-
16, 362 Sask.R. 145, an OPCA litigant argued that the presence or absence of formalities of how
legislation was printed, such as a coat of arms and “Queen’s Printer” notations, were significant.
Another legislation-related argument is that a person cannot know the law unless legislation is
“fixed, certain and accessible”: Audcent v. Maleki, 2006 ONCJ 401,  1 C.T.C. 212 (Ont.
Ct. J.). The ‘magic hat’ was that if law is amended, it is no longer knowable. Of course, that too
 Finally, Ellis v. Canada (Office of the Prime Minister), 2001 SKQB 378 at paras. 23-27,
210 Sask.R. 138, affirmed 2002 SKCA 35, 112 A.C.W.S. (3d) 849 comments on an OPCA
litigant’s attempt to use the common law “Petition of Right” cause of action, which has been
abolished by legislation; see also Winningham v. Canada.
4. The Inherent Authority of Provincial Superior Courts
 OPCA litigants and gurus often claim that they are, somehow, not subject to Canadian
law (common law and legislation) and the authority of the courts in this nation to enforce that
law. They are, of course, wrong, but it is helpful to explain why.
a. Superior Courts of Inherent Jurisdiction
 The courts in Canada are a separate, distinct, and independent branch of government. In
Ref re Remuneration of Judges of the Prov. Court of P.E.I.; Ref re Independence and
Impartiality of Judges of the Prov. Court of P.E.I.,  3 S.C.R. 3, 150 D.L.R. (4th) 577,
Lamer C.J.C concluded that the independent character of this and other Canadian courts flows
from unwritten constitutional principles that have been inherited from the U.K. (para. 83) and are
a separate and essential constitutional aspect of government, “definitional to the Canadian
understanding of constitutionalism” (para. 108).
 The authority of this Court, like other superior courts of inherent jurisdiction, does not
flow from legislation, as does, for example, the Provincial Court of Alberta. Rather, this Court
has inherited that jurisdiction as a successor to the English Royal Courts. Canada (Attorney
General) v. Law Society of British Columbia; Jabour v. Law Society of British Columbia,
 2 S.C.R. 307, 137 D.L.R. (3d) 1 explains this Court’s genealogy:
... The provincial superior courts have always occupied a position of prime
importance in the constitutional pattern of this country. They are the descendants
of the Royal Courts of Justice as courts of general jurisdiction. ...
 That heritage reaches to the very foundation of an independent judiciary:
... “Superior Court” is to be construed historically, and that ... it connotes a court
having an inherent jurisdiction, in England, to administer justice according to the
law, as and being a part of, or descended from, and as exercising part of the
power of, the Aula Regia, established by William the First, which had universal
jurisdiction in all matters of right and wrong throughout the kingdom, and over
which, in its early days, the King presided in person.
(Daniel Greenberg, Stroud’s Judicial Dictionary Words & Phrases, 7th ed.
(London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2006)).
 That history and its associated authority is described in Canada (Human Rights
Commission) v. Canadian Liberty Net,  1 S.C.R. 626 at para. 26, 137 D.L.R. (3d) 1 this
... The notion of inherent jurisdiction has developed from the role of provincial
superior courts in Canada's legal system. The unique historical feature of
provincial superior courts, as opposed to the Federal Court, is that they have
traditionally exercised general jurisdiction over all matters of a civil or criminal
nature. This general jurisdictional function in the Canadian justice system
precedes Confederation, and was expressly continued by s. 129 of the
Constitution Act, 1867, "as if the Union had not been made". ... [Emphasis
 The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench and similar Courts are now Canadian courts, but
these superior courts of inherent jurisdiction are the successors to earlier English colonial courts
that predate Confederation: Valin v. Langlois (1879), 3 S.C.R. 1 at 19-20. In Alberta, that
‘inheritance’ was expressly indicated in the legislation that created this province: The Alberta
Act, 1905, 4-5 Edw. VII, c. 3, s. 16(1). The general authority that this court inherited is restated
in the Supreme Court Act of Alberta, S.A. 1907, c. 3, s. 9:
... the jurisdiction which on July 15, 1870, was vested in, or capable of being
exercised in England by (1.) the High Court of Chancery, as a Common Law
Court, as well as a Court of Equity, including the jurisdiction of the Master of the
Rolls as a judge or Master of the Court of Chancery, and any jurisdiction
exercised by him in relation to the Court of Chancery as a common law Court;
(2.) The Court of Queen's Bench; (3.) The Court of Common Pleas at
Westminster; (4.) The Court of Exchequer as a Court of Revenue as well as a
Common Law Court; (5.) The Court of Probate; (6.) The Court created by
Commissioners of Oyer and Terminer, and of Gaol Delivery, or of any of such
 Inherent jurisdiction has two relevant aspects: procedural and subject matter.
b. Procedural Jurisdiction
 A commonly cited description of that procedural authority is provided by I.H. Jacob,
“The Inherent Jurisdiction of the Court” (1970) 23 Current Legal Problems 23:
... the superior courts of common law have exercised the power which has come
to be called "inherent jurisdiction" from the earliest times, and . . . the exercise of
such power developed along two paths, namely, by way of punishment for
contempt of court and of its process, and by way of regulating the practice of the
court and preventing the abuse of its process.
For the essential character of a superior court of law necessarily involves that it
should be invested with a power to maintain its authority and to prevent its
process being obstructed and abused. Such a power is intrinsic in a superior court;
it is its very life-blood, its very essence, its immanent attribute. Without such a
power, the court would have form but would lack substance. The jurisdiction
which is inherent in a superior court of law is that which enables it to fulfil itself
as a court of law. The juridical basis of this jurisdiction is therefore the authority
of the judiciary to uphold, to protect and to fulfil the judicial function of
administering justice according to law in a regular, orderly and effective manner.
 That passage has been quoted with approval by the Supreme Court of Canada on a
number of occasions: B.C.G.E.U. v. British Columbia (Attorney General),  2 S.C.R. 214,
53 D.L.R. (4th) 1; R. v. Morales,  3 S.C.R. 711, 144 N.R. 176; R. v. Hinse,  4
S.C.R. 597, 130 D.L.R. (4th) 54; MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. v. Simpson,  4 S.C.R. 725, 130
D.L.R. (4th) 385.
 R. v. Gillespie, 2000 MBCA 1, 185 D.L.R. (4th) 214 includes some interesting comments
on the scope of the general authority in a courtroom setting:
21 To enable a judge to fulfil his or her adjudicative function, a judge has
authority to maintain order and control process in the courtroom. A judge might
order a witness yelling at him or her to desist. A judge might require counsel to
disclose the general nature of the contents of a briefcase. Or a judge might order a
person bringing a potential weapon into the courtroom to remove it. Each such
order would be incidental to the exercise by the judge of primary jurisdiction and
would be enforceable by the threat of punishment.
22 A good example of a judge exercising such incidental or auxiliary
jurisdiction is R. v. Hothi et al. (1985), 33 Man.R. (2d) 180 (Q.B.); aff'd (1985)
35 Man.R. (2d) 159 (C.A.). In that case, the jurisdiction of a judge trying a
criminal case to require the removal of kirpans (ceremonial daggers with religious
significance) from the courtroom was upheld on the ground that they were
possible weapons. Dewar C.J.Q.B. said (at 33 Man.R. (2d), para. 7):
The ruling serves a transcending public interest that justice be administered in an
environment free from any influence which may tend to thwart the process.
Possession in the courtroom of weapons, or articles capable of use as such, by
parties or others is one such influence. [Emphasis added.]
 A person who purports to dictate when and how a Canadian court shall operate that
court’s inherent procedural jurisdiction. In Canada, there is no right by a litigant or any other
person to advance that claim or engage in that kind of conduct. The judge, and no one else, rules the court.