Last February, the issue of Freemen-on-the-Land / Sovereign
Citizens in Alberta courts was reignited by the case of Fearn v Canada
Customs, 2014 ABQB 114, in which Glenn Winningham Fearn,
an American Freeman and OPCA (Organized Pseudolegal Commercial
Argument) litigant applied to Queen's Bench to overturn a
yet-unheard criminal trial. Fearn had been arrested at the Canadian
border and faced a weapons charge. Fearn's application was
dismissed due to the rule against collateral attack, as well as due
to Fearn's OPCA arguments, which included claims that the laws
of Alberta were "pretend," that the members of the Law
Society of Alberta were agents of the Vatican, and that Fearn had
the right to use lethal force against Canada Customs agents if he
deemed his arrest to be unlawful.
The case clarified and solidified the growing body of case law
in Alberta dealing with the issue of OPCA litigants. I have
previously written about the Fearn civil case
here, and now the decision regarding the related criminal case
has been released in R v Fearn, 2014 ABPC 58.
Fearn was charged with smuggling and importing into Canada ten
over-capacity magazines designed for AK-47s, two push daggers, one
canister of pepper spray, and a blow dart gun, as well as making a
false or deceptive statement contrary to the Customs Act.
Fearn attended the opening of the trial, but after ten minutes he
claimed to fire the Court (he was self-represented at the time),
left the courtroom and did not return. Fearn then sent a notice
containing a "declaration of war" to the prosecutor,
several judges, and unnamed politicians. A warrant was issued for
his arrest and he was sentenced ex-parte to four months
incarceration and two years probation, which includes conditions
that he shall not have any contact with any Alberta judge,
prosecutor, or border guard, and that he shall attend any
psychiatric counselling that is recommended by his probation
Fearn was arrested on March 10 at the American Consulate in
Calgary. Hopefully both the Fearn civil and criminal cases will
help raise awareness of the issue of Freemen-on-the-Land among not
just the legal community, but anyone who may encounter this
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