A Canadian man claiming to be a “Freeman on the Land” tied up the law system by conducting a 3-month “paper terrorism” campaign.
Edmonton police say that 45-year-old Allen Boisjoli has been charged with intimidation of a peace officer after embarking on his extended campaign against the lawman for issuing him a traffic citation.
Boisjoli is a “Freeman”, part of a predominantly British and Canadian movement, which Edmonton Police Detective Rae Gerrard says are “incredibly difficult” to deal with.
“Freemen claim to be in opposition to government and the rule of law, and maintain that the only true law is their own interpretation of common law,” police said in a statement.
The Freemen movement is not dissimilar to the Sovereign Citizen movement in the United States.
Boisjoli was ticketed in 2015 after driving 105 km/h in an 80 km/h zone. In a video presumably taken from his lap, Boisjoli questioned the officer’s reasoning for pulling him over and questioned the legitimacy of speeding laws.
“It’s not a crime,” Boisjoli said in the video. “What you’re doing is fraud, it’s corporate statue policies, and it doesn’t apply to me.”
Since the incident, Boisjoli began legally harassing the officer for around three months, even taking a lien against the officer’s personal property for $225,000.
“The Freemen and Mr. Boisjoli, particularly in this case, they use a plethora of documents, which really don’t mean anything,” Gerrard said. “They are just cutting and pasting from all over the internet, from laws from all over the world, and they put them together into hundreds and hundreds of pages of documents. They do this to overwhelm the court and confuse people or intimidate the people involved to drop the prosecution immediately.”
“The Freeman ideology is that they don’t recognize any kind of government powers, licensing or authorities. So they don’t hold driver’s licenses, or they won’t hold insurance for the vehicles,” said Gerrard.
Since “paper terrorism” isn’t actually a legal term, the charge of intimidation was brought upon Boisjoli.
“The charge of intimidation has been laid before,” Gerrard said. “Freemen have been charged before. What has not happened before is that a Freeman has been charged with them using ‘paper terrorism’ in order to intimidate. This is the precedent-setting aspect.”
Gerrard says Canada’s tolerance of Freemen is wearing thin when it comes to harassing officers and the court system.
“We tolerated the Freemen and the Sovereign Citizens to a certain extent,” he said. “And now that level of tolerance has come to an end. We want to make it clear that if people are going to continue engaging in this type of behavior, then we are going to robustly investigate and bring these people to court.”
Boisjoli has been in hot water for intimidation before- in 2012, he harassed a Crown prosecutor and was declared a vexatious litigant in 2015, which resulted in restrictions on his ability to conduct legal actions in Alberta.
According to CBC News, Lawyer Ron Usher says the “paper terrorism” conducted by Freemen is not uncommon by any means and can be a nightmare when it comes to overloading the legal system.
“They are so intense, so paper-driven, so living in an alternate universe,” said Usher. “So when they are confronted with the realities of our Canadian law and our social structures … it becomes very complex for the system. Often these people pass over vast mountains of nonsense paper.”
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