What Does That Phrase (The laws
sometimes sleep...) Mean?
No doubt you’ve seen the phrase “the laws sometimes
but never die” in quote boxes on this website. But
understand what it means? Unless you had studied principles of law, you
may not have even the vaguest idea.
Yet, if you have ever heard people make the comment about a law that it
is “antiquated and out of date, but it’s still on
the books,” then perhaps you have a better idea of what the
above maxim means. It means that even though a law may lie
dormant over time and go unasserted, that given the right circumstances
and someone willing to assert it, it can always be invoked, even though
it may seem to go against the prevailing customs of the day.
Therefore such laws sleep but never fully die, that is, unless they are
repealed from the books! Of course, we are speaking here of
written law (statutory law) being repealed, and not natural law (which
forms the basis
of the common law which was used as the basis of law at this
Within the present circumstance, when dealing with traffic codes and
regulations, which in the vast majority of cases amount merely to
reasonable guidelines suggested for prudent behavior on the roadways,
unless a person is acting in commerce (hauling freight and/or
passengers for profit), the codes and regulations are superflous and
have no teeth in positive law. For, has it not also been
stated in court in such cases as Bennett
, 1 Baldw. 60 (1830), that
“Statutes that violate the plain and obvious principles of
common right and common reason are null and void.” All of
which means that unless a person admits to being under the binding
aspects of a contract or agreement with the state (i.e., within the
statutory jurisdiction), that he can pretty much violate all
traffic codes and regulations with impunity as long as he refrains from
damaging or violating the property or rights of another.
One would think, having read the foregoing, that the courts would be
aware of these facts of law and case decisions. And that
because of this, their judges should readily dismiss the vast majority
of such cases where there was no victim. But unless you bring
these case holdings up in court and rebut the presumption of
contractual obligation, they lie dormant, unused and uninvoked.
Therefore, without knowing how to properly object
to an application of law in court, one is left with the fact of not
having invoked a remedy to a situation with which he is faced.
However beyond these points of relevancy, the point of emphasizing this
maxim here is to bring to light the fact that if you do not agree to
the forum (or court) you are in, you are under no compunction to remain
there. In such a circumstance it is your autonomous
(sovereign) right to
type of court in which you agree to be heard. Since traffic
court is an administrative court and not a judicial court, you have the
right to recuse the traffic court judge and insist on a hearing in a
superior “court of record” under the common law.
Traffic court is an inferior “court of no record”
adjudicating administrative law under which one may be compelled to
perform (that is, whether or not there was an actual injured party
making a claim). But you have to be aware
of this right and have the presence of mind to invoke it if you wish to
benefit from it.
In addition, there is a corollary maxim to the above maxim of law that
reads: “When the common law and statute law concur, the
common law is to be preferred.” As one of the
people who is, as far as you know, not tied to any binding agreement
with the State
– such as the terms of a take-it-or-leave-it adhesion
contract, which is seemingly what the driver license purports to be
– you cannot be held, in the common law, to the enforcement
of an unconscionable contract where there is no negotiation of the
terms or meeting of minds.
So, remember, even though there are statutory laws or adminstrative
traffic codes and regulations forbidding this or that, that if these
laws or codes do not apply to you in your specific situation (in other
words you are not a state employee engaged by contract with the state
or acting in commerce with your chosen conveyance of locomotion), that
you are well within your rights to avoid that jurisdiction by invoking
the common law and bringing that sleeping law to life in the course of
seeking remedy from administrative procedure!
If you would like to learn more about these concepts so you can avoid
the whole mess without having to “appear” in court
you can download our free ebook Common
Law Remedy To Beat Traffic Tickets
and learn about the
secrets that the courts and legal profession don’t want you
If you’d like to learn more about the law and how it can
serve you, don’t hesitate to check out our Articles
on Traffic Law
section. Discover some of the secrets of law that you’ve
never been taught!
Ubi factum nullum ibi sortia
nulla. Where there is no deed committed, there
can be no