On September 17, 2011, the Occupy Wall Street movement began in Manhattan's Financial District when
thousands of people joined together to fight against the corrosive power of
Wall Street. A few months later, this
site was founded to support those who are
attempting to changes things for the better through
the court system.
Hedges, for example ...
nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the
Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50
countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National
Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which
he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.
On January 16th of this year, Chris announced that
he was suing President Barack Obama. He was upset
President had signed the National Defense
Authorization Act (NDAA), authorizing military detention
without charge into law for the first time in American history.
The NDAA’s dangerous detention provisions would allow the
president to order the military to pick up
and indefinitely imprison any person (U.S. citizens included) located anywhere in the world.
Here's what Chris
had to say about the NDAA:
I spent many years in countries where the military had the power to
arrest and detain citizens without charge. I have been in some of these
jails. I have friends and colleagues who have “disappeared” into
military gulags. I know the consequences of granting sweeping and
unrestricted policing power to the armed forces of any nation. And while
my battle may be quixotic, it is one that has to be fought if we
have any hope of pulling this country back from corporate fascism.
On May 16th, Chris's efforts were rewarded when federal judge Katherine Forrest issued an amazing ruling that
stops the enforcement of the highly controversial provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act.
While this is just a temporary ruling and subject
to ongoing litigation, it confirms the power of this
Not just for High-Profile Journalists
The approach used by Chris is available to any U.S.citizen,
especially those who can afford legal counsel, or those
who can find a pro-bono law firm or non-profit to support their
case. For example, attorney Heather McKeever recently filed this class
action lawsuit in support of homeowners against foreclosure
abuses. She is sharing it here so that others
may build on her efforts.
Unfortunately, the number of people who can afford
the ten of thousands of dollars required to pursue these
actions is very small. Likewise, the number of
non-profits and pro-bono law firms who can financially
support these actions is small as well. If we
are to get any traction in the courts, we will need
a more powerful approach ...
People-Powered Court Actions
The good news is, "The
right of a party to a legal action to represent his or her own cause
has long been recognized in the United States, and even predates the
ratification of the Constitution."
These so-called "pro se" civil actions
are inexpensive for the common person, but remain
very expensive to the corporate entities that must hire
a team of lawyers to defend their interests. This
mismatch in cost structure, is a great equalizer between
the money and power of corporate entities, and the common
When combined with the power of the Internet, we
now have a great venue for sharing and learning
from each other. All federal court
cases are online, and many state court records are as well.
There are also online resources like The Federal Practice Manual for Legal Aid Attorneys
Google research which are available for free.
get an idea of what "we" can do, here's a
filing by OccupyTheCourts asking Judge Collyer to reconsider the Multi-State Fraudclosure Settlement.
It's based on a claim that the settlement violates
the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Since this filing was submitted after the initial
ruling, it was up to the judge whether to allow it or
not. As expected, she declined to allow the motion.
However, the basis for the filing is applicable
to many other fraudulent actions being perpetrated by
large corporate entities. It is shared freely
here, so that others may build upon it in their own
If you'd like to learn more about filing your own
legal actions, please visit our sister site at ProSeAction.org.
If you'd like to keep up with people-powered court
actions, please "like" our Facebook
page, or visit our Recent News