3 GOP State Senators In New York Propose Bill In Response To False Liens Filed By ‘Sovereign Citizens’ And Targeted At Public Officials, Police Officers

Sen. George D. George Maziarz.

Sen. George D. Maziarz.

If you file a false lien against public officials and police in New York, you’d be committing a felony under a proposed new law sponsored by three Republican state Senators.

The Senators have proposed that violators of the new law be punished by a fine of up to $10,000 per instance or serve up to a year in jail — or both.

Although a federal law is in place to protect federal officials, New York has no corresponding state law to protect state and local officials and police officers from what has been described as “paper terrorism” carried out by purported “sovereign citizens.”

The principal sponsor of the state bill is Sen. George D. Maziarz. Cosponsors include Sens. John A. DeFrancisco and Michael H. Ranzenhofer.

The rationale for the bill is discussed on the New York State Senate website. Here is a snippet (italics added):

In recent years, members of the so called “Sovereign Citizens Movement” have begun to utilize the tactic of filing multiple false or fictitious liens against police officers and public officials as a means to intimidate these individuals and undermine the rule of law. The FBI describes such individuals as anti-government extremists who believe that even though they are in the country they are separate or “sovereign” from the United States. There are multiple examples across New York State of “sovereigns” using false liens as a part of a scheme to destroy the lives of ordinary people who are simply doing their jobs. These bogus liens are meritless, but in multiple cases they were accepted by the Department of State and other entities and began to appear on credit reports and had a significant and negative impact on law abiding citizens.

There have been uber bizarre cases involving “sovereign citizens” in New York, including one in which an individual who once reportedly stole a tractor trailer full of “canned beans” was convicted of running a tax scam from jail after being influenced by a purported “sovereign citizen” website article attributed in part to “Obi-Wan Kenobi.”

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