by Richard W. Millar, Jr.
The United States Postal Service has not, to put it charitably, kept up with its competition. Some might say that the words “postal” and “service” go together like “jumbo” and “shrimp.” It was recently announced that this organization, which has been hemorrhaging money for years, will lower the price of stamps so it can lose more. Bureaucracy has its own logic.
Can you imagine what it would be like if it had its own court? Called the “Federal Postal Court”? Well, it turns out there is such a court that churns out judgments with regularity. Dozens of which were filed for registration recently in the United States District Court, District of Connecticut.
On February 6, 2016, a certification for registration of judgment on a pre-printed federal court form was filed in the name of “:Leighton-Lionel: Ward.” If you noted a couple of odd colons, you get high grades for observation and will learn more about that phenomenon shortly. Mr. Ward (or perhaps Mr. : Ward) was identified as the clerk of court for the Federal Postal Court “with a mailing address to a post office box in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.” I would think it would only be appropriate for a Postal Court to have a Post Office Box as an address, but I digress. The judgment was in favor of plaintiff “:Penny-Lee Gilly:” against defendant “OCWEN,” which sounds like one of our local agencies. It was for the modest amount of $11,509,456. A certified copy of the judgment was attached and reads in part:
This document is to serve as a translation summary of the Final Default Judgment by the Federal Postal Court. The original language of the Final Default Judgment was written in Correct Sentence Structure Communication Parse Syntax Grammar. The language has been translated to English pursuant to the Uniform Foreign Money Claims Act.
I am certainly glad it was translated. I can’t imagine what the original would have looked like.
The judgment required OCWEN, a purported mortgage lender, to “delete” the balance owing on a deed of trust, reconvey it to the plaintiff, and notify the Federal Postal Clerk when it was accomplished. The “rest of the filing [was] a largely unintelligible jumble of code like numbers, letters, and legalistic terms with little apparent connection to one another.”
A spin of the wheel of justice landed this case in the judicial lap of United States District Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer, who, I am sure, wondered just how he got so lucky. Since he had “doubts about the validity of the ‘Federal Postal Court,’” he issued an Order to Show Cause so he could “learn more” about the Postal Court in general and the judgment in particular.
Ms. :Penny-Lee Gilly:, with or without her colons, didn’t appear, but two people did by phone from Arizona: David Wynn Miller, a self described Judge of the Federal Postal Court, and Leighton Ward, the clerk of that court. According to Mr. Miller, the court was established by Benjamin Franklin on July 4, 1775 but was closed shortly thereafter because of the Revolutionary War. The court was “reopened” by Mr. Miller and a “colleague” on December 21, 2012, a date which the court wryly noted was “well known as the predicted end of the world according to the Mayan Calendar.”
The Federal Postal Court may lack a courthouse, but it makes up for it by having “transitory jurisdiction” with a “presence wherever the federal postal eagle symbol may be.” It is a very convenient approach that seemingly makes motions for change of venue obsolete.
Mr. Miller orally describes his name as “David hyphen Wynn full colon Miller” and claims that only nouns have legal meaning. His “sophisticated mathematical understanding of language ... proves that certain mortgage documents are fraudulent.” This, as you might suspect, comes in very handy in dealing with the mortgage crisis. In the hopes that I could explain his vision to you, I watched some of Mr. Miller on YouTube but I got stuck on the first hyphen colon.
In any event, the District Court made short shrift of this attempt to register the judgment, finding that the Federal Postal Court was not a court described in 28 U.S.C. § 1963 and therefore registration was not statutorily permitted and concluding that, “So far as I can tell, the ‘Federal Postal Court’ is a sham and no more than a product of a fertile imagination.” It ordered the registration stricken and that the Clerk should dismiss and close the matter.
The judge missed a golden opportunity. He should have signed off as Jeffery hyphen Alker full colon Meyer to make it official.
Richard W. Millar, Jr. is a member of the firm of Millar, Hodges & Bemis in Newport Beach. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.