Once again, people are often confused when it comes to legal terminology, often even insisting that “details” are not all that important or are somehow or another more extemporaneous in nature and not necessarily relevant. Believe it or not however, there is a reason for the old adage, “The devil is in the details” … because indeed, those little details can screw you to the point of losing everything that you have ever owned in addition to your freedom. While deciding whether or not Corporations are Persons or even people, may seem like an easy question to answer with a definitive and resolute “No!” … as a very wise man once said, the devil is in the details.
First, it becomes necessary to understand exactly what is meant by a “Person”. Simple right? Or is it?
A Person is res … property … generally construed to be the property or a ward of the State. It is very common to hear people use the term “People” … as I just did … not realizing that “People” is the body politic … not necessarily the polis or the body of persons who comprise the State, but the State itself … as in the STATE OF INSANITY VS JOHN DICKY DOE. “Persons” is actually the plural of person, not people. How do I draw such an obscure conclusion? I did not have to draw any conclusions actually, as this is all spelled out in Blacks Law … I prefer the original and unedited fourth edition as it was written before the introduction of the General Law of Contracts or what is more commonly referred to as the Uniform Commercial Code. (Note the different usages in the referenced source materials below)
Under the General Law of Contracts, the “Person” is the “Legal Fiction” or all caps name … JOHN DICKY DOE, who lives in a federal district as in a State within a State, a Federal Reserve District, a Social Security District or other Federal District that forces these people by their very existence to be federal “American” or “US” Citizens. In the case of the US Citizen, the flesh and blood man or the flesh and blood woman is called in to a Court of Competent Jurisdiction to answer for the Legal Fiction or the Person. A Person is one to whom rights and duties are ascribed, and believe it or not; not all humans are persons, even if all corporations are.
What is a Corporation if not a Legal Fiction to whom rights and duties are ascribed … among those rights are the rights to own property, to sue and be sued and to engage in legal contracts. Would it be better if Corporations were free and clear of the Legal Fiction and subsequently, wholly unaccountable for any of their actions? If you believe in the Legal Fiction that is government, by the same logic, you must conclude that the Legal Fiction of the Corporate Person is a lawful and necessary status. The twain are not separable.
In days of old, a person who had been convicted of a heinous crime or who had entered into a monastery was no longer a Natural Person and their Natural Life was over, having been attainted of felony. They subsequently were denied all rights and duties that are normally ascribed to Persons.
Oddly enough, at the end of the day, all Corporations are Persons (though not People), but not all Flesh and Blood Men or Flesh and Blood Women are Persons, much less part of the People.
RES JUDICATA FACIT EX ALBO NIGRUM; EX NIGRO, ALBUM; EX CURVO, RECTUM; EX RECTO, CURVUM – A thing adjudged [the solemn judgment of a court] makes white, black; black, white; the crooked, straight; the straight, crooked. 1 Bouvier Inst. no. 840.
FICTIO. In Roman law, a fiction; an assumption or supposition of the law.
"Fictio" in the old Roman law was properly a term of pleading, and signified a false averment on the part of the plaintiff which the defendant was not allowed to traverse; as that the plaintiff was a Roman citizen, when in truth he was a foreigner. The object of the fiction was to give the court jurisdiction. Maine, Anc.Law, 25.
FICTION OF LAW. Something known to be false is assumed to be true. Ryan v. Motor Credit Co., 130 N.J.Eq. 531, 23 A.2d 607, 621.
NATURAL. The juristic meaning of this term does not differ from the vernacular, except in the cases where it is used in opposition to the term "legal;" and then it means proceeding from or determined by physical causes or conditions, as distinguished from positive enactments of law, or attributable to the nature of man rather than to the commands of law, or based upon moral rather than legal considerations or sanctions.
NATURAL LIFE. The period of a person's existence considered as continuing until terminated by physical dissolution or death occurring in the course of nature; used in contradistinction to that juristic and artificial conception of life as an aggregate of legal rights or the possession of a legal personality,[The Legal Fiction] which could be terminated by "civil, death,"(q. v.), that is, that extinction of personality which resulted from entering a monastery or being attainted of treason or felony. See People v. Wright, 89 Mich. 70, 50 N.W. 792.
PEOPLE. A state; as the people of the state of New York. A nation in its collective and political capacity. Nesbitt v. Lushington, 4 Term R. 783; U. S. v. Quincy, 6 Pet. 467, 8 L.Ed. 458; U. S. v. Trumbull, D.C.Cal., 48 F. 99.
The aggregate or mass of the individuals who constitute the state. Solon v. State, 54 Tex.Cr.R. 261, 114 S.W. 349; Loi Hoa v. Nagle, C.C.A.Cal., 13 F.2d 80, 81.
In a more restricted sense, and as generally used in constitutional law, the entire body of those citizens of a state or nation who are invested with political power for political purposes, that is, the qualified voters or electors. Koehler v. Hill, 60 Iowa 543, 15 N.W. 609; Boyd v. Nebraska, 12 S.Ct. 375, 143 U.S. 135, 36 L.Ed. 103; In re Incurring of State Debts, 19 R.I. 610, 37 A. 14; In re Opinion of the Justices, 226 Mass. 607, 115 N.E. 921, 922; State v. City of Albuquerque, 31 N.M. 576, 249 P. 242, 247. In neutrality laws, a government recognized by the United States. The Three Friends, D.C.Fla., 78 F. 175.
The word "people" may have various significations according to the connection in which it is used. When we speak of the rights of the people, or of the government of the people by law, or of the people as a non-political aggregate, we mean all the inhabitants of the state or nation, without distinction as to sex, age, or otherwise.
But when reference is made to the people as the repository of sovereignty, or as the source of governmental power, or to popular government, we are in fact speaking of that selected and limited class of citizens to whom the constitution accords the elective franchise and the right of participation in the offices of government. Black, Const. Law 3d Ed. p, 30.
PERSON. A man considered according to the rank he holds in society, with all the right to which the place he holds entitles him, and the duties which it imposes. People v. R. Co., 134 N.Y. 506, 31 N.E. 873.
The word in its natural and usual signification includes women as well as men. Commonwealth v. Welosky, 276 Mass. 398, 177 N.E. 656.
Term may include artificial beings, as corporations, 1 Bla.Com. 123; 4 Bingh. 669; People v. Com'rs of Taxes, 23 N.Y. 242;
quasi-corporations, Sedgw. Stat. & Const. L. 372; L. R. 5 App. Cas. 857;
territorial corporations, Seymour v. School District, 53 Conn. 507, 3 A. 552;
and foreign corporations, People v. McLean, 80 N.Y. 259;
and concerning the admissibility as a witness of a party in his own behalf when the opposite party is a living person, La Farge v. Ins. Co., 22 N.Y. 352.
A corporation is also a person under a penal statute; U. S. v. Amedy, 11 Wheat. 392, 6 L.Ed. 502.
Corporations are "persons" as that word is used in the first clause of the XIVth Amendment; Covington & L. Turnp. Co. v. Sandford, 17 S.Ct. 198, 164 U.S. 578, 41 L.Ed. 560; Smyth v. Ames, 18 S.Ct. 418, 169 U.S. 466, 42 L.Ed. 819; People v. Fire Ass'n, 92 N.Y. 311, 44 Am.Rep. 380; U. S. v. Supply Co., 30 S.Ct. 15, 215 U.S. 50, 54 L.Ed. 87; contra, Central P. R. Co. v. Board, 60 Cal. 35.
But a corporation of another state is not a "person" within the jurisdiction of the state until it has complied with the conditions of admission to do business in the state, Fire Ass'n of Phila. v. New York, 7 S.Ct. 108, 119 U.S. 110, 30 L.Ed. 342; and a statutory requirement of such conditions is not in conflict with the XIVth Amendment; Pembina Consol. S. M. & M. Co. v. Pennsylvania, 8 S.Ct. 737, 125 U.S. 181, 189, 31 L.Ed. 650.
"Persons" are of two kinds, natural and artificial. A natural person is a human being. Artificial persons include a collection or succession of natural persons forming a corporation; a collection of property to which the law attributes the capacity of having rights and duties. The latter class of artificial persons is recognized only to a limited extent in our law. Examples are the estate of a bankrupt or deceased person. Hogan v. Greenfield, 58 Wyo. 13, 122 P.2d 850, 853.
It has been held that when the word person is used in a legislative act, natural persons will be intended unless something appear in the context to show that it applies to artificial persons, Blair v. Worley, 1 Scam., Ill., 178; Appeal of Fox, 112 Pa. 337 ; 4 A. 149 ; but as a rule corporations will be considered persons within the statutes unless the intention of the legislature is manifestly to exclude them. Stribbling v. Bank, 5 Rand., Va., 132.
In the United States bankrupty act of 1898, it is provided that the word "persons" shall include corporations, except where otherwise specified, and officers, partnerships, and women, and, when used with reference to the commission of acts which are therein forbidden, shall include persons who are participants in the forbidden acts, and the agents, officers, and members of the board of directors or trustees, or their controlling bodies, of corporations. 11 U.S.C.A. § 1.
Persons are the subject of rights and duties; and, as a subject of a right, the person is the object of the correlative duty, and conversely. The subject of a right has been called by Professor Holland, the person of inherence ; the subject of a duty, the person of incidence. [The Legal Fiction] "Entitled" and "bound" are the terms in common use in English and for most purposes they are adequate. Every full citizen is a person; other human beings, namely, subjects who are not citizens, may be persons. But not every human being is necessarily a person, for a person is capable of rights and duties, and there may well be human beings having no legal rights, as was the case with slaves in English law.
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A person is such, not because he is human, but because rights and duties are ascribed to him. The person is the legal subject or substance of which the rights and duties are attributes. An individual human being considered as having such attributes is what lawyers call a natural person. Pollock, First Book of Jurispr. 110. Gray, Nature and Sources of Law, ch. IL
RES. Lat. In the civil law. A thing; an object.
As a term of the law, this word has a very wide and extensive signification, including not only things which are objects of property, but also such as are not capable of individual ownership. Inst. 2, 1, pr.
And in old English law it is said to have a general import, comprehending both corporeal and incorporeal things of whatever kind, nature, or species. 3 Inst. 182- Bract. fol. 7b.
By "res," according to the modern civilians, is meant everything that may form an object of rights [The Legal Fiction], in opposition to "persona," which is regarded as a subject of rights.
"Res," therefore, in its general meaning, comprises actions of all kinds; while in its restricted sense it comprehends every object of right, except actions. Mackeld. Rom. Law, § 146.
Things (res) have been variously divided and classified in law, e. g., in the following ways:
(1) Corporeal and incorporeal things;
(2) movables and immovables;
(3) res mancipi and res nec mancipi;
(4) things real and things personal;
(5) things in possession and choses (i. e., things)
(6) fungible things and things not fungible, (fungibiles vel non fungibiles;) and
(7) res singulce (i. e., individual objects) and universitates rerum, (i. e., aggregates of things.)
Also persons are for some purposes and in certain respects regarded as things. Brown.