Part of the “Sovereign Citizen” myth is that public officers have a duty to respond to your inquiries. Whether presented as a duty under the first amendment right to petition the government for redress of grievances, or a claim that these people “work for us”, they invariably fail to impress the courts. Note that there are statutory requirements that the government addresses petitions for redress, such as FOIA requests or certain court filings and other enumerated instances. Recently, we have seen how defendants like Rodney Class, submit documents in which they ask the court questions. The court is under no obligation to respond to such filings, and in fact, the court should not respond to such filings in the interest of justice.
In We The People v US, US District Court of DC, Civil Action No. 04-1211, (2005) many plaintiffs sued the US, arguing amongst others, that the defendants had failed to respond to their inquiries and therefore had violated their first amendment rights to petition the government for redress of grievances.
The District Court Judge granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss, because of a failure to state a claim. The plaintiffs had insisted that the right to petition for redress of grievances, included a duty on the part of the government to respond. Of course, no such right exists, certainly not under our Constitution.
The Court observed:
The First Amendment provides that “Congress shall make no law … abridging … the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” U.S. Const. Amend. I. Plaintiffs contend that they therefore have a constitutional right to a response to the petitions they have filed with the various defendants, and that defendants have committed constitutional torts against plaintiffs in failing to respond to their petitions. See Pl. Opposition to Def. Motion to Dismiss (“Pl. Opp.”) at 9-10. The Supreme Court, however, has held that “the First Amendment does not impose any affirmative obligation on the government to listen, to respond or, in this context, to recognize the association and bargain with it.” See Smith v. Ark. State Highway Employees, Local 1315, 441 U.S. 463, 465 (1979). Plaintiffs’ claims that the defendants are obligated to “properly” respond to plaintiffs’ petitions shall thus be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
The Court of Appeals agreed:
Ratified in 1791, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides in part that “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging . . . the right of the people . . . to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Plaintiffs are citizens who petitioned various parts of the Legislative and Executive Branches for redress of a variety of grievances that plaintiffs asserted with respect to the Government’s tax, privacy, and war policies. Alleging that they did not receive an adequate response, plaintiffs sued to compel a response from the Government.
Plaintiffs contend that the First Amendment guarantees a citizen’s right to receive a government response to or official consideration of a petition for redress of grievances. Plaintiffs’ argument fails because, as the Supreme Court has held, the First Amendment does not encompass such a right. See Minn. State Bd. for Cmty. Colls. v. Knight, 465 U.S. 271, 283, 285, 104 S.Ct. 1058, 79 L.Ed.2d 299 (1984);Smith v. Arkansas State Highway Employees, 441 U.S. 463, 465, 99 S.Ct. 1826, 60 L.Ed.2d 360 (1979).
Source: We the People Foundation, Inc. v. US, 485 F. 3d 140 – Court of Appeals, Dist. of Columbia Circuit 2007