Raleigh, N.C. — A pair of bills making their way through the General Assembly are aimed at cutting down on court filings by individuals who are known as sovereign citizens.
According to the North Carolina School of Government, "sovereign citizen" is a term that applies to many different groups. However, all of them have in common a disregard for the system of courts and legal records by which most citizens live.
Senate Bill 82 applies to bogus birth certificates filed at county register of deeds offices, has already passed the state Senate and is pending in a House committee. The Senate Judiciary II Committee on Thursday passed Senate Bill 311, which seeks to curb bogus marriage certificate filings.
"It will hopefully keep a lot of things out of the court system," said Sen. Stan Bingham, R-Davidson, who authored both bills.
The two bills would allow registers of deeds to stamp the unofficial birth and marriage records with an indication that they are not official.
Sovereign citizens present a national problem for courts and law enforcement. Well-publicized cases have ranged from those who have taken over the property of others to those who have threatened or carried out violence against government officials.