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Cary Man Declares in Court He's His Own Country Man Charged with 4 Misdemeanors Says Laws Don't Apply to Him; Judge Disagrees

By Keeshan, Charles | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), September 9, 2003 | Go to article overview

Cary Man Declares in Court He's His Own Country Man Charged with 4 Misdemeanors Says Laws Don't Apply to Him; Judge Disagrees


Keeshan, Charles, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Charles Keeshan Daily Herald Staff Writer

Renaissance poet John Donne said no man is an island. Cary resident Curtis G. Johnson begs to differ.

In fact, Johnson claims in court documents he is not only an island, he's a whole country.

The claim is the unusual defense Johnson, 49, brought to court Monday to fight allegations he scratched and pushed a Cary police officer during a July traffic stop.

Johnson professes in a one-page "declaration of independence" he is no longer a U.S. citizen, but instead his own sovereign entity entitled to rights under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. As a result, he says, McHenry County authorities lack the jurisdiction to prosecute him on the four misdemeanor charges he faces.

"I am no longer a resident of the United States," Johnson, of 8412 Abbott Lane, told Judge Charles Weech.

Unfortunately for the Cary man, Weech was not buying the argument that the case should be dismissed.

"I've been given no evidence by you that this act applies," the judge said as he set Johnson's next court date. "I don't believe you've proven anything."

Cary police arrested Johnson July 31 during a traffic stop on Route 14. According to court documents, Johnson scratched, pushed and pulled away from detective Vince Esposito, leading to misdemeanor charges of resisting a peace officer and battery.

Johnson also was charged with driving on a suspended license, driving an uninsured motor vehicle, driving with an expired registration and driving without a seat belt.

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