If you’ve ever wondered what a difference your $150K+ legal education makes, watch a pro se litigant. If you’ve ever wondered what a difference your $150K+ legal education and a clean bill of mental health makes, watch this pro se litigant.

Pro se litigants are often entertaining with their hare-brained theories about law and fervent yet unwarranted conviction that everyone is out to get them. Ironically, pro se litigants tend to hate the judge most of all, even though the most frustrating part of litigating against a wingnut is the way judges bend over backward to help out — prolonging the inevitable while slowly bleeding your patience and your client’s wallet. But it’s rare to have video of one launching into a full tirade against a judge before storming out of the courtroom.

So what’s this guy’s deal?

(Be careful — on some computers the video just starts automatically so be prepared)

This story comes at you from Manhattan. Not New York, but Montana. If Manhattan, Kansas is the “Little Apple,” what does that make Manhattan, Montana? Let’s go with “The Crabapple.”

Ernie Tertelgte, 52, who looks like John Lennon f**ked Grizzly Adams, was busted for fishing without a license and resisting arrest. Since a season-long license in Montana costs all of $26, this is an oversight that can only be the intentional act of a true American patriot who knows that representative democracy should apply to everyone but him.

Tertelgte showed up before Three Forks City Judge Wanda Drusch earlier this month and the two got into it.

Amid all the yelling about his right to forage for food “to put in his stomach” per “universal law,” he assures everyone that he’s a “natural living person.” That seems like gibberish, but it’s a pillar of the absolute nonsense pro se litigants pick up off the Internet strategy of litigation. It’s joined moments later by another one, when he labels the courtroom flag the “Jolly Roger” because of its gold fringe. In case you missed it, pro se wingnuts think the whole judicial system is based on admiralty law trampling on the rights of “natural living persons” by casting people as corporations. The one act that holds up this whole judicial artifice is the act of applying gold fringe to the flag. Merely pointing that out will get every case thrown out! It’s Rule 12(b)(8): commenting on courtroom decor.

Oh ,and he didn’t enter a plea because “I never plead, animals plead, sounds like baaaa, oink oink.” Clarence Darrow once said something similar.

After Tertelgte tied the whole thing to the Federal Reserve (why not?) and kept cutting off the judge, Judge Drusch just gave up and left. Tertelgte also stormed out, but since he ended up in the pokey, the video must skip the part where the cops nabbed him. The government conspiracy to keep its tyranny under wraps continues unabated.

At his next court appearance — via video from jail — a new judge set bail at $500. This time, Tertelgte was much more subdued. They must have taken the fringe off the flag.

Supporters packed the courtroom to stand with this maligned political prisoner. In the words of one:

William Wolf said, “It’s we the people that run this and rule this country, not we the courts, not we the government, and if the people don’t start standing up for themselves and for each other, we are going to continue being subjects of this government.”

Some people stand in front of tanks, others poach fish.

Manhattan man in court for fishing without license, resisting arrest [KRTV]

Earlier: The Stupid Pro Se Legal ‘Theory’ Making the Rounds


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