The basics of the rule of law
The rule of law is about property, trespasses, and permission.

What is property?
Property may be very difficult to define, but the best definition I came across is in the Canadian Income Tax Act, which defines property as a right of any kind, whatever.

What is a trespass?
A trespass is interfering with somebody else's property without permission.

What is permission?
Permission is when the rightful owner permits another person to interfere with their property.

Example of permission to interfere with property
• A man invites a person over to their home for a barbeque. That person is certainly interferring with that man's enjoyment of his property. For that a person is not a welcome fixture, but rather a welcome temporary guest.

• A man who is in possession of his employer's property, may use that property in accordance with permission. So if the employer wanted the man to negotiate a contract thereby exchanging the form of his property, the man would have permission to do so.

Example of exceeding permission
If in the above scenerio the man above were to receive a kick-back, it would exceed permission and therefore be a trespass.

• A person with valid permits and licenses may drive vehicles on Government roads. But if that person exceeds the speed limit, they have exceeded their permission and trespassed.

What is extortion
At common-law extortion was a trespass on the King's coercion. It is threatening to use or using official acts to obtain property not solely for the benefit of the Government. It is selling influence in official acts. It is an anti-corruption law.

Courts of law
At common-law a court of law obtained property from one person and gave it to another. Therefore Courts of law required juries because juries do not use official acts. This is why an action for replevin was in a Court of law and not a court of equity, because the Court would obtain property and give it to another.

Courts of equity
At common-law a court of equity enforced property rights and therefore a chancery would take or withhold official acts and enforce property rights. This is why specific performance was in a court of equity, rather than in a court of law. The chancery would enforce the contract, which is a right of any kind, whatever, or property.

At common-law police did not obtain property, but rather they enforced property rights. For example, the police may help a citizen who is exercising his right to make a lawful citizen's arrest against a trespasser. This is where the police get the right to use violence to stop a bank robber.

Citizen's Arrest
Any private person (and a fortiori a peace officer) that is present when any felony is committed, is bound by the law to arrest the felon; on pain of fine and imprisonment, if he escapes through the negligence of the standers by. And they may justify breaking open doors upon following such felon: and if they kill him, provided he cannot be otherwise taken, it is justifiable; though if they are killed in endeavoring to make such arrest, it is murder. R v. Asante-Mensah, [2003] 2003 SCC 38.

What do the Courts say today about the extortion laws?

The Supreme Court of Canada said in R v. Davis, [1999] 3 SCR 759

At common-law extortion was a "separate public official offense punishing the conduct of public officials who sought personal financial gain under colour of their office. It has since been statutorily expanded in some jurisdictions, such as Canada, to include more familiar forms of blackmail." .

The Supreme Court of the United States said in Evans v. United States, 504 U.S. 255 (1992)

At common law, extortion was an offense committed by a public official who took 'by colour of his office' money that was not due to him for the performance of his official duties. A demand, or request, by the public official was not an element of the offense. Extortion by the public official was the rough equivalent of what we would now describe as 'taking a bribe.' .

Is this ancient law still valid law today?

The Supreme Court of the United States said in 1992 Evans v. United States, 504 U.S. 255:

As we explained above, our construction of the statute is informed by the common-law tradition from which the term of art was drawn and understood. We hold today that the Government need only show that a public official has obtained a payment to which he was not entitled, knowing that the payment was made in return for official acts.

Since the extortion laws do not require any kind of threat or inducment, what the Supreme Courts of the United States is saying is that official acts are coercive. So the law understands that threatening to use--or using--official acts changes people's behaviour.

Without Reasonable Justification or Excuse

In Canada there is a reasonable justification or excuse clause contained within the extortion statutes. In the United States, the threat needs to be one of force, or under color of official right. If a person is justified in their action, then they have done nothing wrongful. A person has reasonable justification or excuse if he is using his or her own power or property to negotiate and not trespassing on other people's power, rights, or property.

Under Color of Official Right

Color is the same as without justification. Color is using somebody else's property or right, without permission. So for example a public official using official acts to obtain property not solely for the benefit of Government would be color. The Supreme Court said color is crossing the line between public and private beneficiaries. In Wilkie v. Robbins, 551 U.S. 537 (2007) the Supreme Court of the United States said:

The importance of the line between public and private beneficiaries for common law and Hobbs Act extortion is confirmed by our own case law, which is completely barren of an example of extortion under color of official right undertaken for the sole benefit of the Government.

The Right to a Jury

The right to a jury trial comes from the right not to be extorted. In Wilkie v. Robbins, 551 U.S. 537 (2007) the Supreme Court of the United States said:

Whaley was about a charge of extortion against a justice of the peace who wrongfully ordered a litigant to pay compensation to the other party as well as a small administrative fee to the court. Because the case involved illegally obtaining property for the benefit of a private third party, it does not stand for the proposition that an act for the benefit of the Government alone can be extortion.


It is the crime of extortion under the color of official right for a public official to obtain a right of any kind whatever for private third-party benefit. Judge's, prosecutors, police, commit this crime thousands upon thousand of times each day solely for the purpose of power. Extortion is more odious than robbery, for robbery is apparent and hath the face of crime, whereas extortion puts on the visure of virtue. Our Courts, our police, our government have been infiltrated by organizations with three or more people that have a main purpose of financial crime.

Written by Joel Allan Sumner, x-esq, x-barrister & solicitor, x-gangster (see United States v. Goot, 894 F.2d 231). Mr. Sumner refuses to be a part of this gang. He has tried to peacefully and orderly petition the Courts to stop extortion to no avail. He has been disbarred in California and Ontario because the gangs refuse to relinquish power and conform to the rule of law. Mr. Sumner has himself been unjustifiably threatened by a prosecutor. See threatening e-mail by the chief deputy district attorney John Patrick Kochis, without legal justification because Mr. Kochis obtain property with official acts for private-third party benefit. The Law Society says that Mr. Kochis is a gangster tyrant held above the right of a citizen to make an arrest and above the right of a citizen to peacefully and orderly petition the Courts for a redress of grievances. See Law Society corrupt opinion.