Why Capital Letter NAMES Matter


It is the locus of the offense which determines jurisdiction, not the offense committed. People v. Godfrey (Cir.1880), 17 Johns, 225, 223 (N.Y. 1819)

Definition: lo·cus (l½“k…s) n., 1. A locality; a place.

Bouvier’s Law Dictionary, 8thed., pg. 2287 – “The omission of the Christian name by either plaintiff or defendant in a legal process prevents the court from acquiring jurisdiction, …”

Gregg’s Manual of English: “A name spelled in all capital letters or a name initialed, is not a proper noun denoting a specific person, but is a fictitious name, or a name of a dead person, or a nom de guerre.”

“Complaint must identify at least one plaintiff by true name; otherwise no action has been commenced.” Roe v New York (1970, SD NY) 49 FRD 279, 14 FR Serv 2d 437, 8 ALR Fed 670.

(The reasoning behind a true name is that neither a State, nor the United States, can pick up a pencil or sneeze, being nothing more than a “piece of paper”. They cannot, therefore, assume the liability of actions nor write a complaint. All activities carried on by governmental agencies are carried out by its agents and actors.)

The Supreme Court case, Monroe Cattle Co. v. Becker, 147 U.S. 47 (1893) says: Defendant was impleaded by the name of A. W. Becker. Initials are no legal part of a name, the authorities holding the full Christian name to be essential. Wilson v. Shannon, 6 Ark. 196; Norris v. Graves, 4 Strob. 32; Seely v. Boon, 1 N. J. Law, 138; Chappell v. Proctor, Harp. 49; Kinnersley v. Knott, 7 C. B. 980; Turner v. Fitt, 3 C. B. 701; Oakley v. Pegler, (Neb .) 46 N. W. Rep. 920; Knox v. Starks, 4 Minn. 20, (Gil. 7 Kenyon v. Semon, (Minn.) 45 N. W. Rep. 10; Beggs v. Wellman, 82 Ala. 391, 2 South. Rep. 877; Nash v. Collier, 5 Dowl. & L. 341; Fewlass v. Abbott, 28 Mich. 270.

The United States Government Printing Office Style Manual clearly defines the rules of grammar for recording of a proper noun in Chapter 3.2, Capitalization.  “Proper nouns are capitalized [examples given] Rome, Brussels, John Macadam, Macadam family, Italy, and Anglo-Saxon.”  It further defines, in Chapter 11.7, that “Names of vessels are quoted in matter printed in other than lower case roman…[examples given are] LUSITANIA [or] Lusitania.”

Black’s Law DictionaryFictitious Name“: “A counterfeit, alias, feigned, or pretended name taken by a person, differing in some essential particular from his true name (consisting of Christian name and patronymic), with the implication that it is meant to deceive or mislead.”

Oxford Dictionary:

  • nom“: Used in expressions denoting a pseudonym, a false or assumed name.
  • Nom de guerre“: War name. A name assumed by or assigned to a person engaged in some action or enterprise.
  • Guerre“: War, and as a verb, to wage war.

The U.S. Government Style Manual, Chapter 3 requires only the names of corporate and other fictional entities, or those serving in corporate capacities to be in all capitalized letters.

Fictitious names exist for a purpose. Fictions are invented to give courts jurisdiction. Snider v. Newell 44 SE 354.

  • 3rd party source information – Shared by friends at hisadvocates.org
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