Connerat v. Obama finds its way to small claims court
By Linda Bentley | April 22, 2009
Eligibility challenges becoming more innovative
CLEARWATER, FLA. – On April 14, William Spencer Connerat III filed a complaint in Pinellas County, Fla. Small Claims Court against Obama after his two letters, requesting proof of natural born status, sent certified with a returned receipt, received no response, although Connerat received a stamped receipt proving they were received.
Connerat personally served Florida Secretary of State Kurt S. Browning on the morning of Dec. 15, 2008 with a petition for extraordinary emergency writ of mandamus and stay of the 2008 Presidential Election to be conducted in Florida Senate Chambers at 2 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 15, 2008.
Although his case was ultimately dismissed without prejudice, Connerat said he had neither the time nor the resources, as a pro se litigant, “to craft a more robust argument and file again.”
Connerat’s first letter demanding proof of Obama’s natural born status was sent on Nov. 11, 2008, although he did not receive the return receipt until Feb. 9, 2009, stamped received by “The White House Office.”
Believing he had provided Obama with more than ample time to respond, Connerat sent a second request to Obama on Feb. 26 for proof of natural born status.
However, Connerat cites, “On this occasion, since Mr. Obama had, for all intents and purposes, already assumed the Office of President, I employed my right to redress under the First Amendment of the Constitution,” which prohibits Congress from making any law abridging the right of the people to petition the government for a redress of grievances, among other things.
“My grievance was that I had still not received a response to my first request for proof of natural born status,” said Connerat, who stated he mailed his second request, as a letter of redress, which was delivered on March 12, 2009, according to USPS.
“In sum,” Connerat stated, “a true and proper response to my letter of Nov. 11, 2008 would have negated the duty (therefore cost) to mail the second request – the February 26, 2009 Letter of Redress. Mr. Obama could have simply responded that my doubt was, indeed, warranted, that he was not a natural born citizen and that he was ineligible to the Office of President of the United States. On these premises do I base my claim.”
All three of Attorney Phil Berg’s lawsuits challenging Obama’s constitutional eligibility, are still pending.
The first, which was filed before the Democratic National Convention in August 2008, was dismissed by U.S. District Court Judge R. Barclay Surrick for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for lack of “standing.”
Berg bypassed the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in that case to the U.S. Supreme Court, where several injunctions along with applications for a hearing were denied.
Berg v. Obama, which was filed under seal on Nov. 7, 2008, is still pending in U.S. District Court.
Berg confirmed Hollister v. Soetoro, recently dismissed by U.S. District Court Judge James Robertson, has been appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. He said Robertson “showed his bias from the time the case was filed” and called his opinion “outrageous” and the sanctions imposed on the local D.C. Attorney John D. Hemenway unfair.
Hemenway subsequently received a certified letter from Obama’s Attorney Robert F. Bauer of Perkins Coie, stating: “I write to request that, in light of the District Court’s March 24, 2009 Rule 11 order in Hollister v. Soetoro … you withdraw the appeal … For reasons stated in Judge Robertson’s order, the suit is frivolous and should not be pursued.
“Should you decline to withdraw this frivolous appeal, please be informed that we intend to pursue sanctions, including costs, expenses and attorneys’ fees ...”
In his 12-page memorandum order sanctioning Hemenway, Robertson wrote, “Mr. Hemenway is 82 years old and takes considerable and justified pride in his patriotic public service and his status as a Rhodes Scholar. He is unlikely to repeat the conduct that gave rise to this proceeding, and in his case the permissible alternative sanction of a reprimand will be sufficient. ‘Others similarly situated’ – the people who put Mr. Hemenway up to filing this foolish suit – are unlikely to be deterred, except by a penalty that would be unreasonable to impose on Mr. Hemenway alone.”
He also stated, “Hemenway is a lawyer and member of the bar of this court. The dispute that he attempted to litigate here was about whether or not Barack Obama is a ‘natural born citizen,’ and thereby qualified … to be president. Many people, perhaps as many as a couple of dozen, feel deeply about this issue …”
That comment takes us to Dr. Orly Taitz, the southern California dentist and attorney that is also pursuing challenges regarding Obama’s eligibility.
Last month, Taitz traveled to a conference at the University of Idaho because Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court John G. Roberts would be speaking.
In addition to the two suitcases full of case documents Taitz hand deliver to Roberts, which he promised to review, she delivered copies of more than 340,000 signatures collected by WorldNetDaily, “demanding that the constitutional eligibility requirement be taken seriously and that any and all controlling legal authorities in this matter examine the complete birth certificate of Barack Obama … and make that document available to the American people for inspection.”
Taitz is also pursuing a quo warranto action on behalf of active military personnel demanding “by what authority” Obama has assumed the office of president.
According to California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown, Jr., “A quo warranto action may be brought against any person who usurps, intrudes into, or unlawfully holds or exercises any public office or franchise.”
Attorney Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation is also challenging Obama’s eligibility against California Secretary of State Debra Bowen on behalf of presidential candidate Alan Keyes.
Although his case was recently dismissed by California Superior Court Judge Michael P. Kenny, who stated the secretary of state has no “ministerial duty” to demand detailed proof of citizenship from presidential candidates.
Kreep calls Obama’s nomination papers “perjurious” and vowed to appeal and put an end to the controversy, once and for all, over his status as a “natural born citizen.”
Upon serving a subpoena to Occidental College to gain access to Obama’s college records, Kreep was also threatened with monetary sanctions by Obama’s lawyer if he did not voluntarily withdraw his request.
When he entered the office of President, Obama became “pretender to the throne,” said Kreep, who asserts Obama is not legally the President of the United States, unless he can prove that he is a “natural born citizen.”