2013 Lowry v. Chancery (UC)

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Din el Cort Pü Inalt


ANDY LOWRY
Plaintiff
v.
HIS MAJESTY'S CHANCERY
Defendant


Decided
15 January 2013/XXXIV

Brief of the ruling
{{{ruling}}}

Opinion of the Court delivered by
Justice Asmourescu

Opinion

Justice Asmourescu delivered the opinion of the Cort:

Background of the case

On or about 10 January 2013, S:reu Andy Lowry stated his formal protest to the oath of allegiance formerly sworn upon receiving citizenship. After an intense discussion involving multiple persons, Secretary of State Sir Iusti Canun, UrGP stated that he, acting on behalf of the chancery, sent the following message to S:reu Lowry via “personal message.”

Do you still wish to withdraw your signature from the oath, with the knowledge that doing so will end your citizenship? Or do you want to stay and (as most of the Republicans did) abide by the oath under protest, while working toward effecting a change?

Sir Iusti then states that the Secretary of State received the following reply: Yes, withdraw it and throw me out. Thanks, Andy

Sir Iusti then issued a writ of renunciation, thereby terminating S:reu Lowry’s citizenship effective 14 January 2013. On 15 January 2013, S:reu did post the following:

[QUOTING Sir Siervicul]..Yes Please. This is Not Cool. As for Andy, I agree with S:reu Davinescu that his words were not a renunciation. It was a statement of “I’m taking back my signature, you do what you will.”… Yes, Precisely. I was trying to not get all wordy about it, but that’s what I was saying. I have no desire to leave, and thought I had previously made that clear.

Analysis of law

Analysis of Law

The Secretary of State is tasked with the issuance of the writ of renunciation. The SoS relies on his discretion in interpreting the denouncement of the oath of citizenship as being equivalent to a statement of renunciation. This discretion having been tested in Cjantscheir v Chancery (Magistracy), the Secretary’s discretion was affirmed in interpreting statements other than “I renounce my citizenship” to be equivalent to the same, provided the meaning conveyed by those alternate words were materially similar to the generally accepted formula for a pronouncement of renunciation.

However, this matter differs greatly from Cjantscheir v Chancery in that this alleged statement of renunciation took place through a private message.

Article XVIII: Citizenship and Rights: Section 9 Talossans may voluntarily renounce their own citizenship. This may be done by publicly issuing a written Declaration of Renunciation. It shall take immediate effect upon its acknowledgement by the Secretary of State through issuance of a Writer of Termination of Citizenship, which shall be published under the seal of the Chancery. Most prominent is the idea that the declaration must be made publicly. While it can certainly be argued that an e-mail or PM to the Secretary of State constitutes a public declaration, this seems inconsistent with the intended purpose of this provision. Interpreted to mean any communication with the SoS constitutes “public declaration” places an undo amount of discretion in the hands of the Secretary and limits public oversight.

The statements by the petitioner following issuance of the Writ also indicate that the writ was signed and sealed against the wishes of S:reu Lowry, thus not qualifying as a “voluntary” renunciation.

Further, the statement was not sent to the Secretary of State until the Secretary of State first messaged S:reu Lowry offering him only two potential outcomes: denounce your oath and lose citizenship, or drop the issue. Yet, I am hard pressed to find law supporting the Secretary of State’s chosen actions in effectively soliciting a renunciation from petitioner.

Ruling

While the law does allow the Secretary of State to issue a write of renunciation, there are organic limitations in place. The Secretary of State, in accepting a “voluntary” renunciation that seemingly runs contrary to the wishes of the petitioner is a dispute that requires judicial intervention to resolve and a more stringent view of applicable laws to be reviewed.

Accordingly, I hereby enjoin the government of Talossa from accepting the writ of renunciation issued to Andy Lowry on 14 January 2013. I further enjoin the Chancery from issuing a new write of renunciation based upon the statements made by S:reu Lowry through personal communication with Sir Iusti Canun. S:reu Lowry’s citizenship is immediately restored pending final disposition of this case through the Magistracy, in an action to be filed by, or on behalf of, the Chancery and the Crown.

Should the Crown, by way of the Chancery, choose to pursue the termination of S:reu Lowry's citizenship, it shall present these facts, together with legal arguments, before the magistracy no later than 1 February 2013.

This order entered into effect 15 January 2013,

Justice T.M. Asmourescu