Alaska militia leader calls court 'criminal,' threatens troopers

FAIRBANKS -- An attempt by an Alaska militia leader to serve paperwork alleging state courts lack jurisdiction in his misdemeanor weapons case has been rejected.

Schaeffer Cox, head of the Alaska Peacemakers Militia, appeared at the Fairbanks courthouse Wednesday for a hearing on a trial date, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

Cox, 26, did not address the trial date and instead attempted to serve paperwork on District Court Judge Patrick Hammers.

"You're now being treated as a criminal engaged in criminal activity, and you're being served in that manner," Cox said.

The judge's clerks refused to accept documents from Cox, who is facing a misdemeanor weapons charge for not immediately letting a Fairbanks police officer know he was carrying a concealed weapon last March.

About a half-dozen supporters and members of the militia accompanied Cox at the hearing. Initially, militia member Ken Thesing spoke for Cox, calling himself Cox's representative and "counsel before God."

Cox, who refused to take off his trademark hat in the courtroom, insisted the court system is a "preprocessing company" with no jurisdiction over Alaskans.

Hammers set a trial date of Dec. 28 and a status hearing for Monday, then left the courtroom. Alaska State Troopers prevented Cox and his entourage from following the judge into his chambers.

The newspaper reported Cox also told a state trooper after the hearing that the militia had troopers "outmanned, outgunned and we could probably have you all dead in one night." But, Cox added, he could not see himself shooting someone who lives in the same town as he does.

Cox in recent weeks had been advocating the concept of "sovereign citizenship."

Cox claims he and all Americans are sovereigns, or kings and queens, and no one is required to obey laws unless not doing so would directly harm other sovereigns. Many of his claims center on the belief that President Abraham Lincoln subverted the original Constitution and replaced it with a copy that incorporated the United States.

Over the summer, the Southern Poverty Law Center released a report estimating as many as 300,000 Americans consider themselves sovereign citizens. The movement has spread with the poor economy, the growth of the Internet and the election of President Barack Obama.