I recently had a discussion with a group of people online about the differences in law. The majority of people believe that law has different categories with their own rules and regulations.
ALL CIVIL LAWS ARE CONTRACTUAL IN NATURE
Here is how law works. I’ll start off with the top level.
Criminal vs Civil.
Criminal Law deals with crimes that have victims. Like rape, robbery, property damage or murder. These fall under a crime with a victim because someone was always hurt or damaged by another’s actions. And in most cases there is reparations or jail or both.
Civil cases are all contract cases. This is where the above mentioned discussion got heated, and I understand why. In Civil Law there are sub categories.
Family Law, Divorce Law, Personal Injury Law, Traffic Tickets, Small Claims, and more.
So I can see why many people would confuse these as being totally separate and have nothing to do with civil cases. However all these things are contractual and fall under civil courts and that is why they handle them.
Divorce Law. This deals with with break up of the marriage contract either due to a violation of one or both of the parties or just a mutual amicable split.
The contract was the marriage contract you signed when you got married that allowed the government to have authority over your divorce should you get divorced and as well to define your marriage with rules. (there are laws for marriage you can look up online, results vary depending on your government).
Traffic Court – These deal with fines or violations of the contract you have with the government that you signed when you got your drivers licence concerning the rules of the road. This is also why they call any breach of the contract a “violation” and not a crime in court. Simply because it is a violation of a contract.
Small Claims while not always dealing with contracts between parties, the parties in court at some point individually have signed a contract somewhere that gave the government authority over the situation. For example, two neighbors having a dispute over a fence line. Seems innocuous and doesn’t sound like it involves contracts, but each property owner signed documents with lawyers when they purchased their property and in those documents they agreed to abide by the laws governing the area concerning the property and agreed that the government would have final say. That was part of the land deed you signed for. A contract.
As well to note some contracts are verbal – If you asked to borrow my car and I said only if you filled the tank of gas, and you agreed, that is considered a verbal contract. Because this falls on the property or even public property (which the government owns) then they have jurisdiction.
Personal Injury law is also contractual in much the same way that small claims is. It’s part of the whole land deed contract rules as well as public land rules. The agreement was made when you signed the deed papers for your property. Or if you fall on public property you would take the city to court and the court would determine if the city is liable under the contract due to a violation, like not keeping a sidewalk in proper repair and it collapses under you into a sinkhole. That would make the government in breach of the contract by virtue of the public trust and property owners who pay taxes for the repair and upkeep.
One gentlemen claimed that this simply wasn’t true that any contract isn’t valid if your “tricked” into signing it without full disclosure. However, the government fully discloses everything and calls it Acts or Statutes or Code. The majority of people aren’t educated in this and assume these sub categories are all different, when essentially they are all the same. Just the terms for each contract are different.
Think about how many times you sign documents with a government agency. Those are all contracts friends.
We live in a “Democratic” (I use the term loosely), society. In a democracy, we are ruled by consent of the governed. They get that consent in different ways. One way and the most commonly known way is the voting process. We give our consent by voting in the person who we think should govern. What they don’t tell you is all the other ways that they gain your consent. And that is via the contract. They have to do it this way because then we wouldn’t be living in a “Free” country. We would be openly be slaves.
They need you to consent to abide by their rules for the road for example. They have to because everyone has the right to use those roads as they are paid for by taxes when you fill your tank of gas. So you and everyone has the right. Which is why they are called public roads. They use the licence system to convince people that it’s for safety and it weeds out the unsafe drivers and you sign the documents, go through some rudimentary testing and sign some documents and you get a plastic card with your photo for the privilege of using the roads by their rules instead of just using them to begin with.
And when something happens, and you end up in court, it is called a violation and comes with a fine. The fine is a penalty for violating the contract. Refusal to pay that fine ends in jail time or your property taken. Remember you agreed to this when you signed that contract.
Let’s look at it this way. IF all these laws apply all the time to everyone then why do they need you to sign forms in order to get a licence ? Why do they need you to sign a marriage licence?
If you think about it, you realize the laws don’t apply all the time and if they don’t apply all the time, then when do they apply. They only apply during certain circumstances and only if you gave your consent. That is the only logical answer.
If I’m walking on the sidewalk and a cop arrests me for a violation under the highway traffic act and I didn’t have a licence or even if I had a licence. would that act apply to me if I was walking on the sidewalk?
The simple answer would be no. It would not, simply because the highway traffic act applies to people who signed the contract and the terms deal with people who are “drivers”. Not a pedestrian walking on a sidewalk.
So in reality all civil cases are contractual. They have different names that even lawyers who specialize in the sub categories can’t see it. It’s no wonder the general public can’t.