The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

‘Sovereign Citizen’ Leader Arrested in Texas

By Sonia Scherr on December 12, 2008 - 10:22 am, Posted in Extremist Crime

Antigovernment scofflaw Robert Fox used to make big money teaching clients how to outwit the legal system. But last week, Fox — a fugitive wanted in Texas on a felony charge since July — stumbled into the arms of law enforcement when he actually showed up for a court appearance related to a completely different case.

“It was in an act of great hubris that he was arrested,” Jacksonville, Texas, Police Detective Jason Price told Hatewatch.

Fox led the House of Israel, which masqueraded as a church but in fact served as a crash pad for “sovereign citizens” — members of an extreme-right movement whose adherents believe they are not citizens of the United States and therefore not subject to many of its laws, including the tax code.

Robert Fox

Believed to be in his late 50s, Fox went on the lam around the time he was charged with barratry, or improperly trying to solicit business for his legal practice, a felony under Texas law. He had previously posted bond after being charged with four counts of possessing dangerous drugs and two counts of practicing law without a license, all misdemeanors.

After more than four months of eluding police, Fox arrived at the Cherokee County Courthouse on Dec. 3 for an administrative hearing related to the drug charges. Although Fox knew there was a warrant for his arrest, Price suspects he showed up anyway because otherwise he would have faced a failure to appear charge and risked forfeiting his bond. As it happened, the judge who signed the barratry arrest warrant back in July was also scheduled to preside over Fox’s December court hearing. The judge remembered Fox and asked a member of his staff to alert the Jacksonville Police Department. Court personnel detained Fox until Jacksonville police got to the courthouse to arrest him. Fox was accompanied by several people who appeared to be supporters and wished him well as he was taken into custody.

Fox was uncooperative with police and gave the House of Israel as his address, even though police had seen no sign of him there over the past several months, Price said. Instead, police believe that he’d been staying with supporters in the Austin area. In July, Fox gave a presentation there at the Freedom School, a sovereign-citizens organization that claims taxes are voluntary.

A week after Fox’s arrest, he was still being held at the Cherokee County Jail for lack of $30,000 bond. He could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted on the barratry charge. He also may face further charges: A representative of the state bar is pursuing contempt of court charges after Fox filed lawsuits against the Jacksonville Police Department in Cherokee and Smith county courts. Because he’d already been declared a “vexatious litigant” by a Texas court, he was required to get a judge’s approval before filing the lawsuits, which he failed to do.

  • brady

    All Right People. Listen up. I have known Robert Fox for almost 20 years now. Here is the REAL SCOOP! Robert was house-sitting for a mutual friend, who is a retired DENTIST. Those four DRUG CHARGES were false charges for expired antibiotics and mild pain relievers left over and locked in the closed portion of the building. The BARRATRY charge can only be committed by Lawyers, and Fox is not a lawyer, so it too, was a false charge. There were three other false charges filed against Fox, and he had defeated ALL EIGHT OF THEM. During this time, I PERSONALLY filed several Public Information Act Requests to the City of Jacksonville, and they GAVE ME 91 documents, and after analyzing them, and comparing them to the Texas Constitution Article 16 Section 1 and the Texas Government Code 601.007 and 008, it became clear that the City of Jacksonville has: No legitimate Mayor, No legitimate City Council, No legitimate City Manager, No legitimate City Secretary, No legitimate Municipal Judges, No legitimate Chief of Police, (Reece Daniels) who, by the way, because of his sexual harassment to a female City Worker, caused the City (and the City’s citizens through taxation) to have to pay her a cash settlement FOR HER CLAIM. Further, there is NOT ONE SINGLE legitimate Police Officer in Jacksonville. They are all imposters, by not having ALL of the requisite documents, lawfully and properly prepared and filed in public records. With that being said, NONE OF THEIR ACTIONS are valid. Those who were there when fake cop rapist and murderer Larry Pugh was there, in one way or another, ratified or covered for him. So Robert Fox wrote out his CLAIM, like the sexual harassment victim of Daniels did. The Texas Tort Claims Act REQUIRES you to file a claim with they city, prior to lawsuit, to give them time, notice and opportunity to settle. If you do not file a claim FIRST, the City gets an easy and automatic dismissal for no prior claim. When he tried to file it, the fake City Secretary refused to accept it. So he tried to file it in Cherokee County, and they refused to accept it. So he went to Smith County, and they accepted it. What did the fake Jacksonville police do? Did the City pay the claim? Did they settle with him for less? Or did they merely remain silent? No, they filed YET ANOTHER (the 9th) false charge against him, for “Tampering with a Government Document”, a FELONY charge. How is filing a claim with the city FOR THEIR DAMAGES caused by false charges ever possible to be considered tampering with a government document? The fake police say that the claim is false, therefore tampered with, and all documents, when filed INTO PUBLIC RECORDS, become Government Records, therefore, TA-DA!!! Robert has committed the felony of T/W/G/R, and so they then pursued him by setting THREE consecutive TRIALS! The first one was shut out by snowstorm, the second trial was a mistrial by hung jury, despite the fact that the (DWI Convict) D.A. Elmer Beckworth arranged to have one juror be the Son-in-law of the Cherokee County Sheriff. By the third trial, the torture created by 9 false charges over 4 years furthered Robert’s ill health decline, and the Jury rubber stamped a conviction when Robert was not able to put on a proper defense due to extreme health issues, even having to be hospitalized during trial. Prior to those three trials, I had prepared a 66 page sworn affidavit analysis of the 91 pages of fraud from the City of Jacksonville, and Judge Dwight Phifer BLOCKED ALL OF IT FROM THE EYES AND EARS OF THE JURY, effectively guaranteeing conviction. So I prepared a Sworn Affidavit of Criminal charges against Dwight Phifer for FOUR separate counts of Deprivation of Due Process, filing it with State and Federal agencies, and yet NO ONE will hold him to the law. Robert Fox is not the criminal, he is the surviving victim of massive corruption in East Texas, that is deeply entrenched, and decades old. It will continue until the people EN MASSE rise up and oust them, by recall, quo warranto, impeachment or criminal complaint. By the way, Sovereignty is not some dirty word, or a crime. The United States Supreme Court has ruled OVER AND OVER that Sovereignty is embodied IN the PEOPLE. Check out these sovereignty cases: Dred Scott v Sandford 60 US 393. Yick Wo v Hopkins 118 US 356, Chisholm v Georgia 2 US 419, Colton v Kentucky 407 US 104, Julliard v Greenman 110 US 421, Perry v U.S. 294 US 330, McCullock v Maryland 4 Wheat 316, Vanhorne’s Lessee v Dorrance, 2 US 304. Ellingham v Dye 231 US 250.

  • Brad Anderson

    The hypocrisy here is amusing. A U.S. citizen is accused of breaking the law, and there are cheers that he’s guilty of “hate,” simply because– well they HATE him! (Ironic as well).

    But when Mexican invaders are automatically guilty of breaking the law by BEING here, and there’s nothing but sympathy and support for their treating our sovereign border with pure disdain.

    I’m sure their twisted thinking has some lengthy convoluted rationale for this double-standard, but no rational person could reconcile this double-standard.

    What did this Fox do? Basically he practiced law without a license, in a very limited sense; so these Boys who cry “hate” are simpy grasping at straws by using LAWYERS, of all things, to attack a man who simply believes in FREEDOM.
    So there we have it: those who cry “hate,” in reality simply hate liberty and love government (as long as it doesn’t enforce laws that they don’t agree with, such as immigration-laws).

  • Sunny

    This man is not an extremist, he is exercising his rights as a free sovereign man which everyone should do. I can see the ignorance in some of the above statements and challenge you learn or re-learn your history. I bet some of you are married and were too blind to ask about the legal implications of a marriage contract. The bottom line is there is such a thing as the 14th amendment citizen, free sovereign, adhesion contracts and much more if you care to learn. In this movement there are some that don’t address their rights with responsibility and must try again, but they are trying. You do not have to be a racist, extremist, radical or what ever else the press labels you all you have to do is want to really be free and then start learning and asking questions.
    The press always distorts the facts and most all of them do not know their history nor care to be free but thank God for the ones that do and the ones that speak the truth.
    You trade your freedom and liberty for safety? who’s really going to save you but yourself.

  • Jimbo

    THis is a decent story. The guy needs a bit more education on the legal system. But what he was doing is 100% lawful, if he had done it correctly. The slanted way that this story is published should speak volumes.
    Taxes are voluntary, following and adhering to ‘statute’ law, is voluntary. No victims anywhere that I can see.
    The reason most of you support this stuff is because you believe the illusion that has been created around it. You been brainwashed. You don’t know that there is a better way. You fight for a system that has been setup to imprison you, because you have been taught from a young age, that that is what good people do.. and you are all good people.
    While this guy seems to have an idea of what his true rights are as a child of god, he has had no education into how to properly act when these predators swoop in upon you. He should of never pleaded anything to that kangaroo court, never posted any bond, and better yet never CONTRACTED with them.
    But to all of those fighting to restore our republic, keep on fighting. We will win eventually. And all of those that are still alseep will wake up to a wonderful world, where they are truly free… and they will shake their heads and go.. oh, this is what those ‘crazy’ people were up too. Fighting to save us…

  • Tava

    Mr. Dawson,

    I agree with you 100%. The demographics in this country are changing, and only those with racist tendencies are complaining. Everyone else is doing what is necessary to adjust.

    Don’t like Mexican gardeners? Become one yourself. In my college town, most of the landscape workers and busboys (and girls) are white college students. They need the work.

    I’m a 7th-generation Mexican-American, and as such I don’t speak a lick of Spanish. Neither do my children. Lo and behold, I go to enroll my eldest in a prestigious prep school only to find out that all students MUST BE BILINGUAL. Well, that’s the way it is in Switzerland (where his father is from). Children MUST be fluent in at least TWO languages in order to graduate. Oops.

    So what’s the problem with this country? Why do we, in 2009, still fuel a national argument over bilingual education and keep fanning the flames of xenophobia by fixating on this “english only” argument. It’s medieval. And not very intelligent. The rest of the world is laughing at us, and Yes, it does matter.

  • Texas Spitfire

    I have known Robert for years. He does NOT hate Jews, Blacks or anyone else. He doesn’t like the usurpers of our Rights, those who act under “color of law”, without lawful authority, and he doesn’t like propagandist so…the fact that his [trumped-up] arrest has made this website shows he is getting to someone or you wouldn’t have bothered with him. Thanks for the endorsement!


  • mike

    1. regardless of how crazy this robert fox is, what does he have to do with “hate”?

    2. many, if not most, illegal aliens pay little if any taxes, either because they’re not payed very much, or they’re payed under-the-table.

    3. most of the “white man” are rich fat cats? uh, ok…

    4. far leftists do hate the rich, israel, the government, etc.

    5. SPLC just quoted ben stein, yes THAT ben stein, as a being “hateful”. i rest my case.

  • Kenneth L. Dawson

    I think this immigration argument is a waste of time. Personally, I’ve seen nothing but good from the arrival of Mexicans in my town, but what I think doesn’t matter at all. I think we are in the middle of a major population shift and all the prancing, braying racists in America can do nothing about it.

    Myself, I’m making friends and learning Spanish.

  • Aslan Maskhadov

    You seem to be a bit confused there. First of all, a large portion of what you consider “left” does not hate the rich, they hate a system of inequality and exploitation that allows the laziest of society to become rich while the hard working people get the shaft. See the most recent bailouts for a real life example.

    Hatred against Jews? Hardly. Zionists are Zionists, period. True, anti-semites try to infiltrate the movement and equate Zionist with Jew, but these are easy to spot if one is observant. There are many Jews who oppose Zionism- hundreds of thousands if not a few million. Zionism is an ideology of Jewish self-hatred, and the words of famous Zionists such as Theodore Hertzl are so full of vitriol for Jews that they could have sprung from the pen of a Nazi propagandist. In fact, modern neo-Nazis frequently quote from Hertzl among other Zionists.

    As for hatred of the United States of America, a great deal of this is shortsighted(that is associated with America as a symbol rather than its policies), but it is understandable given US policy around the world. How many Swiss or Canadian flags get burned around the world? Not many.

  • Marco

    Hate on “the rich” (in fact most leftist leaders have a really wealthy background) or “the capitalists” … just for example. Oh and hate against jews (they call dem Zionists). And especially in Europe, and so here in Germany, the spread hate against the United States of America.

  • Aslan Maskhadov

    What specific “hate” are you referring to?

  • Marco

    You “keep an eye on the radical right”? That’s good. But what about the radikal left, spreading hate too?

  • Chuckles

    I don’t see anything related to hate crime in this article; why is it being published by the SLPC? I have no problem with someone who does not want to pay taxes to support what has become an unconstitutional plutocratic system here in the United States. Publicly funded bailouts of fantastically rich bankers, the use of our military to further corporate ends and the de facto suspension of habeus corpus and posse comitatus acts prove my point. Nor would I have a problem with that person being denied services by whatever portion of the government, State, Federal or municipal, that he or she failed to pay taxes to. If the SPLC cannot see that our government is no longer under the control of the people, as the founders of this nation intended, than I can only see the SPLC as being part of the apparatus that supports the continuation of unconstitutional government here in the United States. The day when millions of gun owning Americans non-violently revolt against the Federal government and shut it down and reform it into a Second Republic that will abide by the law provided in the Constitution is coming and there is nothing that anyone can do about it. This is what I work towards every day.

  • Tor

    What Larry Pugh did was horrible, but that does not mean that Robert Fox was correct. The two are connected by geography and by illegal actions, even though they probably never met. Let us concentrate on making our own actions correct, as Shelley Barrett has done. A few small actions each day have a greater effect than you might imagine; once in a while you will hear back about such an action. I saved a family from foreclosure, simply by passing along a small bit of information they needed and did not know. Next thing, they invited us over to Christmas dinner in that small house, and it was wonderful to be there with them.

  • Victor

    Robert Fox’s arrest wasn’t even reported in the Jacksonville Daily Progress or the Rusk papers. Only on the Internet can you read about it.
    They call him a terrorist lover but don’t even report about it.
    They don’t talk about the Jacksonville police officer Larry Pugh who was sentenced to prison for raping women.
    Go read about it at:

  • GENO

    What Aslan Maskahdov says is pretty much true. Illegal Aliens do in fact pay up taxes, maybe more than the average American Joe the Plumber. In the news nowadays, we always seem to hear about how the White Man(most of them rich fat cats) is always finding ways to avoid paying taxes, eventually leading to their arrests and conviction for tax evasion, tax fraud, or simply not paying taxes at all. I read AZCentral daily, and I see more White`s crimes than I do with Illegal Aliens. Which is why we have over 40,000 felony warrants in Maricopa County that went largely ignored by the one calling himself “the toughest Sheriff in America”, yep our corrupt constable Sheriff Joe Arpaio whose policing tactics are proven ineffective according to the Goldwater Institute, an independent non-profit-non-partisan research team. Because our corrupted Sheriff only likes to go after “corn vendors” and “lawn mowers” the hard working non-violent sorts. Instead he chooses to ignore the 40,000 violent felons roaming around free on our streets. Which is exactly why Americans commit more crimes than illegal aliens here in the valley. Just the other night more White Men arrested in connection with a bank robbery heist and more according to your AZCentral News.

  • Aslan Maskhadov

    Bad news pal, I’m from Arizona and I spent most of my life there. Want to know what illegals are doing? Building your shopping centers, homes, schools, and malls. They’re doing your yardwork and cooking your food. Your own government confirms that these immigrants put more into the economy than they take out- far more. More importantly, crime amongst those immigrants is far lower than amongst native born Americans, which is also statistically confirmed.

  • Steven Terrell

    Aslan Maskhadov, you don’t get out much or read newspapers from the states overrun with illegal aliens, do you? If you did you would find illegal aliens do everything you said they won’t and much, much more. Try googling AZCentral my friend. Read and weep because you will find you know nothing about illegal aliens or illegal immigration.

  • Aslan Maskhadov

    If an illegal alien drives without a license, they get arrested. If you or anyone else does the same- ditto. Neat, huh? I think you need to do some research into the history of the sovereign citizen movement before making such a bizarre comparison.

  • Jonathan

    I didn’t see where it was mentioned that Mr. Fox was stockpiling weapons.

    Illegal aliens drive without driver licenses. Many government entities tacitly approve of illegal aliens, so one can hardly complain much about good ol’ sovereign folks making license plates or drivers’ licenses.

    “Mayhem”? They cause bodily injury to people in the courts?

    I think Mr. Fox is a bit of a unique curiosity that makes society more “vibrant”, sort of a kind of diversity. After all, diversity is our greatest strength!

  • BumbleBee

    he fought the law and the law won.

  • Aslan Maskhadov

    Illegal aliens often pay taxes for which they will receive no benefits. Moreover, illegal aliens don’t talk about overthrowing the US government, stockpile weapons, file bogus liens on people(a favorite tactic of sovereign citizens), or cause all kinds of trouble by making their own license plates or drivers licenses and then causing all kinds of mayhem in the courts when hauled in for doing so.

  • Jonathan

    “Why does the White race pretend to be better when so many are in prison too?”

    How naive! Do “anti-racists” think that only (some) Whites feel like they are “better” and non-Whites never have such feelings? Talk about the Dumbing Down of America!

    To give you an example, I had a Asian Indian friend a while back. Her family didn’t approve of her White boyfriend because he wasn’t good enough for her as he wasn’t an Indian.

    “But poor, oppressed ‘People of Color’ can’t be racist! White people invented racism. That’s what my multicultural brainwashing told me!”

  • mountaingirl08

    Fox has been in trouble w. our judiciary due to the fact that he has committed multiple felonies. He IS an extremist. He needs to be thrown under the bus.

  • mountaingirl08

    Ms. Barrett
    Thank you so much for telling us about your personal journey away from hatred. I am not much of a crier but your lesson to us about how you gave the gentleman a lift to his house and your epiphany brought tears to my eyes.

  • Jonathan

    Illegal aliens are “scofflaws” and often don’t pay taxes. Why pick on poor Mr. Fox and not cover illegal “extremists” being arrested? I guess Mr. Fox isn’t considered to be a good fit in the politically-correct, multicultural petting zoo. “An evil petting zoo?”

  • Andrew Dobbs

    Barratry is now my word of the week. I will try and use it as often as possible. It’ll be a tough one…

    I also like “vexatious litigant.”

    To be honest, as an anarchist crazy person this guy scares me less than a lot of the people profiled by the SPLC. I’m sure this guy isn’t too keen on the Jews or black folks or gay people, but I dig the idea of sovereign citizenship. Meh. Even stopped clocks are right twice a day.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is… more made up sounding words and terms!

  • Shelly Barrett

    Great without hate. (c)

    Open your eyes and see the world surounding you. The universe is full of color. Why waste precious energy hating what is different? For if everybody was the same the world would be ugly. Greed brings forth hate. Why hate your universe for it is what you create?

    My observation is correct and I am human with eyes. Why does the White race pretend to be better when so many are in prison too? If goodness is a racial thing then no white man would ever commit a crime if he was truely better. He is not better and seriously needs to stop the pretending to be better based soley on skin color. There is sickness and greed in all races.

    I live in Texas and in Texas are all races working together one day at a time to keep our little town happy.

    The saddest and most eye opening day of my life was right after I moved to Texas. I had left the hate I had fallen into with the Matt Hale group and was learning to keep the focus on myself. I lost everything important to me because of that group because of the hate within its walls. But any way, the saddest most happy day of my life was here. I was driving down 190 and it was a very hot Texas August day. I noticed at the left of the road was a colored man carrying bags of food and a big pack of baby diapers. Me always wanted to help good people I pull over and ask him if hed like a ride. He said yes Maam. He put his things into the back of my truck and climbed into the cab. He was very hot and very sweaty. I asked him where he lived. Seven miles down a long dusty road. He had just cashed his pay check and the baby needed diapers and the family food. When i pulled up to his house it was a little dirt road house in east Texas, but it was his. He worked for it and I felt his spark of pride to provide for his family.
    After he got out of my truck i waved and drove away far enough out of sight, pulled my truck over and cried hating myself for allowing my greed to see only color.
    Why did I pull over to pick up that colored man walking? well because I saw his pack of baby diapers and knew someone was in need.
    That day I made friends with myself and realized were all here together working , paying taxes and trying to survive.
    Today I am Buddhist and worship with all peoples in Houston Texas.
    Peace is color blind.