On “Persons” in the NC General Statutes


It is of utmost importance to understand the context of “person”.  In most cases, it has a very limited scope and does not mean “one of the people”.  As you will see below, “person” is a legislator’s Swiss Army knife; it can perform a different function depending on the need.  “Person” is as generic as can be.

You can be a person; so can a corporation, a business, a corpse— whatever the definitions specify in the relevant statute.

            Black’s Law Dictionary says this:

“Juridical person. Entity, as a firm, that is not a single natural person, as a human being, authorized by law with duties and rights, recognized as a legal authority having a distinct identity, a legal personality. Also known as artificial person, juridical entity, juristic person, or legal person. Also refer to body corporate.”

The following is merely a random finding of “person” being described by what it may or may not be.  One thing it may be is corporate.

§ 47B-2.  Marketable record title to estate in real property; 30-year unbroken chain of title of record; effect of marketable title.

 (c)        Subject to the matters stated in G.S. 47B-3, such marketable record title shall be free and clear of all rights, estates, interests, claims or charges whatsoever, the existence of which depends upon any act, title transaction, event or omission that occurred prior to such 30-year period. All such rights, estates, interests, claims or charges, however denominated, whether such rights, estates, interests, claims or charges are or appear to be held or asserted by a person sui juris or under a disability, whether such person is natural or corporate, or is private or governmental, are hereby declared to be null and void.


So you can be a natural or corporate person.  You can be Sui Juris* or in disability.  You can be private or governmental. These statements should be clear to the average reader.

* Sui Juris. Of his own right; possessing full social and civil rights; not under any legal disability, or the power of another, or guardianship. Having capacity to manage one’s own affairs; not under legal disability to act for one’s self.

What is required to be a legal person or legal entity?  For one, if you hail from a county in North Carolina, you are part of a collective body referred to as a body politic and corporate:


§ 153A-11.  Corporate powers.

The inhabitants of each county are a body politic and corporate under the name specified in the act creating the county. Under that name they are vested with all the property and rights of property belonging to the corporation; have perpetual succession; may sue and be sued; may contract and be contracted with; may acquire and hold any property and rights of property, real and personal, that may be devised, sold,…


Simply claiming that county as your home is enough to create a presumption that you are or desire to be a part of the local government.  A county is admittedly a corporation.  Members, officers or constituents of a corporation are all subordinate to that governing body and cannot have more powers or rights than the corporation.  This is a definition of constituent by synonym/example:


“Constituent. (Part), noun balloter, component, component part, division, element, elementum, factor, feature, fraction, fragment, included, ingredient, installment, integral part, integrant, integrant part, one of, pars, part, part and parcel, particle, piece, section, sector, segment, subdivision.”


Simply put, a part of the whole.  The following section of law should be an eye-opener at this point.  In this entry, we see what status our elected officials truly hold.


“Chapter 138A: State Government Ethics Act.

§ 138A-2.  Purpose.

The purpose of this Chapter is to ensure that elected and appointed State agency officials exercise their authority honestly and fairly, free from impropriety, threats, favoritism, and undue influence. To this end, it is the intent of the General Assembly in this Chapter to ensure that standards of ethical conduct and standards regarding conflicts of interest are clearly established for elected and appointed State agency officials, that the State continually educates these officials on matters of ethical conduct and conflicts of interest, that potential and actual conflicts of interests are identified and resolved, and that violations of standards of ethical conduct and conflicts of interest are investigated and properly addressed. (2006-201, s. 1.)

§ 138A-3.  Definitions.

The following definitions apply in this Chapter:

 (27)      Person. – Any individual, firm, partnership, committee, association, corporation, business, or any other organization or group of persons acting together. The term “person” does not include the State, a political subdivision of the State, a board, or any other entity or organization created by the State or a political subdivision of the State.”


These people, the elected and appointed State agency officials to whom the Ethics Act applies, are not a part of the body politic and corporate, as they are not a subdivision of the state or county (a county is a subdivision of a state). Perhaps it is clear to any reader now that we are being ruled by those to whom different rules apply.  You probably already knew that;  you may not have known that there was a legal basis for this behavior on their part.  Essentially, we have volunteered into a lesser status, subordinate to the governing body. We serve it, rather than the government serving us.  We have blindly taken on the role of citizens, and left the status of “People” behind.

However, it could therefore be argued that those in charge have not left their full body of rights behind.  Are they the only “We the People” left?

Right about now, we should be thinking of asking the NC legislators why they have set themselves apart with different rules applying to them.

Again, if you are an inhabitant of the county, you are a component part of the county, not above it and directing its actions. Does that mean you have to move? No.  Simply do not claim to be an inhabitant or write the county in any fields on any forms. That’s a start.

Now, think about your house and car- they are both registered with that county, that corporate subdivision of the state.  Were you under a disability to deal with the responsibilities of ownership? I believe that is what is presumed when you register something.