North Carolina Passes Bill Fighting "Paper Terrorism"

  • November 27, 2001

The Anti-Defamation League welcomes the passage of an important, new North Carolina measure to fight against the filing of false property liens.

Before this law, anti-government extremists in North Carolina could abuse provisions in the Uniform Commercial Code, intimidating their enemies by maliciously filing false liens. Often a victim would not even know he or she had been targeted until it was too late.

This form of "paper terrorism" not only harmed the victims, but it also created a backlog in the judicial system. The North Carolina law, which went into effect July 1, 2001, enables the North Carolina Secretary of State to reject these bogus liens.

Before it passed, the bill enjoyed broad support in the North Carolina legislature, as well as from the United States Attorney General and from judges, lawyers and public officials across North Carolina.

Anti-government extremists throughout the U.S. have targeted public officials and other “enemies” in the same way as those in North Carolina. With the passage of this North Carolina statute, other states are looking to adopt similar measures.

The legislation inserted language into the code indicating that the Secretary of the State may reject any lien, "intended for an improper purpose, such as to hinder, harass, or otherwise wrongfully interfere with any person."

The full text of the legislation, including revisions to the Uniform Commercial Code, is available at the North Carolina General Assembly website.

More from this Section