“Includes” and “Including,”
They Don’t Work Like You May Think.
The use of “includes” and “including” in relation to many statutory definitions, like “motor vehicle” for example, is an important key to unlocking and understanding what a statute actually encompasses and applies to so you can then fully understand its overall meaning. When you look at how the terms are used in the language construction of a statute, you come to realize that, virtually without exception, any place where these terms are used in law, it is being done for the express purpose of creating a generalized statute, not a statute that is specifically limited to the list of things to which the statutory definition or subject is referring. You also need to remember that the use of these terms does not serve to in any way alter or remove the specific subject matter context within which every statute must be read in order to be properly interpreted, which is the biggest failing of every modern-day attorney or judge throughout Texas and elsewhere. The courts and attorneys simply don’t or refuse to read the statutes within the specific confines of the legislative context specifically identified in the caption/title of the Bill responsible for the legislation that created it.
Surely by now you have figured out that something is off about this statutory shell game, and, hopefully, it is causing you to pause and ask yourself the question, “Does the state consider my private conveyance a ‘motor vehicle’, and if so, why?” Well, to be absolutely clear, the numerous minions of the state, based solely upon their own unsubstantiated opinions, legal conclusions, and legal presumptions, do consider your private conveyance to be exactly that, a “motor vehicle.” But, the fact is, the actual law and its related statutes do not support any of those opinions, presumptions, or conclusions as actually being true once you actually understand how to properly read them and the kind of incorrect logic and interpretations that attorneys and the courts utilize to keep this insight and understanding out of the hands and minds of the general public.
This is especially true if a statutory definition uses “includes” or “including” as its constructive formula. For as I stated a moment ago, and at the risk of sounding repetitive, virtually without exception, any place where these terms are used in law, it is being done for the express purpose of creating a generalized statute, not a statute that is specifically limited to the list of things to which the statutory definition or subject is referring. If a statute does use these terms, or some grammatical variation thereof, then truly understanding the following explanation of how these terms legally work is wholly necessary to interpreting the statute correctly and in accordance with all other laws of “this state” on the same subject, pursuant Chapters 311 and 312 of the Texas Government Code. This also means understanding the United States Supreme court cases that have already ruled on the following as being the only proper use and method of statutory interpretation applicable to these two terms in relation to law. Thus, the following legal argument requires a proper understanding of how the courts, especially the United States Supreme Court, have declared the terms “includes” and “including” actually function in law.
“I See Incompetent People, but They’re too Incompetent to Know They’re Incompetent.”
So, when the legislature writes a statutory provision that states that the use of terms like “includes” and “including” are to be read as follows, ““Includes” and “including” are terms of enlargement and not of limitation or exclusive enumeration, and use of the terms does not create a presumption that components not expressed are excluded,” it is imperative that you understand how any type of “enlargement” (meaning expansion or generalization) of the statute must be legally construed and applied by the courts so as to not constitute a rewrite of the law itself, or the Legislature’s intent in enacting it.
However, it is readily apparent that the majority of attorneys and judges that I have had the [dis]pleasure of interacting with have absolutely no clue about how to properly do this. They simply use these terms to unconstitutionally and unlawfully encompass anything and everything, anyone and everyone, ranging from a “commercial motor vehicle” to a “tricycle” or from a “driver/operator” to your three-year old riding their “tricycle/little red wagon.” They are completely, utterly, and uncompromisingly clueless about how these terms are required to be interpreted and used in order to maintain not only the original legislative intent, but how to also properly understand and apply the law or statute in question, or, even more importantly, how to not apply it to the persons and actions of any other specific class of individuals to whom it cannot and does not lawfully or legally apply.
“It is axiomatic that the statutory definition of the term excludes unstated meanings of that term. Colautti v. Franklin, 439 U. S. 379, 392, and n. 10 (1979). … As judges it is our duty to 485* construe legislation as it is written, not as it might be read by a layman, or as it might be understood by someone who has not even read it.” Meese v. Keene, 481 U.S. 465, 484-485 (1987).
Note 10 of Colautti Ibid, reads:
“ The statute says that viable “means,” not “includes,” the capability of a fetus “to live outside the mother’s womb albeit with artificial aid.” As a rule, “[a] definition which declares what a term `means’ . . . excludes any meaning that is not stated.” 2A C. Sands, Statutes and Statutory Construction § 47.07 (4th ed. Supp. 1978).”
Even federal statutory codes show us, albeit more clearly than those of a particular state, exactly what is meant by the congressional or state legislative decree that a statutory definition is “expansive” in relation to the use of terms so defined:
“The term ‘includes’ and ‘including’ do not exclude things not enumerated which are in the same general class.” –27 CFR 72.11. (Emphasis added).
This is irrefutable evidence of a completely unacceptable level of professional judicial and legal malpractice and incompetence in my opinion. Our lives and property are being placed into the hands of individuals that are utterly incompetent and clueless about the very thing upon which their entire career rests, revolves, and evolves, a comprehensive understanding of the proper operation of law in its entirety. Which means, although they are actually required to know how to properly read law, interpret it, understand it, and apply it, as well as how to do each of these things in a manner that remains consistent with, and entirely within, its proper legislatively intended context, they are utterly devoid of the necessary desire and/or competency to do so. If they are incapable or unwilling to do those things properly, then they shouldn’t be allowed to remain as a sitting judge or a ‘licensed’ attorney. Period.
If you ever meet an attorney or judge that isn’t unfamiliar with or incorrectly using these terms, then they are either fresh out of law school or cost so much money per hour that you would need two mortgages on your home to even hire them for a 15 minute consultation on your case, neither of which is a viable alternative for the vast majority of people that are in need of legal help. Demonstrably, every other attorney and judge you will encounter is simply flying along just below the judicial system’s “incompetence/malpractice” radar so they can defraud people of the most money they can before their clients realize just how hard they’ve been screwed and left holding the bag in their own case because their attorney never filed a single legal pleading or did a damned thing to actually help them. If you truly wish to prove to the world that you are a gullible fool, then trust an attorney to do the right thing or act in your best interest before their own. If you don’t already know what I’m talking about from your own personal past experience, I would like to help you out by selling you this nice little toll bridge property I own that crosses over the San Francisco bay. I’m willing to let it go real cheap if that would help?
How Can a Statute be “Enlarged” by Adding Something not Written and Still Avoid Being Unconstitutionally Vague, Ambiguous, and Over-broad?
In relation to law, the term “enlargement,” when used in relation to “includes” and “including,” means that a statutory definition is not to be considered “fixed or limited” to only the exact things specifically listed, but, rather, it is to be read as generally encompassing anything not listed that would still normally fall within the same object classification as those objects that are specifically listed. However, you must also understand that a statute that is deemed to be vague and non-specific runs afoul of the constitutional requirement that a law must be understandable by men of reasonable intelligence so as to properly understand what is being prohibited or what duty it places upon them to perform or avoid. Which means, the terms “includes” and “including” are able to be “enlarged” only in certain specific ways, and those ways require that the definition be read only as being “enlarging” so as to encompass those things that fit naturally within the same specific class of persons, objects, locations, or legal entities actually listed in the original “includes” or “including” declaration. This will remain true even when the definition contains the provision “… includes, but is not limited to…” as a part of its declaration, as this is simply linguistic legal trickery via camouflaged redundancy where statutory definitions are concerned.
What this basically means is that all of the items following “includes” or “including” must have an identifiable and natural class relationship in order to be considered a viable addition to the “enlargement” intent and functionality of the statute. If there is any kind of oddball item listed in that same definition that does not appear to fit in with the classification represented by the majority of the other things listed, then that oddball thing must be subjected and limited to an interpretation that actually harmonizes it with all the other listed items in the “includes/including” language framework.
An example of this of this kind of apparently legally conflicting definition would be something like, “The term “Person” includes a natural person, corporation, association, limited liability corporation, or other legal entity,” or, “the term “Person” includes an individual, corporation, association, limited liability corporation, or other legal entity.” Both of these definitions contain either the term “natural person” or “individual” preceding what is otherwise an entire list that “includes” or is “including” only “legal entities,” i.e. they list something/one that is naturally existing and tangibly real with something that is nothing more than an intangible contemplative legal fiction that does not naturally exist at all.
The terms “natural person” and “individual” are normally construed to be part of a completely different naturally existing and tangibly real classification than that of all the fictional entities specifically listed alongside them (a naturally existing living breathing being), right? But, how can that be without actually violating the rules pertaining to the use of “includes/including” in statutory law? In cases like this, the only acceptable interpretation is one that can logically harmonize everything that is listed into a singular object classification without culminating in a “ridiculous result/outcome.” Otherwise, if this simply isn’t possible, the rules of statutory construction and interpretation relating to the proper use of “includes” and “including” have been violated, making the resulting interpretation legally unsound and inherently incorrect, thus, challengeable as being unconstitutional and void for vagueness and ambiguity .
But how would one go about harmonizing such totally dissimilar terms into a single harmonious classification that is not somehow ridiculous to conclude? Well, in this case, the one that makes the most logical sense is to try and harmonize the object term(s) that are in the minority and whose normal classification is completely different from the other things listed (“such as natural person/individual”) so as to concur with the same classification that can also be reasonably and logically associated with the majority of the other similar object terms listed (“legal entities”). In simpler terms, the logical choice for a place to begin is to reconcile the few with the many in the most harmonious fashion possible. So ask yourself, how would a “natural person/individual” (a naturally existing living breathing being) be capable of fitting into the same legal classification as that of an unnatural fictitious “legal entity” so that the rules of statutory construction and interpretation relating to the use of the terms “includes” and “including” in law are not violated? What sort of classification could that even be? Well, figuring that out is actually easier and more logical than you might think.
You first have to understand that “legal entities” have no physical existence, they are entirely fictional and incapable of acting of their own volition (no hands, arms, legs, or even a brain see), and therefore, can act only through one or more “natural persons/individuals” serving and acting as its agent(s). This is the only physical form in which such an agent can exist and function for the benefit the legal entity. The most logical examples are found and understood by asking yourself this simple question, “Isn’t every officer, agent, employee, or trustee of a ‘legal entity’ actually a ‘natural person/individual’?” Realistically, can they be ever anything else? Can a second “legal entity” act as the agent for the first “legal entity” sua sponte without a “natural person/individual” making the decisions and then acting on behalf of the second “legal entity” as well? Of course not, as that would be a “ridiculous result.” Who in their right mind would try to argue that two legal fictions somehow cooperatively acted entirely on their own to commit a crime while having no tangible form of existence by which to reason, contemplate, and perform such actions? Well, believe it or not, an attorney or a judge would, and they would not even bat an eye at how ridiculous and insane they sound, and actually are, for insisting it’s even remotely plausible.
C’mon Alice, don’t you get it now? Don’t just blindly follow the white rabbit through the looking glass and down the hole! Sure, step through and crawl down if you must, but first, make sure that you have your head out of your ass and are paying apt attention to everything else that is going on and how it works! Your very survival may well depend upon it.
If you haven’t read or don’t like “Alice in Wonderland,” then you can use whatever other metaphor best serves to help wake you up and convey the understanding that the terms “natural person/individual” do not and cannot be lawfully construed in a manner that allows a statutory definition’s interpretation to add We the People to the same legal classification as that of a “legal entity” when we are acting privately on our own behalf and not on behalf of a legal entity. We must actually be acting as an authorized officer, agent, employee, fiduciary, or trustee of one or more of the specific types of legal entities specifically listed in that same definition that we are inferentially being alleged/alleging to represent. It is imperative that you realize that the use of this kind of logical reasoning is almost never the case when it comes to the statutory interpretations and applications that We the People are being unlawfully subjected to on a daily basis.
The Devil is [Always] in the Details.
This ability to create and require a specialized interpretation of a law or statute is precisely what makes “includes” and “including” into what is commonly referred to as “legal terms of art.” It is the knowing and willful misuse and abuse of the rules of statutory interpretation and application for these legal terms of art that have been and are being used to deceive people into thinking that something “included” means one thing, while the attorneys and the courts ignore the mandatory rules of interpretation so as to interpret the same term of art in a myriad of ways so as to get their own desired outcome in a particular case at hand. That is why it is so important to understand these terms, so that you do not accidentally or unintentionally leave them the means to do so.
When used in law, “includes” limits the items listed to a readily identifiable naturally occurring relationship. This is done via what you could call a “relational class,” which is simply a classification that is naturally relative to all of the things that are listed, but that also allows for “enlargement” by naturally “including” other objects that fall within that same natural relational class so as to be considered as properly inclusive with the other listed items, even though they are not specifically made a part of the list by actual name.
“The term “Fruit” includes oranges, limes, and lemons.”
In THIS configuration, the term “includes” is capable of “enlargement” because ALL of the things listed have a natural class relationship, that of being members of the family of citrus “fruit.” Therefore, “fruit” as defined here, can be EXPANDED to encompass other citrus fruits like “grapefruits” and “kumquats”, but cannot ‘include’ “apples,” “watermelons,” or “bananas,” because they don’t share the fruit class relationship of “citrus” fruit or any other kind of identifiable and naturally occurring relationship.
Now, consider this variant definition, where dissimilar objects that do not share a common classification are “included” in the list together:
“The term “Fruit” includes apples, pears, oranges, limes, and lemons.”
In this configuration, the term “includes” is absolutely not reasonably capable of “enlargement” because all of the things listed do not share an identifiable natural class relationship between them which would allow anything else that is not listed to be added and relatively matched to ALL of them as a class, nor is there any logically reasonable way to formulate a class relationship that would allow this definition to be expanded beyond those specific types of fruit expressly listed. Thus, a statutory list with this configuration of items is strictly limited to only those things that are expressly listed. By explanation of this point, not only are these items not all citrus fruits, they cannot even all be classified as “fruits that must be peeled before eating.” or as “fruits with an edible skin,” In short, no other natural class relationship exists between them.
I can hear you analyzing this and thinking, “this point seems to run counterintuitive to the previous discussion on creating an interpretative relationship between “natural person/individual” and a list of only legal entities,” but, that analytical comparison would be flawed, as you have to remember that this is only because of the “ridiculous result” prohibition. Trying to logically construe these various fruits into a unified class that would allow the definition to expand to encompass other things would produce a ridiculous result (example: you decide the common class relationship should be “things you use to make smoothies,” which would not be a naturally occurring and reasonable classification of any one or more of the kinds of fruit listed, right?). After all, using the smoothie example, you could, conceivably, decide to throw some actual vegetables into that smoothie mix as well, right? Vegetables are not naturally associated or recognized as a class of “fruit” or can be naturally related to all of the specific items listed short of declaring the relationship to be “things that are grown on vines or trees,” right? So, that example would produce an overly vague and broad “ridiculous result,” right? But, we were able to reach a naturally conclusive outcome between “natural person/individual” when these terms are being listed alongside only legal entities in a manner that did not culminate in a “ridiculous result,” as no legal entity can function ‘naturally’ and without the aid of a living breathing agent, right? See, this is not something that is so difficult or contradicting after all, despite what attorneys and judges would prefer to have you believe and blindly accept as true.
Distinctions Without a Difference.
“Including” would work the same way as “includes” wherever it is used.
Now, be aware of the fact that the use of “includes” in the following example would be considered an “enlargement,” because everything listed SHARES a natural associative trait in common. However, this “enlargement” presumes that the existing list is NOT already exhaustive of the things it lists. Which means that, in order for a particular list of “included” objects to actually be capable of “enlargement,” there must first be another object having the same natural relational/associative class that is not already specifically listed but is class-applicable simply because it has the same naturally occurring class relationship (see the “citrus” fruit examples above).
Therefore, if the list provided is already exhaustive, meaning there is nothing that is not listed that could reasonably be construed to match the existing classification of the other items, then the list is actually legally incapable of “enlargement” and is, therefore, expressly limited by default to only those things expressly listed, even though all the statutory language necessary for authorizing the list to be “enlarged” actually exists.
An example of this would be something like:
“The term ‘Fruit’ includes red apples.”
Now, under this configuration, the definition of “Fruit” cannot be said to “include” any other color variations associated with apples, as it specifically limited what was to be “included” into the definition of “fruit” by two specific criteria for the class. The thing to be “included” must be an “apple,” and the only acceptable color allowing the “apple” to be considered as “fruit” is “red.” Therefore, by default, this definition specifically excludes by omission all green, orange, yellow, or other color variations normally associated with apples, even though they otherwise share 100% of all the other natural class qualities of apples that would otherwise make them appear to be reasonably “included” in this list. So, even though this definition used the term “includes,” which is to be considered a term of enlargement, not limitation, the list is not actually capable of being “enlarged” to encompass anything that does not meet the two specific criteria contained in the definition.
Now look at this example:
“The term ‘Fruit’ includes red McIntosh apples.”
In this definition, we can see two different qualifiers being used that guarantees that the scope and meaning of the term “fruit,” as listed, is prohibitively limited to a single variety of red apple out of the approximately 2,500 total varieties grown in the United States, and the approximately 7,500 total varieties grown around the world, regardless of their color. As defined, not only is the list of apples that can be used to meet the definition of the term “fruit” required to be red, they are also required to be of one single specific variety, McIntosh. Which means that, no other variety of apple, red or otherwise, would be applicable and able to be ‘expanded’ into this definition. It is essentially the same as writing the definition thusly:
“The term ‘Fruit’ includes only red McIntosh apples.”
Therefore, while using “includes and “including” in its constructive language, it can be logically concluded that the result of a definition containing numerous specific qualifiers pertaining to the listed item(s) is that the ability to ‘expand’ the meaning and application of the definition to encompass other class-similar but otherwise unlisted objects is being exponentially reduced.
I would also add that when the legislature intends the definition to be non-expansive from the very beginning, they will write the definition using the form, “The term ‘fruit’ means…” or “means and includes,” which then immediately limits the definition to encompassing only those specific things that are expressly stated in the list following the term being defined (full credit to my friend and media colleague Dave Champion, author of “Income Tax: Shattering the Myths,” for this clarification).
You must be aware of how these two terms work or you will never actually understand what a law or statute using them truly means, much less how it is lawfully and legally allowed to be interpreted and applied, which means that you will almost certainly lose your case, then possibly your money, your house, or your freedom.