HAMILTON, TX — Government leaders in Hamilton County brace for a war of words, they hope it's only words, with a local man just released from prison.
Those government leaders say, beginning in 2015, Randall Townsend unleashed lawsuits, liens and other legal time-bombs that caused quite a bit of worry.
Townsend says he had to protect his rights.
"My understanding when I got involved, was to give the American People the freedom that our forefathers wrote down in all of our documentation," said Randall Townsend, who sees the world, in "literal" terms.
Black and white, right and wrong, so let it be written, so let it be done.
But that very view of the world put him on a collision course with Hamilton County and city leaders.
It all began with a traffic stop, in which, police cited Townsend for driving without a driver's license.
Townsend argued he didn't need one.
”If I have 12 pages of case law, stating the right to free travel, well then, we don't need a license," he explained.
He says his status as a so-called "Sovereign Citizen", naturally born here, gives him, certain, "unalienable" rights.
"I sent these laws to the Sheriff's Department, I sent them to the Chief of Police, before we got into all this. I wanted them to know what I'd found," said Townsend.
But the disagreement eventually erupted into all-out war, with government leaders pressing for the license penalty, and Townsend firing back with liens and lawsuits against the sheriff, justice of the peace, and almost every Hamilton government official.
It ended with Townsend charged with felony obstruction and retaliation... and a prison term.
"What sent me to prison? What sent me to prison, was the fact that, I believe, that all that are born here, are Sovereign. Do I believe we get to be belligerent? No! Not at all! We should be good, Christian people and respectful of one another," he said.
And now he's out or prison, and back home.
Our conversation suggested he means no more trouble, unless, perhaps... he feels "wronged" again.
Already government leaders here have begun preparing themselves for another possible skirmish... one they didn't want to talk about then....
To this day most public officials do not want to talk about it.
Except for Hamilton Sheriff Justin Caraway who explained how he's prepared.
"The guy here, you know, his neighbors didn't really mess with him, of course he harassed a lot of the neighbors that lived around him, here in town, and in fact, I owned rent houses across the street from the guy and I just sold 'em because of him," Caraway explained.
He says though, if Townsend comes lookin' for a fight, he'll get one.
"I wouldn't say go pokin' a bear but, I mean, if the time comes to defend yourself, or the law needs to be enforced, we're going to do what we have to do," said Sheriff Caraway.
Meantime, Townsend has begun to distance himself from some other sovereigns, whose extreme views have led them to property theft and even murder.
"Do I believe that I can harm another person or their property or some of these people, like you said, move into their houses? NO! That's harming their property. That's a crime under common law," he said.
He still believes, too many of our laws favor big business over the little guy.... something he says sets sovereigns in natural opposition to the establishment.
"Why do I think the FBI and other groups are so afraid of sovereigns? The law enforcement the FBI said, we're trying to stop all common law cases because it gives people too many rights," said Townsend.
Whether he's right about that, depends on how you see the world.