The Devil and Judge Weber
July 12, 2009
A recent discussion at the blogcatalog involved an interesting news article. This reminded me of an equal unlikely lawsuit that happened right here is the United States, in the Western District of Pennsylvania to be precise. In this case, Gerald Mayo, a rather unfortunate soul who prayed the court to proceed in forma pauperis, that is to say as an indigent with all litigation fees waived by the court, against the party who, as Mayo alleged in his complaint, had violated his civil rights and was “the cause of [his] downfall.” The opposing party that Mayo named? “Satan, and his Staff.”
The almost appropriately named District Judge Weber issued a tongue-in-cheek opinion, citing concerns as to whether the court could exercise personal jurisdiction over the defendant, and noting that if Mayo’s suit against the Dark One did proceed, a class action certification under FRCP would be almost certain as joinder of all interested parties would surely be impracticable.
As with most dealings with the Devil, this case did not end happily for Mr. Mayo: “Prayer denied.“