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snopes
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Comment: A friend of mine in lawschool as told be about a case where a man
in PA attempted to sue the Devil for civil rights violations. The case
was dismissed because the plaintiff was unable to serve the Devil with
process. Is this true?

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forceflow15
I Saw Three Shipments


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Yes. I forget the exact citation but a westlaw search for Satan should turn it up. The case was dismissed not for lack of service of process, but because the PA judge ruled that he did not have personal jurisdiction over Satan.

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Brad from Georgia
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quote:
Originally posted by forceflow15:
Yes. I forget the exact citation but a westlaw search for Satan should turn it up. The case was dismissed not for lack of service of process, but because the PA judge ruled that he did not have personal jurisdiction over Satan.

Oh, so it should have been a Federal case, then.

Brad "the Devil went down to D.C....." from Georgia

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snopes
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quote:
The case was dismissed not for lack of service of process, but because the PA judge ruled that he did not have personal jurisdiction over Satan.
The lack of directions for service of process appears to have been one of the elements cited in the dismissal:

quote:
Plaintiff sued Satan for violation of his civil rights under various United States statutes, including 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

Plaintiff allaged that "Satan has on numerous occasions caused plaintiff misery and unwarranted threats, against the will of plaintiff, that Satan has placed deliberate obstacles in his path and caused the plaintiff's downfall ..." and that by doing so, Satan has deprived him of his civil rights.

The court denied his claim. In delivering his opinion Judge Weber questioned whether plaintiff had a cause of action upon which relief could be granted by the court. Indeed, in civil procedure we learned that 42 U.S.C. § 1983 allows a cause of action against a party acting in violation of one's constitutional rights under the auspices of a state or territory. It can be inferred from the court's opinion that plaintiff failed to prove how Satan was acting as an agent of a state.

In the opinion Judge Weber further wrote, "We question whether plaintiff may obtain personal jurisdiction over the defendant in this judicial district. The complaint contains no allegation of residence in this district."

And, "If such action were to be allowed we would also face the question of whether it may be maintained as a class action. It appears to meet the requirements of Fed.R. of Civ.P. 23 that the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impractical... We cannot now determine if the representative party will fairly protect the interests of the class."

And finally, "We note that the plaintiff has failed to include with his complaint the required form of instructions for the United States Marshall for directions as to service of process."


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forceflow15
I Saw Three Shipments


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Thanks, snopes. I have read the opinion but forgot the exact reasons beyond personal jurisdiction. We all know Hell is really located somewhere in Arizona. [Wink]

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Forceflow

"There was Joye in the courtroom, but he slipped on a-peel." = Prof. Kutner

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skeptic
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I would imagine that a case like this could never succeed in the USA, as it would involve government acceptence of the existance of Satan in violation of the First Amendment.

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Barbara R.
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Gerald Mayo, the plaintiff in that "case" was undeniably insane or stupid or a combination of both! Nevertheless, he was living in the Twilight Zone!

Suing Satan indeed!

Barbara R.

Posts: 378 | From: Boonville, Missouri USA | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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