Friday, October 17, 2008
A Nebraska state senator has seen his lawsuit against God dismissed for lack of service. Suing the Almighty in September 2007, Senator Ernie Chambers sought a permanent injunction against such acts of God as earthquakes and tornadoes. Although God made a special appearance to respond to the suit, Chambers still asked the trial court to take judicial notice of God's omnipresence; the court was not persuaded: "Given that this Court finds that there can never be service effectuated on the named Defendant this action will dismissed [sic] with prejudice."
Here's a link for those who'd like to download and read the order itself:
Ilya Somin at the Volokh Conspiracy is "not entirely convinced" that the ruling is correct, offering a "better technical legal ground" for dismissing the suit, an argument based on lack of standing: "If the plaintiff's injury can't be redressed by a judicial ruling, he doesn't have standing to file a suit. Since God is omnipotent, the judicial injunction Chambers seeks can't possibly force him to do anything he doesn't want to do anyway."
P.S. This is probably not a good topic for your students' next memo or brief assignment. But it may make for some interesting class discussion in Civ Pro.