This is truly bizarre, (hat tip to Tim for pointing it out to me). Hemant Mehta, the Friendly Atheist blogger reports that a class-action claim has been launched by Sylvia Driskell against every single gay person in the US on behalf of God. He explains …
Driskell will be representing herself in the case of (I’m not making this up) Driskell v. Homosexuals.
Because no attorney’s touching this one with a ten-foot pole.
No word yet on who’s representing every gay person ever. Or how they’re all gonna fit inside the courtroom.
OK, so here it is as filed on April 30 in the federal District of Nebraska … and yes, handwritten (can’t god not even lend her a typewriter?) …
OK, so this warrants a few observations.
Normally a class-action is about a large group of plaintiffs seeking justice against a defendant (or two) because the plaintiffs as a group have been wronged, conned, or abused, and things need to be put right. This however turns that coin over, it is a defendant class action, so is that OK? Actually yes, such cases have taken place, and so having one plaintiff (or is that two, I guess it depends upon your theology) and a vast group of defendants is indeed legally OK.
As for the rest … ah no, there are indeed many problems here, but you don’t need to be a legal eagle to work that out.
Ms. Driskell is not the actual plaintiff, and instead claims that the plaintiff is God plus Jesus and that she is the (self-appointed) representative for the plaintiff(s). If a corporation and not an individual can be a plaintiff, then I guess a supernatural entity can as well. Oh but wait, here comes a key issue; legally individuals can represent themselves, but other individuals who are not attorneys are not permitted to represent others (That is Nebraska case law – Steinhausen v. Homeservices of Nebraska, Inc., 289 Neb. 927 2015), so unless she finds one, this case is dead.
So moving on, call me skeptical if you wish, but I have a rather strong suspicion, that the plaintiffs have not actually appointed Ms Driskell as their representative and so unless she can establish that, then I suggest that her claim to represent them is fraudulent.
OK, so let’s put all that to one side and ask ourselves this – what exactly is she asking the court to do?
The foundation for her claim rests upon various bible verses, but such verses are not law in Nebraska, and so with no Nebraska laws being cited, she has no legal basis to actually ask for anything. Apparently she wants a judgment that homosexuality is a sin, but “sin” is not a legal word, nor is it actually defined, and so such a request is essentially, in legal terms, meaningless.
If we keep going, then who exactly are the defendants, because nobody has been specifically identified and so nobody has been served, nor can anybody ever be served. With no defendant class representative there is no action for the court to consider.
Finally, the court will need to assume that everything within her claim is true, and so where she argues the following right at the very end …
It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed because his compassions fail not.
… so if indeed the court does accept the claim that the plaintiffs compassion is unfailing, then the court has no option but to dismiss the plaintiffs case, and that makes this to be potentially a case when the plaintiffs would have successfully argued on behalf of the defendants.
Here, the plaintiff does not set forth any factual or legal basis for a federal claim under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States. Even construing the complaint liberally, it does not contain allegations reasonably suggesting federal question jurisdiction exists in this matter. Nor can the plaintiff plausibly allege that her citizenship is different from the citizenship of each defendant. And she has not asked for any money damages, much less enough to satisfy the amount-in-controversy requirement of 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Therefore, the Court finds subject-matter jurisdiction is not proper in this action pursuant to either 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 or 1332. The Court will not give the plaintiff an opportunity to amend her complaint in this matter because it is obvious that amendment would be futile. Even liberally construed, the plaintiff does not set forth any discernible claim for relief over which this Court has jurisdiction.This Court is not the place to seek opinions regarding theological matters; this particular forum is closed and the case will be dismissed.
IT IS ORDERED: 1.
This action is dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. 2.
The plaintiff’s motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (filing 4) is denied as moot. 3.
A separate judgment will be entered. Dated this 6th day of May, 2015.