In a shocking development, the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska has issued a decision dismissing the “”lawsuit“” (one set of sarcastic quotation marks wasn’t enough, so I used two) filed last week by plaintiff Sylvia Ann Driskell against “Homosexuals”. (In her complaint, Ms. Driskell identifies herself as the “Ambassador” for God and Jesus Christ; I’d love to see that retainer agreement.)
Now, Ambassador Driskell is in the unenviable position of having to explain to her “clients” that their case has been forever dismissed for violating basic rules of pleading and ignoring fundamental principles of law.
While this whole thing is absurd, it becomes less funny when considering that valuable and extremely limited court time and resources – e.g., that of the clerk(s) who processed the complaint and assigned it an actual index number (!), the federal judge who authored an opinion, etc. – were wasted on this nonsense. That said, Judge John Gerrard’s pithy decision is instructive on certain basic principles governing federal court practice.
For example, he begins by explaining that:
Under Art. III, § 2 of the United States Constitution, the United States Federal Courts were created to resolve actual cases and controversies arising under the Constitution and the laws of the United States. A federal court is not a forum for debate or discourse on theological matters. Other forums, freely accessible to citizens of the United States, exist for the purpose of addressing questions of religious doctrine. This is a court of law, and [t]he law knows no heresy, and is committed to the support of no dogma, the establishment of no sect.
Moving on and turning to the “merits”, the court explained why plaintiff’s complaint must be dismissed. Initially, her complaint violates Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure because it did not contain the necessary “demand for the relief sought”.
Next, the court explained that federal subject matter was lacking. The complaint “does not contain allegations reasonably suggesting federal question jurisdiction exists”, plaintiff cannot “plausibly allege that her citizenship is different from the citizenship of each defendant”, and she failed “to satisfy the amount-in-controversy requirement of 28 U.S.C. § 1332.”
The court denied plaintiff an opportunity to amend her complaint since any amendment would be futile, and concluded by stating: “This Court is not the place to seek opinions regarding theological matters; this particular forum is closed and the case will be dismissed.” (Emphasis in original.)