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Gerald Mayo v. Satan and His Staff

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In 1971, a man named Gerald Mayo filed a claim with the US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. This claim was placed against someone who “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 has caused plaintiff’s downfall”

Who was this person? Satan.

Mayo alleged that not only was Satan deliberately ruining Mayo’s life, but had “deprived him of his constitutional rights”. Which many people can recognize is prohibited under several sections of US Code.

Judge Gerald Weber made the point that the jurisdictional situation presented to him was unclear. This was the first instance of a case brought against Satan (or even by Satan) and so no real precedent existed. He then went on to point out that the case was completely appropriate for a class action lawsuit, but it was not clear that Mayo could properly represent the entire class.

Unfortunately, the entire request for suit was thrown out due to the small detail that Satan could not be reached to have his process served to him.

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4 responses »

  1. MonseigneurBienvenu

    Hi,

    Loved your SC post about the dream tree. Commenting here, as I haven’t yet attempted becoming a member.

    I think there is something to most.

    Reply
  2. Americans will sue anyone/thing!

    Reply
  3. This is an interesting legal point, since according to orthodox Christian doctrine, Satan is technically powerless, but God permits him to get up to all sorts of terrible things, thus granting mankind a meaningful choice between good and evil. So if anyone successfully sued Satan, the ultimate guilty party would be God, on grounds of willful negligence.

    This in turn would mean that it would become possible to make insurance claims that would previously have been automatically dismissed under the “act of God” clause. I assume this occurred to Judge Weber, hence his desire to dismiss the case on a technicality without drawing too much attention to this interesting and legally explosive possibility.

    Taken to its (il)logical conclusion, the process could culminate in a class action suit in which somebody sued God on behalf of the entire human race on the grounds that the temptation of Eve was a clear case of entrapment, and furthermore, since neither she nor Adam knew the difference between good and evil until they’d eaten the apple, they were not guilty of Original Sin by reason of diminished responsibility.

    Incidentally, since God is, unlike the Devil, omnipresent, serving Him a writ wouldn’t be a problem, since wherever it is, He must be in possession of it. I wonder if they could get Him on tax evasion?

    Reply
  4. Guy above is a freaking genius, holy crap.

    Reply

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