Sunday, January 30, 2011
Under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, civil penalties that suffice "to deter repetition of the conduct or comparable conduct by others similarly situated" may be imposed on a litigant who files a lawsuit that is not "warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for extending, modifying, or reversing existing law or for establishing new law."
The ridiculous Tom Ritter has now gone a long way towards admitting that his suit against the Blue Mountain School District in Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania is frivolous:
While Ritter said his court filings are really made for "popular consumption," he does expect to have his day in court.Bringing a lawsuit to attract publicity and make a (crazy) point is pretty much the definition of an "improper purpose, such as to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase the cost of litigation," which is the sort of conduct that can trigger sanctions.
Fortunately for Ritter, the courts will usually give wider latitude to pro se litigants (up to a point) and will give him a chance to withdraw the suit or recast it in a viable way ... which is all but impossible for him to do.
But Ritter is less than well-rooted in reality:
"I think it will be taken seriously aside from the fact that I know some science," he said.With that level of delusion, we may have another case of someone who can't help running afoul of the fact that Federal courts generally believe they have more important things to do than cater to loonies.
Ritter sounds like an IDiot.