Case law and advice on suing judges
We NEED more of these to start happening to get the attention of the gov't and federal court.
Let's pull together a generic suit and get 10-20 of these filed!
Pulliam v. Allen was a landmark case.
Before Pulliam, it was flatly impossible to sue a judge. But Pulliam made it possible to sue for Declaratory, Injunctive, and Punitive Relief. One could even recover financial damages.
This happened in 1984 or so. And it was a revolutionary change. Afterwards, according to "our friend" Sen. Thurmond, the result was that hundreds of judges were ("frivolously") sued, supposing tieing up courts in "nonsensical, wasteful" litigation by disgruntled, guilty litigants. To eliminate the "outrageous" assault of judges, Sen Thurmond sponsored the Court Reform Act of 1996 which restricted the ability to sue judges as I outlined. By the way, the Act passed 100 - 0 and Clinton signed it into law. This new law effectively modified Pulliam.
This tells me we have no friends in High Places.
Subject: Re: Suing Judges
I am aware of few successful cases in filing against Judges for any significant damages. At best nowadays you get the Judge a warning he should not do it again. He gets a second chance to wreck another life. See Pulliam v Allen which motivated the second chance federal law. This is next county over from me.
PULLIAM v. ALLEN, 466 U.S. 522 (1984)
466 U.S. 522
PULLIAM, MAGISTRATE FOR THE COUNTY OF CULPEPER, VIRGINIA v. ALLEN ET AL.
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
The filling fee is not the problem. The clerk can waive the fee if you file a form In Forma Pauperis. The REAL problem is that the judges are ALMOST legally impregnable. It takes a LOT of study of Case Law in order to find cases that support an argument why a judge's immunity doesn't apply to your case. Most of us lack both the time and intellectual acumen to pull it off. And, you MUST have The Right Case, a case that's good as a matter of the facts.
I speak as one who has sued more than one judge, and who was one of the co-plaintiffs on the big lawsuit against the Trial Judges of the Commonwealth in 1999.
There are two ways to sue a judge. One way is to demonstrate that what he did to you was in the CLEAR ABSENCE of jurisdiction. For example, if a judge calls you child into a his chambers and molests the child, he clearly acted outside his jurisdiction.
But this is very hard to sustain. The other way is to demonstrate one of two things. One can demonstrate that the judge is in violation of a previous DECLARATORY judgment. Do this and you can win. Failing that, ask a higher court to DECLARE (Declaratory Relief) that a judge committed certain errors of law in his official capacity. If you can get a higher court to do this, and if the judge then persists in violating the law, then you can go after him for other more meaningful forms of equitable relief. Of course, this all could take years -- which is exactly what Congress wanted when it enacted the Court Reform Act of 1996.