Lawsuit Demands End to Use of Term “Inmate”

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According to the New York Post, a new lawsuit demands that the state stop using the word "inmate" because it is offensive to inmates the imprisoned the involuntarily freedom-challenged. Or, at least, the plaintiff demands that the state stop referring to her brother that way, alleging that he has suffered extreme mental anguish because, according to her, the word "inmate" implies that he has been "locked up for the purpose of mating with other men."

By doing this, the plaintiff apparently hopes to protect her brother's reputation from this "disgraceful" implication. In a related story, her brother is a convicted murderer.

"To me," the plaintiff told the Post, "it just sounded very wrong [to apply the label "inmate" to a murderer doing 25-to-life for shooting someone in the head during a drug deal]." This argument would be vulnerable to what we lawyers call the Who Cares Defense if it could get past the fact that "inmate" doesn't mean or imply anything of the kind, nor has it ever. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word derives from "inn-mate," or "one who occupies a dwelling [e.g. an inn] along with others," not "one who goes to an inn in order to mate." So the Complete Lack of Factual Support Defense would also be available.

Plaintiff also has issues with the statute of limitations and her lack of standing to assert claims on behalf of her brother, but those first two are both more comical and probably sufficient.

Also comical: the demand for $50 million in damages. Comically low, that is. If you're going to go through all the effort to file a case this weak, at least take a shot at the record, which I believe is still $1.784 septillion.

Update: I confirmed via PACER that this is an actual case filed recently in the Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn). One-page complaint, pro se filing, $50 million demand.