Inmate Sues Himself for Violating His Civil Rights

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Here's another example of autolitigation, which like the story in yesterday's post is not new but is worth adding to the archive.

Unlike the story in yesterday's post, however, in which it was not inconceivable that there might have been some reason the plaintiff thought he had to sue himself in another legal capacity, this guy was just being stupid.

In 1995, Robert Lee Brock, then (and most likely still) a guest at the Indian Creek Correctional Center in Chesapeake, Virginia, sued himself in federal court for violating his own civil rights. Brock argued that his religion (whatever it was) forbids him to drink alcohol, and so when he "partook of alcoholic beverages in 1993" and then went out and got arrested for breaking and entering and grand larceny, "I caused myself to violate my religious beliefs."

He demanded $5 million from himself for this outrage, he said, but argued that the state should have to "pay it in my behalf since I can't work and am a ward of the state."

Unsurprisingly, Brock turns out to be one of those inmates who files frivolous lawsuits repeatedly until a court finally tells him to cut it out, but normally those lawsuits are aimed at a laundry list of (sometimes) celebrity defendants. That's probably why the judge who dismissed this case noted that he had "presented an innovative approach to civil rights litigation," the one drawback being that it was "totally ludicrous."