Martians Can’t Sue
Eugene Volokh brings to our attention, rather belatedly, the case of Joly v. Pelletier, in which Rene Joly brought a suit some ten years ago alleging that Pelletier and others had conspired to suppress evidence that he was a Martian. The judge dismissed the case on two grounds:
1. Neither pleading discloses a cause of action. While conspiracy to do harm to someone is the basis of many actions in this Court there is a fundamental flaw in the position of Mr. Joly. Rule 1.03 defines plaintiff as “a person who commences an action”. The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines person as “an individual human being”. Section 29 of the Interpretation Act provides that a person includes a corporation. It follows that if the plaintiff is not a person in that he is neither a human being nor a corporation, he cannot be a plaintiff as contemplated by the Rules of Civil Procedure. The entire basis of Mr. Joly’s actions is that he is a martian, not a human being. There is certainly no suggestion that he is a corporation. I conclude therefore, that Mr. Joly, on his pleading as drafted, has no status before the Court.
2…. I am satisfied that the claims are frivolous and vexatious and constitute an abuse of the process of this Court…. [W]ith all respect to Mr. Joly and his perception of reality, these actions are patently ridiculous and should not be allowed to continue as they utilize scarce public resources not to mention the time and money of the numerous defendants who have been forced to defend these actions.
Volokh finds Reason 1 more blogworthy. Glenn Reynolds and I concur.