Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers, in defense of so-called “frivolous” lawsuits following a controversy about the right to sue in Nebraska, filed the highly entertaining Chambers v. God on Sept. 14, 2007, in the District Court of Douglas County, Nebraska.
In mid-October 2008, the judge threw out his lawsuit against God, saying the defendant wasn’t properly served due to his unlisted home address. “Given that this court finds that there can never be service effectuated on the named defendant, this action will be dismissed with prejudice,” wrote Douglas County District Court Judge Marlon Polk.
Chambers’ reaction: “Since God knows everything, God has notice of this lawsuit.”
Chambers brought a challenge of paid legislative prayers in the Nebraska statehouse in the 1980s, which was heard before the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2005, he received a “First Amendment Hero” award from the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Below, his Legal Complaint, offered as a philosophical work of art:
1. This action seeks a permanent injunction ordering Defendant to cease certain harmful activities and the making of terroristic threats.
2. Plaintiff is the duly elected and serving State Senator from the 11th Legislative District in Omaha, Nebraska.
3. Defendant (also known by various aliases, titles, names, designations) is present in all places at the same time (“Omnipresent”); is the admitted perpetrator of the deleterious acts complained of herein.
Jurisdiction and Venue
4. This Honorable Court has jurisdiction by virtue of the fact that the Defendant, being Omnipresent, is personally present in Douglas County.
Factual Basis of the Action
5. Defendant is present in Douglas County by and through putative agents, representatives, spokespersons (hereinafter “agents”) of various religious denominations, persuasions, cults and the like, who publicly and notoriously hold themselves out to be agents of Defendant who are authorized to speak for and represent Defendant.
6. Some such agents claim exclusive agency while others do not.
7. Defendant never publicly has disavowed explicitly any of said agents.
8. Having never been disavowed explicitly by Defendant, said agents may be deemed to be, in fact, agents of Defendant, authorized to represent, speak for, and act on behalf of Defendant.
9. Said agents, regardless of whether claiming exclusive agency or not, appear to be hopelessly alienated, fractious, separated from, and antagonistic towards one another.
10. Not every putative agent of Defendant is known to or can be ferreted out by Plaintiff through reasonable inquiry/research.
11. Plaintiff cannot determine which of said agents upon whom to make service of notice.
12. The law does not require the Plaintiff to perform a futile act.
13. It would be a futile and perhaps unlawful act to nail a notice to the front door of each such agent, even if every one were known.
14. Plaintiff, despite reasonable efforts to effectuate personal service upon Defendant (“Come out, come out, wherever you are”) has been unable to do so.
15. Plaintiff respectfully requests this Honorable Court to take judicial notice that Defendant, in addition to being Omnipresent, also is all-knowing (“Omniscient”).
16. Plaintiff under the admittedly peculiar circumstances of this singular case, respectfully requests this Honorable Court to waive personal service.
17. In the alternative, Plaintiff respectfully requests this Honorable Court to find that lawful personal/constructive service has been effectuated by virtue of the fact that Defendant, being Omniscient, shall be deemed to have actual knowledge of this action, sufficient to satisfy all requirements of law regarding notice.
Claims for Relief
18. Defendant has made and continues to make terroristic threats of grave harm to innumerable persons, including constituents of Plaintiff whom Plaintiff has the duty to represent.
19. Defendant directly and proximately has caused, inter alia, fearsome floods, egregious earthquakes, horrendous hurricanes, terrifying tornados, pestilential plagues, ferocious famines, devastating droughts, genocidal wars, birth defects, and the like.
20. Defendant has made admissions against Defendant’s own interests to various handpicked, trusted chroniclers of yore regarding the making of terroristic threats and the causing of calamitous catastrophes resulting in the widespread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth’s inhabitants including innocent babes, infants, children, the aged and infirm without mercy or distinction.
21. Defendant has directed said chroniclers to assemble and disseminate in written form, said admissions, throughout the Earth in order to inspire fear, dread, anxiety, terror and uncertainty, in order to coerce obedience to Defendant’s will.
22. Defendant has manifested neither compassion nor remorse, proclaiming that Defendant “will laugh” when calamity comes.
23. Defendant has made and continues to make terroristic threats of more such calamitous catastrophes.
24. Defendant’s ongoing terroristic threats are credible, based on Defendant’s past conduct and history.
25. Contemporary agents of Defendant assert that Defendant has informed them by way of direct and personal communication, that Defendant has caused, is causing and threatens to cause more calamitous catastrophes rivaling or exceeding those of yore.
26. The hereinbefore identified and described deleterious behavior and terroristic threats have resulted, and continue to result, in pecuniary loss, fear, anxiety, terror, stress, uncertainty, depression, suicide, and the like.
Prayer for Relief
Plaintiff respectfully prays this Honorable Court:
(a) To grant Plaintiff summary judgment.
(b) In the alternative, to set a date for a hearing as expeditiously as possible if the Court deems such a hearing not to be a futile act.
(c) To enter a permanent injunction enjoining Defendant from engaging in the types of deleterious actions and the making of terroristic threats as identified and described herein.
(d) To grant any other and further relief that this Honorable Court deems proper to serve the ends of justice and equity.
Dated this 14th day of September 2007.
By Senator Ernie Chambers