Suing God: Good Luck With That!

Who’d even think of such a thing? Disappointed disciples everywhere. 

Not Responsible By Reason Of

The Onion raised hell with a 2000 news report that The Tribe of Abraham was suing God for $4.2 trillion in a New York court. God’s attorney was quick to point out He’s not liable for Acts of God. The tongue-in-cheek parody reported God was hugely disappointed in the 1999 turnout at Yom Kippur. So much so He was considering a breach of covenant lawsuit himself. 

God’s Alive and Living in Sonoma County

A California lawyer hoped to win by default if God failed to show in court. Russel T. Tansie’s client, Betty Penrose, asked the court for $100,000 in damages in May 1969 after a lightning bolt destroyed her home. The action was filed in Sonoma County because, as Tansie explained, God owned property there. Limeliters singer Lou Gottlieb, an ex-Communist, conveyed the deed to his Morning Star Ranch to God the week before. Gottlieb’s deed was invalidated when the court ruled God had no way to take possession.

God Darn It Anyway

A lawsuit against God by Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers was doomed to failure. Hurricanes, tornados, droughts, locust plagues — you name it. On the balance of probabilities, it’s indeed possible God has caused “widespread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth’s inhabitants.” LOL serving the court documents. Case dismissed. 

A Satanic Aside

Pennsylvania inmate Gerald Mayo was dogged by the same issue when he sued the Devil for “causing his downfall.” The court agreed to hear the class action alright (United States ex rel. Gerald Mayo v. Satan and His Staff). But it got dropped when U.S. marshalls couldn’t find the defendant. 

Not Our Problem

Convicted murderer Pavel Mircea ran headfirst into the impossible in 2005 when he sued the Romanian Orthodox Church as God’s representative on Earth. Mircea said the church failed to stop the Devil, who made him do it. The court tossed it as outside their jurisdiction. 

In Heaven and On Earth

Hold up! Christopher Roller says he’s God. His identity came to light in 2005 when he sued magician David Copperfield’s Disappearing, Inc. for $50 million for usurping or forcefully taking over his godly powers. Roller, a Minnesota illusionist, was awaiting patent approval for “the exclusive right to the ethical use and financial gain in the use of godly powers on planet Earth.” Cooperfield’s defence lawyer triumphed by arguing the claim was beyond the jurisdiction of “any court of this earth.”

Why is Suing God So Hard?

Massachusetts constitutional attorney Anthony Zarrella has an easy answer for that. Lawsuits against God may seem gimmicky, but there are very real reasons they get dismissed. 

1. Sovereign Immunity

Heads of state are immune from legal actions, civil or criminal. Zarrella believes in God, but courts lack proof He exists. Since immunity is for their whole term of office, if there is a God, He’ll be immune forever.

2. Service of Process

How to get court documents into God’s hands? Having no mailing address or “authorized agent” for service is a surefire roadblock. And “…no, the Pope is not God’s authorized legal representative – not even to us Catholics,” Zarrella fires back.

3. Remediable Harm

Show us the money. Without any real assets, litigants can’t get justice and courts can’t provide remedies. “In order to commence a suit, there must be some legal injury which can be redressed by the powers of the court,” Zarrella told Dec. 12, 2016.

4. Privilege

God can do anything He wants because He has legal privilege. Which means, “basically…the defendant in question had special permission or authority to do a thing which would be tortious (wrongful) if done by anyone else.” 

How to Sue God

Good God, that’s daunting. Don’t panic. You can kick it your civil suit by filing a statement of claim in Small Claims Court for up to $35,000 in damages. Or if you’re full of fire and brimstone, Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Fast track your lawsuit by using the Simplified Procedure Rule to keep it simple. That eliminates many of the usual steps. 

Affidavit Must Haves

Tell your side of the story in your affidavit. Keep it short and sweet:

  • A heading stating it’s an affidavit and what it’s about
  • Statements you want to make and swear are true
  • The date you made it
  • Your signature
  • The signature and seal of the notary public or commissioner of oaths you swore it before.

Meditate or Mediate

Next steps: unless you meditate your way out, you may be required to mediate with God and His legal representative. Serving notice for examinations for discovery to go over His evidence or pre-trial motions to settle out of court could be challenging. God’s been known to be judgmental, so Heaven help you if He wins.

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