Charts & Graphs

Divine Justice

Suing the gods.

Docket Jurisdiction Case Motion to dismiss
Gerald Mayo v. Satan and his demonic underlings Pennsylvania, 1971 Prison inmate Mayo claims that Satan and his staff “deprived him of his constitutional rights” by inflicting emotional distress, making threats, and placing “deliberate obstacles” in his path. Unable to locate Satan or his employees, and noting that “if such action were to be allowed, we would also face the question of whether it may be maintained as a class action,” the judge dismisses the case.
Chandan Kumar Singh v. Hindu god Rama and his half brother Lakshmana India, 2016 Singh accuses two deities of mistreating Rama’s wife, Sita, by exiling her when she became pregnant after being kidnapped. A lawyer with a history of attention-getting cases, Singh claims he filed this one to bring attention to women’s rights: “If Sita didn’t get justice in Treta Yuga,” the legendary period during which the Ramayana is set, “how will women get justice” today? The court rejects the case as impractical due to a lack of witnesses and the impossibility of establishing the date of the abuse; another lawyer then sues Singh for defaming the god.
Ernie Chambers v. God Nebraska, 2007 Chambers, a Nebraska state senator trying to make a point about frivolous lawsuits, seeks a permanent injunction against God for, among other things, making “terroristic threats of grave harm to innumerable persons” and causing “fearsome floods, egregious earthquakes, horrendous hurricanes, terrifying tornadoes, pestilential plagues, ferocious famines, devastating droughts, genocidal wars, birth defects, and the like.” Though Chambers establishes jurisdiction by noting that the “defendant, being omnipresent, is personally present in Douglas County,” the suit is thrown out because the court is unable to establish a fixed address for God.
Pavel Mircea v. God, represented by the Orthodox Church Romania, 2005 While serving a twenty-year prison term for murder, Mircea sues God for fraud and breach of contract. “He was supposed to protect me from all evils,” claims the plaintiff, “and instead he gave me to Satan, who encouraged me to kill”—despite having accepted Mircea’s baptism, thus entering into a contract with him. Mircea also asks that God be required to reimburse him for money spent on prayer candles. The suit is not dismissed until 2007, when a public prosecutor declares that God is not subject to Romanian law.
A shadowy team of lawyers v. God California, 2003 Tabloid Weekly World News reports it has acquired files outlining a bombshell lawsuit against God. “People always have had the feeling that He somehow is above the law,” one of the files allegedly reads, “but He isn’t.” Although the tabloid claims the suit would be filed imminently in California, it never gets to a docket. Asked for comment, an Alabama pastor says, “To think that a handful of lawyers and atheists could attack and attempt to discredit the mysterious but merciful ways of the Lord really burns my hide.”