The Volokh Conspiracy

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"[T]he Bible … Says 'Ask and You Shall Receive,' but I Did Not Receive"

I don't think it really works that way.


From Magistrate Judge Mac McCoy's opinion in Johnson v. Ave Maria School of Law, filed late last year but just posted on Westlaw:

Plaintiff Christopher Johnson filed an Affidavit of Indigency on September 4, 2019, which the Court construes as a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915 …. Plaintiff seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis, which is without pre-payment of fees. The Court has carefully reviewed the Complaint and the Affidavit of Indigency under 28 U.S.C. § 1915 and relevant pleading standards. Based upon that review, the Court determines that Plaintiff must be required to amend the Complaint….

First, Plaintiff has filed an impermissible shotgun pleading replete with conclusory, vague, and immaterial facts not obviously connected to any particular cause of action. Plaintiff's Complaint is 57 pages long and contains 129 separate paragraphs.. A multitude of these paragraphs consist of incoherent, conclusory statements. For example, Plaintiff alleges Defendant, the law school he attended, Ave Maria Law:

is abusing their power, abusing their authority, participating in intimidation, conspiring to ruin reputations, creating master-slave relationships, using classical programming and/or mind control techniques, conspiring against humans and the State of Florida and possibly the U.S. Government for political gains, financial gains; and power, operating a criminal organization by hiding crime, obstructing justice and harboring and/or aiding and abetting criminals, treason and conspiring to make others commit treason, negligence, fraud, violations of the Florida and U.S Constitution, creating a hostile environment, harassment, psychological., spiritual and emotional abuses, creating and tolerating hate speech, failure to report a crime, failure to report crimes, failure of care of duty and care of safety, obstruction of justice, and possibly due to the above writing and Ave Law's actions other crimes and/or violations allowed under Civil law. Ave Maria Law School would not mediate my issues in a respectable or equal manner while attending, and after leaving would not mediate at all, committing fraud by not practicing what they preach or teach, by having a mediation clinic and then being told to read the Bible, which says "Ask and you shall receive," but I did not receive….

The court is silent on whether the heavenly Father gave Johnson the Holy Spirit, which I understand is what would be received by those who ask for it. (For the court's rejection of the amended complaint as well, see here.)