The first ten amendments of the Bill of Rights are self explanatory. Violations of any of the rights described in these amendments give rise to causes of action, both against state judges under Title 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and arguably against federal judges in Bivens actions.
Pro se litigants should give a clear and concise description of what happened in chronological order, identifying the judge, the date, time, and place of his or her action, and specifying which acts violated which constitutional amendments.
The complaint finishes with a section entitled “Prayer for Relief.” In such a case you can ask for an injunction ordering another judge to so something, or to refrain from doing something. Successful use of these suits has been made to nullify attachments, end incarcerations, declare laws or court practices unconstitutional and scare the heck out of black robed tyrants with gavels. See Pulliam v. Allen, 466 U.S. 522 (1983).I often phrase my prayers for relief as follows:
Wherefore plaintiff prays this Court issue equitable relief as follows:
1. Issue injunctive relief commanding defendant to . . .
2. Issue declaratory relief as this Court deems appropriate just.
3. Issue other relief as this Court deems appropriate and just.
4. Award plaintiff his costs of litigation.
Your name printed
Your address, City, State, Zip Code, Telephone No.
Statement of Verification
I have read the above complaint and it is correct to the best of my knowledge.
Complaints are filed in the Civil Clerk’s Office in the United States District Court for your district.Federal rules now allow for service of process by certified mail. You will be required to serve the defendant judge and also your state attorney general if you are suing a state judge.
The pro se road will be easier if you study the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, obtain a Black’s Law Dictionary and familiarize yourself with legal research methods. You must also read the Local Rules of the Federal Court where you are suing, and learn Constitutional law fast. Using a lawyer as a coach is helpful. Bear in mind that your lawsuit is disfavored because it is against a judge. Nevertheless, our system of “justice” is in such tough shape that suits against judges are a socio-political necessity.
Complaints should be photocopied, disseminated to the legislature, the media and political action groups.Perhaps the cumulative impact of these suits will bring a healthy radical change for the American people.
Edward B. Borris, Assistant Editor, Divorce Litigation
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