Motion Denied for Incomprehensibility

This humorous court order was sent to me by my former colleague Charlie Sullivan (law, Seton Hall). The case is In re Richard Willis King Debtor, (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, W.D. Tex. Feb. 21, 2006), Bankr. Case No. 05-56485-C. The order, from U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Lief Clark, states:


Before the court is a motion entitled “Defendant’s Motion to Discharge Response to Plaintiff’s Response to Defendant’s Response Opposing Objection to Discharge.” Doc. #7. As background, this adversary was commenced on December 14, 2005 with the filing of the plaintiff’s complaint objecting to the debtor’s discharge. (Doc. #1). Defendant answered the complaint on January 12, 2006. Doc. #3. Plaintiff responded to the Defendant’s answer on January 26, 2006. Doc. #6. On February 3, 2006, Defendant filed the above entitled motion. The court cannot determine the substance, if any, of the Defendant’s legal argument, nor can the court even ascertain the relief that the Defendant is requesting. The Defendant’s motion is accordingly denied for being incomprehensible.*

* Or, in the words of the competition judge to Adam Sandler’s title character in the movie, “Billy Madison,” after Billy Madison had responded to a question with an answer that sounded superficially reasonable but lacked any substance,

Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I’ve ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response was there anything that could even be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy

on your soul.

Deciphering motions like the one presented here wastes valuable chamber staff time, and invites this sort of footnote.


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3 Responses

  1. Simon says:

    Isn’t this just a slightly more abusive version of Judge Kozinski’s (possibly apocryphal) CA9 opinion which concluded “the parties are advised to chill“?

  2. Bruce says:

    Not apocryphal; it’s from one of the many Barbie trademark infringement cases, the one over the song, “Barbie Girl”:

    MCA filed a counterclaim for defamation based on the Mattel representative’s use of the words “bank robber,” “heist,” “crime” and “theft.” But all of these are variants of the invective most often hurled at accused infringers, namely “piracy.” No one hearing this accusation understands intellectual property owners to be saying that infringers are nautical cutthroats with eyepatches and peg legs who board galleons to plunder cargo. In context, all these terms are nonactionable “rhetorical hyperbole,” Gilbrook v. City of Westminster, 177 F.3d 839, 863 (9th Cir. 1999). The parties are advised to chill.

    Mattel, Inc. v. MCA Records, 296 F.3d 894, 908 (9th Cir. 2002).

    The same opinion begins, “If this were a sci-fi melodrama, it might be called Speech-Zilla meets Trademark Kong.”

  3. Simon says:

    Marvellous stuff. Those without Lexis can find it here: