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What a revoeltzin’ development this is!

William BendixAttorney Larry Klayman filed a new case in Florida this past Tuesday on behalf of Michael Voeltz, dedicated advocate of various conspiracy and crackpot legal theories about Barack Obama. Judge Lewis already threw out one case from Voeltz/Klayman, saying specifically:

Plaintiff suggests the possibility of a declaratory judgment claim, but I don’t see how Plaintiff, as an individual voter, would have standing to seek declaratory relief. In short, I am unable to conceive of any other legal theory upon which the Plaintiff could proceed at this time relative to the relief sought.

Nevertheless, a claim for declaratory judgment is exactly what this new lawsuit asks for. In a declaratory judgment claim, a plaintiff asks for the court to declare the plaintiff has a right to something, or that someone else has an obligation. It’s done in anticipation of some future conflict. The judgment declares equitable or legal relationships between the parties (or the lack thereof).

In this case, Voeltz seeks two declarations:

  • Obama is not eligible
  • The Florida Secretary of State has a duty to “determine” the eligibility of Barack Obama (not any other candidate present or future) before he is placed on the ballot.

While on the surface “Obama is not eligible” sounds like a declaration, I do not think this is the kind of declaration that’s intended by the Statute. It’s rather more like “the earth is round” or “birthers should shut up.” There is no equitable or legal relationship between Michael Voeltz and Barack Obama, nor between him and Secretary of State Detzner.

In the complaint Voeltz isn’t asserting any rights (unlike the Collette case where Collette does claim that he has a right not to be governed by an ineligible President). On the other hand, it is clear that the second relief sought is a declaration of an obligation on the part of the Secretary of State of Florida to “determine” the eligibility of Barack Obama to be on the general election ballot.

In both instances, I fail to see how Voeltz has standing to bring the suit. The authority for declaratory judgments in Florida is in Chapter 86 of the Florida code. Specifically, those who can plead for declaratory judgments are:

86.021  Power to construe.–Any person claiming to be interested or who may be in doubt about his or her rights under a deed, will, contract, or other article, memorandum, or instrument in writing or whose rights, status, or other equitable or legal relations are affected by a statute, or any regulation made under statutory authority, or by municipal ordinance, contract, deed, will, franchise, or other article, memorandum, or instrument in writing may have determined any question of construction or validity arising under such statute, regulation, municipal ordinance, contract, deed, will, franchise, or other article, memorandum, or instrument in writing, or any part thereof, and obtain a declaration of rights, status, or other equitable or legal relations thereunder.

According to the statute, the previous enumeration is not exhaustive, nevertheless, I fail to see how the statute fits this case. Judge Lewis has already said that Mr. Voeltz as a voter, and that is the capacity in which he brings the new complaint, does not have the specific interest that would grant him standing to bring a complaint for declaratory judgment. We already know in advance that the suit will be dismissed. However, this case is more about political theater than about the law, and the new suit is primarily a platform for a future appeal (which is more political theater). Judge Lewis said that he could not conceive of any legal theory under which Voeltz could bring the suit and in fact attorney Klayman doesn’t seem to be able to conceive of one either. The brief is remarkably devoid of any legal argument whatever; it’s just a recitation of the usual birther conspiracy theories.

There are some other odd things in the complaint; for example, the Defendant is referred to as “Barack Hussein Obama, Florida Democratic Party nominee for President to the 2012 Democratic National Convention,” ignoring the fact that Judge Lewis already ruled that Barack Obama was not a nominee. Also in the obligations of the Secretary of State they want a declaration that Secretary of State Detzner most determine whether or not Obama is eligible to be on the primary ballot – which is strange because there was no, nor will there be any, primary election in Florida on the Democratic side. This lawsuit is totally

This article’s title is a play on a signature phrase of comedian William Bendix, “What a revoltin’ development this is!” from the 1940’s radio comedy, The Life of Riley.

Read more:

The text of the complaint follows:

2012-07-02 VOELTZ Complaint for Declaratory Relief

[Update: The case was dismissed.]

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29 Responses to What a revoeltzin’ development this is!

  1. avatar
    Paul July 5, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    “What a revoeltzin’ development this is!”

    LOL That’s good!

  2. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy July 5, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

    I was quite proud of that one.

    Paul: LOL That’s good!

  3. avatar
    Sam the Centipede July 5, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    I don’t understand why natural-born vexatious litigant Liarry Klayman and his patsy I’m-falsely-registered-as-a-Democrat Voeltz aren’t chucked behind bars for putting such a stream of filthy lies in front of a court. Many of their lies have been refuted to their faces in this and other courts so why does the legal system tolerate their continued scummy behavior?

    Isn’t Klayman’s dishonesty and corrupt and seditious behavior good reason for him to be sanctioned, disbarred and then charged (and imprisoned?).

    I had never before been impressed with the way some countries (including Italy and France) give their presidents immunity from prosecution while in office but I think the US system would benefit from sort of protection for elected officials from malicious harassment of this sort, if it could be arranged to stop short of immunity for criminality.

  4. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy July 5, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

    Actually it is generally held that US Presidents cannot be indicted or arrested while in office, but that doesn’t make them immune from civil suits. This lawsuit is a pimple on an elephant; it’s nothing more than advertising for WorldNetDaily.

    Sam the Centipede: I had never before been impressed with the way some countries (including Italy and France) give their presidents immunity from prosecution while in office but I think the US system would benefit from sort of protection for elected officials from malicious harassment of this sort, if it could be arranged to stop short of immunity for criminality.

  5. avatar
    Rickey July 5, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

    Let’s not forget that “The Life of Riley” also was a popular TV show in the fifties. William Bendix also was a serious character actor who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 1942 for his role in “Wake Island.”

  6. avatar
    clestes July 5, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    This is an absolutely stupid excuse for a waste of judicial time plus an INSULT toJugde Lewis. and he is not going to like it a bit.

    Birthers are getting more and more desperate and more and more ridiculous in their attempts to bring Mr. Obama down.

    Pathetic

  7. avatar
    Jamese777 July 5, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

    Being “betrayed” by Justice Roberts on the Health Care Reform decision combined with contemplating the possibility of a second term for the President has put the birthers even more on edge than usual. Expect an increase in desperate moves as the time to Election Day grows shorter. It’s panic time in birtherbot land.
    The Supreme Court Justices are fortunate that the 2011-2012 term has concluded and they’re on recess until October 1st.
    No birther activity at SCOTUS.

  8. avatar
    bgansel9 July 5, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: it’s nothing more than advertising for WorldNetDaily

    Exactly.

  9. avatar
    Dave July 6, 2012 at 12:22 am #

    That Florida law has an interesting feature. IANAL, but I believe the usually you can’t ask for declaratory relief unless there is an “actual controversy”, i.e. you can present evidence of the existence of a disagreement with the other party over which they potentially could sue you.

    But I can’t find anything in the Florida statute that requires that there be an “actual controversy.”

  10. avatar
    Lupin July 6, 2012 at 2:17 am #

    Sam the Centipede: I don’t understand why natural-born vexatious litigant Liarry Klayman and his patsy I’m-falsely-registered-as-a-Democrat Voeltz aren’t chucked behind bars for putting such a stream of filthy lies in front of a court. Many of their lies have been refuted to their faces in this and other courts so why does the legal system tolerate their continued scummy behavior?

    Isn’t Klayman’s dishonesty and corrupt and seditious behavior good reason for him to be sanctioned, disbarred and then charged (and imprisoned?).

    Hear! Hear! I couldn’t agree more!!

    I had never before been impressed with the way some countries (including Italy and France) give their presidents immunity from prosecution while in office but I think the US system would benefit from sort of protection for elected officials from malicious harassment of this sort, if it could be arranged to stop short of immunity for criminality.

    To be fair, the farce, or should I say aborted coup, that was the Clinton impeachment showed how the process could be abused.

    But Jacques Chirac got tried & convicted after his mandate was over, and Nicolas Sarkozy is currently in very hot water. It’s more than any former US president ever got.

  11. avatar
    Sam the Centipede July 6, 2012 at 2:46 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: This lawsuit is a pimple on an elephant; it’s nothing more than advertising for WorldNetDaily.

    Yes Doc, calm and spot-on as always (whoops! – do I sound like a Docbot?!).

    While I and others find this slow-motion unfolding clown car crash of nastiness and stupidity of the “show us you papers boy” movement fascinating, as you say, it really is of minimal importance to the 99.9% of people who have long ago lost interest. Tolerating fools is one of the prices of democracy, and hurrah to that! (intolerance leads down all sorts of hate-lined streets.)

    Lupin: But Jacques Chirac got tried & convicted after his mandate was over, and Nicolas Sarkozy is currently in very hot water. It’s more than any former US president ever got.

    I think that’s about right as a principle: keep this stuff away from a sitting president but do not give them any immunity. For the sitting president, his overseer should not be the legal system but rather the people through their representatives and the processes of election and impeachment…

    … one issue overlooked by birthers is that (like it or not) Mr Obama was correctly democratically elected, and even if there was an iota of merit in their dungheap of disinformation, surely the will of the people should be respected and accorded much greater weight than hair-splitting and logic-chopping about some irrelevant details?

    The rule of law is important, but justice is about more than arguing over words chosen
    many years ago. Apuzzo tries to reduce it to idiot notions like the difference between a large C and a small c in C/citizen!!

  12. avatar
    TheEuropean July 6, 2012 at 3:44 am #

    I guess that KKKlayman, the “Jew for Jesus”, will be sanctioned. My only question is: will he have to go to jail if he can not pay the fine ?

  13. avatar
    dunstvangeet July 6, 2012 at 3:49 am #

    Just wondering…

    Didn’t they dismiss a case with prejudice that was exactly like this? If so, are they opening themselves upto sanctions for not following the Double Jeopardy Clause of the United States Constitution? How is this case different from the case the case that was dismissed with prejudice. It’s even the same parties…

  14. avatar
    TheEuropean July 6, 2012 at 3:53 am #

    Lupin, is there a way to contact you ?

    Sincerely

    Your European

  15. avatar
    Lupin July 6, 2012 at 5:19 am #

    TheEuropean: Lupin, is there a way to contact you ?

    Sincerely

    Your European

    http://www.dailykos.com/user/Lupin/

  16. avatar
    The Magic M July 6, 2012 at 6:00 am #

    Sam the Centipede: The rule of law is important, but justice is about more than arguing over words chosen
    many years ago.

    Well, birthers always want to have the cake and eat it.

    They would reply to your argument that the rule of law is more important than the will of the people (i.e. Holy Vattel trumps 69 million votes).
    Yet when they realize the law is against them, they will quickly switch to claiming the will of the people is more important than the law (i.e. “I want to see his papers” trumps Hawaiian law saying “we cannot show you”) – without even blushing.

  17. avatar
    donna July 6, 2012 at 9:00 am #

    doc:

    you can move this to an open thread if that’s where it belongs

    the latest from birtherstan

    Lawlessness in Lower Courts

    Over a hundred cases have been brought in various local, state, district, military and federal courts attempting to present a mountain of evidence against imposter Barack Hussein Obama, all of them dismissed at the door, refusing to hear any evidence, denying the people access to a peaceful forum in which to fully expose the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on the American people. No wonder the courts have been fitted with metal detectors and armed guards to protect these judges from the people.

    The most recent copy-n-paste Obama dismissal came from Circuit Court Judge Terrance P. Lewis in Tallahassee Florida. Judge Lewis dismissed the case on the bases that Barack Hussein Obama, the current occupant of the White House and presumed Democrat nominee for the 2012 election cycle running uncontested in Florida, is not yet officially the DNC nominee, and therefore, cannot yet be challenged on his eligibility for the office which he seeks re-election.

    In addition, Judge Lewis, upon hearing no evidence at all, declared the following in his dismissal with prejudice –

    No such stated rulings have ever happened. Yet, like several other judges, Lewis attempts to establish via precedent setting, the notion that “anchor baby” (anyone born on U.S. soil) is the proper definition of Natural Born Citizen of the United States, a claim which is laughable on its face. These judges are simply re-writing Article II of the U.S. Constitution from the bench while flatly refusing to hear any evidence at all on the matter from the people or the states.

    On no less than eight occasions leading up to the swearing in of Barack Hussein Obama, members of congress attempted and failed to alter or abolish the Natural Born Citizen clause in Article II of the U.S. Constitution. But these judges are altering and abolishing Article II requirements from the bench, using the settled definition of “citizen” to define “Natural Born Citizen” as if there is no difference between true Natural Born Citizens as defined by the Founders and Vattel, and anchor baby, defined by 14th Amendment immigration and naturalization statutes. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    http://www.newswithviews.com/JBWilliams/williams195.htm

  18. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy July 6, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    The new case raises a different cause of action under a different statute. I think it’s abusive and that the judge already barred that cause of action, but I think Klayman will probably get away with it. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the court dismisses the case sua sponte, without arguments from the defendants.

    Double jeopardy in the Constitution refers to criminal prosecution. But even in criminal cases, someone is acquitted of murder may then face charges of violating the victim’s civil rights.

    dunstvangeet: Didn’t they dismiss a case with prejudice that was exactly like this? If so, are they opening themselves up to sanctions for not following the Double Jeopardy Clause of the United States Constitution?

  19. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy July 6, 2012 at 9:25 am #

    An actual controversy would be something that happened or is happening. The Plaintiff has been damaged. In a declaratory judgment, there is no actual controversy, but usually a potential controversy.

    I recall one case, way back, in Oklahoma where a fellow wanted to be declared a “natural born citizen” so he could run for President. The federal court said there was no such right.

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2009/08/craig-v-us-appeal-denied-by-district-court/

    Dave: That Florida law has an interesting feature. IANAL, but I believe the usually you can’t ask for declaratory relief unless there is an “actual controversy”, i.e. you can present evidence of the existence of a disagreement with the other party over which they potentially could sue you.

  20. avatar
    Joe Acerbic July 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    Sam the Centipede:
    I don’t understand why natural-born vexatious litigant Liarry Klayman and his patsy I’m-falsely-registered-as-a-Democrat Voeltz aren’t chucked behind bars for putting such a stream of filthy lies in front of a court.

    Lying in court is not very special… I’d think a legally valid reason would be that the cockroaches are admitting that they don’t really have a case, it’s only political theater. Can’t get much more vexatious than that.

  21. avatar
    bgansel9 July 6, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    donna: But these judges are altering and abolishing Article II requirements from the bench, using the settled definition of “citizen” to define “Natural Born Citizen” as if there is no difference between true Natural Born Citizens as defined by the Founders and Vattel, and anchor baby, defined by 14th Amendment immigration and naturalization statutes. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    I wonder if Mr. J B Williams would be so kind as to explain on his website about the numerous connections that make up his 100% Native American (American Indian) heritage, since he couldn’t POSSIBLY be the product of an “anchor baby”.

    Ha!

  22. avatar
    dunstvangeet July 6, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    Dr. C

    The Civil Law has a simular concept called res judicata, which basically says that once the judgement is made, it’s final, and you cannot just refile the suit and call it a new action.

    Now, for res judicata to apply, you must have four things in Florida. (1) identity of the thing sued for; (2) identity of the cause of action; (3) identity of the parties; and (4) identity of the quality in the person for or against whom the claim is made.

    I’d like to know how this is different in any of those actions.

  23. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy July 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    The cause of action is different.

    The first case was an Election challenge. The second is a claim for declaratory judgment.

    Otherwise all the same.

    dunstvangeet: Now, for res judicata to apply, you must have four things in Florida. (1) identity of the thing sued for; (2) identity of the cause of action; (3) identity of the parties; and (4) identity of the quality in the person for or against whom the claim is made.

    I’d like to know how this is different in any of those actions.

  24. avatar
    donna July 6, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    7/3/2012 LETTER TO THE HONORABLE TERRY P LEWIS FROM DR CHRIS HARBOUR

    http://cvweb.clerk.leon.fl.us/process.asp?template=dockets&addQuery=real_case.case_id=%2758101756%27

  25. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy July 6, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

    Jackie Gleason played Riley in the first year on TV, followed by Bendix for 6 more.

    Rickey: Let’s not forget that “The Life of Riley” also was a popular TV show in the fifties. William Bendix also was a serious character actor who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 1942 for his role in “Wake Island.”

  26. avatar
    Keith July 6, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

    Lupin: It’s more than any former US president ever got.

    Gerald Ford saw to that.

  27. avatar
    Rickey July 6, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    donna:
    7/3/2012LETTER TO THE HONORABLE TERRY P LEWIS FROM DR CHRIS HARBOUR

    http://cvweb.clerk.leon.fl.us/process.asp?template=dockets&addQuery=real_case.case_id=%2758101756%27

    Chris Harbour is a dentist in Tulare, California who also is a member of the Visalia/Tulare Area Tea Party. You can read some of his comments here:

    http://old.centralvalleyteaparty.com/group/visaliatulareareateaparty

  28. avatar
    Rickey July 6, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Jackie Gleason played Riley in the first year on TV, followed by Bendix for 6 more.

    Thanks for the reminder. I often watched the Bendix shows when I was a kid, but I don’t believe that I have ever seen Gleason’s Riley.

  29. avatar
    donna July 6, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    Rickey: dentist? ca? so any connection to taitz? and what’s his connection to voeltz? perhaps he’s judge lewis’ pen pal?

    his page

    http://old.centralvalleyteaparty.com/profile/ChrisHarbour