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Hollister ORDER Finding Rule 11 Violation (Mar. 24, 2009)

Hollister ORDER Finding Rule 11 Violation (Mar. 24, 2009)

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Hollister v. Soetoro / Obama, No. 09-5080 (D.C. Cir.)
MEMORANDUM ORDER finding Rule 11 violation, reprimanding John D. Hemenway, discharging show cause order 22 . Signed by Judge James Robertson on March 24, 2009.

Reported atHollister v. Soetoro,--- F.Supp.2d ----, 2009 WL 1706726 (D.D.C. Mar 24, 2009)
Hollister v. Soetoro / Obama, No. 09-5080 (D.C. Cir.)
MEMORANDUM ORDER finding Rule 11 violation, reprimanding John D. Hemenway, discharging show cause order 22 . Signed by Judge James Robertson on March 24, 2009.

Reported atHollister v. Soetoro,--- F.Supp.2d ----, 2009 WL 1706726 (D.D.C. Mar 24, 2009)

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Published by: tesibria on Jul 01, 2009
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07/13/2009

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 
GREGORY S. HOLLISTER,Plaintiff,v.BARRY SOETORO,
et al
.,Defendants.:::::::::Civil Action No. 08-2254 (JR)
 MEMORANDUM ORDER 
We live in a free country. Our liberties are manifoldand are the envy of the world. In the very top tier of thoseliberties, enshrined in the First Amendment, is “the right of thepeople . . . to petition the Government for a redress ofgrievances.” Many of those petitions are presented to judges.Every judge knows that a disturbingly high percentage of theminvolve petty slights, or imagined injuries, or matters that liewell beyond the reach of the judicial writ, but most judges willagree that it is important at least to listen to them --especially to the grievances of poor petitioners, ordisadvantaged petitioners, or petitioners who do not havelawyers -- even if the courts are powerless to grant relief.Lawyers who come to court to present grievances,however, are held to a higher standard than disadvantaged orunrepresented persons. For lawyers, there are rules. A lawyerknows that no judge has any business addressing or ruling upon a
 
- 2 -dispute, no matter how fervently he or his clients may feel aboutit, unless the judge has both personal and subject matterjurisdiction, unless the client has standing to be heard, unlessthe cause is ripe and justiciable, and unless the complaintstates a claim upon which relief can be granted. A lawyer whocomes to federal court also knows, because the Federal Rules ofCivil Procedure plainly say so, that his signature on a complaint“certifies that to the best of the person’s knowledge and belief,formed after an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances,” thecomplaint “is not being presented for any improper purpose,” Rule11(b)(1), and that “the claims . . . and other legal contentionsare warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument forextending, modifying, or reversing existing law or forestablishing new law,” Rule 11(b)(2).John D. Hemenway is a lawyer and a member of the bar ofthis court. The dispute that he attempted to litigate here wasabout whether or not Barack Obama is a “natural born Citizen,”and thereby qualified under Article II, section 1 of theConstitution to be President. Many people, perhaps as many as acouple of dozen, feel deeply about this issue. Attempts havebeen made to tee the question up for judicial resolution in anumber of courts across the country. See, defendant’s motion todismiss [Dkt. #9-1 p. 3, n.1]. Mr. Hemenway’s associate,Philip J. Berg, made at least one such attempt, suing in a
 
 
Messrs. Berg and Joyce are not members of the bar of this court and
1
were not granted leave to appear
 pro hac vice
. See [#10].
- 3 -federal court in Pennsylvania, naming himself as plaintiff.After that suit was dismissed (for lack of standing), and afterthe Supreme Court declined to hear him, Mr. Berg (apparently)found another plaintiff, a man who retired from the Air Force asa colonel more than ten years ago and now claims to be uncertainabout whether -– if he were recalled to active duty -– he wouldhave to obey commands that come from President Obama ascommander-in-chief. Mr. Berg (presumably) enlisted Mr. Hemenwayin this cause. Mr. Hemenway, Mr. Berg, and Lawrence J. Joycethen filed this lawsuit. Mr. Hemenway signed the complaint,
1
certifying his compliance with Rule 11(b).The complaint asserts a single cause of action,invoking the interpleader statute, 28 U.S.C. § 2235. Thatstatute provides:(a) The district courts shall have originaljurisdiction of any civil action of interpleader or inthe nature of interpleader filed by any person, firm,or corporation, association, or society having in hisor its custody or possession money or property of thevalue of $500 or more, or having issued a note, bond,certificate, policy of insurance, or other instrumentof value or amount of $500 or more, or providing forthe delivery or payment or the loan of money orproperty of such amount or value, or being under anyobligation written or unwritten to the amount of $500or more, if(1) Two or more adverse claimants, of diversecitizenship as defined in subsection (a) or (d) ofsection 1332 of this title, are claiming or may claim

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