12(b)(6): So What Do You Want Me To Do About It?

 

I’m a collector of odd facts. This is how I have a favorite out-of-context Bible verse (I don’t care that Matthew 10:34 isn’t part of the Nativity readings; it’s far more relevant to the modern celebration of Christmas than Luke 2:14), a favorite business tax deduction (breast implants to bring the exotic dancer’s cups to size N), and even a favorite medical code (Y93.D1: Injured while knitting or crocheting). So it shouldn’t be much surprise that I also have a favorite Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6): Failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

Let me back up a bit to explain this one. The rules of civil procedure govern lawsuits, and rule 12, in particular, is about motions and pleadings to be done before a matter goes to trial. The defendant has the right to make a motion that the suit be dismissed in a summary judgment, where the facts the plaintiff provides are assumed to be true and the judge makes a ruling on the law.

What does that mean in plain English? Say you own a house and a mentally ill vegan moves in. She’s so upset at the smell of your backyard grilling she sues you for everything her lawyer can think of: intentional affliction of emotional distress, trespass (of the smoke), and odor nuisance. You don’t want to waste any more time and money on this than you have to, so you request the suit to be dismissed on the grounds of Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). In that, you agree that yes, you are grilling; yes, smoke does cross onto her airspace; yes, she can smell cooking meat on her property when you use your grill. You are asking the judge, “So what do you want me to do about it?”A sane judge would then dismiss the case on the ground that cooking meat does not rise to the intentional affliction of emotional distress, that the smoke particles are a de minimus trespass, and that grilling is not a nuisance odor. Luckily for Toan Vu, Australia still has sane judges.

Which brings me to my point: If you’re like me, the only thing you find more tiresome than complaints about Donald Trump are complaints about complaints about Donald Trump, but please indulge me. For those Ricochet members who despise, dislike, or are embarrassed when Donald Trump does or says something, consider whether your complaint would be dismissed under 12(b)(6). Do his words or actions rise to the “high crimes and misdemeanors” standard for impeachment? Do his words or actions make Creepy Uncle Joe, Fauxcahontas, or Bernie Socialist the better candidate for the presidency in 2020? Do his words or actions seem so out of line with his character that those who like him for his character might actually change their minds with your complaints?

And for those Ricochet members who despise, dislike, or are embarrassed when anyone else does or says something against Trump, consider also whether your complaint would be dismissed under 12(b)(6). Do their words or actions rise to any actual inflicting of harm on you? Will those who dislike or even detest him for his character possibly change their minds because of your complaining about their complaining?

I don’t ask that you like the guy (I don’t either!) or the people complaining about the guy (They get on my nerves too!), but if the answer to the above questions is no, please stop with the impotent kvetching. You just come off like elderly mother-in-law who can’t stop complaining to everyone in earshot about her nogoodnik son-in-law and her silly daughter who won’t divorce him in the first case, and the coffee klatch who won’t stop complaining about the mother-in-law’s complaining in the second case.

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  1. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    In my eyes, 2016 candidate Rick Perry’s greatest feature was his statement that his objective as U.S. President would be to become irrelevant to our daily life.

    I’ve liked Rick Perry more often than not, but hadn’t known he said that. Now I like him some more. 

    • #31
  2. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Amy Schley (View Comment):
    within my Ricochet sphere, I’ve been able to twice move across country, meet my best friends, watch my friends get married, and even become an honorary aunt. 

    Another benefit of membership!

    • #32
  3. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    You must be deadly at trivia games, keeping abreast of such claims.

    Ba-da-BING!

    • #33
  4. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    You must be deadly at trivia games, keeping abreast of such claims.

    You must be deadly at punning games.

    It’s rare that I go totally bust.

    Before this thread sinks into the abyss of poor taste, a poem:

    https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=99%20words%20for%20boobs

    • #34
  5. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    Stad (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    You must be deadly at trivia games, keeping abreast of such claims.

    You must be deadly at punning games.

    It’s rare that I go totally bust.

    Before this thread sinks into the abyss of poor taste, a poem:

    https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=99%20words%20for%20boobs

    Eh, it’s Friday now, and by evening we’ll all be well into our cups.

    • #35
  6. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    You must be deadly at trivia games, keeping abreast of such claims.

    You must be deadly at punning games.

    It’s rare that I go totally bust.

    Before this thread sinks into the abyss of poor taste, a poem:

    https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=99%20words%20for%20boobs

    Eh, it’s Friday now, and by evening we’ll all be well into our cups.

    I’ll grab a Busch and head for the mountains . . .

    • #36
  7. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    You must be deadly at trivia games, keeping abreast of such claims.

    You must be deadly at punning games.

    It’s rare that I go totally bust.

    Before this thread sinks into the abyss of poor taste, a poem:

    https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=99%20words%20for%20boobs

    Eh, it’s Friday now, and by evening we’ll all be well into our cups.

    Evening? I make it a point not to wake up sober. 

    • #37
  8. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    You must be deadly at trivia games, keeping abreast of such claims.

    You must be deadly at punning games.

    It’s rare that I go totally bust.

    Before this thread sinks into the abyss of poor taste, a poem:

    https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=99%20words%20for%20boobs

    Eh, it’s Friday now, and by evening we’ll all be well into our cups.

    Evening? I make it a point not to wake up sober.

    Beer:  It’s what’s for breakfast!

    • #38
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