Lawyers grow so accustomed to their terms of art that they sometimes forget how those phrases sound to the man on the street.
When U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney Jr. told an unrepresented plaintiff that he needed to add a “prayer for relief” to each of his complaints, the litigant must have been left scratching his head.
Undeterred, the man filed new handwritten pleadings including a prayer for relief for each of a dozen counts.
For “Complaint #1” the prayer reads, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all of the days of my life and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord.”
The prayer for “Complaint #2” – “‘He trusts in the Lord,’ they say, ‘let the Lord rescue him since he delights in him.’”
Through “Complaint #12,” the prayers continue, from Psalms through Revelations; each distinct, succinct and with appropriate Biblical citation.
“These prayers as listed conclude the material requested in your recent court order,” the document concludes.
Whatever the fate of the pro se petitioner’s cause, it cannot be said he never had a prayer.