Avoid Making This Embarrassing Mistake When Filing A Personal Injury Lawsuit

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In a move that definitely surprised the plaintiffs, a U.S. District judge ruled against a police officer who had tried to sue Black Lives Matter (BLM) for damages related to injuries he sustained during a protest. The judge's reasoning was that Black Lives Matter was a social movement and not a judicial entity capable of being sued. Here's more information about this ruling and how you can avoid making this same error when you launch your personal injury lawsuit against someone who injured you:

What Judicial Person Means

To sue a person or entity in court, the defendant must be recognized as a legal "person". Every born person qualifies by virtue of being human and alive. However, things aren't always as clear-cut when it comes to businesses and organizations because these entities must be recognized by the state or federal government as operations capable of being subjected to applicable laws, policies, and regulations.

This typically requires the organizations to have the characteristics of a legal personality, something that's generally established by submitting certain paperwork to the appropriate agency. For instance, a business that wants to be recognized as a corporation would file articles of incorporation with the Secretary of State's office. Once accepted, the company would enjoy all the benefits of being a recognized entity but also bear the associated responsibilities (e.g. pay taxes).

The problem the plaintiff encountered with suing Black Lives Matter, an issue anyone will face when trying to sue similar groups, is that it is a social movement rather than a legally recognized organization. It has no characteristics of a legal personality. For instance, there is no central national institution governing the activists' actions and anyone can use the BLM name to establish an independent organization because the name is not trademarked or otherwise legally claimed by any person or entity.

Because the plaintiff was unable to establish BLM as a judicial person, he lost his case.

Avoiding Similar Problems with Your Lawsuit

This issue can be avoided by making sure you are serving your lawsuit onto a person or an entity that has a legally recognized structure. For instance, non-profit organizations are typically incorporated, have officers that run it, and bylaws that govern how those associated with the organization behave.

With so many social movements active in the US today, it can be challenging determining whether you're going after a real group or just an idea. Therefore, here are a few things to look for:

  • The group's name is registered to a person or entity (e.g. corporation)
  • There is a person or group of people who directly control the group's actions
  • The group has filed paperwork to be recognized as a legal entity
  • The groups own assets
  • The group has the legal capacity and status to engage in the legal order of the country (e.g. sue others)

For more information and assistance, contact personal injury legal help services near you.


29 September 2017

Knowing Your Legal Rights Can Help You Greatly in Life

Like many people, I once found learning about law very intimidating. My brother went to law school and I remember glancing through a few of his books and wondering if I was actually reading English due to all of the legal jargon in them! However, when I ended up in a sticky legal situation due to accidentally breaking a small law I didn't know existed, I realized that I needed to learn more about the law, so I could make sure to follow it precisely in the future. My brother helped to break down some complicated legal concepts to me, and I have since been studying up online. I want to post what I have learned and continue to learn about law in the future on my new blog, so my knowledge cannot only help myself, but also help others!