People may write their complaints by hand for a number of reasons. For example:

  1. There is nothing quite like putting pen to paper to capture raw emotion.
  2. There is a greater sense of urgency from a handwritten pleading.
  3. You do not know how to use a computer or typewriter.
  4. You are an inmate at a correctional facility.

Whatever their reasons are, the authors below submitted their chicken-scratch pleadings to the courts, and now we get to enjoy them.

Featured image: “learning literature” from Shutterstock.


1. The Desperate Divorce Pleading (With Pictures)

A Texas lawyer makes the poor choice to accept an idiot for a client . . . himself. In his divorce case, he makes an impassioned argument that there is no hope for reconciliation. You have no choice but to feel bad for this Texas lawyer, who notes that his spouse could fill the role of a “stand-in for Syble [sic] or the girl in ‘The Exorcist’.”

Penmanship-wise, the divorce petition (PDF) looks like it was written by a sixth-grader, and the tone comes across the same way. The petition contains such eloquent lines as, “They ceased living together as husband and wife . . . when she got pissed off and hauled ass with the car, the Mastercard, $365.00 cash, her FEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS NINE YEAR OLD EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION CASE . . ., to which she is WELCOME . . . .”

And in case the colorful language did not get the point across, this handwritten divorce petition comes complete with pictures. This was really just a thoughtful gesture to the judge and clerks, who probably were bored of seeing divorce petitions neatly typed and formatted.


Some of the attached works of art include:

  • Frowning face holding a gavel
  • Picture of Texas
  • A trumpet and snare drum
  • Bottle of Rolaids

To be fair, I desperately wish I could end a plea with “screw you bitch, I filed first.”


2. How a Pleading Brought Criminals and Cowboys Together Forever

An $88 billion lawsuit was filed on behalf of Dallas Cowboy fans “and all people in and or from the Sovereign Republic of Texas,” brought forth by an irate fan and a correctional facility inmate with decent penmanship.

In January 2015, an NFL referee made a bad call that cost the Cowboys the Super Bowl. Most fans would have complained about it and moved on until next season, but not Terry Hendrix. Mr. Hendrix, currently an inmate at Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility, sued the NFL, Commissioner Goodell, the VP of Officiating, and the referee from the game.

This complaint provides a good amount of material for a better comedian than myself to work with. I guess we could use this as an opening to insinuate that most Cowboys fans reside in correctional facilities. Or we could say not only did the Cowboys consistently choke in the playoffs, but they have to have their fans complain to a judge for them. Or that even if the call was reversed and the Cowboys were on the one-yard line, somehow Tony Romo would have figured out a way to blow it.

The complaint alleges “fraud, theft and gross stupidity in the face of an undeniable catch.” Since these are legitimate claims, Hendrix feels that the plaintiffs are entitled to the precise sum of $88,987,654,321.88. Of course, the number 88 bookends being in reference to the Cowboys’ Dez Bryant, who was clearly wronged by the referees.

By the way, Hendrix is 6’7, 225 lbs., and has a parole hearing coming up. Maybe he is just the kind of player the Cowboys need next season.


3. This Judge is Not Getting Away With It

This appeal (PDF) in the Western District of Washington is fairly concise:

“I hereby am informing you that I am appealing the asshole Ronald B. Leighton’s decision in the matter.

“You have been hereby served Notice. You’re not getting away with this shit easy.”

At this time, we can neither confirm nor deny whether Judge Leighton is, in fact, an asshole.


4. Doing the Lord’s Work

As an “ambassador for God, and his son, Jesus Christ”, Nebraska senior citizen Sylvia Driskell filed a handwritten complaint against “Homosexuals” (PDF) for living in sin, or something like that. As you well know, living in sin violates Nebraska Revised Statute 90-116.

Citing the legal authority of Leviticus 18:22 and Romans 1:26, Driskell argues that if gays were not living in sin and knowing full well that being gay is a sin, “[w]hy else would they have been hiding in a closet[?]”

I cannot argue with that logic.

She also complains, “Why are judges passing laws? So sinners can break religious, and moral laws.”

To her credit, Ms. Driskell has excellent penmanship, uses lined notebook paper with binder holes, and has pagination.


5. Let Me Help You With That . . .

In a massive copyright infringement lawsuit against over 14,000 P2P file sharers, plaintiff Worldwide Film Entertainment sent subpoenas to several ISPs to unmask the identities of the alleged infringers.

In a responding motion to quash the subpoena, one individual provides her full name and street address. So, in a motion to prevent a litigant from obtaining her name and address, she hands it over.

Really brilliant stuff.

So next time you are thinking, “Why don’t I just write my pro se complaint, response, or appeal by hand?” please remind yourself of the following:

  1. Your client is an idiot.

  2. No eloquent pleading authored in this century was written by hand.

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