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This case can be cited as Langevin, [2012] USFJDO 1.

It even has another better-known formal legal citation for the official French version, which is 2012 QCCS 613. For some reason, likely because of the law explained as to frivolous and vexatious litigants, it was chosen for publication by the Superior Court of Quebec and assigned a formal 2012 QCCS case number, #613.

This legal decision, now reported in the Unusual, Strange & Funny Judicial Decisions and Opinions (USFJDO) law reports, was rendered in the Province of Québec. As it was filed in the judicial district of Québec, the legal actions were heard at the Quebec City courthouse on January 13, 2012.

There have been, and probably always be Outrageous Lawsuits, but this Langevin case pushes the limits, it would seem, of the atmosphere. The official legal name of this decision is simply the surname of applicant: "Langevin".

Apparently, Mr. Langevin's preferred first name is Sylvio and he lives in Ste-Euphémie, Quebec.

His nutty legal claims generated an unusual judgment.

It would have been a hearing for the ages. On that cold wintery day in January 2012, Mr. Justice Alain Michaud heard combined applications because Mr. Langevin's case had actually been presented in two separate court files. Mr. Langevin's apparent litigation modus operandi was: why use a single court file when many will do?

In any event, we could never do better than present the actual judgment itself as follows, unofficially translated from the original French language version, which was released on February 22, 2012. Note, however, and because of the cost of translation, the otherwise interesting legal analysis in regards to frivolous litigants has been omitted (¶18-45) but none of the juicy parts which were all in ¶1-7 anyway.

I - The Facts

1. Sylvio Langevin claims to be the owner of the planet Earth. In a separate action filed the same day, he also claimed ownership of the planet Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus, as well as the four larger moons of Jupiter.

Langevin's flag on the moon2. At the hearing, the applicant sought permission to amend his second action to include allegations of ownership rights of Neptune and Pluto as well as all of the space between each planet to the end of the galaxy.

3. Although Mr. Langevin has asked the court to publish two separate judgments for each of his actions, this court will issue a single judgment in regards to both applications since they have identical arguments and concern identical goods....

4. On December 27, 2011, as he writes, "by chance and while I was cleaning out paperwork from my dresser", Mr. Langevin came across some newspaper articles about Mercury and Jupiter and especially some technical information from NASA about planets in the solar system.

5. He saw there an opportunity almost like, as he writes, "as one might collect hockey cards". Mr. Langevin is convinced that there is no registered owner of any of the five planets and four moons for which he is seeking title.

6. There is no respondent because, as he writes, "if there were any qualified respondent it would have to be God but he is neither tangible nor am I able to effect service on him as respondent.

7. During the hearing, the applicant asked to amend his pleadings to include a claim of title regarding Neptune and Pluto as well as "all of the space that is without oxygen or weight for objects situated between each planet to their limits of our galaxy", and this, he advised the court at the hearing, "to avoid any misunderstanding".

The earth is mine.8. He explained this amendment in reference to information about the state of China and their intention to send space stations into space. Mr. Langevin says that he would object to the creation of another Chinese community, in space above him.

9. In the other action, he alleges that the idea of claiming title to Earth came to him at 6:30 in the evening on July 1, 2012: "I had some time on my hands and as chance would have it, I looked up some words in the dictionary..."; In particular, the words "planet" and "Earth".

10. As, he says, the planet Earth has no registered owner, "it is obvious and without doubt that it is a mass of matter within the solar system; which belongs to me fully as owner, including full rights associated with both possession and administration".

11. There is as yet a third and separate court file and in which Mr. Langevin claims title to Mars and to our moon. He says he is not sure whether the court accepted or dismissed his claim in the third file but admits that the court registry clerks mentioned to him that judgment had been rendered and it was not in his favor. He says he will make himself aware of that judgment as well as the decision of the court in the two applications now before the court, "to appeal them" he adds.

12. Mr. Langevin says he is not a lawyer but a simple citizen but that he has had a lot of experience with legal proceedings since approximately the year 2000, and that those legal proceedings were related to four matters:

(a) He was misinformed about a pig farm he owned;

(b) His brother sold the farm without his approval;

(c) Persons acting on the authority of the Queen have set upon him "six psychologists" all trying to have him "declared insane", and

(d) That he uncovered a coup d'état within the government of Canada then at war in Afghanistan.

14. Mr. Langevin says that he then started 51 applications against the Government of Québec resulting in a declaration that he was a frivolous and vexatious litigant in regards to the Attorney General of Québec. After four or five further applications against the Government of Canada, he was declared a frivolous and vexatious litigant as regards the Attorney General of Canada.

15. Mr. Langevin says he is just waiting for the right moment to have both declarations set aside because they offend his rights pursuant to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

II - Analysis

16. In regards to Mr. Sylvio Langevin's two applications presently before the court, nothing more need be said of it except to repeat the words of my brother Mr. Justice Etienne Parent who, disposing of the application regarding the planet Mars and the moon, wrote: "Relying strictly on the pleadings, the application of the plaintiff has no legal basis and must be dismissed."

17. The claim made by Mr. Langevin in regards to Earth is on that same basis dismissed as is all those regards to other planets in the solar system.

(....)

From paragraphs 18-45, the judgment spoke of the numerous court applications Sylvio Langevin had made since 2001 including at least 29 court actions registered with the Superior Court of Québec, at least 12 applications before the Court of Appeal of Québec, and four applications for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The court noted that Mr. Langevin used six different aliases in his numerous litigation initiatives: Sylvio Langevin, Martin Langevin, Martin Sylvio Langevin, Sylvio Martin Langevin, Martin (Sylvio) Langevin and Sylvio (Martin) Langevin.

Mr. Langevin was declared a vexatious litigant. In French, plaideur quérulent.

Justice Michaud wasn't done yet. Langevin was then slapped with a province-wide prohibition against initiating any court action in any court in the Province of Quebec without the prior written approval of a judge of the Superior Court. The order even enjoined all court registries across the province from accepting any pleadings or initiating documents from him.

And for now, anyway, other than just about every bit and piece of land on Earth, no ownership rights or title have as yet been recognized in any Court in the world as regards to the entirety or pieces of any other planet or moon.

Refererences:

The editorial team of this law report known as Unusual, Strange & Funny Judicial Decisions and Opinions or USFJDO, a favourite of law students, lawyers and judges everywhere, wishes to thank a certain first-year law student at the Faculty of Law, Université de Laval in Québec City for bringing this legal decision to our attention with the suggestion of publication.