Block on Trump's Asylum Ban Upheld by Supreme Court
Robin West told police that her husband, Dean West, raped and beat her in 2008. Then she recanted that claim, withdrew the charges, and resumed living with Dean. After the couple divorced, Robin sued Dean for battery and related torts.
A district judge tossed Robin's lawsuit, ruling that it was malicious, and that he refused to be pulled into a "vitriolic tug-of-war."
This week, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that decision, noting that vitriol, alone, is not cause for dismissal.
Robin filed her claim in forma pauperis. Federal law requires a district court to dismiss such a suit "at any time if the court determines that ... [it] is frivolous or malicious." The district judge dismissed Robin's claims on his own initiative, offering three reasons for dismissal; he Seventh Circuit rebutted each one.
Judge Posner didn't say that Robin's case had merit; he just explained that the record so far did not prove that the suit should be dismissed as frivolous, malicious, or an abuse of process. A suit, after all, can be "groundless without being so utterly groundless as to be deemed 'frivolous.'" Determining whether or not Robin West's claims had merit, according to Judge Posner, necessitated further discovery ... and reassignment to a new judge.
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