Jerry Collette on Reality Check Radio 6/19/2012

Jerry Collette

Jerry Collette, the plaintiff in the Collette v Obama ballot challenge case in Florida, appeared on the show last night. Thanks very much to Jerry for appearing and spending over two hours answering questions about the case. My shows with “Birthers” always attract a good audience and create lots of discussion afterwards. You can listen to an archive replay of the show right here:

or listen and/or download a copy here:

Reality Check Radio with Jerry Collette

Thanks to Kevin “Doctor Conspiracy” Davidson for arranging the contact with Jerry Collette and for participating in most of the show last night. Doc has written an article on the show that you might find interesting. An Open Letter [to] Jerry Collette

I will be adding some additional details about the show today or tomorrow as I get time.

Updated 0137z, 06/21/2012

Tes left the following comment on the show at Dr. Conspiracy’s blog:

tes June 20, 2012 at 8:03 pm

I was otherwise engaged during the live show last night but had a chance to listen today. Just a few comments.

First, Collette claimed during the show that under Florida law, negligence per se applies where – the specific example he used was when a person runs a red light and then crashes into someone causing injury. Per Collette, running the red light – a violation of law – creates negligence per se.

As with nearly every aspect of law upon which he relies, Collette is flat out wrong. Under Florida law, as clearly stated in the Florida Standard Civil Jury Instructions – which, by the way, are promulgated by the Florida Supreme Court, violation of a traffic statute does *not* constitute negligence per se.

Under Florida law, “it is ‘negligence per se’ to violate a penal statute or ordinance, not regulating traffic, which was enacted to protect a particular class of persons from a particular injury or type of injury.”

In other words – Collette’s example is expressly EXCLUDED from the rule. See . Not only is the example Collette provided expressly excluded, but — more importantly – the claim set forth in his FAC is excluded.

Collette’s FAC alleges “negligence per se” based on alleged violation of the Constitution.
However, the Constitution is not a “penal statute”; nor was it enacted to protected a “particular class of persons form a particular injury or type of injury.”

To Doc C’s comment that courts generally don’t go after pro se litigants – I’ll just not that this is not always the case – especially in situations where the litigant has some legal experience. Sanctions would be well-founded in connection with this claim – even when brought by a pro se litigant.

To be sure – were the plaintiff some uneducated non-Mensa member who had never been to court before, the courts can be more lenient. However, Collette – a self-professed member of Mensa and a paralegal with lots of litigation experience – has no such excuse. He’s brilliant, and experienced.

Defendants would be well within their rights to ask for sanctions in light of such a frivolous claim. The court also would be well within its discretion in imposing sanctions sua sponte.

As I predicted during the show things do not bode well for Mr. Collette’s case. While I appreciate his courage for coming on the show that does not relieve me of the responsibility as a reporter for noting his case is doomed.

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1 Response to Jerry Collette on Reality Check Radio 6/19/2012

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