‘Gibberish’ Promoter Case Dismissed

A federal appeals court in Illinois has dismissed a McHenry County concert promoter’s case with prejudice after his attorney proved “unable to file an intelligible complaint.”

Michael Stanard filed suit in 2007 against Sheriff Keith Nygren, claiming Nygren forced him to hire off-duty deputies at premium costs to provide security for concerts he promoted at a small airport. The complaint also named 22 of the sheriff’s deputies and McHenry County as defendants, and alleged Nygren and Co. had engaged in a conspiracy to violate Stanard’s rights.

The case stalled after Stanard’s attorney, Walter Maksym, was asked several times by the district court to amend his “generally incomprehensible” and error-riddled complaint. It was “impossible for the defendants to know what wrongs they were accused of committing,” according to the appeals court opinion.

The case was dismissed with prejudice and Maksym filed for an appeal, contending he should have been given another chance to replead.

But even his appeal was found lacking. The opinion notes the attorney’s appellate briefing was “woefully deficient, raising serious concerns about his competence to practice before this court.”

Specifically, the court raised issues that “rampant grammatical, syntactical, and typographical errors contributed to an overall sense of unintelligibility. This was compounded by a vague, confusing, and conclusory articulation of the factual and legal basis for the claims and a general ‘kitchen sink’ approach to pleading the case.”

The opinion calls much of Maksym’s writing “gibberish,” citing one particularly heinous sentence as an example:

“Stanard and attendees, were stunned on the day of the family-oriented event, when an even more menacing law enforcement presence was created when Nygren’s armed deputies, without prior consent or permission, warrant or probable cause, arrived, not a part of any agreement and a surprise and upset when it arrive, uninvited, on and entered and trespassed on Plaintiff property with drug-sniffing ‘K-9’dogs, obviously and unfortunate that Defendants were ‘looking for trouble’ where there was none as distinct from ‘looking to serve.’”

The appellate court affirmed the district court’s decision to dismiss the complaint with prejudice and ordered Maksym to show cause why he shouldn’t be barred from practicing.