Lawsuits against the Devil

Lawsuits against the devil (or Satan) have occurred in reality and in fiction.

Daniel Webster argues on behalf of a plaintiff while the Devil whispers into the judge's ear.

Actual suitsEdit

United States ex rel. Gerald Mayo v. Satan and His Staff was a 1971 case filed before the United States district court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in which Gerald Mayo alleged that "Satan has on numerous occasions caused plaintiff misery and unwarranted threats, against the will of plaintiff, that Satan has placed deliberate obstacles in his path and has caused plaintiff's downfall" and had therefore "deprived him of his constitutional rights". This is prohibited under several sections of the United States Code. Mayo filed in forma pauperis—that is, he asserted that he would not be able to afford the costs associated with his lawsuit and that they therefore should be waived. The Court refused the request to proceed in forma pauperis because the plaintiff had not included instructions for how the U.S. Marshal could serve process on Satan.[1]

Fictional suitsEdit



See alsoEdit


  1. ^ United States ex rel. Gerald Mayo v. Satan and His Staff, 54 F.R.D. 282 (1971)
  2. ^ a b c Yablon, Charles (February 2000). "Suing the Devil: A Guide for Practitioners". Virginia Law Review. 86 (1): 103–115. doi:10.2307/1073956.
  3. ^ Toro, Gabe (April 12, 2012). "Review: 'Suing The Devil' A Genuine Career Low For Malcolm McDowell". Indiewire.