Alleged Owner of the Universe Sues
Weird and outrageous lawsuits are certainly nothing new. However, sometimes a suit is truly out of this world, pun entirely intended. Let’s look at the case of Canadian man Sylvio Langevin, who alleged in 2012 that he is the owner of the planet earth. However, it’s not just our home planet (that he so graciously allows us to inhabit) that he owns. You see, he’s claimed to own the rest of the planets, as well as four of Jupiter’s moons. He also owns the vast space between these locales.
He said that he wanted to collect planets just like other Canadians collect hockey trading cards. He believed that by owning the solar system, he could then thwart China from creating bases and outposts in space. As you can see, the United States certainly doesn’t have a monopoly on weird lawsuits.
The Judge Doesn’t Allow It
In a move that surprised absolutely no one, the judge dismissed the case. He also called Langvein a quarrelsome litigant, stating that his actions were not only paranoid, but they were also an abuse of the legal system.
He says the idea came to him “at 6:30 in the evening on July 1, 2012. He said that he had some time on his hands and decided to look up some words in the dictionary, as you do, and two words jumped out at him – planet and earth. Apparently, the next logical step would be to claim ownership and try to make it “legal”.
When you start to delve into this litigant’s history, you can see that the judge wasn’t just obeying the rules from outer space, or perhaps Chinese, overlords. No, you see, Langvein had already filed 44 other different lawsuits in Canada in the previous 12 years. Four of those were motions to the Supreme Court.
One of the legal proceedings was to stop “persons acting on the authority of the Queen who have set upon him six psychologists all trying to have him declared insane”. He also claims that he discovered a coup d’état in the Canadian government.
Not the Only Case
While it might seem outrageous to sue over owning the planets and space, this is certainly not the first case. It seems that every few years or so, someone gets the idea into their head that they can own planets or the solar system or even the entire universe. A. Dean Lindsey filed for ownership of all the planets and items in space, and that they would be called A.D. Lindsey’s Archipelago in 1936. In 1949, a man named James Thomas Mangan founded the “Nation of Celestial Space”, which said that it owned everything in outer space, and he even requested official recognition from countries around the world, and he applied for U.N. membership. The list goes on.
So far, no judges or authorities have allowed people to claim planets, or the space between, as their own property, and that’s probably not going to change. Of course, you can be sure that people will still try to sue over the matter.