The Virginia Prisoner Who Sued Himself For $5 Million

Grace Higgins | December 1st, 2020

You would have to look hard and long to find a stranger case than the Virginia prisoner Robert L. Brock, who sued himself. In 1995, the prisoner in the Indian Creek Correctional Center in Chesapeake, Virginia was serving a 23-year sentence for grand larceny. Along with breaking and entering. Of course, prisoners are often in the history books for strange litigious acts. But, Brock has earned himself a special place in the legends of notorious litigation by prisoners.

At the time, Brock was extremely unhappy with the conditions at the Virginia prison. He decided that the way he would leave the prison would be to open a $5 million lawsuit against himself. This way he would spend more time in court than at the prison. His lawsuit claimed he was drunk when committed the crimes, and as a result, violated his religious beliefs. He even went so far as to claim that he violated his own civil rights by getting arrested. But it gets better.

In his handwritten 7 page plea, Brock outlines that he would like to pay himself a 5 million dollar settlement fee. Which he filed in federal court, he stated that he was drunk at the time of his arrest, and that’s why he was seeking damages against himself. However, this is the clever part, Brock argued that given he was under the ward of the state. Virginia state should pay the $5 million on his behalf because he could not work during his time in prison and had no funds. Don’t worry though, he promised to pay the money back once he was out of prison.

As you could imagine, the judge did not find this lawsuit very funny. She did state that though the lawsuit was following an innovative approach, it was completely frivolous. As a result, the judge threw the lawsuit out of the court and said that his demands were ludicrous.

Brock continued his legal attacks, with each plea becoming more and more ludicrous. It seems Brock likes to spend time writing them up. It continued until 1997 when the United States Court of Appeals attempted to impose sanctions upon Brock for time-wasting. Still, his bizarre lawsuit went down in history and reached the Time Magazine’s list of Top 10 Outrageous Legal Battles.

Next Article
  • Kolkata to London Used To Be The World’s Longest Bus Route

    Back in the 1960s, there used to be a bus running from Kolkata, known as Calcutta back then, all the way to London. That means it drove from India to the United Kingdom. It was a trip known as Albert Tours, as the double-decker bus was colloquially referred to as Albert. It was for a...

    Read More
  • Record For Longest Survived Elevator Fall

    If you have ever thought you were having a bad day, just think about poor Betty Lou Oliver who cheated death twice on the same day. It would probably have to be one of the worst days at work ever. Though silver lining she did earn a world record: longest survived elevator fall. It started...

    Read More
  • The Infamous Shark Arm Case in Australia

    In 1935, the infamous case of the shark arm started when a tiger shark in captivity vomited up a human arm. The tiger shark was in the Coogee Aquarium Baths on public display. After just a week it became very ill and vomited in front of a crowd. What came out was the forearm of...

    Read More
  • The Only Man In History To Turn Down A Nobel Peace Prize

    Le Duc Tho was a very tough and nonsense negotiator to resolve world conflicts. Notably, the Vietnamese chief negotiator was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1973 for his part in the Paris Peace Accords. This was a joint award with his American counterpart Henry Kissinger. However, only Kissinger accepted the award. This made Le Duc...

    Read More
  • The Lost Notebook Of Ramanujan

    Ramanujan is regarded as one of the greatest mathematicians to ever live. He grew up in a poor Brahmin family in India, with very limited access to any form of education. At the age of 15, he was lucky to receive a copy of Carr’s Synopsis of Pure Mathematics. Apparently, this book set him on...

    Read More
  • The Crazy Story Of The Women In The Mercury 13 Program

    During the 1960s at the height of the Cold War and the space race, 13 women went through grueling NASA tests. It was a set of tests to prove they could go on to become astronauts, but none of the women ever made it to space. In fact, the program’s eventual shutdown changed the whole...

    Read More
  • The Legend Of The Sleeping Barbarossa Emperor

    Emperor Frederick I. also known as Barbarossa was an Emperor of modern-day Germany. He became a symbol of stability and national unity, even years after his death. Because the country fell into war and civil war, the people longed for the peace that had existed with Barbarossa’s rule. The legend started because his body was...

    Read More