Saturday, September 30, 2023
Courthouse News Service
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Take That, California!

HOUSTON (CN) - A Texas federal judge has criticized lawsuits against unidentified John Does, calling it "a pernicious and silly practice that has crept to Texas from California."

Jason Perry filed a pro-se federal lawsuit against the city of Houston and unidentified John Doe defendants in December 2011. Perry said Houston violated his civil rights by not granting his company, Carlyle Ultra, a variance to waive parking requirements.

U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes dismissed Jason Perry's claims on Thursday.

"Perry may not sue for Carlyle Ultra, Inc.; it must sue for itself," Hughes wrote. "Perry chose to do business as a corporation. Corporations are separate beings under the law. They act on their own; their owners can only act for them by acting through them."

The manner with which Hughes dispatched Perry's claims against the John Doe defendants stood out in the one-page opinion.

"Suing an unidentified person as 'John Doe' is a pernicious and silly practice that has crept to Texas from California," Hughes said. "People are entitled to know when claims have been made against them. Suing an unknown number of unknown people is a meaningless gesture that must be ignored."

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