Stop Appellate Sua Sponte Dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) sign now

On March 25, 2008, the Massachusetts Appeal Court voluntarily (sua sponte) dismissed Yong Lis discrimination lawsuit (151B) against her ex-employer Raytheon Company for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, despite the issue of failure to state a claim had never been raised by the parties. The Appeal Courts ruling can be subjected to appellate sua sponte dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6), and had never occurred in US history.

Originally, the Middlesex Superior Court allowed Raytheons motion to dismiss for a pending action in federal court. On appeal, the three judges-panel ruled that the Superior Court erred by dismissing the claims. However, the Appeal Court did not remand the case back to the low court. Instead, the Appeal Court sat as a low court judge and ruled sua sponte dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6), which is outrageous. The Appeal Courts sua sponte dismissal does not like a low-court sua sponte dismissal, because Yong Li lost an opportunity to go appeal court, and the further process in the Supreme Court will not be a matter of right. As a result, the Appeal Court deprived Yong Lis right to appeal and jeopardized her right to sue.

Appellate sua sponte dismissal, for any reasons, is very rare, and had never occurred in Massachusetts Appeal Court. The US Supreme Court merely affirmed appellate sua sponte dismissal for other reasons, e.g. timeliness etc. Further, even low-court sua sponte dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) is very rare, and the Massachusetts Appeal Court had no occasion to pass judgment before. The federal court allowed low-court sua sponte dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6), but only if the plaintiff had been proffered an opportunity to amend the complaint. In Yong Lis case, not only she was not allowed to amend the complaint, but also the sua sponte dismissal directly occurred in the upper court.

The Appeal Courts decision is inconsistent with the fundamental principal of due process and violated the parties Fourteenth Amendment rights. We demand that the appellate sua sponte dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) be reversed.

(see the case in http://livraytheon.blogspot.com/ )

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Emily ChangBy:
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