UNITED STATES BASKETBALL COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS
JOSHUA R. KRATKA, in his Official Capacity as
Commissioner of Thursday Morning Hoops, JIM
“The Shot” AMSPACHER, RICHARD H., ADIA B.,
and THOMAS “Flash” F.,
Plaintiffs, Civil No. 5-ON-5
“Iron” MIKE CHRISTIE, “Gunner” GREG HERR,
ERIC B., NATHAN P., PHINEAS B., “Dunkin’”
DAVID D., MICHAEL R., and CASSANDRA S.,
SARAH “Ice” BERGMAN, JOSEPH “Big” MANN,
JENNIFER B., SYLVIA B., PAUL S., DAVID R., COMPLAINT
EVAN G., “Jumpin’” JANINE P., JOHANNA N.
a.k.a. “Johanna the Janitor ‘Cuz She Cleans the Glass,”
and NOEL R.,
NATURE OF THE CASE
1. This is a suit to enforce certain family support obligations.*
2. The individual and collective failures of the above-captioned Defendants and Unindicted Co-Conspirators to live up to the obligations of camaraderie, fraternity, and weak-side help defense imposed upon them by full-court, five-on-five, pickup basketball has caused direct and proximate injury to the above-captioned Plaintiffs. They now sue for relief.
*In basketball, “team” equals “family.”
3. Thursday Morning Hoops** is a joint enterprise consisting of running and sweating while shooting, rebounding, chasing, and, in some cases, passing a basketball at the Central Square YMCA (hereafter, “the Y”). Certain members of the joint enterprise also engage in jumping. In addition, the Commissioner of Thursday Morning Hoops is authorized to employ various forms of “trash-talking.”
4. Plaintiffs are natural persons who dutifully, willingly, and joyously perform the duties of pickup basketball players each and every Wednesday morning as members of Thursday Morning Hoops. They perform these duties individually and, more importantly, collectively. They most recently performed these duties on May 16, 2007.
5. Defendants are natural persons who, through their more or less regular participation, are also members of Thursday Morning Hoops. One hesitates to characterize them as “active” members. Defendants did not participate in Thursday Morning Hoops on May 16, 2007.
6. Unindicted Co-Conspirators are natural persons who, either by “talking a good game” or appearing naturally athletic, have enticed Plaintiffs into believing that they, too, are members of Thursday Morning Hoops. The Unindicted Co-Conspirators did not participate in Thursday Morning Hoops on May 16, 2007.
** Thursday Morning Hoops, also doing business as “MASSPIRG Basketball,” is, for historical reasons not relevant here, a trademark of Wednesday Morning Hoops.
7. The failure of Defendants and Unindicted Co-Conspirators to appear at the Y on May 16, 2007, caused Plaintiffs to play “2-on-3” basketball.
8. “2-on-3” is widely agreed to be the single worst form of basketball. While affording full opportunity for injury, it affords few, if any, of the benefits of “real” basketball, including but not limited to: fair competition between balanced teams, full-court exercise, and development of team concepts of offense and defense.***
9. Defendants’ and Unindicted Co-Conspirators’ “failure to show” on May 16 thus proximately caused both emotional and competitive harm to Plaintiffs.
***Plaintiff Kratka expressly reserves the right to file a cross-claim for defensive indifference against Plaintiff and fellow “shirt” Thomas “Flash” F. arising out of the transactions and occurrences of said May 16.
10. Plaintiffs incorporate paragraphs 1 through 9 as if set forth herein in full.
11. In general, Defendants’ and Unindicted Co-Conspirators’ sporadic attendance and unfulfilled promises to play, whether or not “well-intentioned,”**** have inflicted emotional distress on Plaintiffs.
12. “Occasional attendance” and “heartfelt promises” are considered aggravating factors under the Basketball Code, because they increase hope among the law-abiding and therefore magnify the inevitable disappointment, and must be taken into account when assessing individual penalties and fashioning injunctive relief.
13. Although “moved to the West Coast” and “I sprained my ankle” may be considered mitigating factors when assessing penalties and fashioning injunctive relief, they are precluded from being used as defenses to liability, under the common-law doctrine of “once in, always in.”
****See Hell, The Path To, 33 U.S. Bask. Code Ann. § 666(c).
RELIEF REQUESTED AS TO COUNTS I AND II, INCLUSIVE
Plaintiffs request that this honorable Basketball Court grant the following relief:
1. Declare Defendants and Unindicted Co-Conspirators to have abdicated, and to be in continuing dereliction of, the duties and obligations imposed upon them by Thursday Morning Hoops;
2. Issue an injunction ordering Defendants to fulfill such duties and obligations forthwith;
3. Order Unindicted Co-Conspirators to “shit or get off the pot”;
4. Order Defendants to pay civil penalties for each failure of support occurring on and after September 1, 2006, in an appropriate amount;
5. Order Defendants to pay reasonable court fees and costs (including remedial instruction fees);
6. Provide such other and further relief as may be just and proper.
Dated: May 16, 2007 Plaintiffs, by their Commissioner:
Joshua R. Kratka
National Basketball Law Center
44 Winter Street, 4th Floor
Boston, Massachusetts 02108