I have no details yet, but this report indicates that a very dramatic lawsuit was filed Wednesday in San Francisco Superior Court:
|Complaint for quiet title and wrongful death. The plaintiff challenges the Treaty of September 9, 1850, signed by Zorro Diego de la Vega, her grandfather, with whom she spent the summer of 1956 along with Vladimir Putin.|
Like I say, no details yet, but there appear to be a few problems with this lawsuit just based on that description.
- First, the only “Treaty of September 9, 1850” that I can find is the Robinson-Huron Treaty, which is the reason that Native Americans don’t own the land north of Lake Huron. But other facts, discussed below, make this unlikely to be the relevant agreement.
- According to the Texas State Historical Association, that was also the date that the Texas-New Mexico Boundary Act was passed, as part of the Compromise of 1850 that apparently averted a fight between Texas militia and federal troops over that border dispute. (And you thought you’d never learn anything useful by reading this blog.) It’s also the date that California was admitted to the Union. Neither of these events involved “treaties,” but they are possible candidates.
- That’s because plaintiff’s reference to “Zorro Diego de la Vega” appears to refer to Don Diego de la Vega, who of course was (secretly) Zorro. To my knowledge, Zorro did not work the area around Lake Huron, which is why I think Texas and/or California are more likely.
- One problem, though, with plaintiff’s claim that she is the granddaughter of Zorro/de la Vega is that he was fictional, and not even created until 1919. Both of these facts make it unlikely that Don Diego de la Vega signed any treaty in 1850, in costume or otherwise.
- Plaintiff also appears to claim that she spent the summer of 1956 with her grandfather. Had he been real, this would not have been completely impossible, although assuming you have to be 18 to sign a treaty, he would have been 124 years old at the time, longer than any other human is known to have lived.
- It’s unclear whether plaintiff claims that she spent the summer of 1956 with Vladimir Putin or that he signed the treaty “along with” her grandfather. (This is an example of how a comma can make all the difference in interpretation). Putin could not have signed anything in 1850 because he was not born until October 1952. But, again, it is not completely impossible that plaintiff spent the summer of 1956 with Vladimir Putin, although it does seem unlikely.
Therefore, construing plaintiff’s allegations as favorably as I can, she appears to claim that she has standing to enforce a non-existent boundary-dispute treaty signed 157 years ago by her fictional grandfather, who advised her of the possible claim during a glorious summer she spent in the mid-50s with the then-124-year-old Zorro and a three-year-old Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, later to become the leader of post-Soviet Russia.
Sadly, it looks like (even if plaintiff resolves the problems above) this lawsuit would be barred by the statute of limitations. But stay tuned.