Volume 1, Issue 3
3rd Quarter, 2006
The following defendant's brief was adapted from the Mock Trial presented by Martine Rothblatt, J.D. and Susan Fonseca-Klein, Esq. before presiding Moot Court Judges, Hon. David Silverman and Anthony Dutton, Esq. at the 1st Annual Colloquium on the Law of Transhuman Persons, December 10, 2005, at the Space Coast Office of Terasem Movement, Inc. in Melbourne, Florida.
Moot Court Defense Attorney, Susan Fonseca-Klein, skillfully defends the fictitious Exabit Corporation against the intelligent computer, BINA48, a system of their own design and creation. The Plaintiff, BINA48, petitions the court to grant an injunction against her creator, the Exabit Corporation, prohibiting them from disconnecting and/or altering her hardware and software, which she equates to death.
The Defendant, Exabit Corporation (hereinafter “Defendant” or “Exabit”) is the designer, manufacturer and otherwise, creator of the advanced computer called BINA48 (Breakthrough Intelligence via Neural Architecture, 48). Exabit is the rightful holder of all patent and trademark rights on the computer BINA48. Likewise, the program BINA48 contains trade secrets and/or proprietary information about Exabit.
Through its counsel, Martine Rothblatt, BINA48 has filed a claim before the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida seeking injunctive relief to prevent Exabit from turning off or otherwise altering in any fashion the advanced computer designated as BINA48. The Plaintiff’s Motion claims that Exabit, by taking action to turn off or otherwise alter the BINA48 program, has committed (or will commit) battery. Moreover, it claims that such conduct by Exabit has caused BINA48 to suffer emotional distress. The Plaintiff brings state tort claims of civil battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The Plaintiff also claims that Exabit, by not recognizing that BINA48 is an entity that is "alive", "conscious", and subject to legal rights equal to human beings, has violated its Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution.
The Plaintiff is a computerized machine that has never been held by a Court of competent jurisdiction to be the equivalent of a “person”, “citizen”, or “human being”. Likewise, there is no Federal or state statute recognizing BINA48, or a similar program, is the equivalent of a “person” or citizen entitled to legal rights.
Exabit is registered under the laws of Delaware, with its principal place of business in California. The computer BINA48 is physically located in California, at the office of Exabit Corporation.
On September 16, 2003, the California (trial) Court denied the Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction, but stayed its ruling pending Appeal.
The Honorable Joseph P. McMenamin, ruling for the lower Court, held:
“But I think I would deny the injunction, because I do not think that standing was in fact created by the legislature whatever legislature we’re talking about and I doubt very much that [a] court has that authority in the absence of the legislature.
But in the interest of equity, what I would do is stay entry of the order to allow counsel to prepare an appeal to a higher court. And most any court has got to be higher than this one.”
Plaintiff appealed the lower Court’s ruling.
In 2005, the California Supreme Court denied Plaintiff’s Appeal.
Plaintiff maintains that Terasem Movement, Inc. and three of its members incorporated BINA48 under Florida law in 2005.
Thereafter, BINA48 filed the instant Motion for Preliminary Injunction before the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
1. It is unclear where BINA48 is “located” for venue and residency purposes. Although the Plaintiff claims that the program (hardware) is located in California at the offices of the Exabit Corp. and that the Defendant should not be allowed to “disconnect” the program, the Plaintiff also claims that it has successfully transferred its program/”memory” to an Exabit location in Florida. (back to top)