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Attorney wants Dorgan suit thrown out

The North Dakota U.S. Attorney's Office says a Fargo man's lawsuit against Sen. Byron Dorgan lacks merit for multiple reasons and ought to be dismissed.

Byron Dorgan
Retired U.S. senator Accused of "negligence and discriminatory conduct"

The North Dakota U.S. Attorney's Office says a Fargo man's lawsuit against Sen. Byron Dorgan lacks merit for multiple reasons and ought to be dismissed.

In a lawsuit transferred to U.S. District Court in February, Gary A. Stibbe sought $1 million in damages from Dorgan for alleged "negligence and discriminatory conduct."

Stibbe alleged Dorgan failed to help him when he sought to receive his tax refund directly, rather than having the IRS intercept it in order to pay down Stibbe's government student-loan debt.

In a motion filed Friday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Shon Hastings argued the various failings she sees in Stibbe's lawsuit, such as:

  • Stibbe fails to cite specific evidence to back up his claims against Dorgan. Nonetheless, members of Congress cannot be sued simply for failing to meet constituents' requests.
  • In suing Dorgan as a federal official, Stibbe is actually suing the United States - which he can't do unless the government agrees to be sued.
  • Federal law dictates how federal employees can be sued, and Stibbe failed to file his grievances through the proper channels.

Dorgan retired from Congress in December after 30 years in office.
In February, he commented on the lawsuit, calling Stibbe "a nutcase."

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Stibbe is representing himself in the suit and has a lengthy history of initiating civil action.

North Dakota state court records show Stibbe as a party in nearly 70 civil cases, including several lawsuits against Cass County government.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kristen Daum at (701) 241-5541

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