An attorney in federal court in Manhattan brought a “brilliant” and successful Rule 81(b) motion that ultimately led to dismissal of a writ brought against her client, according to the order released by the presiding judge in the case. Rule 81(b), which abolished the writ of scire facias, has rarely been used in federal court. But Alyssa R. Ryan, the repondent’s attorney, brought a motion to dismiss under Rule 81(b), claiming that the petitioner in the case was “trying to get relief by scire facias, which is a farce on a number of levels.”
The judge in the case issued his order shortly after reviewing the parties’ submissions, deeming Ryan’s argument “brilliant, both in its depth and in its innovative use of Rule 81(b).” Ryan’s brief, in fact, provided a thorough history of the writ of scire facias, quoting extensively from Wikipedia and stating that the English Parliament created the writ in “1285 during the 13th year of the reign of Edward I . . . in the Second Statute of Westminster. 1 Statutes of England, p.10.”
The petitioner’s attorney could not be reached for comment but is said to be “devastated” by the ruling and was surprised to hear that scire facias had been abolished.