TAMPA —The Florida Bar on Tuesday asked the state Supreme Court to suspend a lawyer who asserts that others hurt and control her through a microchip illegally implanted in her brain.
The emergency petition contains a transcript of a May 16 hearing in U.S. District Court in Tampa, during which lawyer Janice L. Jennings, 55, voiced a belief that the opposing counsel in a case before the court had used the microchip to torture her.
She made similar accusations in a written court filing, and the two incidents gave rise to a Bar investigation.
"Those statements suggest a lack of stability on your part which may impact on your ability to competently represent your clients," Bar counsel Randi Klayman Lazarus wrote to Jennings on May 21.
Jennings' one-line response arrived three weeks later.
"I have found a product which neutralizes microchips," she wrote.
Lazarus later asked Jennings to contact Florida Lawyers Assistance to schedule a mental health evaluation. The organization assists lawyers who have mental health, substance abuse or aging issues. Instead, Jennings tried to educate Lazarus about microchips but eventually declined the evaluation.
"Further involuntary things feel invasive and harmful to me," she wrote. "I respectfully cannot do as you request."
Jennings was the subject of a June 16 article in the Tampa Bay Times, which showed evidence that she had been telling federal judges for more than a decade that she was the victim of mind control and torture, with no apparent effect on her license to practice law.
But the Bar is now asking the Supreme Court to suspend Jennings from practice, order a psychological evaluation within 30 days and order her to cease representing clients after 30 days, among other measures.
The petition, signed by Lazarus, states that without relief, "there is a substantial likelihood that (Jennings) will harm clients and other parties."
She was admitted to the Bar in 1985. She currently represents two clients in federal court with discrimination lawsuits against the Polk County Commission and a third client with a lawsuit against the School District of Putnam County.
Patty Ryan can be reached at (813) 226-3382 or firstname.lastname@example.org.