Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Lawsuit Zeus Zapped!
"A federal inmate [ . . . ] has filed more than 3,800 lawsuits, targeting the famous, the not-so-famous and even the long-dead, [and] is now being sued by federal officials who want him to [stop.]
Federal prosecutors [ . . . ] have had enough of the frivolous filings, have filed a lawsuit of their own asking a judge to stop Jonathan Lee Riches (pic, left). Since 2006, Riches has filed lawsuits in nearly every jurisdiction in the country, court documents show. The inmate who dubbed himself 'Lawsuit Zeus' in one of his suits has filed as many as four handwritten petitions a day in Kentucky courts.
The 33-year-old inmate at the federal prison in Lexington has sued New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, former President George W. Bush, former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and even Somali pirates. Sometimes, Riches asks for money; other times, he seeks an injunction to stop alleged, if physically impossible, activity. Among Riches' targets have been Adolf Hitler's National Socialist Party, the ancient philosopher Plato, the former planet Pluto and Guinness World Records.
In the Guinness case, he wanted to avoid being dubbed the most litigious man in America. Guinness spokeswoman Sara Wilcox said the book doesn't monitor litigious people. Like many of his other legal claims, the lawsuit was dismissed.
The U.S. attorney's office in Lexington calls Riches' lawsuits 'a waste of judicial resources.'"
Frivolous lawsuits may seem amusing, but they in reality the suits gum up the system and are troubling for innocent targets of the litigators.
I previously related on Bad Lawyer, my experience in representing two innocent neighbors of a mentally disturbed woman who sued my clients for shooting "gamma rays" into her house via hidden electronics resulting in damages that included "peeling house paint." This experience was incredibly painful for the defendants who had to hire an attorney and go to court. As I also pointed out, previously, you ignore frivolous lawsuits at your peril . . . courts will grant default judgment with little or no scrutiny of the merits of frivolous claims.
I do think sopme ambulance chaser somewhere is cursing himself this AM for not calling himself "lawsuit zeus" before this guy adopted the moniker.