Federal prisoner Jonathan Lee Riches, whose “$63,000,000,000.00 Billion dollar” lawsuit against Michael Vick was discussed in these pages last month, has a new celebrity athlete in his sights. From a tipster:
Got to think you’ve seen this by now: the guy suing Michael Vick for a bazillion dollars or whatever it is now realizes that the real culprit is Barry Bonds. See here.
Question: Where can we file amicus briefs on these?
Riches, who is doing a decade in prison for fraud, is at it again, this time filing a loony — though quite funny — complaint again Barry Bonds, baseball commissioner Bud Selig, and Hank Aaron’s bat.
In his lawsuit, Riches weaves an intricate conspiracy theory involving television ratings, steroids, the cracking of the Liberty Bell, Colombian narco-terrorists, and secretly recorded conversations for which journalists Robert Novak and Judith Miller have transcripts.
Sounds like the plot to Syriana or Babel. Might Riches — a/k/a “Secured Party” d/b/a “The White Suge Knight” — have a future as a Hollywood screenwriter?
As it turns out, Jonathan Lee Riches is an old hand at crazy lawsuits — a veritable pro at proceeding pro se. More after the jump.
More from TSG:
Riches’s August 13 lawsuit, which he filed in U.S. District Court in Indiana, is the 17th federal complaint he has filed since January 2006. Imprisoned in South Carolina, Riches has filed his lawsuits in 15 separate federal jurisdictions, presumably moving state-to-state to avoid sanctions over the filing of frivolous actions.
Back in 2006, the Philadelphia City Paper has this to say about one of these many lawsuits:
We don’t know much about Jonathan Lee Riches. According to a 2004 Houston Chronicle article, the current resident of the Federal Correctional Institution Williamsburg in Salters, S.C., pleaded guilty to his involvement in an identity theft/credit card fraud ring.
But we do know this: The guy’s a comic genius. Dude penned perhaps the most engrossing and amusing legal document ever. Faint praise? You be the judge (download full PDF).
On March 9, Riches filed a prisoner civil rights suit (2:06-cv-01055-LP) in Philadelphia’s U.S. District Court complete with a 57-page defendant list crammed with luminaries both living (President Bush, Grace Jones) and dead (George Orwell, Malcolm X), as well as nonentities like the Magna Carta, www.accuweather.com and Skittles candy (see list below). It’s a magnificent, flowing piece of free-association blame-core.
A source at the court tells us that this sort of filing comes along every once in a while and that it’s likely it will be thrown out long before it goes to trial.
We wonder, though, whether someday one of Jonathan Lee Riches’s lawsuits might actually hit paydirt. They say that if you have a gazillion monkeys pounding away on typewriters, someday one of them will type out a Shakespeare play.
Might this Embarrassment of Riches one day yield up a cognizable legal claim?
Bonds Sold Steroids To Nuns [The Smoking Gun]
Trial of the Century [Philadelphia City Paper]
Riches v. James [Justia]