Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

"Quick Takes" Continued...

Issue: "On the rails," Oct. 9, 2010

Runaround suer

Some prisoners lift weights. Others read books or smuggle cigarettes. To pass the time of his federal prison sentence for wire fraud, Jonathan Lee Riches pens lawsuits. Now, after the Kentucky inmate has filed more than 3,800 lawsuits against defendants as diverse as George W. Bush, celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, and various Somali pirates-as well as non-human targets like the dwarf planet Pluto, Three Mile Island, and the Lincoln Memorial-some federal judicial officials are firing back. In an unusual move, federal prosecutors have sued Riches, demanding that a judiciary official screen his outgoing mail for frivolous lawsuits so as to reduce the strain he causes on courts across the United States. When, in 2009, Guinness World Records named him as holding the record for most lawsuits filed, Riches responded just as everyone expected: He sued Guinness.

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