A federal inmate who has filed more than 3,800 lawsuits and targeted the famous, the infamous and even the long-dead is now being sued by federal officials who want him to knock it off.
Federal prosecutors who say they have had enough of the frivolous filings have filed a lawsuit of their own asking a judge to take unusual action to stop Jonathan Lee Riches.
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 thousands of court cases has filed up to four of his handwritten petitions a day in Kentucky courts alone.
The 33-year-old inmate at the federal prison in Lexington has sued New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, former President George W. Bush, then-Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and even Somali pirates. Sometimes, Riches asks for money, other times 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 celestial body formerly known as the planet Pluto and the Guinness Book of World Records.
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In the Guinness case, he wanted to prevent himself from being dubbed the most litigious man in America.
“These phrases (i.e. “Patrick Ewing of Suing,” ”Johnny Sue-nami,” etc …) hurt my feelings and violate my civil rights. I’ve filed so many law suits with my pen and right hand that I got arthritis in my fingers, numbness in my wrists, crooked fingers, I got bags under my eyes for sleepless nights suing the world,” Riches wrote in Riches v. the Guinness Book of Records.
Guinness spokeswoman Sara Wilcox said the book doesn’t monitor litigious people and has no records concerning Riches. Like many of his other legal claims, the lawsuit was dismissed.