Jonathan Lee Riches ©

and the Lawsuit Factory

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Captioned: “OUR young can never be well adjusted after this and they know it.”
This is what prisons-for-profit look like. It’s reprehensible, and this photo is quite tame. However, I don’t think the caption is necessarily true. People do make good after experiences like this, though it’s awfully, awfully hard. But the telling part of the caption is “and they know it.” That is the real problem—as if a person is inevitably ruined by the prison-industrial complex, without agency or potential. 
It’s the prison of the mind.
“The oppressed will always believe the worst about themselves.” ― Frantz Fanon


Captioned: “OUR young can never be well adjusted after this and they know it.”

This is what prisons-for-profit look like. It’s reprehensible, and this photo is quite tame. However, I don’t think the caption is necessarily true. People do make good after experiences like this, though it’s awfully, awfully hard. But the telling part of the caption is “and they know it.” That is the real problem—as if a person is inevitably ruined by the prison-industrial complex, without agency or potential. 

It’s the prison of the mind.

“The oppressed will always believe the worst about themselves.” 
― Frantz Fanon

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I am not condoning frivolous lawsuits by anyone, but think it’s remarkable that even Jonathan Lee Riches is on the right side of this contest.

Kevin Underhill of Lowering the Bar

DOY HICKEY, silly goose, of course he is. Listen dude, whatchoo think JLR files these lawsuits for? I mean, it’s always been about lambasting the justice system by creating hilar-o, redic claims. They make people laugh—which is the ideal outcome—or they make serious people turn purple and spew with frustration—an equally telling reaction. Whichever way, our own Mr. Sewyer Pantshoff turns the legal system on its ear, challenging conceptions of its social role and legitimacy by barraging it with lampoon suits. The tactic is almost Yippie-esque in that it uses humor and fun to prompt observers to reassess, almost unwittingly, the inadequacies of institutions that normally appear unassailable or ineffable. 

Besides, opposing frivilous lawsuits is a weak issue to hang one’s moral hat on: as if litigious citizens are the real problem with our legal system. This implies that it is ordinary folks’ greed and self-interest that pervert the course of justice in this country. This is an apologetic approach that obfuscates the core problem: the courts are manipulated and made ridiculous everyday by their obeisance to vested interests and monied individuals. Saying frivolous lawsuits are the problem is letting the real culprits off the hook. Courts in America prioritize the protection of property  and corporations over the protection of citizens almost as a rule. The problem isn’t with regular people having TOO MUCH of a voice in the legal system, but that they have TOO LITTLE weight on the tipped scales of justice.

So I ask, why not file frivolous lawsuits? Why not make a joke of a judicial system that makes a joke of itself everyday by disproportionately punishing the poor and  protecting the wealthy?

I think that Riches’ lawsuit factory—which, if you’ll remember, was founded in a federal prison that had to pay for his legal fees as a matter of prisoners’ constitutional rights—successfully renders absurd an already broken system by satirizing it. Hell, I say GO FOR IT. Litigate away. The more ordinary Americans are stomped on by the (in)justice system, the more ordinary Americans should fight back. Especially when, as with Riches’ suits, the only actual, tangible effect of the filings is that they cause people to laugh their faces off as they join JLR (C) on his super hilarious adventures through American pop culture. 

I liked this comment from one user, who encapsulates my own view of JLR’s work:

[T]he guy is clearly a performance artist. [A]nd pretty good at that.

What do you think? Write us and let us know! Our email (we being me [Lo/Sethro], Caitlin, and Jonathan Lee) is Or, you can message us here through the tumblr. Just weigh in; tell us what you think is happening with these suits, who you wish JLR would sue next, or just drop us a line to let us know you’re all right, up tight, and clean outta sight*. We won’t sue you for writing to us; we promise. But, we just MIGHT sue you if you don’t holler back. (OK, so full disclosure: I’ve never actually sued anyone. But I do know this one guy who’s, like, sued everyone in the whole world.)

*Stevie Wonder, Uptight (All Right)*

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Gino Romano Eats of the Oatmeal

The Oatmeal case gets even more bizarre. Enter “Gino Romano”, aka Jonathan Lee Riches

Believe it or not, we have a new contender for craziest character involved in the Oatmeal saga.

[If you’re unfamiliar with the Carreon vs. Inman (Oatmeal) case, it goes like this: cartoonist (Oatmeal) received a ridiculous letter threatening a defamation lawsuit, represented by Charles Carreon.  Carreon/FunnyJunk demanded $20,000 to settle.  The Oatmeal responded by asking his readers to raise $20,000 for the NWF and American Cancer Society, whereupon he would send a picture of the money and a drawing of FunnyJunk’s mother seducing a Kodiak bear.  Oatmeal readers raised over $220,000 in a week.  Carreon responded by suing Inman, the crowdsourcing platform he used to raise the money (Indiegogo), unnamed Does who allegedly impersonated Carreon on Twitter (Carreon has a registered servicemark in his name) and tried (unsuccessfully) to hack Carreon’s website by trying to reset the password.  The EFF has come to Inman’s defense.  You can read more about this twisted tale at Popehat.]

Jonathan Lee Riches

One of the most notorious vexatious litigants ever isJonathan Lee Riches, a former federal convict known for filing over 2,600 insane pro se lawsuits against everyone from Mark Cuban to George W. Bush.  My personal favorite was when he sued “Somalia pirates.”  Recently, he’s been masquerading as “Gino Romano”, and filed a case last month accusing Kim Kardashian of being the Hamburglar… or something.

Now he enters the Oatmeal saga, moving — twice!— to intervene as Plaintiff, first donning the mask of “Gino Romano” and then “Gino Romano Carreon”, from two different addresses, and claiming to be Charles Carreon’s “stranged” brother.  The reason he filed under “Gino Romano Carreon” in the second filing is likely because the day after his first filing, another judge enjoined him from filing under the “Gino Romano” alias.

Of course, none of what he says is remotely true – remember, he sued the Roman Empire, the Appalachian Trail, the Warsaw Pact, “Uniform Commercial Code, unknown authors of” (pay attention, sovereign citizens),, and former planet Pluto… in the same lawsuit – but the entertainment value on this one is up there.

Riches/Romano/”Carreon” claims, among other things, that he and Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal are “drinking buddies at AA meetings” and that Carreon plans to “gay marry” Riches in San “Fransico” before turning over the proceeds of the Carreon v. Inman suit to al-Qaeda.

Riches/Romano/”Carreon” claims in the first filing, in its entirety:

Comes now, Gino Romano, with newly discovered evidence, moves this Court to intervene in this litigation as a Plaintiff. I have juicy details related to this case. On 6/20/2012 Plaintiff Charles Carreon [threw] a cup of oatmeal in my face. I also have evidence taken on my I-Phone of Charles Carreon setting wild fires with matches in Colorado.  I’m Gino Romano and I have numerous A/K/A’s on the Internet but it does not take a Einstein to figure me out. Charles Carreon joined Al-Qaeda on 2/14/2012 then Zawari #2 told Carreon to file this bogus lawsuit against Inman, Me & Inman are drinking buddies at AA meetings and I’m starting a cult of crowdfuding lawsuits nationwide. Charles Carreon told me personally to file 10 different Kim Kardashian lawsuits in 10 different jurisdictions, and Carreon told me it does not matter that the courts ban me, because alls I have to do is file another suit with a friend/ associate/ cult follower in their name, I file lawsuits nationwide because Carreon forced me to, sometimes at gun point, others with a buck knife, Carreon told me he is going to be Jerry Sanduskys appeal lawyer. I also intervene in this case to inform the Court that Carreon will use the funds if awarded in this case and give to his friend George Zimmerman in Florida if this case is ruled in his favor, so we cant let this happen. Carreon also has been giving pro-se legal advice to North Korean troops, and Carreon also conspired with Jared Lee Loughner in Tucson by brain washing Loughner and providing defense stragedys ,and Carreon had a affair with Amanda Knox at the Italian Embassy Valentines Day 2005, on June 3, 2009 Carreon murdered Carradine in Thai, and took his Star of David . […] Carreon was named after Charles Manson I also personally saw Carreon shoplift at Staples in Tucson typing paper used to file this lawsuit. I seek a restraining order agaisnt Carreon just in case he counter sues me or defames my character in responding to my intervention by stating lies and unfacts about me, because he only assumes who I’m am, but really has no clue!

Respectfully, (6-20-12)

Gino Romano

143 Roebling St. Suite 5

Brooklyn, NY 11211

The second filing, in its entirety:

Comes now, Gino Romano Carreon, moves this honorable Court to intervene with newly discovered evidence under Rule 24.

My name is Gino Romano Carreon and I’m the estranged brother of Plaintiff Charles Carreon and I will like to present my testimony and would like to speak because Charles Carreon is out of control with his litigation and possessed to file frivolous lawsuits. Last month I was at Charles Carreon’s home in Tuscon ,and I went into his attack and found a frivolous lawsuit manuscript written by Charles Carreon & Jonathan Lee Riches, with a singed pact agree-ment between Riches & Charles to file frivolous lawsuits in courts just to garnish attention and for self promotion. Charles told me personally that everythign in this lawsuit is a lie, and he just made up all the allegations against Inman & the Defendants. I’m whistle blowing on my brother just like David did to his brother Ted Kaczynsky exposing & turning in Ted’s manuscript, I’m doing the same. My brother Charles & Jonathan Lee Riches plan to same sex marry on the steps of San Fransico, and once marry, they are going to go on a litigation jihad and file frivolous lawsuits, like this one. I will also confess now on record that I had a affair with Charlers Carreons wife Tara Lynn Carreon , where we were secretly exchanging intimate emails on and she had a affair with Charles Carreon with me at a Buddhist temple in Tibet. Charles Carreon knows this, thats why we are stranged , and thats how I found the manuscrpit because I was at his house packing out my belongings in his attack but I also found a letter Carreon addressed to his lover Riches that if he wins any damages in this lawsuit he is going to buy himself a hair piece and donate the rest to Al-Qaeda, which I cannot allow to happen, so I’m asking this Court to respectfully dismiss this case as a patriotic duty […] and for the fact that Carreon is a liar, and everyones time is being wasted here. I respectfully pray this Court will grant my motion for relief.

Respectfully, (6-22-12)

Gino Romano Carreon

1617 John F. Kennedy Blvd

Philadelphia, PA 19103

Like Riches’ other 2,600 filings, the Court isn’t going to let this one in, either, as Riches is a vexatious litigant and needs to hold a lawyer’s hand or get a court’s permission before he files anything. And it’s (barely) the most insane thing anyone’s attempted to file in this lawsuit.  He is right about one thing — everyone’s time is being wasted here.

Update: Kevin Underhill of Lowering the Bar weighs in:

I am not condoning frivolous lawsuits by anyone, but think it’s remarkable that even Jonathan Lee Riches is on the right side of this contest.


Update (July 2): Riches strikes again! This time, Riches impersonates Inman and files a separate lawsuit against Carreon in Arizona.  Ken at Popehat has the filing — which includes breast enhancement surgery, Denny’s and, er, more oatmeal — and, being a former Federal prosecutor, believes that Riches may have finally done himself in by impersonating an actual person, rather than using one of his usual pseudonyms.

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A family member got a ticket for driving while on cell phone, so I’m about to represent them in court and challenge it—I’m going to court with a white wig like its 1776.

Jonathan Lee Riches continues to be awesome.

The Dirty Protest? Ugh, that’s so 1980s. Over it.

The Hilarious Protest? Now, that’s where it’s at.

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VH1 Celebrity Coverage

Kim Kardashian, Arnold Schwarzenegger Blamed For Michael Jackson’s Death In Fever Dream Lawsuit

by Sabrina Rojas Weiss

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kim Kardashian, Michael Jackson and Macaulay Culkin

Have you ever spent all day reading gossip blogs and magazines and watching reality TV, only to fall asleep and dream that the likes of Kim Kardashian and Macaulay Culkin have leapt from the screen and into your life. And then when you wake up, you’re kind of left with this feeling that you might actually be friends with famous people. It’s especially good if this celebrity overload is because you’re home with a fever of some kind. No? Just us?

Anyway, this actual real-life lawsuit a friend of a friend brought to our attention today, filed Monday in the real-life United States District Court, Eastern District of California, reads exactlylike one of those fever dreams. The plaintiff is seeking restraining orders against Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kim Kardashian and Conrad Murray. Because, um, he saw Kim have sex with Murray at Michael Jackson‘s house, thus distracting the doctor and causing MJ’s death. “Macaulay Culkin was with me and is a witness.” Also, Governor Arnold was blackmailing Kardashian into having sex with him, and was punched by Barry Bonds because he’d been promised pardon in exchange for signed bats and a James Bond DVD. And Kim is pen pals withBernie Madoff. We could go on, but we feel the fever coming back. Read for yourself:

It’s not the sort of thing we can take seriously, of course, considering it was filed by Gino Romano, a.k.a. Jonathan Lee Riches who apparently holds the Guinness World Record as the World’s Most Litigious Man. In fact, he filed a suit in West Virginia last week accusing Kanye West and all of the Kardashians of being terrorists — he happened to stumble upon their Al-Qaeda training camp in the hills of West Virginia. Well, that’s not too surprising. After all, once you steal Kris Humphries credit card to pay for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s penis enlargement, it’s all downhill from there. Head here for a chronicling of Riches’ other amazing lawsuits.

[Photos: Getty Images]

Tags: Kim KardashianArnold ScwarzeneggerMacaulay CulkinMichael Jackson

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Oh Jonathan, you ol’ rapscallion! 

Jonathan’s lawsuits are finally getting way more media traction, what with allegations against Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, and now he’s jumped on the Sandusky scandal train. 

This video is perfection: The printed out injunction, the idea that Jonathan Bollinger is another victim, and the fact that this news team doesn’t even have the wherewithal to double check if Brooks Bollinger even has a cousin named Jonathan.

This news team is going to feel absolutely ridiculous once they realize they got got by JLR. 

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Kanye, Kim Kardashian Sued For Al Qaeda Ties

Kanye, Kim Kardashian Sued For Al Qaeda Ties

From our WTF News desk: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian have been sued for their alleged ties to Al-Qaeda.

"Alleged" is the operative adjective here, especially when discussing the plaintiff, one Jonathan Lee Riches. He’s the Guiness World Record holder as "The World’s Most Litigious Man," filing over 5,000 suits in the past eight years.

The reason behind this latest suit? All American citizens are in eminent danger of the defendants. Take it way, Mr. Riches: “On 6/17/2012 I was in West Virginia, deep in the hills and I stumbled upon the defendants who were all at a Al-Qaeda secret training camp.” He then went on to claim that Kanye and Kim pleaded their allegiance to Al-Qaeda, burned the U.S. flag and stomped their feet on Barack Obama’s picture, performed a concert for all Al-Qaeda members, and shot AK-47s in the air. Better hire your own lawyer, Kanye and Kim, ‘cause this case is airtight.

Though in all seriousness, what should Mr. Riches’s next suit be? We’re all in danger of Chris Brown and Drake’s respective crews? Coldplay’s plot to reanimate Lenin and Stalin? Getting haircuts like Skrillex? As always, Prefix’s WTF News desk waits with bated breath. 

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Riches makes some wild claims. He says he has “newly discovered evidence” supporting Kramer and Prager’s arguments, contending the city violated his constitutional rights and is “hiding important documents in a under water bubble capsul at the bottom of the lake which holds secret documents.

Lake Oswego Review

"Wild claims?" How can they say that when JLR clearly states that the evidence is "newly discovered?” HOW DO THEY KNOW HE’S NOT ON TO SOMETHING? What are they afraid of? Jason’s retribution? (Cause if so, that’s totally fair. He’s scary as fuck.)

And shouldn’t they at least search for the capsul before dismissing his claims out of hand? Have they hired divers? No. Irresponsible, that’s what it is.

Jingoism! Yellow Journalism! Humbuggery! 

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Serial suer jumps into lake access case

Jonathan Lee Riches known for prolific, bizarre court filings

The world’s most litigious man recently tried to sign on as an intervener in the federal lawsuit calling for public access to private Oswego Lake.

Jonathan Lee Riches made a motion in U.S. District Court to intervene in the suit filed last month by Lake Oswego resident Todd Prager, a local planning commissioner and city of Tigard arborist, and Portland attorney Mark Kramer. The two, both enthusiasts of recreation on the water, contend the city of Lake Oswego violated their constitutional rights by approving rules that prohibit lake entry from public parks.

The Lake Oswego Corporation, which has deeds to the lakebed, is not named in the lawsuit, but it’s possible Lake Corp. shareholders will intervene to protect their private property rights. Federal rules allow people to “intervene,” or join in, litigation when the case’s resolution could affect their rights or property interests. The city has not yet responded to the suit.

In his motion to join the case, Riches makes some wild claims. He says he has “newly discovered evidence” supporting Kramer and Prager’s arguments, contending the city violated his constitutional rights and is “hiding important documents in a under water bubble capsul at the bottom of the lake which holds secret documents.”

He names various celebrities and other widely known individuals, both real and fictional, including Kim Kardashian, Moses and Jason, the maniacal murderer in a hockey mask from “Friday the 13th.” Riches claims the lawsuit defendants – the city government, in other words – called on Jason to chase him around the lake with a steak knife and to cut out his voice box to keep him from “whistle blowing” on pollution.

His roughly 300-word motion, written entirely in capital letters, also contains references to waterboarding, skinny-dipping, the birther movement, Wiccan dancing, pagan rituals and goat masks.

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Riches, 35, was released from federal prison April 30 after serving time for wire fraud. He has filed thousands of federal lawsuits, many dismissed or otherwise discharged for various reasons, according to a search of federal court records. He once filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction to keep the Guinness Book of World Records from naming him as the most litigious person in history. Some of his more recent complaints are against Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lopez, Tim Duncan, Star Trek and DNA.

His motion to intervene in the Lake Oswego case was sent from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Judge Ancer Haggerty last week denied Riches’ motion, declaring it “frivolous.”

[Frivolous?! What! That is scurrilous and unfounded.]

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Jonathan Lee Riches in email

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JLR’s Kim Kardashian suit


**My good friend who was the PA for a prominent industrial-rock musician met Kevin Costner at a Neil Young house party and learned that Costner is, in fact, a wake-and-baking, boom-nail addicted, fully-dedicated pot head. Makes sense now, doesn’t it—his acting, his persona, his whole self? Word.

(via uyd4l)