Litigious inmate sues publishers

South Carolina prisoner claims publishers' games promote hatred, violence, and racism behind bars.

Typically, lawsuits against game publishers are dense tomes, thick with legalese and reading like a team of lawyers has systematically drained every ounce of personality from the writing. Not so with the latest lawsuits to come out against Activision, Atari, and Take-Two Interactive.

Filed over the last few months by an inmate in South Carolina's Federal Correctional Institution Williamsburg, the handwritten suits seek restraining orders against the publishers. The Federal Bureau of Prisons and FCI Williamsburg are also listed as defendants in the Activision and Take-Two Interactive suits, respectively.

"These video games offends [sic] me and contributed to my identity theft," reads the Activision suit. "These video games promotes [sic] violence and hate and racism in prison. I'm personally offended and scared of my sentence. I'm going to die in prison. I seek a restraining order."

In the Take-Two suit, the inmate claims that he faces "imminent danger from violent inmates who played Grand Theft Auto who will knock me out and take my gold Jesus cross." As for Atari, the prisoner says that the company's games contain sexually explicit material. He also states that he is denied access to games while incarcerated, which amounts to discrimination.

The inmate, Jonathan Lee Riches, has already filed more than 1,500 lawsuits this year against a wide-ranging array of defendants including Washington Capitals left winger Alexander Ovechkin, Alone in the Dark star Christian Slater, St. Patrick's Day, the 9-11 Commission Report, and Star Wars. He is perhaps best known for suing former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick for $63 billion after Vick's illegal dog fighting operation was uncovered.

As of press time, none of the publishers had responded to requests for comment. In the interest of disclosure, it is also worth noting that Riches has sued GameSpot parent company CNET Networks, alleging that the organization has been spying on his "legal work" through the computers at FCI Wiliamsburg.

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Discussion

110 comments
android_M
android_M

i just looked this guy up online and yeah he's crazy.......

E_J_S
E_J_S

Someday he'll sue himself as well. You never know.

elvato87
elvato87

"The inmate, Jonathan Lee Riches, has already filed more than 1,500 lawsuits this year" ROFL, looks like filling lawsuits is a good thing to do to kill time in prison

nate1222
nate1222

Why is the legal system even entertaining this moron? And GS needs to find more interesting stuff to write about. I read this expecting something relevant. All I got was CNN 'pres-pimary' style hooplah!

dechristo
dechristo

I've heard of this guy before he even sued Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt for the abduction of Madeline Macann

Warghost2k
Warghost2k

To hannify: Yes, people have actually sued fast food restaurants for "making them fat". This is why selective breeding programs sound promising at times.

Warghost2k
Warghost2k

Is there really a good reason why this idiot is allowed to communicate with the outside world? Some may claim freedom of speech, but I think that if someone can be Baker Acted against their will, then someone needs to take this fool's crayons away.

jimbo102671
jimbo102671

This suit makes all the patent litigation shown on GS seem intelligent in comparison. (Given how some of the more recent ones have been progressing [*cough* Gibson *cough*], that's not saying too much.) GS article above: "The inmate, Jonathan Lee Riches, has already filed more than 1,500 lawsuits this year against a wide-ranging array of defendants including Washington Capitals left winger Alexander Ovechkin, Alone in the Dark star Christian Slater, St. Patrick's Day, the 9-11 Commission Report, and Star Wars. He is perhaps best known for suing former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick for $63 billion after Vick's illegal dog fighting operation was uncovered." Over 1,500 for 2K8 and we're not even done with April? All right, this is just abuse of the litigation system. Someone needs to stand up to this guy and say "Enough is enough!"

sololupine2002
sololupine2002

"He also states that he is denied access to games while incarcerated, which amounts to discrimination. " So he's suing because games are making his life hell in prison as it makes the other cons violent towards him. Also he is suing because they have taken his games away? lmfao and this is being taken seriously by the USA law system?

osxgp
osxgp

Wow. My tax dollars hard at work.

ketsuatama
ketsuatama

He appears to be quite representative of his fellow "lawyers" who are not incarcerated!

Blackstaff
Blackstaff

This makes me laugh... very hard

Died_Again
Died_Again

It's nice to know that someone is making use of the prison library ;) I certainly hope the prison has equally adequate mental health facilities.

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

playing the numbers game i see. one of his lawsuits will to give him some kind of money...this is the downside to the u.s....bums still trying to hustle the system

nappan
nappan

Oh man, you have to love jailouse lawyers. The poor felonious pricks don't even have the vote anymore but any suit they can scrawl on a piece of toilet tissue will do. 1,500 suits... too bad this isn't the UK, where he'd have to pay the court costs as the constant loser.

stakex007
stakex007

The really funny part is hes sueing because he claims the games have made his fellow inmates more violent... but yet, hes also sueing because hes not allowed to have them in jail. Well if his first point is true (which is not... prisons have been very dangerous and violent for hundreds of years) then he should be happy he can't get the games in jail. The simple fact hes filed 1500 suits this year just shows hes a nutjob. Id be really suprised if he wasn't in a psych ward.

gonzalezj1
gonzalezj1

Finally! A lawsuit that makes sense!

grayoldwolf
grayoldwolf

I really think he is trying to get moved to a mental health facility. For those of you that think this is funny, and happen to pay taxes in the US, consider this: Our tax money is being used to deal with this guy's frivolous filing of lawsuits. Someone is paid to read this garbage and respond to it. We pay that person. I think it's time somebody stopped him from wasting the time of legal workers, who, let's face it, have better stuff to be doing.

leke
leke

lol! He needs some medical help ASAP.

Destroyeron13
Destroyeron13

I think its time this man is moved to a mental institution.

Starbound571
Starbound571

... Yeah... Someone's got WAAAAAY too much time on their hands if they've filed 1,500 lawsuits in one year. And it's probably been mentioned already, but... Restraining order against a game company?! How the heck is that enforced... This is either a bad joke by GameSpot or this guy is seriously demented. I've heard of so many people complaining about GTA ever since it found itself in the limelight, but this is the first I've ever heard THIS. And uhm, CNET Networks spying on his legal work? Right... I'm sure them printing an article about him (As seen here in this news post) is spying on his "legal work". If he's so concerned about privacy and identity theft, maybe he shouldn't advertise himself out there with this useless trash, what does he expect the media is going to do? If he was looking for attention, he got it. But I wonder how well it will serve him in the future should another issue arise again.

spunkymulvagh
spunkymulvagh

He also states that he is denied access to games while incarcerated, which amounts to discrimination. Ha Can't play Video games wile in Jail thats Funny. Jail is not supposed to be "fun" ah well

DeltaSpirit
DeltaSpirit

"inmates who played Grand Theft Auto who will knock me out and take my gold Jesus cross" Ah yeah i remember that mission it's right before you jack a truck hauling holy water right? XD suing Alexander Ovechkin, St. Patrick's Day this guy really hates everyone, everything or maybe he's just really crazy.

Bart247
Bart247

...Keep him in jail. He's still crazy.

dicerolla
dicerolla

He should get sued for wasting everyone's time.

peacenutman
peacenutman

Way to blame their wrongdoing on gaming industry. Now this just fuel more prejudice against gaming.

rbenns2
rbenns2

This sounds funny, but it's not so funny when the companies have to shell out thousands of dollars to fight it. The lawyers are laughing too - all the way to the bank.

Taegre
Taegre

Watch out. If his gold cross gets stolen, he might sue Jesus for it!

cgoliver
cgoliver

This one of the funniest stories I've read on GameSpot! Awesome! I love it! Keep going, dude! There's gotta be someone out there that you haven't sued!

WholeDarnShow
WholeDarnShow

Does this really fall under 'public interest' or video games?

vegeta7482
vegeta7482

I love how he states that these video games caused him to be in there, yet also wants to file discrimination for not being allowed to play the things that corrupted him in the first place.

duhNeighbour
duhNeighbour

The US need to redefine "insanity" in the legal system. There are serial killers who plaid "insanity" just to escape death penalty, while others do craps like that that queues up more important cases unecessarily.

KAISERKONG
KAISERKONG

The courts should prosecute him for filing so many frivilous lawsuits and charge him with contempt for every one that is unfounded. Add another month to his sentence for every unfounded filing...let's see how long he wants to stay inside!

Coheeds_Avatar
Coheeds_Avatar

Maybe this guys at the wrong facility...coughmentalhospitalcough.

Fanible
Fanible

So in other words, he's just out to make money any way he can while he serves his sentence? After filing SO MANY lawsuits against everything under the sun, I can't see how any judge could take him seriously to actually grant his cases validity.

Johann_Lieberg
Johann_Lieberg

Infinity ward should sue his arse for mentioning the gold jesus cross :)

iShaidarHaran
iShaidarHaran

with all those lawsuits, this sounds like one of those cases where its cheaper to execute than pay for the full life term...

Pieguy1111
Pieguy1111

This guy probably wasted time doing this because he had nothing else to do...

JoeF
JoeF

Foil hats make brain hot.

Jungul
Jungul

This guy gets my Awesome of the Day award.

Gamakarmica
Gamakarmica

Wait a second...wasn't this one of the entrants for The Hotspot's "Make A Lawsuit" contest? If so, this one is the winner by leaps and bounds. lol

cckcmain
cckcmain

"These video games offends [sic] me and contributed to my identity theft," Me too! After playing Identity Theft 3, I can't count how many identities I have stolen from people. :( I hope when I go to prison those GTA players don't take MY Jesus cross away.