While charges against Julian Assange have been reinstated in Sweden — probably to the great surprise of his attorney who had opined that the interview with the prosecutors had gone “very well” and that he expected all charges to be dropped — Assange is also facing a lawsuit in the U.S. Unlike the Swedish charges, the civil suit in the U.S. does not appear to pose a significant threat.
The lawsuit, first mentioned in a story in the Wall Street Journal, names both Assange as founder of WikiLeaks.org and Wikipedia.org as defendants. It was filed by Jonathan Lee Riches, a prisoner in the Federal Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky and seems likely to be tossed by the court — just as the other more than 3,600 lawsuits Riches has filed in the federal courts since 2001. Not being familiar with Riches’ litigious history, the first hint I had that the complaint might be a non-starter is the statement of who the plaintiff is. Riches filed the suit as:
Jonathan Lee Riches d/b/a
Bernard Madoff, a/k/a
Reading the complaint, it seems somewhat evident why Riches is confined in a medical center. Among the allegations:
Julian Assange plans to hack into my experian credit report and steal my citibank card to to use at Wal-mart to get Just for Men black dye for his hair.
Okay, I have to admit that that one gave me a chuckle. I won’t repeat the rest of his allegations. You’ll just have to read the complaint for yourself.
One does wonder, though, at what point the courts will just say “enough” and prohibit him from filing such lawsuits. Since Riches filed his lawsuit against Assange last week, he has filed a number of other lawsuits, including one against Justin Bieber.