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1. Jonathan Lee Riches' Craziness (IV)
Highest Court D. South Carolina
Year Ended 2008
Plaintiffs Riches, Jonathan Lee
Defendants Assorted Celebrities
Newton-John, Olivia
Travolta, John
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description Plaintiff is Jonathan Lee Riches, a well-known Plaintiff, incarcerated for mail fraud, who has sued numerous celebrities for ridiculous reasons and has even received a decent amount of media attention. Here, as always, his rambling complaints were dismissed. - LSW


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2. Jonathan Lee Riches' Craziness (V)
Highest Court D. South Carolina
Year Ended 2008
Plaintiffs Riches, Jonathan Lee
Defendants Artist(s)
Assorted Celebrities
Other Pussycat Dolls
Short Description Plaintiff is, once again, Jonathan Lee Riches, infamous incarcerated litigant, who sued Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls, along with Somali Pirates, a professional football coach, food network star, and others, alleging they violated his Civil Rights according to U.S. Section 1983. Among Plaintiff's allegations are that Scherzinger built the prison and sings into the vents, that Coldplay made his pillow, that he is forced to eat pork, and others. Obviously, dismissed. - LSW


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3. Crazy Plaintiff: "Spears Defamed Meeee!"
Highest Court D. Oregon
Year Ended 2008
Plaintiffs Mentally Unstable Individual(s)
Defendants ABC, Inc.
Assorted Celebrities
Daniels, Charlie
Film Producer(s)
Spears, Britney
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description Plaintiff, apparently insane, sued Britney Spears for defaming him in her song lyrics, and also sued Charlie Daniels and the Scooby Doo movie for similar reasons. While it is perhaps, somehow, remotely possible Plaintiff was actually singled out by Defendants, the court, obviously, dismissed the complaint. Most interestingly, the court used four entire pages to render its decision. That was nice of them. - LSW


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4. Insane Plaintiff: "Britney Defamed Me!"
Highest Court D. Oregon
Year Ended 2008
Plaintiffs Individual(s)
Defendants ABC, Inc.
Daniels, Charlie
Spears, Britney
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description Plaintiff, an insane man named Michael Ferdik, sued the television network ABC, Inc. for allegedly defaming him in numerous songs, movies, and television shows. Amongst his zany allegations was the assertion that Britney Spears had included the lyric "I can see it in your eyes Little Ferdik" in one of her songs. Plaintiff also alleged that ABC, a non-governmental entity acting in a purely private manner, violated his civil rights under the First, Eighth, and Fourteenth amendments. Not surprisingly, the court dismissed Ferdik's civil rights and defamation claims with prejudice. - SKR


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5. Jonathan Lee Riches' Craziness (I)
Highest Court N.D. California
Year Ended 2007
Plaintiffs Riches, Jonathan Lee
Defendants Ludacris
Music Publisher(s)
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description Plaintiff is the infamous prison litigant, Jonathan Lee Riches, who has sued numerous famous people for numerous causes of action. It's never entirely clear whether he's insane or simply trying to have fun while passing the time in prison (he's apparently only there for computer-related crimes). This time concocted an amazing scheme in which Ludacris and NASA are in cahoots, trying make him the "best and biggest softball player in prison," and are trying to "turn the atmosphere into a steroid." Dismissed, oddly. - LSW


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6. Former Employee vs. Puffy (I)
Highest Court S.D. New York
Year Ended 2004
Plaintiffs Individual(s)
Defendants Bad Boy Entertainment
City Entity and/or Official(s)
Combs, Sean
Police Officer(s)
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description A two-time former employee of Bad Boy, Sean Combs' entertainment company, was terminated but given "contact sheets" that contained job leads with other music industry companies. The Plaintiff did not open the envelope until some time later and discovered the envelope contained Combs' personal info, so the Plaintiff contacted Combs to return the sheets. After the meeting, Combs became suspicious that Plaintiff had stolen his Grammy award. Shortly thereafter, the Plaintiff, a diabetic, received a phone call to attend what he thought was a job interview. He arrived at the address to learn it was a police station, where an officer questioned him for hours concerning the contact sheets and missing Grammy Award. The Plaintiff wound up being transported to the hospital for diabetic shock multiple times, and was charged with several counts. The Plaintiff sued Combs and the police. He alleged that Combs conspired to violate his civil rights with the arrest. The Court determined Combs had not acted in concert with a state actor to deprive the Plaintiff of his rights. While Combs may have filed a false report, that would not give rise to the claim the Plaintiff was making. The court then dismissed the various charges of conspiracy and false imprisonment. - JMC


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7. Mojo Nixon's Sexual Discrimination
Highest Court S.D. Ohio
Year Ended 2001
Plaintiffs Radio DJ(s)
Defendants Radio Station(s)
Other Nixon, Mojo
Short Description While this suit was one between a former disc jockey and the radio station that previously employed her, and her essential charge was differential treatment on account of her gender, including sexual and sexist remarks by co-workers, Mojo Nixon plays an important role. Not only was Nixon a perpetrator of the accused activities, but later replaced her as an on-air DJ. While Plaintiff alleged her firing was motivated by previous sexual harassment claims, the court held that there were other, legitimate reasons to let her go. Complaint dismissed, but amendment allowed. - LSW


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8. Really, Really Ticked Photographer Keeps Suing (I)
Highest Court First Circuit
Year Ended 1996
Plaintiffs Photographer(s)
Defendants Capitol Records
Music Manager(s)
Music Promoter(s)
Music Proprietor(s)
State Entity and/or Official(s)
Other Ross, Diana
Segar, Bob
Short Description A photographer claimed that preventing his photography at public events constituted a violation of his First Amendment rights. The photographer had been prevented from taking pictures at concerts held at the Providence Civic Center when the venue's contracts with performers prevented photography. The photographer had frequently sued the promoters and others, often being dismissed for failing to comply with procedural rules. The Court upheld the dismissal of his latest claim for many reasons, but mostly dealing with the photographer's refusal to abide by rules. - JMC


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9. Very Delusional Plaintiff
Highest Court D. Arizona
Year Ended 1995
Plaintiffs Individual(s)
Defendants Diamond, Neil
Federal Entity and/or Official(s)
Individual(s)
Mathis, Johnny
Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Politician(s)
Professional Athlete(s)
Williams, Andy
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description In one of the most entertaining cases within this database involving mentally delusional Plaintiffs suing celebrities for various outlandish acts, the Plaintiff here sued musicians Neil Diamond, Johnny Mathis, and Andy Williams, in addition to various public figures, including Barbara Bush and Charles Barkley, for various acts, including intentionally inflicting emotional distress and, as is common with such suits, violating Plaintiff's constitutional rights in some way (here he alleged Civil Rights complaints). Specifically, he claimed they used him "as a guinea pig by injecting Plaintiff with germs, subjecting Plaintiff to electric shocks, and examining and inserting probes into Plaintiff's orifices." The case was, obviously, dismissed. And the opinion doesn't even say what Barkley's involvement was! - LSW


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10. Really, Really Ticked Photographer Keeps Suing (II)
Highest Court Supreme Court of Rhode Island
Year Ended 1995
Plaintiffs Photographer(s)
Defendants Lawyer(s)
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description Plaintiff, a freelance rock photographer, sued the attorney who represented him in a separate federal court action involving his lawsuit against a civic center and concert promoters for not letting him take photographs at a concert. Specifically, Plaintiff alleged that his lawyer conspired with opposing counsel to sabotage his case. The court dismissed Plaintiff's case and denied the lawyer's petition for writ of certiorari. - SKR


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11. No Mo' Peabo? Oh No!
Highest Court Court of Appeals of Georgia
Year Ended 1989
Plaintiffs Music Promoter(s)
Defendants Municipal Entity and/or Official(s)
Other Bryson, Peabo
Short Description Plaintiff entered contract with Defendant, a city alderman, for a Peabo Bryson concert, but Defendants canceled the show and Plaintiffs sued, recovering a little over $2,000 at trial. When Plaintiff appealed the judgment, he failed to produce the requested court transcript within a reasonable time, and his appeal was dismissed. The judgment was affirmed. - LSW


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12. Age-Old Tale: Bessie's Bad Contracts
Highest Court E.D. Pennsylvania
Year Ended 1979
Plaintiffs Estate of Family of Artist(s)
Family of Artist(s)
Defendants CBS, Inc.
Columbia Records
Other Smith, Bessie
Spouse of Artist(s)
Short Description This opinion seems to be a good example of judges' clerks getting carried away with opinion-writing, assuming their work to be worthy of the massive amounts of paper needed to print and copy them. Seventy pages in total comprise this holding. The story is, however, quite interesting. Plaintiffs include family members and the estate of blues singer Bessie Smith, who was among the most successful of her ilk. According to apparently undisputed facts, Smith was indeed signed to contracts less favorable than many of white contemporaries, such as Al Jolson, who received royalties, large lump sums ($15,000 in Jolson's case), and extended interests in their recordings, while Smith received one-time fees of $200 at most. Plaintiffs sought to hold those contracts invalid, and asserted a variety of claims related to Defendants' supposed exploitation of compositions obtained via those contracts. However, the contracts had been signed in the 1920s and 1930s, so whether they were invalid was only a secondary matter. First, Plaintiffs had to show their fifty year lack of legal action was excusable, that the statute of limitations should be tolled for equitable purposes. The court opinion includes an extensive history of Smith's recording career and life, and an equally-extensive summary of the legal arguments presented and the holdings, which are too numerous to summarize here (just look at the list of issues associated with this entry). Of particular interest is the court's ruling on the statutes of limitations. Regarding fraud and contract-related claims, the court found Defendants' had not perpetuated a fifty year "fraudulent concealment" sufficient to justify allowing the claims to be brought so much later. Furthermore, the court held that, even if Defendants had somehow obtained the musical properties (e.g. copyrights) adversely, they'd gained rights through adverse possession. Last, regarding Smith's "publicity rights," which at the time of this opinion were a somewhat-new concept (first appearing in the 1950s and not truly elaborated until the 1980s), the court found for Defendants, holding the publicity claim was dependent on the court finding Defendants liable on other counts, which they were not. Thus, regarding every issue, judgment for Defendants was entered and affirmed. - LSW


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