Lawyer Sues Basically All Mainstream Media For RICO Violations For How They Report On Donald Trump

from the yeah,-that's-not-going-to-work dept

If you do a Google search on Roy Den Hollander, as I just did, you may discover that basically every result is a story about some absolutely ridiculous lawsuit he has filed. There was the time he sued a nightclub claiming that requiring him to buy a $350 bottle of vodka was a human rights violation. Or the time he sued a bunch of night clubs for violating the 14th Amendment by having "Ladies' Nights." Or the time he sued Columbia University for offering women's studies courses. Or the time he wanted to file a lawsuit to force women to register for the draft. And these are all stories from just the first page of Google results (or following links from those stories). But, you get the idea.

And now he's back with a new lawsuit. He's basically suing the entire mainstream media claiming that how they report on Donald Trump is a RICO violation. No, really.
This is an action against the above named defendant news reporters and commentators (“Reporters”) for violating the civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1961 et al., (“RICO”) by repeatedly committing the racketeering activity of wire fraud, 18 U.S.C. § 1343, when they (1) create and cause to be broadcast and disseminated false and misleading news reports concerning the Donald J. Trump candidacy for President of the United States (“Trump Candidacy”); (2) provide commentary based on a false set of facts or fail to reveal the alleged factual basis for the assertion of their judgments; and (3) lobby on various news-talk shows in furtherance of their opposition to the Trump Candidacy.
And to think, I'd been looking for an opportunity to point people to Ken "Popehat" White's Lawsplainer entitled IT'S NOT RICO, DAMMIT:
Would it be RICO if . . .

NnnnoooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

via GIPHY



. . . .

No.

But how do you know? I haven't even described the case yet.

It's never RICO!

I mean, not literally never. But I can say with a very high level of confidence that if you're asking me, it's not RICO.

But it's an important case! And the facts are terrible! This defendant did really bad things.

That's not what RICO means. RICO is not a fucking frown emoji. It's not an exclamation point. It's not a rhetorical tool to convey you are upset about something. It's not a petulant foot-stomp.

RICO is a really complicated racketeering law that has elaborate requirements that are difficult to meet. It's overused by idiot plaintiff lawyers, and it's ludicrously overused by a hundred million jackasses on the internet with an opinion and a mood disorder.
There's more at that link. You should read it if you ever wonder if a case is a RICO case.

The lawsuit prattles on and on, but it's not RICO. And, of course, it's not going anywhere, because of the First Amendment. And, honestly, the court might as well just say "No, go away" and point to the First Amendment, but instead will be forced to waste it's time in writing up a more comprehensive explanation for why the media reporting, no matter how much you disagree with it, is not breaking the law.

Filed Under: donald trump, journalism, press coverage, rico, roy den hollander


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2016 @ 8:52am

    I don't know if this is a RICO case or not, but the mainstream media of Trump has been pretty disgusting.

    Now I know Trump is terrible - I get it. But all they do is cover Trump 24/7 and come up with new negative stuff to say about him, whether imagined or not. It's usually not imagined, but the point is there are SO MANY negative things they could write about Clinton, too, and yet they do NOT do that.

    Why not? Where's their journalistic "integrity"? It's like the vast majority of them decided they want Clinton to win, so now they don't cover anything negative about her anymore. It's downright pathetic, and if it's not a crime, it probably should be (under some kind of election fairness law).

    And yes, I'm neither a fan of Trump nor of Clinton's, but I've had it with the corporate media brainwashing campaigns.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2016 @ 11:14am

      Re:

      The press doesn't "come up" with anything.
      They report what Don the Con's said (in his own words), and what he did in the past!
      Feel free to point out anything they've said that isn't true!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2016 @ 11:18am

      Re:

      and all the while, the media is trying to "show both sides"

      lol

      can't please everyone all the time

      if you dont like one source, go to another ... oh wait, you're complaining about other people having access to what you consider to be biased reporting? Well tough shit dude.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      James Burkhardt (profile), 25 Aug 2016 @ 12:50pm

      Re:

      Why not? Only one candidate of this campaign has claimed he intends to demolish the protections the media have against reliably quoting him in-context.

      So there's that.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    SillyGoose, 25 Aug 2016 @ 8:52am

    AP is the real problem

    From my perspective, his focus would be better if it were directed at the associated press.

    They're the ones all of the media companies get their reports from.

    Just saying. If he wants to save legal fees, he might want to target the one group that creates the narrative ALL the media outlets follow.

    Don't see him winning anything in courts, but in my opinion he's got a shot at the next Darwin award.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 25 Aug 2016 @ 9:06am

      Re: AP is the real problem

      Better still, direct it at Trump and his campaign team. They're the ones who keep feeding AP with statements, speeches and interviews that crookedly and dishonestly get quoted verbatim.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2016 @ 10:47am

      Re: AP is the real problem

      Darwin award? Really? I don't think getting murdered by the Clintons is common enough to be considered suicide yet. We're still in regular serial killer territory.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2016 @ 11:21am

      Re: AP is the real problem

      The AP drives all news sources?
      lol
      Ok, where does fox get their news?

      You really need to get out more, explore the world, educate yourself, have some fun.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    I.T. Guy, 25 Aug 2016 @ 9:14am

    The Trump Sideshow

    Its kinda funny all the attention of Trump said this and that, mostly mindless drivel. All the while mostly silent about Hillary. And we all know she is no angel about now. But you don't hear about that. It's become obvious, at least to me, who the MSM is pushing for. We have a TV in the atrium and for some godforsaken reason it is tuned to CNN. On my trips to go smoke, just about every time I pass the focus is on Trump. Notice: I also like the way they picture him... mostly in mid sentence looking like a loon. Not saying he isn't, but just pay attention to the pics the MSM uses.
    -
    Google Roy Den Hollander... it's hilarious. His pictures say "I don't even believe myself."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Nigel, 25 Aug 2016 @ 9:18am

    Screaming Cheeto Fan Club

    He really does hate it when you quote him verbatim.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2016 @ 9:31am

    mission-creep

    RICO was another one of those 'heavy artillery' law enforcement tools, not unlike the S.W.A.T. team and civil asset forfeiture, that was originally intended to be used only in very rare instances, against the worst of the worst. But as usual, mission-creep ensures that the most extreme and heavy-handed law enforcement remedies will gradually trickle down to lesser and lesser crimes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2016 @ 9:32am

    Trick?

    From the lawsuit:

    "Wire fraud under 18 U.S.C. § 1343 requires
    a. a scheme to trick by means of false or misleading representations"

    But he changed the wording. The actual law says "defraud", not "trick". The difference between the two is fatal to the case all by itself, because even if the reporters are intentionally tricking people, they aren't defrauding them; and without the wire fraud, he's got no crime to claim RICO.

    Also, the preliminary injunction requested would be a blatantly unconstitutional prior restraint even if his case had merit, which it does not.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2016 @ 9:45am

    Here's how it really works

    Two people on the internet said something I don't like in roughly the same fashion?

    RICO the bastards!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Jeremy2020 (profile), 25 Aug 2016 @ 9:58am

    How is the guy still a member of the bar?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2016 @ 10:15am

      Re:

      Because he knows which members of the bar also paid for that $350 bottle of vodka, which, as I hear it, in certain clubs comes with female company.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 25 Aug 2016 @ 10:49am

      Re:

      Wait, is he an actual lawyer? I figured he was just one of those nutjobs that go around suing everyone for the fact that they don't like reality and really want it to change to suit how they think it should work.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Vidiot (profile), 25 Aug 2016 @ 11:31am

      Re:

      Not a very busy member of the bar, apparently... that filing took an awful lot of typing.

      And I don't read too many such filings, but I can't say I've seen anyone spend as much time reciting the statutes' various requirements and intentions; there's this "hey, I just read what RICO means!" kind of quality to that voluminous prose. Bet the judge will be thankful Counselor Roy was able to explain all this complex stuff for him.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2016 @ 10:15am

    To be fair,

    Buzzfeed is the worst kind of cancer invading the mainstream media as of these past few years...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    btr1701 (profile), 25 Aug 2016 @ 11:16am

    Hollander

    > Or the time he sued a bunch of night clubs for violating
    > the 14th Amendment by having "Ladies' Nights." Or the
    > time he sued Columbia University for offering women's
    > studies courses. Or the time he wanted to file a lawsuit
    > to force women to register for the draft.

    His suit against the media over Trump coverage is deluded, as was his suit against Columbia, claiming feminism classes are a religion and therefore unconstitutional.

    However, he's got a point when it comes to some of his other legal gripes. This guy is a kook, but even a kook makes a good point every now and then.

    Why should a night club be allowed to discriminate on the basis of gender by having "ladies nights" and charging men more than women? We don't put up with that kind of discrimination by businesses in any other context. Why here? If the same night club started hosting "white people nights" where whites got in free and everyone else had to pay, they'd be shut down and sued into oblivion instantly. What's the legal argument that discriminating on the basis of gender-- in contravention of state and federal laws that prohibit it-- is okay if it's a night club trying to lure in female customers?

    And he's also right about the draft. Even when women were banned from combat roles, there was still plenty to do in the military that didn't involve combat. Remember Rosie the Riveter? And the military always needs administrative personnel to organize and file the mountains of paperwork it generates. (And now that the Department of Defense has opened up combat positions to women, even that weak argument for exemption goes out the window.)

    If we've reached a point of national crisis where we're forcing men against their will into the army to fight a war, then women can and should do their part as well. They enjoy the privileges and benefits that citizenship in this country bestows. They have an equal responsibility to help preserve it when necessary. There's no reason why they should be exempt from the draft or registration for it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2016 @ 11:28am

      Re: Hollander

      1) You don't like the ladies night at your local pub?
      Well then - don't go there.

      2) You think the draft is a good idea?
      Have a look at what went down in the 60's

      If you can come up with some valid points, perhaps they would be worth discussion - but until then it appears to be pissin' in the wind.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 25 Aug 2016 @ 11:48am

        Re: Re: Hollander

        1) You don't like the ladies night at your local pub?
        Well then - don't go there.


        You seem to have missed the point. Replace 'ladies' with 'white guys', is it still acceptable to you?

        "You're white, go on it. You're not white, going to need an entry fee to let you in."

        Still good? Still just 'Don't like it, don't go there'?

        I honestly hadn't thought about it before, but now that he brought it up that does have me not so thrilled with the idea, for basically the same reason I'd be uneasy if not downright against a 'White Night' at a business.

        2) You think the draft is a good idea?
        Have a look at what went down in the 60's


        I didn't read his comment as 'the draft is a good idea', so much as 'If men can be forced to fight against their will then women should be able to be drafted as well'. As far as that goes I'd personally agree, despite not agreeing with the idea of a draft itself, for reasons of equal treatment under the law.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2016 @ 1:04pm

          Re: Re: Re: Hollander

          Regarding the draft weren't women banned from the military during tha period when it happened? pretty sure that lack of men for available jobs is why women got to work and how Rosie the riveter came about and the start of feminism. pretty sure if there was a draft now it would b different.

          Fo the first point, race is a protected class and ladies night is to ge more men into th bar, cause more ladies equals more dudes rather than discrimination. A better example would be women's only gyms. That one is weird.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2016 @ 1:56pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Hollander

            "Fo the first point, race is a protected class"

            So is sex.

            "pretty sure if there was a draft now it would b different."

            It's still the law that males have to register for the draft and females do not, so I don't see how that's the case, even though it SHOULD be.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 25 Aug 2016 @ 2:15pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Hollander

            Regarding the draft weren't women banned from the military during tha period when it happened? pretty sure that lack of men for available jobs is why women got to work and how Rosie the riveter came about and the start of feminism. pretty sure if there was a draft now it would b different.

            They might have been banned previously, I'd have to do some digging to find out for sure, but at the moment as far as wikipedia notes were a draft instated then no, women would not be required to register like men are.

            'On April 27, 2016, the House Armed Services Committee voted to add an amendment[ to the pending "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017" to extend the authority for draft registration to women. On May 12, 2016, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to add a similar provision to its version of the bill. If the bill including this provision is enacted into law, it would authorize (but not require) the President to order young women as well as young men to register with the Selective Service System.'

            Fo the first point, race is a protected class and ladies night is to ge more men into th bar, cause more ladies equals more dudes rather than discrimination. A better example would be women's only gyms. That one is weird.

            Yeah, I'm just not sure about it at the moment. I get where you're coming from, it's not meant so much discriminatory so much as a business decision to bring more of both genders in, it's just the idea of preferential treatment to any group that has me leery.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2016 @ 3:16pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hollander

              I apologized for my terrible writing. My phone was not agreeing with the comment box on techdirt and I gave up trying to correct my spelling.

              Adding women to the draft would be a step towards equality, although I believe the draft should not be a thing that exists for either gender. As for the draft back THEN however, and Rosie the Riveter and other things, that was the basis for the whole feminist movement. However, adding the draft to women if it occurs in the future at least provides parity between sexes should a draft occur, so I'm fine with that particular addition. Although it's better to not have a draft at all.

              Regarding ladies night, companies are allowed to offer special event to encourage additional attendance. As the purpose of a ladies night cover charge waiver is to increase attendance of women and NOT decrease attendance of men it's been determined that it is not an act of discrimination. Basically, the purpose matters, now if Men were say, charged 10x the cover charge it would discourage male attendance and now be an issue of gender discrimination. Gender discrimination is important on whether it's to stop people from participating or encouraging additional participation in a way that does NOT affect others from participating as well. That's why Womens Only night doesn't count as discrimination, even though it's a protected class. This is how it's turned out in Federal courts anyways. I personally don't care for ladies nights myself for the same reason though, gender based pricing differentials are eh.

              Bar's and clubs have also offered additional promotions that encourage participation that aren't gender related, such as costume nights and whatnot.

              The only exception to this is California I believe, as the state forbids any discrimination based on sex at all, including things like Ladies Night. In situations like this however, the costume parties for discounts would still be allowed.

              A clearer example of gender discrimination is women only gyms, which have a clear gender discrimination that cannot be routed around as they actively deny participation by males, and as far as I know there are no dude only gyms. There's reasons for their existence, but I don't agree with them.

              I'm Canadian though, so I'm not a US law expert, I just follow these issues.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2016 @ 5:39am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hollander

                "A clearer example of gender discrimination is women only gyms, which have a clear gender discrimination that cannot be routed around as they actively deny participation by males, and as far as I know there are no dude only gyms. There's reasons for their existence, but I don't agree with them."


                Exercise facilities have historically been single sex only, and only became co-ed in the USA somewhat gradually a few decades ago (depending on the region of the country). Then many of these gyms (especially the larger ones) re-instituted a female-only exercise section -without any corresponding all-male section- so women would have a "safe space" free from unwanted attention -- at least in theory.

                My local mega-gym had a substantial women-only section (behind frosted glass) but for some strange reason women preferred to use the treadmills in the main section (which were ALWAYS fully occupied during peak hours) while the treadmills in the women-only section went largely unused, basically acting as a overflow section when the main floor got full.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        btr1701 (profile), 25 Aug 2016 @ 11:50am

        Re: Re: Hollander

        > 1) You don't like the ladies night at your local pub?
        > Well then - don't go there.

        Utterly irrelevant as to whether such practices violate state/federal anti-discrimination laws.

        > 2) You think the draft is a good idea?
        > Have a look at what went down in the 60's

        I never said the draft was a good idea or a bad idea. I merely stated that if we're going to have a draft (or registration for a draft), it should be applied equally to all citizens.

        > If you can come up with some valid points, perhaps they
        > would be worth discussion

        All evidence so far indicates that you wouldn't know a valid point if it jumped up and bit you in the ass.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2016 @ 1:51pm

          Re: Re: Re: Hollander

          That's not the way that "equal rights" works in practice. If you happen to be a Christian, White, able-bodied, non-Hispanic, non-sexually-aberrant male, then you are considered to be in the privileged class -- and therefore, the very concept of [illegal] discrimination simply does not apply to you and everyone like you, no matter how blatant it might be. So it requires maintaining a high level of cognitive dissonance.

          And if you're unable to swallow the "equality" bullshit without choking, or dare to point out the hypocrisy and/or injustice, then you are to be considered a horrible bigot that must be repudiated.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dan, 25 Aug 2016 @ 2:38pm

    All I know about RICO I learned from watching Law & Order. And if Jack McCoy can use RICO successfully three or so times, I'm sure any real lawyer could.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    MrTroy (profile), 25 Aug 2016 @ 10:57pm

    Flowchart?

    Sounds like we'd all benefit from a simplified "Is it RICO?" flowchart, along the lines of this one for meteorites...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2016 @ 12:37am

    I thought I should read the complaint

    But I stopped, because a "Jury Trail" was requested. As it happens,
    1. I prefer the law to hiking and
    2.

    Perhaps more care was applied to the second page and beyond, but I don't know if I can muster the will to find out.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2016 @ 6:15am

    So RICO is the judicial Lupus?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2016 @ 5:40pm

    Donald Trump? Isn't that the person with a non-neurological learning disorder who's diagnosable as having narcissistic personality disorder and whose name is the British English child slang for fart?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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