Man Sues the World, Loses
Kiel J. Sturm sued the world -- all seven billion of us -- claiming we were "meanies" who had turned on him. And now a judge is kicking him while he is down. A San Jose judge rejected his lawsuit, saying Sturm hasn't proved that the world inflicted irreparable harm upon him and he never served the defendants.
Sturm, who is unemployed and lives with his grandparents, filed his lawsuit in San Jose on Jan. 14, demanding $1 trillion, based on the following claim:
"Plaintiff Kiel J. Sturm has taken the initiative to legitimize civil rights in the information age and set a good example for defendant, the world."He had asked for a temporary restraining order, prohibiting the world from being "mean" to him, according to the claim.
In his complaint, Sturm states that the world is a horrible place to live. Sturm filed supporting evidence: A statement doubting that man really landed on the moon, a July DUI citation, an email from a police sergeant asking Sturm to stop sending "ridiculous" emails, and a photocopy of his passport.
The judge wasn't convinced, ruling that the merits of his lawsuit are vague and devoid of factual allegations, according to the lawsuit.
"The World is not a person or entity that can be sued," Judge Lucy Koh wrote in a Jan. 21 ruling.
We left a telephone message with Sturm, hoping to better understand his claims. He responded via email directing us to a Web site, highlighting a Jan. 17 Sturm v. World filing titled: "Declaration of Sincerity in Seeking Justice."
"I am plaintiff Kiel J. Sturm and I am seeking truth and justice at all costs, so you had better give it to me now. This is an ultra-hazardous activity and I take strict liability for this."In her ruling, Judge Koh told Sturm that he had 30 days to file an amended complaint correcting the outstanding issues. Is a month really enough time for a man to serve the entire world?
Perhaps he can get help from these folks.
Although his claim might seem frivolous and asinine, Sturm actually has a history of taking people to court over legitimate matters.
In 2006, he sued eBay, asking the company to remove a critical comment of him that a buyer had posted. He lost his claim; however, his methodically litigated case spotlighted the legal debate about defending a person's online reputation, drawing attention from both the media and the Citizen Media Law Project.
Still, the world owes him nothing.
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