Judge: Restraining orders against Sandusky 'frivolous'
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A federal magistrate in Ohio recommended Tuesday that a request for a restraining order against Jerry Sandusky, similar to others filed in five other federal districts nationwide in the past few days as part of an apparent prank, be tossed as "utterly frivolous" and warned the perpetrator of possible sanctions.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Merz in Dayton said the plaintiff -- identified in a restraining order request filed Monday under the name Tom N. Jerry -- "needs to understand that filing a case in federal court is not like writing a letter to the editor or posting on a blog."
Federal rules, he said, allow for U.S. courts to impose fines for obviously frivolous suits.
The Ohio case appears similar to others filed this week and last in Oregon, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Georgia and Indiana.
All were filed without lawyers and use fake addresses, and all involve bizarre, and in some cases comical, one-page allegations against Mr. Sandusky, the former Penn State University assistant football coach convicted Friday on 45 counts of molesting boys.
The filings, written in capital letters, ask for protection against Mr. Sandusky and in several cases claim he molested plaintiffs in stadiums during games.
In a Friday filing in Kentucky, "Tom N. Jerry" said he was concerned that Mr. Sandusky was going to relocate to Paducah, Ky., dye his hair and start molesting children.
In a Monday filing in Georgia, "Tom N. Jerry" asked that Mr. Sandusky be kept out of Atlanta.
"I seek a GPS monitor on Sandusky's leg, and a GPS chip in his brain as backup, so the community of Atlanta knows his whereabouts," the plaintiff wrote.
As did the Ohio judge, a federal magistrate on Wednesday recommended that case be thrown out as frivolous.
In another filing Tuesday in Wisconsin under the name Jonathan Bollinger, who claims to be the cousin of University of Pittsburgh quarterbacks coach Brooks Bollinger, the plaintiff said Mr. Sandusky tried to molest him at a urinal during the third quarter of a 2002 football game at the University of Wisconsin between Penn State and the Wisconsin Badgers.
Other requests for restraining orders this week and last were filed under the names Jonathan Paterno and Gino Romano.
In addition to sanctions, the plaintiffs could potentially face criminal penalties.
In filing the restraining order requests, they filed an "In Forma Pauperis" request, asking for the waiving of the usual fees because of indigence.
Such requests are often made by prisoners. But IFP requests require a sworn financial affidavit, and lying on that form could be grounds for a perjury prosecution.
First Published June 28, 2012 12:00 am