Candidates Hit with Odd Legal Claims; Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Became More Popular Targets for Federal Lawsuits after They Started Running for President, and a South Side Man Has Filed about Two-Fifths of the Complaints, Federal Court Records Show. [Derived Headline]

By Fontaine, Tom | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 21, 2016 | Go to article overview

Candidates Hit with Odd Legal Claims; Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Became More Popular Targets for Federal Lawsuits after They Started Running for President, and a South Side Man Has Filed about Two-Fifths of the Complaints, Federal Court Records Show. [Derived Headline]


Fontaine, Tom, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton became more popular targets for federal lawsuits after they started running for president, and a South Side man has filed about two-fifths of the complaints, federal court records show.

Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, has been named as a defendant in 19 lawsuits and a respondent in two others since announcing his candidacy in June. People named him in about four lawsuits a year on average in the 32 years before that, records show.

Democratic front-runner Clinton has been a defendant or respondent in 65 lawsuits since entering the race 13 months ago, records show. Plaintiffs named the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of State in about 38 lawsuits a year from 1992 through 2014.

The Clinton campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

"Nineteen times I've been sued? What are they, slip-and-fall cases?" Trump said during a phone interview with the Tribune- Review, before adding that the sidewalks are "perfect" outside his $100 million penthouse and corporate headquarters in Manhattan's Trump Tower.

No one has gone after Trump for taking a spill outside the Midtown skyscraper, but one lawsuit filed in March accused Trump of stuffing a Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket over a man's head in Philadelphia before he assaulted and berated the man.

"Donald Trump punched me in my tooth," wrote the plaintiff, listed as G.B. Sanders of 1200 N. Broad St., whose suit was dismissed after 13 days because he didn't pay filing fees amounting to $400. Sanders never received the judge's order in the mail because he provided a bad address. The address is a Philadelphia KFC restaurant.

Another lawsuit filed in March alleged that Trump is secretly a terrorist who wants to infiltrate the government and stock the Cabinet with ISIS agents. The plaintiff is listed as Rafael Edward Cruz, with a Philadelphia post office box as his address. That also is the full name of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who dropped out of the GOP presidential race in early May.

That case remains open, but mail sent by the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Tennessee to the address Cruz provided was returned as undeliverable, filings show.

The identity and whereabouts of one plaintiff aren't in question.

Frederick H. Banks, 48, of the South Side has filed hundreds of federal complaints since 2004. He is in federal prison in Oklahoma on charges that he harassed one of the FBI agents who investigated him on fraud charges that sent him to prison for a decade.

Banks filed 31 of the 65 lawsuits that have been brought against Clinton since she entered the presidential race and four of the 21 lawsuits against Trump. …

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