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Pennsylvania Prisoners’ Civil Rights Action Against TV Reality Stars Dismissed as Frivolous

By David M. Ruetter

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the dismissal of a Pennsylvania prisoner lawsuit alleging violations under 42 U.S.C. §1983 and state law claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Goodson claimed “the defendants’ antics on their reality-television program caused him intense emotional and psychological strain.” He sought compensatory damages, punitive damages, and a personal apology. The substance of the proposed apology—“D.J., we are sorry for emotionally stressing you out & we love you!”---suggested to the Court the action is “not a serious one.”

The Pennsylvania district court dismissed the action. The Third Circuit in affirming found that Goodson failed to allege harm caused by state action as required by §1983. His factual allegations also failed to satisfy the requirements to state a case under the sate law claims, and if found he could not do so on amendment. Thus, the action was properly dismissed under 28 U.S.C. § 1915 (E) (2)

See: Goodson v. Kardashian, Case No. 10-3976, _____F.3d. _____ (3rd Circuit 2011).

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Related legal case

Goodson v. Kardashian