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Volokh Conspiracy

Runescape "Muting" Leads to First Amendment / Due Process Lawsuit Against Video Game Company

Unsurprisingly, the lawsuit goes nowhere.


From Elansari v. Jagex Inc., 2019 WL 3202195 (E.D. Pa. July 15), handed down by Judge Mark A. Kearney a mere 5 days after the Complaint was filed:

Amro Elansari sues a video gaming company located in the United Kingdom for allegedly "muting" him from playing his game. {[He alleges that] Jagex Inc. "operates public game open to public — free + membership" [quoting the Complaint]. Although his allegations are far from clear, Mr. Elansari alleges Jagex Inc. bans a player violating the rules of the game. He alleges Jagex Inc. "muted" him without explaining why and then denied his appeal of the decision without reasons.}

[Elansari] pro se alleges the video gaming company deprived him of due process, free speech and human rights…. He also moves for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. We grant Mr. Elansari leave to proceed in forma pauperis but dismiss his Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).

Mr. Elansari … only alleges constitutional claims. He cannot state a constitutional claim against a private gaming company precluding him for amending to assert a federal question. As he does not assert a state law claim, we dismiss the case without prejudice for him to allege a potential state law claim against parties who may have diverse citizenship….

The hand-written complaint states that "Plaintiff is Streamer ← 2000 hours+ invested." I'm not a gaming expert, but I assume that the Jagex game involved is likely Runescape, which seems to be Jagex's main product.