This is collection of (currently only one) legal documents that
have been filed by Mr. Thompson.
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE ELEVENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
IN AND FOR MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA
GENERAL JURISDICTION DIVISION
JOHN B. THOMPSON ON BEHALF
OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA,
BEST BUY CO. OF MINNESOTA, INC.,
TARGET CORPORATION, WAL-MART
STORES, INC., GAMESTOP, INC.,
CIRCUIT CITY STORES, INC.,
VERIFIED COMPLAINT FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
COMES NOW Plaintiff, on his own behalf and on behalf of the State
of Florida as authorized by the below-noted statute, and as co-counsel
with undersigned co-counsel, and files this Complaint for Injunctive
Relief, and states as follows:
1. Plaintiff has been a resident of Miami-Dade County, Florida,
continuously since 1976. He is a citizen of the United States,
more than eighteen years of age, and he is otherwise sui juris.
2. Defendants are all major retail distributors of video games,
authorized to do business in Miami-Dade County, Florida, at various
retail stores located therein as well as other such stores not
only in Miami-Dade County but throughout the United States.
THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THIS ACTION
3. Florida Statute 823.01 states, verbatim, as follows:
823.01 Nuisances; penalty.--All nuisances that tend to annoy the
community, injure the health of the citizens in general, or corrupt
the public morals are misdemeanors of the second degree, punishable
as provided in s. 775.083, except that a violation of s. 823.10
is a felony of the third degree.
4. Florida Statute 823.05 states, verbatim, as follows:
823.05 Places declared a nuisance; may be abated and enjoined.--Whoever
shall erect, establish, continue, or maintain, own or lease any
building, booth, tent or place which tends to annoy the community
or injure the health of the community, or become manifestly injurious
to the morals or manners of the people as described in s. 823.01,
or shall be frequented by the class of persons mentioned in 1s.
856.02, or any house or place of prostitution, assignation, lewdness
or place or building where games of chance are engaged in violation
of law or any place where any law of the state is violated, shall
be deemed guilty of maintaining a nuisance, and the building,
erection, place, tent or booth and the furniture, fixtures and
contents are declared a nuisance. All such places or persons shall
be abated or enjoined as provided in ss. 60.05 and 60.06.
5. Florida Statute 60.05 states, verbatim, as follows:
60.05 Abatement of nuisances.--
(1) When any nuisance as defined in s. 823.05 exists, the Attorney
General, state attorney, city attorney, county attorney, or any
citizen of the county may sue in the name of the state on his
or her relation to enjoin the nuisance, the person or persons
maintaining it, and the owner or agent of the building or ground
on which the nuisance exists.
(2) The court may allow a temporary injunction without bond on
proper proof being made. If it appears by evidence or affidavit
that a temporary injunction should issue, the court, pending the
determination on final hearing, may enjoin:
(a) The maintaining of a nuisance;
(b) The operating and maintaining of the place or premises where
the nuisance is maintained;
(c) The owner or agent of the building or ground upon which the
(d) The conduct, operation, or maintenance of any business or
activity operated or maintained in the building or on the premises
in connection with or incident to the maintenance of the nuisance.
The injunction shall specify the activities enjoined and shall
not preclude the operation of any lawful business not conducive
to the maintenance of the nuisance complained of. At least 3 days'
notice in writing shall be given defendant of the time and place
of application for the temporary injunction.
(3) Evidence of the general reputation of the alleged nuisance
and place is admissible to prove the existence of the nuisance.
No action filed by a citizen shall be dismissed unless the court
is satisfied that it should be dismissed. Otherwise the action
shall continue and the state attorney notified to proceed with
it. If the action is brought by a citizen and the court finds
that there was no reasonable ground for the action, the costs
shall be taxed against the citizen.
(4) On trial if the existence of a nuisance is shown, the court
shall issue a permanent injunction and order the costs to be paid
by the persons establishing or maintaining the nuisance and shall
adjudge that the costs are a lien on all personal property found
in the place of the nuisance and on the failure of the property
to bring enough to pay the costs, then on the real estate occupied
by the nuisance. No lien shall attach to the real estate of any
other than said persons unless 5 days' written notice has been
given to the owner or his or her agent who fails to begin to abate
the nuisance within said 5 days. In a proceeding abating a nuisance
pursuant to s. 823.10 or s. 823.05, if a tenant has been convicted
of an offense under chapter 893 or s. 796.07, the court may order
the tenant to vacate the property within 72 hours if the tenant
and owner of the premises are parties to the nuisance abatement
action and the order will lead to the abatement of the nuisance.
(5) If the action was brought by the Attorney General, a state
attorney, or any other officer or agency of state government;
if the court finds either before or after trial that there was
no reasonable ground for the action; and if judgment is rendered
for the defendant, the costs and reasonable attorney's fees shall
be taxed against the state.
6. The defendants all plan to sell, commencing on October 5, 2005,
a violent video game entitled Bully.
7. Bully is a video game that will allow a virtual student to
visit virtual violence upon his classmates and teachers in retribution
for their bullying and to, in the promotional language from the
game’s makers, “settle scores.” Bludgeoning
one’s victims with baseball bats is one of the violent methods
that is celebrated, glamorized, and legitimized in the game, which
is in its entirety a violence simulator and training device.
8. Bully is designed and manufactured by Take-Two/Rockstar of
New York City, whose Grand Theft Auto games have been linked by
law enforcement authorities to killing incidents around the country.
Some of the same violence scenarios in the Grand Theft Auto games
will be found in Take-Two/Rockstar’s Bully.
9. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Secret Service,
in conducting their respective threat assessments after the “Columbine”
massacre in Littleton, Colorado, in April 1999, found that two
common threads of causation in recent school killings up to and
including Columbine were as follows: a) the school killers often
were victims of bullying who sought to settle scores with their
fellow students, and b) the killers were immersed in violent entertainment.
Klebold and Harris trained for their Columbine massacre, for example,
on the violent game Doom. The undersigned plaintiff predicted
“Columbine” eight days before it happened, and he
did so on NBC’s Today show, even predicting the role of
the game Doom.
10. Scientific studies overwhelmingly prove not only that violent
video games are spawning real violence, but these same scientific
studies also explain why the neurobiological and other scientific
reasons why the copycatting is occurring.
11. In the recent United States Supreme Court case of Roper v.
Simmons, for example, Justice Kennedy cited as authoritative in
this juvenile death penalty case the very same brain scan studies
that explain this copycatting phenomenon.
12. Plaintiff will be able to show the court a) that Bully will
be used by school-age children to rehearse varying levels of retributive
violence in their schools, and b) that there will be a heightened
likelihood that such retributive violence will occur in the Miami-Dade
schools as a result.
13. The Surgeon General of the United States is presently spearheading
the nation’s anti-school bullying campaign, as school bullying
is a serious problem in the United States.
14. In the United Kingdom, where school bullying is treated as
a very serious problem, one of the most influential anti-bullying
organizations has called for a halt to the anticipated distribution
of the game Bully because of the strong likelihood that the game
will spawn violence.
15. Evidence will be provided to the court that numerous, specific
incidents of school violence before and after “Columbine”
have been spawned by violent video game play. The number of such
known incidents is disturbing.
16. Plaintiff has, in writing, asked the defendants not to sell
Bully when this game is made available to the public on October
5, 2005. The defendants refuse to respond to this plea. Once the
game Bully is released to the public, “the horse will be
out of the barn” and it will be too late to close the door.
17. Sales by defendants at their various retail stores of Bully
will constitute a public nuisance, because the sale of this game
will, in the words of the aforementioned statute, “tend
to annoy the community or injure the health of the community,
or become manifestly injurious to the morals or manners of the
18. As already noted, proof is available to this court that the
virtual school violence in Bully will likely lead to increased
actual violence in Miami-Dade schools. As to one specific example,
every parent of school age children in Miami-Dade County is aware
of the murder and near beheading last year of Jamie Gough by his
14-year-old friend and classmate Michael Hernandez, at Southwood
Middle School in Miami-Dade County. Local parents, and this community
as a whole, however, are not as aware of the role that violent
entertainment, specifically violent video games, had in training
and rehearsing Michael Hernandez to kill. One Michael Hernandez
in Miami-Dade County schools is enough.
19. The sale of Bully at the retail stores of defendants will
constitute a public nuisance under Florida law. Florida Statute
823.05 provides that public nuisances such as the defendants’
stores can be and should be abated by injunctive relief.
20. Florida Statute 60.05 provides that a citizen of the county
in which such a public nuisance exists can secure first a temporary
injunction and then a permanent one by the procedural means set
forth therein. Plaintiff intends to do just that.
21. Plaintiff asks this Honorable Court for a Temporary Injunction
to stop all defendants from selling Bully. Evidence is available
to support such a Temporary Injunction.
22. Subsequent to that, plaintiff will seek and asks this Court
for the entry of a Permanent Injunction to stop the sale of this
game, and for all other remedies and relief set forth in the aforementioned
23. Plaintiff may seek a statewide injunction against all defendants
to stop the sale of this game in any of their respective Florida
Plaintiff hereby demands trial by jury of all issues by jury as
a matter of right.
JOHN B. THOMPSON
STATE OF FLORIDA )
COUNTY OF MIAMI-DADE )
The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this _______
day of _____________, 2005, by ________________________, who is
personally known to me and who did not take an oath.
NOTARY PUBLIC, State of Florida
My Commission Expires: