Player Fails In Attempt to Sue Game Company for Muting Him

From Elansari v Jagex Inc., District Court, ED Pennsylvania 2019:

July 15, 2019.

AMRO ELANSARI, Plaintiff, pro se.

MEMORANDUM

MARK A. KEARNEY, District Judge.

Amro Elansari sues a video gaming company located in the United Kingdom for allegedly “muting” him from playing his game. He pro se alleges the video gaming company deprived him of due process, free speech and human rights. He filed a Complaint using the Court’s preprinted form asserting claims against four Defendants but only alleges conduct by Jagex, Inc. 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 asserts we enjoy both federal question and diversity subject matter jurisdiction. He 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.

. . .

To the extent Mr. Elansari seeks to assert federal constitutional claims against the Defendants based upon his being “muted” from his game, his claims are implausible. He makes no substantive allegations about how Shanghai Hongtou, Network Technology Co., Ltd, Shanghai Fukong, and Interactive Entertainment Co., Ltd. muted him from his game. While he alleges Jagex Inc., an entity located in the United Kingdom, muted him and denied his appeal, these allegations cannot state a plausible constitutional claim. The First Amendment and its constitutional free speech guarantees restrict government actors, not private entities.[11]Defendants, who are not alleged to be state actors, are not subject to constitutional free speech guarantees.[12] The Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause “appl[ies] to and restrict[s] only the Federal Government and not private persons,” and does not act against a private company.[13] Mr. Elansari also fails to allege these private entities acted in concert with a state actor to violate his rights.

. . .

We dismiss Mr. Elansari’s complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) for failure to state plausible claims. As it appears an amendment to assert a federal question is futile, the dismissal is with prejudice as to a federal question but without prejudice to possibly timely pursue state law claims in a court exercising personal jurisdiction over the United Kingdom defendant.

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