A person has filed for a restraining order against Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel and is seeking $25 million in damages, claiming he has sexually harassed a woman for more than a year.
The document, filed in federal court in Florida on May 16, makes numerous salacious allegations against Manziel centered on him allegedly sending nude photos of himself to a woman. It lists a woman's name on the complaint, but a deputy court clerk in Tampa said the complaint arrived by mail and the court has no way of confirming who sent it. The court clerk, who did not wish to be named, said the filing was mailed in Trenton, N.J.
The document also does not list an attorney, and no other supporting documents could be found in the record in a search by USA TODAY Sports on Friday.
Manziel's agent, Erik Burkhardt, immediately wrote on Twitter that the complaint is "fake" and "frivolous."
"It's insanity," Burkhardt told USA TODAY Sports. "You can read the thing for yourself.
"What some people will do for publicity is just embarrassing. That's all I've got to say."
Later, Burkhardt told USA TODAY Sports it is "absolutely possible" Manziel could seek legal action in response to the court filing, though Manziel's team of representatives is still early in its evaluation process.
"We absolutely will protect our client to the fullest extent of the law," Burkhardt said.
The claim will be dismissed if Manziel is not served according to Darryl C. Wilson, professor at Stetson University College of Law in Tampa Bay.
"If there's no service on the other party, then the lawsuit can't go forward. You don't have a defendant who's been called to court," he said. "You have to have a plaintiff who will go through with the process. Here, there's a question as to who is the plaintiff."
That's not the only reason the claim might quickly disappear. The person who sent it did not pay the $400 fee, said Joseph Little, professor emeritus at the University of Florida's Levin College of Law.
"If there was no fee filed, then it hasn't been properly filed and the court won't pay attention to it," Little told USA TODAY Sports.
If the fee is paid and the complaint not dismissed, the next step would be the filing being assigned to a judge with Manziel being given 20 days to respond once he is served.
"Once the case gets filed, there is nobody — no authority — that can independently review the thing and say it is nonsense and throw it away. They have to follow the usual course," Little said.
He added that there is no requirement for an individual to show proof of identity when filing a suit on their own behalf.
"What the system will do (is) file it as an action by John Doe or Jane Doe against whoever it is, and then the thing will process as long as the conditions are met," Little said. "At some point down the line, it may become evident that the person who filed it was not the person they said they were. That could be basis for dismissing the complaint."
The Cleveland Browns drafted Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner from Texas A&M, with the No. 22 pick of the NFL draft May 8.
The team said Friday it had no comment.
The document was filed on May 16 and entered into the court system on Thursday, records show.
USA TODAY Sports attempted Friday to reach the employer, agents and publicist for the woman whose name is listed on the court filing for comment. Her agent had no comment, but on Twitter the woman said the filing was "100% a hoax" as did CNN, whose address was listed for the woman on the complaint.