Christopher Knight Capone, 37, of Boston filed the court papers Thursday in Cook County Court in Chicago, a statement said.
He says he has conducted years of in-depth historical and genealogical research to confirm that his father, William Knight, was the hidden son of Alphonse Capone and his wife Mary. Capone, who suffered from syphilis-related dementia, died in 1947.
"My dad was the hidden son of Al Capone," Capone, who changed his last name last year, was quoted by the Boston Herald as saying. "It's my family and it's been kept from my sister and I ever since we were kids. The only proof I'm ever going to get is DNA."
The statement said that before he filed his lawsuit, Capone requested DNA from living Capone descendants.
"The other Capone descendants refused to provide DNA samples, and I respect that," Capone said. "Similar to an orphan searching for their birth parents, I'm trying to learn my father's ancestry while confirming my own, and I hope they will respect that."
The lawsuit seeks to prevent attempts to move or disturb the remains at Mount Carmel Catholic Cemetery in Hillside, Ill., while he tries to get voluntary DNA samples from living Capone relatives.
"My goal is to definitively and conclusively prove my lineage," Capone said.