Getting placed on the vexatious-litigants list might not actually slow you down all that much in the pace of your suit-filing. A frequent Sacramento litigant has been on the list since 2003 but nonetheless obtains fee waivers by pleading poverty even as property is held in trust or in his wife’s name, uses variations of his name that throw adversaries off the track, and, according to an opponent, gets around a ban on pro se filing by using a lawyer to file and then substituting himself as counsel. [KXTV (auto-plays), ABA Journal]
Meet the lawyer who sued the Fort Lauderdale Bridge Club in a dispute over its having ended his membership. The club proceeded to declare bankruptcy under his courtroom onslaught: “Since then there have been more than 600 docket entries in the bankruptcy case as Rosen pursued numerous motions and litigation.” [Joe Patrice/Above the Law, Daily Business Report]
“The man who sued the Dominican Republic because it rained during his vacation has been labeled a ‘quarrelsome litigant’ by a Quebec judge. … Court of Quebec Justice Diane Quenneville ruled last month that ‘the court has no hesitation to conclude that Leduc is abusing the justice system.’” [QMI/Canoe.ca]
“Mr. Smith says he is simply trying to get the truth out about New York’s powerful. … But I came to believe that his intent could well be to tell fanciful stories in hopes of drawing media attention to extract settlement payments in his lawsuits.” [Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times]
New York Post:
Wheelchair-riding Linda Slone, 64, is suing 39 shops in her neighborhood for not being handicapped-accessible.
The legal crusade is netting her thousands, but Slone, who cannot walk because of polio, insists she is simply championing the rights of the disabled.
“If you think this is a money-making scheme, you’re dead wrong,” said Slone, a speech pathologist.
The Florida-based Weitz Law Firm, which represents Slone, “also represents Zoltan Hirsch, a Brooklyn double amputee who The Post revealed last year filed 147 suits citing the Americans with Disabilities Act.”
Scott Greenfield wonders what the brownstones of Columbus Avenue will look like by the time the shopowners and landlords somehow manage to completely ADA-proof them.
Canada: “It started with a car crash in 1988 that sparked a court case and, last month, three judges suggested it was time to end; in between, Ural Direk launched more than 120 lawsuits, filed thousands of pages of documents, filled a trailer full of evidence, sought secret hearings to unveil dark campaigns against him, and linked the outcome of his cases to a Jewish conspiracy.” Mr. Direk prevailed in his original lawsuit, but considered the $34,984 damages awarded unsatisfactory and filed a losing appeal whose ramifications have continued to this day. A judicial panel has now recommended that he be declared a vexatious litigant. [National Post]
Durable as a matter of folk law though carrying no weight at all within most courts as actually constituted, various widely circulated theories (“free man,” “sovereign citizen,” etc.) purport to establish a right of litigants to escape courts’ ordinary jurisdiction; sometimes it’s also alleged that tax laws and other longstanding enactments are flawed and of no binding effect. Last month a Canadian jurist by the name of J.D. Rooke handed down an opinion anatomizing different varieties of “Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Argument” ["OPCA"] seized on as a basis for vexatious litigation [Meads vs. Meads, Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta, Sept. 18]
P.S. A glimpse of the “sovereign citizen” scene in the U.S., h/t Lowering the Bar.
In southern California’s sprawling Orange County (population 3 million), 77 people have been placed on the courts’ vexatious litigant list, but it’s not an easy matter to get someone on. “A Huntington Beach woman recently filed 47 lawsuits in a matter of months against various agencies including the city, the District Attorney’s Office and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department…. She sued Huntington Beach saying she wants more plants near parking lots.” [Orange County Register]
Members of an L.A. group devoted to darts, the bar sport, are among those plunged into litigation by a fellow enthusiast. “Says one well-known bar owner who did not wish to be identified for fear of retribution, ‘I’m weary of being involved with this guy because he’s just been firing off lawsuits. Some of us wanted to fight, but these things can be very expensive.’” [L.A. Weekly]
Says the Arkansas man who has sued Microsoft for $500 billion over his XBox Live contract. [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]
The Telegraph profiles a “race equality campaigner [who] has cost taxpayers more than £1 million by bringing a string of discrimination claims – several of them against anti-racism groups.”
Well-written article about the lengthy career of one pro se litigant in Newark who has been tying up landlords and others in court for years; it took a fair bit of gumption to publish, given the tendency of many litigious persons to sue those who would expose their litigiousness to public notice. Worth careful study for the light it sheds on the difficulty our legal system so often has in bringing down the curtain on determined perennial litigants [Barry Carter, Newark Star-Ledger]