Posts Tagged ‘serial litigants’

Varieties of “you lack jurisdiction” eccentricity

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.

Free speech roundup

  • Boilermaker union president resorts to litigation against satirical site [Levy; another case on demands for disclosure of anonymous commenters] More on ghastly NY bill to strip protection from anonymous online speech [David Kravets/Wired, Daily Caller, my take]
  • Defending people like Aaron Worthing and Patterico shouldn’t be a left-right matter [Popehat, Tapscott/Examiner, earlier] Maryland and indeed all states need stronger statutory protection against vexatious litigants [Ace of Spades] And as a longtime Charles Schwab customer I was at first distressed to find the Schwab Charitable Fund on this list, but since the fund is billed as “donor-advised” I take it some Schwab customer rather than the company itself got to choose the beneficiary;
  • “Indonesia Prosecution for Posting ‘God Doesn’t Exist’ on Facebook” [Volokh] Curious to see an argument for Euro-style hate speech laws appearing on the Liberty and Law site [David Conway]
  • “Cyberbullying and Bullying Used As Pretexts for Censorship” [Bader]
  • “EEOC: Wearing Confederate Flag T-Shirts May Be ‘Hostile Work Environment Harassment'” [Volokh, more, Bader]
  • Video on new freedom of assembly book [FedSoc]
  • Maybe Citizens United turned out so badly for the speech-suppressive side because a government lawyer was imprudently candid before the Court [Jacob Sullum, earlier on Toobin New Yorker piece]

May 18 roundup

March 23 roundup

  • Tips for those facing vexatious-litigant proceedings [Lowering the Bar; U.K.]
  • Credit card arbitration: “Plaintiffs’ lawyers protect their cartel by bringing antitrust suit” [Ted Frank, PoL]
  • Just what European business needs: gender quotas for corporate boards [Bader, CEI]
  • “Food sovereignty” movement: next, rediscovering freedom of contract? [Alex Beam, Ira Stoll]
  • Much-assailed group for state legislators: “ALEC Enjoys A New Wave of Influence and Criticism” [Alan Greenblatt, Governing]
  • Symposium on David Bernstein’s Rehabilitating Lochner [Law and Liberty, earlier here and here]
  • Because rent control is all about fairness [Damon Root]

How to handle serial litigants?

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]

“To say that Zaffina is particular about the spelling and presentation of his name would be an understatement”

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]

October 6 roundup

Perennial litigant cuts wide swath among Newark landlords

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]