Kinney v. Clark

A court may expand a vexatious litigant pre-filing order to bar new suits or appeals even if filed by an attorney if the litigant has evaded the prior pre-filing order by using an attorney to file more frivolous litigation.  A court may expand a pre-filing order issued against a person already found to be a vexatious litigant to preclude new filings of complaints, appeals or writs even if filed by an attorney rather than as a pro per litigant.  Though CCP 391.7 expressly authorizes only orders requiring approval before filing a suit in pro per, a broader order may be issued when the vexatious litigant uses attorneys as mere puppets to file and pursue meritless litigation rather than the attorneys acting as neutral assessors of the merits of the claim bound by ethical considerations not to pursue meritless litigation.  See In re Shieh (1993) 17 Cal.App.4th 1154, 1167.  Also, apart from the statute, the courts have inherent authority to prevent a vexatious litigant from continuing to file meritless suits or appeals through an attorney.

California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 1 (Chaney, J.); May 17, 2017; 2017 WL 2131382

 

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