Guidance on abusive pro se litigants from Indiana Supreme Court
Massachusetts Law Updates 2014-10-03
The Indiana Supreme court recently dealt with a self represented litigant that was deemed abusive, after filing 123 civil law suits since 2008. In the case, Zavodnik v. Harper, the court has empowered the lower courts to issue sanctions or restrictions and offered specific guidance.
- Require the litigant to accompany future pleadings with an affidavit certifying under penalty of perjury that the allegations are true to the best of the litigant's knowledge, information, and belief.
- Direct the litigant to attach to future complaints a list of all cases previously filed involving the same, similar, or related cause of action.
- Direct that future pleadings will be stricken if they do not meet the requirements that a pleading must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief" and that "[e]ach averment of a pleading shall be simple, concise, and direct." T.R. 8(A)(1) and (E)(1).
- Require the litigant to state clearly and concisely at the beginning of a motion the relief requested.
- Require the litigant to provide specific page citations to documents alleged by the litigant to support an argument or position.
- Limit the litigant's ability to request reconsideration and to file repetitive motions.
- Limit the number of pages or words of pleadings, motions, and other filings.
- Limit the length of the title that may be used for a filing.
- Limit the amount or length of exhibits or attachments that may accompany a filing.
- Instruct the clerk to reject without return for correction future filings that do not strictly comply with applicable rules of procedure and conditions ordered by the court.