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Martin v. City of Los Angeles

United States District Court, C.D. California

May 4, 2018

Don Martin
v.
City of Los Angeles, et al.

          PRESENT: HONORABLE SUZANNE H. SEGAL, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

         DOCKET ENTRY: ORDER TO SHOW WHY THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE SHOULD NOT RECOMMEND THAT THE COURT DEEM PLAINTIFF A VEXATIOUS LITIGANT AND IMPOSE PRE-FILING RESTRICTIONS

         PROCEEDINGS: (IN CHAMBERS)

         On April 18, 2016, Plaintiff Don Martin, a California resident proceeding pro se, filed the above-referenced civil rights action against the City of Los Angeles (the “City”) and numerous individual law enforcement officers. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants wrongfully seized his property.

         Plaintiff has a pattern of filing frivolous civil rights complaints in the Central District of California against the City and other individual and municipal defendants alleging similar claims. Included in this Order are the case names and numbers of nine of Plaintiff's prior actions taken from the Central District of California docket.[1] None of these actions resulted in a judgment favorable to Plaintiff. Only one of them was adjudicated even in part on the merits, and it resulted in a grant of summary judgment in the defendant's favor. All the rest were dismissed as patently frivolous, for failure to state a claim, or for failure to prosecute.

         The Court finds that it is appropriate to warn Plaintiff that he may be deemed a vexatious litigant. This Order places Plaintiff on notice that the Court is considering a vexatious litigant order that will impose pre-filing conditions upon him before he may file any future complaint or in forma pauperis (“IFP”) application with this Court.

         Central District of California Local Rule 83-8 governs vexatious litigants. Local Rule 83-8.3, “Findings, ” states that a vexatious litigant order “shall be based on a finding that the litigant to whom the order is issued has abused the Court's process and is likely to continue such abuse, unless protective measures are taken.” See L.R. 83-8.3. This Court finds, as discussed more fully below, that Petitioner has abused the Court's process and is likely to continue such abuse, unless protective measures are taken.

         District courts should enter a pre-filing order only after a “cautious review of the pertinent circumstances.” Molski v. Evergreen Dynasty Corp., 500 F.3d 1047, 1057 (9th Cir. 2007). Accordingly, the Ninth Circuit has identified four factors that a court must examine before issuing a pre-filing order on a finding that a litigant is vexatious:

[F]lagrant abuse of the judicial process cannot be tolerated because it enables one person to preempt the use of judicial time that properly could be used to consider the meritorious claims of other litigants. Thus, [we have] outlined four factors for district courts to examine before entering pre-filing orders. First, the litigant must be given notice and a chance to be heard before the order is entered. Second, the district court must compile an adequate record for review. Third, the district court must make substantive findings about the frivolous or harassing nature of the plaintiff's litigation. Finally, the vexatious litigant order must be narrowly tailored to closely fit the specific vice encountered.

Id. (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). The Court will address the four factors below.

         1) Notice And Opportunity To Be Heard

         The Court hereby notifies Plaintiff that it is considering a vexatious litigant order for the reasons set forth in this Order. As discussed below, Plaintiff must file a written response to this Order within fourteen (14) days of the date of this Order.

         2) An Adequate Record For Review

         The Court attaches copies of the case dockets, by case name and number, to demonstrate the multiple cases filed by Plaintiff since 2003. A review of these complaints on the electronic docketing system for the Central District of ...


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