CA supreme court: “Reading the vexatious litigant statutes as a collective whole, defendants’ construction is not a plausible one. If “litigation” as defined in section 391, subdivision (a) included every motion or other procedural step taken during an action or special proceeding, and that definition were applied throughout the vexatious litigant statutes, several provisions would take on absurd, unworkable, or clearly unintended meanings. Under section 391, subdivision (b)(1), a person could be declared a vexatious litigant for losing five motions—all of which might have been filed in the same lawsuit—in a seven-year period. Section 391, subdivision (b)(3)’s reference to “motions, pleadings, or other papers” filed in the course of a litigation would make little sense if every motion, pleading, or paper filed was itself a new
litigation. Under section 391.1, the defendant could move for an order requiring the plaintiff to post security each time the plaintiff filed a motion or took any other procedural step. The trial court would then have to hold a hearing—separate from any hearing on the motion itself—and determine whether the plaintiff was reasonably likely to prevail on the motion or other procedural step. (§ 391.2.) On a negative finding, the court would then be required to order the plaintiff to furnish security, presumably cumulative to any ordered at earlier stages of the action. (§ 391.3.) If the plaintiff failed to provide the security, the action would, according to section 391.4, be “dismissed,” though the negative ruling on a motion is ordinarily referred to as a “denial” rather than a “dismissal.”
Under section 391.7 itself, defendants’ construction of “litigation” would be unworkable. A vexatious litigant in Shalant’s position, having filed the action through counsel but then having lost representation, would be required to seek permission of the presiding judge before filing any motion or other paper. The presiding judge of the court would thus be placed in the position of overseeing each procedural step of an action pending in another department and deciding in each instance whether the particular motion, pleading, or paper had “merit.” (§ 391.7, subd. (b).) If the clerk inadvertently filed any motion or other paper from the plaintiff, a notice from any other party that the plaintiff was subject to a prefiling order would automatically stay the “litigation” (§ 391.7, subd. (c))—that is, the particular motion filed or other procedural step taken—but the rest of the action would not necessarily be stayed at the same time. Pretrial and trial proceedings would be constantly interrupted for trips to the presiding judge’s department; an orderly and efficient trial would be impossible. Again, the statute provides that if permission is not granted, an inadvertently filed litigation is to be “dismissed” (ib id.), indicating the drafters did not intend each motion, which would ordinarily be granted or denied, but not “dismissed,” to be considered a separate “litigation.”
(11) Section 391.7, then, is not reasonably susceptible to a reading under which a prefiling order would bar the vexatious litigant from filing motions or other papers in propria persona even when the action (or special proceeding (see §§ 22, 23)) was itself properly filed through counsel. Any ambiguity on this point, moreover, would be dispelled by examination of the legislative history behind section 391.7’s enactment, which shows a clear focus on precluding vexatious litigants from filing in propria persona unmeritorious new “actions” or “lawsuits.” Nowhere in this history is there any suggestion the new section would bar vexatious litigants from filing motions or papers in pending litigation.
The additional remedy provided by section 391.7 was, instead, “directed at precluding the initiation of a meritless lawsuit and the costs associated with defending such litigation.” (Bravo v. Ismaj, supra, 99 Cal.App.4th at p. 222, italics added.); Shalant v. Girardi, (2011) 253 P. 3d 266).
Most CA family law parents who have been muzzled by a trial court have been deemed vexatious. The purpose is to place a legal gag order on parents as generally in most cases there is court corruption or heinous rulings that the court desperately wants to cover up, hence the legal muzzling.
Originally the vexatious litigant statute (VLS) in CA was intended to apply to litigants who sued judges; and upon a proposal by the Los Angeles county bar association the VLS statute in CA was born.
The court’s ability to make such a determination originated from an obscure and little-known state statute. In 1963, the California legislature passed the Vexatious Litigant Statute (“VLS”), defining and regulating vexatious litigants. In 1990, the California Legislature amended the VLS to provide state court judges the power to issue “prefiling orders,” which, once issued, bar individuals previously or contemporaneously classified as vexatious litigants from filing additional complaints without first obtaining leave…
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