Mazzaferro v. Parisi et al

Filing 122

ORDER HOLDING IN ABEYANCE ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE AND REQUIRING PAYMENT OF ATTORNEYS' FEES re 119 Order Signed by Judge Alsup on 10/10/2017. (whalc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/10/2017)

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1 2 3 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 4 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 5 6 7 RONALD MAZZAFERRO, No. C 16-05641 WHA 8 9 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 12 Plaintiff, v. ORDER HOLDING IN ABEYANCE ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE AND REQUIRING PAYMENT OF ATTORNEYS’ FEES WILLIAM PARISI, KEN JOHNSON, SPENCER CRUM, BRUCE GOLDSTEIN, JOSHUA MYERS, and LYNN SEARLE, Defendants. / 13 14 15 On September 22, pro se plaintiff Ronald Mazzaferro was ordered to show cause why 16 this action should not be dismissed as a sanction for his frivolous and bad faith litigation tactics 17 (Dkt. No. 119). 18 Mazzaferro initiated this action in October 2016, alleging Section 1983 claims against 19 various parties including Sonoma County Deputy Sheriffs, Sonoma County Counsel attorneys, a 20 private attorney, and the State Bar of California. His suit has proved meritless and resulted in 21 dismissal after dismissal of named defendants (Dkt. Nos. 27, 80, 119). Nevertheless, 22 Mazzaferro has generated voluminous litigation of collateral issues due to his bad faith and 23 abusive litigation tactics. For example, Mazzaferro moved for default against one of the 24 Sonoma County Deputy defendants. As it turned out, however, he had never served the 25 defendant and simply filed a false affidavit of service, misleading the clerk (Dkt. No. 58 at 3). 26 Accordingly, after motion practice to resolve the issue, an order set aside default (ibid.). 27 28 In another instance, following an order dismissing a private attorney defendant, she moved for judgment under FRCP 54(b), noting in her motion that a final entry of judgment was particularly appropriate because Mazzaferro had named her in many other suits and the entry of 1 judgment could give preclusive effect to duplicative claims (Dkt. No. 90 at 9). In addition to 2 opposing her motion for entry of judgment, Mazzaferro promptly filed a frivolous motion 3 seeking sanctions against the defendant, in part for her having correctly identified him as a 4 designated vexatious litigant in the California courts (Dkt. Nos. 94, 95). Thereafter, judgment 5 was entered in the defendant’s favor against Mazzaferro and he filed another motion, lacking 6 any basis in the law, to set aside the judgment (see Dkt. Nos. 102, 106). 7 In the most recent incident giving rise to this order to show cause, attorneys from the 8 Sonoma County Counsel Office moved to dismiss claims Mazzaferro brought against them, 9 apparently for representing their clients, Sonoma County Deputy Sheriffs. Prior to the County Counsel’s motion to dismiss, Mazzaferro had already been admonished that his suit against 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 these attorneys was inappropriate. A February 2017 order informed Mazzaferro that Sonoma 12 County Counsel are entitled to represent Sonoma County law enforcement officers, and that 13 Mazzaferro’s contention to the contrary was “wrong” (Dkt. No. 58 at 3). Following that order, 14 one of the Sonoma County Counsel defendants wrote Mazzaferro a letter pointing him to the 15 California Government Code Sections that authorize County Counsel to represent officers and 16 employees of the county and asking that, pursuant to the Court’s admonitions, he withdraw his 17 claims against the attorney defendants (Dkt. No. 110 at 7). Mazzaferro ignored these warnings 18 and continued to name Sonoma County Counsel in his suit with no legitimate legal basis for 19 doing so (see Dkt. Nos. 62, 84, 99). 20 Sonoma County Counsel, Attorneys Bruce Goldstein and Joshua Myers, moved for 21 dismissal, which dismissal was granted on September 22 (Dkt. No. 119). In the order 22 dismissing Attorneys Goldstein and Myers, Mazzaferro was ordered to show cause why his 23 action should not be dismissed in its entirety as a result of his bad faith litigation tactics (id. at 24 4–5). Mazzaferro submitted a response to the order to show cause arguing not only that his suit 25 should not be dismissed, but that he should be given an opportunity to amend his complaint to 26 state additional claims against the Sonoma County Counsel defendants (Dkt. No. 120 at 17). 27 He also appeared at a hearing on his order to show cause, at which he likewise refused to 28 acknowledge that the Sonoma County Counsel have a right to represent their clients in this suit. 2 1 Mazzaferro’s actions constitute bad faith from which he evidently cannot be deterred. 2 Rather than pursue legitimate claims, this suit has become merely a vehicle for Mazzaferro to 3 visit abuse upon officials in Sonoma County. 4 Nevertheless, this order does not yet dismiss Mazzaferro’s action in its entirety. Instead, 5 it holds in abeyance the order to show cause, and requires Mazzaferro to pay Sonoma County 6 Counsel defendants, Bruce Goldstein and Joshua Myers, their attorneys’ fees associated with 7 litigating their motion to dismiss Mazzaferro’s claims against them. 8 By OCTOBER 17, AT NOON, Attorneys Goldstein and Myers shall submit sworn 9 declarations setting forth the attorneys’ fees apportioned to their most recent motion to dismiss. 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 Mazzaferro shall file any opposition to those fees by OCTOBER 24, AT NOON. After the appropriate fee amount is determined, Mazzaferro will have FOURTEEN DAYS 12 to pay defendants Goldstein and Myers. If he fails to do so, his case will very likely be 13 dismissed. 14 15 IT IS SO ORDERED. 16 17 18 Dated: October 10, 2017. 19 WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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