Wattson v. Altabateshospital.com

Filing 16

ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE WHY COURT SHOULD NOT ISSUE PRE-FILING ORDER Show Cause Response due by 6/21/2014. Signed by Judge Claudia Wilken on 5/22/2014. (Attachments: # 1 Addendum, # 2 Certificate/Proof of Service)(ndr, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/22/2014)

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1 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 3 4 In re cases filed by No. C 14-0803 CW 5 CYBER EBOT WATTSON, ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE WHY COURT SHOULD NOT ISSUE PRE-FILING ORDER 6 Plaintiff, 7 8 9 ________________________________/ Between February 21, 2014 and May 5, 2014, Cyber Ebot Wattson United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 filed twenty-four cases in this District. See attached Addendum 11 12 (listing the twenty-four cases filed by Mr. Wattson since February 13 21, 2014). All of the cases were assigned to this judge for 14 appropriate action. 15 proceed in forma pauperis. In each of these cases, Mr. Wattson seeks to 16 In light of this litigation history, the Court considers sua 17 18 19 sponte whether it is necessary and appropriate to impose a prefiling order on Mr. Wattson. 20 LEGAL STANDARDS 21 Federal courts have the inherent power “to regulate the 22 activities of abusive litigants by imposing carefully tailored 23 restrictions under the appropriate circumstances.” DeLong v. 24 25 Hennessey, 912 F.2d 1144, 1147 (9th Cir. 1990). One such 26 carefully tailored restriction is an order requiring a litigant to 27 seek permission from the court prior to filing any future suits. 28 Id. at 1146-47. As noted by the Ninth Circuit, district courts 1 “bear an affirmative obligation to ensure that judicial resources 2 are not needlessly squandered on repeated attempts by litigants to 3 misuse the courts.” 4 O'Loughlin v. Doe, 920 F. 614, 618 (9th Cir. 1990). Nonetheless, pre-filing review orders should rarely be used. Moy v. United States, 906 F.2d 467, 470 (9th Cir. 1990). 5 A 6 7 pre-filing order “cannot issue merely upon a showing of 8 litigiousness.” 9 numerous, but also be patently without merit. United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 Id. The plaintiff's claims must not only be Id. The Ninth Circuit has established four guidelines “to maintain this delicate balance between broad court access and 12 prevention of court abuse.” O'Loughlin, 920 F.2d at 617. Before 13 14 a court enters a vexatious litigant order: (1) the plaintiff must 15 be given adequate notice to oppose entry of the order; (2) the 16 court must present an adequate record by listing the case filings 17 that support its order; 3) the court must make substantive 18 findings of frivolousness or harassment; and (4) the order must be 19 20 21 narrowly tailored to remedy only the plaintiff's particular abuses. Id.; 22 23 24 DeLong, 912 F.2d at 1147-49. DISCUSSION I. Notice Before a pre-filing order may be entered, due process 25 requires that the litigant be provided with notice and an 26 27 opportunity to oppose the order. De Long, 912 F.2d at 1147. 28 2 1 Accordingly, the Court is issuing this Order to Show Cause prior 2 to entering any order. 3 II. 4 Adequate record for review The district court must create a record for review which 5 includes a listing of all the cases and motions that led it to 6 7 conclude that a pre-filing order was needed. The record must at 8 least show, in some manner, that the litigant's activities were 9 numerous or abusive. United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 See id. The Court has attached an Addendum to this order. The Addendum consists a report from ECF, the Court's online docket 12 system that lists the twenty-four cases that have led the Court to 13 14 15 16 17 conclude that a pre-filing order may be necessary. III. Substantive Findings of Frivolousness or Harassment The district court must make substantive findings as to the frivolous or harassing nature of the litigant's actions. It must 18 find the litigant's claims frivolous after looking at both the 19 20 21 22 23 24 number and content of the filings, or, alternatively, find that the claims show a pattern of harassment. See id. at 1148. Looking at the large number of filings and their content, the Court determines that Mr. Wattson’s claims are frivolous. As noted above, Mr. Wattson has filed twenty-four cases in an eight- 25 week period. In each case Mr. Wattson filed an application to 26 27 28 proceed in forma pauperis. The Court granted the application in each case, but dismissed all of the complaints for failure to 3 1 state a claim. In addition, the Court found that Mr. Wattson’s 2 complaints lack an arguable basis in law, and an arguable basis in 3 fact. 4 See Jackson v. Arizona, 885 F.2d 639, 640-41 (9th Cir. 1999) (complaint is frivolous and subject to dismissal if it is 5 incomprehensible and lacks an arguable basis in law or fact). 6 7 Thus, the Court made a substantive finding as to the frivolous 8 nature of Mr. Wattson’s actions. 9 4. United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 Breadth of Order The district court must narrowly tailor the proposed pre- filing order to “closely fit the specific vice encountered.” 12 Delong, 912 F.2d at 1148. An order preventing a litigant from 13 14 filing any further actions without leave of court, for example, 15 ordinarily is overly broad and cannot stand. 16 F.2d at 470-71. 17 See id.; Moy, 906 When the Ninth Circuit held in Moy that an order preventing a 18 vexatious litigant from filing any actions without leave of the 19 20 court was overly broad, the court specifically noted, “There is no 21 evidence on this record that Moy has a general history of 22 litigious filing.” 23 where the Ninth Circuit held that a similar order was overly 24 Moy, 906 F.2d at 471. Similarly, in DeLong, broad, the litigant's history involved repeated filings related to 25 a specific dispute with particular defendants. DeLong, 912 F.2d 26 27 28 at 1145-46. On that record, the district court likewise could not have concluded that DeLong had a general history of litigious 4 1 filing. Here, by contrast, Mr. Wattson has filed twenty-four 2 cases containing often incomprehensible allegations related to his 3 assertion that he is not a human but a member of the “Cybernetic 4 Controller Cop Operatives.” 5 The “specific vice” encountered by the Court is the volume of 6 7 incomprehensible complaints filed by Mr. Wattson, without 8 cognizable claims for relief. 9 Mr. Wattson’s identity as a robot or a “cybernet citizen”, sexual United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 Although recurring themes, such as slavery, abduction and torture, the misidentification of Mr. Wattson as either Aaren or Darren Striplin and hijacked airplanes 12 dominate Mr. Wattson’s filings, a pre-filing order cannot be 13 14 limited to specific subject matter, because the problem of 15 incomprehensibility is not tied to any particular subject matter. 16 On this record, the Court concludes that Mr. Wattson has a general 17 history of litigious filing. This history justifies a general 18 order requiring pre-filing review by this Court of any action 19 20 filed by Mr. Wattson. 21 Unless Mr. Wattson shows cause why it should not be issued, 22 the Court intends to issue the following pre-filing order, which 23 will be applicable to any action Mr. Wattson files in this Court: 24 “IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Clerk of this Court shall not 25 accept for filing any further complaints filed by Cyber Ebot 26 27 28 Wattson, until that complaint has first been reviewed by the Court. A two-stage pre-filing review will be conducted before 5 1 2 leave is granted to file the action. First, if the complaint is related to any of the following subject matters: 3 (1) 4 (2) (3) (4) 5 6 (5) 7 Mr. Wattson’s identity as a robot or a “cybernet citizen;” sexual slavery; abduction and torture; the misidentification of Mr. Wattson as either Aaren or Darren Striplin; or hijacked airplanes 8 it will not be filed unless it presents cognizable claims that are 9 not based on merely conclusory allegations. United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 Second, no other complaints filed by Mr. Wattson will be filed unless they contain intelligible factual allegations and claims for relief. All cases 12 filed by Mr. Wattson shall be forwarded to the undersigned for 13 14 15 16 17 pre-filing review.” Within thirty days of the date of this Order, Mr. Wattson may file a statement showing cause why this order should not be issued. If he fails to file the statement or if he fails to show 18 cause why the order should not be filed, the order shall be 19 20 21 22 entered and it shall be applicable in all future actions filed by Mr. Wattson. IT IS SO ORDERED. 23 24 25 Dated: 5/22/2014 CLAUDIA WILKEN United States District Judge 26 27 28 6

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