Lankford et al v. United States Department of Justice
ORDER by District Judge William P. Johnson permanently enjoining Plaintiffs from filing pleadings AS FURTHER DESCRIBED HEREIN. (mag)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW MEXICO
DAVID LANKFORD and
LEE ANN LANKFORD,
No. 1:17-cv-668 WJ/GBW
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
ENJOINING PLAINTIFFS FROM FILING CERTAIN PLEADINGS
OR LAWSUITS IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW MEXICO
THE UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW MEXICO
THIS MATTER comes before the Court following the Court’s Order to Show Cause
Why Filing Restrictions Should Not Be Imposed, filed on November 17, 2017 (Doc. 22).
Plaintiffs are pro se litigants who have engaged in a pattern of frivolous and repetitive litigation
in this Court and the United States Bankruptcy Court, District of New Mexico (the “Bankruptcy
Court”). On November 17, 2017, the Court also entered a Memorandum Opinion and Order
dismissing all claims in this case (Doc. 21).
On November 30, 2017, the Plaintiffs filed another Motion to Vacate Void Judgments per
Rule 60(b) in the Bankruptcy Court. This motion alleges similar due process violations and bias
arguments that were rejected by this Court.1 This motion was filed thirteen days after the Court
issued the Order to Show Cause. Therefore, the Court concludes that Plaintiffs considered the
The Tenth Circuit previously rejected Plaintiffs’ claims of judicial misconduct, agreeing that various judicial
officers were judicially immune. Lankford v. Wagner, 853 F.3d 1119, 1121 (10th Cir. 2017).
Court’s specific warnings about filing repetitive or frivolous filings and rejected them. Plaintiffs
are likely to continue to abuse the judicial process.
Plaintiffs filed an Objection to the Order to Show Cause on December 7, 2017 (Doc. 23).
Plaintiffs argue that filing restrictions are inappropriate, because their pleadings and motions are
not frivolous. They further argue that the Bankruptcy Court and this Court are corrupt or biased,
and therefore the judgments against them should be overturned. The record does not reflect any
fraud on the court or bias on the part of the courts. The Court finds that these objections are not
well-taken, and therefore, are overruled.
For the reasons stated in the Memorandum Opinion and Order (Doc. 21), and the Order
to Show Cause (Doc. 22),
IT IS ORDERED that the following filing restrictions shall become effective
immediately as of the date of the filing of this order:
Plaintiffs are PERMANENTLY ENJOINED from filing any pleadings or motions in
the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico, or in the United States
Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Mexico, related to the subject matter of their existing
or prior lawsuits in these federal courts, including (but not limited to):
filings related to their investment in Vaughan Company, Realtors (“VCR”);
the VCR bankruptcy case and any related litigation, including the fraudulent transfer
court rulings, including rulings from the Bankruptcy Court, stemming from the VCR
This includes any attempt to attack, vacate, or reconsider the Bankruptcy Court’s judgments or this Court’s
judgments, on the basis of bias, fraud, or lack of due process.
any alleged corruption, bias, or fraud by any party in connection with with the VCR
bankruptcy case, including but not limited to judges, the trustee, counsel, and state or
(collectively, the “Subject Matter”).
To file a pleading or motion on the above Subject Matter, they must comply with the
1. The Plaintiffs must be represented by a licensed attorney of record authorized to
practice in federal district court or bankruptcy court for this district. The attorney must certify
that, based on his/her review of the Plaintiffs’ complaint, it states a cause of action sufficient to
sustain scrutiny under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), and meets pleading requirements of Fed. R. Civ.
P. 8 and factual predicate requirements of Fed. R. Civ.P. 11.
Thus, if the Plaintiffs are
represented by counsel who makes this required certification, the proposed complaint will be
received and filed.
2. Alternatively, if the Plaintiffs seek to proceed as pro se litigants on the above Subject
Matter, they must comply with the following:
a. By a separate affidavit, along with a proposed complaint, to the clerk of this
Court or the Bankruptcy Court, the Plaintiffs must demonstrate that the action is commenced in
good faith and is not malicious or without arguable merit.
b. The proposed complaint or pleading must be certified as proposed by Fed. R.
Civ. P. 11.
c. The proposed complaint must include a list of every previous action which
they have filed, either individually or jointly, in federal or state courts, and must provide the
Plaintiffs have indicated they intend to sue parties who played no role in the VCR bankruptcy case or associated
litigation, including Congress. Therefore, the Court declines to narrowly tailor these filing restrictions to suits
against certain parties.
names of all parties in such actions, as well as the docket numbers. The proposed complaint
must disclose the status prior lawsuits, including the status and outcome of any appeals.
d. Plaintiffs must provide a list apprising the Court of all outstanding injunctions
or orders limiting their access to state or federal courts, including orders and injunctions
requiring petitioner to seek leave to file matters pro se or requiring that they be represented by an
attorney. A copy of each order or injunction must be submitted with each proposed complaint.
A notarized affidavit, in proper legal form, must be submitted with the
proposed complaint which recites the issues the litigant or litigants (if filing jointly) seek to
present, including a short discussion of the legal basis asserted, and describing with particularity
the legal challenge being presented. The affidavit must disclose whether the same or similar
claims were asserted in any prior action filed by them, and must disclose the status of that prior
action, as well as provide the style of the case, the docket number and the name of the court
where the prior action was filed. The affidavit must certify that the legal arguments being raised
are not frivolous or made in bad faith, that they are warranted by existing law or by a good-faith
argument for the extension, modification or reversal of existing law.
3. Upon receipt of the proposed complaint and affidavit, the clerk of court of the district
or bankruptcy court will submit the document package to a district judge or bankruptcy judge as
appropriate, or at the district judge’s option, to a referred magistrate judge for pre-filing review.
Should the district judge, magistrate judge, or bankruptcy judge determine that the case appears
to state a cause of action, appears to have been commenced in good faith and is not malicious or
without arguable merit, or repetitive, the district judge, magistrate judge, or bankruptcy judge
will authorize the appropriate clerk of court to accept the pleading for filing.
4. Should a judge decline to accept the pleading for filing, it will be returned to Plaintiffs
by the clerk of court.
This Permanent Injunction and the Final Judgment entered herewith constitutes a
final, appealable order, and this Permanent Injunction shall not prohibit Plaintiffs from filing an
appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
This injunction shall take effect immediately upon the filing of this Order.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?