Haskett v. T.S. Dudley Land Company, Inc. et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER (Signed by Judge George C Hanks, Jr) Parties notified.(dperez, 3)
United States District Court
Southern District of Texas
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
T.S. DUDLEY LAND COMPANY, INC., §
September 21, 2017
David J. Bradley, Clerk
PHILLIP DAVID HASKETT,
CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:14-CV-277
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff, Phillip David Haskett, filed this lawsuit on August 27, 2014, against
Defendants T.S. Dudley Land Company, Inc.; ―Unknown Clients of T.S. Dudley Land
Company #1-#9;‖ and ―Jon Doughs [sic] #1- #9.‖ (Dkt. 1).
Haskett is a Texas resident who is representing himself pro se. This is one of a
series of strikingly similar lawsuits Haskett has filed in this Court, each alleging that
various Defendants unlawfully discriminated against him because (according to Haskett)
their sole reason for not hiring him after posting available jobs online was that they
guessed his age after reading his resume. 1 In each of these lawsuits, Defendants have all
denied any such age-based discrimination, and they have instead pointed to a number of
reasons for their decision(s) not to hire Haskett, including allegations that Haskett had a
See, e.g., Haskett v. Percheron, LLC et al, No. 3:14-cv-00257 (age discrimination based upon
failure to hire Haskett from his response to on-line job postings); Haskett v. Cinco Energy
Management Group et al, No. 3:14-cv-00280 (age discrimination, declaratory judgment, and
intentional interference with prospective employment opportunities); Haskett v. Continental
Land Resources, LLC et al, No. 3:14-cv-00281 (age discrimination and declaratory relief
claims); and Haskett v. Orange Energy Consultants, LLP et al, No. 3:14-cv-00348 (age
discrimination and declaratory relief claims).
history of being contentious and that he had performed poorly when he had been hired in
This lawsuit is notable because the Defendant in this case, T.S. Dudley, has filed
an abuse of process counterclaim against Haskett, characterizing him as an out-of-control
vexatious pro se litigant who also enjoys the advantage of litigating in forma pauperis,
i.e., at taxpayer expense. This Court recently granted summary judgment for T.S. Dudley
on Haskett’s claims against it. Dkt. 175. Now, the Court turns to T.S. Dudley’s own
motion for summary judgment against Haskett for abuse of process. Dkt. 113. The Court
has previously set out the factual and procedural history of this case, as well as the
relevant summary judgment standards. Those standards are incorporated and applied
The Fifth Circuit recently addressed the tort of abuse of process under Texas law,
in Matter of Dallas Roadster, Ltd., 846 F.3d 112, 124–25 (5th Cir. 2017). There, the Fifth
Circuit noted that, to succeed in an abuse of process claim, a plaintiff must show the
following three elements: (1) ―the defendant made an illegal, improper or perverted use
of the process, a use neither warranted nor authorized by the process;‖ (2) ―the defendant
had an ulterior motive or purpose in exercising such illegal, perverted or improper use of
the process;‖ and (3) ―damage resulted to the plaintiff as a result of such illegal act.‖ Id.
(citing Liverman v. Payne–Hall, 486 S.W.3d 1, 5 (Tex. App.—El Paso 2015, no pet.)
T.S. Dudley’s motion contends, ―Plaintiff has improperly used his blatantly
baseless claims for age discrimination as a threat to blackmail Dudley into paying over
money to him and has attempted to interfere with Dudley’s business relationships.
Additionally, Plaintiff has abused the discovery process and is seeking information well
beyond the scope of discoverable material in a further attempt to alienate Dudley from its
clients and contractors. Plaintiff’s use of this action as a tool to blackmail Dudley and
seek information about individuals and entities that have nothing to do with his ADEA
claim constitute an improper use of process for an improper purpose.‖ As evidence to
support its motion, T.S. Dudley points to Haskett’s practice of naming clients as well as
the entities who failed to hire him, his wide, and often improper, discovery requests and
notices in this suit and others. T.S. Dudley contends that Haskett has ―improperly used
the Court’s processes to seek information about individuals and entities who are
completely unrelated to his claim for age discrimination against Defendant . . . .‖ T.S.
Dudley points out that, in this case, Haskett has even threatened to subpoena the EEOC
investigator assigned to his claim and that Haskett has an documented ―extensive
litigation history‖ in this and other courts.
In fact, T.S Dudley notes that at least one court now requires Haskett to seek its
permission before filing any lawsuits in that jurisdiction. See, e.g., Order Directing
Phillip David Haskett to File a Motion for Permission to Appear Pro Se for All Future
Cases in Which He Wishes to Appear as a Plaintiff in the Fourth Judicial District, The
Sarah D’ann Haskett Educational Trust v. Stevens, Case No. 09CV264, District Court for
El Paso County, Colorado, dated April 15, 2010 (finding Haskett had been involved in
more than 60 cases in the State of Colorado, had engaged in problematic behavior during
discovery and ―misused the legal system for the purposes of harassing and intimating his
adversary‖); Haskett v. Flanders, No. 13-CV-03392-RBJ-KLM, 2015 WL 5258848, at *2
(D. Colo. Sept. 10, 2015), aff’d, 654 F. App’x 379 (10th Cir. 2016) (finding ―Mr. Haskett
has a reputation for frivolous litigation‖ and that he is ―something of a bully‖ who
―engages in litigation as a hobby,‖ including bragging ―I invented the concept of phony
counterclaims as bargaining chips.‖).
Nonetheless, although these items might be said to paint a rather unflattering and
unpalatable picture of Haskett, they do not necessarily establish that there is no genuine
dispute of material fact as to Haskett’s intent with respect to this lawsuit. After
considering the relevant case law regarding abuse of process, and in light of the summary
judgment record before it, the Court finds that the summary judgment evidence presented
by T.S. Dudley fails to establish that it is entitled to summary judgment on its abuse of
process claim at this time.
Accordingly, the Court DENIES T.S. Dudley’s motion for summary judgment.
SIGNED at Galveston, Texas, this 21st day of September, 2017.
George C. Hanks Jr.
United States District Judge
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