Jarvis v. The City of Alexandria Mayor's Office et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION Signed by District Judge James C. Cacheris on 6/22/17. (gwalk, ) ORDER TO FOLLOW
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA
DEREK N. JARVIS,
CITY OF ALEXANDRIA, et al.,
M E M O R A N D U M
O P I N I O N
This matter is before the Court on the Defendants’
request for a pre-filing injunction.
following reasons, the Court will grant Defendants’ request and
enter a pre-filing injunction against Plaintiff.
The instant request for a pre-filing injunction arose
after pro se Plaintiff Derek N. Jarvis (“Plaintiff” or “Jarvis”)
brought a case against the Alexandria Mayor’s Office, City
Council, and City Manager (collectively, the “Defendants”) for
alleged violations of his constitutional rights, negligence, and
Compl. [Dkt. 1] at 1-3.
On June 12, 2017, the Court
dismissed Plaintiff’s case in its entirety for failure to state
a claim upon which relief can be granted.
Mem. Op. [Dkt. 16.]
The Court presumes familiarity with its prior Memorandum
Opinion, which discussed the facts and procedural history of
this case at length.
Standard of Review
“Federal courts have the authority to issue pre-filing
injunctions against vexatious litigants.”
Thomas v. Fulton,
2008 WL 64651, at *1 (4th Cir. Jan. 7, 2008) (citing Cromer v.
Kraft Foods N. Am., Inc., 390 F.3d 812, 817 (4th Cir. 2004)).
In doing so, however, courts should take care not to “limit [in
any way] a litigant's access to the courts absent exigent
circumstances, such as a litigant's continuous abuse of the
judicial process by filing meritless and repetitive
Cromer, 390 F.3d at 817–18 (internal quotation marks
and citation omitted).
To decide whether to issue a pre-filing injunction,
district courts should consider the following factors:
(1) the party's history of litigation, in particular
whether he has filed vexatious, harassing, or
duplicative lawsuits; (2) whether the party had a good
faith basis for pursuing the litigation, or simply
intended to harass; (3) the extent of the burden on
the courts and other parties resulting from the
party's filings; and (4) the adequacy of alternative
Id. at 818 (citations omitted).
Once a court decides that a
pre-filing injunction is warranted, the court “must ensure that
the injunction is narrowly tailored to fit the specific
circumstances at issue.”
Id. (internal quotation marks and
Moreover, before a court issues the pre-
filing injunction, it must afford the litigant notice and an
opportunity to be heard.
Id. at 819.
This notice must be
sufficient to ensure that the litigant has a chance to oppose
the court’s order before it is entered.
Id. (internal citations
and quotations omitted).
At the end of Defendants’ motion to dismiss, the
parties include a request that this Court declare Plaintiff a
vexatious litigant and issue an injunction to prevent Plaintiff
from filing any other lawsuit before this Court without first
obtaining prior approval.
[Dkt. 9] at 11-13.
Mem. in Supp. of Mot. to Dismiss
Having reviewed Plaintiff’s arguments in
opposition to this request [Dkt. 12 at 21], provided Plaintiff
with notice and a hearing, 1 and analyzed the relevant factors for
this Court to consider prior to issuing an injunction, the Court
finds that a pre-filing injunction in this case is warranted.
First, the Court agrees that Plaintiff has a history
of vexatious litigation, having now filed over twenty-five
meritless lawsuits in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
Plaintiff filed a Motion for Reconsideration and Motion to Vacate June 12
Order [Dkt. 18], in which he indicated that he had received notice of the
hearing scheduled for June 22, 2017. Plaintiff stated that he would not
attend the hearing and accused the Court of “apparent bias and possible
collusion and obstruction.” Id. at 3. True to his word, Plaintiff did not
appear to contest the pre-filing injunction.
Plaintiff has demonstrated a pattern of filing these lawsuits,
along with numerous motions for reconsideration, appeals to the
Fourth Circuit and Supreme Court, and requests for rehearing.
In at least one instance, Plaintiff has decided to then sue the
judge and personnel in the federal clerk’s office.
Additionally, Plaintiff has been warned previously by a federal
district judge in Maryland about his “pattern of filing
frivolous lawsuits in this court, and vexatious filing in those
suits,” as well as the possibility of a pre-filing injunction.
See Jarvis v. Enterprise Fleet Servs. & Leasing Co., 2010 WL
1068146, at *25 (D. Md. Mar. 17, 2010).
admonition, Plaintiff maintains today that “everyone [sic] of
[his] cases were [sic] meritorious, and many will be refiled as
a result of the obstruction by the Court.”
12] at 21.
Mem. in Opp. [Dkt.
Thus, he appears as committed as ever to filing
frivolous lawsuits and motions going forward.
The Court also agrees that Plaintiff lacks a good
faith basis for the pleadings he has filed thus far.
Complaint in the instant case is sixteen pages long, a great
deal of which appears devoted to harassing Defendants.
example, Plaintiff accuses the city of Alexandria of being a
community in which officials “walk a confederate [sic] soldier
down the streets of Old Town to haunt and offend descendants of
Compl. at 3.
He also requests that this Court order
reparations from the city in order to correct its “racist legacy
of terrorizing and discriminating against the descendants of
He accuses OHR of being “a fraud,” and insists
that living in Alexandria as a black man is an “ongoing
Id. at 1, 5.
These sorts of claims, which are
unconnected to any of his causes of action, demonstrate his
abuse of the right to access courts for appropriate redress.
Third, the Court finds that Plaintiff has become a
substantial burden on judicial resources.
In over twenty-five
lawsuits, the judiciary has had no choice but to wade through
his numerous nonsensical pro se arguments to determine if any
viable claims exist.
has been found.
Thus far, not a single meritorious claim
However, Plaintiff appears unwilling to accept
the outcome in these cases, instead finding fault with the
judicial system itself.
Given this behavior, Plaintiff places a
significant strain on the judiciary.
Finally, as mentioned above, the Court finds that
Plaintiff is unfazed by the warnings he has already received
from the District of Maryland.
to ignore them entirely.
In fact, Plaintiff seems poised
As Plaintiff is indigent, there is no
effective alternative sanction, such as holding him in contempt,
that would prevent his ongoing conduct.
Accordingly, the Court concludes that a pre-filing
injunction to prevent Plaintiff from filing any new lawsuits in
a related action or any other motions in this action without
first seeking and obtaining leave of the Court is warranted.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court will grant
Defendants’ request for a pre-filing injunction.
Order will issue.
June 22, 2017
James C. Cacheris
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
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