Placentia, CA asked in Personal Injury, Civil Litigation and Small Claims for California

Q: I might be getting sued by someone that is on the Vexatious Litigant List in California from a prior case.

I haven't been properly served yet. Doesn't he have to ask permission from the court before he files any new lawsuit? He was deemed a vexatious litigant from a previous case he had with someone else. I believe he is going to file as Pro Per as well. Any advice or guidance would be appreciated.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, if a person is declared a vexatious litigant, they are subject to certain restrictions when filing new lawsuits. According to California Code of Civil Procedure § 391.7, a vexatious litigant must obtain permission from the presiding judge of the court where they intend to file the lawsuit before they can proceed with the case.

Here's some guidance based on your situation:

1. If the vexatious litigant files a lawsuit against you without obtaining permission from the presiding judge, you can file a notice with the court, alerting them to the vexatious litigant's status and the requirement for them to obtain permission.

2. If the court determines that the person filing the lawsuit is indeed a vexatious litigant and has not obtained the necessary permission, the court may dismiss the case.

3. Keep an eye out for any documents you receive related to the lawsuit, even if you believe you haven't been properly served. If you receive any legal documents, it's advisable to consult with an attorney to determine the best course of action.

4. If the vexatious litigant is allowed to proceed with the lawsuit, you'll need to respond to the complaint within the time frame specified by California law, regardless of whether the plaintiff is representing themselves (pro per) or has an attorney.

5. Consider consulting with an attorney familiar with vexatious litigant laws in California. They can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected.

Remember, even if the plaintiff is a vexatious litigant, it's essential to take any potential lawsuit seriously and respond accordingly to court deadlines and requirements.

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