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The Need for Sua Sponte Judicial Review Laws For Pro Se Litigants’ Lawsuits

“This website addresses the problem of meritless, abusive lawsuits filed by self-represented / pro se litigants and calls for legislative action that requires judges to practice sua sponte judicial review of all pro se litigants’ lawsuits.

This website also addresses the problem of religious frauds and various disturbing and harmful tactics that religious frauds use against their victims – including filing meritless, abusive lawsuits.

The matters discussed in this website involve subjects which merit constitutionally protected public scrutiny, and this website provides documentation, commentary and opinion on matters of public concern.”

Paulette Buchanan, M.A.

Proposed Bill Requiring Sua Sponte Judicial Review Of Pro Se Litigants’ Lawsuits

Proposed Bill Requiring Sua Sponte Judicial Review Of Pro Se Litigants’ Lawsuits

In January, 2021 Tennessee State Representative Scotty Campbell formally proposed two bills crafted by my husband Scott Buchanan and I, Paulette Buchanan, to the Tennessee legislature.  Click on the below UPDATE button for details.

Bill for Sua Sponte Judicial Review of Complaints Filed by Self-Represented (Pro Se) Plaintiff in Civil Court; Fair and Expeditious Handling of In Forma Pauperis Pro Se Plaintiff

Every Complaint filed by a Self-Represented (Pro Se) Plaintiff in civil court must be sworn to under penalty of perjury and undergo stringent Sua Sponte Judicial Review by a judge, or by a court appointed attorney in good standing in the jurisdiction where the Complaint is filed.  Sua Sponte Judicial Review shall include reviewing and confirming evidence presented and a strictly enforced practice of requiring a Pro Se Plaintiff to abide by the same laws, rules and conduct which attorneys are required to uphold and practice.  A docket case number shall NOT be assigned to a Complaint filed by a Pro Se Plaintiff until the court, acting Sua Sponte, renders a preliminary decision on the validity of that Complaint.  The following information will be given in writing to every Pro Se Plaintiff before filing a Complaint with the court clerk:

1)  The Pro Se Plaintiff must pay a $500.00 fee for the filing of the Complaint, with each additional Defendant costing a fee of $350.00.

2)  The Pro Se Plaintiff must list all previous lawsuits filed Pro Se, in all states and U.S. territories, and provide official court documentation as to the outcomes of those previous lawsuits filed Pro Se.

3) The Pro Se Plaintiff’s Complaint must undergo Sua Sponte Judicial Review by a judge or a court appointed attorney in good standing:

a) Sua Sponte Judicial Review shall examine verifiable documentation presented by the Pro Se Plaintiff and determine preliminarily if sufficient proof exists, that there are valid and verifiable claims for which relief can be granted, that the substance of the Complaint in whole or in part is covered by existing law, that the named Defendant(s) is/are in the court’s jurisdiction, and that the substance of the Complaint in whole or in part has not exceeded the time limit set by any and all statutes of limitations;

b) Sua Sponte Judicial Review and decision by the court regarding whether the Complaint filed by the Pro Se Plaintiff can proceed and be assigned a docket case number shall be rendered within 120 days;

c) The Complaint filing fee is non-refundable. After the court has denied a Complaint, if the Pro Se Plaintiff files a subsequent Complaint, each subsequent Complaint will require both a new $500.00 filing fee, plus a new $350.00 fee per additional Defendant;

d) Upon three (3) Sua Sponte Judicial Review rejections of Complaint by a Pro Se Plaintiff, the Pro Se Plaintiff will no longer be allowed to file Complaints Pro Se in any of the state’s civil courts.

4)  Upon Sua Sponte Judicial Review approval that a Pro Se Plaintiff’s Complaint can proceed the Pro Se Plaintiff must post a security bond determined by the court not to exceed $100,000.00.  The Pro Se Plaintiff’s Complaint CANNOT be given a case number, nor can a court server be hired to serve notification of lawsuit, nor can an Order of Notice be issued by the court, nor can subpoenas be issued, until Pro Se Plaintiff posts a security bond:

a) From that security bond the Defendant(s) shall receive financial compensation for all expenses incurred by the Defendant(s) in the event the Pro Se Plaintiff’s case is dismissed by Pro Se Plaintiff or by the court or a judgment is rendered against or appeal denied against Pro Se Plaintiff;

b) If the Pro Se Plaintiff cannot post security bond within 30 days then the Pro Se Plaintiff’s lawsuit shall be dismissed with prejudice.

5)   All Pro Se Plaintiffs are required to obtain the presiding judge’s approval for any application for subpoenas; Pro Se Plaintiffs must provide to the presiding judge their reasons for requesting subpoenas including supporting evidence with sworn affidavits under penalty of perjury.

6)   In the event that a Pro Se Plaintiff has either a case dismissed or a judgment rendered against their case or appeal denied against their case, an automatic injunction will be issued against the Pro Se Plaintiff to prohibit that individual from filing any subsequent Pro Se actions in any of the state’s courts without Sua Sponte Judicial Review.

7)   In the event a dismissal occurs or a judgment is rendered against or appeal denied against the Pro Se Plaintiff, the Pro Se Plaintiff may face appropriate criminal charges and/or contempt of court fines due to the court finding that the Pro Se Plaintiff acted in a malicious and/or harassing manner and/or presented fraudulent, false and misleading statements and/or documentation (e.g., perjury); the payment of fines may involve seizure of assets; in lieu of imposed fines due to lack of means or assets to pay fines the court may order appropriate incarceration and/or community service.

8)    In the event a dismissal occurs or a judgment is rendered against or appeal denied against the Pro Se Plaintiff the court may order Pro Se Plaintiff into mental health evaluation.

9)   In the event a dismissal occurs or a judgment is rendered against or appeal denied against the Pro Se Plaintiff, Defendant(s) may be granted a permanent Protective Order/No Contact Order against the Pro Se Plaintiff; ALL Protective Orders/No Contact Orders against the Pro Se Plaintiff must require state seizure of all guns owned by the Pro Se Plaintiff and be disposed or sold by the state.  Proceeds of the sale of those guns can be ordered by the court to go to the victims and/or to the state to pay legal expenses and/or court fines.

10)  All name(s), official and aliases, known to the court that have been used by Pro Se Plaintiffs who have pre-filing injunctions ordered against them shall be registered and recorded on all counties’ court clerk databases and be recorded on the state’s judicial web site as part of easily accessible public information.

In Forma Pauperis Pro Se Plaintiff

11)  The In Forma Pauperis Pro Se Plaintiff must demonstrate with verifiable documentation the lack of sufficient funds to pay for all costs associated with court action in filing for In Forma Pauperis status.

12)   All of the requirements of 2, 3a, b and d apply equally to In Forma Pauperis Pro Se Plaintiffs.

13)   Payment for all court fees and Officer of the Court fees shall come from the state’s funds.

14)   Upon Sua Sponte Judicial Review approval that In Forma Pauperis Pro Se Plaintiff’s Complaint can proceed, payment for a security bond shall come from the state’s funds before the Complaint can receive a case number and official notification to Defendant(s) can be granted:

a) In the event a dismissal occurs or a judgment is rendered against or appeal denied against an In Forma Pauperis Pro Se Plaintiff, Defendant(s) shall receive financial compensation up to the security bond amount from state funds for legal expenses incurred by the Defendant(s).

15)   All of 5-10 apply equally to In Forma Pauperis Pro Se Plaintiffs.

This proposed bill does not in any way deny anyone acting pro se the right of access to the courts for filing legitimate lawsuits.  Nor does this proposed bill violate any state or federal constitutional rights.  Rather, this proposed bill seeks fair and equitable treatment of all parties – which is supposed to be the constitutional basis for all state and federal laws.

This proposed bill gives all pro se litigants the benefit of review of their lawsuit by a judge or court appointed attorney for only the few hundred dollars required in typical court filing fees. This proposed bill also ensures that innocent parties that are the intended defendants are financially protected from having to spend multiple tens of thousands of dollars to simply defend and prove their innocence in meritless lawsuits filed by pro se litigants for the sole purpose of harassing, defaming and causing financial damage to their intended victims. This proposed sua sponte judicial review bill protects victims from the psychological harm, harm to reputation, and potential harm to employment that stalkers-through-the-courts routinely cause to their victims.

The reader should keep in mind that when this bill or any other bill is proposed to legislators that the typical process is for all proposed bills to undergo legal scrutiny according to state and federal constitutional law. Once a bill passes legal muster, that bill will then most likely undergo revisions as the bill goes before various committees until the revised bill comes to a final vote and awaits the governor’s signature or veto.

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