Another danger caused by these abusive / vexatious pro se litigants is their abuse of the subpoena process. While most states require pro se litigants to submit an affidavit to a judge to seek judicial approval to obtain subpoenas (another form of judicial review), astoundingly there are some states that still allow pro se litigants to pay a small fee of $5.00 to $6.00 for each subpoena simply filed with the court clerk without demonstrating any valid legal need for those subpoenas. With those subpoenas pro se litigants can abuse the subpoena process and obtain within a few days all kinds of personal information about their victims such as car registration, banking information, property information, employment information, etc., even though they have no need for this private information for their lawsuit. For all intents and purposes this abuse of subpoenas is legalized identity theft and some state courts do not notify defendants of any subpoenas taken out by plaintiffs. Very quick acting victims and their attorneys who keep a daily eye on court filings by a pro se litigant can request a judge to issue an immediate quashing of those subpoenas and request that the pro se litigant obtain judicial approval for any subsequent filings for subpoenas. But every minute counts in order to get an immediate ruling by a judge to quash the subpoenas and notify the recipients of those subpoenas not to comply per order of the court.
A number of states have enacted laws – often referred to as “gatekeeper” laws – that react to the problem of abusive / vexatious pro se lawsuits by awarding monetary judgments against those litigants and placing pre-filing restrictions on pro se litigants already deemed to be abusive. But monetary judgments are a sick joke on victims because it is oftentimes difficult if not impossible to collect payment from abusive / vexatious pro se litigants, especially those who file in forma pauperis. Again, judgments against abusive / vexatious pro se litigants can also include injunctions banning those pro se litigants from filing any additional lawsuits without sua sponte judicial review and approval — so this is another example in which sua sponte judicial review is already practiced, however it is after damage has already been done previously by the abusive / vexatious pro se litigant. Furthermore, if an abusive pro se litigant deliberately violates the court’s order and commits contempt of court by filing more meritless, abusive lawsuits, there are very few if any adverse consequences. In other words, in many cases the court orders and injunctions have very little teeth when it comes to punishments and restraints against the abusive pro se litigant. Only if the abusive / vexatious pro se litigant lives within the court’s jurisdiction might there be the possibility of imprisoning the violating pro se litigant for a few days and/or imposing a small fine.
The only practical solution to ending this financially ruinous and completely unconstitutional litigation nightmare for thousands of innocent victims – including taxpayers – is that all states must codify into law NOW preventative sua sponte judicial review of all pro se litigants’ lawsuits. Such laws will stop pro se stalkers-through-the-courts dead in their tracks from weaponizing the courts against their innocent victims. At the very least laws need to be enacted in every state and federal court that require all pro se litigants to post security bond to ensure their victims will not suffer extreme financial damage in defending their innocence.