A district court ruled that a collection agency can request sanctions if a “vexatious” litigant won’t leave them alone.
01/31/2023 10:15 A.M.
1 minute read
What can you do if a consumer repeatedly files frivolous lawsuits against you? A U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California recently ruled in one case that a defendant can request sanctions.
In Rogers v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, No. 22: 2-CV-1799 DAD CKD PS, 2023 WL 359020 (E.D. Cal. Jan. 23, 2023), the plaintiff, Mary Alice Nelson Rogers, proceeding without counsel, sued JP Morgan Chase Bank concerning her former residential mortgage.
When Rogers stopped making payments on her loan, Chase foreclosed on her home and purchased it in a foreclosure sale. At that point, the plaintiff began filing lawsuits against a variety of involved parties, including JP Morgan Chase, with identical core claims: discussing “false debt collection” and Chase’s failure to “validate the debt” pursuant to the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. The court noted that most of her claims “contained a significant amount of boilerplate, legalese, and other irrelevant information.”
The court ultimately decided Rogers was “a repeat, serial litigant whose multiple suits against Chase have made it clear that she will continue to inundate this district with frivolous litigation against Chase.” The court recommended that Rogers be deemed a “vexatious litigant.”
The result? Going forward, Rogers is required to get permission from the court before filing more complaints about her mortgage with JP Morgan Chase. Violations of this order could result in a hearing for contempt and appropriate sanctions, plus any action filed in violation of the order would be subject to dismissal.
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