What to Do When a Pro Se Litigant Won’t Stop Filing Motions?

Sometimes a litigant chooses to proceed “pro se”, meaning the party represents him or herself. In an active case, this can often be frustrating for the side that is represented by counsel.

A “pro se” typically has a very limited understanding of the court’s rules and procedures. As a result, he or she may file relentless pleadings, some of which may be frivolous. He or she is not paying for a lawyer. So, what can you and/or your lawyer do when the opposing side won’t stop filing motions?

If the motions are truly frivolous and great in number, counsel can petition the court to enjoin the other side from filing more motions without the court’s permission. The court may find it appropriate to issue an injunction against the pro se litigant that prevents them from filing further filings. Illinois courts have found they have the authority to do this when further proceedings will result in fraud, oppression, or harassing and vexatious litigation. Park Plaza v. Lincolnland Properties Inc., 185 Ill. App. 3d 26 (3rd Dist. 1989.)

Other remedies may include filing a petition for sanctions and requesting that litigant pay your attorneys’ fees. An order to pay fees may not silence him or her, however, and injunctive relief may be a good option to pursue.

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