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

A pro se litigant is a person who handles the case by them self, and doesn’t hire an attorney.  Since they do not know the court rules, it can be challenging when you are the other side of a pro se litigant.

You may choose to hire a lawyer or represent yourself pro se as well. However, what can you and/or your lawyer do when the opposing side won’t stop filing motions. We often see this with Orders of Protection. A spouse or significant other, for example, may repeatedly bring these actions even though he or she does not prevail. Sometimes the litigant may not even show up for court appearances related to his or her own action and the motion is dismissed. Nonetheless, you have spent time and money preparing a defense and hiring a lawyer every time this happens.

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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