United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
DEREK N. JARVIS, Plaintiff,
CITY OF ALEXANDRIA, et al., Defendants.
C. CACHERIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the Defendants' request for
a pre-filing injunction. [Dkt. 8.] For the following reasons,
the Court will grant Defendants' request and enter a
pre-filing injunction against Plaintiff.
instant request for a pre-filing injunction arose after
pro se Plaintiff Derek N. Jarvis
(“Plaintiff” or “Jarvis”) brought a
case against the Alexandria Mayor's Office, City Council,
and City Manager (collectively, the “Defendants”)
for alleged violations of his constitutional rights,
negligence, and fraud. Compl. [Dkt. 1] at 1-3. On June 12,
2017, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's case in its
entirety for failure to state a claim upon which relief can
be granted. Mem. Op. [Dkt. 16.] The Court presumes
familiarity with its prior Memorandum Opinion, which
discussed the facts and procedural history of this case at
Standard of Review
courts have the authority to issue pre-filing injunctions
against vexatious litigants.” Thomas v.
Fulton, 2008 WL 64651, at *1 (4th Cir. Jan. 7, 2008)
(citing Cromer v. Kraft Foods N. Am., Inc., 390 F.3d
812, 817 (4th Cir. 2004)). In doing so, however, courts
should take care not to “limit [in any way] a
litigant's access to the courts absent exigent
circumstances, such as a litigant's continuous abuse of
the judicial process by filing meritless and repetitive
actions.” Cromer, 390 F.3d at 817-18 (internal
quotation marks and citation omitted).
decide whether to issue a pre-filing injunction, district
courts should consider the following factors:
(1) the party's history of litigation, in particular
whether he has filed vexatious, harassing, or duplicative
lawsuits; (2) whether the party had a good faith basis for
pursuing the litigation, or simply intended to harass; (3)
the extent of the burden on the courts and other parties
resulting from the party's filings; and (4) the adequacy
of alternative sanctions.
Id. at 818 (citations omitted). Once a court decides
that a pre-filing injunction is warranted, the court
“must ensure that the injunction is narrowly tailored
to fit the specific circumstances at issue.”
Id. (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
Moreover, before a court issues the pre-filing injunction, it
must afford the litigant notice and an opportunity to be
heard. Id. at 819. This notice must be sufficient to
ensure that the litigant has a chance to oppose the
court's order before it is entered. Id.
(internal citations and quotations omitted).
end of Defendants' motion to dismiss, the parties include
a request that this Court declare Plaintiff a vexatious
litigant and issue an injunction to prevent Plaintiff from
filing any other lawsuit before this Court without first
obtaining prior approval. Mem. in Supp. of Mot. to Dismiss
[Dkt. 9] at 11-13. Having reviewed Plaintiff's arguments
in opposition to this request [Dkt. 12 at 21], provided
Plaintiff with notice and a hearing,  and analyzed the relevant
factors for this Court to consider prior to issuing an
injunction, the Court finds that a pre-filing injunction in
this case is warranted.
the Court agrees that Plaintiff has a history of vexatious
litigation, having now filed over twenty-five meritless
lawsuits in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Plaintiff
has demonstrated a pattern of filing these lawsuits, along
with numerous motions for reconsideration, appeals to the
Fourth Circuit and Supreme Court, and requests for rehearing.
In at least one instance, Plaintiff has decided to then sue
the judge and personnel in the federal clerk's office.
Additionally, Plaintiff has been warned previously by a
federal district judge in Maryland about his “pattern
of filing frivolous lawsuits in this court, and vexatious
filing in those suits, ” as well as the possibility of
a pre-filing injunction. See Jarvis v. Enterprise Fleet
Servs. & Leasing Co., 2010 WL 1068146, at *25 (D.
Md. Mar. 17, 2010). Despite this admonition, Plaintiff
maintains today that “everyone [sic] of [his] cases
were [sic] meritorious, and many will be refiled as a result
of the obstruction by the Court.” Mem. in Opp. [Dkt.
12] at 21. Thus, he appears as committed as ever to filing
frivolous lawsuits and motions going forward.
Court also agrees that Plaintiff lacks a good faith basis for
the pleadings he has filed thus far. His Complaint in the
instant case is sixteen pages long, a great deal of which
appears devoted to harassing Defendants. For example,
Plaintiff accuses the city of Alexandria of being a community
in which officials “walk a confederate [sic] soldier
down the streets of Old Town to haunt and offend descendants
of slaves.” Compl. at 3. He also requests that this
Court order reparations from the city in order to correct its
“racist legacy of terrorizing and discriminating
against the descendants of slaves.” Id. He
accuses OHR of being “a fraud, ” and insists that
living in Alexandria as a black man is an “ongoing
nightmare.” Id. at 1, 5. These sorts of
claims, which are unconnected to any of his causes of action,
demonstrate his abuse of the right to access courts for
the Court finds that Plaintiff has become a substantial
burden on judicial resources. In over twenty-five lawsuits,
the judiciary has had no choice but to wade through his
numerous nonsensical pro se arguments to determine
if any viable claims exist. Thus far, not a single
meritorious claim has been found. However, Plaintiff appears
unwilling to accept the outcome in these cases, instead