Stopping Vexatious Litigation After Divorce

An attorney spouse brought multiple lawsuits against his ex-wife, her family, as well as several lawyers and judges. Finally, in Davey v. Dolan, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68960 (September 26, 2006), digested by the Family Law Prof Blog, ” the US District Court for the Southern District of New York not only dismissed all the claims for failure to state a claim or on the basis of res judicata, but also sanctioned the attorney. Under the court’s inherent authority and the authority of 28 U.S.C.

An attorney spouse brought multiple lawsuits against his ex-wife, her family, as well as several lawyers and judges. Finally, in Davey v. Dolan, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68960 (September 26, 2006), digested by the Family Law Prof Blog, ” the US District Court for the Southern District of New York not only dismissed all the claims for failure to state a claim or on the basis of res judicata, but also sanctioned the attorney. Under the court’s inherent authority and the authority of 28 U.S.C. § 1927, the Court ordered husband to pay the reasonable costs, expenses, and attorneys’ fees incurred by the defendants in responding to the action and permanently enjoined him from “(1) pursuing further federal litigation that in any way relates to any matter arising out of his matrimonial dispute without first obtaining the authorization of the District Court, and (2) pursuing further state litigation that in any way relates to any matter arising out of his matrimonial dispute without appending this Court’s opinion and order of injunction to his first filings.”
That federal statute provides: Any attorney or other person admitted to conduct cases in any court of the United States or any Territory thereof who so multiplies the proceedings in any case unreasonably and vexatiously may be required by the court to satisfy personally the excess costs, expenses, and attorneys’ fees reasonably incurred because of such conduct.
Civil Rule 11 would have supported the same fee shifting result, and in most states is not limited to attorneys. I would love to see the legal analysis of the injunctive relief. If anyone has access to the opinion or briefs, please pass them on and I will do an update.

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