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Michael J. Sindram v. Superior Court District of Columbia

June 21, 2011

MICHAEL J. SINDRAM, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SUPERIOR COURT DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: p John D. Bates United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Plaintiff Michael Joseph Sindram ("Sindram") appeals multiple orders entered by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia in the adversary proceeding Sindram v. Superior Court, District of Columbia, No. 09-10036 (Bankr. D.D.C.). For the reasons explained below, the Court will dismiss all three appeals.

BACKGROUND

Sindram is no stranger to the judicial system. The Court's review is occasioned by Sindram's status as a "serial litigant" who has filed numerous frivolous actions in this district court and others. See Sindram v. Circuit City, No. 92-2138, 1992 WL 391359 (D.D.C. Dec. 14, 1992). As such, Sindram has been enjoined from filing actions in district court in forma pauperis without leave of court. See id.; see also Sindram v. Saunders, No. 03-2110, 2004 WL 5459796 (D.D.C. Aug. 11, 2004); Sindram v. Suda, 1992 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8977 (D.D.C. June 24, 1992).

The constitutional right of access to the courts is not absolute or unconditional. In re Green, 669 F.2d 779, 785 (D.C. Cir. 1981). If a litigant persistently abuses the judicial process by filing repetitive, frivolous lawsuits, "a [c]court may employ injunctive remedies to protect the integrity of the courts and the orderly and expeditious administration of justice." Urban v. United States, 768 F.2d 1497, 1500 (D.C. Cir. 1985). Sindram has a persistent record of filing frivolous suits. He has been enjoyed from filing pleadings and/or sanctioned by the United States Supreme Court, see In re Sindram, 498 U.S. 177 (1991); the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, see Sindram v. Johnson, 1993 WL 13959 (D.C. Cir. Apr. 20, 1993); the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, see Sindram v. Wallin, No. 90-800 (D. Md. Mar. 16, 1990); the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland, see Sindram v. Roth, No. 63862 (Mont. Cnty. Cir. Jan. 14, 1993) (providing examples of the "abusive practices and bad faith litigation the citizens of [Maryland] are caused to suffer at the hands of Michael Sindram"); and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, see Sindram v. Thorne, No. 03-CA-9551 (Super. Ct. D.C. Feb. 10, 2004).

Sindram's current series of appeals originate with an adversary proceeding Sindram initiated against the Superior Court of the District of Columbia on October 2, 2009 [Bankr. Docket Entry 1], in which Sindram sought to attack a 1992 order entered by that court [Bankr. Docket Entry 5]. The bankruptcy court dismissed the adversary proceeding because Sindram failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Sindram filed a response [Bankr. Docket Entry 8], and the bankruptcy court issued a final dismissal on the merits on January 20, 2010 [Bankr. Docket Entry 10]. On January 29, 2010, Sindram filed a Notice of Appeal from that judgment [Bankr. Docket Entry 13]. The appeal generated a case in district court, which the clerk docketed as Civil Action No. 10-00402 [Bankr. Docket Entry 16]. On August 6, 2010, Judge Leon dismissed the merits appeal with prejudice [Bankr. Docket Entry 26].

Post-judgment proceedings have produced ten additional orders entered by the bankruptcy court, three of which are the subject of the appeals now pending before this Court. As part of Sindram's appeal of the bankruptcy court's January 20, 2010, order, he requested that the clerk transmit his case to a bankruptcy appellate panel. On June 27, 2010, the bankruptcy court denied Sindram's request because no such panel exists [Bankr. Docket Entry 19]. Sindram then filed a Notice of Appeal of that order [Bankr. Docket Entry 21] ("appellate-panel appeal"). That appeal generated Civil Action No. 10-1397 in district court [Bankr. Docket Entry 27]. On September 22, 2010, Judge Leon dismissed the appellate-panel appeal with prejudice.

Incident to Sindram's appellate-panel appeal, the clerk's office issued him a notice advising him that he had failed to pay the required appeal fee [Bankr. Docket Entry 22]. On July 12, 2010, Sindram responded by filing an application to proceed in district court without prepayment of fees [Bankr. Docket Entry 24]. The first two cases the Court addresses here, Civil Action Nos. 10-01994 and 11-00307, relate directly to Sindram's request to proceed in forma pauperis in various appeals. They are frivolous. The third case, Civil Action No. 11-00862, similarly without merit, involves an appeal of the bankruptcy court's denial of a supplemental motion by Sindram in his attempt to proceed in forma pauperis in Civil Action No. 11-00307.

DISCUSSION

I. Civil Case No. 10-01994

On October 7, 2010, the bankruptcy court denied Sindram's application to proceed in forma pauperis [Bankr. Docket Entry 29]. The bankruptcy court denied the application without prejudice to Sindram's renewal of the request before the district court. On October 14, 2010, Sindram filed an appeal from the October 7, 2010, order denying his application [Bankr. Docket Entry 34], which is Civil Action No. 10-01994 in district court [Bankr. Docket Entry 39].

The bankruptcy court in its October 7, 2010, Memorandum Opinion noted that it had granted Sindram's request for waiver of the filing fee in the underlying bankruptcy case. That court found Sindram's appeal was "entirely without merit" and "not taken in good faith." Sindram now presents no legal support for his appeal of the bankruptcy court's Order [see No. 10-01994, Docket Entry 3], and the Court finds that the appeal is wholly without merit.

Further, Sindram's October 14, 2010, appeal of the order denying him the ability to proceed in forma pauperis concerns the bankruptcy court's June 27, 2010, order denying him access to a bankruptcy appellate panel. Because Judge Leon dismissed Sindram's appellate-panel appeal with prejudice, Sindram's appeal of the October 7, 2010, order is moot. ...


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