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In re Sindram

United States District Court, D. Columbia

May 7, 2015

IN RE MICHAEL JOSEPH SINDRAM, Appellant

Bankruptcy No. 8-bk-559.

MICHAEL JOSEPH SINDRAM, Appellant, Pro se, Washington, DC.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

TANYA S. CHUTKAN, United States District Judge.

In the present case, Appellant Michael Joseph Sindram appeals two orders, entered by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia, that restrict his ability to file documents in his core bankruptcy proceeding unless he first seeks leave of court. ( See ECF No. 1 at 2); In re Michael Joseph Sindram, Bankr. Case No. 8-559 (Bankr. D.D.C.) at ECF Nos. 321, 326. He also moves for appointment of counsel, apparently because he was dissatisfied with the work performed by appointed counsel in his core bankruptcy proceeding. (ECF No. 3). For the reasons set forth below, Mr. Sindram's appeal is dismissed.

A. APPELLANT'S LITIGATION HISTORY

A recent opinion from this court noted that " Mr. Sindram is no stranger to the judicial system." Sindram v. Super. Ct. of the Dist. of Columbia, 465 B.R. 347, 347 (D.D.C. 2011). Mr. Sindram has been described as a " serial litigant," Sindram v. Circuit City, Civ. A. No. 92-2138, 1992 WL 391359, at * 2 (D.D.C. Dec. 14, 1992), with " a persistent record of filing frivolous suits." Sindram, 465 B.R. at 347. As a result of his litigation related conduct, numerous courts have sanctioned him and/or restricted his ability to file matters. See, e.g., Sindram v. Circuit City, 1992 WL 391359, at * 3;

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Sindram v. Sup.Ct., 465 B.R. at 347- 48. These courts include the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, as well as this court. See, e.g., Sindram v. Circuit City, 1992 WL 391359, at * 3; Sindram v. Sup.Ct., 465 B.R. at 347- 48.

In the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Mr. Sindram was the subject of two bar orders. First, in 1992, Judge Sporkin prohibited Mr. Sindram from " filing future actions" in forma pauperis, without leave of court.[1] Later, in 2004, Judge Kennedy issued a bar order prohibiting Mr. Sindram from " bringing any further suits in this Court without . . . first obtaining leave to file from the Court." [2] As a result of the bar order, in 2010, Judge Lamberth dismissed seven of Mr. Sindram's cases, including six bankruptcy appeals, because he failed to obtain leave to file those actions. In re Michael Joseph Sindram, Civ. A. Nos. 09-2356 (RJL), 10-31 (RJL), 10-134 (RJL), 10-402 (RJL), 10-1084 (RJL), 10-1246 (RJL), (D.D.C. Aug. 9, 2010).

The following year, in 2011, the Bankruptcy Court issued an order in one of Mr. Sindram's adversary proceedings that barred him from " filing any paper in th[e] bankruptcy court (other than an application seeking leave to file a paper)" unless Mr. Sindram first sought and obtained the Bankruptcy Court's approval. Sindram v. Jamison Condo. Ass'n, Adversary Proceeding No. 9-10037 (Bankr. D.D.C. Sept. 21, 2011) at ECF No. 31.[3] Mr. Sindram responded by appealing the bar order and requesting appointment of counsel. See In re Michael Joseph Sindram,

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Civ. A. No. 11-1918 (RCL), 2011 WL 7657648 (D.D.C. Dec. 20, 2011).

On appeal at the District Court level, Judge Lamberth dismissed the matter and denied Mr. Sindram's request for appointment of counsel. Id. Judge Lamberth also noted that Mr. Sindram " remain[ed] enjoined from filing any papers" in both the Bankruptcy Court and the District Court, unless he first sought leave. Id. at *3. True to his designation as a " serial litigant," Mr. Sindram challenged Judge Lamberth's decision by filing an appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In re Michael Sindram, No. 12-8006, (D.C. Cir. July 16, 2012).

The Circuit dismissed his appeal, finding that Mr. Sindram had " not shown a tenable basis for the petition." See Id. at *1. Refusing to take no for an answer, Mr. Sindram filed a motion seeking reconsideration and " re-appointment" of counsel. In re Michael Joseph Sindram, No. 12-8006 (D.C. Cir. Aug. 3, 2012) at ECF No. 1388085. The Circuit denied his motion, noting that appellants in civil cases " are not entitled to appointment of counsel when they have not demonstrated any likelihood of success on the merits." Id. at ECF. ...


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