Q: Can a judge stop me from filing a civil lawsuit? I went to prison for 2 years for a crime I never committed, and now I have 3 years of probation. I was charged with interstate stalking, and can prove that the woman the FBI says I was stalking lied to them. This woman is also married to an FBI agent. One of the conditions of my probation is that I can’t have any direct, or indirect contact with this woman. I can prove that she lied, and that the FBI lied to cover up a crime she committed. My question is this: The judge told me that I can’t file a civil lawsuit because that would be considered indirect contact with this woman. I want to proceed as a poor person and do this myself. Can the judge really bar me from using the court system to seek justice? This does not seem right to me. Is the judge over stepping his authority? Thank you for any input you can offer.
A: Chosen as “Best Answer” by Asker on www.AVVO.com
I have never heard of a Judge being able to deny you access to the court system (well, that’s not entirely true… there are folks who have been enjoined / restrained from filing in court after abuses have been adjudicated) and I suspect that this order, if it was given, is unconstitutional.
You are free to sue pretty much anyone for pretty much anything in the USA. Whether your lawsuit survives a motion for summary judgment, whether you prevail, or even if you can find a lawyer to sign her/his name to pleadings is another story.
If I were you I would get offline and into a real world civil litigation law office and bring with you the court order indicating that you are not permitted to file a suit against your victim. If there is no court order then you will need a transcript of the proceedings where the Judge said what you claim that he said.
I suspect that a real world lawyer may very well take this case just to smack this over-inflated Judge off his high throne, but, alternatively, you may be told that the Judge was justified in enjoining you under these circumstances (I don’t know and you are not going to know absent a real world consultation with the court order or transcript of the proceedings in hand).
Were I a betting man then I’d wager that the Judge exceeded his authority by telling you that you cannot file a civil lawsuit against the complaining witness in your criminal case. Still, if you do then I;d be sure NOT to do it pro se and to have a lawyer sign the pleadings and hire the process server. Although this is technically 3rd party contact I think that the Judge has no authority to intervene in your attorney-client relationship and, if s/he does, then you can always rely on an “advice of counsel” defense to any charge.
Wishing you luck and hoping that I’ve been helpful.
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