You Might Call Them Something Else, But the Correct Term Is…
May 10, 2021
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure don’t discuss the “vexatious litigant” designation, but the courts have identified such persons as part of their inherent power to protect the judicial process. One procedure to which vexatious litigants are often subjected is an order to pay a security-deposit associated with potential future costs or sanctions. Mankaruse v. Raytheon Company, 20-2309 (Fed. Cir. 2021) (nonprecedential) [Raytheon Vexatious Litigant] is a recent example. Nagui Mankaruse, a former Raytheon engineer and a patentee, filed pro se against Raytheon alleging patent infringement and trade-secret misappropriation. Raytheon asked the US District Court in Cal. to deem Mankaruse a “vexatious litigant” and require a bond before proceeding. The district court agreed and ordered him to pay a $25,000 bond and also seek pre-filing approval from the court of any future lawsuit. He did not pay the money and the case was dismissed. On appeal, the Federal Circuit affirmed. “[T]he court properly declared Mr. Mankaruse a vexatious litigant. And the bond amount of $25,000 was not excessive. Mankaruse argued that he does not have $25,000 so the requirement effectively excludes him from the court. On appeal, the Federal Circuit found no abuse-of-discretion even if it priced Mankaruse out of the market.
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