Law:Title 2. Trial, Judgment, And Appeal. Subtitle A. General Provisions (Texas)

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Subtitle A. General Provisions

Contents

Chapter 11. Vexatious Litigants

Subchapter A. General Provisions

Section  11.001.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "Defendant" means a person or governmental entity against whom a plaintiff commences or maintains or seeks to commence or maintain a litigation.

(2)  "Litigation" means a civil action commenced, maintained, or pending in any state or federal court.

(3)  "Local administrative judge" means a local administrative district judge or a local administrative statutory county court judge.

(4)  "Moving defendant" means a defendant who moves for an order under Section 11.051 determining that a plaintiff is a vexatious litigant and requesting security.

(5)  "Plaintiff" means an individual who commences or maintains a litigation.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 806, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Subchapter B. Vexatious Litigants

Section  11.051.  Motion For Order Determining Plaintiff A Vexatious Litigant And Requesting Security.

In a litigation in this state, the defendant may, on or before the 90th day after the date the defendant files the original answer or makes a special appearance, move the court for an order:

(1)  determining that the plaintiff is a vexatious litigant; and

(2)  requiring the plaintiff to furnish security.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 806, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  11.052.  Stay Of Proceedings On Filing Of Motion.

(a) On the filing of a motion under Section 11.051, the litigation is stayed and the moving defendant is not required to plead:

(1)  if the motion is denied, before the 10th day after the date it is denied; or

(2)  if the motion is granted, before the 10th day after the date the moving defendant receives written notice that the plaintiff has furnished the required security.

(b)  On the filing of a motion under Section 11.051 on or after the date the trial starts, the litigation is stayed for a period the court determines.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 806, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  11.053.  Hearing.

(a) On receipt of a motion under Section 11.051, the court shall, after notice to all parties, conduct a hearing to determine whether to grant the motion.

(b)  The court may consider any evidence material to the ground of the motion, including:

(1)  written or oral evidence; and

(2)  evidence presented by witnesses or by affidavit.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 806, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  11.054.  Criteria For Finding Plaintiff A Vexatious Litigant.

A court may find a plaintiff a vexatious litigant if the defendant shows that there is not a reasonable probability that the plaintiff will prevail in the litigation against the defendant and that:

(1)  the plaintiff, in the seven-year period immediately preceding the date the defendant makes the motion under Section 11.051, has commenced, prosecuted, or maintained in propria persona at least five litigations other than in a small claims court that have been:

(A)  finally determined adversely to the plaintiff;

(B)  permitted to remain pending at least two years without having been brought to trial or hearing; or

(C)  determined by a trial or appellate court to be frivolous or groundless under state or federal laws or rules of procedure;

(2)  after a litigation has been finally determined against the plaintiff, the plaintiff repeatedly relitigates or attempts to relitigate, in propria persona, either:

(A)  the validity of the determination against the same defendant as to whom the litigation was finally determined; or

(B)  the cause of action, claim, controversy, or any of the issues of fact or law determined or concluded by the final determination against the same defendant as to whom the litigation was finally determined; or

(3)  the plaintiff has previously been declared to be a vexatious litigant by a state or federal court in an action or proceeding based on the same or substantially similar facts, transition, or occurrence.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 806, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  11.055.  Security.

(a) A court shall order the plaintiff to furnish security for the benefit of the moving defendant if the court, after hearing the evidence on the motion, determines that the plaintiff is a vexatious litigant.

(b)  The court in its discretion shall determine the date by which the security must be furnished.

(c)  The court shall provide that the security is an undertaking by the plaintiff to assure payment to the moving defendant of the moving defendant's reasonable expenses incurred in or in connection with a litigation commenced, caused to be commenced, maintained, or caused to be maintained by the plaintiff, including costs and attorney's fees.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 806, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  11.056.  Dismissal For Failure To Furnish Security.

The court shall dismiss a litigation as to a moving defendant if a plaintiff ordered to furnish security does not furnish the security within the time set by the order.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 806, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  11.057.  Dismissal On The Merits.

If the litigation is dismissed on its merits, the moving defendant has recourse to the security furnished by the plaintiff in an amount determined by the court.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 806, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Subchapter C. Prohibiting Filing Of New Litigation

Section  11.101.  Prefiling Order; Contempt.

(a) A court may, on its own motion or the motion of any party, enter an order prohibiting a person from filing, in propria persona, a new litigation in a court in this state if the court finds, after notice and hearing as provided by Subchapter B, that:

(1)  the person is a vexatious litigant; and

(2)  the local administrative judge of the court in which the person intends to file the litigation has not granted permission to the person under Section 11.102 to file the litigation.

(b)  A person who disobeys an order under Subsection (a) is subject to contempt of court.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 806, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  11.102.  Permission By Local Administrative Judge.

(a) A local administrative judge may grant permission to a person found to be a vexatious litigant under Section 11.101 to file a litigation only if it appears to the judge that the litigation:

(1)  has merit; and

(2)  has not been filed for the purposes of harassment or delay.

(b)  The local administrative judge may condition permission on the furnishing of security for the benefit of the defendant as provided in Subchapter B.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 806, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  11.103.  Duties Of Clerk; Mistaken Filing.

(a) A clerk of a court may not file a litigation presented by a vexatious litigant subject to a prefiling order under Section 11.101 unless the litigant obtains an order from the local administrative judge permitting the filing.

(b)  If the clerk mistakenly files a litigation without an order from the local administrative judge, any party may file with the clerk and serve on the plaintiff and the other parties to the suit a notice stating that the plaintiff is a vexatious litigant subject to a prefiling order under Section 11.101. On the filing of the notice, the court shall immediately stay the litigation and shall dismiss the litigation unless the plaintiff, not later than the 10th day after the date the notice is filed, obtains an order from the local administrative judge under Section 11.102 permitting the filing of the litigation.

(c)  If the local administrative judge issues an order permitting the filing of the litigation under Subsection (b), the litigation remains stayed and the defendant need not plead until the 10th day after the date the defendant is served with a copy of the order.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 806, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  11.104.  Notice To Office Of Court Administration; Dissemination Of List. (a)

A clerk of a court shall provide the Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System a copy of any prefiling order issued under Section 11.101.

(b)  The Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System shall maintain a list of vexatious litigants subject to prefiling orders under Section 11.101 and shall annually send the list to the clerks of the courts of this state.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 806, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.


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