Justices reject vexatious litigant's writ of mandamus

David Yates Nov. 9, 2010, 6:00am

Texas justices seated on the Ninth Court of Appeals rejected a vexatious litigant's writ of mandamus on Nov. 4, effectively keeping him from filing anymore lawsuits in Jefferson County.

In September, Michael Bailey and Timothy Martin filed the writ against District Clerk Lolita Ramos and several unnamed district judges in hopes of filing a lawsuit.

Court records show Martin has been declared a vexatious litigant and is subject to pre-filing requirements. Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, refused to allow the lawsuit to proceed.

To circumvent the litigation ban, Bailey attempted to file the lawsuit on his behalf, acting as "attorney in fact" under a durable power of attorney.

Martin, a local inmate, has filed several lawsuits over the years demanding that he be released from prison because the time he has served exceeded his sentences, court papers show.

"Bailey argues that Martin's power of attorney gives Bailey the right to file the lawsuit, the Ninth Court's per curiam opinion states.

"To represent another individual in court, the representative must have a license to practice law; a power of attorney does not give the agent the power to represent the principal as an attorney. The trial court was not required to allow Bailey, a non-attorney, to represent Martin."

According to the Texas Civil Code, a local administrative judge may grant a vexatious litigant permission to file suit only if it appears to the judge that the litigation has merit and has not been filed for the purposes of harassment or delay.

Appeals case No. 09-10-00412-CV

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