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Martin v. Fowler

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

August 7, 2019

ANTHONY C. MARTIN, Plaintiff,
v.
LARRY FOWLER, LISA ASH, MICHELLE RAINS, PENNY EDEN, DAVIS, LONG, SARAH PECKHAM, SANDFORD, Defendants.

          Lyubov Gore INDIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL.

          Brandon Alan Skates INDIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL.

          ORDER IMPOSING FILING BAN AND DISMISSING ACTION

          JAMES R. SWEENEY II, JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Anthony C. Martin has once again attempted to defraud the Court. For the reasons explained below, this action is dismissed with prejudice and Mr. Martin is ordered to pay the outstanding filing fees owed to this Court as a sanction for his misconduct. Until he pays those fees, the Clerk of the Court is ordered to return unfiled any papers Mr. Martin submits to this Court, with the exception of appeal documents and habeas cases.

         I. Background

         Mr. Martin is a frequent litigator in the state of Indiana. He has filed more than 50 civil actions since 2000. He has filed 14 cases in this district in the past two years. Many of his lawsuits have been dismissed at screening for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. See e.g., Martin v. State of Indiana, 1:12-cv-146-JTM-RBC (N.D. Ind. May 30, 2012) (dismissing case as frivolous and malicious and warning Mr. Martin that if he files another frivolous or malicious lawsuit he may then be sanctioned by being restricted from any further civil litigation in this court.); Martin v. Fort Wayne Police Department, 1:04-cv-450-TLS-RBC (N.D. Ind. Nov. 21, 2005) (dismissing action as sanction for failure to comply with Court orders); Martin v. Ross, 1:08-cv-199-TLS-RBC (N.D. Ind. Nov. 25, 2008) (dismissing action at screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915e(2)(B)(ii)); Martin v. Ross, 1:08-cv-247-RL-RBC (N.D. Ind. Oct. 31, 2008) (dismissing action at screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915e(2)).

         Mr. Martin also has a history of attempting to further his litigation through deception. The Northern District of Indiana dismissed two cases after finding that Mr. Martin had made false statements. In Martin v. Fort Wayne Police Department, 1:09-cv-154-RL-RBC (N.D. Ind. 2009), the Court found that Mr. Martin filed an in forma pauperis petition with intentional misrepresentations in an attempt to deceive the court. Mr. Martin's case was dismissed with prejudice as a sanction. In Martin v. York, 1:09-cv-332-JTM-RBC (N.D. Ind. 2009), Mr. Martin again intentionally misrepresented his financial status in an attempt to deceive the court. In response, the Northern District of Indiana dismissed the case with prejudice and restricted Martin from filing any new case without prepaying the filing fee for two years.

         More recently in this Court, No. 1:18-cv-2443-JRS-MPB was dismissed at screening after the Court held that Mr. Martin's false statements made the complaint factually frivolous. On October 9, 2018, this Court wrote:

Mr. Martin was previously warned by the Northern District of Indiana that if he continues to file false statements or frivolous actions, he could be sanctioned. In particular, the Court could direct the Clerk to refuse to file any papers submitted by Mr. Martin in any civil case. See Support Sys. Int'l v. Mack, 45 F.3d 185, 186 (7th Cir. 1995). Mr. Martin is notified that if he makes another false statement in this Court this sanction will be imposed.

Martin v. Zantecky, No. 1:18-cv-2443-JRS-MPB, dkt. 8 at p. 5 (S.D. Ind. October 9, 2018).

         II. False Statement

         Mr. Martin's most recent false statement was made in this action in his Motion for Assistance with Recruiting Counsel. Dkt. 61. The motion for assistance with recruiting counsel form used by this Court states: “List any other cases you have filed without counsel and note whether the Court recruited counsel to assist you in any of those cases.” In response, the plaintiff wrote “N/A.” Dkt. 61 at p. 3. Mr. Martin's response that this question is “not applicable” to him because there are no cases to list is false and intended to deceive.[1]

         Moreover, Anthony C. Martin has filed at least 37 civil cases in the Northern District of Indiana. Eight of these civil cases are pending. He has filed 15 civil cases in this Court where 12 remain pending. It appears that nearly all of these cases were filed without the assistance of counsel and should have been referenced in his motion for assistance recruiting counsel.

         “Whether to recruit an attorney is a difficult decision: Almost everyone would benefit from having a lawyer, but there are too many indigent litigants and too few lawyers willing and able to volunteer for these cases.” Olson v. Morgan, 750 F.3d 708, 711 (7th Cir. 2014). It is for this reason that the Court requires accurate information in motions for counsel to fairly determine which of the hundreds of litigants seeking counsel each year should receive it. To make clear the importance of truthfulness, the motion ...


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