United States District Court, D. New Mexico
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: FILING RESTRICTIONS
C. BRACK, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the State Defendants' First
Motion for Sanctions or in the Alternative Motion to Enjoin
Plaintiff from Future Actions without Leave of the Court,
filed on November 3, 2017. (Doc. 176.) Although Plaintiff,
who is proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis, has submitted nine different documents in the
more than two months since Defendants filed their Motion,
Plaintiff has not responded to this Motion for Sanctions.
(See Docs. 178, 179, 180, 182, 183, 186, 187, 188,
189.) For the reasons stated herein, the Court will
deny Defendants' Motion for sanctions,
but will grant Defendants' Motion
insofar as it asks the Court to “enjoin plaintiff from
filing any further documents in this case without leave of
the Court.” (See Doc.176 at 1.)
Ombe's case has been pending before this Court for over
three years. In this time, Mr. Ombe has filed 37 pleadings,
motions, and replies (including surreplies filed without
leave of the Court),  8 responses to Defendants' motions or
court orders,  and 61 notices, letters, and other
miscellaneous filings. As the Defendants note in their Motion,
Mr. Ombe expends a significant amount of energy in his
filings disparaging opposing counsel and the
Court. (See Doc. 176 (listing a litany
Court is mindful that Mr. Ombe is acting pro se,
speaks English as a second language, and has certain
diagnoses that present challenges. The Court cannot, however,
grant Mr. Ombe unfettered access to file countless notices
and papers that do little to further this case.
Tenth Circuit has discussed the Court's power to impose
filing restrictions, as well as the procedure to impose such
“[T]he right of access to the courts is neither
absolute nor unconditional and there is no constitutional
right of access to the courts to prosecute an action that is
frivolous or malicious.” Tripati v. Beaman,
878 F.2d 351, 353 (10th Cir. 1989) (per curiam) (citation
omitted). “There is strong precedent establishing the
inherent power of federal courts to regulate the activities
of abusive litigants by imposing carefully tailored
restrictions under the appropriate circumstances.”
Cotner v. Hopkins, 795 F.2d 900, 902 (10th Cir.
1986). “Even onerous conditions may be imposed upon a
litigant as long as they are designed to assist the . . .
court in curbing the particular abusive behavior involved,
” except that they “cannot be so burdensome . . .
as to deny a litigant meaningful access to the courts.”
Id. (brackets and internal quotation marks omitted).
“Litigiousness alone will not support an injunction
restricting filing activities. However, injunctions are
proper where the litigant's abusive and lengthy history
is properly set forth.” Tripati, 878 F.2d at
353 (citations omitted). “[T]here must be some
guidelines as to what [a party] must do to obtain the
court's permission to file an action.” Id.
at 354. “In addition, [the party] is entitled to notice
and an opportunity to oppose the court's order before it
is instituted.” Id. A hearing is not required;
a written opportunity to respond is sufficient. See
Landrith v. Schmidt, 732 F.3d 1171, 1174 (10th Cir.
Court proposes to impose the following filing restrictions on
Plaintiff may file documents by and through a licensed
attorney who is admitted to practice before this Court and
has appeared in this action and signed the documents to be
Plaintiff, acting pro se, may file motions asking
the Court for permission to file a document, entitled
“Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File ___, ”
with the title of the document he seeks leave to file filled
in the blank. The Motion for Leave to File must be no more
than five typed, double-spaced pages in length, and must
certify that, to the best of Plaintiff's knowledge, the
document he seeks leave to file complies with the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure and the Local Civil Rules of the
United States District Court for the District of New Mexico.
Plaintiff must attach to the Motion for Leave to File a copy
of the document he seeks leave to file. Plaintiff may seek
leave to file only one document per motion.
document Plaintiff seeks leave to file must specifically
comply with Local Rules 7 and 10, Motion Practice, including
the timing of motions and the restrictions on page length
(both briefs and exhibits). See D.N.M. LR-Civ.
7.4(a) (requiring that “[a] response must be served and
filed within  calendar days after service of the motion[,
]” and [a] reply must be served and filed within 
calendar days after service of the response”; a party
who seeks an “extension must file a separate motion
within the applicable  day period[, ]” and any
extension “must not interfere with established case
management deadlines”); D.N.M. LR-Civ. 7.4(b)
(requiring leave of Court to file a surreply); D.N.M. LR-Civ.
7.5 (limiting the length of a motion to 27 double-spaced
pages, a response brief to 24 double-spaced pages, and a
reply brief to 12 double-spaced pages); D.N.M. LR-Civ. 10.5
(limiting exhibits to 50 pages “unless all parties
agree otherwise” or if no agreement can be reached,
“the party seeking to exceed the page limit must file a
motion in accordance with D.N.M. LR-Civ. 7”).
Court hereby notifies Plaintiff that it will not approve any
motion seeking leave to file a “Notice” or
“Progress/Status Report” or other miscellaneous
pleading that does not further the progress of this case.
With the exception of appropriate replies to Plaintiff's
own motions,  responses to Defendants' motions or to
this Court's orders seeking a response, Plaintiff is
hereby limited to filing only one document each month as
detailed in paragraphs above.
From this date forward, Plaintiff may not file any document
via fax. Plaintiff shall either bring his motions to the
United States District Court Clerk's Office intake table
in person (see Doc. 181, attached as Ex. 1 to this
Order), or mail motions (including any objections to this
Order to Show Cause) to:
U.S. District Court
District of New Mexico
100 N. Church Street, Suite 280
Las Cruces, NM 88001
Plaintiff shall refrain from denigrating opposing counsel and
this Court. Plaintiff's future use of abusive and
harassing language shall be cause for sanctions, up to and